Sep 15, 2015
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Pre-Medical
Hello everyone,
This is my first post here at SDN.

I am currently an incoming freshman at UCR for UG. This summer, I took a math course, and depending on how you scored, you would be placed at your next math level. Well, I didn't score high enough to proceed in math, and will need to petition to retake it.

This was the first and only college class I have ever taken, I had to move a couple hours away to college on like a week's notice, and I had a hard time taking an almost 90% test-based course for the first time. I messed up and there's no use making excuses, but I do find it messed up that the school might kill my life's dream before I've even started there.

I am a non-science major and I'm dead set on going to med school. There seem to be a couple options:

1. The school grants my petition and I proceed as planned (one adviser said no way basically, course instructor said it's possible, and my advisor said idk)

2. I have to get a non science/math degree and then take courses at another school (concurrently or postgrad). The credits will not "transfer" so I will not be able to take any math/science courses at UCR, all will have to be done elsewhere.

3. I have to transfer to another school before the school year has even started- to a CC or something, which I sure as hell don't want to do. I love my school so far, except for this scenario.

What do you guys honestly think I should do, should the petition not be granted?

My goal is to get into a UC M.D. program, but honestly, I'd go to the best (or any) school that accepts me in the States. I know admissions are very difficult. I'm not really interested in D.O. programs or any other fields. I have volunteering, shadowing, and internship experience in both hospital and private practice settings, and I am very sure when I say that this is what I wholeheartedly want to do with my life.

Thank you very much, I appreciate any insight I can get.
 

efle

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jl lin

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D.O. are doctors of medicine and thus are physicians. Unless you think you may want to go into a highly competitive field within medicine, I would not discount DO. You are, however, a ways from even looking at such options. Who cares where you take your mathematics, so long as the school is accredited, the curriculum is appropriate, and you learn?

Some CCs even offer advanced mathematics analyses as well as advanced mathematical theories courses, which can get involved. Are you working also? Take whatever math classes you need to progress into trig and calculus. Some say algebra-based physics is often available in many undergrad schools. Math is learned in a cumulative fashion, with exercise and focus. Hone in on it, and you will be fine. Don't be afraid to be well-rounded in your learning and to learn for the pure fun and value of learning. If it is just a means to an end, you as the student/person end up losing out of the benefits of education. Good luck.
 
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Spector1

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What on earth? So it's not like you did poorly and they want to put you in something low level like College Algebra...they just said you can't take any math classes, period?
I agree, this makes very little sense. I went to a UC (not riverside though) and this doesnt quite seem to add up. At worse, they would just make you take precalc before calc.
 

efle

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OP
U
Sep 15, 2015
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Pre-Medical
What on earth? So it's not like you did poorly and they want to put you in something low level like College Algebra...they just said you can't take any math classes, period?
It was the lowest placement. I hadn't taken calc or pre-calc in high school. I had to take Geometry, then Algebra, then Math Analysis (my teacher was fired halfway through), then Stat.

I did badly in my first and only class, and they're disqualifying me.

D.O. are doctors of medicine and thus are physicians. Unless you think you may want to go into a highly competitive field within medicine, I would not discount DO. You are, however, a ways from even looking at such options. Who cares where you take your mathematics, so long as the school is accredited, the curriculum is appropriate, and you learn?

Some CCs even offer advanced mathematics analyses as well as advanced mathematical theories courses, which can get involved. Are you working also? Take whatever math classes you need to progress into trig and calculus. Some say algebra-based physics is often available in many undergrad schools. Math is learned in a cumulative fashion, with exercise and focus. Hone in on it, and you will be fine. Don't be afraid to be well-rounded in your learning and to learn for the pure fun and value of learning. If it is just a means to an end, you as the student/person end up losing out of the benefits of education. Good luck.
My interest lies in trauma or possibly orthopedic surgery, but probably trauma. I don't know when I'd take these CC courses, but isn't there a stigma to taking all your prereqs at a CC?
 
OP
U
Sep 15, 2015
9
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Status
Pre-Medical
And you can always take your math at a CC but everything else at UCR right? Unless Chem, Ochem, Physics or Biochem require that you've taken Calc and will not let you use CC credits
No I can't. To take Chem at UCR, you need to be taking a certain level of math at UCR as well, there's no transfer credits allowed. It must have been built up from your original placement at UCR. If you were placed in the lowest math, you need to work your way up to take Chem or related subjects.
 

efle

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It was the lowest placement. I hadn't taken calc or pre-calc in high school. I had to take Geometry, then Algebra, then Math Analysis (my teacher was fired halfway through), then Stat.

I did badly in my first and only class, and they're disqualifying me.



My interest lies in trauma or possibly orthopedic surgery, but probably trauma. I don't know when I'd take these CC courses, but isn't there a stigma to taking all your prereqs at a CC?
Oh so to clarify, you were placed in a basic level class like College Algebra, but then failed out of it? They will probably let you enroll again if you can tell them what you'll change this time around

A lot of people take the intro year prereqs during two years at CC and then transfer to a UC, where they show they are capable of university level work by acing a bunch of upper-level science coursework.
 
OP
U
Sep 15, 2015
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Oh so to clarify, you were placed in a basic level class like College Algebra, but then failed out of it? They will probably let you enroll again if you can tell them what you'll change this time around

A lot of people take the intro year prereqs during two years at CC and then transfer to a UC, where they show they are capable of university level work by acing a bunch of upper-level science coursework.
Yes, my apologies for not being clearer.

I won't be allowed to enroll for math/chem classes at UCR until something is "done" with my class placement. It either needs to be retaken and a higher placement granted, or stay how it is- a hold barring me from signing up for those classes ever. Doesn't matter if you take the courses elsewhere, they won't recognize them due to that "hold."
 

piii

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It was the lowest placement. I hadn't taken calc or pre-calc in high school. I had to take Geometry, then Algebra, then Math Analysis (my teacher was fired halfway through), then Stat.

I did badly in my first and only class, and they're disqualifying me.



My interest lies in trauma or possibly orthopedic surgery, but probably trauma. I don't know when I'd take these CC courses, but isn't there a stigma to taking all your prereqs at a CC?
Lol I'd advise you to do some actual research so to know what trauma surgery entails. Trauma surgeons start in general surgery residencies, and guess what is one of the top residency placements for DOs? Gen surgery (along with primary care, EM, and IM). I mean, a DO used to be head of orthopedic trauma at U Miami..
 
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OP
U
Sep 15, 2015
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Gotcha. Sounds like you need to study up and retake that placement test! Luckily math is one of the subjects that is just as easy to self-teach as to learn in a class
"In most cases, the Mathematics Advisory Exam (MAE) can only be taken once. Students may retake the exam if their previous exam scores have expired. Exam scores expire after one year"

I don't think it will work like that

Lol I'd advise you to do some actual research so to know what trauma surgery entails. Trauma surgeons start in general surgery residencies, antel:13218730d guess what is one of the top residency placements for DOs? Gen surgery (along with primary care, EM, and IM). I mean, a DO used to be head of orthopedic trauma at U Miami..
I basically know what MD and DO programs entail, and I know DO's firsthand who have ended up in high places. No doubt about that. But if I'm going to put in the time and effort to go through all that schooling, I'm sure going to aim for the M.D. program first.
 

efle

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Sep 15, 2015
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How long ago did you take the exam?
Early summer-ish, so a few months ago.
I also "did something" with the score, by taking the class. I think they mean people who take the test but don't take math that year can retake it.
 

Spinach Dip

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So if I understand correctly, you will need to take some low-level math pre-reqs (something like MTH95 Pre-Algebra) before you can take college-level math (which is a prereq for bio and chem).

If that is the case, I have to say: Just take the classes. You'll survive.

If that is not the case, I admit I am lost.
 

efle

not an elf
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Early summer-ish, so a few months ago.
I also "did something" with the score, by taking the class. I think they mean people who take the test but don't take math that year can retake it.
Well the first step is to call or visit the people running these placement exams, explain your situation, and find out your options - more specifically ask if you could retake soon, could re-enroll in the failed class, could take at any of the CCs that are specifically partnered to grant credits at UCR
 
OP
U
Sep 15, 2015
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So if I understand correctly, you will need to take some low-level math pre-reqs (something like MTH95 Pre-Algebra) before you can take college-level math (which is a prereq for bio and chem).

If that is the case, I have to say: Just take the classes. You'll survive.

If that is not the case, I admit I am lost.
I just took the lowest level math pre-req. To take the math course that's the next level up, you needed to score above a B in the class, which I didn't get. That means I either need to retake the class, which they might not let me do, or I can't move forward in Math at all. If I can't move forward in math, I can't start chem or bio, etc.

Well the first step is to call or visit the people running these placement exams, explain your situation, and find out your options - more specifically ask if you could retake soon, could re-enroll in the failed class, could take at any of the CCs that are specifically partnered to grant credits at UCR
I'm trying to get to the bottom of things, but so far the popular consensus from faculty has been: if your petition isn't granted, and you want med school, transfer.
 

efle

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I just took the lowest level math pre-req. To take the math course that's the next level up, you needed to score above a B in the class, which I didn't get. That means I either need to retake the class, which they might not let me do, or I can't move forward in Math at all. If I can't move forward in math, I can't start chem or bio, etc.



I'm trying to get to the bottom of things, but so far the popular consensus from faculty has been: if your petition isn't granted, and you want med school, transfer.
How possible is the transfer option? It sounds like UCR = much bigger pain in the ass than other UCs
 
OP
U
Sep 15, 2015
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
How possible is the transfer option? It sounds like UCR = much bigger pain in the ass than other UCs
Only place I could go now is a CC, and the ones near me have started so getting classes will be hell. I just paid tuition and housing at UCR too. If the petition is denied, then I'll very seriously consider a transfer, but it would be a PAIN IN THE ASS.


I'm really confused about post bac programs, will those work in my case? Graduate UCR then pursue a program?
 
Sep 3, 2015
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Oh my word...do not worry about post bacc programs you are a freshman. Breathe.

They may not let you retake the course immediately, but I am sure they will help you retake it. There are requirements of certain courses before you can even graduate and getting through college algebra is one of them (at least everywhere I've ever heard of).

I had to take the math pre-reqs (Algebra, Algebra 2, Geometry) before they let me take college algebra myself. I am fairly certain I took algebra 2 twice...I was not super strong in math at the beginning but now I'm in calculus and doing fine.

You aren't kept from taking math or science courses "ever" you just have to progress through the hierarchy. Honestly, I think you e misunderstood something and are freaking out over nothing. Some basic math and science courses are required as part of ANY degree (as well as some humanities, maybe language or philosophy courses, etc) as part of becoming "a well rounded student".

I cannot imagine a scenario where any school would keep you from taking courses meant to lead you to completing basic degree requirements.

Find out WHEN you may re-take the course. Study hard, use Khan Academy or Brightstorm (though that one costs come money and Khan Is free) for extra practice. Go to your tutoring center/success center on campus.

And breathe- it is going to be fine.
 

Cpt Ahab

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So, OP, you've thought 15 years down the road about becoming a trauma surgeon, but you didn't even think about the questions on your algebra test?


I don't know why everyone is being so nice here because your actions thus far have proved you have the reasoning abilities of a high school stoner. There are 24 hours in a day, and I suggest educating yourself on what it takes just to get in medical school because had you had known anything about this process you would have been more motivated to make an A+ in that math class - in all of your classes.

How can someone expect you're going to take care of another person when you can't even take care of yourself?

I'm not trying to be mean but this process is extremely competitive. There are high school seniors taking calculus and volunteering 20 hours a week and you don't even know how to get past algebra. Can't you see how worrisome this is?

In summary, cut the surgeon crap and actually learn about this process because it isn't f****** easy, bro. This ain't nursing school.

Then be honest with yourself and your abilities and decide if you're smart/mature enough to commit to this. And guess what, it never ends. So if you don't like studying or thinking now just wait.
 
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candbgirl

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What classes are you taking now? Study hard. Get As and work on clearing up this mess you have created. You don't have to fix it this semester. It may take a semester or two to get it together. In the mean time take GE classes, find some clubs etc and study hard. It will work out and if by June you haven't been able to get it together transfer . You don't have to transfer now. You seem to be totally consumed by this but remember you are the one that didn't get the needed grade(B). So relax and do what you have to.
 
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Sep 3, 2015
216
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Outer Gates
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That's the thing though- isn't college algebra a general education requirement?

It makes no sense at all that he wouldn't be allowed to re-take a pre-req for a pre-req. how would he graduate?
I genuinely believe you are freaking out over nothing.

That said, when you see that you have not done well in a course, you must seriously evaluate yourself. Did you legitimately study as hard or often as you should? I'm not talking long cram sessions the day before/day of tests. Those don't work well, that's proven.

So find effective study methods, go to your schools' tutoring/help center and your profs office hours, do homework even if it isn't for a grade. Bunker down for the long haul. It won't get any easier.
 
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jl lin

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It was the lowest placement. I hadn't taken calc or pre-calc in high school. I had to take Geometry, then Algebra, then Math Analysis (my teacher was fired halfway through), then Stat.

I did badly in my first and only class, and they're disqualifying me.



My interest lies in trauma or possibly orthopedic surgery, but probably trauma. I don't know when I'd take these CC courses, but isn't there a stigma to taking all your prereqs at a CC?

I shouldn't think mathematics courses taken at a community college would necessarily be unacceptable, unless you are advancing into a undergrad degree in mathematics, and that would depend upon the mathematics department at the particular university. When it comes to the required science prereqs, it seems advisable to take at least most of them at a four-year or university. Your order of classes confuses me in that you say you had to take certain mathematics courses, but later said your first and only class.
 
OP
U
Sep 15, 2015
9
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Pre-Medical
So, OP, you've thought 15 years down the road about becoming a trauma surgeon, but you didn't even think about the questions on your algebra test?


I don't know why everyone is being so nice here because your actions thus far have proved you have the reasoning abilities of a high school stoner. There are 24 hours in a day, and I suggest educating yourself on what it takes just to get in medical school because had you had known anything about this process you would have been more motivated to make an A+ in that math class - in all of your classes.

How can someone expect you're going to take care of another person when you can't even take care of yourself?

I'm not trying to be mean but this process is extremely competitive. There are high school seniors taking calculus and volunteering 20 hours a week and you don't even know how to get past algebra. Can't you see how worrisome this is?

In summary, cut the surgeon crap and actually learn about this process because it isn't f****** easy, bro. This ain't nursing school.

Then be honest with yourself and your abilities and decide if you're smart/mature enough to commit to this. And guess what, it never ends. So if you don't like studying or thinking now just wait.
I volunteered over 20 hours a week at a hospital as a senior. I pulled A's in the highest level Chem and Bio. I never said it was easy or would be easy, so don't talk down to me over doing badly in a single class. I know what this entails, and that's why I'm genuinely worried about my next step.

Oh my word...do not worry about post bacc programs you are a freshman. Breathe.

They may not let you retake the course immediately, but I am sure they will help you retake it. There are requirements of certain courses before you can even graduate and getting through college algebra is one of them (at least everywhere I've ever heard of).

I had to take the math pre-reqs (Algebra, Algebra 2, Geometry) before they let me take college algebra myself. I am fairly certain I took algebra 2 twice...I was not super strong in math at the beginning but now I'm in calculus and doing fine.

You aren't kept from taking math or science courses "ever" you just have to progress through the hierarchy. Honestly, I think you e misunderstood something and are freaking out over nothing. Some basic math and science courses are required as part of ANY degree (as well as some humanities, maybe language or philosophy courses, etc) as part of becoming "a well rounded student".

I cannot imagine a scenario where any school would keep you from taking courses meant to lead you to completing basic degree requirements.

Find out WHEN you may re-take the course. Study hard, use Khan Academy or Brightstorm (though that one costs come money and Khan Is free) for extra practice. Go to your tutoring center/success center on campus.

And breathe- it is going to be fine.
My degree requirement doesn't need any "real" math, a computer class or stats (separate track) are the options to complete those requirements. I went to tutoring almost daily. It didn't help that the class didn't have a real textbook, and the example problems were much easier than anything on the exam.
 

Cpt Ahab

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I volunteered over 20 hours a week at a hospital as a senior. I pulled A's in the highest level Chem and Bio. I never said it was easy or would be easy, so don't talk down to me over doing badly in a single class. I know what this entails, and that's why I'm genuinely worried about my next step.



My degree requirement doesn't need any "real" math, a computer class or stats (separate track) are the options to complete those requirements. I went to tutoring almost daily. It didn't help that the class didn't have a real textbook, and the example problems were much easier than anything on the exam.
I am reading a lot of excuses.. All I know is because of your decision making, at this juncture, you are on the cusp of transferring to a community college. You're telling me this was because you didn't have a book? I am sorry if you feel like I am talking down to you, but I am attempting to give you an outsider's honest perspective. I see a student who doesn't know when or how to seek help, a student who does not understand why the question of post bacc at this point is absurd, and a student making financially unsound decisions.

An admissions committee member at some point will likely ask you similar questions. If you feed them excuses they will most likely interpret that as a personality flaw. In psychology, this is know as world attribution. That is, when one performs poorly and blames factors that have nothing to do with themselves. Example- a wrestler loses a match and says the crowd was too loud, his shoes were too tight, he didn't have his lucky underwear instead of admitting he/she did not practice or diet well enough. You came to SDN seeking advice, so I would suggest toughing up because as I said before most people have been nice to you. Best of luck OP I hope you can target and correct the source of your problems.
 
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Easonred57

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I volunteered over 20 hours a week at a hospital as a senior. I pulled A's in the highest level Chem and Bio. I never said it was easy or would be easy, so don't talk down to me over doing badly in a single class. I know what this entails, and that's why I'm genuinely worried about my next step.
Not talking down to you, but from someone with greater experience, you have to realize that your high school achievements are irrelevant at this point. Universities are an entirely different level of difficulty compared to high schools, and making an "A" in AP Chem or Bio could maybe land you a "C" or fail with the same amount of effort, depending on your university. Keep pressing your university officials to let you re-take, if it is truly necessary to move on. I doubt they will completely block you from taking a class that is a prerequisite to so many, or prevent you from taking an equally effective alternative class.

Don't even worry about medical school applications at this point, certainly not a postbac or specialty. Do well in your first year. Get a good volunteer position once your grades are stable. Once you have your foundation, build up from there, but getting too far ahead of yourself will just give you anxiety. Remember, the goal isn't to get your prerequisites out of the way as quickly as possible; rather, do well in them and take the time you need. Non-traditional is becoming the norm for medical school applications, so you don't necessarily have to apply during your senior year of college.
 
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allantois

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Not talking down to you, but from someone with greater experience, you have to realize that your high school achievements are irrelevant at this point. Universities are an entirely different level of difficulty compared to high schools, and making an "A" in AP Chem or Bio could maybe land you a "C" or fail with the same amount of effort, depending on your university. Keep pressing your university officials to let you re-take, if it is truly necessary to move on. I doubt they will completely block you from taking a class that is a prerequisite to so many, or prevent you from taking an equally effective alternative class.
Nevermind that universities select students based on their HS academic record :rolleyes:
 

LizzyM

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Let's review:

You are a college freshman who is a non-science major. Your career goal is to be a physician and more specifically a trauma specialist or orthopedic surgeon.

To go to medical school you need to take pre-requisite college courses in biology, chemistry, physics, etc.

You took an summer course that is required to place into math and science courses. You did so poorly that you are barred from taking science courses at UCR until you retake the course and do well.

Retake the course. If you are prohibited from retaking the course, transfer.