May 15, 2012
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So I am home for the summer and I just found out that I got a C- in physics II. I was shocked, to say the least--I got a B in physics I so I certainly wasn't expecting things to turn out this way.

This class was extremely challenging not only because I am not so great at physics, but also because the professor was just awful. I have had some truly bad professors, but this guy took the cake. His lectures were comprised of demos that didn't work, powerpoints that restated exactly what the textbook said without any elaboration, and trying (but often failing) to derive equations for us. When asked a question he'd either say "I don't know" or try to answer it and waste a good half hour on it before giving up or giving a half-assed, unsatisfactory answer. His tests were also legendarily difficult, and he was a hard-ass of a grader, so the class average was always between a 50-60%. He was also incredibly lazy, so he'd take forever to grade tests, and hand one exam back a few days before the next. He literally gave us back our second exam three days before our final. I'd read reviews online that said his class was quite generously curved, so I tried not to get too disheartened at getting low 50s and high 40s on my tests. I tried to teach myself the material by poring over the textbook, watching lectures on youtube, and forming study groups with my friends.

However, I had the misfortune of bombing his final, and now here I am. I am really scared because my science GPA was only a 3.4 before taking this class and now I'm sure it has taken quite the nosedive (I don't even want to think about calculating it now). My dream school is the University of Washington (I'm in-state so my chances aren't so horrible) and I knew that it would be tough to get in even with the grades I had before this class. Now I don't know if I should even keep trying. I'm a junior, so I only have a year to raise my grades, and I'm also going to be taking organic chem senior year (I decided I wanted to be pre-med very late in my career) so I can't count on anything working out for me.

What do you guys think? If I retake the class and improve my grade significantly/do very well on the physics section of the MCAT/explain to the admissions committee that my professor was lousy, do I still have a shot? (I've also emailed my physics professor in the slim hope that he'll be generous and reevaluate how he curved the class, but of course I highly doubt he will.)
 
Apr 7, 2012
1,159
111
Hello, cold
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't think "my professor was lousy" is going to cut it, in fact it may make some people think you have a blame someone else attitude. If you had straight A's all throughout undergrad then you could probably say this, but since your record like mine seems to be spotted with lower grades you probably shouldn't say that.
 

tomtom2389

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5+ Year Member
May 9, 2012
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start looking into DO school. GPA replacement is awesome.
 

Thego2guy

7+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2011
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NY
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What is your overall GPA? How did you do in your other prereqs?
 
Dec 3, 2011
1,071
93
"The Library"
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Pre-Medical
I agree with the above...don't call anyone lousy. If you really think you can do better the second time around, and with a different professor, then I would go for the re-take; although a C- and an A will only average out to a B/B-

However, if you've done really well in other pre-reqs and if your PS score on the MCAT is high, then this probably won't hurt you that much.

If your sGPA is a 3.4, and you plan on applying to DO schools, then grade replacement could be on your side.
 

MathewsMD

Pre-med
5+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2011
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Toronto
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Pre-Veterinary
If you think you can improve your grade a second time around, then retake the course. I would keep DO schools open as an option as well.
 

Morsetlis

I wish I were a dentist
7+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2010
4,924
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The "Garden" State
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I blamed my C in molecular biochem on wildfires and ash inhalation.

Try doing the same thing, might work out.
 
OP
T
May 15, 2012
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I understand; I'm trying really hard not to blow a fuse here (but probably failing). Even when my classmates were busy putting him down, I just shrugged and said he was busy with his own work and probably hated having to teach a lower-level physics class stuffed with pre-meds. I figured it would all even out in the end. But at the very least I have to say that this guy verged on unreasonably tough. I'm definitely going to retake the class and study my butt off for the MCAT, so there's that, but I wonder if even those will do much for me at all.
 
OP
T
May 15, 2012
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
@Thego2guy, my overall was a 3.6 before this semester. I fooled around too much in my freshman year, so I got B's in my chem and bio prereqs. But I have gotten A's in three of my higher-level bio classes. Now I just need to prove myself in organic chem, I guess.