thesauce

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I'm at a school with Honors, High Pass, and Pass grades. My class size is about 180 and in a given class:

20-25 people get Honors
anyone above the average gets a High Pass, and
anyone below the average but above 70% gets a Pass

So my question is: what would you consider good grades for first year? Honors in every class? Half of the classes? Just one Honors? All high passes? Are some classes more important to honor than others? We have 5 classes total with the new curriculum b/c many got combined:

Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

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thesauce said:
Why is my question a "no brainer?" The school is NJMS.
You should be trying to get the highest grades you can. Rank is what is going to be more important. Thus it's a no brainer -- whatever is the best you can get is what you should shoot for. Most people won't honor any course (let alone all) no matter how hard they try.
First year grades count, but it's a fairly small factor in residency selection. Knowing your stuff in first year does contribute to knowing your stuff in later years and on the boards, which does count much more heavilly.
 
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Law2Doc said:
You should be trying to get the highest grades you can. Rank is what is going to be more important. Thus it's a no brainer --
So I ask what grades would be considered good and your answer is whatever grades will give you a good ranking. Okay then, I modify my question to "what is a good ranking?"

Why is it that so few people on SDN can ever answer a simple question?
 

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Because it's kind of a stupid question. "Good grades" are the best that you can get that will put you in a good position to apply to the specialty of your choice.

So - for rad onc, derm, etc. - better be in the top 20% of your class.
If you want Family Practice - make sure you maintain a pulse and measurable blood pressure through medical school and graduate.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT hating on FP. I give ANYONE who wants to go into FP a ton of credit for being an awesome human being.

With all that said, I originally set a goal for myself to be in the 40th-60th percentile of my class. I felt it was a reasonable, reachable goal that would push me just a little bit. After a few months it became apparent that I had set my sights too low and so I reassessed my goals.
 

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thesauce said:
So I ask what grades would be considered good and your answer is whatever grades will give you a good ranking. Okay then, I modify my question to "what is a good ranking?"

Why is it that so few people on SDN can ever answer a simple question?
The question is not one that lends itself to a simple answer. For sure you want to pass everything. Once you get past that hurdle: Can you be the top half of your class? Super. If you can be in the top quarter, even better. Honor everything -- wonderful. The top ranked one -- fantastic.
But since you don't have any control over ranking, you don't really help yourself by shooting for something particular. Time to lose the undergrad mindset-- where there were definitive targets, such as a particular GPA, MCAT score etc. you needed. You'll have those kind of measures again with the boards, but not something you worry about during first year. Don't worry about yourself compared to others in med school, you just try to do the best you can and master the material as best you can. If that puts you at the top of your class, fantastic. If that puts you at the bottom -- figure out a new approach, get help etc. I don't mean to not answer your question, it's just not one that makes sense after you start med school.
 

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thesauce said:
So I ask what grades would be considered good and your answer is whatever grades will give you a good ranking. Okay then, I modify my question to "what is a good ranking?"
It's because these questions sound suspiciously like those in Pre-Allo that ask, "How much volunteering is enough," or "What is the minimum MCAT score I need." Underlying the question is the notion that there is a minimum standard for competency/adequacy/success and that putting in more effort is a waste.

Work hard and get the best grades you can. It will pay off.
 

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thesauce said:
So I ask what grades would be considered good and your answer is whatever grades will give you a good ranking. Okay then, I modify my question to "what is a good ranking?"

Why is it that so few people on SDN can ever answer a simple question?
It's a silly question. It's always better to have better grades. It's always better to have a higher class rank. "Good grades" and a "good ranking" depend on what you want to do. Family practice: pass. Dermatology: mostly honors, AOA--not to mention high board score ~235+. What you need will also vary by region and program type (community/academic). And, of course, it's better to have higher marks than the averages.

Okay, so maybe you aren't thinking about it pragmatically, you just want to know how well you should do to consider yourself doing well, whatever that means. We can't tell you that. You gotta look in the mirror and figure out what you're capable of. For some, high passes would be an achievement to be proud of. Others wouldn't really be reaching their potentials at anything below honors.
 

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thesauce said:
Why is it that so few people on SDN can ever answer a simple question?
The question isn't simple..... to be honest, it's a bit ******ed. Do your best while maintaining ballance in your life. Learn to be comfortable and happy with where you end up. Be realistic WRT your abilities and study habits. There's no end to the sudents in school saying they're gonna open the can of whup-a$$ next block/next semester/next yr (b/c next yr is sooooo much more important than this yr)/ for the USMLE/etc..... when in reality, they're simple avg med students (which is like calling someone just an average professional athlete) or just lazy (habbits). These people are never happy. Get in, give your best REASONABLE effort and be happy with where you end up. We're all Dr's in the end!
 
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Law2Doc said:
I don't mean to not answer your question, it's just not one that makes sense after you start med school.
It's not like I haven't started medical school. I'm going into 2nd year and the question makes perfect sense to me.

Don't you see people on SDN say "I did really well in medical school" and you find yourself wondering what that means? So I wanted to get people's opinion on what they consider "really well." I'm not asking anyone to define it for me, this is more like a poll. Maybe I should have presented it like one.
 

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thesauce said:
I'm at a school with Honors, High Pass, and Pass grades. My class size is about 180 and in a given class:

20-25 people get Honors
anyone above the average gets a High Pass, and
anyone below the average but above 70% gets a Pass

So my question is: what would you consider good grades for first year? Honors in every class? Half of the classes? Just one Honors? All high passes? Are some classes more important to honor than others? We have 5 classes total with the new curriculum b/c many got combined:

Thanks in advance for your responses.
Good = passing all your classes, even barely; maybe with one or two high passes

Better = getting all High Pass with maybe honoring a class or two

Best = getting Honors in all your classes
 

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thesauce said:
It's not like I haven't started medical school. I'm going into 2nd year and the question makes perfect sense to me.

Don't you see people on SDN say "I did really well in medical school" and you find yourself wondering what that means? So I wanted to get people's opinion on what they consider "really well." I'm not asking anyone to define it for me, this is more like a poll. Maybe I should have presented it like one.
If you did a poll, there would need to be a different category for each responder. Everyone competes with themselves and no one else. If you did your best, you are doing well. If you slacked and haven't pushed yourself, you are not.
 
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FutureDocDO said:
Good = passing all your classes, even barely; maybe with one or two high passes

Better = getting all High Pass with maybe honoring a class or two

Best = getting Honors in all your classes
You're the best! Thank you.

For everyone else, I'm really not looking for you to define my goal for me. My goal is to get honors in everything and I assume that's everyone else's goal too.
 
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thesauce said:
You're the best! Thank you.

For everyone else, I'm really not looking for you to define my goal for me. My goal is to get honors in everything and I assume that's everyone else's goal too. But I may fall short of my goal and I wonder if a few High Passes are going to be acceptable considering I'm going for RadOnc.
Your first two year med school grades are not going to be very determinative of what specialty you get into. They are pretty far down on the list of what residency directors focus on.
 
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Law2Doc said:
If you did a poll, there would need to be a different category for each responder. Everyone competes with themselves and no one else. If you did your best, you are doing well. If you slacked and haven't pushed yourself, you are not.
I see your point of view and I respect it, but it's not everyone else's point of view. Many in our class are highly competitive with each other and not just themselves. I've found the best motivation for me is to get a buddy in the class that honors everything and compete with him. It's mutual of course (it helps him too). That seems to push me better than competing with myself. It's just me.
 

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thesauce said:
I see your point of view and I respect it, but it's not everyone else's point of view. Many in our class are highly competitive with each other and not just themselves. I've found the best motivation for me is to get a buddy in the class that honors everything and compete with him. It's mutual of course (it helps him too). That seems to push me better than competing with myself. It's just me.
I'm with you on this one. Doing well in classes now can only help when studying for boards. Like you, I usually do well when I have a close friend or two to study and "compete" with. It is a huge motivating factor for everyone to do well.
 

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I think people are full of **** when they say that they "did really well in med school" if they didn't make AOA.

[This is to answer OPs comment a few posts back about how people define doing really well in med school.]
 

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I really thought this over myself a lot over the course of my 1st year. The thing about med school course work is there is so much material given to you (only so much of which you actually have to know for the exam) that it is pretty limitless as to how many hours a week you could in fact spend studying the material over and over, if you actually wanted to do that. You could study the material and just become more and more familiar with it.

As an undergrad I had a similar study system that I applied to most every class and could count on it to do well for me, and thus could easily know how much time I would need a week for every class. With med school I've had to come up with an original plan for every course block because they're so unique in their own right, and I'm sure clerkships and residency will be new all over again.

The end all for me is to decide how many days you are going to work for a given seven day week and perhaps how long into each day/night (and how many hours of sleep) you are going to do. Decide if you want a fixed committment to go to the gym on a certain basis, to go out on your thurs, fri, and sat nights, and to outright take a day or two off on the weekend.

Then, after that, I say that all of us will honestly want to do the best we can in our courses within the time that we are going to hit the books. That means wanting to know the material well and take the tests with no trouble, which means honors and a high board score. From there, I guess you just get the best scores you can on your rotations and extra curricular activities of interest and then pick your future field out of those that are available to you when application day comes.

Its a really long winded answer but its honestly my answer to that same question that the OP asked, I've kind of arrived at it by process of elimination more than anything else. The only time I would really ask if my first year grades are good enough for a certain field or a group of fields is after I've got my second year grades, board score, clerkship grades, letters of eval., and have listed my activities on my CV. Then, when you are choosing which fields to apply to or do aways in, you might if necessary pay attention to this and see if it actually is something that will affect your chances.

MP
 

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thesauce said:
You're the best! Thank you.

For everyone else, I'm really not looking for you to define my goal for me. My goal is to get honors in everything and I assume that's everyone else's goal too. But I may fall short of my goal and I wonder if a few High Passes are going to be acceptable considering I'm going for RadOnc.
Oh, the irony. You're asking us to clearify what is 'good enough' to get what you want but not define what you need to get what you want. Your point isn't clear at all to me. What is your purpose for this thread?

My answer is the same, do your best and the rest will follow.
 

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Jon Davis said:
Oh, the irony. You're asking us to clearify what is 'good enough' to do well but not define what you need to do well. Your point isn't clear at all to me. What is your purpose for this thread?

My answer is the same, do your best and the rest will follow.
I concur. If the OP in fact was going to seek out a buddy to be competitive with and shoot for honors, as he suggested a few posts back, he wouldn't really care much about the threshold of what is "good".
To the OP, shoot for honors, and if you fall short in so doing, you are doing your best and so that is "good" enough, simply because it is all you've got. All other parameters and yardsticks are nonconsequential.
 

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i totally understand the OP's question as well and i do not know why everyone seems to be unable to find it acceptable and keeps insulting it. i have not started M1 year yet and i was wondering the same exact thing. maybe i can rephrase the question in a better way:

For those of you who are well into your med school years, for your PARTICULAR class, what kind of grades (how many honors per semester) would it take to be overall ranked at the top of your class (in the first two years before step 1 and rotation scores come into play)? In my med school there will only be pass, fail, and honors for the top standard deviation in each class.

Obviously getting all honors would rank you number 1. are there typically kids who do that? and what is the bare minimum (again for just YOUR particular class, each class will obviously be different) of honors typically on AVERAGE needed per semester to get you in the top quarter of your particular class? I know you guys probably do not know the exact amount of honored classes to make the exact threshold of being at the top, but rough estimates and averages is fine.

Just to clarify for those that cannot comprehend the question, i know being a "top" med student differs from class to class. i know getting honors in everything is ideal. i know i should try my best. i know step 1 and rotation scores mean more to residencies and effects your ranking and aoa chances more. but thats not my question, so dont reiterate those points to me or the OP anymore.

so an example of a great response would be something like this: "in my particular class, after M1 year, i honored 5 classes out of a total of 12 and was ranked in the top ten percent" or "typically kids who honored (insert number) classes out of (insert number) were considered in the top 25 percent in my class"

hope thats clear enough.
 

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Brainsucker said:
I think people are full of **** when they say that they "did really well in med school" if they didn't make AOA.

[This is to answer OPs comment a few posts back about how people define doing really well in med school.]
You do realize that most schools select their AOA students based on criteria that aren't 100% academic. In fact, I can provide you with an example (myself), where 7 people at my school were chosen for senior AOA and I had better grades than at least 3 of them. So do I think that I did really well in med school? Yes. Did I kiss enough @ss to make senior AOA? Nope.
 

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trapperjohn said:
i totally understand the OP's question as well and i do not know why everyone seems to be unable to find it acceptable and keeps insulting it. i have not started M1 year yet and i was wondering the same exact thing. maybe i can rephrase the question in a better way:

For those of you who are well into your med school years, for your PARTICULAR class, what kind of grades (how many honors per semester) would it take to be overall ranked at the top of your class (in the first two years before step 1 and rotation scores come into play)? In my med school there will only be pass, fail, and honors for the top standard deviation in each class.

Obviously getting all honors would rank you number 1. are there typically kids who do that? and what is the bare minimum (again for just YOUR particular class, each class will obviously be different) of honors typically on AVERAGE needed per semester to get you in the top quarter of your particular class? I know you guys probably do not know the exact amount of honored classes to make the exact threshold of being at the top, but rough estimates and averages is fine.

Just to clarify for those that cannot comprehend the question, i know being a "top" med student differs from class to class. i know getting honors in everything is ideal. i know i should try my best. i know step 1 and rotation scores mean more to residencies and effects your ranking and aoa chances more. but thats not my question, so dont reiterate those points to me or the OP anymore.
I still disagree that the OP's question is of all that much value in terms of how to approach a class. However, even in a P/F system, every test you take has a grade, and it is not that difficult for profs to rank the class based on those test grades, notwithstanding that the transcript will read P/F, Hon, etc. there will be a running class rank. So it doesn't mean all that much to be happy with a particular letter eg. P etc. Just keep pushing yourself.
 

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Law2Doc said:
I still disagree that the OP's question is of all that much value in terms of how to approach a class. However, even in a P/F system, every test you take has a grade, and it is not that difficult for profs to rank the class based on those test grades, notwithstanding that the transcript will read P/F, Hon, etc. there will be a running class rank. So it doesn't mean all that much to be happy with a particular letter eg. P etc. Just keep pushing yourself.
holy crap. i didnt know that each exam counted towards our rank.
 

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UCSFbound said:
You do realize that most schools select their AOA students based on criteria that aren't 100% academic. In fact, I can provide you with an example (myself), where 7 people at my school were chosen for senior AOA and I had better grades than at least 3 of them. So do I think that I did really well in med school? Yes. Did I kiss enough @ss to make senior AOA? Nope.
I'm always amazed that people know each others' grades so well. Anyway, I guess this depends on what you mean by doing really well. I think it's good that there are other things considered for AOA than grades, sort of. I agree that it can be an ass-kissing competition, though. As if ass-kissing for grades in third year wasn't enough.
 

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Law2Doc said:
I still disagree that the OP's question is of all that much value in terms of how to approach a class. However, even in a P/F system, every test you take has a grade, and it is not that difficult for profs to rank the class based on those test grades, notwithstanding that the transcript will read P/F, Hon, etc. there will be a running class rank. So it doesn't mean all that much to be happy with a particular letter eg. P etc. Just keep pushing yourself.
At my school they grade everyone H/HP/P/LP/F (modified A-F) and those that score +/-1.5 Std Dev about the average get a P. This would make you think that everyone gets a P, but the percent grades are still recorded in your class rank. Everything counts.

If you want a good commentary on why it's good to push yourself and do as best you can, check out Panda Bear's blog - you may not want to go into *competitive residency here*, but you want to have that option, if you become interested later on. Besides, to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

Yeah - from what I hear, AOA is as much about non-academic activities as grades.
 

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thesauce said:
You're the best! Thank you.

For everyone else, I'm really not looking for you to define my goal for me. My goal is to get honors in everything and I assume that's everyone else's goal too. But I may fall short of my goal and I wonder if a few High Passes are going to be acceptable considering I'm going for RadOnc.

My goal was actually to not fail out. Well, ok my goal really was to not conditional or fail anything and I reached my goal, I think that's good, therefore, I got good grades.
Like everyone else is saying, you definte good for yourself. And the more I go through med school, the more I hear that if you know the right people, you can get any residency you want, regardless. I'm sure you'll be fine.
 

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thesauce said:
I'm at a school with Honors, High Pass, and Pass grades. My class size is about 180 and in a given class:

20-25 people get Honors
anyone above the average gets a High Pass, and
anyone below the average but above 70% gets a Pass

So my question is: what would you consider good grades for first year? Honors in every class? Half of the classes? Just one Honors? All high passes? Are some classes more important to honor than others? We have 5 classes total with the new curriculum b/c many got combined:

Thanks in advance for your responses.
Pass.

Those grades don't matter when applying for residency.
 

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Prefontaine fan?
Not really. My brother is a big fan, and I saw one of his posters with the quote.
 

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So if you are capable of getting all honors, but someone tells you that getting honors in half your classes is "good", then are you just going to settle for getting half honors? That seems stupid...which is why people are calling this a no-brainer.
 

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roca88 said:
my question is, is your personal "ranking" posted throughout the year w/the grades for each exam? or is it given to you at the end of the fall and spring in a more private way?
I have this question as well - how much information do classmates have about each others' grades? Of course you can tell anyone how well you did on a given test, but is your exact test history (percentile) and class rank generally available to everyone?
 

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RxnMan said:
I have this question as well - how much information do classmates have about each others' grades? Of course you can tell anyone how well you did on a given test, but is your exact test history (percentile) and class rank generally available to everyone?
No.
 

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roca88 said:
a few posts back, people were talking about their "percentile" in med school ranking, like "top 20 percentile" or "40-60 percentile."

my question is, is your personal "ranking" posted throughout the year w/the grades for each exam? or is it given to you at the end of the fall and spring in a more private way?
In most places you don't really know it, if at all, before you are applying to residencies. And yes, it is kept private.
 

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thesauce said:
So I ask what grades would be considered good and your answer is whatever grades will give you a good ranking. Okay then, I modify my question to "what is a good ranking?"

Why is it that so few people on SDN can ever answer a simple question?
It's because your question reaks of buggery. I mean, honestly, what utter nonsense. Everyone knows that the true measure of achievementl at NJMS is outperforming the folks who waste their time showing up for class. As long as your rank is somewhere near or around that "Guy" kid who sits in the back of the room, you'll be fine - trust me.
 

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IMO, all H/P or mostly H/P with an handful of honors. These are good grades. Not great, but good. And good is good :thumbup:

Anyway, do your best as others have previously stated. Who knows, you might be one of the guys with nothing but honors.
 
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dbpatto said:
It's because your question reaks of buggery. I mean, honestly, what utter nonsense. Everyone knows that the true measure of achievementl at NJMS is outperforming the folks who waste their time showing up for class. As long as your rank is somewhere near or around that "Guy" kid who sits in the back of the room, you'll be fine - trust me.
That guy can't be beaten, he's just too smart. I heard he even honored neuro.
 

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thesauce said:
That guy can't be beaten, he's just too smart. I heard he even honored neuro.
He must be related to 'that guy' who beat me up when I was SOCMOB, reading a bible...
 
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Jon Davis said:
Oh, the irony. You're asking us to clearify what is 'good enough' to get what you want but not define what you need to get what you want. Your point isn't clear at all to me. What is your purpose for this thread?

My answer is the same, do your best and the rest will follow.
How have you inferred that I asked you what is "good enough" for me or what I "need?" The question that I asked: "what are good grades in medical school?" has nothing to do with me. I'm curious what YOU consider good (at your school or mine given the statistics). That's it! You inferred a bunch of [email protected] that from g0d knows where.

You, law2doc, sentrosi, and a few others all think this thread needs some selfish purpose to be created. Like I'm going to change my approach to classes in order make sure that I achieve goals that you lay out. I don't even know you guys, why would you assume that? Some questions are just asked because the person asking is curious. This is an example of that. There isn't anything in this for me.
 

dbpatto

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thesauce said:
That guy can't be beaten, he's just too smart. I heard he even honored neuro.
*fuuggiin neuro* - I'd like to strangle the bastards who devised their arbitrary test-grading policies. I want my .02%.
 

RxnMan

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thesauce said:
Sounds like him. Hey, you're a ChemE, right?
I was once, then became a chemistry grad student, and now in the MS0 holding pattern. Why do you ask?
 

dr4ku

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OSUdoc08 said:
Pass.

Those grades don't matter when applying for residency.
You are exactly correct. The only thing your grades may, and I say may, reflect on is your Step 1 score. Which would affect your residency, but not nearly as much as who you know/LORs, other contacts, working hard in clinicals and getting better grades there than you did in MS1 AND 2.