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What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?

 
#1 What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 03:44

BC

Just curious... I know Wikipedia says it's equal to 50-59%, but that doesn't tell me much.

Why do people assume that applicants with a 2.2 equates an automatic ding?

(I ask b/c I'm a U.S. applicant, so I am unfamiliar with the system. I have a 3.63/4.00 GPA which is equal to about an "A-", but still considered top 10ish%.)

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#2 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 08:34

anon to BC (#1)

UK exams are a lot harder than the american ones. You can't compare like with like. It's like saying a 1st from southampton is the same as a 1st from cambridge.

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#3 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 09:04

BC to anon (#2)

UK exams might be harder than US ones, but that doesn't mean it's inaccurate to compare systems to systems. If each system is based on percentiles, everyone in the US would equally benefit from the "easier" system, so you're comparing a top 10% within a fixed demographic pool. Likewise with the UK system. In this case, the top 10% in the UK pool may be "superior" to the top 10% in the US pool, but, when compared with peers, each is in the same standing.

Can someone explain to me how the UK system works and what a 2.2 means exactly?

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#4 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 09:14

anon to BC (#3)

Does top 10% mean top 10% of the country or top 10% of the people who go to prestigous universities?

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#5 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 11:23

notheranon to anon (#2)

Bad comparison there. A 1st from Southampton and a 1st from Cambridge are pretty equal

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#6 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 14:19

Deacs to notheranon (#5)

Interesting question, BC.

By your own argument, you are not interested in how hard one would have to work to earn a 2:2 and you rightly point out (more or less) that percentages awarded by awarding institutions don't really help.

The only statistic which would help then would be knowing what proportion of those who have entered Higher Education have received what class of degree.

I am sure wikipedia would have more information but my guestimate across the UK would be:

1st = 2 - 5% of graduates

2:1 = 30%

2:2 = 55 - 60%

3rd etc = 10%

Assuming my figures to be correct (unlikely), achieving a 2:2 would then mean that person was in the 2nd quartile of achievers, at best.

D

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#7 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 15:21

anon to Deacs (#6)

At my university anyway (top 10 by nearly everyones standards) the vast majority of people get a 2i.

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#8 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 15:35

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to anon (#7)

I'd have to agree with Anon - the figures for a 2.1 and a 2.2 need reversing. So a more probable distribution is:

1st = 2 - 5% of graduates

2:1 = 55-60%

2:2 = 30%

3rd and normal degree = <10%

Hence getting a 2.2 would mean you're likely to be in the bottom third of the class and it's for this reason that most firms insist on a 2.1 or above. Obviously a few strong candidates in any given year slip up and don't get a 2.1, but by and large having the 2.1 grade as an entry threshold sets a certain quality hurdle that the firms don't want to dip below.

Hope this helps clear up the UK system

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#9 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 22:08

BC to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#8)

Thanks, that definitely helps. I realize that it's even difficult to compare across institutions, never mind across systems. For example, Harvard has terrible grade inflation, and over 90% of the class will graduate with a 3.7 or higher. On the other hand, equally comparable schools (in terms of quality, maybe not in terms of reputation), such as MIT, Toronto, Cal Tech, Princeton, etc. use GPA as a more accurate indicator of performance; not every student will get an A in a class (I know Princeton and MIT are particularly good at this, so if a student has a 3.7 /3.8 coming from one of these two schools, he must be extremely spectacular). This is one of the reasons the US business schools value GMAT a bit more than GPA; they realize that the GMAT is a consistent, uniform indicator for all applicants, whereas GPA will vary by institution. Despite that I only have a 3.63 GPA, my University is not one to hand out all high marks, and I think my 99th% GMAT demonstrates this.

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#10 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
19/10/2007 22:09

BC to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#8)

Thanks, that definitely helps. I realize that it's even difficult to compare across institutions, never mind across systems. For example, Harvard has terrible grade inflation, and over 90% of the class will graduate with a 3.7 or higher. On the other hand, equally comparable schools (in terms of quality, maybe not in terms of reputation), such as MIT, Toronto, Cal Tech, Princeton, etc. use GPA as a more accurate indicator of performance; not every student will get an A in a class (I know Princeton and MIT are particularly good at this, so if a student has a 3.7 /3.8 coming from one of these two schools, he must be extremely spectacular). This is one of the reasons the US business schools value GMAT a bit more than GPA; they realize that the GMAT is a consistent, uniform indicator for all applicants, whereas GPA will vary by institution. Despite that I only have a 3.63 GPA, my University is not one to hand out all high marks, and I think my 99th% GMAT demonstrates this.

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#11 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
20/10/2007 09:20

Dunc to BC (#10)

That's part of the problem with today's society where "everyone's a winner"... every man and his dog with a degree from Kentucky Community College or the like comes over here comparing himself to an Oxbridge 2.1. It's an insult!

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#12 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
20/10/2007 17:38

Ben to Dunc (#11)

I think you're missing the point Dunc. If the above posted information is correct, and a 2.1 is equal to about the top 30% of the class, then a 2.1 from Oxbridge can't even compare to a 3.5 from Princeton (and a 3.5 is considered only a "moderate" GPA in US terms). Less than 25% of Princeton graduates with over a 3.5, and less than 40% graduates with over a 3.3. Nevertheless, given Princeton's reputation, a 3.3 from the school will get you an interview from M/B/B, given sufficient non-academia experience. On the other hand, a 3.3 from any lower ranked school will almost always mean instant rejection. Therefore, yes, it may be incorrect for someone with a 4.0 from Kentucky Community College to compare himself to a Oxbridge 2.1 (or to compare himself to anything for that matter), but it's also foolish for an Oxbridge 2.1 to compare himself to a Princeton 3.8 (and trust me, a 3.8 isn't even considered "high" at many schools. BYU has over 95% of its student body graduate with over a 3.9... Harvard, well... I already talked about them earlier).

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#13 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
20/10/2007 17:49

BC to Ben (#12)

To get a more accurate representation of the US grading system, and make it a bit more comparable to the UK grading system, I'd like to examine it in terms of percentiles (though I know that not all schools grade this way... very few in fact, such as HBS, actually do).

I would assume that if we take out the outliers [schools with crazy grade inflation, a la BYU, etc.] then the system would look something like this:

Top 5%: 3.90+

Top 10%: 3.80+

Top 25%: 3.55+

Top 50%: 3.00+

Anything under 3.0 is not worth mentioning.

Assuming that the percentiles that I outlined are accurate, a UK 2.2 would equal about a US 3.0 (which seems reasonable as a 3.0 is not high enough to get a "good" [banking/consulting] job anywhere).

A 3.55 is just barely high enough to get a student an interview, whereas it's nowhere near enough to lock a position (but, I guess it's impossible to lock a position based solely on GPA anyway, so...). A 3.80 will almost certainly impress employers, (but again, GPA alone can't lock a position). Assuming that the range 3.55-3.80 is equal to a UK 2.1, this seems pretty accurate.

I guess the most difficult aspect for me to conceptualize about the UK grading system is the fact that the range is so great. According to what was posted, a top 30% and a top 6% student would both be considered a 2.1, whereas a US student would have a GPA of ~3.5 and ~3.85, respectively - a huge difference.

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#14 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
21/10/2007 07:30

uk system to BC (#13)

It really depends howmany 2.1's or 1sts you got in your courses.

For example the 1 st yr in the UK does not contribute towards your overall result i.e whether you graduate with a 1st or 2.1 or 2.2.

Now lets say for the 2nd and 3rd yrs you had 8 courses altogether and out of those 8 you got a straight 2.1 for all your courses - something like 63% even. This would be considered a very high 2.1 because its not necessary to get all 2.1's to obtain a 2.1 result overall. Infact I believe at some universities you only require 2.1's in 5 courses out of the 8 total to get a 2.1. ( The rest being no less than a 2.2 ).

Hope this clears things up. This stuff can get quite confusing.

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#15 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
22/10/2007 02:42

BC to uk system (#14)

Wow... I wish I went to the UK for school. My first year, I had straight B's and B+'s across the board (~3.3). From the 2nd year on, I've averaged all A's and A-'s (~3.8/3.9). If I could drop that first year, I would be set...

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#16 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
22/10/2007 13:19

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to BC (#15)

It's not quite as good as it sounds - employers will base their decisions on who to interview according to the grades that have been achieved in the first and second years of the degree course. So although at many universities these may not count towards the final grade, screwing up your first or second year exams does still carry consequences...

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#17 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
25/10/2007 18:26

last bencher to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#16)

I come from a third country education system. Had been to the best schools - did not have the best grades there.

My general comment - grades count only if you are in the top 10% or if you are in the bottom pile. Anywhere else - its pretty much how you build your CV and how you come across in interviews. I find it foolish to compare grades unless. It does not matter if you have topped your class - be it anywhere, it does not matter - if you are in the bottom file, be it anywhere. And in the middle - subtle variations (between a 3.85 and 3.63) count only in marksheets

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#18 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
26/10/2007 00:33

BC to last bencher (#17)

I disagree. Grades count tremendously under various circumstances:

1. You do not go to a top-tier (or "target") school and you are apply to a top-tier (MBB, GSMS) firm. They won't even look at your resume without either a.) a connection b.) stellar marks + standardized test scores.

2. You want to go to graduate school.

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#19 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
05/11/2007 11:40

nd to BC (#1)

what is the US equivalent of a 2:1 from the LSE

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#20 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
08/11/2007 22:09

Minnie to nd (#19)

About a 3.7 from Cornell or Dartmouth (Ivy's with less grade inflation than Harvard).

Note, too, if the coursework is challenging. At an excellent US state university, a 3.8 in communications is 2.5 (or lower!) in economics because the faculty are more intellectually demanding and competent in economics and do not give up academic ground.

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#21 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
09/11/2007 06:16

Anon to Minnie (#20)

This is not true for economics. For the most challenging majors at great US state universities (computer science, molecular biology/pre-med, EE, etc), classes are graded on strict curves with a "C" grade (2.0) often being close to the average. This grade in communications or marketing or history would easily be in the A range. Economics is certainly not considered one of the most challenging majors!

It is certainly not a fair system when a communications major with a 3.6 is considered more able than a pre-med or EE major with a 2.9.

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#22 RE: What's a 2.2 UK GPA in a US 4.0 system?
11/11/2007 14:52

Anna Naz to Anon (#21)

It also depends when you graduated, so a 2:1 now is the same as a 2:2 10 years ago

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