How Can I Find a Second Data Point to Estimate Class Rank?

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Churchill
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:19 pm

How Can I Find a Second Data Point to Estimate Class Rank?

Post by Churchill » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:39 pm

I've gotten back grades for my 1L first semester, and want to estimate my class rank using MyLSN's class rank estimator. To use this estimator, I need a second data point (such as the top 10% GPA). Unfortunately, my school provides minimal information about grade distributions. The only policies we were told about are that the average of grades in each first-year course must be between 2.8 and 3.0, and that 7% of students in every class must receive a C- or below.

My question: Is there any way to obtain the second data point/other grade distribution information for my school? Where should I look to obtain this information?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Stranger
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:19 am

Re: How Can I Find a Second Data Point to Estimate Class Rank?

Post by Stranger » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:17 pm

I don't think you even have the median data point, but you can guess it's likely on the upper end of the range given for first-year courses. Based on how my own class's distribution looked after one semester, our median was 2/3 of the way from the middle of the distribution for individual classes to the top, which would correspond to 2.967 or so on the scale you're describing.

If we assume a normal distribution, C- would be about 1.5 standard deviations below the median, so the standard deviation would be about 0.867 for each class. Of course, I don't know whether your school uses only whole letter grades or one of those funky systems with decimal grades, and whether it includes A+ at 4.33 or something. I would expect the standard deviation for overall GPA to be somewhat smaller than that for individual classes, but it's really tough to estimate how much smaller. Let's call it 0.75, for the sake of argument (this is very back of the envelope and only serves to make the fuzziness of the mylsn simulator that much fuzzier--depending on which of the known data points for my own class's rankings I use, I can get it to vary by over 3% in its estimate of my own class rank). Basically, my best guess is that top 15% is about an A- (or slightly higher, maybe, but I would adjust down if your grading scale maxes out at A=4.0) at your school, but that guess has very little to back it up other than some wild assumptions about grade distributions at your school.

Churchill
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:19 pm

Re: How Can I Find a Second Data Point to Estimate Class Rank?

Post by Churchill » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:58 pm

Thanks Stranger, that helps!

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