Explaining A-: Is It Necessary for Grad Apps?

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  • Thread starter gsmith
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In summary, the conversation revolves around the speaker's concern about receiving an A- in one of their undergraduate courses and how it will affect their chances of getting into top programs for their desired field. They receive reassurance that it is not a major issue, but are warned against trying to explain it away as it may come across as perfectionism. The conversation ends with a sarcastic remark and a suggestion to let go of the idea.
  • #1
gsmith
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1
This may be a potentially stupid question.
I have gone my entire undergraduate career without getting anything but As until today when I got an A- in Thermal/Statistical Physics. Of course, I understand that this is much better than most ever do, but since I still plan on applying to top programs (condensed matter experiment) next semester I am wondring if this A- is something I will be expected to explain in some way on my applications.
 
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  • #2
No, not at all.
 
  • #3
No matter what you say in your "explaining away of your A-", the admissions committee will read it as "I'm a perfectionist". And, from what I know (which isn't much), this isn't a good thing.
 
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  • #4
I urge you to shelve the idea for ever
 
  • #5
Wow, A-? I don't think even McDonalds will hire you now!
 
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  • #6
You can always say that you had problems with drug abuse at the time.
 
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1. What is an A- and why is it important for graduate school applications?

An A- is a grade typically given for a performance or work that is above average, but not quite perfect. It is important for graduate school applications because it reflects your academic abilities and potential success in a graduate program.

2. How does an A- affect my chances of getting into graduate school?

An A- can have a positive impact on your chances of getting into graduate school, as it demonstrates strong academic skills and a high level of achievement. However, it is just one aspect of your application and other factors such as letters of recommendation, personal statements, and relevant experience will also be considered.

3. Is it necessary to explain an A- on my graduate school application?

It is not always necessary to explain an A- on your graduate school application. If your overall academic record is strong and there are no extenuating circumstances, an A- may not need to be explained. However, if you feel that there are valid reasons for your grade or if it is significantly lower than your usual performance, it may be beneficial to provide an explanation.

4. How should I explain an A- on my graduate school application?

If you decide to explain an A- on your graduate school application, it is important to be honest and concise. You can briefly explain any extenuating circumstances that may have affected your grade, such as illness or a family emergency. It is also helpful to highlight any steps you took to improve your performance or any additional challenges you overcame.

5. Will explaining an A- improve my chances of getting into graduate school?

Explaining an A- may or may not improve your chances of getting into graduate school, as it ultimately depends on the admissions committee's evaluation of your application as a whole. However, providing a thoughtful and honest explanation can demonstrate your dedication, perseverance, and self-awareness, which are valuable qualities in a graduate school candidate.

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