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Whether you are approaching the end of high school, or are already in college, or perhaps preparing for some special, post-graduate, or Civil Service exam, you must face an unpleasant fact: There are almost always more people competing than there are openings. Much unnecessary grief comes from not realizing this in time.

Suppose that you are applying for a job for which you have had a fair amount of experience. You may imagine that you are a shoo-in for the job. But you are depending upon something which a competitor may also have, and he may have more of it. If you take an exam which contains questions that you think are unfair, and others answer them correctly, your position in the competition is automatically jeopardized.

Let us have a look at grades in moving from high school to college. Assume that there are a number of borderline C grades. At present, such
students can expect to be accepted at some colleges; however, as those institutions become more crowded, the rejection and minimum-acceptance levels will rise.

Imagine that the grades of high school seniors were inscribed on a piece of rubber tape as shown in the top line of Fig. 2. At present, the upper half of the class is eligible for college. But in college they will compete for grades ranging from A to F. Now the A-C half of the tape must be stretched to twice its length, with the result that students who were formerly in the low-C area fall into the D and F areas of the college class. This is not necessarily the case, however, for with the proper attitude and application, a student can improve his standing in the class.

Fig. 2. Grade redistribution from high school to college

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