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Western Gpa Calculation Unfair?


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From my understanding, western calculates your percentile average like so:

- If your uni gives letter grades, they take the midpoint of that grade range (A+ = 95)

- If your uni gives percentile grades, they calculate your average normally

 

Won't this allow for some possibly significant differences between the two marking schemes. For example, a guy with a school that gives % grades gets 90% in 10 courses. His average for that year is 90%, while a person in a letter grade school would be 95% ( all A+s). Wouldn't it be a better idea to just use one system (ie. Letter grades) as to solve these differences.

 

I know some are thinking, what if someone gets high 90s in all classes, but the letter grade puts him at 95%. While this can happen, the chance of getting a low 90 is usually much higher than a high 90, which usually means a letter grade calculation is favourable. Thoughts?

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This has already been discussed so much on this forum.

 

In the one hypothetical situation that you gave, it's true that the Western system would be unfair for the western student. However, don't forget that in the Letter-grade system, students with an 89% would be given an A, which would translate into an 87.5. It will affect every applicant differently, but since Western has no way of knowing the exact percentage grade that students from other universities have obtained, this is the most fair compromise that they could come up with, and we have to live with it.

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From my understanding, western calculates your percentile average like so:

- If your uni gives letter grades, they take the midpoint of that grade range (A+ = 95)

- If your uni gives percentile grades, they calculate your average normally

 

Won't this allow for some possibly significant differences between the two marking schemes. For example, a guy with a school that gives % grades gets 90% in 10 courses. His average for that year is 90%, while a person in a letter grade school would be 95% ( all A+s). Wouldn't it be a better idea to just use one system (ie. Letter grades) as to solve these differences.

 

I know some are thinking, what if someone gets high 90s in all classes, but the letter grade puts him at 95%. While this can happen, the chance of getting a low 90 is usually much higher than a high 90, which usually means a letter grade calculation is favourable. Thoughts?

Your frustration is valid. I know a couple people from Mac who have 89.7 and 90.3 who all got 12s (which translates to an A+). So in essence, these people are getting 95% when Western calculates their average. With that being said, I don't believe there is a system to please everybody so I guess the one provided by the admissions committee is the best choice.  

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Your frustration is valid. I know a couple people from Mac who have 89.7 and 90.3 who all got 12s (which translates to an A+). So in essence, these people are getting 95% when Western calculates their average. With that being said, I don't believe there is a system to please everybody so I guess the one provided by the admissions committee is the best choice.  

Ya I guess. It just seems to me that the better option would be to maybe put everyone on the letter grade system first, then take the midpoint grade after. That way its at least standardized. I find it strange that no attempt has been made at standardizing this grading system, especially since it can cause big differences. An overall average of 95% is miles from 90% :P

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Ya I guess. It just seems to me that the better option would be to maybe put everyone on the letter grade system first, then take the midpoint grade after. That way its at least standardized. I find it strange that no attempt has been made at standardizing this grading system, especially since it can cause big differences. An overall average of 95% is miles from 90% :P

But keep in mind for those same people, getting a 79 vs an 80 is a drop from 3.7->3.3, which is massive. Yet the % person sees no change to their GPA. The system is what it is, and it's not perfect, but it evens out in the end I think

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But keep in mind for those same people, getting a 79 vs an 80 is a drop from 3.7->3.3, which is massive. Yet the % person sees no change to their GPA. The system is what it is, and it's not perfect, but it evens out in the end I think

Wait, I think you're confusing this with the GPA scale. Both the letter-grade and the percentile grade go from 3.7-->3.3 from 79 to 80. In the letter-grade its B+ --> A-, in the percentile its 79-->80. These are equivalent when you convert to gpa (3.7 --> 3.3). I just meant specifically for Western dents, which as far as I know doesn't use GPA :)

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How do you calculate cGPA at Western? I'm getting mixed responses from people...

Do you take your grades, average them and then convert it to GPA using the osmas GPA chart? OR do you take your grades, convert each one each to GPA scale (using the chart) and then average those on the 4.0 scale? 

For Western dentistry they DON'T use GPA. You just calculate your average like any other average. Like a mean of your courses.

For Western meds, they use the latter (in your response). That is, you convert each course to GPA, then average those. In fact, that's how GPA is always calculated :)

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Why does it say this on the western website: "To convert your Western average into a GPA using the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) scale, please visit the OMSAS Website for the most up to date Undergraduate Grading System Conversion Table and calculate your overall average for courses taken in a particular year or degree or use your course final averages for individual courses as needed."

 

http://www.registrar.uwo.ca/student_records/transcripts/grading_scalegpa_conversion.html

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Why does it say this on the western website: "To convert your Western average into a GPA using the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) scale, please visit the OMSAS Website for the most up to date Undergraduate Grading System Conversion Table and calculate your overall average for courses taken in a particular year or degree or use your course final averages for individual courses as needed."

 

http://www.registrar.uwo.ca/student_records/transcripts/grading_scalegpa_conversion.html

I think you are overthinking this :P This is how GPA has always been calculated (what I said above). Trust me

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As noted in our information at the school website, we use the OMSAS (Ontario Medical School Application Service) scale to convert academic achievement assessed in letter grades and GPA to the percentage format that we use in our admissions process. According to the OMSAS scale, 87.5% would be equivalent to a 3.9 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).

 

If you wish to see how well your grades compare to last year's minimum for interview purposes, you would need to convert each of your course GPAs to percentages and then calculate a year's average. When using the OMSAS scale, we use the middle value of a range of percentages to be equivalent to the GPA from which the grade is being converted.

 

Don't forget, that was the minimum average (in combination with a DAT reading score of 19/30) that was competitive in last year's applicant pool. There is no guarantee that this average would be the minimum for the current applicant pool. It could be lower - or higher.

 

Trish Ashbury

Admissions Coordinator

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As noted in our information at the school website, we use the OMSAS (Ontario Medical School Application Service) scale to convert academic achievement assessed in letter grades and GPA to the percentage format that we use in our admissions process. According to the OMSAS scale, 87.5% would be equivalent to a 3.9 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
 
If you wish to see how well your grades compare to last year's minimum for interview purposes, you would need to convert each of your course GPAs to percentages and then calculate a year's average. When using the OMSAS scale, we use the middle value of a range of percentages to be equivalent to the GPA from which the grade is being converted.
 
Don't forget, that was the minimum average (in combination with a DAT reading score of 19/30) that was competitive in last year's applicant pool. There is no guarantee that this average would be the minimum for the current applicant pool. It could be lower - or higher.
 
Trish Ashbury
Admissions Coordinator

 

Yep, so as I said in the original post, right billysingh? Unless I'm misunderstanding the email

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  • 2 weeks later...

I completely agree with this I felt so wrecked when I apply last year compared to people from say - York. Unfortunately....they have to draw the line somewhere and it can't be fair to every school when they all like to use different grading systems.......

Haha.. Half of our class is from York (the other half Mac)  

be careful what you say here  :P

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I don't think the GPA system is fair at all.  to give a 5% boost to students who achieve 90% is NOT equal to students who lose 1.5% when they achieve 89%.  similarly, an 80-84 will equal an 82.5, but lets be honest...it definitely does NOT equal out when students are getting 85+ in their courses.

each 90-100 = 95% and mind you, anything above a 95% is NOT easy.

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I don't think the GPA system is fair at all.  to give a 5% boost to students who achieve 90% is NOT equal to students who lose 1.5% when they achieve 89%.  similarly, an 80-84 will equal an 82.5, but lets be honest...it definitely does NOT equal out when students are getting 85+ in their courses.

each 90-100 = 95% and mind you, anything above a 95% is NOT easy.

Exactly my point :) Although I hope they at least give that some sort of informal consideration. It seems very peculiar that they would allow such a glaring discrepancy without at least some fraction of consideration. 

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Exactly my point :) Although I hope they at least give that some sort of informal consideration. It seems very peculiar that they would allow such a glaring discrepancy without at least some fraction of consideration. 

With so many different grading systems, the ones identified by the admissions committee must be the most "fair" to all applicants. I can understand that some applicants get disadvantaged but you can't please everyone (unless a universal grading system is created across Canada). It wouldn't be surprising if Mac/York made up the majority of the class since all they need is 89% to get a 12 (A+ = 95%) so there average is inflated but at the end of the day, you should just try your best and hope that you get in :)

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With so many different grading systems, the ones identified by the admissions committee must be the most "fair" to all applicants. I can understand that some applicants get disadvantaged but you can't please everyone (unless a universal grading system is created across Canada). It wouldn't be surprising if Mac/York made up the majority of the class since all they need is 89% to get a 12 (A+ = 95%) so there average is inflated but at the end of the day, you should just try your best and hope that you get in :)

"Can't please everyone" 

Haha, well, they obviously don't mind pleasing Mac and York students :P

 

I guess the point of this thread was to point out the "unfairness" of how the GPA is calculated depending on the school you attend.  Why can't all schools just be normal and stick to the percentages :P  Why the need for a 12-scale system?

 

Such is life.

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I don't think the GPA system is fair at all.  to give a 5% boost to students who achieve 90% is NOT equal to students who lose 1.5% when they achieve 89%.  similarly, an 80-84 will equal an 82.5, but lets be honest...it definitely does NOT equal out when students are getting 85+ in their courses.

each 90-100 = 95% and mind you, anything above a 95% is NOT easy.

 

I'm confused, how do schools other than Mac and York work? Do they have a % on their transcript and so that is used? Also when you say ' to give a 5% boost to students who achieve 90% is NOT equal to students who lose 1.5% when they achieve 89%' don't York/Mac students get ~ -4% when they get an 89%, as it would count as an 85% ... I feel like this would be quite common since students aiming for dent are almost always aiming for 90%+ and tend to fall just under, at 89% or so. I'm genuinely curious as to how it works with other schools b/c I didn't know it worked differently unless the school gave out % grades on the transcript ... I completely understand what you mean when you say it's unfair about people getting a 95% if they actually scored lower though, especially if the same rule doesn't apply to other students,

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On 1/20/2016 at 9:52 AM, dentsmiles said:

I'm confused, how do schools other than Mac and York work? Do they have a % on their transcript and so that is used? Also when you say ' to give a 5% boost to students who achieve 90% is NOT equal to students who lose 1.5% when they achieve 89%' don't York/Mac students get ~ -4% when they get an 89%, as it would count as an 85% ... I feel like this would be quite common since students aiming for dent are almost always aiming for 90%+ and tend to fall just under, at 89% or so. I'm genuinely curious as to how it works with other schools b/c I didn't know it worked differently unless the school gave out % grades on the transcript ... I completely understand what you mean when you say it's unfair about people getting a 95% if they actually scored lower though, especially if the same rule doesn't apply to other students,

.

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Yes, here at UW for example, our final grade is in percent. If i finished a course with a 100, it will show up as a 100. If I finish with a 90, its a 90. And no its not -4%, because the range is 85-89, and the midpoint of that is 87.5. Actually as I type this, I remember a friend telling me that York is actually like you said. That is they only have an 80-89 range, not 80-84 85-89, in which case you would be right for York. But ya for schools that give percents (which doesn't seem too common these days), it looks like we get the short end of the stick  :mad:

 

Oh wow you're right, if the school gives percentages then that does definitely seem like a disadvantage :(. I feel like they were trying to make it more fair for people who got B+'s, since those kill your grades when using the GPA system, but when taking percentages, I feel like it's a more accurate depiction of your true grades/performance i.e. a 78% is only a 3% different from an 81% for instance, but on the GPA system, it is going from 3.7 to 3.3, which can really kill your average GPA. But you're right, I would be upset too if I was getting a 90% for a 90% instead of 95% like other schools. And yes, I was talking about York, so i think York students definitely have a bit of disadvantage when getting 85% as A's when a lot of the time they're falling just 1% or so short from an A+, but I guess it is offset by the 95% for an A+ ... even though I'm sure some people get 95%+ sometimes and are still only assigned 95% for the grade, but it could be less common from what people are saying here.

What would you guys suggest UWO dents does for schools that only assign a letter grade on the transcript and no %? Would you prefer the regular GPA system in that case? Just curious to see people's opinions :)

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