Essay Explaining Bad Grade

In other words, you won’t be making any point, rather wasting a few lines to distract the admission committee members from the subject matter.

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Posted by Talha Omer on January 14, 2014 in Personal Statement | 38 comments The Statement of Purpose (SOP) also known as the personal statement allows you to give a deep insight into your ambitions and motivations to pursue a particular course at a university.

Credentials like Grade Point Average (GPA) and Standardized tests like the GRE and GMAT only tell about your aptitude or academic excellence – whereas the personal statement gives insights into your mind.

So, take some time to get yourself on good terms with your faculty members and ask them to write excellent reference letters for you.

While mentioning all these reasons, you have to be careful that you are polite, brief, rational and well reasoned.

Of course not everyone has a stellar GPA and test scores, therefore a very commonly asked question by such applicants is regarding how should they explain their low GPA in the SOP.

In most cases, it is best not to allude to your low GPA at all and rather focus on your strengths.This is the most common red flag, and often the easiest to rectify if you take the time to address why it happened and what you have done or are currently doing to bring you grades back up.One bad grade can usually be easily explained, but a whole semester’s worth becomes problematic, as it looks like you’re starting to slack.Also some people say that the methodology of grading adopted in their universities prevented them from scoring well.Such reasons are least likely to work as the undergraduate GPA is not calculated on the basis of one particular exam on your particular bad day.Good Grades in Major Subjects If you have a low overall GPA but have very good grades in your major subjects or the field towards which you want to align yourself, then you can always use that to reinforce your passion in the particular subject area.Financial Problems Another way to explain your low GPA in personal statement can be related to financial problems.Low grades can be mitigated by mentioning your relevant work experience (internships etc), workshops or certifications, extra courses taken and excellent scores in standardized testing like GRE, GMAT etc.Word of Caution Some people claim that they don’t perform well in examinations and therefore, their GPA is not a clear indicative of their abilities and motivations.Please note that you should always be honest about yourself and not come up with any false reasons to clarify your low GPA.Personal Problems A very common reason that can justify your bad performance in one semester can be personal health or unfortunate personal reasons.


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