Need to mention the drop in GPA in senior year?

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ycao17
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:50 pm

Need to mention the drop in GPA in senior year?

Post by ycao17 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:06 am

Hello guys. I just have a question. I applied to grad schools back in 2017 but it didn't work out. I originally thought I would at least get in somewhere so I took all the difficult courses and theses and researches in the last semester. But it turned out I didn't get into anywhere and got super frustrated, and my grades plummeted that semester. I'm doing a master course right now and applying for phd again. Do I in any way need to mention my big drop of gpa in senior year? Thanks

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Nishikata
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: Need to mention the drop in GPA in senior year?

Post by Nishikata » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:46 pm

What are you going to mention?

“My GPA dropped because the courses are too difficult”
“My GPA dropped because I was frustrated that my applications were rejected”

These you should never mention. It screams that you are academically and mentally not ready for grad school, where things are likely very hard and not going your way.

Focus on the positive. Talk about your masters’ grades more and what you have improved in these two years. Publications, maturity, project management, etc.

I doubt that they will care about the history of your undergraduate GPA.

They’ll just use whatever final GPA stated in your transcript. They won’t take excuses on how high your GPA was in the penultimate undergraduate year.

ycao17
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:50 pm

Re: Need to mention the drop in GPA in senior year?

Post by ycao17 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:22 am

What about mentioning just a sentence in my SOP: "Not hampered by the frustration of unsuccessful PhD applications in my senior year, I was determined to push onward with my scientific aims and passion for research. " Or just saying in general, "Although I faced a few challenges in my senior year, ..." Would that be okay?
Thanks

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Nishikata
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Re: Need to mention the drop in GPA in senior year?

Post by Nishikata » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:02 pm

I will remove the word “frustration” from that sentence. However, that sentence is meaningless to your SOP. It does not harm, but it does not do you good either. It’s only taking up space, in my opinion.

There is no need to mention that you have applied in the past, you know.
SOP is not a biography. There is no need to pour everything you felt in this application journey into this document. I know it is tempting to do so, but some stories are better suited for friends and counsellors rather than admission committee members.

I wrote such narrative SOP/personal statement in one of my past (failed) applications.
It looked great to me back then. Now I felt what I did was laughable if not ridiculous, as I realised how that showed my lack of composure in writing important documents.

Focus on what the readers want to read, keep it brief and let your grades/LORs/GRE do the heavy lifting.



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