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Sub-Optimal GPA Freshman Year- Will grade deflation help my case?

SilentAnon_404

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I have just officially finished my freshmen year at UC Davis. My current cGPA is 3.42.

However, I do have an upward trend. My first quarter I had a 3.115, second quarter 3.5, and this final quarter I have a 3.6.

The main problem for my was my math classes. I was placed into the engineering math classes based on my placement test results, but I was the only one in the class who hadn't taken any calculus in high school. This obviously put me at a huge disadvantage, and I ended up getting C+ for both Calc 21A and 21B.
However, I know this excuse wouldn't work as it was also my fault. I never actually had to put in effort studying for math in high school so I didn't in college.
But this last quarter I did study and got a B+ in Calc 21C, which is the hardest of the series.

Other than that, I have mostly A- with a few A and a B+ I got in gen chem the very first quarter (again, did not study hard).

However, on top of this, I also have noticed that there is insane grade deflation at my school. My chem professor literally made the second midterm extremely hard because people did well on the first midterm (which was a fair/standard midterm), and he couldn't accept a class average to be higher than 60% (I don't get why professors do this).
Anyways, my math professor did this as well for the final and screwed up many people as well.

Will med schools be aware of grade deflation at schools? And will there be some leeway for it? If so, how much for UC Davis.

Because while I will definitely start studying harder from now on, I do not think I can realistically get 4.0 (or higher than let's say 3.8) every quarter. That's just not feasible for my school.

Thanks in advance for any helpful answers.
 
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deleted804295

Adcoms don't care if your school had grade deflation or not. You still have to get a good GPA.

I had a C+ my first semester as well and I still got in so I wouldn't worry about it. Just get As for the rest of college.
 
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SilentAnon_404

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Adcoms don't care if your school had grade deflation or not. You still have to get a good GPA.

I had a C+ my first semester as well and I still got in so I wouldn't worry about it. Just get As for the rest of college.
Not even a little bit? I have stumbled upon several threads that state that a 0.1-0.2 GPA leeway is given for schools with grade deflation.

Otherwise, why am I studying at UCD? I might as well go to sac state and have an easier time getting a better GPA. This sounds stupid that no thought is given to this.
 
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deleted804295

Not even a little bit? I have stumbled upon several threads that state that a 0.1-0.2 GPA leeway is given for schools with grade deflation.

Otherwise, why am I studying at UCD? I might as well go to sac state and have an easier time getting a better GPA. This sounds stupid that no thought is given to this.
Well Goro is an adcom and he said so, so I'd go with what he said.

Good luck. You're a freshman. Just focus on doing well for the rest of college.
 
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DrStephennmnm

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Not even a little bit? I have stumbled upon several threads that state that a 0.1-0.2 GPA leeway is given for schools with grade deflation.
No, not even a little.


Otherwise, why am I studying at UCD? I might as well go to sac state and have an easier time getting a better GPA. This sounds stupid that no thought is given to this.
That's why you need to thoroughly research the school prior to enrollment. That's completely on you. And what's makes you the judge to determine what's stupid or not? I would think you would be the last person to make that judgement, but that's just me
 
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Tyrese

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You still have quite a ways to go in your undergrad. That's more than enough time to show an upward trend to adcom. It should be sort of a retribution for your subpar freshman year stats.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, adcom doesn't care whether you went to a school with grade deflation, as that would be unfair to other applicants. That's like a Harvard student with a 3.5 sGPA having preference over the Sac state student with a 3.9 sGPA. Clearly, the Harvard kid has somewhat okay stats, but the Sac state person obviously has a better, more competitive sGPA.

It's time to stop relying on excuses or exceptions, and instead focus on improving your stats/portfolio to the best you possibly can. Good luck OP, wish for the best.
 
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Not even a little bit? I have stumbled upon several threads that state that a 0.1-0.2 GPA leeway is given for schools with grade deflation.

Otherwise, why am I studying at UCD? I might as well go to sac state and have an easier time getting a better GPA. This sounds stupid that no thought is given to this.
How am I, as an admissions committee member to know which of the 30,000 colleges in the United States have grade inflation or deflation?
 
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KnightDoc

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How am I, as an admissions committee member to know which of the 30,000 colleges in the United States have grade inflation or deflation?
????? I totally get why schools have no interest in doing this, given the embarrassment of riches they have in choosing among very well qualified candidates, but it's not like it's impossible if you were motivated.

There are more high schools in the country than colleges, and colleges somehow figure out which high schools are better than others, and which ones grade harsher than others, etc. The same way you know the difference between Harvard and UCD, you could learn the difference between UCD and Sacramento State if seating the best possible class required it.

You don't do it because your seller's market doesn't require you to do so, not because you, as an adcom, couldn't do it if you had to. Where there's a will there's a way!! Just look at all the hoops we as premeds jump through because the situation requires it -- you are no less talented than we are!!! :)
 
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????? I totally get why schools have no interest in doing this, given the embarrassment of riches they have in choosing among very well qualified candidates, but it's not like it's impossible if you were motivated.

There are more high schools in the country than colleges, and colleges somehow figure out which high schools are better than others, and which ones grade harsher than others, etc. The same way you know the difference between Harvard and UCD, you could learn the difference between UCD and Sacramento State if seating the best possible class required it.

You don't do it because your seller's market doesn't require you to do so, not because you, as an adcom, couldn't do it if you had to. Where there's a will there's a way!! Just look at all the hoops we as premeds jump through because the situation requires it -- you are no less talented than we are!!! :)
There's so much ignorance about the Admissions process that I can feel my brain hurt.

I can only take so much. Applying Ignore function.
 
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GreenDuck12

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OP,
For the purposes of your own education, what you described is not an institutional grade deflation policy. Instead, you described an incredibly routine matter of professors trying calibrate exams to yield histograms that fit the metrics established by the department and give fidelity to prior years. There is nothing wrong with a professor creating a more challenging exam if the first exam was determined to be less rigorous than desired. Sometimes professors swing the other way and have exams that are incredibly hard that then require them to pull back a bit.

Not even a little bit? I have stumbled upon several threads that state that a 0.1-0.2 GPA leeway is given for schools with grade deflation.

Otherwise, why am I studying at UCD? I might as well go to sac state and have an easier time getting a better GPA. This sounds stupid that no thought is given to this.

You absolutely could go to Sac State, but how do you know that it will be any easier? Students are often poor judges of which schools are easier/more difficult. You might be surprised to find that sac state is harder. You also might be surprised to find that the course that you are writing about at UCD was harder the year before and might be harder next year. There simply is no way to know for sure, especially as professors teach different classes from year to year. The reality is there is no way for someone to objectively know that one course or one school is much more challenging than any other. That's where the MCAT comes in as a standardized measure that is common to all applicants.

Also remember that you are not paying UCD to give you As. You are paying them to give you an opportunity and to have a standard applied to you, and your classmates, evaluating your mastery of the material. It just happens that after this class, you didn't like the standard that was applied. Other students, were able to earn better grades. Take this as an opportunity for growth instead of complaining that the system is rigged against you. Learn what you need to do differently to be one of those students that earned top marks. I promise you, it will be better for you in the long run to develop a growth mindset.

There are more high schools in the country than colleges, and colleges somehow figure out which high schools are better than others, and which ones grade harsher than others, etc. The same way you know the difference between Harvard and UCD, you could learn the difference between UCD and Sacramento State if seating the best possible class required it.

You don't do it because your seller's market doesn't require you to do so, not because you, as an adcom, couldn't do it if you had to. Where there's a will there's a way!! Just look at all the hoops we as premeds jump through because the situation requires it -- you are no less talented than we are!!! :)

How? How would you recommend an admissions committee comprised of faculty, researchers, and clinicians devote the time to objectively evaluate the merits of a 3.5 and UCD and a 3.5 at sac state? Are they to track changes in the grading criteria for each premed class as well as which professors tend to grade more harshly/leniently, or those that provide more/less support for students in the form of study sessions and office hours? Are you really that confident that Harvard is more challenging/less challenging than UCD? Are admissions committees supposed to measure an applicant based on the perceived prestige of the university they attended? Wouldn't that then be more of a measure of the quality of the high school attended /opportunities they had at a younger age? This is such an incredibly naive post I honestly don't even know where to start
 
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DrStephennmnm

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How? How would you recommend an admissions committee comprised of faculty, researchers, and clinicians devote the time to objectively evaluate the merits of a 3.5 and UCD and a 3.5 at sac state? Are they to track changes in the grading criteria for each premed class as well as which professors tend to grade more harshly/leniently, or those that provide more/less support for students in the form of study sessions and office hours? Are you really that confident that Harvard is more challenging/less challenging than UCD? Are admissions committees supposed to measure an applicant based on the perceived prestige of the university they attended? Wouldn't that then be more of a measure of the quality of the high school attended /opportunities they had at a younger age? This is such an incredibly naive post I honestly don't even know where to start
Don't waste your time with him. He literally argues with everyone, including members of the admission committee
 
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KnightDoc

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OP,
For the purposes of your own education, what you described is not an institutional grade deflation policy. Instead, you described an incredibly routine matter of professors trying calibrate exams to yield histograms that fit the metrics established by the department and give fidelity to prior years. There is nothing wrong with a professor creating a more challenging exam if the first exam was determined to be less rigorous than desired. Sometimes professors swing the other way and have exams that are incredibly hard that then require them to pull back a bit.



You absolutely could go to Sac State, but how do you know that it will be any easier? Students are often poor judges of which schools are easier/more difficult. You might be surprised to find that sac state is harder. You also might be surprised to find that the course that you are writing about at UCD was harder the year before and might be harder next year. There simply is no way to know for sure, especially as professors teach different classes from year to year. The reality is there is no way for someone to objectively know that one course or one school is much more challenging than any other. That's where the MCAT comes in as a standardized measure that is common to all applicants.

Also remember that you are not paying UCD to give you As. You are paying them to give you an opportunity and to have a standard applied to you, and your classmates, evaluating your mastery of the material. It just happens that after this class, you didn't like the standard that was applied. Other students, were able to earn better grades. Take this as an opportunity for growth instead of complaining that the system is rigged against you. Learn what you need to do differently to be one of those students that earned top marks. I promise you, it will be better for you in the long run to develop a growth mindset.



How? How would you recommend an admissions committee comprised of faculty, researchers, and clinicians devote the time to objectively evaluate the merits of a 3.5 and UCD and a 3.5 at sac state? Are they to track changes in the grading criteria for each premed class as well as which professors tend to grade more harshly/leniently, or those that provide more/less support for students in the form of study sessions and office hours? Are you really that confident that Harvard is more challenging/less challenging than UCD? Are admissions committees supposed to measure an applicant based on the perceived prestige of the university they attended? Wouldn't that then be more of a measure of the quality of the high school attended /opportunities they had at a younger age? This is such an incredibly naive post I honestly don't even know where to start
Okay, so I'm making your head hurt too. :)

Yeah, it's impossible to know which schools are better than others, or which grade more or less strictly than others, through, among other means, simply keeping records of GPAs of applicants from the various schools over time and just figuring out which schools produced lower average GPAs than others, normalized by MCAT scores.

No, nothing is perfect, and, yes, in an environment in which schools have a less than 10% admit rate, they have no motivation to do so. But, if they weren't turning down so many 3.6/510 candidates, they'd find a way to figure out which 3.3 candidates were coming from schools that grade more harshly than others.

And by the way, while this is going on, it has also been widely reported that top med schools disproportionately love candidates from top UGs, and even give them a little GPA boost, even when they are coming from well-known grade inflaters like Harvard, so it's not impossible to treat grades from some schools more kindly than others, or to gather the information necessary to do so in an intelligent way. They just choose not to.
 
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KnightDoc

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May be we need our beloved USNWR add grade deflation index to their rankings to help premeds and adcoms? ;)
Nah -- we really don't need anything. I was just pointing out it's not because there is no way to know which schools inflate and which ones deflate; it's because there are so many applicants with great GPAs that the schools don't need to identify which not so great GPAs are the result of deflation as opposed to not so great students.
 
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