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Aiming 4.0 GPA

Currently, I am studying a Computer Engineering at well known university in Turkey.My primary goal is to get Master degree on Computer Science in one of the best schools in the world (e.g MIT,CMU,Stanford).I know it's hard to get into these schools,since a plenty of students compete around the world.As a first year student,I think I should get a very good GPA for this purpose.However,even though I really worked hard for my first midterms,I will probably get a GPA somewhere around 3.0-3.2.It may seems very good,but for my purpose its not enough.The bad part is,I could really get +3.5 If I did not make mistakes due to my carelessness.Fot this reason,achieving a 4.0 GPA seems almost incredible to me.I have not got a problem about consistent work,but as I said I have an attention problem during any exam.How can I overcome this and improve my GPA? gpa master cs grade ivy league average point

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Steven’s Answer

Test taking, like most things, is a skill you can develop with focused attention and practice.

First, seek out a medical evaluation to see if you have any indications of "attention deficit disorder". This might be something contributing to carelessness and the attention issues you mention during tests.

The most elite students accepted into the most prestigious universities will all display exceptional academic backgrounds. You've already set your academic objective, and that's commendable. Now you have to establish the necessary process to achieve your academic objectives. The process needs to be tailored to your specific abilities, and will center around hard work (which means you will spend a LOT of time in study and preparation). Your specific process will need you to identify how you learn best and what approach helps you retain material most efficiently. Do you learn best by listening to a spoken lecture, or by watching a demonstration of a principle, or by working sample problems, or by conducting an experiment yourself to emphasize the principle? You will need to emphasize your preferred learning style, then supplement with the less dominant styles to fully internalize the material. It may help your focus if you can think of interesting ways to apply the information you're studying, especially if you can apply the information to problems you see in your daily life.

Prepare for each examination by finding sample tests to take before the examination. Attend any optional review sessions the instructor offers prior to the examination. Try to predict the concepts the instructor wants you to understand from the instruction, then make sure you understand the concepts thoroughly. Double check your work if you have extra time before every examination finishes.

Youtube can generally provide multiple options to explain concepts... try seeking out the files with the most views since they will probably be the most helpful.

My experience is that a focused undergraduate student with average intelligence can almost always perform on the same level as an intellectually gifted student if they develop an appropriate learning plan and commit to spending the hours that are necessary to thoroughly understand the academic material.

You're a bright student with exceptional ability to identify your objective and the limiting factors you need to overcome. That sets you apart from others. Now you just need to create the appropriate study program that fits your specific learning style. Your objective is not easy to achieve, but it's within your reach.

Best wishes for success!

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