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View Poll Results: GPA in its current form is not an effective representation of ability
Agree 71 55.47%
Disagree 57 44.53%
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:58 PM #22
Mr. Sparkle
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As I have found out recently, GPA is essentially based on the professors you get. I've had a handful of awful professors throughout undergrad who have had abysmal class averages because they've taught material thats either A) far beyond the class or B) greatly exceeds prerequisite knowledge.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:12 AM #23
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Originally Posted by Mr. Sparkle View Post
As I have found out recently, GPA is essentially based on the professors you get. I've had a handful of awful professors throughout undergrad who have had abysmal class averages because they've taught material thats either A) far beyond the class or B) greatly exceeds prerequisite knowledge.
This is true. All of my C's are in classes with miserable professors. Except one, that was my own damn fault. Maybe two even. But still, if I could take my classes again with different professors I would gain at least a full point on my GPA.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:13 AM #24
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I hope to god not, because my GPA is fairly ****ty.
Thats probably because you're not very smart...
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:19 PM #25
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I think GPA does a better job measuring how hard of a worker you are, rather than your actual ability. Plus, I think it's bull**** that liberal arts courses are included in the average.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:37 PM #26
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I've heard from many medical school advisers that the med schools will not look at your application if you have below a 3.4 GPA, unless you have some other stellar qualification (M.S. degree, PhD., etc.). Of course, they ask for your science/math GPA and your cumulative GPA, so they distinguish between the two, but it's still ridiculous that you need at least a 3.5 to be considered and around a 3.7 to be competitive.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:54 PM #27
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Obviously, different majors have different criteria for GPA when it comes to moving on to grad school, starting a career, etc. When you choose your major, you take on the amount of work needed to earn a competitive GPA.

If you went to school as an art, elementary education, or communications major, you'd probably be fine with a 3.1-3.4 GPA....depending on the program, it may be easier or harder to meet or exceed this criteria. If you work hard and finish with a 3.9, even in these majors, it shows that you went above and beyond what is usually expected from a competitive graduate. Additionally, many majors of this sort do not rely strongly on GPA scores for predicting success in a post-baccalaureate career. They instead often urge you to focus more on experience (portfolio, observation hours, extra-curriculars) and networking (internships, whatever).

On the other hand, if you choose something akin to pre-med, chemistry, physics, etc., you may find that a higher GPA matters more because success following graduation relies more on competency. Though this is reflected more by clinical experience, assistantships, and research, a high GPA shows that there exists a solid understanding of the knowledge needed to advance toward opportunities for higher education.

In short, GPA reflects both an understanding of the didactic coursework taken and the ability to go beyond just learning the bare-bones of the material in order to graduate or reach a minimum criteria. It shouldn't ever really be seen as the gold standard for an individual's capabilities, but it is far from being an obsolete predictor of future performance.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:45 PM #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Sparkle View Post
As I have found out recently, GPA is essentially based on the professors you get. I've had a handful of awful professors throughout undergrad who have had abysmal class averages because they've taught material thats either A) far beyond the class or B) greatly exceeds prerequisite knowledge.
True that. I'm in accy 207 right now, the teacher teaches way above the classes intelligence. We had a final review in class today, no one knew anything except one kid. At least we got a curve; an 83% is an A.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:52 PM #29
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accounting?? psh. try taking control systems and mechatronics. ME 497. The course meets for 7 hours a week and only counts for 4 credits. This and its pre-req Dynamics of Physical Systems and Electrical Circuits are the GPA killers in my program. Hardly anyone will get out of there above a C range.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:38 AM #30
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Grad school for Algebra is harder to get into than "some BS major that's easier than Algebra."
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:09 PM #31
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I love how engineers and the like **** all over liberal arts degrees. You write a senior thesis examining Heidegger's lifeworld in relation to the ideas presented in Sartre's Being and Nothingness and tell me it's easier than fluid dynamics. I've studied both and they're both plenty difficult.

I think anyone willing to put in the requisite effort should be averaging about a 3.0 or so. If you have significantly lower GPA regardless of your major, unless something is systematically messed up in the grading your school uses, you aren't putting in enough effort.

How "easy" it is to get above a 3.0 will depend on your major. I still think top tier grad programs are still going to want people with the highest GPA, though they obviously take into consideration a lot of other variables. However, I'm sorry it's tough, but not everyone is going to be able to maintain a 3.75+ GPA as an astrophysics major. You just have to live with the fact that someone else is better than you.

However, as to your "cakewalk vs. hard course" example, it's a non-factor. Most people in the same major will have had similar coursework. And of course, grad schools will consider if your BA in Applied Mathematics came from M.I.T. or UMass Worcester.

GPA definitely means something.

You talk about it like there's someone comparing GPA across major. There isn't. The guy with a 3.25 in Accounting isn't ever going to be compared with the guy with a 4.0 in Underwater Basketweaving. It's a non-issue.
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Last edited by hsilman : 12-06-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:19 PM #32
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I love how engineers and the like **** all over liberal arts degrees. You write a senior thesis examining Heidegger's lifeworld in relation to the ideas presented in Sartre's Being and Nothingness and tell me it's easier than fluid dynamics. I've studied both and they're both plenty difficult.

I think anyone willing to put in the requisite effort should be averaging about a 3.0 or so. If you have significantly lower GPA regardless of your major, unless something is systematically messed up in the grading your school uses, you aren't putting in enough effort.

How "easy" it is to get above a 3.0 will depend on your major. I still think top tier grad programs are still going to want people with the highest GPA, though they obviously take into consideration a lot of other variables. However, I'm sorry it's tough, but not everyone is going to be able to maintain a 3.75+ GPA as an astrophysics major. You just have to live with the fact that someone else is better than you.

However, as to your "cakewalk vs. hard course" example, it's a non-factor. Most people in the same major will have had similar coursework. And of course, grad schools will consider if your BA in Applied Mathematics came from M.I.T. or UMass Worcester.

GPA definitely means something.
While I agree that fluid dynamics is not that difficult a course, your logic for liberal arts being the same difficulty as engineering is just plain wrong. Maybe its the overload of classes (I take 6 a semester vs lib arts degrees take 3 or 4) or the multiple 4 hour labs. Go into the engineering labs at 3am on on Tuesday, guarantee there's a lot of people. Every other major is at a frat party or sleeping. There's a reason why engineers can get a job in any field they want, its considered a hard science. Try applying to med school with an english degree...
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:29 PM #33
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While I agree that fluid dynamics is not that difficult a course, your logic for liberal arts being the same difficulty as engineering is just plain wrong. Maybe its the overload of classes (I take 6 a semester vs lib arts degrees take 3 or 4) or the multiple 4 hour labs. Go into the engineering labs at 3am on on Tuesday, guarantee there's a lot of people. Every other major is at a frat party or sleeping. There's a reason why engineers can get a job in any field they want, its considered a hard science. Try applying to med school with an english degree...
I have a degree in philosophy and I'm an accountant.

try applying to med school with a degree in civil engineering....

your argument makes no sense. But I'm not saying all majors or classes are "equally difficult", I'm just saying that most any major has "serious" stuff that takes planning and hard work. Some majors simply have more than others. It's not called a "hard science" because it's more difficult lol
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:31 PM #34
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Go into the engineering labs at 3am on on Tuesday, guarantee there's a lot of people. Every other major is at a frat party or sleeping.
I was at the fraternity party; heck, I am an mechanical engineer and president of my fraternity.

That being said, I believe that GPA is an indicator of success up to a certain point. I believe that getting a good GPA shows that you are willing to "play the game"; willing to put in the hours and dedication to get a good course grade in something you will probably more than not never use again. It shows tenacity, willingness to sacrifice, and time management. That being said, GPA is a small factor when compared to networking and work experience. I would rather skip class a couple of times a semester to go out for lunch with possible employers and network and get a B in the class than go to class every day and get an A. All I ever hear from my fraternity brothers is "Why do I have to learn this bull****? I will never use it again." or "the class was pointless.". It is not pointless: it is all about whether you are ready to "play the game".

All this: in my opinion.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:49 PM #35
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I think GPA is about the best way of representing yourself to someone given what your degree is in. As an electrical engineering undergrad i doubt that ill be in competition with many philosophy majors who have perfect GPA's. So i think when you go to get a job and they look at your GPA and say, well you have a degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas with a 3.5 GPA. Taking all that into account, i think thats about as accurate a rating as you will be able to get.

The only other way is to rate the complexity of the classes and put them on a different scale. The only problem with this is that you then blatently call certain degree's retarded (which most of us do anyways) and rate some as better. Then it comes into whose perception is harder. Is a math major harder than a physics major? Is engineering harder than biology? Who would rate them?
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:39 PM #36
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I think GPA is about the best way of representing yourself to someone given what your degree is in. As an electrical engineering undergrad i doubt that ill be in competition with many philosophy majors who have perfect GPA's. So i think when you go to get a job and they look at your GPA and say, well you have a degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas with a 3.5 GPA. Taking all that into account, i think thats about as accurate a rating as you will be able to get.

The only other way is to rate the complexity of the classes and put them on a different scale. The only problem with this is that you then blatently call certain degree's retarded (which most of us do anyways) and rate some as better. Then it comes into whose perception is harder. Is a math major harder than a physics major? Is engineering harder than biology? Who would rate them?
I think along with GPA the should do a toughness of schedule rating. All upper level classes are hard, no matter what major. So it would look something like"

GPA: 3.5
CLA: 2.58

CLA would be the class level average. So let's say you took 8 100 level classes, 5 200 classes, 6 300 level and 4 400 level and 3 500 level

8 x 100 = 800
5 x 200 = 1,000
6 x 300 = 1,800
4 x 400 = 1,600
3 x 500 = 1,500

6,700/26 = 257.69
Then to make it a smaller number, just divide 100 = 2.58.

This means that the average course you took was between a 200 and a 300 level. Compare this to a person who moved 3 of the 6 300 level and took 3 100 level classes:

11 x 100 = 1,100
5 x 200 = 1,000
3 x 300 = 900
4 x 400 = 1,600
3 x 500 = 1,500

(6,100/26)/100 = 2.34

Last edited by benji25 : 12-09-2010 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:51 PM #37
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not everyone has to take equal amounts of 1,2,3,4,5 hundred level courses. So majors that have alot of upper level courses would end up way on top and no matter how well you did in a major that had few upper level courses you would always be on bottom.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:05 AM #38
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GPA is probably a better measure of how hard of a worker you are, which is just as important as ability. (I say this with an average GPA)
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:48 AM #39
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I think it's all subjective. I have a 3.0 in Business management at Texas A&M which is alright as it is.

But I'm also in the corps of cadets. And I'm highly involved with AFROTC. And I played college lacrosse for 2 years.

I'm already going into the military but I hope that if I were to look for a job they would take all of that into account instead of just passing me up for a guy with a 3.5 GPA in management who just did school and nothing else.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:18 AM #40
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Just because I can achieve a 4.0 doesn't mean I have any intentions of doing so.
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:40 PM #41
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Let's say in a given class, for simplicity, there are 100 things that are taught. Someone knows 93 of them and gets an A (4.0). Another person knows 87 of them and gets a B (3.0).

Essentially, the difference in knowledge and effort between a 4.0 and a 3.0 is negligible in this circumstance. But 0.01 points can stand the difference between getting into Med/Grad school or not.

I do think there is a correlation between GPA and ability, but the big picture is immeasurable.

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Just because I can achieve a 4.0 doesn't mean I have any intentions of doing so.
Well... then you really are incapable of a 4.0 then, aren't you? GPA is a measure of ability, capacity, and effort.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:23 PM #42
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GPA is a measure of who sucked off the right professors.
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