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  #11  
Old 06-25-2015, 08:38 AM
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What if you were to ignore what employers think about those two GPA scenarios and ask yourself, "In which scenario would I have learned more."

The problem with asking this question on this forum is you will have a huge following of people who want to justify that their mediocre education was "as good as any". From my experience, this is not the truth (and I realize I'm just one blip). I had a wonderful undergraduate GPA and went to a low-end school. Can I say that GPA represents me being challenged in school and working hard? No, not at all. Most of the learning I did was not in the classroom in the form of subpar lectures but through watching online lectures (MIT OpenCourseWare ILY) and searching for problem sets online from top universities. Unfortunately, I feel I would have learned a hell of a lot more at a top university, even if I struggled through and got ~3.0. 2.0 is starting to push it, but I'm fairly sure that most of the 3.5+ students in my undergraduate program would have gotten < 2.0 at any top-tier.

How will the employer view you? Well that depends on the employers background: if he went to a mediocre school he is more likely to be biased that any school can provide a decent education, if he went to a top-tier school he will more likely be biased in believing that mediocre schools spend all their time in a field poking cows. So it depends on who is looking at your resume and most likely in this field you will have someone from a mediocre school doing so, therefore the 4.0 wins.

-Riley
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2015, 09:22 AM
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Went to a top tier University in Canada, consistently in the top 3 in Canada. The average GPA of the program was 2.4ish. Students I knew in other programs (biology, chem) have told me their program averages were also low 2. Some of these people did really well on standardized tests (MCAT/PCAT/OAT - 90+ percentile) however their GPAs were insurmountable obstacles.

I'd have taken a second tier school with a better average GPA in a heart beat if I could have a re-do.

If I were hiring, I'd give the 2.0 guy a shot just because of my bias.
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  #13  
Old 06-25-2015, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMN View Post
Went to a top tier University in Canada, consistently in the top 3 in Canada. The average GPA of the program was 2.4ish. Students I knew in other programs (biology, chem) have told me their program averages were also low 2. Some of these people did really well on standardized tests (MCAT/PCAT/OAT - 90+ percentile) however their GPAs were insurmountable obstacles.

I'd have taken a second tier school with a better average GPA in a heart beat if I could have a re-do.

If I were hiring, I'd give the 2.0 guy a shot just because of my bias.
You're assuming hiring managers know all these...
If i were a hiring manage, i will do myself a favor and just pick the ones that have high GPA, good # of exams, good work experiences, etc.
Not going to go out of the way to give these students a shot.
Too many competitive applicants.
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  #14  
Old 06-25-2015, 01:51 PM
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Yeah I definitely agree. I would only give the 2.0 guy a shot if he were from the same school, otherwise I'd take the 3.5+ from a mediocre school with exams any day.
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DMN View Post
Went to a top tier University in Canada, consistently in the top 3 in Canada. The average GPA of the program was 2.4ish. Students I knew in other programs (biology, chem) have told me their program averages were also low 2. Some of these people did really well on standardized tests (MCAT/PCAT/OAT - 90+ percentile) however their GPAs were insurmountable obstacles.

I'd have taken a second tier school with a better average GPA in a heart beat if I could have a re-do.

If I were hiring, I'd give the 2.0 guy a shot just because of my bias.
Tiers in Canada don't exist the way they do in the US. Since all schools are public they are all fairly close in terms of education and the quote above is just something people from Toronto/McGill whatever tell themselves and others to make themselves feel better about their bad grades.

Last edited by actuarying; 06-26-2015 at 01:45 AM..
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:01 AM
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Schools in the USA and to a lesser extent Canada over-inflate grades. The average grade in the math department at the school I attended was usually around 63-65%, which in GPA is ~2.5. Many schools in the US give 30-40+% of grades "A" which is a joke.. and is why I always take US students GPAs with a grain of salt. The average student is just as good up here in Canada, we have a high number of Asian/India and foreign students.. just look at the EL market in Canada... you pretty much need 4 exams to get a job, 80% of US EL actuaries wouldnt land a job up here.
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2015, 07:47 AM
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you pretty much need 4 exams to get a job, 80% of US EL actuaries wouldnt land a job up here.
Except there would be a few candidates who are "overqualified" in the US market that would be perfect in Canada.

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Why does someone with a pedigree from a top school become an actuary? Ivy Leaguers become anything. My buddies are doctors, lawyers, businessmen, high school teachers. None in academia or on Wall Street. So why actuarial? It's a great career. Same reasons you're in actuarial.
I'm just in actuarial until I get funding for my basket weaving startup.

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Old 06-26-2015, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by actuarying View Post
Tiers in Canada don't exist the way they do in the US. Since all schools are public they are all fairly close in terms of education and the quote above is just something people from Toronto/McGill whatever tell themselves and others to make themselves feel better about their bad grades.
And that's what people who didn't go to one of the world recognized schools in Canada tell themselves and others to make themselves feel better about their alma mater.

Having seen the marking schemes and grading process in two different schools in Ontario, albeit in Biology, they were vastly different for the same material. TA's were given specific thresholds for the number of A's they could give out at one school while at the other school the majority of the students got an A.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:16 AM
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Thankfully I go to a mediocre school!
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  #20  
Old 06-26-2015, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actuarying View Post
Tiers in Canada don't exist the way they do in the US. Since all schools are public they are all fairly close in terms of education and the quote above is just something people from Toronto/McGill whatever tell themselves and others to make themselves feel better about their bad grades.
This doesn't sound right, but I don't know enough about Canadian schools to dispute it.

What I will say is that schools like McGill and U of T likely have much stricter admissions than the lesser Canadian schools, so I'm willing to bet that the quality of students there is generally a lot better than other schools, and if they're still receiving bad grades it's likely because the material is more rigorous or they're being graded harsher (or both).
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