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Author Topic: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?  (Read 4832 times)

tdice7

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Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« on: January 08, 2008, 08:30:08 PM »
Can someone whose a whiz at math tell me if a 3.89 GPA would make likely land in the top 10% of the class with a 3.2 curve?  I got 2 A's and an A-, so the only GPA that could beat me would be a 4.0.  Is there a chance that enough people aced all their classes that I could get knocked out of the top 10%?  Any opinions are appreciated.
Touchdown (Accepted): Miami, Tulane, U. of Cincinatti, Indiana, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Emory, Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington U.in SL, Illinois,
Stopped For No Gain (WL): Vanderbilt, Michigan, Virginia, USC,
Sacked (Rejected): Boston College, Texas,
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rollingthedice

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Re: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2008, 08:42:13 PM »
There is no way to tell for sure, as it is entirely possible (although very unlikely) that enough people got straight A's and enough people got straight C's to make 3.89 outside the top 10%, however I think this is pretty unlikely.  As far as jobs you are not allowed to say you are in the top 10% until you get the GPA cutoff's for this semester from your school, however you can look your school up on http://www.nalplawschoolsonline.org/ and then look under the "MINIMUM GRADE REQUIRED TO ATTAIN (Based on May 2006 graduation class)" section on the profile in order to find out what the cutoff for graduation in a certain percentile was last year.  It is my understanding that law school curves 'loosen up' at alot of schools after 1L, as people figure out what test format they are good at, some people give up, others take classes known to be easier, etc...  Having said this I think you can discount the "top 10% gpa cutoff for graduation" a little and your semester cutoff is likely to be slightly lower then that.

Congratulations on the excellent grades and the start on a successful path through school.  Care to share what you think made the difference for you?

tdice7

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Re: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2008, 09:02:18 PM »
There is no way to tell for sure, as it is entirely possible (although very unlikely) that enough people got straight A's and enough people got straight C's to make 3.89 outside the top 10%, however I think this is pretty unlikely.  As far as jobs you are not allowed to say you are in the top 10% until you get the GPA cutoff's for this semester from your school, however you can look your school up on http://www.nalplawschoolsonline.org/ and then look under the "MINIMUM GRADE REQUIRED TO ATTAIN (Based on May 2006 graduation class)" section on the profile in order to find out what the cutoff for graduation in a certain percentile was last year.  It is my understanding that law school curves 'loosen up' at alot of schools after 1L, as people figure out what test format they are good at, some people give up, others take classes known to be easier, etc...  Having said this I think you can discount the "top 10% gpa cutoff for graduation" a little and your semester cutoff is likely to be slightly lower then that.

Congratulations on the excellent grades and the start on a successful path through school.  Care to share what you think made the difference for you?

A couple of things I did this semester that i think helped:
-I attended every class and never missed a reading (pretty straightforward, but you'll be amazed how people put themselves behind the eight-ball by falling behind.)
-I took notes on every reading assignment on my laptop and briefed every case (people often tell 1L's not to brief cases, but it was helpful to me.)
-A big factor for me was that was happy in the environment I was in and was cool with all of my classmates.  The environment was surprisingly relaxed and laid back, even during exams (some people experiences differed)
-I made sure to go out on weekends and maintain a healthy balance of fun and work.
-I actively participated in class discussions.
-I formed a study group with people that were not only smart but that I enjoyed being around.
-Flashcards, flashcards, flashcards
-I took lots of practice tests
-I did a vast majority of my studying at home rather than at the library.
-Whatever you do, don't get caught up in the petty law school drama that tends to flare up (DO NOT HOOK UP WITH YOUR CLASSMATES UNLESS YOU GENUINELY WANT TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM)

These things worked for me, and may not work for everyone.  Also, I may have gotten lucky this semester so don't take my advice as gospel.
Touchdown (Accepted): Miami, Tulane, U. of Cincinatti, Indiana, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Emory, Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington U.in SL, Illinois,
Stopped For No Gain (WL): Vanderbilt, Michigan, Virginia, USC,
Sacked (Rejected): Boston College, Texas,
First and ten (waiting):

thorc954

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Re: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2008, 11:52:42 PM »
hey, my school has i think a 3.2 curve.  Anyway, my first semester, the cut off seemed to be around a 3.70 for the top 15%, by the second semester, it was right around the same.  So, I would think that similar scores would land you in a similar position at your school.  Everything is relative though.  As for top 10%, I cant imagine that it would be above a 3.8, but who knows.  Its all a crap shoot.

Also, do not be surprised if grades drop next semester.  I have friends with 4.0's first semester who studied exactly the same and pulled 3.3's the second.  This happened, in a less extreme manner to me and a few other friends.  There is an element of randomness to it.  That being said, congrats and keep trying your best. 

GA-fan

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Re: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2008, 04:19:58 PM »
we're also on a 3.2ish curve. our cutoffs are 3.4 for top 1/3, 3.65 for top 10%, and 3.71 for top 5%. If you were at might school, you'd probably be #2 or 3 in your section of 100.

Felsen

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Re: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2008, 10:33:34 PM »
If you are in one of the top 50 law schools, you can use this guide to get a fairly accurate picture of various cut-off marks:
http://www.bcgsearch.com/crc/book2005/bcg_guide_2005.pdf

If you aren't in a top 50, it can still give you a ballpark idea.  Just find the schools with similar median curve points and see what the spread across schools is.

Off the cuff, I'd guess that a 3.89 on a 3.2 curve is likely top 10%, and possibly top 5%.


poiuyt

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Re: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 02:01:02 AM »

So, if the professor uses a B curve, does that mean that the average grade in the class is a B?

(I have always been bad at statistics).

needhelp

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Re: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 05:10:20 PM »
I think this is one of the hardest things about comparing schools, everyone uses different curves.  A 3.2 curve? Seriously, I go to a lower top tier school, which places its curve at a low C+, around a 77 i think.  Also, we don't use the standard 4.0 system at all, so my 89 average would be around a 3.5 to 3.75, but it looks worse because it is an 89.

tdice7

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Re: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2008, 06:16:36 PM »
Found out today that I did make the top 10%  ;D.  I actually ranked 5th (along with 7 other people) in a class of 168.
Touchdown (Accepted): Miami, Tulane, U. of Cincinatti, Indiana, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Emory, Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington U.in SL, Illinois,
Stopped For No Gain (WL): Vanderbilt, Michigan, Virginia, USC,
Sacked (Rejected): Boston College, Texas,
First and ten (waiting):

thorc954

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Re: Is a 3.89 GPA on a 3.2 curve likely to be in the top 10%?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2008, 02:07:45 AM »
Found out today that I did make the top 10%  ;D.  I actually ranked 5th (along with 7 other people) in a class of 168.

congrats... now, when you list your rank, leave the 7 other people part and the class of 168 off... congrats though... keep it up this semester though, cause grades shift a lot from the two semesters.