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Did poorly in class, do I still ask for rec?

silverpaw54

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    Hi,
    So I started to do research for my physiology professor this semester. The class is set where your grade is how you do against the class. I think I'm going to get a B-, which I am really disappointed with, but I really think just the pressure of doing research for him made me stay up all night studying, which hurt me more than help me. I just felt pressure and more stress knowing that my professor probably sees my grades. I did poorly on the 2nd exam and then my final exam score wasn't that great either.

    I'm afraid to ask him for al etter of recommendation in a few weeks after I get in some solid work done for the grant purposal. I really don't have many options for letter of recommendations. Should I sit down and talk with him about my grades?
     

    Doglover4fever

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      silverpaw54 said:
      Hi,
      So I started to do research for my physiology professor this semester. The class is set where your grade is how you do against the class. I think I'm going to get a B-, which I am really disappointed with, but I really think just the pressure of doing research for him made me stay up all night studying, which hurt me more than help me. I just felt pressure and more stress knowing that my professor probably sees my grades. I did poorly on the 2nd exam and then my final exam score wasn't that great either.

      I'm afraid to ask him for al etter of recommendation in a few weeks after I get in some solid work done for the grant purposal. I really don't have many options for letter of recommendations. Should I sit down and talk with him about my grades?


      It really depends. If you did valuable research, and established a good relationship with him, maybe. You should talk to this person. If they are really open and nice, you might ask that they focus on your research in their letter as opposed to your performance in the class. On the other hand, if you have someone else you can ask instead, you might want to do this. It is probably best to avoid drawing any attention to a class that you did not perform to your full potential in. Keep in mind, adcoms get thousands of spotless recommendations each year. They will, however be inclined to look more strongly at a weak letter
       
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      silverpaw54

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        Doglover4fever said:
        It really depends. If you did valuable research, and established a good relationship with him, maybe. You should talk to this person. If they are really open and nice, you might ask that they focus on your research in their letter as opposed to your performance in the class. On the other hand, if you have someone else you can ask instead, you might want to do this. It is probably best to avoid drawing any attention to a class that you did not perform to your full potential in. Keep in mind, adcoms get thousands of spotless recommendations each year. They will, however be inclined to look more strongly at a weak letter

        Well, I don't do research for him exactly. He kind of just oversees the entire project, but he has this one lady who works under him who has been training me in a lot of areas. Should I go to her? I thought he would go to her for me and ask her what she thought about me and ask other grad students who work in the lab. I really don't talk to him much. But yeah, I don't really have many options when it comes to LOR.
         

        vtucci

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          IF you are having this big a problem finding an LOR, you need to rethink how you are going about this process.

          Based on what you said, I would tell you no. It will not be good enough. Can you get one from a clinical activity or who you are directly working for on the research project.
           

          PariPari

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            i know somebody who got an AMAZING LOR from a prof who's class she got a C in (it was a grad level & she had to have special permission etc to take it & only the crazy biochem phd candidates take it & they barely make it out alive).
            she didn't work w/ him, but another prof, but it was a small class & so he knew the effort she put into it & her outside the class.

            OOh nevermind, i'd find somebody else, b/c it seems you & your writer don't really know ea other, maybe if you really wanna use him have a sit down & discuss the chances of getting a strong lor from him
             

            OSUdoc08

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              silverpaw54 said:
              Hi,
              So I started to do research for my physiology professor this semester. The class is set where your grade is how you do against the class. I think I'm going to get a B-, which I am really disappointed with, but I really think just the pressure of doing research for him made me stay up all night studying, which hurt me more than help me. I just felt pressure and more stress knowing that my professor probably sees my grades. I did poorly on the 2nd exam and then my final exam score wasn't that great either.

              I'm afraid to ask him for al etter of recommendation in a few weeks after I get in some solid work done for the grant purposal. I really don't have many options for letter of recommendations. Should I sit down and talk with him about my grades?

              Get letters of recommendation from classes in which you got A's.

              Since you only need 3 faculty recommendations (2 from science and 1 from non-science) I'm sure you can find someone else.

              This is unless you are CERTAIN you will recieve a good recommendation.
               

              Law2Doc

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                silverpaw54 said:
                Hi,
                So I started to do research for my physiology professor this semester. The class is set where your grade is how you do against the class. I think I'm going to get a B-, which I am really disappointed with, but I really think just the pressure of doing research for him made me stay up all night studying, which hurt me more than help me. I just felt pressure and more stress knowing that my professor probably sees my grades. I did poorly on the 2nd exam and then my final exam score wasn't that great either.

                I'm afraid to ask him for al etter of recommendation in a few weeks after I get in some solid work done for the grant purposal. I really don't have many options for letter of recommendations. Should I sit down and talk with him about my grades?

                I personally wouldn't ask for a LOR from someone who gave me a B-. He cannot attest to your abilities to master the course material, and I wouldn't be particularly comfortable with what he would write. A lukewarm LOR is sometimes more harmful than helpful. He might not even be willing to do the LOR anyhow -- some of the profs I had had grade cut-offs for LORs. You presumably received grades higher than B- during your academic career or you would not be considering an application. So you need to approach some of the other profs you had.
                 

                silverpaw54

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                  Again, I dont really have many options. He knows me more than other professors. Reason why I didnt go through getting a LOR from a biochem professor is that he seemed to be writing me and my friends the exact same meails and I doubt he would have spent much time writing a solid LOR.

                  Should I just ask the lady I work for under him?
                   

                  butmylipshurtrealbad

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                    You can ask the woman you work for to write the letter and find out if the prof would be willing to sign it, as is often done with letters written by TAs. You could also ask him to write the letter based on his experience with you in his lab only, althoguh the name could still bring attention to the course if someone is REALLY picky. I really think most profs know how much a mediocre letter could hurt someone, and would only agree to write you a letter if he could write a very good one (unless he's a total sh**, then non of this applies)
                     

                    silverpaw54

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                      butmylipshurtrealbad said:
                      You can ask the woman you work for to write the letter and find out if the prof would be willing to sign it, as is often done with letters written by TAs. You could also ask him to write the letter based on his experience with you in his lab only, althoguh the name could still bring attention to the course if someone is REALLY picky. I really think most profs know how much a mediocre letter could hurt someone, and would only agree to write you a letter if he could write a very good one (unless he's a total sh**, then non of this applies)
                      I'm actually pretty sure he doesn't write much. From what another undergrad told me, you give him the LOR form and then he asks other people in the lab about you. Ive only been there for about 4 months now doing research. I think they like me and I haven't discovered some kind of breakthrough, but I think they appreciate my help and work.

                      What I'm afraid of is just the B- that might overshadow any work ethic/contribution to the research project. What do you guys think? Again, I can only really get 2 LORs right now. I could get a 3rd one, but I doubt it'll be very good.
                       

                      Hard24Get

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                        silverpaw54 said:
                        I'm actually pretty sure he doesn't write much. From what another undergrad told me, you give him the LOR form and then he asks other people in the lab about you. Ive only been there for about 4 months now doing research. I think they like me and I haven't discovered some kind of breakthrough, but I think they appreciate my help and work.

                        What I'm afraid of is just the B- that might overshadow any work ethic/contribution to the research project. What do you guys think? Again, I can only really get 2 LORs right now. I could get a 3rd one, but I doubt it'll be very good.


                        The med schools are going to see the B- regardless. IF you talk to your direct supervisor and SHE is impressed with you and feels that the grade doesn't represent your true abilities, then the letter they eventually write together (if he agrees) will reflect that. To be honest, I don't ever remember checking someone's grade in the class they got a letter of rec from, and it never came up in any of the adcom groups I was on. The only time it came up, in fact, is when the professor brought it up "best grade in the class" or "mediocre performance"....

                        It's unfortunate that this one of the two most meaningful interactions with profs you have had in college. Do you have someone whose class you performed really well in that you can meet with and let them get to know you? One of my best letters came from someone I met with for an hour after receiving the highest grade in the class - we became fast and furious friends!
                         

                        silverpaw54

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                          Hard24Get said:
                          The med schools are going to see the B- regardless. IF you talk to your direct supervisor and SHE is impressed with you and feels that the grade doesn't represent your true abilities, then the letter they eventually write together (if he agrees) will reflect that. To be honest, I don't ever remember checking someone's grade in the class they got a letter of rec from, and it never came up in any of the adcom groups I was on. The only time it came up, in fact, is when the professor brought it up "best grade in the class" or "mediocre performance"....

                          It's unfortunate that this one of the two most meaningful interactions with profs you have had in college. Do you have someone whose class you performed really well in that you can meet with and let them get to know you? One of my best letters came from someone I met with for an hour after receiving the highest grade in the class - we became fast and furious friends!

                          Well, I kind of gave up going to med school after an awful freshmen year. I improved my sophomore year and then my junior year, I committed to it again. I've always had this doubt that I'm not good enough for med school. I'm just an A-/B+ kind of guy. This year, I'm doing much better, getting more As and not settling for A-'s. BUt yeah, I met with one professor for my Biochem class because on the first exam, I got like 25th percentile and it was because I misread the directions so I went in to talk to him about it. He told me I obviously knew my stuff, but there was nothing he could do about it. Second exam, when the class avg was 30pts lower, I got like 97 percentile. That's the best I've ever did on an exam in my college career. However, when both me and my friend asked for a rec in the class in a time span of about 2 wks, he gave us both pretty much the same reply in the email. We both think he wouldnt put much thought in the LOR.

                          But basically, yeah, I don't really have that much interaction with professors. I've had one call me lazy and told me to apply myself.

                          Well, I can think of this one professor from my sophomore year. I went to his office hours every week because I was performing poorly on the exams. I ended up with a B or B- in the class actually. I was very disappointed with my grade because I thought I knew the stuff, but just did bad on the exams. We talked about med school during winter break and he encouraged me a little bit, but you guys think he would be a good person to ask for a LOR? I don't even know if he remembers me or not. What do you guys think?
                           

                          Psycho Doctor

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                            silverpaw54 said:
                            Well, I kind of gave up going to med school after an awful freshmen year. I improved my sophomore year and then my junior year, I committed to it again. I've always had this doubt that I'm not good enough for med school. I'm just an A-/B+ kind of guy. This year, I'm doing much better, getting more As and not settling for A-'s. BUt yeah, I met with one professor for my Biochem class because on the first exam, I got like 25th percentile and it was because I misread the directions so I went in to talk to him about it. He told me I obviously knew my stuff, but there was nothing he could do about it. Second exam, when the class avg was 30pts lower, I got like 97 percentile. That's the best I've ever did on an exam in my college career. However, when both me and my friend asked for a rec in the class in a time span of about 2 wks, he gave us both pretty much the same reply in the email. We both think he wouldnt put much thought in the LOR.

                            But basically, yeah, I don't really have that much interaction with professors. I've had one call me lazy and told me to apply myself.

                            Well, I can think of this one professor from my sophomore year. I went to his office hours every week because I was performing poorly on the exams. I ended up with a B or B- in the class actually. I was very disappointed with my grade because I thought I knew the stuff, but just did bad on the exams. We talked about med school during winter break and he encouraged me a little bit, but you guys think he would be a good person to ask for a LOR? I don't even know if he remembers me or not. What do you guys think?

                            I think your options are somewhat limited based on what you're posting here. If you were going to apply to med school, you knew you were going to have to get OR. Whereas I think that's a poor reason to get to know a prof it's also a really necessary reason. Well too late now.

                            So that being said, I'd ask the TA lady who is overseeing your research. Ask her to get the prof to write it and sign the letter with her and to emphasize your research.

                            If there's no one else, ask the one you got to know and got the B or B- in. But trust me MANY people apply to med school with absolutely amazing LOR.

                            Don't you have any classes that you got an A in that you got to know the prof even a little bit? How about a small class where you got an A in that the prof might remember you? i'd go see a prof and get them to know you know. it's your last option.

                            Do you have outside people who you shadowed or did volunteer work with who can at least write good LOR regarding your work ethics and integrity?

                            BTW, how are your MCAT score and GPA?
                             

                            silverpaw54

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                              Psycho Doctor said:
                              I think your options are somewhat limited based on what you're posting here. If you were going to apply to med school, you knew you were going to have to get OR. Whereas I think that's a poor reason to get to know a prof it's also a really necessary reason. Well too late now.

                              So that being said, I'd ask the TA lady who is overseeing your research. Ask her to get the prof to write it and sign the letter with her and to emphasize your research.

                              If there's no one else, ask the one you got to know and got the B or B- in. But trust me MANY people apply to med school with absolutely amazing LOR.

                              Don't you have any classes that you got an A in that you got to know the prof even a little bit? How about a small class where you got an A in that the prof might remember you? i'd go see a prof and get them to know you know. it's your last option.

                              Do you have outside people who you shadowed or did volunteer work with who can at least write good LOR regarding your work ethics and integrity?

                              BTW, how are your MCAT score and GPA?

                              Took the April MCAT. GPA is 3.4
                               
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