Monday, July 28, 2008

Wharton and Math

I spent a lot of time this summer trying to brush up on calculus. Wharton has a math test during Pre-Term, which mainly includes calculus concepts applied to business problems. You have to pass in order to matriculate (but you get 2 tries). So I read a business calculus book because I last looked at calculus about 10 years ago, and I never had word problems. Then I did the assessment test on the web, which helps you decide which math review class to take to prepare for the test. My score was pretty horrible, so I was kinda worried. But then I asked around and found out that most people hadn't even looked at the assessment test. So I felt better, but also a little like a nerd. I need to chill a little, lest I become one of those poor souls who cares too much about grades!*

*At Wharton, and I suspect other schools that have grade non-disclosure (Wharton doesn't have GND as a policy anymore, but the student association votes to have it as a student policy), you will often see 2nd years advising 1st years not to worry too much about grades. As long as you pass, your grades really don't matter because they won't be a factor in recruiting. Of course, you want to learn, but there is no need to go for a super-high GPA for any reason other than an ego boost. GND fosters a sense of community and cooperation among students, because it theoretically stops people from scratching and clawing their way to #1 in the class. It also, theoretically, gives you permission to pry yourself away from academics enough to socialize and participate in clubs. But there are always some students who care very much about grades (many would argue too much) and end up studying way more than everyone else. These people miss out on stuff. I don't want to be one of those people. But as your standard-issue-overachiever-Wharton-admit, I have a feeling it will be hard to really convince myself "that grades don't matter."


Starwalker said...

hmmm.... i was very excited o see the GND student policy.... and as far as i am learning, i don't care about grades.....

but i agree it will be hard to convince myself of that

Kunal said...


I am a Chi GSB admit for '10 from India and will be in Philly around 22nd of August. It would be great to meet up. Let me know :)