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What will look better for grad school transcript.

  1. Dec 14, 2013 #1
    I can either take junior level E@M and get an A in it hopefully. Or I can place out of the class by self studying. If I do the latter then I'll take a final exam and if I pass the final with a 90+ I get the credit but no grade. What will look better for grad school. If I place out I'll take thermo stat next semester instead.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2013 #2
    One class probably will not make much of a difference in the whole of your transcript. I would do what you think will be more fun, and beneficial.
  4. Dec 15, 2013 #3


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    If you're testing out of junior E&M and taking a senior E&M that's fine. If you're looking at completing a physics degree without having done a specific E&M course - that would be a flag for me.
  5. Dec 15, 2013 #4
    Well I took freshmen E@M junior E@M is Griffith's. What flag will that raise. If I can self study and test out of E@M then I can graduate a semester earlier.
  6. Dec 15, 2013 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    And why do you want to graduate a semester earlier? You will - although there are a (very) few exceptions - have to wait until Fall to start graduate school.
  7. Dec 15, 2013 #6
    Save money.
  8. Dec 15, 2013 #7
    Does your "junior E&M" consist of 2 semesters of Griffith's? Would you be testing out of the 1 semester?
  9. Dec 15, 2013 #8


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    Yeah, that would be a flag for me - not necessarily an endgame, but a flag. An upper year (full year) E&M is one of those standard physics courses. If I were evaluating you against another student in a competitive ranking situation, the E&M mark can hold a lot of weight because it's a common course. It can also hold a lot of direct relevance to the sub-field you're interested in.

    "Testing out" in general also raises a flag for me though. Just because you can pass a test doesn't mean you really understand the material. (Arguably, neither does getting a high mark in a course... but a mark based on multiple evaluations including mid-terms, quizzes, assignments, a final, etc. does seem to hold a little more weight).

    You also need to have a lot of trust in your own abilities to master the material. It's a big assumption to believe you can actually learn the material thoroughly by self-study. Some people have that ability. Most seem to need the entire course. The reason I bring this up is because it's quite common for graduate students to take Jackson's E&M. Jumping into that with only a first year physics course under your belt is not advisable.
  10. Dec 16, 2013 #9
    Its a single semester the one at my school. How about testing out of E@M 1
    Take E@M 2 instead would that be better?
  11. Dec 16, 2013 #10
    Testing isnt equivalent in real life. Getting a GED has different connotations than a HS diploma.

    Take the class or do what you want but grad schools dont start until the fall.

    Testing out is a waste of time. If you want to spend time on a test that matters take that time and prepare for the PGRE and GRE to get a better score on both
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