Is a 4.00 really that unique?

Ooglyboogly

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    I just finished my freshman year and I have been guarding my 4.00 with utmost carefulness. I have sort of developed a “fear” of losing it. I’m sure that one day a caravan of A-s or Bs will come along and ruin it all. That really has nothing to do with my question though…Does having a 4.00 make you look more unique when you are applying to medical school? Will the med school look at your application and say “wow, a 4.00” or will they treat you like any other person with a high GPA? Is it just like having a 3.9?
     
    It's not a whole lot better than a 3.9, and while you should try to do your best to keep good grades, it's not at all worth it to beat yourself up over the occasional B, especially if you did your best.
     
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    bozz

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      I just finished my freshman year and I have been guarding my 4.00 with utmost carefulness. I have sort of developed a "fear" of losing it. I'm sure that one day a caravan of A-s or Bs will come along and ruin it all. That really has nothing to do with my question though…Does having a 4.00 make you look more unique when you are applying to medical school? Will the med school look at your application and say "wow, a 4.00" or will they treat you like any other person with a high GPA? Is it just like having a 3.9?

      you can guard your 4.0 all you want but if it means you do other things inefficiently (studying for the MCAT or extracurriculars), it doesn't help much. A 3.7 and a 36 looks better than a 4.0 and a 33.
       
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      scrubsaresexy

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        Maybe it is unique? Depends on your major. I know plenty of people who are humanities majors who have a 4.0. It happens less often in science majors because certain classes (like organic chem, for example), are almost impossible to get an A in at some schools.

        Regardless, though, I have one C+ on my transcript already and am probably about to get another C (thanks, orgo II). And quite honestly, I'm not going to beat myself up over it because I know that I put in my best effort and I still had a life and got to enjoy myself. So if you're doing nothing but studying in order to keep a 4.0, you might want to re-evaluate whether that's really worth it. Also, please don't get upset when you get a B (or a C, or even lower). It happens.

        :luck:
         

        Character

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          Do you have like 2 premed friends? 3.7 is the highest? Or is there a lot of deflation at UCD?:confused:
          lol, no..i have quite a few pre med friends..I was in pre med amsa and all of that. Apparently, there was a study done, and the toughest uc's to recieve a's in were ucd, ucsd and uc berkeley all on top without any statistical significance in differences. I believe it was JAMA that published it a few years ago. Anyway, I believe the typical pre-med that actually stays pre-med until graduation and actually applies to med school (bc we all know how many pre meds change thier minds) ends up applying with a 3.3-3.4 (or was it successful applicants...not sure). Heard this from an info session as a 2nd year.
           

          thesauce

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            you can guard your 4.0 all you want but if it means you do other things inefficiently (studying for the MCAT or extracurriculars), it doesn't help much. A 3.7 and a 36 looks better than a 4.0 and a 33.

            No it doesn't. C'mon, you think scoring 3 points higher on one test taken on one day of your life is more meaningful than higher scores over the last 3 years? Doubtful. Either is fine, and both will be accepted, but I would still rather have 4.0 and 33.
             

            Character

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              No. I'm studying with a guy right now who got a chem degree from there. They do have a bajillion biology majors though.
              the chem program was pretty easy (or easier), i actually switched from chem to bio while at davis, and thats when my gpa took a turn for the worst. Got A's in PCHEM but got a C+ in zoology. lol..
               

              Character

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                Hopfully this was a joke, b/c it's total BS. I love these gross generalizations.

                according to Berkeley law school admission, the only uc the assume to have grade inflation is riverside. I have the chart of schools and how they take into account gpa's at different schools across the country.
                 

                thesauce

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                  according to Berkeley law school admission, the only uc the assume to have grade inflation is riverside. I have the chart of schools and how they take into account gpa's at different schools across the country.

                  Ohhhh, it's all clear now. Every school in the country has grade inflation except the one that you attend. :laugh:

                  Use the search function to find similar stories from students all across the country.
                   
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                  Character

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                    Ohhhh, it's all clear now. Every school in the country has grade inflation except the one that you attend. :laugh:

                    Use the search function to find similar stories from students all across the country.
                    what?no no no, statistics show that the uc's dont have grade inflation...instead they are a good indicator. Schools like swarthmore, colgate, dartmouth, wellesley DEFLATE grades, so its harder there...etc..whats your problem man. get that chip off your shoulder

                    heres a link. now shut up.
                    http://web.archive.org/web/20000829094953/http://www.pcmagic.net/abe/gradeadj.htm
                     

                    DrZaius

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                      lol. dude, i dont know. i found it tougher than p chem. i also had 1b with some newby professor...so bad luck i guess. wierd guy with glasses, short hair. young, forgot his name

                      I have no idea who it is. I think I had Kimsey, this big bald dude with a Kelty backpack, looks like an old school zoologist (imagine an outdoor-enthusiast Dr. Phil) and a lady who I don't remember very well.

                      I guess I'll respond to the OP, 4.0 is really a novelty and I think there are big time diminishing returns. A-'s aren't that bad. Plus, think of it this way, if you have an A+ to balance out the A- (not numerically) just think you were the top student in as many classes as you "didn't get As in." Or something.
                       

                      Ooglyboogly

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                        Maybe it is unique? Depends on your major. I know plenty of people who are humanities majors who have a 4.0. It happens less often in science majors because certain classes (like organic chem, for example), are almost impossible to get an A in at some schools.

                        Regardless, though, I have one C+ on my transcript already and am probably about to get another C (thanks, orgo II). And quite honestly, I'm not going to beat myself up over it because I know that I put in my best effort and I still had a life and got to enjoy myself. So if you're doing nothing but studying in order to keep a 4.0, you might want to re-evaluate whether that's really worth it. Also, please don't get upset when you get a B (or a C, or even lower). It happens.

                        :luck:

                        I'm a chem major..So far, I've finished organic I and II and analytical chemistry I. I'm starting my PCHEM courses in the fall, I guess that's when the bad grades are going to start to kick in
                         

                        thesauce

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                          what?no no no, statistics show that the uc's dont have grade inflation...instead they are a good indicator. Schools like swarthmore, colgate, dartmouth, wellesley DEFLATE grades, so its harder there...etc..whats your problem man. get that chip off your shoulder

                          heres a link. now shut up.
                          http://web.archive.org/web/20000829094953/http://www.pcmagic.net/abe/gradeadj.htm

                          If you're going to make these gross generalizations, then you'll have to back them up. It's the same way in medicine (if you want to practice evidence-based medicine). Certainly you should be able to see where I'm coming from. There's no reason to get testy. If I'm angering you now, just wait until you start getting pimped by attendings.

                          That link tries to prove grade inflation by correlating undergraduate GPAs to standardized test scores. That's really not a valid correlation. It handicaps a student from Joe Schmo University with a great standardized test score just because most people at his school get much worse standardized test scores.
                           

                          thesauce

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                            I'm a chem major..So far, I've finished organic I and II and analytical chemistry I. I'm starting my PCHEM courses in the fall, I guess that's when the bad grades are going to start to kick in

                            Not necessarily. I didn't find PChem any worse than Gen chem or Ochem. If you've done fine up until now, you'll probably continue to do well. Just keep doing what you're doing.
                             
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                            Character

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                              If you're going to make these gross generalizations, then you'll have to back them up. It's the same way in medicine (if you want to practice evidence-based medicine). Certainly you should be able to see where I'm coming from. There's no reason to get testy. If I'm angering you now, just wait until you start getting pimped by attendings.

                              That link tries to prove grade inflation by correlating undergraduate GPAs to standardized test scores. That's really not a valid correlation. It handicaps a student from Joe Schmo University with a great standardized test score just because most people at his school get much worse standardized test scores.
                              not angry. you just attacked me for no reason dude. look at the post history.
                               

                              Kaustikos

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                                I just finished my freshman year and I have been guarding my 4.00 with utmost carefulness. I have sort of developed a “fear” of losing it. I’m sure that one day a caravan of A-s or Bs will come along and ruin it all. That really has nothing to do with my question though…Does having a 4.00 make you look more unique when you are applying to medical school? Will the med school look at your application and say “wow, a 4.00” or will they treat you like any other person with a high GPA? Is it just like having a 3.9?


                                Not as unique as a 4.000:smuggrin:
                                 

                                honker

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                                  A 4.0 can't hurt, but it would be more impressive if that GPA includes honors courses instead of regular classes and the course load is equivilent to 15 semester hours per term. Some adcoms may think that you are not challenging yourself if your course of study is being dictated by the desire to maintain a perfect GPA. I think that a 4.0 puts more pressure on you to kick *** on the MCATs so that you will appear consistent.
                                   

                                  bozz

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                                    No it doesn't. C'mon, you think scoring 3 points higher on one test taken on one day of your life is more meaningful than higher scores over the last 3 years? Doubtful. Either is fine, and both will be accepted, but I would still rather have 4.0 and 33.

                                    At some of the higher ranked schools though, MCAT matters more than GPA. %ile wise also, there is a huge difference between a 33 and a 36. Hey, as much as I agree that hard work matters more than one test, that's not always how the admissions process is. (atleast from what I see on here) There are a lot more people with 3.99s, 3.98s, 3.95s etc.. for a 4.0 to even matter much. But then again, neither you nor I knows how the whole process works.. so it's just a buncha BS trying to make sense of this :-D
                                     

                                    pinkipod

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                                      No, people disagree about the amount schools "boost" GPA. I'm guessing at most you might get .1 bump for school, and MAYBE a .1 bump for major. So you'd probably want at least a 3.5, even from MIT to get in.

                                      True.
                                      Even at MIT you need to maintain a certain GPA to be a successful and competitive candidate. My advisor certainly discouraged me from applying because my GPA was in the low 3s at the time.
                                      However, students with 2.9-3.5 GPA still manage get 35+ on their MCAT.
                                      One of the girls in my class, who had a 2.9 got a 38 on her MCAT and is currently a 3rd year in med school.
                                       

                                      loganhayes

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                                        If you have a 3.9 or 4.0 as a nuclear engineering or physics or math etc major.. yea, you're unique. If it's history, english lit, sociology or something along this line, I doubt the adcom will be impressed. To be safe though, try to be at least 3.7+. So, it is okay to have a couple of Bs and A-s.
                                         

                                        DrZaius

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                                          True.
                                          Even at MIT you need to maintain a certain GPA to be a successful and competitive candidate. My advisor certainly discouraged me from applying because my GPA was in the low 3s at the time.
                                          However, students with 2.9-3.5 GPA still manage get 35+ on their MCAT.
                                          One of the girls in my class, who had a 2.9 got a 38 on her MCAT and is currently a 3rd year in med school.

                                          I think that's definitely the exception to the rule, and you can see that low GPA makes it tough to get into med school, despite the GPA. Take a look at Maxprime's MD apps, amazing MCAT, great ECs including lots of research, but a low GPA and he only got into one school.
                                           

                                          nevercold

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                                            I think it depends on the people you know. I could name three people that graduated with me that also had a 4.0 (only one was premed) in their various disciplines, but I could easily point out hundreds without a 4.0.
                                             

                                            DoctorDreamer

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                                              I was just like you, OP, until I got my first and only B in art appreciation. I technically have a 3.99 something, but in the third decimal place it rounds to a 4.0. I still put 3.99 on my apps, and I did just fine.

                                              On a side note, I happen to have a 37 on my MCAT, and I still had one adcom member tell me he wasn't convinced I could handle medical school curriculum because I didn't go to a top ten school.

                                              Just do the best you can and relax a bit. It will make life so much more fun. And no matter how hard you work, someone will always doubt you. That's their problem, not yours.
                                               

                                              DrZaius

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                                                On a side note, I happen to have a 37 on my MCAT, and I still had one adcom member tell me he wasn't convinced I could handle medical school curriculum because I didn't go to a top ten school.

                                                You know, that's pretty infuriating. What's the point of having a standardized test if you disregard the results based on another, far less important, factor?
                                                 

                                                DoctorDreamer

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                                                  You know, that's pretty infuriating. What's the point of having a standardized test if you disregard the results based on another, far less important, factor?

                                                  I completely agree. I was pretty upset with the interviewer, and I fought back (politely). He didn't seem to like that I had spunk. I was flat out rejected, and I e-mailed the dean telling him I didn't want to be reconsidered, but I did want him to know that my interviewer was rude and derrogatory to both my undergrad and my intelligence.

                                                  He e-mailed back telling me there was nothing in my interviewer's report to indicate he had harassed me. Like the guy would write it down!

                                                  Ah, well, life goes on, but I'll always disdain that school a bit because of that one interviewer.
                                                   

                                                  disorder

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                                                    3.7 is the highest ive met actually.(and even i dont believe that!)



                                                    i graduated from UCD with no B's (in biotechnology)... but then again i never attended any pre-med stuff. i guess you can consider me a non-traditional applicant.

                                                    it's not impossible; and, just talk to any regent scholar and i can almost guarantee that most of them have a 3.5+ gpa.
                                                     

                                                    nu2004

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                                                      depends on the college/university and major. difficulty of coursework varies substantially across both.

                                                      so, even though i wouldn't say that a 4.0 is a great indicator of intelligence, i would have to say that it is a good indicator of persistence and application. even if your coursework isn't terribly difficult, you have to be organized and responsible to maintain a perfect grade point.

                                                      i assume you're talking about total undergraduate career here?
                                                       

                                                      LizzyM

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                                                        In evaluating an application, the adcom looks at the gpa, the breakdown of gpa by year, and by BCPM/all other/total, as well as the number of credits per year. Points off for a light load. The adcom can also look at the list of courses taken and will not be kind to applicants who took intro level mickey mouse courses all four years to protect a gpa. Some adcom members like to see non-science courses that look rigorous. One adcom member I know tends to chuckle and say "he's human" when he comes across a transcript that is all As with one A-, B+ or B. I pretty much figure anything >3.9 is as good as it gets. A 4.0 with more than one W is going to be looked down on compared with a 3.95 with a B (it looks like protecting the gpa at the expense of pushing oneself or accepting disappointment).

                                                        With the MCAT, one wants to see the individual scores (at the top there isn't a big percentile difference between 13 and 14 as there is between 8 and 9, just fyi). A 34 that is 10 12 12 is almost sure to be looked on more favorablly than a 14 8 12.

                                                        Clinical exposure or some kind is very important. How have you tested your interest in medicine? We want people who know what they are getting into and who have been in the environment and know what to expect.

                                                        Schools that consider themselves to be research powerhouses are going to want to see students who have gotten a taste of that work. That is considered a good predictor of students who will engage in research activities in medical school (in comparision with those who did no research in college).

                                                        Medicine is a service industry. Physicians have to sacrifice their own personal comfort etc to care for others. Activities that demonstrate altruism are therefore highly valued by some adcom members. Work with the public (such as in retail work) is another experience that can be considered a good training ground for the service part of medical service.

                                                        Medical schools want applicants who are happy, well adjusted, mature. Successful students generally have interests outside of medicine that they enjoy during downtime. There are a million hobbies and activities that people choose because it is how they enjoy spending free time. It also tends to make them more interesting people in conversation.

                                                        My fellow adcom members tend to devote over 100 hours per year, without pay, to reading and evaluating medical school applications and interview notes. We could make it easier on ourselves by picking the names out of a hat but I doubt that we would recruit as fine a class as we will welcome later this year.
                                                         
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