How much does having a 4.0 help?

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: September 2003 Archive: How much does having a 4.0 help?
By Zephyrmaster (Zephyrmaster) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Because that's what I have, with 4 AP's down, 3 this year. Of course I may not maintain a 4.0 of course, but if I do, can that compensate a little for a "poor" SAT score?

By Cmaher (Cmaher) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 04:35 am: Edit

its 10x more important than SAT's. get good SAT's though.. get 1300+ and 700+ on SAT II's you should be fine at any top 50 school

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 09:10 am: Edit

Straight A's in a heavy AP curriculum will carry you a long way. However, strangely enough, most schools don't like to look at the GPA, They are more focused on class rank. Or grades within the context of your peers. I can see why, with all the different grading systems and weighting, I can't tell what the heck a good student is anymore.
But all A's in a top level curriculum is always the first thing on every college's list and rarely attained. That is the gold standard. Once the school determines that you have an AP curriculum, they look at the grades, don't bother to look at how your highschool describes them, (5.3, 4.0. 3.9,4.6) with and without weights. They come up with a number themselves like--5-perfect, 4-excellent 3--very good, but average for that college or batch of applications, 2--average--not good for that college---usually a one read reject, 1--don't bother reading. So you have a good start. They then look at the recs and rate them, the essay/interview and rate them, and glance at the ECs for an interesting hook, or something they need (orchestra is bugging them for an oboist, Coach Football needs some linebackers, Classics' enrollment is perilously low and the French department is complaining that admission is discriminating against French majors--they got none last year). They usually thenlook at the SAT and other test scores or they look at that in conjunction with the grades. Several admission offices have said they try to deemphasise the test by looking at them last so that they can see the whole person before assigning an SAT number to them.
So you can see the grades are the thing that counts the most but only in the context of a heavyweight curriculum which you have.

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