civic4982

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I've been cruising around this forum lately and it just baffles me how sooooo many of you did so well in undergrad. All these MDApp profiles of 3.8-4.0 ... I dicked around for 4 years and I suppose I really never knew how to get that high A yield percentage. I mean I can sneak an A in here and there (or half the time as my GPA suggests) but for perfection all the time... I can't do it.

Any tips for motivation and clearing that huge hump it takes to get from a B to an A? I always thought it was easy to get a B but took real busting of the chops to get an A.
 

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I agree, but you have to remember those on MDApplicants dont necessarily represent the "average" med school applicant. The only advice I have for you is study study study! Stop going out all the time! Good luck! :D
 

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I dicked around for 4 years, could have had a ~3.9 but I guess I'm just not a gunner. I'll end undergrad with a 3.6-3.7
 

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I always thought it was easy to get a B but took real busting of the chops to get an A.[/QUOTE]

You answered your own question. I would say that most of us with a 3.8 or above have that because we want it bad enough to "bust the chops". The difference between and A and a B is usually not as much intellegence as it is effort. There are very few classes you cannot make an A in if you are willing to do whatever it takes. I think that quality is what makes good doctors. Any doctor can do a "B" job, look you over run some tests and spit out a differential diagnosis. A great doc diggs deeper and does whatever it takes to get the "right" diagnosis an treatment for every paitent.

Just my 2¢
 
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civic4982

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RunMimi said:
To be honest, it's probably a combination of many things. The single most helpful thing was to try practice tests and problems over and over and over again. Other than that ALWAYS going to class and doing your homework/problem sets. Those things alone would get you a decent GPA. If you are entering the 3.9-4.0 range, I think you need all this and need to be academically gifted so that you can just 'see things' on exams.
All good suggestions. I thin kI do need to do practice tests and more of the homework instead of just reading the book and going over lecture notes. Thanks.
 

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RunMimi said:
To be honest, it's probably a combination of many things. The single most helpful thing was to try practice tests and problems over and over and over again. Other than that ALWAYS going to class and doing your homework/problem sets. Those things alone would get you a decent GPA. If you are entering the 3.9-4.0 range, I think you need all this and need to be academically gifted so that you can just 'see things' on exams.
Yea, in general most people earn good grades by studying and reviewing a lot, since there aren't that many people who are really academically gifted or are really academically un-gifted. Still, such people exist, and it's kinda depressing to see some people earn straight A's without any studying, and then see another guy bust his chops for B-/C.
 

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krelian said:
Yea, in general most people earn good grades by studying and reviewing a lot, since there aren't that many people who are really academically gifted or are really academically un-gifted. Still, such people exist, and it's kinda depressing to see some people earn straight A's without any studying, and then see another guy bust his chops for B-/C.
Actually I think a lot of it depends on strategizing, e.g. choosing your professors wisely, your courseload, figuring out what the prof is likely to test by various methods. Like at my college there were definitely "easy" and "hard" professors especially for the sciences, and if you really cared to figure out who was the easy grader and take the easy grader every semester, you could definitely make the difference between an A and B average. Also, withdrawing from a class early if you see your grade is going to be low, or taking it P/F can help a lot. There is a vast variation in grading convention and I really never felt that my grade correlated with my effort or degree of mastery of the subject. It did help though to be really attentive to what the prof was looking for.
 

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1. Take a course with upperclassmen in your major. Make friends with them and see if they have any advice/notes/old test to share with you.

2. Do your damn homework, go to f*cking class, and don't come in 15 minutes late.

3. Talk to the prof outside of class. Most of my profs are pretty damn funny to talk to. In addition, they get to know you and can write great LORs

4. Study a lot at the library. I've met some cool pre-meds that had some great advice. We try to take a class together each semester and whoever gets the highest grade, we take that person to the local bar and kill all those helpful brain cells.

Fin
 

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Acherona said:
Actually I think a lot of it depends on strategizing, e.g. choosing your professors wisely, your courseload, figuring out what the prof is likely to test by various methods. Like at my college there were definitely "easy" and "hard" professors especially for the sciences, and if you really cared to figure out who was the easy grader and take the easy grader every semester, you could definitely make the difference between an A and B average. Also, withdrawing from a class early if you see your grade is going to be low, or taking it P/F can help a lot. There is a vast variation in grading convention and I really never felt that my grade correlated with my effort or degree of mastery of the subject. It did help though to be really attentive to what the prof was looking for.
I couldn't agree more. Its all about the professors! Sometimes, no matter how much you work, you may still come up short if the professor is "hard"

Another factor may just be standardized testing ability--some people are just naturally good at taking tests....

-tx
 

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civic4982 said:
I've been cruising around this forum lately and it just baffles me how sooooo many of you did so well in undergrad. All these MDApp profiles of 3.8-4.0 ... I dicked around for 4 years and I suppose I really never knew how to get that high A yield percentage.
Cuz we didn't dick around the whole time. ;)
 

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civic4982 said:
I've been cruising around this forum lately and it just baffles me how sooooo many of you did so well in undergrad. All these MDApp profiles of 3.8-4.0 ... I dicked around for 4 years and I suppose I really never knew how to get that high A yield percentage. I mean I can sneak an A in here and there (or half the time as my GPA suggests) but for perfection all the time... I can't do it.

Any tips for motivation and clearing that huge hump it takes to get from a B to an A? I always thought it was easy to get a B but took real busting of the chops to get an A.
take easy courses like engineering, then switch your major to neurobiology midway through undergrad and take 21 credits a semester to catch up; do this while dealing with a personal crisis and stay up all night more nights than you sleep just to cope...you won't know what hit you but you can manage to get a good number of As in there
 

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Perrin said:
1. Take a course with upperclassmen in your major. Make friends with them and see if they have any advice/notes/old test to share with you.

2. Do your damn homework, go to f*cking class, and don't come in 15 minutes late.

3. Talk to the prof outside of class. Most of my profs are pretty damn funny to talk to. In addition, they get to know you and can write great LORs

4. Study a lot at the library. I've met some cool pre-meds that had some great advice. We try to take a class together each semester and whoever gets the highest grade, we take that person to the local bar and kill all those helpful brain cells.

Fin
this is all really excellent advice :thumbup:
 

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Perrin said:
...
2. Do your damn homework, go to f*cking class, and don't come in 15 minutes late....
Fin
Uh, I got to class tonight 15 mins. late. And, we have a test next week!

I guess this means I'm f*cked! :)
 

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Perrin said:
1. Take a course with upperclassmen in your major. Make friends with them and see if they have any advice/notes/old test to share with you.

2. Do your damn homework, go to f*cking class, and don't come in 15 minutes late.

3. Talk to the prof outside of class. Most of my profs are pretty damn funny to talk to. In addition, they get to know you and can write great LORs

4. Study a lot at the library. I've met some cool pre-meds that had some great advice. We try to take a class together each semester and whoever gets the highest grade, we take that person to the local bar and kill all those helpful brain cells.

Fin
And don't be too proud to ask for help. In the end, does it matter if you lose a little face today - if you get into med school later?!?!?!?!? HELL NO!!!! :D
 

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chaldobruin said:
For example, on one of my physics tests (easy test), the average was an 85%, and I made a really dum mistake that cost me 10 points, and get a 90. This came out as a B, yes a B. To me this seems unfair, especially having studied so hard. That B stands out as an average grade. It is discouraging considering everyone at my school is highly motivated, went through high school with high SATs, GPA, an abundance of leadership activities, etc. I feel like I study so hard sometimes but one little mistake and I lose the A....I have worked so hard for my 3.4, and it bums me out seeing everyone on this board with 3.8s and such, and it makes me wonder what my GPA would be like at an easier school. Supposedly, schools take your undergrad into account, but not as much as I'd like. There is no doubt in my mind that I'd have a 3.7+ at a place like University of Oregon or something, but yet the adcoms would probably favor that 3.7 over my 3.4 at UCLA.
Tell us what your MCAT score was, and we'll tell you if you'll get weighed over a 3.7 at another state school. If you've got a 3.4 and a 28, then tough noogies, because your grades correspond pretty well with the MCAT. If you've got a 3.4 and a 38, then yeah, UCLA was the wrong choice. :laugh:
 

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TheProwler said:
Tell us what your MCAT score was, and we'll tell you if you'll get weighed over a 3.7 at another state school. If you've got a 3.4 and a 28, then tough noogies, because your grades correspond pretty well with the MCAT. If you've got a 3.4 and a 38, then yeah, UCLA was the wrong choice. :laugh:
Guess I made a wrong choice ... :(
 

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RunMimi said:
I doubt this. I go to Duke and I've also seen tests curved down as you spoke of. Does UCLA rank their students, then you can see how you are within your school. That might give you more satisfaction. In the end its best to remember that even at a top school 50% is going to be in the bottom half of the class even if y'all were all high school validictorians.

To theProwler- I haven't taken my MCATs yet, but I am confident I will do well (31+). If I do score a 28, you will most certainly be right.

Regarding Runmimi's comments- Duke, being as selective as it is, is probably pretty similar to UCLA in this regard. You are correct, I was indeed exaggerating about how many people show up to class. However my point was that a LOT of people show up, and I'm sure its like that at Duke too. But it still sucks when you beat 75% of the class and get only a B+, whereas at a state school that will have most certainly gotten you an A. Its tough to score higher than people who are extremely motivated and will do anything it takes to get an A. I think the proper term for them is "gunners."

I've heard that adcoms are aware of this, yet so far it doesn't seem to me like they take it into consideration as much as we'd like, and I don't blame them in that regard.
 

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I never went to class and did just fine...just gotta make it up with more studying.
 

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chaldobruin said:
There is no doubt in my mind that I'd have a 3.7+ at a place like University of Oregon or something, but yet the adcoms would probably favor that 3.7 over my 3.4 at UCLA.
I go to the University of Oregon. Professors here do not hand out A+s like cookies. Approximately 10% get A, 10% A-, etc., much like your break-down. Average grades (in the sciences) are no higher than C+ to B- after the curve. Before the curve, many exam averages are around 50. Students here also attend class. And surprisingly, they even go to office hours and review sessions!!!... (although in my opinion, office hour and review session attendance does not translate into a good grade). Good luck in your pursuit of a medical education. It's tough not only for UCLA students, but also students everywhere else.
 

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gwang said:
I go to the University of Oregon. Professors here do not hand out A+s like cookies. Approximately 10% get A, 10% A-, etc., much like your break-down. Average grades (in the sciences) are no higher than C+ to B- after the curve. Before the curve, many exam averages are around 50. Students here also attend class. And surprisingly, they even go to office hours and review sessions!!!... (although in my opinion, office hour and review session attendance does not translate into a good grade). Good luck in your pursuit of a medical education. It's tough not only for UCLA students, but also students everywhere else.
20% A's is pretty generous.
 

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Will Ferrell said:
20% A's is pretty generous.
I agree. I was pointing out that UOregon has similar grade distribution as UCLA. Also, A- is not really an A since it is weighted as 3.7 GPA.
 

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gwang said:
I agree. I was pointing out that UOregon has similar grade distribution as UCLA. Also, A- is not really an A since it is weighted as 3.7 GPA.
I apologize to you, gwang, if I offended you, my intentions were not to appear condescending in any way. I never doubted that U of O had such curves, I'm sure most places do. My point was that places like UCLA, Berkeley, UCSD, Duke, etc. are very selective and only admit students with stellar grades and test scores. Therefore, the competition is stiffer than most other universities, like Long Beach State or whatever. This does not mean that Oregon doesn't have high caliber students, it is definitely not a piece of cake to gain admission there... but realistically, you have at admit that the competitive institutions I mentioned have more of these motivated students who tend to score high.

Unfortunately, the educational system measures students on extrinsic values, i.e. how well you do relative to everyone else, rather than intrinsic value (Actual knowledge, etc). But there is no other way to distinguish top students. Life as we know it is like this, in terms of everything. We compete every day whether it is competing to get a parking spot at a busy mall or to get a prominent employment position.
 

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I remember reading somewhere in my school newspaper that Princeton gives around 30-35 % A's in their classes(can we say a GRADE INFLATION?!!?!) but they've finally decide to reduce the percentage. It also says like 1/2 of their class graduates with honors. What kind of BS is that.... :mad:
 

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gwang said:
I go to the University of Oregon. Professors here do not hand out A+s like cookies. Approximately 10% get A, 10% A-, etc., much like your break-down. Average grades (in the sciences) are no higher than C+ to B- after the curve. Before the curve, many exam averages are around 50. Students here also attend class. And surprisingly, they even go to office hours and review sessions!!!... (although in my opinion, office hour and review session attendance does not translate into a good grade). Good luck in your pursuit of a medical education. It's tough not only for UCLA students, but also students everywhere else.
I totally agree, I work my butt off for my grades. If you know beforehand that your school/ course curves in a certain manner (and you know you need certain grades to be competitive for med school) it's your responsibility to work all that much harder. It's easy to blame your school for your performance, but you'd be a lot better off if you accepted responsibility for it.

Sorry if I come off as harsh, but I dont appreciate it when people assume they'd automatically do better if they were at a less prestigious university: sure, the grading may be easier at some places, but what's to say that you're necessarily the kind of person who will always go for the A? You really can't have the best of both worlds saying "oh hey, I went to X University and got the best education in the nation" and " Well, I didn't get as good of grades, but thats only because I went to X University, one of the best in the nation!"

anyway, I'm done with my rant.... best of luck to EVERYONE!
 

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Whodathunkit said:
Where All Grades Are Above Average

Ivy League grade inflation

Grade Inflation at American Colleges and Universities

But to echo others...your professor makes a huge difference. Some just aren't that eager to give A's...any A's. Choose wisely.

And dare I even mention....CHEATING???? :eek: Yep, I've seen it. It does happen.
wow - those are definitely eye-opening (and disturbing) articles. :eek:

i do know with absolute certainty that one school, the university of virginia, does not participate in grade inflation (much to the students' dismay); especially in premed, science classes. i wonder what is being done to address these GPA discrepancies!!!!
 
M

melimi

i dont understand how they can just give A's to more than half a class. doesnt that just show that the grading system is extremely subjective?
i know at BU, it works like the MCAT. u take a test, the class average is taken, standardized to a B-, and then everyone's grades are adjusted accordingly, based on that standardized scale. They're HUGE fans of grade DEFLATION tho, so i dont know if this is the normal way to hand out grades.
 

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civic4982 said:
I've been cruising around this forum lately and it just baffles me how sooooo many of you did so well in undergrad. All these MDApp profiles of 3.8-4.0 ... I dicked around for 4 years and I suppose I really never knew how to get that high A yield percentage. I mean I can sneak an A in here and there (or half the time as my GPA suggests) but for perfection all the time... I can't do it.

Any tips for motivation and clearing that huge hump it takes to get from a B to an A? I always thought it was easy to get a B but took real busting of the chops to get an A.
You've picked the wrong time to start trying to get A's. Many people who had a 3.7+ in undergrad struggle to pull the same grades in medical school. The level of work required is much, much higher to honor a class (if you have a curve it never helps you and honors typically start around 94%) in medical school. Still, you don't have to honor everything to succeed in medical school. Just work hard and make sure you know and understand the material.
 

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Psycho Doctor said:
take easy courses like engineering, then switch your major to neurobiology midway through undergrad and take 21 credits a semester to catch up; do this while dealing with a personal crisis and stay up all night more nights than you sleep just to cope...you won't know what hit you but you can manage to get a good number of As in there
I would like to build you a monument made of gold. Where can I erect this? Good job, Psycho!!! :clap: :clap:
 

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amy2003uva said:
i wonder what is being done to address these GPA discrepancies!!!!
Any medical school on the ball knows which schools inflate grades and take it into account.
 

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I actually think the secret to getting the grade you deserve lies in going to an "elite" liberal arts college, like a little ivy or a seven sister. Why? Because the clases are so small that using a standardization curve doesn't make as much sense, and professors really get to know their students and want them to succeed. I feel like, throughout my four years at school, I definitely got the grades I deserved each time. Could I have gotten a 4.0? Sure! Did I? No way in hell!! But the grades I got were the ones I deserved without any of this, "only 10% of the class can get an A" ****.
 

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civic4982 said:
I've been cruising around this forum lately and it just baffles me how sooooo many of you did so well in undergrad. All these MDApp profiles of 3.8-4.0 ... I dicked around for 4 years and I suppose I really never knew how to get that high A yield percentage. I mean I can sneak an A in here and there (or half the time as my GPA suggests) but for perfection all the time... I can't do it.

Any tips for motivation and clearing that huge hump it takes to get from a B to an A? I always thought it was easy to get a B but took real busting of the chops to get an A.
Of course, to get an A you can always work hard, but these suggestions may also help. Apologies if these have already been stated. I just skimmed the thread.

1.) Pick easy professors. Do some research on the profs before enrolling in their classes. Ask friends and classmates. Check out ratemyprofessors.com and/or your schools rating guide. Some departments will allow you to read evaluations from last year. Just ask. Sit in on some of the profs classes before committing yourself. Explore profs during drop and add. If you don't like the prof and don't think you can do well, drop or don't take the class. You might have to take some classes at other schools in order to avoid evil profs (i.e; if microbiology is only taught at your school by one prof who is evil and gives everyone Cs, take it at another school).
2.) Don't take an upper level class if you don't have the pre-reqs or if you don't have to. For example, don't take multivariate calc just to complete your math distribution requirement. Take stats or calc for non-science majors.
3.) Don't take classes or major in something you're not interested in. It's easier to do well if you actually enjoy what you are learning and are passionate about it.
4.) Kiss A** without being obvious. Appear to be or, better yet, be genuinely interested in the subject matter and talk to your professor about it after class. GO TO OFFICE HOURS. Talk to the profs about their class, their education, their kids, anything. Get to know them and let them get to know you.

#4 was essential to me in boosting my grades from an B+s and A-s to As.

Also, I agree with what was said about going to a smaller, liberal arts school, or someplace where there is no curve. If you can't do this, try taking upper level/ grad level classes at your school. These are usually not curved.
 

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Premedalltheway said:
I remember reading somewhere in my school newspaper that Princeton gives around 30-35 % A's in their classes(can we say a GRADE INFLATION?!!?!) but they've finally decide to reduce the percentage. It also says like 1/2 of their class graduates with honors. What kind of BS is that.... :mad:
Do you understand the caliber of Princeton students? Do you seriously think you would have a higher GPA if you attended there and competed with their premeds? It's absurd to think someone there could outdo 2/3 of their classmates (some of the brightest in the world) and get less than an A.

I will put my money on it that the median student at Princeton is better than the top 1% of students at most schools.
 

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chaldobruin said:
I apologize to you, gwang, if I offended you, my intentions were not to appear condescending in any way. I never doubted that U of O had such curves, I'm sure most places do. My point was that places like UCLA, Berkeley, UCSD, Duke, etc. are very selective and only admit students with stellar grades and test scores. Therefore, the competition is stiffer than most other universities, like Long Beach State or whatever. This does not mean that Oregon doesn't have high caliber students, it is definitely not a piece of cake to gain admission there... but realistically, you have at admit that the competitive institutions I mentioned have more of these motivated students who tend to score high.

Unfortunately, the educational system measures students on extrinsic values, i.e. how well you do relative to everyone else, rather than intrinsic value (Actual knowledge, etc). But there is no other way to distinguish top students. Life as we know it is like this, in terms of everything. We compete every day whether it is competing to get a parking spot at a busy mall or to get a prominent employment position.
No apology necessary. I am sure it is not your intention to specifically pick on Oregon. You'll appreciate how far your UC education will take you during interviews, where you'll see handfuls of your UC classmates but rarely anybody from Oregon. Also to echo some other posts here, the MCAT score is far more important than GPA (assuming it is in a decent range). Premeds everywhere, even at lesser schools, are competitive. Just be grateful that at least there is a curve (I once took an anatomy class that did not have a curve, and 93% is an A. In the end, more than half of the class got Cs, and probably fewer than 5% got As. That's just the way it is sometimes).
 

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Will Ferrell said:
I will put my money on it that the median student at Princeton is better than the top 1% of students at most schools.
Bold statement. :rolleyes:
 

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find a website that reviews professors, drop classes if you must, take good notes in class, do all of the practice problems, and NEVER EVER read the book.
 

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Will Ferrell said:
I will put my money on it that the median student at Princeton is better than the top 1% of students at most schools.
Even if that were true, we'll end up at the same medical school, and my undergrad tuition is only $4000 a year (and the school paid for it).
 

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in response, i just thought id add my few cents.
first i think that too often schools are "grouped" in a way that really shouldn't be. for example, the ivy league is just an athletic conference, just like the acc to some degree, but i dont here the practices at florida state compared to too often to duke's. (no offense to fsu, just making a point). anyway, to say that there is grade inflation in the ivies would be incorrect because though schools like harvard and brown(where you have the option to get graded?) are infamous for this behavior, that shouldnt speak for penn and cornell, etc.
another somewhat unrelated point.. i think there was someone who was saying that the curve at oregon was like that of ucla. im sure that is very well true, but in addition you have to also look at the competion and mentality of the student body as well. IF you have a nasty grade distribution with no inflation, AND you are at a highly competitive school, that to me a committment of medschool admission suicide...
students at mit, caltech, cornell, etc. are not only among the best in the world, many of them are also there *exclusivley* for academics. competing with those kids for 1 A out of the every 10 grades would seem almost impossible while keeping other committments.
 

inthe4cast

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Seems like its pretty hard not to get A's, but there's always one class where the prof seems to pull questions on exams out of his a$$.

If you're struggling in a class, the best thing to do is to meet with your prof, even if they come off being too busy or in their own world. Most prof's realize their material is difficult, and they wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't make time, or have someone who could make time, to explain exactly how to understand something.

On the other hand, you have a lot of prof's who tell you just about everything they test you on in class, so if you don't pay attention in class, not only to what is on the board, but also intently to what is said through the lecture, you're screwed.

You have to find the study habits that work best for you - but if you aren't willing to go to class, read the book, review notes, and meet with the prof, then you probably don't really want an A, now do ya?
 
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civic4982

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inthe4cast said:
You have to find the study habits that work best for you - but if you aren't willing to go to class, read the book, review notes, and meet with the prof, then you probably don't really want an A, now do ya?
THIS is what I was hoping for. Some tips on study habits haha... :thumbup:
 

Doc.Holliday

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a few points to make...

to the poster from UCLA, 10% As and 10% A-s sounds like heaven! I also go to a competitive university, have a mediocre gpa 3.5ish, and often think going to some state school would have been better. the mcat is what will hopefully show the difference, but how much the mcat can make up for a lower gpa even from a good school i often worry about. being graded on a curve should be universal, how else will the better student stand out? sure, kids at princeton are top notch (but far less spectacular than you think, they just succeeded in learning the ludicrous game that is ivy league admissions) but they shouldnt all be getting As, their Cs should just not be looked as lowly upon. I have good friends at Harvard and Yale, and i can tell you with absolute sincerity that their coursework and class difficulty is no greater than mine, often less. yet they get the As and an easy path to med school. thats not to say everyone there is having it easy, im actually saying the grading system at such schools is hurting those students because the slackers are making just as good of grades. moving on... my turn to complain ;) .... I feel/desperately hope med schools are on top of what colleges are difficult in grading and everything and those that are just a breeze, but it would seem theyd have to be. more so i worry that they have no idea of the difference between professors, i hope that at least my own University's med school has an idea of the deadly professors, but its seems unlikely, but it matters! i have been unlucky (or lucky depending on your pov, i get a better education but lower grades, and again hopefully a higher mcat, but anyone can study specifically for that, so my advantage is not that great) enough to take the more difficult/better professors in just about every class ive had so far. for instance this year im in organic chemistry, 2 professors, i take the more difficult one. he gave only 7 As last semester (thats any type of A! - or not!) out of 125 or so! damn that man. the class is curved to a middle C, test averages are bobble around 40%. the other professor went so far as to specifically tell her students she doesnt like to give lower than a B, and she seems to have followed through with that. i have a friend who takes her, has almost a 100 average and seriously couldnt have even passed a test with my professor! that an our insane labs that take more out of class work than even the lecture. sorry for the sort of rant, its more of a complaint against the incongruency in professors here and my bastard scheduling system that always has me in the most difficult professors classes.
 

Newman8r

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Will Ferrell said:
I will put my money on it that the median student at Princeton is better than the top 1% of students at most schools.

maybe this is somewhat correct right out of highschool, first quarter freshman year....

but hey, a lot of people stop working as hard when they hit college, even at places like Princeton, I'm sure. A lot of people were pushed really hard in high school to succeed, and that force might not be as strong in college - where the goal of many is to simply graduate with their degree. So basically, by junior and senior year, all the top students at respectable universities probably have more similarities than differences.
 

45408

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Doc.Holliday said:
a he gave only 7 As last semester (thats any type of A! - or not!) out of 125 or so!
Don't feel too sorry for yourself. At my average state school, the analytical prof only gave 4 A's for almost 70 people. I assure you that it's not because we're all stupid.
 

inthe4cast

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civic4982 said:
THIS is what I was hoping for. Some tips on study habits haha... :thumbup:
;)

Well, I really beleive every class is different, and its most important to find out early on what is expected of you, and adjust where you spend your time.

For instance, in my Organic Chem class, his tests are right out of his lecture, you just have to be able to understand the mechanisms enough to be able to explain what is going on from the starting materials and predict the outcome. What is expected is memorization and familiarization. The people who skip class and try to learn everything out of the book feel overwhelmed, cuz there is a ton of info in the book that we don't ever learn. So I make sure never to miss this class, or if I have to, like I will tomorrow, get good notes from someone who understands this.

In my Physics course, this is much more challenging. There are weekly quizes, a lot of information is covered because we go through over a chapter a week. After I bombed my first quiz, I started meeting with my instructor, and going through all the homework - which the quizes are based on. She helped me identify where my process of solving problems was weak - I was being sloppy and not focusing on deriving the correct equations first - this helped, as I Aced the exam, and she has given me credit for things afterward if I could explain them to her in our consultations. So meeting with the prof pays.

In my physics lab, same deal, they expect you to come in, derive formulas, run the procedure, and make conclusions that make sense, and turn in the report at the end of the class period. This was really difficult at first. I have started reading the procedures before the lab, looking on the web to see what kind of information is available, and understand the process of the experiment, and what it all means in physics language, i.e. formulas. This has helped, and it's made a big difference in my performance in this class.

In short, study habits is shorthand for finding out what work you need to do. Most of these classes aren't hard conceptually, but to earn the grade, they make you do a lot of work - and I don't have a prof this semester that will let anyone coast through even if they do know the material... Something about earning your grade, I guess.

Hope this helps.
 
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civic4982

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I dunno. I always waited until about 3 days before the exam to start crackin' down on the books. I'd read through every chapter, go through all my lecture notes, type up notes per section, print it out in bulletted form and read/re-read them until I couldn't forget. I always tried to structure the science classes so that the learning flowed in progression. I can't think of one time where I had gotten 100% correct on an exam.

I still managed to miss though that little bit here and there that made the difference between the B and the A at times. My GPA was never awful but I really think if I could pick up some better tactics from some of you more successful studiers I could improve my study habits and be more successful in classes.

Thanks for all the input thus far.

I'll steer clear of the other off topic discussion going on about how much better one school is than the next but I will say that the differences even within a school are so great. I was lucky to have upper classmen hold some classes for me that I knew would be easier b/c of easier profs. However half the time (as my GPA clearly states =P ) I'd get screwed with a professor who is convinced his percentage salary raise is the # of students whose spirit he/she can break and crush their dreams of pre-(enter professional name here) ....