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 Post subject: Computing GPA from Australian university results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:52 am 
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm

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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm
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In applying to graduate school in the states, I will presumably need to provide a GPA for undergraduate studies. Unfortunately, my undergrad university does not provide a way to make this conversion, where subject results are reported on a scale from 0 to 100.

On a related note, does the GPA take into account Honours results (another Australian/British program)?

Any advice would be appreciated


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 Post subject: Re: Computing GPA from Australian university results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:03 am 
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:40 pm

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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:40 pm
Posts: 112
Most universities explain if and how they want you to convert grades; there's no uniform way to do this.
By and large, the majority will simply want you to report your GPA as is, with no conversion, and they'll take care of figuring out where you fit.


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 Post subject: Re: Computing GPA from Australian university results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:17 am 
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm

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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm
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But I don't have a GPA, all I have is a list of subjects taking values between 0 and 100.

In any case it would be interesting for my own knowledge to see how they stack up.


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 Post subject: Re: Computing GPA from Australian university results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:24 am 
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:40 pm

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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:40 pm
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Don't you have an average (on 100) of some sorts? If you were to apply at an Australian university, what would they use to compare you?

Converting your GPA to a 4.0 standard to compare yourself is pretty much useless, since the conversion won't be very good. If you want to know how you stack up, you pretty much will have to compare yourself to other Australians.


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 Post subject: Re: Computing GPA from Australian university results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:49 am 
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm

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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm
Posts: 46
Strangely enough, no.

Australian universities seem to use internal measurement systems to rank students, (e.g., weighted average mark which is unique to Sydney University).

Suppose I just list the 3-year undergrad results with corresponding credit value as follows

76 6
84 3
72 3
85 6
71 6
60 6
88 6
82 3
74 3
89 6
87 6
85 6
82 6
83 6
80 6
81 6
83 6
82 6
84 6
84 6
88 6
86 6
93 6
87 6
90 6
88 6

If I then do a weighted sum I get 82.8 so I guess this corresponds to GPA = 0.828*4 = 3.3. Is this logic sound?

I think this result is badly affected by performance in first year (the first 10 results).

My Honours (50% research/ 50% coursework) result is 91 (2nd in class of 30).


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 Post subject: Re: Computing GPA from Australian university results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:09 am 
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm

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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm
Posts: 46
By the way, that 60 was in chemistry (arrgh): fortuantely not what I'd be applying to (particle theory).

In Australia at least, the Honours result is generally considered of much greater importance than undergrad. How would you expect the US to feel about my undergrad/Honours GPAwise?


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 Post subject: Re: Computing GPA from Australian university results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:33 am 
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:23 am

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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:23 am
Posts: 65
I don't know what is the level in Australia, but I would not think that 3.3 corresponds to your real GPA. For example, I once got a table to convert my Spanish grades to GPA and was something like this:

Numerical (Sp) GPA (Sp) GPA(USA)
10 4 4
9.5 3 4
9.0 3 3.7
8.5 2 3.3
8.0 2 3.0
.
.
.
Well you see the point, don't you? You loose if you directly compare your grades with a simple linear conversion. The problem is worse if your system is similar to the British one. 70 is an A, that I would probably say corresponds to 3.5 at least, but a direct conversion gives 2.8.
The solution? I am lucky that I got a fellowship from my country, and they are helping us with the applications. They strongly recomend to ask for a ranking document, where you can find an explanation of your grade system and where your institution can say where are in you in you class, like top 10% or something similar. I had to write my own ranking document and ask several times for an official signature, but I finally got it and now I'm sending a copy with every transcript. Hope it helps you! Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: Computing GPA from Australian university results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:25 am 
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm

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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm
Posts: 46
I am very interested to know the details of how you `wrote your own conversion table' and got an official signature for it?

Can you please elaborate on this?

I'm thinking of contacting some American Universities and asking them for their opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Computing GPA from Australian university results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:40 am 
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:23 am

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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:23 am
Posts: 65
About this table, an officer from the bank that has awarded me with the fellowship gave it to me. I don't know where it comes from, but he said it was I guide to compare it with the requirements of the universities. I am always writing the official average given by the universities, which is in a ten points scale. The ranking letter was an explanation of the grading system, not a comparation with the USA universities. I'm pretty sure that if you convince a professor or a staff of your university to write you something like: "He has the second highest average of this years students. He is definitely a top %5 student" They would not care that much about how to compare your grades with the american ones. Or at least, this is what I want them to do with my official transcript :)


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