Personal background: 6 pointer at IIT Bombay.
Now that you know I had a low GPA (or CPI as it was called in IITB), let me tell you that there is absolutely no advantage of a low GPA.
Anyone glorifying a low GPA is deluded to say the least. You can take risks, travel (for free to conferences etc.), be an entrepreneur or pretty much do anything you want with a high GPA too. These are all the things you may succeed at despite having a low GPA not because of it.
Having a low GPA does not make you a rebel or make you cool. It just means you lost the game you signed up for. If you want to rebel, drop out of college.
started uni at 16yo, studied at Georgia Tech
I personally regret getting a high GPA. I have been lucky in my life — I held a perfect GPA during high school, left early to attend college, helped teach courses, graduated among the top percentiles of my class with highest honors, and lived a dream career. I am really thankful to the people who supported me, but I was wrong.
Right after graduation, a friend and I were talking about education.
They asked me to raise my hand.
You can try this too. Raise your hand please.
Can you raise your hand any higher?
“Sure,” I said and straightened my arm.
Is that the highest you can raise your hand?
“Umm,” I stretched my arm and hand further.
It took me three asks before I raised my hand to its limit. My friend finished with, “So why didn’t you do that to begin with?”
My first effort was 90%. My hand was unmistakably raised, a reasonable job, but far from my best. Every time I was told that wasn’t good enough, I reluctantly gave a bit more. This is the behavior we learned throughout school: reaching for 90%.
Getting a good GPA is a time optimization problem. To have enough time to allocate to all courses, we do the minimum effort for each and pick the subjects we seem to be already good at. It’s the wrong problem. What matters isn’t getting As.
This is Hermione; she’s a badass.
I have a friend who reminds me a lot of Hermione. She is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful people I have ever met. One semester when she was in undergrad, she was researching for a class paper on the portrayal of Mercutio in modern adaptations of Romeo and Juliet. She submitted her paper three weeks late — which, based on the grading rubric, was automatically a failing grade.
I could not comprehend why she would do this.
A week later, her professor — the dean of the department and an accomplished scholar — returned the paper with some minor corrections and remarked, “This is the best student paper I have read in the last decade.”
My friend was a physics major.
Later sometime after her quantum mechanics courses, she would switch majors to computer science and, seemingly overnight, outsmart me in subject areas I spent many years getting As in. Before finishing undergrad, she conducted significant research into robotics and browser rendering for the big tech companies that maintain the web browsers you’re probably using. Yes, she effectively made the internet faster for over a billion people before graduating.
What’s the secret? She simply and sincerely gets excited about things, regardless of social norms or arbitrary measures for success.
Be like Hermione.
Spend your time learning in school. Spend your time caring about something truly interesting to you, or finding out what actually interests you. Explore more of the roads less traveled, enroll in daunting and relentlessly deep courses, perhaps even drop out of school for a bit, read research papers in a variety of fields, ask shamelessly dumb questions, build overly ambitious projects, start a meaningful startup, volunteer internationally for refugees, venture to see more and more of the world through other peoples’ eyes — and with whatever you do, reach higher than you had ever reached before.
That is the advantage of caring about other things besides your GPA.
Once I lived in heaven, called college hostel.
Buddy you have no idea, how good is it to have a low GPA.
You have numerous opportunity in your life.
Low GPA means, you haven't excelled in your stream and you have no future plan to have it. Since you haven't studied, so where did you utilised your time?
You are a player. You have scored in different direction. Trust me, every geeky envies you because you have a girlfriend.
You are a Video Gamer. No one can beat you in Counter Strike, Dota or in Age of Empires.
You have huge collection in your C: drive's hidden folder. You are in demand.
You can be guitarist or any musician, that is popular fad among engineering students. You can have your own band. No matter how bad you sing, if Honey Singh can be a star, then anything can happen in India.
You can be a writer or banker. Since you have low CGPA, you are not going to have placement from college, you can be UPSC aspirant. Who knows, may be you will clear it.
You can tackle any situation.
Low CGPA it means, humiliation is the part of your life. Either from professors or from parents/society. It will make you stronger from inside. More humiliation more power. Remember movie Rockstar? You should have a pain in your life to become something.
Drinking and smoking is your passion (most low graders have). Don't waste it, who knows one day you will become another Vijay Mallya.
Since you have never studied, that means you know every shortcut to get marks. Good sign. You have become pro in Jugaad (life hacks).
You are not going to have a proper job which will justify your degree but not your talent.
Obviously you will have a dream to conquer this world without giving any effort.
Entrepreneurship is made only for you guys.
Who knows one day you will write your success story on quora.
Note: I am also an engineer, so I can write or prove anything right which is wrong. Whatever I have written above is utter bullsh!t, So study hard.
CEO @ As Seen On TV
I strategically maintained a B, borderline C average throughout school. Could have done better. Chose not to. ;)
My sister fought hard to maintain her perfect GPA. For her, bringing home a B would have been devastating and disappointing.
Meanwhile, if I brought home an A, our parents were practically throwing a party, like I was a soldier returning to the village victorious from battle.
So why the lack of application? Because I learned three things at a young age…
The real world doesnt care what your grades were as long as you finished. Outside of academia, a 4.0 won't open any more doors than a 3.0 would.
The middle management interviewing and hiring you in all likelihood wasn't anywhere near a 4.0 and won't be impressed if you were.
The wealthiest and most influential people in the world were generally terrible students - if they bothered finishing at all. Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, John Rockefeller, Walt Disney, Richard Branson, and Mark Zuckerberg were all dropouts. Al Gore, John McCain, John Kerry, George Bush, and Joe Biden didn't have spectacular GPA’s either, and it didn't seem to hold them back much.
Over the years, I've observed something else too… I've found the folks who wear their IQ and GPA on their sleeves are great at following instructions - but leadership and critical problem solving under real-world conditions is a different skill set.
So what's the advantage? The freedom from the stress of worrying about something completely meaningless once you graduate.
Don't worry about your GPA. Just worry about passing.
If there are advantages of having a low GPA, the most important one I can think is the time which you earn through it.
You have all the time to sleep during your college life. I have even slept when a mid-sem exam was taking place.
You have all the time for booze and weed.
You have all the time to watch movies/series till late night without the worry of the next morning class.
You have all the time to chase girls and if you fail then you can always return to the second point.
You have all the time to play Counter Strike or DotA or Most Wanted.
This is the story as far as you are in the college but it doesn't simply end here. You have earned enough for the life after your "retirement" from the college. Most probably you are not going to get a job or offers for further studies with a low GPA so even now all you have is time. You can invest this time in the way you want.
The point is that you obviously lack interest, either partially or completely in the field in which you are pursuing your degree. So you must have interest in some other stuff. There is a '10,000 hours rule' formulated by Malcolm Gladwell that says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. You have those ten thousand hours in hand and there is no limit on what you can learn.
If you have a dream then a low GPA is not going to stop you. As it was famously said by some great entrepreneur (resemblance to the more famous one is due to bad photoshop).
Apart from this there are absolutely no advantages of having a low GPA which has been bluntly put by Dwarkanath Prabhu.
Winstreams & Bryghtminds
A low GPA can save you from leading a life of conformity. Most people aspire to graduate top of their class at an Ivy league school, get accepted into a Fortune 500 firm and lead a prim and proper life that is anything but exciting. A low GPA can end up molding you into a stronger more self sufficient person that is willing and able to face challenges along the way head on.
Robert Kyosaki's "Why A students work for C students" can offer some inspiration on this very point. "A" students are more prone to overthink, overanalyze and be less willing to delegate. Success in life is about perseverance in the face of adversity. If you're so used to succeeding you'll be less likely to stick it out when things don't go so well. Conversely, students who get low GPAs are used to failing and less prone to take it to heart as much.
Another book that can offer inspiration on this very matter is "David and Goliath". The main takeaway of the book is to embrace your supposed disadvantages and turn them into strengths. There are many fascinating examples of how harsh childhoods and/or not getting everything handed to you on a silver plater end up shaping incredibly successful people.
Even though I personally did very well in school, it took me 4 years of working for other people to realize that the corporate world wasn't for me. Had I not done as well in school I would have probably realized this sooner. Being an immigrant who is trying to make it on his own in this country I have embraced the underdog in me. Are you capable of doing the same?
Engineering undergraduate, MBA
You’ll get hired.
No kidding. I work for a Fortune 500 company and we aren't the only employer who worries about candidates with high GPAs.
We worry they won't have spent enough time honing their social skills (aka goofing off and making friends) to relate to the people from various backgrounds that we employ.
We worry they will fail to see the unique challenges in our business when our product and mission never change.
We worry the hard work they invested into studying won't translate into skills our company can utilize.
I've sat in on interviews and advocated for candidates with low GPAs because they are genuinely passionate about our industry and about engineering as a whole. They expand their technical knowledge through personal endeavors. And sometimes they admit honestly they take comfort in our industry being a bit “boring.”
Not to discredit students with a high GPA, but it's the ones below them in the class rank that you're more likely to find working on the shop floor to fix an emergent issue at midnight, or inventing something on weekends in their garage. Regardless of your GPA, be hardworking, be humble, listen to others, and always try to make the world a better place.
Production Engineer. Learning to invest time & money!
1. You can take risks in life.
2. You are not eligible for a lot of companies coming in for placements and you are more likely to startup.
3. More startups means more businesses in the country and more jobs and higher GDP for the nation.
4. You can improve your GPA much easily than the 9 pointer guy.
5. If you get a job, you can write an answer on Quora describing how you got a job despite having a low GPA.
6. If you score high on GRE/GMAT, professors and others will be shocked by your scores.
7. You can still say that you performed much better than Bill Gates did in college as he dropped out.
8. You can write a sequel to 'Five point someone' though I highly recommend not doing so.
9. You can write answers to such questions on Quora.
10. This point is just to highlight that I scored a 10 pointer at least here.
PS: I wrote a post on my blog on Why getting a few KTs in exams is good for your future...
Original siteon Quora