• 2 years ago •
Admissions Advice

Pass/Fail GPA advice

So super quick and dirty my overall average gpa is 3.84 my weighted is 3.89 and with COVID 19 a thing I can choose to pass/fail individual classes. (Rising Junior)

I got 6 As 1 Bs but one of my As is AP

weighted I would have a 4.0 out of 4.0 unweighted is 3.86

Should I pass/fail my B class to further boost or is it not worth it? And is there any stigma choosing P/F if I want to go to big schools like UW-Madison, Iowa etc?

@arielUC252 years ago

wondering the same thing

@arielUC252 years ago

Hi, I feel this is an appropriate place to post this:

"Thank you for your inquiry. If your school implements a “pass/fail” system then we will not have grades from any applicants from that school, so you will not be at a disadvantage. Please let me know if you need anything else."

@arielUC252 years ago

that from UC system here in CA

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1 answer

• 2 years ago

Looking at it from the difference in GPA, my suspicion is that it's probably too small to matter—what I would do to demonstrate this (because I can't actually confirm it for myself) is go into the chancing system here and see if the difference in GPA actually makes a difference in your chances.

To explain that, schools typically look at GPA as a range, so a 3.86 and a 3.89 and a 3.92 etc. etc. are all going to be regarded as virtually the same. Schools like UW have an overall GPA threshold in the low 3s (like a 3.2~3.3), while Iowa's will be even lower (probably closer to a 3.0). You're basically so far above those that a slightly higher number won't make much of a difference for you, because there's a diminishing returns factor with stats that are very very far above the baseline for a given school.

Meanwhile, P/F is always going to raise the question of why you chose to go P/F, so I think the benefit of this (a GPA boost so slight it almost definitely will not matter) is outweighed by the risk (an implicit question of why you chose to go P/F for that course). That said, I think P/F marks are going to be more accepted right now do to COVID, so that question itself probably won't be super significant.

Basically—no matter what you do here, I don't think it will move the needle a ton in any direction. You're in good shape as it is.


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