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Upward vs Downward Trend

ja312608

Full Member
Oct 15, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
Logically speaking, why does it seem like most people have a general upward trend in their grades. As you move towards upper-level electives, at least in my school, classes get harder within my major. I mean also orgo and physics people to take late sophomore and junior year nearing the end of their college years so wouldn't it make sense for most people to move generally downwards grade wise after freshman to junior year and maybe a little bump up senior year?
 
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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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Frankly, the most typical trajectories that I see (limited now to people who interview) is almost flat (3.90 or better every year), or the Nike swoosh with a dip sophomore year (almost always attributable to Organic Chemistry) followed by an over-correction junior year (i.e. higher than freshman year) and still higher senior year (if applicable).

Some people will have an upward trajectory because they had a hard time adjusting to college life and/or the study skills needed in college or they were not pre-med, didn't fret about grades and thought that 3.0 was more than fine given that 2.0 or higher is keeps you off of academic probation. When someone in that boat realizes that they'd like to apply to medical school (or graduate school) they wake up and get serious about earning higher grades. There are also places where the 100 and 200 level courses are "weed out" and once the weaker students have been culled, the higher level classes are aught in a way that is "easier" for those who have mastered the basics.
 
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WhatCoconuts?

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Mar 12, 2019
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Frankly, the most typical trajectories that I see (limited now to people who interview) is almost flat (3.90 or better every year), or the Nike swoosh with a dip sophomore year (almost always attributable to Organic Chemistry) followed by an over-correction junior year (i.e. higher than freshman year) and still higher senior year (if applicable).

Some people will have an upward trajectory because they had a hard time adjusting to college life and/or the study skills needed in college or they were not pre-med, didn't fret about grades and thought that 3.0 was more than fine given that 2.0 or higher is keeps you off of academic probation. When someone in that boat realizes that they'd like to apply to medical school (or graduate school) they wake up and get serious about earning higher grades. There are also places where the 100 and 200 level courses are "weed out" and once the weaker students have been culled, the higher level classes are aught in a way that is "easier" for those who have mastered the basics.
How is the Nike considered? Upward trend or no trend?
 
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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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How is the Nike considered? Upward trend or no trend?

if a school is looking at 3.8 and higher, there is little room for any kind of trend. I will see 3.98, 3.75, 4,0, 4.0.... what do you want to call that? I'd call it excellent.
 
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MyOdyssey

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if a school is looking at 3.8 and higher, there is little room for any kind of trend. I will see 3.98, 3.75, 4,0, 4.0.... what do you want to call that? I'd call it excellent.

With GPAs trending higher at the most selective schools, a 3.80 would fall at or below the 25th percentile for accepted students at such schools, would it not? I am assuming that would lower chances for admissions vis-a-vis a 3.95?
 

LizzyM

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The example I gave would add up to GPA of 3.93 if all four years had the same number of credits. I don't believe that the example I gave would be anything other than excellent although it is what I've called the Nike swoop.

A student with a 3.8 might have work & activities and life experiences that would make them an attractive candidate and might get them an interview while some applicants with 3.95 may not get an interview for lack of space. Numbers are important but other factors play into it as well.
 
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With GPAs trending higher at the most selective schools, a 3.80 would fall at or below the 25th percentile for accepted students at such schools, would it not? I am assuming that would lower chances for admissions vis-a-vis a 3.95?
Check with MSAR for an answer to your question.
 
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