question abou explaining single bad but important grade

iahs81
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:30 pm

question abou explaining single bad but important grade

Postby iahs81 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:45 pm

I have one bad grade that stands out: B in undergrad QM II sophomore year. the rest of my grades are A, A-, or one B+ in a grad class. undergrade QM II is a pretty fundamental class, especially bc i want to do theory. I do have an excuse tho: the entire grade for the class was midterm then final, I got an A on the midterm, got cocky, stopped going to class, then teacher switched final date to the last day of class (and the teacher is old and doesnt use internet), so i didnt know when the final was, and so i bombed it.

My question is: should i tell this story somewhere on my application, adding of course how i was young and immature and now Ive learned my lesson and now i always go to class, etc?
or shoudl I not draw attention to this bad grade?
thanks

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Tom Joad
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Re: question abou explaining single bad but important grade

Postby Tom Joad » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:05 am

I guess it all depends on how good you manage to spin it. For me personally, saying that you decided to skip a half of a year of class sounds worse than an unexplained B.

iahs81
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:30 pm

Re: question abou explaining single bad but important grade

Postby iahs81 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:12 pm

ok, so i wont mention it then. this grade makes me nervous tho, bc its such an important class. do you think this single B will screw me over. Note: the following year I took grad QMII and got an A-, which is above average in a class where i was the only undergrad (i know some grad classes have grade inflation, but this one doesnt). Note: my transcript shows the percentage As in each class, so theyll see that the grad class graded strictly.
Does this make up for it?
Should I mention that I took a similar but more challenging class the following year and did well on it, or does that come off as kinda silly?

StewieVader
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:37 am

Re: question abou explaining single bad but important grade

Postby StewieVader » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:00 pm

Funnily enough, I had a very similar experience with my quantum mechanics I course where I ended up with a B. I was too lazy to check my finals timetable carefully and ended up going for the exam fully prepared for my classical mechanics course instead. So you can imagine what happened during the exam :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Luckily, I ended up doing my QM II course well enough to get an A.

I have a serious question though. Do admissions committees seriously check each and every grade even if they have an otherwise outstanding record? I have a couple of B's and a C on some important courses. Can research experience and a top score on my PGRE compensate for that if I have an exceptional academic record?

kangaroo
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:31 am

Re: question abou explaining single bad but important grade

Postby kangaroo » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:05 pm

Ok guys you need to chill. The average in GPA actually has a meaning, if you had only one"bad" grade it will not affect your GPA catastrophically, and the admissions people know this. People on the admissions committee are (surprise) people too.

StewieVader
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:37 am

Re: question abou explaining single bad but important grade

Postby StewieVader » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:18 pm

Would you recommend an explanation in the SOP or recommendation letter if I am applying for a field in which I received a bad grade?

hooverbm
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:32 pm

Re: question abou explaining single bad but important grade

Postby hooverbm » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:47 pm

Graduate programs look for important trends in your academic record, i.e. did you improve in courses over time. A poor early academic record can be easily overshadowed by a strong performance in higher level courses. No graduate program is going to care about a single grade in a single course, as your overall academic performance more accurately reflects your abilities than a single course does. So relax.

Even Bs and Cs can be overlooked. If you just have a few "bad" grades on an otherwise excellent academic record, I wouldn't bother wasting precious space on your personal statement. If there is a glaring discrepancy or jump in your performance on your record, you might want to briefly explain the circumstances.

hooverbm
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:32 pm

Re: question abou explaining single bad but important grade

Postby hooverbm » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:50 pm

StewieVader wrote:Would you recommend an explanation in the SOP or recommendation letter if I am applying for a field in which I received a bad grade?


No. A B or a C in one course does not require an explanation. You're human.

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Andromeda
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Re: question abou explaining single bad but important grade

Postby Andromeda » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:42 am

hooverbm wrote:
StewieVader wrote:Would you recommend an explanation in the SOP or recommendation letter if I am applying for a field in which I received a bad grade?


No. A B or a C in one course does not require an explanation. You're human.


This. Seriously. Find something else to worry over cause this isn't one of them.




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