Failed in Orgo, useful advice would be greatly appreciated!

mhual23

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Dec 15, 2010
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I know you've all heard tons of stories of people failing classes and them being miserable, well I guess you could say this is another story, but I don't want this to sound like another ordinary problem...obviously being a pre-med student im aware of the implications of my academic failure, and I do plan to take action, I just don't know what to do next. I failed, first time ever in my life, in Organic Chemistry.

Here is a breakdown of what im thinking:

1.) Im going to a large university, probably a second-tier university...as to whether this already has an impact to begin with on my chances, i don't know (let me explain)...what I do know is that medical schools take into consideration the difficulty of a class based on the university. For instance, a class taught at Stanford or Northwestern would be way more difficult than a class taught at Loyola or UIC...point being, a student getting a C in Organic Chem at Northwestern may not be as bad than to get one at Loyola, because of the difficulty. Am I correct?

2.) Im planning on retaking this class in the spring, my primary concern is how it will show up on the transcript and the perception of med schools. My university offers grade recalculation (as do other universities), meaning my most recent grade would override my previous, lower, grade...definitely beneficial, but the thing is, do medical schools have the ability to still find out what your initial score is? If so, how does that impact me and how do med schools weight this situation? (people with experience or know of people with experience, advice would appreciated)

Im sorry this is long, im just really confused and depressed over my disappointing effort. I haven't performed up to my potential the first few semesters as an undergrad, definitely not pre-med material, thats for sure. But i know I still have time to get my GPA back up and I hope its not too late, im still only a sophomore. I was extremely gifted in high school, motivated, got great grades, got phenomenal ACT/SAT scores, but as is the problem with so many undergraduate students, they tend to lose their focus and their mindset of why they are there in the first place. Since I was a kid, and the events that have occured in my life I've had ingrained in my mind that this is what I've always wanted to do, and i knew the struggle and effort would be there and bust my behind to get what I wanted, its just that im failing now, now when it matters the most, and I need someone to guide me, someone to help me or give me advice. This is why im here, hoping that anyone could give me some tips and answer the above questions. Thanks in advance :).
 

Dbate

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Aug 24, 2009
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Its a C, it is not the end of the world.

I am a sophomore who just finished the first semester of orgo too (congratulations on passing!!!).

We both know that Cs are not beneficial for medical school, but we both know that is it possible to get into medical school if you work hard enough. Don't worry about the prestige of your school. As long as you get into A SINGLE MEDICAL SCHOOL you will be a doctor. The only institutions that are prestige whores are the one's you wouldn't want to attend anyway.

That aside, what you should do is: a) study harder for next semester. I am not qualified enough to know whether or not you should retake the course (perhaps another poster will help), but definitely don't become despondent. Your worth as a person is not tied up into your grades and in the grand scheme of things, it won't matter what grade you got in orgo.

My suggestion to you is to stop thinking about it and go out and celebrate. Look forward to Winter break and relax, watch some tv shows online or read or even do nothing.

You completed the course and you should be proud of that fact :thumbup:
 

bucks2010

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Aug 31, 2010
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1. I wouldn't worry about this effect too much... in the end, the effect of failing at Stanford vs. State U. vs. somewhere else will likely not have nearly as much impact on your application as the fact that you failed in the first place.

2. While institutions may offer grade replacement, I'm 99% sure AMCAS does not. Both grades will be used when AMCAS calculates your GPA, and medical schools will see the F from this term and the grade you earn next semester.

3. I think the key for you will be to find out what caused you to do poorly in this class so you can take corrective measures next semester. Was it just due to a lack of time spent studying? Or maybe the study methods you used were inefficient for the testing style the instructor used? Take some time over the break to contemplate what went wrong this semester so that when January rolls around you can hit the ground running and get a better grade.

There's nothing you can do to change the F from this semester, but don't be discouraged. The experience of learning to be adept and figuring out a way to learn the material well will probably serve you well in your career. Look at it as an opportunity to develop resilience.
 

cal2012

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Feb 15, 2010
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Veery long post, but I'll do my best:

1. I know that some med schools do calculate the relative difficulty of schools into their decision, but some don't. Overall, it won't make a huge difference--no matter what school you go to, the higher your gpa, the better. Have you calculated your sGPA so far?

2. I believe that all grades from all schools are required on your primary app. Even if you retake the class and your university replaces the grade, I'm pretty sure that both grades will show up on your application, and your amcas gpa will be calculated with both grades. This is for MD-only; if you apply to DO schools, then you can replace the first grade with the second.

And you're right, sophomore year is NOT too late to turn things around. Also, you don't need to apply right after junior year--if you need an extra year to make your gpa competitive, then go ahead. I'd really recommend that you look up your school's major/premed advisors, as they've probably dealt with plenty of people in the same situation and can help you.

:luck::luck::luck:
 

gettheleadout

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I failed, first time ever in my life, in Organic Chemistry.
Its a C, it is not the end of the world.

I am a sophomore who just finished the first semester of orgo too (congratulations on passing!!!).

You completed the course and you should be proud of that fact :thumbup:
Dbate you totally misread the OP...

Also, OP is Muhali3 on an anonymous account?

Muhali3 = mhual23

I mean come on it's soooo close haha...
 

Dbate

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Dbate you totally misread the OP...

Also, OP is Muhali3 on an anonymous account?

Muhali3 = mhual23

I mean come on it's soooo close haha...
Wait, did he actually fail? I thought the C he was alluding to was his grade.
 

TTigers70

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Wait, did he actually fail? I thought the C he was alluding to was his grade.
Awkward... (check out the title for clarification Dbate)

Anyway, I somewhat disagree that adcoms would take the time to evaluate course difficulties at different universities. I have friends at ivy's and we've spoken about cupcake classes at our respective institutions. It's really hard to tell on paper how difficult a class is. Even when you talk about pre-reqs, it isn't like there is an absolute guide of what must be covered in a semester of orgo I for example. I saw some orgo exams from other schools and while they are anonymous man they were CAKE compared to what I went through (I mean really do you prefer a 10+ step mechanism with limited reagents or a fill in the blank section...? If grades didn't matter I'd pick the former but that's a different story). With that being said, AMCAS will show the F and average the grades after you retake. Even for your university transcript, the F should show but your GPA would be readjusted after you retake. DO schools, if I am correct, will just take the latest score in calculating your ScienceGPA (vs. AMCAS's BCPM GPA).

If you don't mind me asking, and even with the chance that I or others could give you advise, why do you think you failed? Was it subject matter difficulty, not having enough time with the material, bad test taking, etc?
 

WorldChanger36

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All grades show up on AMCAS. You will have an F but this is behind you. The only times that I know of when med school weight out difficultly is at the community college vs university level and some don't even do this. Retake the class and make sure you get an A. You will be fine. Orgo is hard for most people that take it. I recommend you figure out a good study plan and do it.