Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
gnrfangnrfan Registered User Posts: 357 Member
Is a 4.3 GPA possible, and if so how many people achieve it? Are they crazy geniuses? This is just a question of curiosity as I know I've got no chance in hell of getting a 4.3, so don't flame me.
Post edited by fallenchemist on

Replies to: 4.3 GPA?

  • cghencghen Registered User Posts: 613 Member
    Something like 9 percent of students get above a 4.0 at graduation. I have no idea how many would get 4.25+ (which would round to 4.3), but it can't be more than one or two people every few years and is probably pretty heavily major dependent (some majors tend to give less A+s than others).
  • hpfanatic33hpfanatic33 Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    i have a 4.3 GPA. i'm not a crazy genius, of course, because my unweighted GPA is a 3.6. I just took tons of honors and AP classes.
  • binglebingle Registered User Posts: 427 Member
    My daughter has a 4.47 (4.0 unweighted). She's took 2 honors classes as a frosh; 3 honors and an AP sophomore year and is taking 3 honors and 2 AP her junior year. Next year her plan is to take 2 AP and no honors.

    I think the no of students who can get >4.0 depends on how many AP and honors options a school has. My daughter has taken many, but not all that she could. She hated Chem H, so wasn't about to take Chem AP. Doesn't love history, so no Mod. Eur Hist AP. OTOH, despite not loving history, she's enjoying her US Hist AP class. Since it's req'd for all students she felt the class discussions would be better in an AP secn.

  • lalaloo6lalaloo6 Registered User Posts: 529 Member
    ^^ I think the OP was talking about a 4.3 GPA at Caltech (as in all A+s.) At high school having a GPA >4.0 is not really that big of a deal, seeing as many schools calculate GPAs differently...
  • AntiquarkAntiquark Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Getting A+s at Caltech is extremely hard, even when compared to the already difficult task of getting an A in most classes. Getting mostly consistent A+s is basically impossible, not that it means that the occasional legendary Techer doesn't do it. There is some degree of luck involved. Sometimes a "generous" curve (or just everyone else doing badly) makes it so what might seem like a not very high grade becomes an A+ (often if you do better than everyone else in the class.) Sometimes a professor accidentally makes a final easier than he meant to and a bunch of people get perfect scores on it. Most professors will at least give you an A+ if you get > 98%. This is not always easy even if you know the material well enough to get close to perfect on the exams since sometimes the sets are held up to a pretty high standard of rigor.

    Anyways, even med schools aren't expecting any A+s from Caltech, so it doesn't really matter.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,608 Senior Member
    I can't imagine being able to get A+ grades consistently here at Caltech. I know I've gone out of tests feeling that I did absolutely everything perfectly, and I did...except for that little minus sign...that cost me 5 points.
  • happyentropyhappyentropy Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    The frequency of A+'s definitely differs by major. In most of my math classes here at least 15% of the class got an A+, and there are a nontrivial number of math majors with 4.2+ GPAs in their major.
    In other majors-ChemE comes to mind- this appears to be not at all the case.
  • *Brahmin*Brahmin Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    how about mechE?? But isn't there a sort of curve, or a weightage to get all the GPA's on par, like if a chemE class or a mechE class is harder shouldn't the gpa in that class be weighted
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,608 Senior Member
    Nope. Welcome to college.
  • AntiquarkAntiquark Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    "Harder" classes (in the sense that they're officially given more units by Caltech) are weighted proportionally for your GPA. This just means that classes like EE 52 and ACM 95 that are 12 units instead of the regular 9 units hurt your GPA even more than they would otherwise. :p Even though the average GPA in math is probably higher than the average GPA in mechanical engineering, mechanical engineering is likely a much easier major for everyone who isn't a math major.
  • lizzardfirelizzardfire Registered User Posts: 1,577 Senior Member
    If EE52 hurts your GPA, you're doing it wrong :P
  • AntiquarkAntiquark Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Fine, I amend that one to Bi/Ch 110.
  • *Brahmin*Brahmin Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    Just curious, is double majoring impossible in Caltech? (because they don't have a good collection of minors)

    For advanced placement, since you don't get credits, can you take the placement exams there? or is it a must to do those first year math and science classes?
  • fizix2fizix2 Registered User Posts: 3,570 Senior Member
    ^^depends on the majors. some (like math/cs) are totally doable (because you can use math courses to fulfill cs requirements and vice versa). it's also pretty straightforward if your second major is in the humanities.

    but most double-majors are pretty impossible unless you want to take like 70 units a term
  • AntiquarkAntiquark Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    I agree that Ma/CS is probably the easiest technical double major pair, since neither major has a lot of requirements and there's significant overlap. I've known a few people who graduated with this successfully. Bio/Chem may be possible for some, since they both require Ch 41 and there are a lot of shared Bi/Ch courses.

    Some combos people graduated with in the last few years: ChemE + ACM (applied and computational mathematics), 2x(Ma + CS), 3x(Bio + Chem), EE + Physics, Bio + Ma, Bio + E&AS (engineering and applied science)

    A lot of people had a humanities or social science major in addition to their technical one, particularly economics or business. History, English, philosophy, HPS (history and philosophy of science), and social science were pretty popular too. Also, control and dynamical systems minors are very common, particularly amongst engineering majors.

    Double majoring in technical subjects is not recommended. If you really want to do it, please have a good reason for doing so. Double majoring because you think you can or to make people think you're smart are not good reasons*. Chances are, if you have extra interest in a field other than the one you are majoring in, it can be satisfied by a few extra courses. That way, you don't have to waste time taking less interesting courses so you can get a second major. For example, if you're interested in physical chemistry, majoring in chemistry and taking Ph 12, Ph 125 + additional interesting Ph/Ch electives is going to be much better than double majoring in physics and chemistry (assuming you could even accomplish this anyway.)

    *Seriously, prefrosh, you're not double majoring in chemical engineering and astrophysics or math and physics.
This discussion has been closed.