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Thread: HELP math grades

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    HELP math grades

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    I've done bad in some of the intro courses, but got A's in the advanced courses:

    Calculus I - III (As), intro to proof (C), basic matrix algebra (C), advanced matrix algebra (A), discrete math (B), linear algebra (A), Real Analysis I (A), Real Analysis II (A), algebraic structures (A), differential equations (A), Stochastic Methods (A), operations research (A).

    Will this hurt my chances (the C's and a B)? I'm from a top 20 private research university in the states. Also, feel free to give me any advice. I'd like to go on a top econ phd in the future :/
    Last edited by underg2121; 12-18-2017 at 02:02 AM.

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    Re: HELP math grades

    Hi underg2121!

    Are your better math grades in the more advanced classes later in your schooling than the previous ones? (I am assuming you took "intro to proof" before you took "real anaylsis"?) If so, I have heard that some C's and B's won't really hurt you. If you can prove that you buckled down and did well in advanced classes later, earlier bad grades might be viewed as more of a fluke than as something taken into serious consideration for your application.

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    Re: HELP math grades

    Quote Originally Posted by lindseybuck95 View Post
    Hi underg2121!

    Are your better math grades in the more advanced classes later in your schooling than the previous ones? (I am assuming you took "intro to proof" before you took "real anaylsis"?) If so, I have heard that some C's and B's won't really hurt you. If you can prove that you buckled down and did well in advanced classes later, earlier bad grades might be viewed as more of a fluke than as something taken into serious consideration for your application.
    Hi thanks for your reply! Does this apply to even top 20 schools?

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    Re: HELP math grades

    It will, no doubt, disadvantage you to have the Cs and Bs in your transcript, but look at it this way: It's the lesser evil that you got those in the earlier courses and can cover up the fluke with As in higher level courses, compared to someone who got As in all the lower level ones and did badly in the advanced variants, thereby suggesting to adcoms that he might be unable to handle the math at the higher level.

    So, long story cut short: Yes, it will hurt you but not as much. If it's one grade, then it won't affect you since adcoms might chalk it up to a one-time blunder but you have 2 Cs and 1 B so it isn't a one-time blunder.

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    Re: HELP math grades

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    It will, no doubt, disadvantage you to have the Cs and Bs in your transcript, but look at it this way: It's the lesser evil that you got those in the earlier courses and can cover up the fluke with As in higher level courses, compared to someone who got As in all the lower level ones and did badly in the advanced variants, thereby suggesting to adcoms that he might be unable to handle the math at the higher level.

    So, long story cut short: Yes, it will hurt you but not as much. If it's one grade, then it won't affect you since adcoms might chalk it up to a one-time blunder but you have 2 Cs and 1 B so it isn't a one-time blunder.
    Thanks for your input! Do you think they will hamper me from Top 20?

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    Re: HELP math grades

    Quote Originally Posted by underg2121 View Post
    Thanks for your input! Do you think they will hamper me from Top 20?
    They definitely will affect your chances. That being said, if all other aspects of your application package are solid, you should still try for Top 20 programmes, with a couple applications to lower ranked programmes. You should head on over to the Profiles and Results thread from previous years, so as to get a feel of your relative competitiveness, amongst past applicants. That will be the best benchmark.

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    Re: HELP math grades

    Quote Originally Posted by underg2121 View Post
    Thanks for your input! Do you think they will hamper me from Top 20?
    Your math grades are acceptable for almost any program. You'll have a slight disadvantage relative to other U.S. based applicants for the top 15 programs, but this is almost trivial.

    To quantify what that means, assume admissions is scored on a point system, and math coursework represents 20 points out of 100. In that scenario, I'd give you something like a 17 out of 20 for math. People without C/B's in intro courses might get 18/20. People with graduate math courses might get 19/20 and 20/20. In any case, this is a smaller part of the applications than most applicants realize.

    You should concern yourself with other parts of your application, especially your research experience and letters.

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    Re: HELP math grades

    Quote Originally Posted by chateauheart View Post
    Your math grades are acceptable for almost any program. You'll have a slight disadvantage relative to other U.S. based applicants for the top 15 programs, but this is almost trivial.

    To quantify what that means, assume admissions is scored on a point system, and math coursework represents 20 points out of 100. In that scenario, I'd give you something like a 17 out of 20 for math. People without C/B's in intro courses might get 18/20. People with graduate math courses might get 19/20 and 20/20. In any case, this is a smaller part of the applications than most applicants realize.

    You should concern yourself with other parts of your application, especially your research experience and letters.
    Thanks for your reply! I'm actually planning on taking some math grad courses in the future before graduating, do you think I could even have a chance for higher-ranked programs (top10) assuming I have great grades in those grad courses along with great letters and RA experiences?

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