View Full Version : Do GPA/transcripts matter all that much for successfuly applying?

March 15th, 2013, 09:07
I won't be applying until 2014 but I'm wondering whether college gpa and course record have affected how successful of an applicant you are. Like: are there any accepted JET's that applied with a shitty gpa or failed courses? Does anyone feel like it hurt their chances? How competitive is it? If anyone has insight on this I'd really appreciate it.

My gpa isn't the worst, it's something like a 2.75 but after this semester I will likely have a failed course and I have audited courses from previous semesters. I'm likely stressing too much over this, but I'd like to know whether I still have a decent chance at becoming a JET.

Thanks for the help, and sorry for the slightly out of place question.

March 15th, 2013, 09:32
I was accepted. I had dropped out of college with horrific grades, then returned later and received average marks. It doesn't matter. The job is competitive and all, but great marks don't necessarily indicate a great ALT (sometimes quite the opposite), and the JET screeners seem to be aware of this fact. Be prepared to explain any bad grades during your interview if you're questioned about them (and you *might* briefly address this issue in your SoP if you care to; I did), but don't stress otherwise. It's the degree that's important; not so much the marks.

It's good to realize that part of this is due to cultural differences in the manner in which school marks are approached in Japan vs. the West. In the West, getting into school is easy, marks are important, and you can actually fail. In Japan, getting admitted is the real challenge; grades aren't all that important.

March 15th, 2013, 09:49
One of my friends had a 4.0 gpa, 12 credits of Japanese, honor society, all that extra stuff, and didn't even get an interview. It's not always the grades.

March 15th, 2013, 11:12
The marks don't matter. My University marks were horrendous with failed papers and substandard marks (due to many personal reasons), but I still got a degree. My marks were never brought up during my interview, or did I mention them in my SOP, and I was selected for JET (named top applicant in NZ my year as well, so it shows marks don't count for crap).

All that matters is the fact you got a degree so you can get the correct visa.

March 15th, 2013, 11:37
Mediocre marks over all (B- avg), decent (but still not great) in my core courses (B+, almost A-). Failed classes and withdrawns visible on my transcripts, and 5 years for a 4 year program.

Also, assuming your app gets over to Japan, they aren't Victorian in their definition of grade success either. 50% is an okay grade in this country for a course (60-70 are good, 70-90 are really good). The fail line here is like 30%.

I would also agree with word that the best ALTs I've known are the ones who weren't stellar students. Specifically because (pure gizmo point now) that people who achieve good marks seldom understand the motivations of people who don't, and also don't usually understand how someone who actually is struggling needs help and support that is very different from a student who can and does succeed.

On that, I remember a comment from my best university professor... "I teach to C students to get them to Bs. The B student will learn and achieve from the same education, and the A student is completely irrelevant in the classroom as they were going to succeed anyways. However, if I can succeed in getting those C students to B students, I've done my job." Oddly enough this got him in a lot of crap because he was very good at that and had curves that were always "too high" for the institution, yet the classes were identified as being distinctly harder than most of the previous versions of the same class w/ the preferred curve.

As everyone mentioned, the degree is a requirement for the visa primarily.

March 15th, 2013, 11:37
Just have a good answer if they ask you about your grades. I have a massive gap in my transcript, and you better bet I have a good reason for it.

March 15th, 2013, 12:34
I had good grades, but I agree with Giz. There were times, especially at first, when I just didn't understand why kids wouldn't get something or why they wouldn't want to do well. It took a lot of practice to figure out how to reach those kids.

March 18th, 2013, 10:57
What everyone said, I got in once with a 2.6 (briefly mentioned in my SOP like Word) and then again with a 4.0. I assume once you close in on 2.0 it might make them raise their eyebrows, but you should be fine if you have a strong application.

March 18th, 2013, 15:05
I had over two years of consistent fails (across the board), I had to see the Unsatisfactory Progress Committee at my University twice, followed by a final year where I was able to get my shit together and get 80%+ in all my subjects.

I'm here in Japan on JET and wasn't even asked about my grades in my interview. Ability matters, but grades only matter so far as they are an indication of ability.

(PS: I made this same topic during my application round, so don't feel that it's an out of place question, rather you're continuing the tradition!)