I would like to know, if given both options, which of the options, would officials at the american universities follow?

By internal evaluation, my GPA at some of the universities is translated/scored as 2.87/4.00. Disbarring me from all of their programs.

By WES evaluation, my GPA is translated/scored as 3.25/4.00. This option allows me to run/apply for all the programs at the said universities.

Which of these evaluations would the university use?

Does WES's evaluation hold any weight?

Wouldn't this be a problem for those who are not aware of such services?

4 Answers 4


Every school does admissions in a different way, so it's hard to say, but I've never heard of anyone using any external services to evaluate transcripts. I'd say send in your application, and let the chips fall where they may.

Although quantities like GPA, GRE scores, etc. might be used as a filter to narrow the applicant pool, what will really get you accepted are 1) strong letters, 2) successful undergrad research projects, and 3) direct contact with a potential advisor at the university. If a professor knows about you and your work and wants you as a student, that will go an incredible way towards getting you admitted no matter what your GPA.


As far as I know, American universities do not rely on "transcript evaluation services"; they ask you to convert your GPA to whatever system they happen to use, since there are so many of them out there (5-point versus 4-point systems, A+/A/A- versus A/B/C, and so on).

You could of course provide the results of such an evaluation service, but I would not expect it to carry any weight with admissions committees, who can accept or ignore it as they please.

  • 3
    I don't know whether how or even whether my American university asks for GPAs, but by the time they reach me (in the admissions committee), they are reported using the system from the applicant's home university. In other words, don't convert them at all. Even numerically equal GPAs using the same system are not equivalent if they come from different universities.
    – JeffE
    Jun 22, 2013 at 11:40

My experience differs from the others. Although I am American, my wife is Polish and she applied to a slew (by which I mean 9) of grad schools for computational linguistics. Of them, three wanted the external transcript evaluation, and they even recommended which service to use.

But they also asked for a copy of the original transcript.

I don't know what impact it had, but she ended up going to a school that didn't require such an evaluation. But there is funny story here: no where on her transcript did it say that she actually finished her degree program. So when her chosen graduate school requested her "final transcript" (even though my wife graduated a year and a half ago, so they already had her final transcript), she ended up sending them an extra copy of the evaluation along with her explanation that she had, in fact, graduated.

From my point of view, the whole external evaluation process seemed overly expensive and annoying. I would advise that you just ask whatever graduate program that you're interested in whether they want applicants to have them (they don't bite, really), and hope that they don't.


Many smaller (and even some larger) academic institutions may not have resources dedicated to being familiar with all the various methods of grading and evaluation used by foreign schools. In these cases they will require the applying student to incur the added effort and expense of having an expert in such matters review the transcripts and then translate the material into a report that the institute can comprehend. They probably have a criteria for what kind of expert they will consider acceptable -- perhaps some kind of certification ? -- but it is always in the student's best interest to carefully select an expert that not only meets the criteria but who really understands the way that the foreign school did business (including any common cultural practices such as defacto lower grades for female students).

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