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View Full Version : GPA and no. of Exams,which one is more important?



Edith
April 13th 2006, 12:20 PM
I am wondering that to apply for an entry level actuarial position, is GPA more important than no. of SOA exams passed or the other way round? Say, a person with GPA 4.0 and 2 SOA exams and a person with GPA 3.0 and 4 SOA exams,which one has the higher chance to be hired, provided other imformation about these two candidates are exactly the same? Thanks a lot for any advice.

Trojan_Horse
April 13th 2006, 12:35 PM
Exams are more important than GPA. If two candidates have the same number of exams passed and one has a 3.0 and the other has a 4.0 GPA, then .... GPA is still trumped by personality. Most people don't realize that those that are hiring can overlook just about everything EXCEPT for a bad personality or poor communication skills. If they cannot picture you fitting in with the others in the department, you have very little chance of landing the job.

1. Exams passed
2. Internships / relevant work experience
3. Communication skills / presentation
4. Personality
5. GPA

* This is all assuming a decent GPA (3.0 or higher). If you have a 2.0, that's tough to overcome.

Good luck.

TheFlyer
April 28th 2006, 06:45 PM
My GPA isnt is good as it could have been due to ADHA... Recently, (I just finished college) and I started taking Omega 3 which has upped my ability to focus significantly... however for that they only have my word (or if they hire me and allowed me to prove it)... but at the interview I dont really have a way of proving that. Should such information be mentioned? Perhaps only if they ask?
With a good personality and (hopefully as of the end of May a passed FM exam), entreprenuarship experiance (tried to start my own company and got some grants) and pretty good communications skills would a B- GPA as a physics major hurt my chances a lot?

Thanks,
Laura

wat
April 28th 2006, 07:37 PM
My GPA isnt is good as it could have been due to ADHA... Recently, (I just finished college) and I started taking Omega 3 which has upped my ability to focus significantly... however for that they only have my word (or if they hire me and allowed me to prove it)... but at the interview I dont really have a way of proving that. Should such information be mentioned? Perhaps only if they ask?
With a good personality and (hopefully as of the end of May a passed FM exam), entreprenuarship experiance (tried to start my own company and got some grants) and pretty good communications skills would a B- GPA as a physics major hurt my chances a lot?

Thanks,
Laura

If you can indeed pass exams, your GPA won't be as important in the interview process. The more exams you have, the less GPA will be focused on. If you have a GPA somewhere in the 3.0 range, it should be fine. If it's a little under 3, you may have to explain yourself a bit, where you'll probably have the opportunity to explain that in college, your focus wasn't as good as it could've been, but you've been actively trying to change that. If you used Omega 3 towards the end of your college career, and your GPA immediately spiked up over that period, be sure to highlight that GPA on your resume (whether it's all in your major, or in your final two years of school).

My advice? Try as best as you can to pass an exam or two as soon as you get the chance. It will definitely take away some of the pressure of having a less-than-desireable GPA in your eyes.

TheFlyer
April 30th 2006, 02:16 PM
Thanks for the helpful reply Wat.

:)
Laura

Anna
May 21st 2006, 11:01 PM
:confused:

"If it's a little under 3, you may have to explain yourself a bit, where you'll probably have the opportunity to explain that in college, your focus wasn't as good as it could've been..."

This is bothersome. How do you explain if your GPA is under a 3 if you weren't slacking off but on the contrary were trying your best? And then the reason for the spike for the GPA were different (and way easier) classes after you had more or less given up on "plan A". Would it be better to pretend that you were slacking off?

djerry81
May 22nd 2006, 07:39 AM
just say....I worked a full-time job while in college....

TheFlyer
May 22nd 2006, 08:16 PM
Yeah, I hope the GPA thing isnt to big of a barrier for the first job. Seriously though for me omega 3 upped my consentration a lot. When I was little I was sent to shrinks for ADHD (the general conclustion was that I had a very high IQ but the attention span of a flee! :p ) and was put on various meds at various times that did nothing helpful for me... anyhow... I eventually gave up on head doctors in HS at somepoint. Went off to college with "the attention span of a flee" and shortly after school I started trying omega 3 which seems to have done the trick.... I find I no longer have the attention span of a flee! :)
I am starting to take the exams soon, studying and learning a good bit and hopefully once I pass some exams I will get my foot in the door...

Laura

Troy_Harkin
May 30th 2006, 08:28 PM
Most interviews, IMO, are roughly the same. 30 minutes to an hour, behavioral, sometimes panel. I've been through a lot of them, which helps over time. As a recent college grad, it was a good learning experience for me, especially when most companies want the same things.

Someone who is a good fit for the company is: reliable, hard working, efficient, comfortable in the work environment, and can react positively to situations that the company gives you to work through.

If you can present yourself in such a way during the interviews, it leads to more callbacks, and possibly more job offers.

Just think to yourself, "What can I offer and what do I offer?"

Troy