Difference between a 4.0 and a 3.9

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In summary: A 3.9. They had taken all the easy classes and barely participated in class, and got all A's. They were rejected from all the good schools they applied to. It doesn't matter what your GPA is, if you didn't put in the work, your GPA won't reflect that.
  • #1
Physics_wiz
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Does it really matter if I have a 3.9 instead of a 4.0 or vise versa? How big of a difference does it make with respect to graduate schools? How about jobs?

Thanks
 
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  • #2
I don't think it would matter. A funny thing is if someone does badly at a school, they know they didn't do well regardless, but if they got a 4.0 they can't really judge the quality of the student (or the school). So, in that sense a 4.0 is worse than a 3.9 because a 4.0 suggest the question of just how good the curriculum is most strongly. As you diverge from 4.0 the question becomes less and less prominent. That's just one way to look at it :)

I wouldn't worry about it ;)
 
  • #3
Physics_wiz said:
Does it really matter if I have a 3.9 instead of a 4.0 or vise versa? How big of a difference does it make with respect to graduate schools? How about jobs?

Thanks
It doesn't all depend on a gpa, it also depends on your personal development and personality.
 
  • #4
Thanks for the replies. So far, I've gotten all A's in college but this semester I might end up with a B in one class. I just wanted to know how much it mattered, mainly for grad school, because my goal is to go to a good engineering grad school (ie. MIT, carnegie mellon, etc...)
 
  • #5
Dude, no opportunities will be lost by having a 3.9 instead of a 4.0. Relax.
 
  • #6
A 3.9 is greater than a 4.0 sometimes.

For instance, I went from a 4.0 to a 3.95 and will round out to 3.95 at graduation (they do two decimal places for high honours purposes... 3.95 - 4.0 is high honours).

I was ticked off and mentioned it to a friend. He laughed and said that a 3.95 or even a 3.9 would make me appear more human. I asked him what he meant. He said that with a 4.0 I come across as an anal prick and people would think I hounded profs for more marks or challenged my grades or played the grade game (none of those were true).

But yeah, a 3.9 is still pretty damn high (as long as it was as least at the average level of coursework for that program).

The graduate school will most likely still look at the courses you took, full time vs part time and other factors involved.
 
  • #7
Are you able to choose your own courses? It would look like you only did the easy ones, but I never understood the concept of only getting A's so don't listen to me. That's probably why you have to take a GRE in the US.

Good luck with getting into gradschool!
 
  • #8
The way my physics prof said it makes perfect sense to me: He said if he was looking to hire engineers or something, he would hire people with B grades. Why? Because most people with straight A's walk into the class room (or work area), and the first thing they do is try to figure out what the prof (or boss) expects from them, and then they conform to that and only that, whereas a good engineer (or any type of scientist) needs to be creative and come up with his/her own solutions and ways of doing things, and isn't afraid of making mistakes and trying new things.

That doesn't apply to me, though. I got 4.0's in my past 2 phys classes and I did everything the same way I do in all my classes (which I don't usually get 4.0's): sit down, space out for half the class, take a glimps of what the prof is talking about, space out for the rest of class, then leave. It just happens that I have a nack for understanding how things work, and that's exactly what physics is. :)

PL
 
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  • #9
Physics_wiz said:
How big of a difference does it make with respect to graduate schools.

I got into Princeton with something on the order of 3.7, if I remember correctly. They didn't really care much about that, they just wanted to see if I was responsible enough to get a decent GPA (I'd heard above 3.4 is satisfactory). What really got me in was the combination of undergraduate research work and recommendations. It also depends heavily on the GREs. In my case, the Physics GRE was the most important thing.
 
  • #10
I got into The University of Michigan School of Lit, Science, and the Arts (most compet) with a 3.72, while people I know with 3.9 were rejected. As long as your GPA is respectable, it doesn't make or break anything. Like Monigue and SpaceTiger said, it depends more on the other things youve done, test scores, and what you can personally bring to the school.
 
  • #11
I knew someone with a GPA of 4.0 who was rejected for U of M gradschool, I just remembered, and that person was an alround genius.. clearly there are other things they look at.
 
  • #12
If you graduate from college with honors, are you unique?
 
  • #13
You mean cum laude? Depends on your college and the people that attend it. I think there are enough people graduating cum laude, but not too many in one class.
 
  • #14
How did you know I graduated cum laude? :smile:
 
  • #15
4.0 - 3.9 = .1

I'm surprised you didn't know this with your fine record.
 
  • #16
or more precisely

a 4.0 - a 3.9 = a 0.1 :biggrin:

Actually I never worried about grades - just learning the material was important.

I went to graduate school, even started a PhD program, and finally got some interesting jobs which have paid well, and more importantly are a lot of fun. :biggrin:
 
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  • #17
Monique said:
I knew someone with a GPA of 4.0 who was rejected for U of M gradschool, I just remembered, and that person was an alround genius.. clearly there are other things they look at.

I still hear stories about the last student who came into our program with a 4.0 GPA. They are not good stories. The person could ace tests on material learned from books, but was an absolute disaster in the lab. Having graduated from college with a B average myself, I know quite well that B students can do well in graduate school. :biggrin:

While you need to have a certain level of competency to do well in grad school, a far more important trait for success (not necessarily admittance, but to stick with it and do well after you're in) is to be able to roll with the punches. If you haven't realized it before then, you're going to find out very quickly that you DON'T know everything, far from it. It's a humbling experience those first few years of grad school when you realize how little you really do know about the field you are studying. You're going to get harsh reviews on submitted mansucripts, you're going to present at conferences and someone is going to challenge you and tell you you're wrong in front of an audience (you might not even be wrong)...you need to be able to let that run off you and keep forging ahead.

Ooh, this just gave me a new idea for a journal entry. :biggrin:
 
  • #18
I had a 1.2 average in the first two years of college and was kicked out of school. Later I easily acquired a 4.0 avergae at least in math, including one grad course as an undergrad, primarily by studying a little and taking courses from people who taught unchallenging and predictable courses. Later I greatly regretted skipping courses from people who imparted more knowledge, but it was not too late to learn something once I got the taste for it.

As I have said here before, at some point it is what you know and can do that matters more than your BS gpa. But you may still be disappointed to learn that your colleagues who nurse their vitae make a bigger impact on some people who count those things. But so what? people get what they focus on. If you want praise from idiots, you can get that. But some other people may be laughing at you. Just try to enjoy what you do, and try your best to make the contribution you alone can make.
 
  • #19
Thanks so much for the replies. Made me feel a lot better.
 
  • #20
OHhh MMYY GODDDD! YOU GOT A B! YOUR LIFE IS OVER NOW!




(Insert Sarcasm here)
 

Related to Difference between a 4.0 and a 3.9

What is the difference between a 4.0 and a 3.9 GPA?

A 4.0 and a 3.9 GPA both represent high academic achievement, but there is a slight difference between the two. A 4.0 GPA is considered a perfect score and is the highest possible grade point average, while a 3.9 GPA is just slightly below a perfect score.

How much of a difference does a 0.1 difference in GPA make?

While a 0.1 difference in GPA may not seem significant, it can actually have a big impact on your overall academic standing. For example, a 3.9 GPA is considered an A average, while a 4.0 GPA is considered an A+ average. This small difference can make a difference when applying to competitive programs or scholarships.

Can a 3.9 GPA still be considered excellent?

Yes, a 3.9 GPA is still considered an excellent academic achievement. It is only slightly below a perfect score and is still considered an A average. This GPA demonstrates strong academic performance and dedication to your studies.

Is it better to have a 4.0 GPA or a 3.9 GPA?

Both a 4.0 and a 3.9 GPA are impressive and demonstrate high levels of academic achievement. Ultimately, the difference between the two may not have a significant impact on your future academic or career goals. It is more important to focus on consistently maintaining strong grades and challenging yourself academically.

How can I raise my GPA from a 3.9 to a 4.0?

Raising your GPA from a 3.9 to a 4.0 can be challenging, but not impossible. It may require taking on more challenging courses, seeking extra help from teachers, and staying dedicated to your studies. It is important to remember that a 3.9 GPA is still an impressive achievement and should be celebrated.

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