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High GPA, average scores, or high scores, average GPA?

CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
edited March 2011 in College Admissions
which is more "Favorable" to colleges?
i just want to say that i am anti-standardized tests.
anyway, how would schools "normally" look at these?
ex-- my UW is 3.97 but 1940 SAT? and say if i score mid 600s on subject tests? (first time taking them though.)

what if i had a 2200 but 3.6 UW?

i know tests are only an instantaneous look at your capabilities and don't necessarily accurately represent your academic abilities.
Post edited by CPUscientist3000 on

Replies to: High GPA, average scores, or high scores, average GPA?

  • thecolororangethecolororange Registered User Posts: 293 Junior Member
    High GPA, Average test scores all day
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    could you explain?^
  • kobudnikkobudnik Registered User Posts: 836 Member
    Just follow me,

    I have a 3.6 UW and a 2240 lol.

    So far I'm 3/4

    UT Plan II
    Tulane Honors

    Deferred from Duke

    I'll be finding out the competitive places (i.e Penn and Stanford) in less than a month. Stay tuned! Lol.
  • popeyoung5popeyoung5 Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    good luck at stanford. I know a guy with a 4.92 w, 15 ap courses and the # 21 ranked 17 y.o. junior tennis player in the nation and stanford said, yawn, no thanks.
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    i plan on applying to RPI, NEU, MIT, Yale, Wellelsey, Rutgers, BU, UMass-Am, and Smith.
  • thsfan345thsfan345 Registered User Posts: 495 Member
    I think high test scores but low GPA, if the low GPA can be explained by course rigor. Of course, I'm not an admissions counselor blah blah blah.

    Anyway, I have a 3.7 UW and a 2310 and plan on applying to Georgetown and UNC-Chapel Hill EA, so check back later.
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    what if you have a high GPA WITH a rigorous course load (like me)?

    as long as you help revive the c/o 2012 thread when the time comes i will!
  • PancakedPancaked Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    High GPA is more important.

    Standardized test scores are a really terrible way of judging what you know, and colleges are aware of that, but it's pretty much the only way to compare that sort of thing. At the end of the day, the scores aren't very meaningful (except in subject tests really). As I'm sure you are aware, they certainly aren't a measure of intelligence.

    Now, your GPA is a DIRECT and ACCURATE depiction of how you can perform as a student, and thus, a great predictor of how successful you will be in college (you must factor in rank here as well, as that puts your GPA in perspective, because some schools inflate or deflate GPA).

    Yes, colleges want smart students, but what's more important to them are good students. You can have perfect scores on every test, but if your GPA shows that you don't really care about your classes and grades, why would a university want you attending? They don't, it's that simple.

    Summary, you're in a better place a high GPA than with a high test score.
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    pancaked-- and that is why i think they should be illegal! GPA is a consistent 4 year span of your capabilities and does sort the lazy from the hard working students.

    my rank is 6/269 btw (top 2.2%)

    why are subject tests necessary if i'm loaded will APs and still get As?

    i can't wait to be OVER with this process.

    do you think it's a good idea to take AP tests senior year? do you think schools would be upset? next year i plan to take physics, english, calc, and psych AP. physics and english will be dual enrollment (through UConn). i'll already be accepted and my grades should (will:)) remain steady and good, so would this be important?
  • PancakedPancaked Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    Taking AP tests senior year is entirely for gaining college credits. It will not influence your application in any way. Might as well take them, unless you think you will fail and it's a waste of time, but this probably isn't the case for you.

    Subject tests are necessary because they are standardized tests, whereas AP tests are specific to the AP curriculum and course outline. Plus, a score on an 800 scale gives the schools a better indication of your knowledge than a 5 point scale does.

    AP exam scores aren't even officially sent/reported to colleges until after you are admitted, and would require an extra fee, whereas subject tests can be sent with your SAT report.

    Anyways the tests aren't all that different but basically, you can succeed on a subject test just by understanding the subject. To succeed on an AP exam (in most cases), you really need to understand the specific course materials and the mechanics of the exam- takes more than an understanding of the subject. AP exams often want you to apply and analyze, while subject test tend to stick to pure knowledge and understanding.
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    I dont want to skip foundation classes using AP credit, I'll benefit better by taking the course. I hope I do well on AP tests. Hoping for 3s, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die-ing for 4s.

    Using one of my APs to cover an elective or out of major requirement would be helpful, so I'll see. I probably will take them next year, though.

    Thanks for the information!
  • notanengineernotanengineer Registered User Posts: 1,125 Senior Member
    Ideally you want a match:
    - high GPA, average scores - can look like your school inflates grades.
    - average GPA, high scores - can look like you're smart but lazy.

    It depends on your high school, really. If you go to a more rigorous private school, then a lower GPA with high scores can be explained easily by a tougher curriculum. But neither of these look too good coming from a public school. I'd say having the high GPA looks better generally, though.
  • superghumansuperghuman Registered User Posts: 270 Junior Member
    High test scores, low GPA.

    Someone could have a high GPA at an uncompetitive public school with a low rigor and it would get them no where. Having a lower GPA (albeit not too low) and high test scores with a hard academic rigor shows that you are pushing yourself but are still smart (evidence: test scores)
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    That's where schools refactor your W GPA on their own scale so that doesn't happen ^^

    A lot of people at my school have a 3.97/4.0 GPA like me, but their W is 2.8-3.3 versus mine which is close to 4.3(the highest). It's easy to master a standardized test anyway. The math material goes up to my freshman year, and I'm in advanced math classes. Doesn't demonstrate my ability very well. I guess that's where subject tests come in
  • hannahbanana94hannahbanana94 Registered User Posts: 410 Member
    I think high scores are better for really elite schools, because many times private schools have grade inflation. Just wondering, would a 94.7 UW be considered a very low GPA, with a rigorous courseload? Everyone talks out of 4.0 scale
This discussion has been closed.