difference between "good" schools and others Hello, I always assumed that for undergraduate studies, schools typically use the same books. For example, it seems from these forums an awful lot of schools use Griffiths for E&M. Because of this I figured the knowledge one has when graduating is probably comparable between schools (i.e. a good student at some state school should generally be comparable to a good student from a "good" school like caltech). Can anyone confirm or deny this? I'm most of the way though my studies (a year left or maybe a bit more) with a 3.9 gpa, but I am slightly worried that maybe I wouldn't be prepared to survive in graduate school if I go to a "good school". I do a lot of extra work that I don't really need to do to get 'A', but it sure seems like more is expected from students while I'm watching the opencourseware lectures from MIT, not that they're necessarily over my head. Also, a separate question, I've looked at a site where students post where they've applied and where they've gotten accepted, and include their GPAs, test scores and other information relevant to their applications. It seems like getting into the top schools is virtually impossible? Lots of these guys have like a 3.99 gpa with high test scores and 3 or 4 years of undergraduate research experience and have published and they still get turned down by most of the top schools... It doesn't seem like a 3.9 and high test scores alone could get me in, especially because I go to a branch of a state university (or do they distinguish between which branch you came from?) Although I do have 2 majors perhaps that would help, or maybe not.