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If I get A+ grades then it will raise my GPA in my undergrad institution, as well as for Columbia which is where I want to go to graduate school for statistics. Should I try hard to get A+ grades or should I be content with As? Trying for A+ grades would not cut into any of my important academic activity such as research or my other classes because I already make all As, but it might slightly affect sleep and socialization.

Edit (from answer): To be clear I am an undergraduate right now.

  • In my experience, grades matter early on when you apply for scholarships and don't have any publications yet to speak of. The longer in you get, the less important they become, much like almost anything that you do after your graduate. – Irwin Mar 13 '14 at 20:54
  • Are you interested in a PhD or a masters? I'm not sure I'd recommend the columbia stats MA program.... – chmullig Mar 13 '14 at 22:56
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    Why the downvotes? This is a perfectly legitimate question, in scope for this site, even if the answer is obviously NO. – JeffE Mar 14 '14 at 1:04
  • This is a question to ask the admissions and records department at your school. Some schools may count A+ grades higher in the GPS, while others may not. – Ben Crowell Mar 14 '14 at 20:47
  • If you have any sleep or socialization, you are clearly not ready for graduate school. – DVK Sep 26 '14 at 3:19
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If your undergrad school awards more GPA points for A+ rather than As then you should definitely try to get A+. As a matter of fact, you should always be trying to do your very best anyways. But for a top program this will be especially important. If you go to grad school, academia will be your full time 9-5 Mon-Sat job, so I would say go on and start early. treat your subjects that way in undergrad and excel in every way possible so as to get into the very best program possible.

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I would say it depends what field you are going into, as some grad programs have more qualitative criteria for selecting candidates; in the humanities and social sciences, your cover letter, research proposal, CV,life/professional/creative experience and an interview can matter more than GPAs, especially with so much grade inflation everywhere. I know people who got into fully-funded master's and PhDs with Fs on their transcripts which they were able to justify in their cover letters and/or interviews, and I also know of people who didn't get in (particularly in med school) for having a few C's. Can you be more specific about the kind of grad school you have in mind and what you know of the evaluation criteria?

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