I have a predicament. I am about 4 weeks shy of graduating from a small Virginia (USA) school with a BA in English literature and I received a D in an upper-level research class in linguistics, which I do not intend to study in the future. I want to apply to a graduate program for English lit in the future, and I am otherwise qualified (otherwise great grades/GPA, great test scores and letters of recommendation, four conference presentations, and a highly prestigious award for an undergraduate research paper in literature). I am very nervous that this class will kill my chances of getting into a good masters/PhD program. I plan to explain that the class was in linguistics, which was very far out of my comfort zone and I had very little prior knowledge of the subject or research methods required to succeed in this class. I felt like my professor expected more from me than I was capable of because I won awards for my research in literature, and she assured me that I would be qualified to perform this research without realizing that my research had been exclusively literary until that point and that I would need extra help to succeed (which she was never willing to provide despite me practically begging for help). Do you think this situation would kill my chances of getting into a good school? Or do you think they would be willing to overlook the abnormal grade since it was not part of my area of study?

It might also be important to note that I failed a literature class and retook it and earned a B+. The “F” is still visible on my transcript but doesn’t factor into my GPA. I received the grade because I could not turn in my final paper due to a one-time extenuating circumstance, but my performance was excellent in that course until that point.

This is a super long and complicated question, but I’m taking a gap year to figure myself out and gain professional experience, so I’m not looking at any urgent upcoming deadlines. I just don’t want to set myself up for failure by applying to schools that wouldn’t give me a chance. I’m more than willing to go into an MA program at a smaller school to work hard and prove myself to a big shot university. I just don’t really know what to do and professors at my school are not being up front with me about my situation because they don’t have the full story. Everyone I work with says I have a great chance, but I am having doubts.

I have a predicament. I am about 4 weeks shy of graduating from a small Virginia (USA) school with a BA in English literature and I received a D in an upper-level research class in linguistics, which I do not intend to study in the future. I want to apply to a graduate program for English lit in the future, and I am otherwise qualified (otherwise great grades/GPA, great test scores and letters of recommendation, four conference presentations, and a highly prestigious award for an undergraduate research paper in literature). I am very nervous that this class will kill my chances of getting into a good masters/PhD program. I plan to explain that the class was in linguistics, which was very far out of my comfort zone and I had very little prior knowledge of the subject or research methods required to succeed in this class. I felt like my professor expected more from me than I was capable of because I won awards for my research in literature, and she assured me that I would be qualified to perform this research without realizing that my research had been exclusively literary until that point and that I would need extra help to succeed (which she was never willing to provide despite me practically begging for help). Do you think this situation would kill my chances of getting into a good school? Or do you think they would be willing to overlook the abnormal grade since it was not part of my area of study?

It might also be important to note that I failed a literature class and retook it and earned a B+. The “F” is still visible on my transcript but doesn’t factor into my GPA. I received the grade because I could not turn in my final paper due to a one-time extenuating circumstance, but my performance was excellent in that course until that point.

This is a super long and complicated question, but I’m taking a gap year to figure myself out and gain professional experience, so I’m not looking at any urgent upcoming deadlines. I just don’t want to set myself up for failure by applying to schools that wouldn’t give me a chance. I’m more than willing to go into an MA program at a smaller school to work hard and prove myself to a big shot university. I just don’t really know what to do and professors at my school are not being up front with me about my situation because they don’t have the full story. Everyone I work with says I have a great chance, but I am having doubts.

Good afternoon
Please help me I’m disappointed
I have a bac degree in mechanical engineering, with 3.2 GPA, Tofel 105/120, GRE 163/170 and one year experience as a RA in composite materials, 2 published papers
I want to complete my study in materials science at USA or UK, but I have one problem My GPA was under 2 three times in my first and 2nd years due to family issues and I’m afraid that it will effect the acceptance, please help
PS: My GPA on the last 60 hours is 3.75/4

I’m currently an M. Phil student in Math and I failed a course last semester because I was not able to hand in a home work assignment (which was worth 40% of my grade) on time (I was 30 minutes late).

Apart from that I’d say I’m a fairly decent student, I got an upper second class honours bachelors degree, I have a B+ and A’s for all my other courses in my current programme and I’m almost finished with my first paper to be published.

I’ve however been deeply worried about this failure as it would reflect poorly on my transcript if I were to apply to a Ph.D or another Master’s programme.

Will my failing grade affect my chances of getting into a competitive programme or greatly lower my chances of getting a scholarship?

Good afternoon
Please help me I’m disappointed
I have a bac degree in mechanical engineering, with 3.2 GPA, Tofel 105/120, GRE 163/170 and one year experience as a RA in composite materials, 2 published papers
I want to complete my study in materials science at USA or UK, but I have one problem I’ve been on probation 3 times in my first and 2nd years due to family issues and I’m afraid that it will effect the acceptance, please help
PS: My GPA on the last 60 hours is 3.75/4

During the last semester my supervisor Prof. X held a seminar for bachelor and master students (mostly computer scientists). According to the study regulations the students have to

  • give scientific presentations (based on journal or conference papers) and
  • hand in seminar papers on the topic of their presentation (i.e. their papers should cover the results of the original paper, lay out details of proofs, add additional explanations or examples, etc.).

The final grade consists of 2/3*presentation + 1/3*paper.

Prologue.
At the beginning of the semester Prof. X’s research assistants compiled a list of interesting research papers. At the first seminar meeting the students were able to choose the paper they would like to present to the rest of the group at the end of the semester. Furthermore Prof. X made it very clear that understanding the topic is just a portion of presenting and writing down scientific ideas. Every student was assigned to a seminar supervisor to whom they could talk when they ran into problems.
Half-way through the semester there was an obligatory meeting with the supervisor and a deadline for handing in a draft of the presentation slides. At the end of the semester we organized a little “conference” and the students presented “their” papers. Afterwards, they received written feedback on their presentations from all participants (students, research assistents, and Prof. X). Six weeks later they had to hand in their seminar papers.

Problem.
Unfortunately the quality of many seminar papers is relatively poor; even the papers handed in by students who had understood their topic “quite well” and had given good presentations are surprisingly different from what we expected.

Main issues:

  1. Even though they were allowed to use their native language, many papers had bad spelling (obviously no spell checker was used) and bad grammar.

  2. In some cases it was impossible to understand the basic ideas if one had not already been familiar with the subject.

  3. Imprecise language and almost no sources cited, e.g. “Algorithm Y is rather efficient in comparison with other algorithms.” [citation needed].

  4. Some students only cited a single source (= “their” research paper).

Questions.
How should we address these issues? Of course, we are going to give some feedback on their seminar papers. I am worried about the next seminar. Reading all these papers was (mentally) exhausting. Should we require that seminar papers must be handed in first? How could we install an iterative feedback process?

I am looking forward to your ideas and experiences.

Context: I am an assistant professor of mathematics at a small liberal-arts college in the US.

I did my graduate work at a large public university, and there I rarely encountered students who had previously taken a class from me, let alone ones who had failed one of my courses. Now that I’m at a much smaller institution it happens somewhat frequently, and I’ve only finished one semester here!

At this time I have no idea how I should react to these encounters. Generally former students and I exchange a pleasant greeting, but I find myself instinctively trying to avoid students who’ve failed because I’m afraid that they are still angry at me, I don’t want them to feel bad, etc.

The title of my question says it all: How should I react when encountering students who have failed one of my courses? I could simply treat them like any other student, but I’m concerned about reinforcing the stereotype of “the tone-deaf mathematician with poor social skills.”

Perhaps this question is a better fit for the interpersonal stack exchange, but I figured I’d start here.

I graduated in 2016 with a 2:2, which I feel was lower than what I could have achieved.

I had had some minor issues before starting university, however I had an amazing support system and managed to get these in check. I completed my first year with only the normal issues (homesickness at first and adjusting to living away from home) until just before the end. I failed the last two exams of the year, partly due to the same issues that reoccurred later.

I had been struggling with one of my elective modules and after talking with my tutor, he recommended not worrying about it as I could fail 20 credits and as a 10 credit module, it would not affect my grade. However, the day of I woke up and completely panicked, zoning in and out all morning. I walked to the exam, and blanked and ended up in my department building instead of the exam hall, which was 20 minutes away and I had to run down a very steep hill to make it to the exam. But I made it and sat the exam.

I injured my knee while running. The problem with this is that my main coping method is exercise and I was on crutches. I then managed to completely space out for the last exam of the year. Meaning I failed both these modules, which was my 20 credit allowance. Despite this I averaged a high 2:1 for the year.

I went into my second year, with added roles and responsibilities. I had lived in catered accommodation in first year and moved to self catered in my second year. I became the social secretary of the physics society and started another sport (total of three) I had been a super human in my first year and wanted to do more. This turned out to be a bad idea, as my mental health started to decline, and my grades took a hit.

I then tried to pull them back up in my third year, but poor living conditions caused a physical health decline, which then exacerbated the mental health problems to a point where some days I couldn’t get out of bed.

The main problem being that in my third year I was living with some really shitty people and they were really scathing of mental health issues, meaning I didn’t seek the help I needed and am now getting and didn’t apply for special circumstance. Hindsight really is 20:20.

I have taken time out of my career to get this sorted and to make sure that I am taking the right path for me. I have now ruled it down to three possible paths and want to apply to see what I can do.

I just want to know whether I should mention these issues and the steps I’ve taken in my time off to overcome these, on my personal statement. I don’t seem to get anywhere else to put this and none of my previous lecturers know about this to mention on any references.

Suppose a grading system is used in which grades vary between 1 and 100. Grades below 50 are failing grades. If I want to grade the students on the normal curve, which grade should I choose as the mean of the distribution? In other words, what should be the mean of the new grades? The number 50 is somehow counter-intuitive, as it results in half of the students failing the exam.

Note: This question was previously posted to stats.SE, but was voted as off-topic there.

I am currently a 3rd-year undergraduate majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Till now, I have co-authored one paper for the reputed conference and another paper which I have authored is under review process in the journal. I am also working on another paper. I want to pursue MS in the USA and the main reason for my concern is my current CGPA (8.00/10).
Do top universities mainly focus on undergraduate CGPA (more than that of publications)? Or they have equal importance?