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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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American and British universities

I'm entering my junior year of university in September and I'm thinking about applying to some US and British schools for post-graduate work. I was discussing entrance requirements with one admissions officer when she mentioned that my grades and course credits would have to be converted to the US system. I always thought that the Canadian and American university systems were pretty compatible? So I'm wondering, generally, how the grading and credit system works in American universities and how they'll have to convert my grades and credits.

For example, at the university I'm currently attending, classes last one semester or about four months and range from 1 to 4 credits depending, I suppose, on the classroom hours and work load involved. Classes are typically 3 credits though - for example... intro microbiology is 3 credits, but calculus is 4 credits, and you typically do 15 credits per semester. Our GPA is out of 4.0, and an A is the highest mark you can get and is anything above 85% in the class.

Oh, also, one of the admissions sites I looked at for a US school talked about "Minimum Total Semester Credits" and "Minimum Total Quarter Credits". For example, for English composition they want 6 semester credits and 9 quarter credits. I've never heard of any difference between semester credits and quarter credits??

Also, for British schools, what does this mean:
"A Level ABB offers are made to exceptional candidates, AAB offers to outstanding candidates, and AAA offers to the majority of those selected. Predicted or actual grades of at least ABB are required but AAA/AAB preferred as offers of ABB are only made to candidates achieving the top score at interview with very good BMAT scores."

I already read that I don't need a BMAT to apply because I'm from North America, and they want only a 3.4 GPA, but I don't really understand what all this B and A stuff is.

I know I could ask people at the universities, but I would to like to harass them as little as possible!

Thanks for any info you guys have!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 06:49 PM
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Re: American and British universities

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Originally Posted by horseplaypen

Also, for British schools, what does this mean:
"A Level ABB offers are made to exceptional candidates, AAB offers to outstanding candidates, and AAA offers to the majority of those selected. Predicted or actual grades of at least ABB are required but AAA/AAB preferred as offers of ABB are only made to candidates achieving the top score at interview with very good BMAT scores."

I already read that I don't need a BMAT to apply because I'm from North America, and they want only a 3.4 GPA, but I don't really understand what all this B and A stuff is.
They are talking about A levels - which is (traditionally anyway - I don't actually have any) the qualifications you need to get into a UK university. I have no idea what the heck BMAT and/or GPA are though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Level_(UK)

Which British Universities are you looking at? If you do decide to come to the UK be sure to pick your university well. I can give you a list of good ones if it helps.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 06:58 PM
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Ah - apparently the BMAT is used by some top universities to get the best candidates. With so many students getting 'top' A level marks these days it can be difficult to know who the best students are. That might be a requirement for UK candidates only as A levels are so shoddy these days.

I can ask someone at work as regards to UK/Canadian qualification equivalences if you like.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 07:04 PM
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Many of the US colleges/universities are in the process of switching from the 4.0 scale to a 100 scale. The idea being that you will know if the letter grade is a strong one or a weak one - A+, A, or A-. The cutoff is usually 90-92 for an A.

To convert semester to quarter credits, multiply by 1.5. For example, a student who earns 30 credits in an institution on a semester calendar would have earned 45 quarter credits .

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 07:21 PM
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Evidently, your school grades on a curve. In the schools and colleges I'm familiar with, 90% of the possible points is an A. However, in some private schools and universities, 95% is required. And I assume that some professors grade on a curve. I just never had that experience.

A GPA of 3.5 out of a possible 4 is quite good, regardless. A GPA of 3.8 earned a Summa Cum Laude at my school. However, some universities will not accept credits from other universities, so it's best to "pester" a bit. Ask for some literature from the universities you are considering. Many universities cooperate, and will accept transferred credits. I am not familiar with quarter credits. Sorry.

Good luck.




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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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I worked my buns off my last year of school and got a 3.9 just so i could go to Univ and study history...only to be told after that it was a waste of my money, id never get back what i put in for tuitions for the courses and id spend my whole life barely breaking even with only experience being my only assets from years of Univ....

now im out of highschool 5 years and discovering that your GPA means nothing if youve been out of school too long
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: American and British universities

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Originally Posted by melysion
They are talking about A levels - which is (traditionally anyway - I don't actually have any) the qualifications you need to get into a UK university. I have no idea what the heck BMAT and/or GPA are though.
Well, a GPA is a grade point average - a way of saying how well you did in your courses overall. I guess since I'm not from the UK, the whole AB thing won't apply to me? I suppose that's why they mentioned a minimum of 3.4 GPA.

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Originally Posted by Mom of 4
The cutoff is usually 90-92 for an A.
92% for an A!! Wow, that's rough for me! I guess you must be really good to get As. I usually get As at my school - my current GPA is 4.0 and 3.8 from college (they'll look at both) - but I guess it actually would be lower if they converted it, because I'm definitely not getting 92%. I wonder how they would convert to a 100 scale then? I don't know if the university keeps a record of what my percentages were for the class. I guess they must. That's a bit discouraging.

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Originally Posted by Jeanie
However, some universities will not accept credits from other universities, so it's best to "pester" a bit. Ask for some literature from the universities you are considering. Many universities cooperate, and will accept transferred credits.
I'm not trying to transfer credits - they're just entrance requirements, stuff I have to already have taken to apply.

I'll be honest - I'm thinking of applying to vet school. I don't usually tell people, because I usually get discouraging replies ("you know, it's really competitive" "I hope you have a back-up plan" "ha, good luck!"). But my GPA is pretty competitive (for Canada) and I have lots of animal experience, so I'm thinking about it. And the way the vet school system is set up in Canada makes it almost easier for me to get into US/UK schools than ones here - it's pretty lame.

This stuff stresses me out so much.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 07:44 PM
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I know how you feel! I wish you the best.




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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 01:46 AM
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Southampton has an excellent university
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 01:58 AM
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Yep the whole AB thing refers to the A level. If you are interested in a British university they won't mind at all if you email them and ask what Canadian grades they will accept. Don't assume that they will all accept a GPA of 3.4 - some will ask for a higher score possibly.

By the way - ignore what people say and follow your dreams. The field of work I'm currently working towards is a nightmare to get into but its not stopping me from trying.

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