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I am trying to explain a lower GPA in my statement of purpose for applying to a masters program. I have come up with this opening sentence:

"Lastly, I would like to explain my undergraduate academic record. I fully understand that explaining a lower than par performance can sound like delusional ------ but given my strong interest in the program, I would like to explain the disparity between my undergraduate and graduate performance.

I think delusional is sort of an inappropriate word to use in a statement of purpose. Does anyone have any better ideas? Or is delusional appropriate to use?

And in case anybody is wondering, I already have a masters degree and I am applying for another masters program.

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  • Good idea to ask about but help us out. What is the rest of the sentence using delusional? We would have an easier time finding a better word if we had the complete idea to start with. Looking forward to you're edit.
    – Elliot
    Jul 8 '20 at 2:43
  • Done, thanks...
    – pokiman
    Jul 8 '20 at 3:20
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    I don't understand. Explaining a lower-than-par performance sounds completely rational to me. If the grades are low, and you want to get in anyway, you have to explain why they're low. Where does delusional come from? That seems to be the opposite of the situation. If delusional (or something like it) is to be used, it should be in the context of applying for admittance with such a lower-than-par performance … Jul 8 '20 at 3:50
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You need to give the entire context in which you earned the lower than desired GPA. In doing this your must minimize the excuse making introduction or that will be all that is remembered. Minimizing this also means using as few words as possible, short sentences, only one if possible. Do not explain that you know such justification is improper/delusional/apologetic. Get on with the explanation at once. End, as you have, that Any GPA indicates your great interest in the subject and dedication to complete the program.

"I fully understand that explaining a lower than par performance can sound Exculpatory but given my strong interest in the program, I would like to explain the disparity between my undergraduate and graduate performance." Too-Long Too-Long Too-Long!

"My lower that usual/desired/typical GPA was due to my working three jobs while taking the required classes. Despite many other responsibilities I completed the necessary steps without the luxury of spare time."

Good luck.

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  • You said it. Protesting too much prolongs the pain and invites defensiveness. Jul 8 '20 at 14:51
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Delusional doesn't work based on its dictionary definitions. For example, Lexico defines delusional as follows:

delusional: Characterized by or holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.

Other possibilities include excusatory and apologetic. From Lexico:

excusatory: Seeking to excuse or justify a fault or offense.

apologetic: Regretfully acknowledging or excusing an offense or failure.

Your example:

I fully understand that explaining a lower than par performance can sound excusatory ...

I fully understand that explaining a lower than par performance can sound apologetic ...

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