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Is It Really That Hard To Get a 4.0?

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muffeoniv

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I'm a freshman in college (don't want to say where, don''t ask why please, it's a good school not.. CC or whatever) and I have like 105 average... had some bonus questions on the midterms...

isn't a 4.0 a 93% out of 100 basically at most schools? that's what it said on college board

please don't flame thanks for your feedback
 

chiapet874

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You are only a freshman with (i'm guessing) 1 semesters worth of grades. Its not hard nor impressive to get a 4.0 for one semester- besides, it depends on the courses you are taking, what other extracurriculars you have going, or how hard your school grades.
 

muffeoniv

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i asked a question about what % wise 4.0 is this isnt a bragging thread
 

berriesandcream

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I'm a freshman in college (don't want to say where, don''t ask why please, it's a good school not.. CC or whatever) and I have like 105 average... had some bonus questions on the midterms...

isn't a 4.0 a 93% out of 100 basically at most schools? that's what it said on college board

please don't flame thanks for your feedback

class grade=one (sometimes two) midterms+ final

exams=ridiculous questions over a ridiculous amount of material. NO EC INCLUDED!

yeah it's hard. trust me.
 

PreMedder

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I'm a freshman in college (don't want to say where, don''t ask why please, it's a good school not.. CC or whatever) and I have like 105 average... had some bonus questions on the midterms...

isn't a 4.0 a 93% out of 100 basically at most schools? that's what it said on college board

please don't flame thanks for your feedback
muffeoniv, trollin' SDN since 10/10
 

KindOfMaroon

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Try going to the University of Chicago, my friend. It's known as the place where "Fun Comes to Die," and if you include getting a 4.0 GPA as a fun thing, that fun is long gone at U of C.

Here's an example...I got a 5 on the AP Bio test and got like 102 averages in that class in high school. I come to U of C, and that 5 qualifies me for "AP 5 Bio" which is basically the fast-track course for people who want to go to Harvard Bio Ph.D. I used to write 3 20 page, single spaced, lab reports each quarter in that class and still get B's on them. And, oh yeah, if you didn't study 10+ hours per test, no way you're getting above a B in that class.

I swear, man, I could have gone to Fordham...
 

TommyJohnMD

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I've never gotten a 4.0, yet alone just miss out on it. It's difficult, especially at a top university.
 

torshi

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It's all about the right professors, but sometimes one professor only teaches a certain course and you are stuck with him, and sometimes they don't like giving A's.
So ultimately sometimes it's impossible to get a 4.0 for some people out there.

But if you ever use ratemyprofessors.com then you find the "easy" professors for any course for any school.

Overall, it's semi-easy to get a 4.0 if you really put forth the effort, but for some higher ranked schools, it might be a lot more tougher just to pull a B in a course.
 

docelh

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Try going to the University of Chicago, my friend. It's known as the place where "Fun Comes to Die," and if you include getting a 4.0 GPA as a fun thing, that fun is long gone at U of C.

Here's an example...I got a 5 on the AP Bio test and got like 102 averages in that class in high school. I come to U of C, and that 5 qualifies me for "AP 5 Bio" which is basically the fast-track course for people who want to go to Harvard Bio Ph.D. I used to write 3 20 page, single spaced, lab reports each quarter in that class and still get B's on them. And, oh yeah, if you didn't study 10+ hours per test, no way you're getting above a B in that class.

I swear, man, I could have gone to Fordham...

But you get killer props from ad-comms for having gone.... nevermind.
 

Evergrey

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At my school, NO ONE had a 4.0. I know this because I have directly viewed the transcript of the person who was ranked #1 in the class, was elected junior PBK (one of two people in the year), and was commencement marshal (given to the person with the highest GPA at our school). And she only had a 3.96!

Makes me wish I went to an easier school.. I could have been PBK and everything too. But noooo, I am just mediocre at my school :/
 

docelh

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Based on my collective experience, grades is a function (in this order) of:

1. Your academic aptitude
2. The competition
3. The professor
4. The TA, but this is less true in the large pre-med cattle calls.

Uber-geniuses can crush pre-med science classes at MIT or Harvard. For the rest of us, #2 or #3 will usually dictate the return on our effort.

OP, current success does not guarantee future success. Write us back when you're in orgo.
 

getright

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If you're really that interested in getting a 4.0, then I'd recommend researching the professors for all of the courses you plan on taking. Some just DO NOT give out A's...:(
 
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ButImLETired

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Try going to the University of Chicago, my friend. It's known as the place where "Fun Comes to Die," and if you include getting a 4.0 GPA as a fun thing, that fun is long gone at U of C.

Here's an example...I got a 5 on the AP Bio test and got like 102 averages in that class in high school. I come to U of C, and that 5 qualifies me for "AP 5 Bio" which is basically the fast-track course for people who want to go to Harvard Bio Ph.D. I used to write 3 20 page, single spaced, lab reports each quarter in that class and still get B's on them. And, oh yeah, if you didn't study 10+ hours per test, no way you're getting above a B in that class.

I swear, man, I could have gone to Fordham...

I used to complain a lot about the grade deflation at my undergrad too (especially with certain professors...I had the worst luck with that) and I too had the world's longest, most irritating lab reports to write- which, by the way, have taught me absolutely nothing. On the other hand, I'm happy to report that studying 10+ hours for a test is...nothing. It's truly, truly a joke compared to med school tests. I remember back in college I'd start "cramming" for a final about 2 days before. I'd read the book, go over the powerpoints, and compile a review sheet which was usually 40ish pages long (hand-written). I then would spend the night before re-reading the review sheet. And that was fine.

Let me tell you a little bit about the last exam (not final! Just a regular ol' midterm) I had. I used one of those industrial-sized 7" binders, and the stuff didn't fit. I studied 4-5 hours a day on weekdays and the "cramming" began about 2 weeks before the test, when I started studying 10ish hours per day. I still make my review sheets, but I base them off the notes that I had already taken, and they're 100-150 pages long (no pictures).

I'm not saying this as a "woe is me" post or as one of the usual "med school is hard" posts. I'm just trying to give y'all perspective. On the one hand, you don't have the inequality of professors- you're all on the same boat. On the other hand, each midterm is about 2-3 times bigger than a college final, at least that's the case where I am. Thankfully I'm at a pass/fail school so I don't have to worry about getting an A and stuff. I don't know if that helps with the frustration of college grades and gpa's and stuff...
 

wristbandMD

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My school is true gpa. So a 100% is a 4.0, nothing less.

A 93% would be a 3.72.
 

IDreamtIChased

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I have a 4.0, and I fully expect to maintain it till next year.

Like others mentioned, med schools take a look at your university. If it is a mediocre university like where I'm going to, a 4.0 is not really worth as much as it should.
 

orthomyxo

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Who cares? You don't need a 4.0 to get into medical school.

And do you know who gets a 4.0? It's mostly the hardcore pre-med geeks who think that getting a B+ is a reason to run out into oncoming traffic. I know of a few people in my class with 4.0's and they're just plain annoying.

/thread

And for the record:
i-aint-even-mad.jpg
 
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CaptainSSO

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Silly thread. There are way too many factors that go into maintaining a 4.0 to be able to say it's "easy" or "hard." Depends on how intelligent you are, what school you go to, what classes you take, how hard the professor grades, how much the professor likes you, how hard you work, how much study time you have (which is in turn dependent on if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend, a job, other responsibilities, and so forth) how easy the test questions are, how you're feeling the day of the test (how tired you are, if you prepared well, if you ate breakfast that morning...), etc. etc. You get the idea... I've had a 4.0 for the last 2 years and it definitely ate up a lot of my time. If I could go back, I would have done more ECs instead of worrying about getting an A in every single class.
 

IDreamtIChased

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Who cares? You don't need a 4.0 to get into medical school.

And do you know who gets a 4.0? It's mostly the hardcore pre-med geeks who think that getting a B+ is a reason to run out into oncoming traffic. I know of a few people in my class with 4.0's and they're just plain annoying.


No need to justify your imperfect grades with some absurd stereotype, just so you can feel good about yourself.
 

orthomyxo

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No need to justify your imperfect grades with some absurd stereotype, just so you can feel good about yourself.
I knew someone was going to say that. You did just the opposite by basically saying that you need to get a 4.0 because you go to a "mediocre" school. No need to justify your absurd perfectionism with misinformation, just so you can feel good about yourself. Nice try though.

I like to be lazy sometimes, it keeps me sane. If that means I get a 3.6 instead of a 4.0 then so be it.
 

mmmcdowe

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The difficulty of getting a 4.0 is increased by the fact that getting into medical school is more than getting just good grades in college.
 

jm192

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The difficulty of getting a 4.0 is increased by the fact that getting into medical school is more than getting just good grades in college.

This!

If your question is simply: How hard is it to get a 4.0...it's really not that hard. If you don't do ANYTHING but study, then you should get a 4.0. In fact, you deserve to take some flack if you study 24/7 and don't get a 4.0.

But medical schools want to see you volunteer, and do research, and be involved in clubs and whatever. That 4.0 by itself just isn't all that.

And maybe you have to have a job to help pay your way through school. Or maybe you just need a job for gas money, or beer money, or money for the movies, or gummy worms, or really whatever you like to spend money on.

Maybe you want to hang out with your friends from time to time, go see a movie, or have a beer. Maybe you meet a significant other, or have family that you like to spend time with outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So, no. If you're willing to make all the necessary sacrifices, getting a 4.0 really isn't all that hard. Just be sure that when you get to the activities section on AMCAS, you list your 4.0 15 times.
 

ButImLETired

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Are there SERIOUSLY people on this thread being defensive about not having a 4.0?!

SDN is a madhouse.


Incidentally, the real gunners in med school are usually members of one of these two groups:

1) the smug, cocky guys who got 4.0's in college, have never gotten anything less and are used to being/ feel the need to be the best in the class in order to sleep at night and feel good about themselves, and

2) the people who are super defensive about their grades, who always try to get the highest grade but are "only" somewhere in the top 20%, and who can list about 30 different reasons why they got an 85 instead of the 95 that "weird kid" got, the one who studies all the time and doesn't have to deal with those 30 TRULY IMPOSSIBLE struggles.

Don't be those guys.
 

oran berry

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^Hehe, you're one of the bunch on SDN whose replies I enjoy =)
 

StIGMA

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The difficulty of getting a 4.0 is increased by the fact that getting into medical school is more than getting just good grades in college.

Agreed. I was one of 14 people at graduation w/ a 4.0, 3 others of whom were science majors, out of about 4500 graduates (remember that many people do not finish college) at a major university. The last 2 years of college I averaged 30 hours/wk of lab work alongside class, fraternity life, a girlfriend, and pre-med activities/volunteering. It was possible because I was very careful with arranging courses, took some classes in the summer to take a lighter load in spring/fall, was diligent and intelligent and flat out lucky on some tests (good short-term memory). I'm not saying where I go to school, but one of the 3 other graduates is at Harvard and one failed to get into med school his first time! I bet you can guess who was well-rounded and who wasn't!

So... it is not about GPA entirely. Focus on being well-rounded and having a good time. Your med school app is about you as a person... in addition to the academics.
 

IDreamtIChased

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Are there SERIOUSLY people on this thread being defensive about not having a 4.0?!

SDN is a madhouse.


Incidentally, the real gunners in med school are usually members of one of these two groups:

1) the smug, cocky guys who got 4.0's in college, have never gotten anything less and are used to being/ feel the need to be the best in the class in order to sleep at night and feel good about themselves, and

2) the people who are super defensive about their grades, who always try to get the highest grade but are "only" somewhere in the top 20%, and who can list about 30 different reasons why they got an 85 instead of the 95 that "weird kid" got, the one who studies all the time and doesn't have to deal with those 30 TRULY IMPOSSIBLE struggles.

Don't be those guys.


I miss powerpuff girls :( I loved that show!
 

IDreamtIChased

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I knew someone was going to say that. You did just the opposite by basically saying that you need to get a 4.0 because you go to a "mediocre" school. No need to justify your absurd perfectionism with misinformation, just so you can feel good about yourself. Nice try though.

I like to be lazy sometimes, it keeps me sane. If that means I get a 3.6 instead of a 4.0 then so be it.


:confused: Where did I say you "need" to get a 4.0?

"Perfectionism"? Thanks dude, I'll take that as a compliment!

OP: What I meant to say was that it's easier to get a 4.0 when you go to a crappy school. Regardless, don't let anyone say you can't do it or it's too difficult. Take it as a challenge, and conquer all aspects of life (studies being only a part of it)!
 

BeachBlondie

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This thread--right here--is why I have a dichotomous relationship with SDN.

I hate it. Vehemently. But, I always come back to get a front row seat to the **** show.

I hope you all reread this again and again and realize how needlessly arrogant premeds are. Hopefully one day, premeds will realize that they're all very big fish in a small pond.
 

Snuke

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Well... I took 13 AP classes with 4/5's on all. Graduate 1st with 4.0+ GPA. After 4 semesters in college, I've never managed a perfect 4.0. I was close twice, but pulled A-'s in a class each time. And, I might add, I was happy to get the A- as I was concerned about a B+.

Yes, a 4.0 for even one semester is impressive if you are attending a Tier 1 school. 4.0 for four years? Yeah, that's amazing.
 

YouNeverKnow22

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who cares about your UG gpa when you're med school? that's right nobody
 

WorldChanger36

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4.0 is hard to get. You have to be lucky, smart, have an easy time studying and processing information and never give in to temptation to take any more then 12 to 15 creds per semester. Well most of us have to train for this making Bs, and Cs unavoidable. Honestly a 3.6X to 3.79 is just fine anything higher is overkill. Land a 35+ on the MCAT and have great ECs and your doing better then most people on here. Shoot I have a 3.2 and will have a 3.4 by the time I apply. You know what they call somebody that got into the same med school as you even though he had a 3.4 and you had a 4.0...... A Med student.

Just do your best and don't worry about the rest.... unless you care to help.
 

Total180

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I graduated in May, and at graduation they announced the 4 (4!) people out of 400 that were graduating with a 4.0 gpa. They also announced their majors. The 2 I remember were Jewish Studies and Communications. I don't remember the other 2, but they were most definitely NOT science.
 

Ignatius M.D.

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Pre-meds at Vanderbilt with a 4.0 seem to be a thing of legend, like Sasquatch or the Lockness Monster. Even at schools that aren't "top" schools, it's hard. This is assuming that you're taking a decent course load. I struggle for a 3.5 here,and I'm sure at MIT or U of Chicago I'd struggle for a lower GPA. It's not all about the school though, because most schools will be hard enough doing the pre-med route, especially when a 92% gets you a 3.7.
 

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Man I've never ever gotten a 4.0. I've tried so hard and made it my goal every semester as an undergraduate but was never able to get it...always that one B!
 

NickNaylor

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I'm a freshman in college (don't want to say where, don''t ask why please, it's a good school not.. CC or whatever) and I have like 105 average... had some bonus questions on the midterms...

isn't a 4.0 a 93% out of 100 basically at most schools? that's what it said on college board

please don't flame thanks for your feedback

GZbqLZ3AXolxv23tYRUbZAgjo1_400.jpg
 

cheesier

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I got a 4.0 my first semester, and like you, I thought it was easy. But then I took my physics lab and got an A-, so it was gone. It's extremely difficult to keep it at a perfect 4.0 because at some point in your college career, you're likely to make a dumb mistake on a test that results in a B+ in the course, or be in a lab with a TA that doesn't give out As, or you sleep in and don't turn in your homework, etc.
 

nisarg2010

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YA its pretty dame hard.

It also depends on your major. I know as an engineering major, most of my classes have an average GPA in the 2.0-2.7 range.
 

bacalaca

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I'm a freshman in college (don't want to say where, don''t ask why please, it's a good school not.. CC or whatever) and I have like 105 average... had some bonus questions on the midterms...

isn't a 4.0 a 93% out of 100 basically at most schools? that's what it said on college board

please don't flame thanks for your feedback

To put things into perspective, to graduate Summa Cum Laude at UCLA you need a 3.877. Being Summa Cum Laude at UCLA means that you are basically the top 1-2% of the graduating class. The cut off changes every year so that that percentage stays true. Magna Cum Laude is 3.792, which is the top 5%.
 

Ursa

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...before you spend 75% of your intended sleep time trying to do something about the fact that you are up to your BLOODY MALNOURISHED ASS in medical school admissions essays ...

bloody ass? :smack: thats just weird :wtf:

YoU mAd? :annoyed: :cry: :mad:
 
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Tsukiyo

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I had a 4.0 when I graduated a CC. Now I'm at a state uni trying desperately to make sure that I get a 3.5 to keep my scholarship.

So its easier/harder depending where you go and what you're taking.
 

omgyou8myrice

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Yes, it's extremely difficult. I've had to do a ton of grade-grubbing over the years, as well as putting my social life to the curb many times, and I still don't have a 4.0 (almost). Also, keep in mind most of us don't usually get extra credit like you apparently do. The last class I got extra credit in was a freshman bio class, and it was something like 5 points (out of maybe 6-700 total points) for a pretty sizable project. Never even did it.

Wait until you get to upper level classes like O-chem, P-Chem, upper level Calc classes, etc, and then come back here and ask if a 4.0 is hard. I'm a decently smart guy and O-chem rocked me. I have never studied so often and put so much effort into a measly 9 credits of my life.
 

omgyou8myrice

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I have a 4.0, and I fully expect to maintain it till next year.

Like others mentioned, med schools take a look at your university. If it is a mediocre university like where I'm going to, a 4.0 is not really worth as much as it should.

I don't buy that for a second. A friend of mine with a 4.0 goes to a small liberal arts college which is notorious for grade inflation, along with a relatively easy major (Psych), and interviewers were tripping over his GPA at nearly every interview. A 4.0 at any true 4 year university will impress anyone.

Just to add to this, it's not just about the difficulty of the classes, either. There is a little luck involved, as well as just plain diligence. I've been in two classes now where an A was 94% or better. It's sooo easy to slip up once or twice and lose 6% in a class, and now the best you can earn is a B. I've also been in classes where I earned a B, and I was given an A for no other reason than I talked to the teacher and they bumped me up (luck). I doubt there are very, very few people in this world who legitimately get an A all on their own without any grade inflation, prof giving them a break, and so forth.
 

morning

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A 4.0 is just good micromanagement. It seems overwhelming to think about maintaining a 4.0 over 4 years at first, but it's all about taking it one assignment, one week, one class at a time. It also depends on whether you're the kind of person who sees value in being challenged and rising above it, or who just wants to have the best grades possible no matter how little the effort.

1) Go to a school with grade inflation.

2) Pick your professors carefully. Ratemyprofessor is a goldmine. I've found Ratemyprofessor to be an accurate indicator of EVERY professor I've had so far. Yes, some students hold a grudge and rate accordingly...but there's usually a reason they hold a grudge.

3) Understand what those professors are looking for and do exactly that. If you have a professor that has written 5 books about black female lesbian prison inmates, skew your essays towards the black female lesbian prison inmate experience.

4) Pick a major that is easy for you.
 

Ursa

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this thread is like..."I'm so smart, a 4.0 doesn't phase me. How hard was it for the majority of you to get a 3.5-3.7?"
 
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