Overall bad history, recent GPA significantly better

alen910
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 11:19 pm

Overall bad history, recent GPA significantly better

Postby alen910 » Tue May 26, 2015 11:34 pm

I spent 5 lazy years at a community college getting a cumulative GPA of 3.0 before transferring. In my time there, I also got some F's and W's before retaking them. After transferring, I've gotten a 3.95 GPA for 2 quarters and I expect to finish this quarter with a 4.0. Also, I've been taking more advanced classes than the other transfers, and will be done a year earlier than them. I am just starting my first research position and my professor tells me it will get published. If I keep going with these grades, what are my chances of getting in a good grad school if I apply this fall?

The reason for the horrible grades were mostly due to a lack of motivation and laziness. I was an engineering major with not much desire to pursue a degree in it. After finding my passion for physics, school had become a much higher priority and my grades got a lot better. Should I be mentioning these things, or is it better to focus on the more recent stuff?

Also I am pretty confident I will do well on the GRE, but I'm spending the summer to prepare along with working on the research project.
Anyway, any feedback would be very appreciated.

TakeruK
Posts: 815
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Overall bad history, recent GPA significantly better

Postby TakeruK » Wed May 27, 2015 11:33 am

Just focus on the recent stuff. Graduate schools care about the person you are now, not the person you were before. How much time do you have before applying to graduate schools? The more time you have in your new program, the less your time in community college will impact you.

alen910
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 11:19 pm

Re: Overall bad history, recent GPA significantly better

Postby alen910 » Wed May 27, 2015 1:40 pm

Well I can finish my undergraduate by this time next year, so I would be applying this fall. This gives me a total of 4 quarters of grades from the university that will be on the application. I suppose my plan this fall is to just apply to school's I would like to go to, with no safety's. If I don't like the places I get into, I will stay another year and take some graduate classes or some more math classes, and apply again the year after.

If we assume I can keep up the grades for the whole time I'm here at the university, would there be a big difference in the schools I get in if I wait a year?

TakeruK
Posts: 815
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Overall bad history, recent GPA significantly better

Postby TakeruK » Wed May 27, 2015 4:49 pm

I think if you do spend another year in University (so you will be applying with 6-7 quarters of University), it would make a difference because that's almost twice as many quarters and, more importantly, potentially twice as much time to do research (you can do it for this summer and summer 2016).

I think your plan to apply this fall and if it doesn't work out, keep working on courses and research and reapply in Fall 2016 is a good one.

I also think spending more time on research can benefit you a lot more. In my opinion, the best way to counter a low GPA is to prove that you are capable of good research. So, another strategy to consider is to reduce the amount of courses you are taking so that you have time to do research during the school year as well as over the summer.




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