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TheRealMikeRoss

Satisfactory grade effect on Law School application?

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Hey everyone,

I am an undergrad student and future law school applicant and I have a question that I’m hoping somebody on here knows the answer to. I know this question has been asked in the past but I’ve read conflicting answers so I’m hoping somebody here can help clear things up. I have a B+ In one of my classes which isn’t a bad grade but it will negatively impact my gpa. My school is allowing us to receive one satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade for a class this term due to COVID, and I’m wondering how a “Satisfactory” grade will look on my transcript in regards to law school applications? Will it be looked at negatively or will it not make a difference since lots of applicants will have a pass/fail on their transcripts due to these circumstances? I wouldn’t want admissions officers to think I did worse than I actually did in the course if I do go with the pass option, but I also wouldn’t want to lower my gpa and decrease my chances of being accepted. Basically I’m asking if it’s worth it to remove the B+ from my transcript or if I should just stick with it and lower my gpa. Thank you. 

Edited by TheRealMikeRoss

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42 minutes ago, TheRealMikeRoss said:

Hey everyone,

I am an undergrad student and future law school applicant and I have a question that I’m hoping somebody on here knows the answer to. I know this question has been asked in the past but I’ve read conflicting answers so I’m hoping somebody here can help clear things up. I have a B+ In one of my classes which isn’t a bad grade but it will negatively impact my gpa. My school is allowing us to receive one satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade for a class this term due to COVID, and I’m wondering how a “Satisfactory” grade will look on my transcript in regards to law school applications? Will it be looked at negatively or will it not make a difference since lots of applicants will have a pass/fail on their transcripts due to these circumstances? I wouldn’t want admissions officers to think I did worse than I actually did in the course if I do go with the pass option, but I also wouldn’t want to lower my gpa and decrease my chances of being accepted. Basically I’m asking if it’s worth it to remove the B+ from my transcript or if I should just stick with it and lower my gpa. Thank you. 

What year are you in now ?

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2 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

You don't need a 4.0 GPA to get into law school.


No I know I was just wondering if it was worth it to take advantage of this opportunity since it might not present itself again

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Taking a 'Satisfactory' would be a very bad idea. One B+ in first year, first semester is not a big deal. I'm a lot like you and when I have all As, and the prospect of a B is daunting. However, it REALLY is not the end of the world.

You should not assume every law applicant will be using satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading. There will be lots who will, but also a lot who don't. Depending how competitive the schools you will be applying to are, it won't do you any favors. Many schools will also ask to uncover grades to see what they are- still won't affect your GPA, but they'll end up seeing it. A B+ is good, and if they choose to look at it and see that is what you covered up, it won't come across well.

Take the B+. Don't do the satisfactory. If it was a C- that'd be a different story. 

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Echoing what other posters have said, a B+ is not nearly as bad as you are framing it- 1 B+ certainly won't be fatal to your chances, and/or even necessarily lower them if you do choose to apply in a few years.

You are in the first year of your undergraduate OP, focus now on being receptive to the constructive feedback your professors provide with regard to your work, developing social support networks, engaging with your student community in a volunteer capacity, and just in general adapting to the new education context you have been thrust into. This is a learning opportunity, not the moment you will need to fundamentally alter your expectations and hopes about the future.

Edited by LabouriousCorvid

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Please don't let this be another MegBean thread. I'm getting flashbacks. Let's go into 2021 in peace 😅

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1 hour ago, 76th said:

Please don't let this be another MegBean thread. I'm getting flashbacks. Let's go into 2021 in peace 😅

This is exactly what came to my mind LOL

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I have a transcript with more than one 50 (not 50s, 50 on the nose), several 60s, and more than several 70s. My stellar grades more than offset the poor ones. One grade does not affect, in any way other than in the most trivial sense, your Law School admissions chances.

It's Christmas! Take the B+ and have a vodka. 

EDIT - oh and you know relax! The road from undergrad to law school is a long one. You can't get hung up on every hiccup. You'll drive yourself bonkers! 

Edited by AllanRC
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I had 3 CR/NCRs (UofT's version of satisfactory/unsatisfactory) on my transcript and had no problem getting into all of the schools I applied too. While a B+ certainly won't be fatal to your transcript, I doubt a satisfactory will be either. It might be a good idea to use this if undergrad entrance scholarship renewal is a concern. 

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I'm just wondering if the advice on this thread holds true for fourth-years. I'm done the fall semester and awaiting the grades which will be the last ones that law schools will be able to see. If say I screwed up and got a B+, would it be okay to use a CR?

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26 minutes ago, Chazz said:

I'm just wondering if the advice on this thread holds true for fourth-years. I'm done the fall semester and awaiting the grades which will be the last ones that law schools will be able to see. If say I screwed up and got a B+, would it be okay to use a CR?

Put it in a GPA calculator with and without the B+, assuming you know what you’ll likely get for the other classes. B+ probably won’t do much, but anything lower might hurt you. If it doesn’t take you out of an awards bracket I would keep it. I’ve known people that were like .07 points away from deans list for example. 

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On 12/24/2020 at 3:45 PM, kaptb said:

Taking a 'Satisfactory' would be a very bad idea. One B+ in first year, first semester is not a big deal. I'm a lot like you and when I have all As, and the prospect of a B is daunting. However, it REALLY is not the end of the world.

You should not assume every law applicant will be using satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading. There will be lots who will, but also a lot who don't. Depending how competitive the schools you will be applying to are, it won't do you any favors. Many schools will also ask to uncover grades to see what they are- still won't affect your GPA, but they'll end up seeing it. A B+ is good, and if they choose to look at it and see that is what you covered up, it won't come across well.

Take the B+. Don't do the satisfactory. If it was a C- that'd be a different story. 

This all makes sense and I agree, the reason I even debated using the pass option in the first place is because the B+ lowers my GPA by 0.13 points on the OLSAS scale, so quite a significant drop. I also forgot to mention that even though I am a first year I am technically considered a second year undergrad student due to advanced standing credits granted from previous community college studies, so I’ll graduate in 3 years and only have 3 years worth of grades on my transcripts and won’t be eligible for any “drops”, and so keeping the GPA as high as possible is extremely important in my situation since each letter grade will have more of an impact on my gpa since there’ll be less of them, if that makes sense. On the other hand I know I’ll be looked at worse than someone who doesn’t have pass/fail courses on their transcript if we have the same GPA. I’m not sure how often this happens realistically though so it’s a difficult choice. 

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On 12/24/2020 at 11:49 PM, stbajeff said:

I had 3 CR/NCRs (UofT's version of satisfactory/unsatisfactory) on my transcript and had no problem getting into all of the schools I applied too. While a B+ certainly won't be fatal to your transcript, I doubt a satisfactory will be either. It might be a good idea to use this if undergrad entrance scholarship renewal is a concern. 

That’s good to hear. Do you think that a “pass” would look worse if I only have 3 years worth of grades compared to the traditional 4? I will graduate in 3 years from my 4-year degree instead of 4 due to advanced standing credits, and so every grade will have more of an effect on my CGPA since I’ll have less classes and subsequent grades overall compared to most other applicants. I know In the grand scheme of things a B+ isn’t the end of the world but with me only having 3 years worth of grades and the B+ lowering my gpa by 0.13 points, it’s hard to not think of the positives of using the “pass” option. 
 

I also wanted to see the negative implications of the “pass” option and emailed some law schools I am interested in applying to (U of T, Queen’s, Western, and still waiting on OZ). Western and U of T said that a pass will be looked at worse than a letter grade because I’m choosing to use it (it isn’t mandatory), and that the more grades on the transcript the better it is for the applicant (but wouldn’t a higher GPA look better for them in terms of admissions)? Queens said it doesn’t matter since I have the necessary 8 classes this year so it’ll help my gpa with them. 

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11 minutes ago, TheRealMikeRoss said:

I also wanted to see the negative implications of the “pass” option and emailed some law schools I am interested in applying to (U of T, Queen’s, Western, and still waiting on OZ). Western and U of T said that a pass will be looked at worse than a letter grade because I’m choosing to use it (it isn’t mandatory), and that the more grades on the transcript the better it is for the applicant.

This is your answer. A B+ is not sufficiently poor of a grade to merit using the P/F option. If you have a bunch of better grades (which it sounds as though you do), they will balance this one slightly lower B+. This is a better option than taking a P as schools may infer that you received a lower grade in that course than a mere B+. P/Fs should really be reserved for grades that are a B- or lower, imo, as those can sometimes tank a cGPA. 

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As a follow-up, I had four or five Bs on my transcript (some B+s, some Bs), but only two passes which I used for courses that I knew I would get Cs in. I am now a student at U of T law. One B+ is not going to tank your chances. 

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