Should I be more surprised at my acceptance or my rejection?

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meichenl
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:39 pm

Should I be more surprised at my acceptance or my rejection?

Postby meichenl » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:01 am

I have an unusual profile combining low grades and high test scores.

I had a 3.0 GPA at Caltech. I entered in the class of 2007 and graduated in 2009 due to academic problems. I didn't like doing the work I was given, concentrated on whatever I thought was interesting at the time (only sometimes physics), and failed the junior-level advanced quantum and EM courses. Two years later I finally finished them.

I spent my summers teaching at a high school camp rather than doing research, except the first two summers (2004 and 2005) when I did some basically-fruitless research.

After graduating, I worked at a tutoring agency, then at a pharmaceutical company doing statistics.

My test scores came out well (P / Q / V / W = 970 / 800 / 800 / 5.5).

I thought that my job experience would indicate that I had matured enough to have the work ethic required for grad school and that my test scores would indicate I had the aptitude. Since my poor academic record was due to the way I acted four years ago, and is no longer under my control, I hoped to get cut some slack.

As it turned out, I was rejected at eleven of the twelve schools I applied to, and accepted to Johns Hopkins.

So, should I be grateful to have gotten one acceptance, or should I expected to have some choice in where to attend?

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sphy
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:23 am

Re: Should I be more surprised at my acceptance or my rejection?

Postby sphy » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:06 am

meichenl wrote:I have an unusual profile combining low grades and high test scores.

I had a 3.0 GPA at Caltech. I entered in the class of 2007 and graduated in 2009 due to academic problems. I didn't like doing the work I was given, concentrated on whatever I thought was interesting at the time (only sometimes physics), and failed the junior-level advanced quantum and EM courses. Two years later I finally finished them.

I spent my summers teaching at a high school camp rather than doing research, except the first two summers (2004 and 2005) when I did some basically-fruitless research.

After graduating, I worked at a tutoring agency, then at a pharmaceutical company doing statistics.

My test scores came out well (P / Q / V / W = 970 / 800 / 800 / 5.5).

I thought that my job experience would indicate that I had matured enough to have the work ethic required for grad school and that my test scores would indicate I had the aptitude. Since my poor academic record was due to the way I acted four years ago, and is no longer under my control, I hoped to get cut some slack.

As it turned out, I was rejected at eleven of the twelve schools I applied to, and accepted to Johns Hopkins.

So, should I be grateful to have gotten one acceptance, or should I expected to have some choice in where to attend?

Being a domestic student yourself, I think you have a good application package.
So I would suggest, stay calm and normal and be confident that you're going Grad Class this time.
lol

enthree
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:11 am

Re: Should I be more surprised at my acceptance or my rejection?

Postby enthree » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:46 am

A lot of school look at/for research, I'd say this was the major weakness in your applications.

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grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Should I be more surprised at my acceptance or my rejection?

Postby grae313 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:22 am

meichenl wrote:I thought that my job experience would indicate that I had matured enough to have the work ethic required for grad school and that my test scores would indicate I had the aptitude. Since my poor academic record was due to the way I acted four years ago, and is no longer under my control, I hoped to get cut some slack.


I think this here is your problem. The job environment is very different from the academic environment (or at least that is the way many academics see it), and you still have not done anything to show that your motivation for academics has changed. You have not yet demonstrated you can be successful in that environment, let alone in independent research.

You should start with a masters program and kick ass in it, and then I bet you won't have any trouble with PhD admissions.

Edit: just went back and found your profile and saw that you've accepted Johns Hopkins offer of admission. I think that's a fine school and a fine decision, and you should go and do the best you can. If you do good work there you'll move on to good post doc and I don't think it has to hold you back in any way.




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