Any tips for getting GPA over 3.7 in grad school?

In summary: I would think most would use grades for admission to qualification exams. If a 3.7 GPA can't get do it then you chose the wrong program. Spend more time preparing for your research which is what will be most scrutinized when you graduate.In summary, grad school courses are hard, but if you maintain a 3.7 GPA, you'll be fine.
  • #1
robertya1027
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Grad school courses are hard, but how to maintain at least a 3.7 GPA?

That's it, I'm sick of caring about GPA, and consider in grad school this is my last time doing tests, I want to let myself go a bit and not get a perfect GPA. I don't want more burnouts in grad school. I'd rather focus on more practical work stuff thrn focus on GPA like I'm forced to in college.
 
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  • #2
What degree are you getting? There are plenty of examples of phds where your gpa is pretty irrelevant, but also for most of them it's hard to not get a B+ just for showing up.
 
  • #3
Office_Shredder said:
What degree are you getting? There are plenty of examples of phds where your gpa is pretty irrelevant, but also for most of them it's hard to not get a B+ just for showing up.

In his other thread, he is saying he is only getting an MS...
robertya1027 said:
Is it OK to get a MS without a PhD (in physics), I feel a little bad about myself for not doing a PhD but I don't think I have the mental capacity to do one anyways
 
  • #4
robertya1027 said:
I'd rather focus on more practical work stuff thrn focus on GPA like I'm forced to in college.

Then do that. If you aren't learning any "practical work stuff" in your current program, find a new program. That new program does not necessarily have to be a graduate program at a university.
 
  • #5
@robertya1027 -- Why are you worried about your GPA in grad school when you are only pursuing an MS in Physics? Employers will look at your GPAs in undergrad and grad school, but will generally be more interested in testing your skills and talking about any experience you have.

Plus, there is this:
Office_Shredder said:
but also for most of them it's hard to not get a B+ just for showing up.
That was my experience in grad school when getting my MSEE. I worked my behind off in undergrad to graduate with a high GPA, but my grad school GPA was higher without much worry (I still worked hard).
 
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  • #6
robertya1027 said:
Grad school courses are hard, but how to maintain at least a 3.7 GPA?
I'm not sure what magical answer you're expecting. But, dutifully attend your lectures and ask questions when needed, expend reasonable effort on your homework assignments, and expend reasonable effort on studying for your exams. What constitutes "reasonable effort"? Enough to maintain at least a 3.7 GPA.
 
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  • #7
Office_Shredder said:
What degree are you getting? There are plenty of examples of phds where your gpa is pretty irrelevant, but also for most of them it's hard to not get a B+ just for showing up.
This of course will vary with the program. It's been decades since I was taking grad courses as part of my physics PhD program. But I remember they were brutal, and intentionally so because the university needed a lot of TA's and admitted twice as many grad students as there were research slots for. So the first year grad courses and qual were designed to be a weeding-out process.
 
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  • #8
CrysPhys said:
So the first year grad courses and qual were designed to be a weeding-out process.
I had heard rumors of this while in school too. Certainly, the high ranked schools could afford to implement this. However, lesser ranked schools might not be able to afford such an unsavory program. I would think most would use grades for admission to qualification exams. If a 3.7 GPA can't get do it then you chose the wrong program. Spend more time preparing for your research which is what will be most scrutinized when you graduate.
 
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  • #9
gleem said:
I had heard rumors of this while in school too. Certainly, the high ranked schools could afford to implement this. However, lesser ranked schools might not be able to afford such an unsavory program. I would think most would use grades for admission to qualification exams. If a 3.7 GPA can't get do it then you chose the wrong program. Spend more time preparing for your research which is what will be most scrutinized when you graduate.
I was responding to the people who posted that maintaining a 3.7 GPA was far easier in grad school than undergrad:

Office_Shredder said:
What degree are you getting? There are plenty of examples of phds where your gpa is pretty irrelevant, but also for most of them it's hard to not get a B+ just for showing up.
berkeman said:
Plus, there is this:

That was my experience in grad school when getting my MSEE. I worked my behind off in undergrad to graduate with a high GPA, but my grad school GPA was higher without much worry (I still worked hard).
That certainly wasn't my case, and I went to a school with a reputation for having one of the hardest undergrad physics programs around.
 
  • #10
My first MSEE classes I had to work pretty hard for a B- and B+. Skipped no classes. There were many sleepless nights to read the chapters, practice the problems, did all of the assignments, and a lot of the topics weren't even new to me. I'm not sure which is a shame: If professors give handouts on grades or professors being sticklers when it seems others are giving handouts. I think it's a good thing if professors hold students accountable for the grades they earn, but it's also painful to work so hard for a B- when other students basically just need to show up for a B+ (and worse when people ask "what happened?" like why did I do so poorly). I know people say it only matters what you learn (not so much the grade), but I can definitely attest that lower grades create ginormous barriers compared to having better grades and learning it on the job. HR for the companies I work for don't know or don't care which stickler professors I took they just know that the other candidates got a better grade than me. I’ve only ever had them ask me once if I knew a certain professor... I didn’t even know the professor’s name at the time or that he was well-known although I looked into it asked him about it when I got back from the interview, and he gave me some helpful feedback about that workplace. It was great.

Earning a 3.7+ GPA is highly desirable for me because my undergraduate GPA was awful < 3.0, and I've had employers ask me for my transcripts before even after 2 years of full-time experience beyond the many technical internships and achievements. I'm hoping that a competitive graduate GPA will outshine my less desirable one. My current employer is paying for my graduate school and my direct supervisor gets to see my grade when I ask for a reimbursement.

I couldn't expect any secrets here. You know you're going to have to work hard. There's no free lunch. If you need to cut corners somewhere then you can expect that your performance will likely take a hit. I'm in a similar situation and what has been working for me so far is I switched to part-time enrollment so instead of taking 2-3x classes and cutting corners in all of them... I cut out the other classes only taking 1 per quarter that I can put everything into. I'm not sure if I'll maintain the perfect grades, but this system has been working best for me. The tradeoff of course is that I'll take longer to graduate, but I've already got a job and am in a good position.
 
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Related to Any tips for getting GPA over 3.7 in grad school?

1. How important is time management for maintaining a high GPA in grad school?

Time management is crucial for achieving a high GPA in grad school. Graduate coursework is typically more demanding and rigorous than undergraduate courses, and it requires a significant amount of time and effort to succeed. Effective time management skills will help you prioritize your tasks and stay on top of your coursework.

2. What study strategies do you recommend for improving my GPA in grad school?

Some effective study strategies for improving your GPA in grad school include setting aside dedicated study time each day, breaking up your studying into smaller chunks, actively engaging with the material rather than just passively reading, and seeking help from professors or classmates when needed. It's also important to take breaks and make time for self-care to avoid burnout.

3. How can I balance coursework and research while maintaining a high GPA in grad school?

Balancing coursework and research can be challenging, but it's essential for maintaining a high GPA in grad school. One strategy is to plan out your schedule and prioritize your tasks. Make sure to allocate enough time for both coursework and research, and don't be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks when needed. Also, try to find ways to integrate your research into your coursework to make the workload more manageable.

4. Are there any resources or tools that can help me improve my GPA in grad school?

Many universities offer resources and tools to help students improve their GPA in grad school. These may include tutoring services, study groups, writing centers, and academic advising. It's also helpful to utilize online resources such as study guides, practice exams, and academic databases. Don't be afraid to reach out to your professors for additional resources or recommendations.

5. How can I stay motivated and avoid burnout while striving for a high GPA in grad school?

Maintaining a high GPA in grad school can be mentally and physically exhausting, so it's important to prioritize self-care and find ways to stay motivated. Set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate small achievements. Surround yourself with a supportive network of peers and mentors who can provide encouragement and accountability. Additionally, make sure to take breaks and engage in activities outside of school to avoid burnout.

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