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I have a question in regard to choice of recommenders.

I'm applying to my dream school and I want to make the best choice for my LOR. I have two recommenders, one is a professor and he doesn't really know me, but I got an A in his class. Another one is a faculty, he knows me better than the other one, and he asked me a lot of questions in detail before writing the letter, but I only got a B in his class.

Which one should I choose to have him write me an LOR that's going to my dream school?

PS. I asked them both because I wasn't sure which one would be willing to write me the letter, but I only need one letter.

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    Why not both? They could complement each other if presented in the right light. – Sana Oct 21 '16 at 3:36
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    Thanks, Sana! The problem is that I accidentally asked two teachers while I only need one more letter. – Lavender. S Oct 21 '16 at 4:32
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I would go with professor B. If the admissions committee wants to know about your grades, they'll check your transcript. You want your LORs to give them insight into who you are as a student, what your specific strengths are, etc. This information is supposed to supplement your transcript, and may even be more important than your grades for certain programs. The fact that professor B 1) agreed to write you the letter and 2) asked for more details, suggests that he'll write a good letter for you. The LORs I have read typically do not mention grades, and if a professor knows you well the difference between an A or a B will likely not sway their letter.

Edit: I even asked a professor who knew me extremely well to directly address the most obvious weakness in my application, to make sure that wouldn't raise questions with the committee. You want your application to represent you well, and your grades are only a small part of who you are as a student (depending on the program you're applying to).

  • I think this is generally good advice. but there is no reason you should not ask both professors for their opinions. Prof A may not know you well but may remember you. or not. either way, it can't hurt to ask him or her directly: would it be better for me if you or the other prof wrote my LOR? they might even discuss it privately to decide what to do. after all, except in unusual circumstances, they all want their students to succeed. – user61996 Oct 25 '16 at 21:40
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The B instructor's letter is promising; it may be more insightful and more diligent. An impersonal letter that says "the student earned an A" may not sway any admissions committee. You could even inquire directly whether or not he's going to mention the B grade in the letter.

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