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Thread: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

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    Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

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    I'm applying to 2017 Fall Phd right now, but I am worried about my average grade in Grad Micro Theory.

    Reasons why I only got a B: Didn't work hard enough, Challenging materials, Phd students work so hard compare to undergrads(For prelim and financial reason)

    What should I do now? This B mocks at me every time I am sending my transcript to top econ programs.

    Also I am thinking should I take Grad Micro Theory 2 next semester? I'm really worried that I might get a B again. If that's the case, then I am so out of luck.

    Any suggestions on the severity of this B and Micro Theory 2?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    It certainly discounts your profile, there's no question about that. Undergraduate grades in economics don't signal too much.

    My main concern would not be about where you end up but if you can actually handle the material.

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubrus View Post

    My main concern would not be about where you end up but if you can actually handle the material.
    I was always a little bit curious about this notion, although I have no idea what the answer may be. Why does getting a B in Grad Micro necessarily raise red flags about whether one could handle the material? In many schools (including mine), the average grade in Grad Micro is a B. So if an undergrad was able to pull off an average grade among PhD students with limited resources, couldn't this potentially signal that with sufficient resources the same student would get some grade higher than the average B, if he/she were to attend a program of a similar tier?

    i.e. if you got an average grade (B) in Grad Micro in a top 20 school as an undergrad with a disadvantage, wouldn't this possibly show that you can get a grade above average in a similar top 20 school as a PhD student with all resources available (such as study groups)?

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    Quote Originally Posted by mathenomics View Post
    I was always a little bit curious about this notion, although I have no idea what the answer may be. Why does getting a B in Grad Micro necessarily raise red flags about whether one could handle the material? In many schools (including mine), the average grade in Grad Micro is a B. So if an undergrad was able to pull off an average grade among PhD students with limited resources, couldn't this potentially signal that with sufficient resources the same student would get some grade higher than the average B, if he/she were to attend a program of a similar tier?

    i.e. if you got an average grade (B) in Grad Micro in a top 20 school as an undergrad with a disadvantage, wouldn't this possibly show that you can get a grade above average in a similar top 20 school as a PhD student with all resources available (such as study groups)?
    They know some students they admit will turn out to be average but they don't want to admit a student they expect to be average. The average student, even at a top 20 program, doesn't get a good academic job and likely will never publish in decent journals.

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    In most schools a B is the minimum passing grade in a PhD course. It signals passing, but it also signals a not-good performance.

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    Quote Originally Posted by tm_member View Post
    They know some students they admit will turn out to be average but they don't want to admit a student they expect to be average. The average student, even at a top 20 program, doesn't get a good academic job and likely will never publish in decent journals.
    Ah, I see. So would I be right in thinking that the concern isn’t necessarily about whether one could “handle” the material, but rather it being a signal about whether he/she has good research ability beyond just “handling” the material?

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    One of my professors recommend to get at least a A- n Micro Theory 1. Phd students indeed work harder for the class because they need high gpa and financial aid. Also they only have 3 classes per semester(Micro, Macro, Stat), where as I got 5 classes this semester, 3 of them are math.
    Quote Originally Posted by mathenomics View Post
    I was always a little bit curious about this notion, although I have no idea what the answer may be. Why does getting a B in Grad Micro necessarily raise red flags about whether one could handle the material? In many schools (including mine), the average grade in Grad Micro is a B. So if an undergrad was able to pull off an average grade among PhD students with limited resources, couldn't this potentially signal that with sufficient resources the same student would get some grade higher than the average B, if he/she were to attend a program of a similar tier?

    i.e. if you got an average grade (B) in Grad Micro in a top 20 school as an undergrad with a disadvantage, wouldn't this possibly show that you can get a grade above average in a similar top 20 school as a PhD student with all resources available (such as study groups)?

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    In my school B is an average grade(I asked the professor and my classmates), which I assume some people get better grades(B+,A-, A) and some people get lower grades( B-,C+). I think at least half of the class got B in the class.
    Quote Originally Posted by startz View Post
    In most schools a B is the minimum passing grade in a PhD course. It signals passing, but it also signals a not-good performance.

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    I think I can definitely handle the materials if I have enough time and resources. There is no question about that. The main concerns would be resources(like a Phd study group) and time difference(I have 5 classes, 3 of them are math. And at the same time working on the undergrad honor thesis.) The main reason I got lower grade is the time spent on materials. I know people who got A read books, lecture notes, and pdfs multiple times. What's more, in order to do well in Micro, I will have to read some papers in Micro. This is what my other classmates did. They actually studied 10+ micro papers. In the test we got questions from the papers which I only skimmed through.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zubrus View Post
    It certainly discounts your profile, there's no question about that. Undergraduate grades in economics don't signal too much.

    My main concern would not be about where you end up but if you can actually handle the material.

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayd View Post
    In my school B is an average grade(I asked the professor and my classmates), which I assume some people get better grades(B+,A-, A) and some people get lower grades( B-,C+). I think at least half of the class got B in the class.
    That may be, but as you've said one of your professors recommended getting at least an A-. If your applications are already in, there isn't any point in fretting about this. If they are not, you may want one of your letter writers to state that a B is an average grade. You should probably not take another grad micro course until you are in a position to excel at it.

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