How much of a difference is there between a 3.9 and 4.0 in the eyes of an ADCOM?

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glass-animal

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This is purely an educational question. Sincerely wondering. What about 3.8 and 4.0?

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A 3.8 or 3.9 would show them you are human and NOT a perfectionist automaton.
 
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Having a 4.0 and being human are not mutually exclusive. I doubt any adcom will see a 4.0 and say, "this is suspicious, give me more 3.9s".

Your human nature is determined by the rest of your application.

That being said, an adcom will view a 4.0 as more meritorious than a 3.9/3.8 - but its most likely marginal.
 
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This is purely an educational question. Sincerely wondering. What about 3.8 and 4.0?
What about the reality where Hitler cured cancer? The answer is don't think about it.
 
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What about a 3.6 and a 3.7?
 
OMG...you and @Goro will have a field day with puns on this one. :corny:
Well, we could have a ball with this, but I dont want to screw around , especially with inexperienced readers. In fact, I think I will just withdraw
 
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Well, we could have a ball with this, but I dont want to screw around with this, especially with inexperienced readers. In fact, I think I will just withdraw
Careful, the moderators might gag you if you keep poking us delicate flowers.
 
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Yeah be careful with us. Some of us will start asking things like "I have a 4.0; should I get an A- to make myself look human?"
I ever doubt my humanity, I usually just Deep Space 9 it... so far its worked for me.
 
What about the reality where Hitler cured cancer? The answer is don't think about it.
We premeds are not born into this world fumbling for meaning, Jerry! We are created to serve a singular purpose for which we will go to any lengths to fulfill! GPA is pain to a premed, Jerry!
 
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We premeds are not born into this world fumbling for meaning, Jerry! We are created to serve a singular purpose for which we will go to any lengths to fulfill! GPA is pain to a premed, Jerry!
And we will do anything to alleviate that pain!
 
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We premeds are not born into this world fumbling for meaning, Jerry! We are created to serve a singular purpose for which we will go to any lengths to fulfill! GPA is pain to a premed, Jerry!

Post of the year
 
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Probs depends on the schools you're aiming for. The IQR for some of the big names are very small and very high, for example Hopkins matriculated a cohort with IQR 3.88-3.97 last year. Dropping from 4.0 to 3.8 might matter some for that kind of place.

For getting into med school generally speaking, 0.1-0.2 on a high GPA is unlikely to be what determines if you're gonna be a doctor. You can offset that small of an amount by getting a little lucky and scoring like, 1 or 2 points higher than expected on the MCAT. It's much more the ~3.5 area where you need to start worrying a lot about every little bit, like a 3.35 vs 3.55 is a far bigger deal.
 
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so a 3.8-3.9 gpa and 3.7 sgpa would still be looked upon favorably at top schools, even though the sgpa is 0.1-0.2 points lower?
 
so a 3.8-3.9 gpa and 3.7 sgpa would still be looked upon favorably at top schools, even though the sgpa is 0.1-0.2 points lower?
Actually at the top end, sGPA and cGPA medians are usually the same. From Goro's examples above, cGPA and sGPA respectively:

Harvard 3.92 / 3.93
Stanford 3.89 / 3.90
Northwestern 3.90 / 3.89
Pitt 3.85 / 3.84

A 3.70 sGPA is going to be on the low side
 
Actually at the top end, sGPA and cGPA medians are usually the same. From Goro's examples above, cGPA and sGPA respectively:

Harvard 3.92 / 3.93
Stanford 3.89 / 3.90
Northwestern 3.90 / 3.89
Pitt 3.85 / 3.84

A 3.70 sGPA is going to be on the low side
It's actually very interesting. It shows that at the highest level, the difficulty of the course is fairly irrelevant, which demonstrates not only intelligence, but a willingness to work hard. I think that would be an interesting metric, more useful than the individual GPAs.
 
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Actually at the top end, sGPA and cGPA medians are usually the same. From Goro's examples above, cGPA and sGPA respectively:

Harvard 3.92 / 3.93
Stanford 3.89 / 3.90
Northwestern 3.90 / 3.89
Pitt 3.85 / 3.84

A 3.70 sGPA is going to be on the low side

I thought those schools all had Avg GPAs around 3.8, especially Harvard?
 
I thought those schools all had Avg GPAs around 3.8, especially Harvard?
MSAR reports 3.92 /3.93 medians for Harvard admits (and 3.91 / 3.93 medians for matriculants)

In fact a 3.80 would be bottom quartile
 
It's actually very interesting. It shows that at the highest level, the difficulty of the course is fairly irrelevant, which demonstrates not only intelligence, but a willingness to work hard. I think that would be an interesting metric, more useful than the individual GPAs.
Though, depending on undergraduate major, one may have less time to devote to various classes.
 
Avg vs median/IQR difference. They probably have a handful of people deep in the left tail (nontrads/SMP/postbacc/amazing life story/URM with very high MCAT/etc) that skew the average much lower than the median. MSAR data don't lie, it's generated directly from AMCAS, their average is just very misleading because it falls between their 10th-25th percentiles.
 
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Though, depending on undergraduate major, one may have less time to devote to various classes.
That's sort of the point right? For the highest achievers, I think looking at how closely the science and non-science GPAs align is a pretty good metric. It should, to a certain extent, legitimize the high cumulative GPA.
 
That's sort of the point right? For the highest achievers, I think looking at how closely the science and non-science GPAs align is a pretty good metric. It should, to a certain extent, legitimize the high cumulative GPA.
Alternatively, could be that at undergrads feeding Top 20s, science grade inflation and/or rigor is more similar to cumulative inflation and/or rigor than is true nationally.
 
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Alternatively, could be that at undergrads feeding Top 20s, science grade inflation and/or rigor is more similar to cumulative inflation and/or rigor than is true nationally.
To account for that, you need to look at the MCAT score. Though it has its fair share of problems, it is the great equalizer as far as grade inflation is concerned.
 
That's sort of the point right? For the highest achievers, I think looking at how closely the science and non-science GPAs align is a pretty good metric. It should, to a certain extent, legitimize the high cumulative GPA.
Sure, it's a logical way to screen thousands of applicants before looking at them as individuals. I must note though that I'm spending 60-80% of my time on "non science" classes like introductory quantum theory and design of thermal systems. It's my choice to do so, but there is a constant nagging voice in the back of my head that I'm killing my chances of becoming a Physician by challenging myself.
 
Sure, it's a logical way to screen thousands of applicants before looking at them as individuals. I must note though that I'm spending 60-80% of my time on "non science" classes like introductory quantum theory and design of thermal systems. It's my choice to do so, but there is a constant nagging voice in the back of my head that I'm killing my chances of becoming a Physician by challenging myself.
Eh, I take those kinds of risks too. Life's more interesting that way. Besides, if you can overcome the challenge, then you'll be that much more prepared for medical school, which really will be difficult.

As to the screening of applicants, I don't think that's such a bad thing in the first round. There are way too many students applying to each school for them to holistically review each person. It's a simple logistics issue. Besides, I think that consistency is something that should be strived for.
 
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Gotcha didn't realize they were engineering classes. I do think most premeds, if they took an engineering major, would be hurting their odds a bit. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth it
 
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Gotcha didn't realize they were engineering classes. I do think most premeds, if they took an engineering major, would be hurting their odds a bit. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth it
It's definitely worth it, I love what I'm doing with engineering. I figure that if I can clear the initial GPA hurdle and be looked at as an individual, I have a decent chance of getting in somewhere. It's just that initial hurdle which doesn't take rigor of study, school, ECs, projects, publications, motivation to become a Physician, or anything else into account that keeps me up at night.
 
It's definitely worth it, I love what I'm doing with engineering. I figure that if I can clear the initial GPA hurdle and be looked at as an individual, I have a decent chance of getting in somewhere. It's just that initial hurdle which doesn't take rigor of study, school, ECs, projects, publications, motivation to become a Physician, or anything else into account that keeps me up at night.
How bad are we talking? Like a 3.3 engineering GPA yeah, that's going to be a problem. But if you pull a 3.6-3.7 or something and do great on the MCAT, you'll get the rest looked at for sure.
 
How bad are we talking? Like a 3.3 engineering GPA yeah, that's going to be a problem. But if you pull a 3.6-3.7 or something and do great on the MCAT, you'll get the rest looked at for sure.
Closer to 3.7. I'll focus on getting as good a score on the MCAT as possible over the next few months. Thanks for the words of encouragement.
 
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Closer to 3.7. I'll focus on getting as good a score on the MCAT as possible over the next few months. Thanks for the words of encouragement.
You're doing an excellent job. Good luck!
 
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does Comp. Sci count as engineering in the eyes of an adcom? Almost all the schools I know classify it as an engineering major...
 
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