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Grades => career?

  1. Sep 28, 2008 #1
    I realize grades are important for getting into graduate school, but how much do they really indicate one's potential to be a professional scientist?

    If I were a "B" student, should I rethink my career path? I'm just feeling discouraged. I have no idea if I'll be able to succeed as a scientist or not. I mean, I think B's indicate enough intelligence to at least pursue graduate work, but I wonder if they mean I don't have the insight to ever do anything significant in my field. Especially since I'm in a very competitive field. :frown:

    Any thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2008 #2


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    In Chemistry your grades are important for getting into graduate school and then to a doctorate program ... however even with an MS most industries are not going to take into account your grades just the skills , awards , and publications.

    Research publications atone for everything ... do well in research and your " B " is nonexistent. Obtain the skill sets that industry wants and you are going to be prepared for both sectors.
  4. Oct 1, 2008 #3
    B is fine in most cases.
  5. Oct 1, 2008 #4
    I got my results last night, i scored 65%, my worst ever score(topper is at 76 i guess). I was going to post a thread anyways, but now I suppose I should write in this one, as it pertains to me too.

    It isn't that I am stupid, I had 3 industrial & production engineering subjects out of 5 subjects in my last semester(Mech Engg), i totally sucked in those 3 & scored in 50s out of 100 in all three, I dont even remember if I attended a single class. I scored 80s in all my practicals, but still my total result says 65.22%. That topper dude in my class was rejected by 4 companies in a row before getting a job. I was selected in all three companies I appeared for.

    I hope it does so, I just completed a paper in refrigeration & started a new one. Is a research paper regarded anywhere close to a publication??

    But still, I am feeling too much discouraged. that scorecard is still going to appear in my resume. What if I am asked to explain why i got sooo low?? wont it be tooo much negative if i say, I didn't like those subjects??
  6. Oct 1, 2008 #5


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    I'm not quite certain how it goes in engineering , just emphasize your research experience and the papers ... also research the company to know what type of skillsets to emphasize. Be enthusiastic about the topics and be confident about how much your skillsets are going to further the company. It may be necessary to acknowledge the grade however your enthusiasm may account for their concerns , be certain that the mentioning of this aspect is quick and don't mention it yourself. Switch topics after a brief explanation.
  7. Dec 31, 2008 #6
    Einstein failed all his O'Levels. lol
  8. Dec 31, 2008 #7

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    Ignoring the obvious that Einstein was not British and that O-Levels were not instituted until a few years before his death, this is still not the case. Einstein tried to be admitted into ETH Zurich early, and was denied admission. He later tried for admission at the normal time and was accepted.
  9. Jan 1, 2009 #8
    Is your 'B' grade not equal to a 2:1 degree at a Brit Uni? A 2:1 (60 to 69 %) is a good result surely?
  10. Jan 1, 2009 #9
    I sympathise :( I'm in my first year, and though I'm doing well, it's through sheer hard work rather than anything else. I'm fine at applying what I already know, but I'm worried I'll lack the insight or lateral thinking for original research. I love physics and math and am having a brilliant time learning, but I'm thinking I'll probably end up as a technician or a teacher rather than a researcher. :(
  11. Jan 2, 2009 #10
    I want togo to your uni, 2:1 is 70-84% at mine, and first is 85+ :( lol
  12. Jan 2, 2009 #11
    It will vary depending on your country and institution but as a guide, in the UK a final assesmnet grade of between 60% and 70% will earn an upper second class or "2:1" degree.

    100-70% - 1:1 - First class degree
    70-60% - 2:1 - Upper second class
    60-50% - 2:2 - Lower second class
    50-40% - 3rd - Third class degree
    40-0% - F - Failed
  13. Jan 3, 2009 #12
    no you wont, you are at the stage of learning. As you learn more, topics will come that will interest you & you ll feel like researching more about it. You ll gain deep insights about your interest topic & will be able to reason the occurrence of everything the way it is.

    This has been happening to me since the latter half of second year.

    Keep learning, its the best way ahead.
  14. Jan 3, 2009 #13
    Thanks. I suppose I shouldn't worry so early on - I'm only 2 1/2 months into my degree after all! If I keep working hard it'll eventually click and I'll start thinking more like a scientist and less like a differential equation solving robot :)
  15. Jan 4, 2009 #14
    Yeah most are, the only ones in the UK I know that are different are Oxford, Cambridge, Open and possibly UCL although I'm not sure, which are all 80-85% for a first. Kinda sucks as if you mess up half a question and bang goes you first on that paper / assignment lol.
  16. Jan 5, 2009 #15
    Oxford is not different as far as I know, those numbers look pretty familiar although I think they change slightly each year.
  17. Jan 5, 2009 #16
    Well that makes me feel even worse :P lol
  18. Jan 5, 2009 #17
    Generally grades are scaled anyway in the UK, the median grade is always around 50, probably 55 for prestigious universities and 45 for less competitive ones.
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