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grade inflation?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by zoteater, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. zoteater

    zoteater New Member
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    anyone know if adcoms notice that your gpa is high because u took easy classes, a light load, or got a lot of A's for doing research?
     
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  3. canada

    canada Member
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    I've heard stories of schools having reputations for grade inflations but how does that work? Does anyone know?


    Does this mean that their class averages for the schools are very high? Also, don't school transcripts have the class averages on them? I thought most class averages are around B- to B+. What do others have?
     
  4. jedirampage

    jedirampage Senior Member
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    A non-inflated class that does not have a strict percentage scoring range set from the begining (i.e., 100-90 = A, etc) should have an average of a C to C+.
     
  5. ad_sharp

    ad_sharp Senior Member
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    Part of it is GPA, but I think that if GPAs are roughly equal between two applicants, schools are not going to look favorabley upon the one who majored in underwater basket weaving. Here is what I was told at more than one school: If the adcom is unfamiliar with your university and/or major program, they will wiegh your MCAT more heavily since it is a level playing field between peole at different undergrads. Is it fair? Probably not, but it is hard to weigh GPAs of different undergrads and majors objectively.
     
  6. schools are not going to look favorabley upon the one who majored in underwater basket weaving

    Do you know how impressed i would be if someone could weave a basket underwater.
     
  7. ad_sharp

    ad_sharp Senior Member
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    I don't guess I really thought about it, but that would be pretty impressive, wouldn't it?:laugh:
     
  8. Luthertaketwo

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    I wonder if you could sue a state school for admitting someone with a lower GPA but a "harder" major, granted everything else between them was pretty much equal.
     
  9. acretinmelon

    acretinmelon Member
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    This has always been big on my list of concerns. I go to a regular old, non-Ivy, Public U, and most of my science exams are curved to a 70% (or C-). My intro Anthropology class has an average of 84%, though (just to brag, sorry: I got a 99% in that class without ever glancing at the textbook).
     
  10. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    you can never know if everything about the other applicant is equal to yours. maybe the other person's personality is just a better fit at the school compared to the other? maybe one relates to the mission of the school more.

    regardless. it be a waste of a suit...
     
  11. canada

    canada Member
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    a 70% is a C-? wow, that's hard. here 65-69 is a b-, just like the way amcas grades it.
     
  12. AD2020

    AD2020 Member
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    I've heard that some med schools have a preliminary screening formula to weed out some applicants = (MCAT score)x(GPA)x(school weight). So Harvard would have a weight that's higher than a community college. On the other hand, Harvard has a ridiculous amount of grade inflation, so that's also taken into account.

    In terms of major and difficulty of classes, adcoms can't factor that into their numbers, but it DEFINITELY matters. I have a relatively low GPA but I'm in a really tough engineering major, and I think that's definitely helped me set myself apart from other applicants. If you have a slightly lower GPA, a good MCAT score and a list of tougher classes will impress the adcoms. So take classes you're interested in, work hard, and the rest will work itself out.
     
  13. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    ??

    what do you mean just like the way amcas grades it.

    you put in letter grades that you got on your transcripts. not percentages that amcas automatically converts into letter grades.
     
  14. canada

    canada Member
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    A = 4.0
    A- = 3.7
    B+ = 3.3
    B = 3.0
    B- = 2.7
    C+ = 2.3
    C = 2.0
    D = 1.0
    F = 0.0

    I thought that this is the way AMCAS goes by? if that's the case then my school goes by the same thing amcas goes by.

    to acretinmelon, what did C- convert to in terms of GPA?
     
  15. canada

    canada Member
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    everyone keeps mentioning how Harvard has grade inflation? exactly what does this mean?

    do the profs there curve the grades so that the class avg is higher? or do they specifically move a "pre-med" one letter grade higher or more?
     
  16. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    I cant remember the exact statistics (hopefully someone has the article and can correct me), but something like 90% of Harvard students get some form of A. That my friend is grad inflation.
     
  17. Mr Reddly

    Mr Reddly Snowglobe!
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    When I took the second semester of O-chem, I think the average on tests was like 10%, with high scores at ~30% and low in the negative range.
    :love:
     
  18. Mr Reddly

    Mr Reddly Snowglobe!
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    Ya, but if those same students went to Podunk U, something like 99.9% of those students would get some form of A. If they didn't inflate, a normal student with 3.3 from Podunk U would look better GPA wise than the average Harvard student... This from a person who attended 3 universities... hard, easy, and just right. :laugh:
     
  19. linus

    linus fly tux.
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    why is everyone always putting down Podunk?

    :p

    go Podunk U.!
     
  20. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    Yeah, but Harvard students already have the bonus of going to Harvard which is a big enough boon in and of itself.

    And you dont hear about grade inflation at schools like MIT, Caltech, UChicago or Swarthmore, all very highly regarded schools as well.
     
  21. canada

    canada Member
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    i wish i had grade inflation
     
  22. Mr Reddly

    Mr Reddly Snowglobe!
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    Cuz its football team sux. Though, I've heard it has a pretty good Mounted Lacrosse team. :)
     
  23. hakksar

    hakksar Senior Member
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    As far as I can tell there is really no way of comparing undergraduate institutions. Some top name schools (as was mentioned above) have very noticeable and obvious grade inflation and some state institutions (including the one I attended) have much less. Even in the same school different departments have varying degrees of grade inflation (hence there are hard and easy majors).

    Some people argue that only the top students go to the top institutions because of their strict admissions policies and therefore grade inflation is the only way to fairly judge these students (If you have the 100 smartest people in the country and you grade them on a bell curve and then ask the person who failed to apply to medical school with an F would that be fair since he is still smarter than 99% of other applicants). However, there are many extremely smart people who go to their state institutions because of other factors (Scholarships, location, etc) and should these 4.0's be regarded as less impressive when you realize that their program may have no grade inflation (even if they attended Podunk U). GPA's just seem to not be an even playing field in the admissions process.

    MCAT's may be a better indicator but they still only evaluate your ability on a single day and are not a good barometer for academic stamina or reproducible results.

    Even EC's and LOR's are subjective. How do you compare a student with one EC where he treated Aids patients in Africa for one year with someone who volunteered in a Nursing home for 1000 hours, did research for 1000 hours, and tutored kids for 1000 hours. LOR's depend on who writes them and some schools have premedical committees and some do not.

    I guess I am just venting because the system is so flawed and that is why everyone says it is a crapshoot. At least I lucked out I guess, but the system is still flawed.
     
  24. canada

    canada Member
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    it's such a hard decision for the adcoms to determine who's good and who's not. But sometimes you have to put your trust into their hands. even though they may not choose you, understand that they are also doing their best. they aren't trying to choose "bad" ppl on purpose.
     
  25. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    basically amcas kinda goes by what kind of grading system your school uses. that is not the only grading system out there.

    there are things like
    A
    AB
    etc...

    but you dont need to worry about it since it doesnt apply to the people with the "normal" grading system.
     
  26. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Holy Crap guys! I've been accepted!!! :clap:
     
  27. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    you dont need to compare things such as ECs like in the example you present. both are equally impressive and if they gained something out of the experience then one is not better htan the other. they look at applications one at a time when deciding to decide on whether or not to accept you. its not necessarily a bracket system like the ncaa tourney where you get eliminated by being paired up with another applicant.

    its random since our experiences are all different and the adcoms have the difficult job of trying to see with all the info they have who would be the best fit for their school.
     
  28. Fish3715

    Fish3715 Senior Member
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    I hear ya. I go to a relatively unknown small liberal arts college in the midwest and the tests are curved to a C.
     
  29. canada

    canada Member
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    what is a C- (70) in AMCAS grades in 4.0?
     
  30. Peterock

    Peterock "PeeT-Ro'k"
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    And I'm sure the 1100 ave. SAT score and the 25 ave. MCAT also shows how hard your school is too. I'm sure it's hard to study a lot, what with the big tractor races and ho-downs. :p (j/k, totally low blow).

    Even if the average grade at your school is a C, the average MCAT score at your school is probably around a 24. Why punish students who go to schools that have premed MCAT ave.'s that are higher than most medical schools?
     

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