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sdelucia

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Hello,
I am a sophomore chemistry major on the pre-med track. I am currently taking organic chemistry I. For the first time in my academic life I am extremely struggling. I made a F on the first exam and a D on the second exam. It is not that I am not trying, I am spending weeks studying and have a tutor. I am unsure if I should finish the class out and retake it or if I should drop the class and receive a W to retake it. I am not interested in not going to Medical School, I don't think that this class defines what kind of doctor I will be. I just want to maximize my chances. Prior to this semester I hold a 3.8 (3.6 semester 1 and 4.0 semester 2). Please let me know what you think.
 

kmp0410

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I would withdraw. Not sure how your grading works, but the odds of making a A or B are probably slim at this point. Withdraws aren't the worst thing in the world, and better than failing. Especially as long as you don't have a bunch of them.

Now academically, you will want to figure out how you can improve and do well in the class. Especially as a chem major. What made Organic Chemistry different for me was I had to read the textbook (and atleast do the questions in them) before class, and then class would just elucidate the understanding. If I showed up to class without reading, it was completely pointless. This is most important for moving forward.
 
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I am currently taking organic chemistry I. For the first time in my academic life I am extremely struggling. I made a F on the first exam and a D on the second exam. It is not that I am not trying, I am spending weeks studying and have a tutor. I am unsure if I should finish the class out and retake it or if I should drop the class and receive a W to retake it. I just want to maximize my chances. Prior to this semester I hold a 3.8 (3.6 semester 1 and 4.0 semester 2). Please let me know what you think.
Drop it.
 
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themoonman2

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Withdraw for sure. Figure out what is holding you back, and correct it next time you take it. For o-chem, I recommend doing as many practice problems as possible.
 
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Revolution9

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I think we are ingrained not to "give up", but in this case, you should drop the class and retake when you are ready. You can always explain a "withdraw" to admissions committees but it's is tougher to explain a D.
 

Hospitalized

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Is there a curve? How are others doing? You need to figure out where you stand in the class with relation to others. In my current physics class, a D score on an exam is actually a B. GPA is, unfortunately, very subjective. If you truly are at the bottom of the class with your scores, cut loose.
 

DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

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Is it too late to get a tutor? Talk to your professor? Get some extra-credit? Find out if you have a learning disability or check out the resources at your school (i.e. study skills and time-management)?

If you just drop it, you'll get a W, first of all, and secondly, unless you correct what's holding you back, you run the risk of not improving when you retake the course.
 

sdelucia

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Is it too late to get a tutor? Talk to your professor? Get some extra-credit? Find out if you have a learning disability or check out the resources at your school (i.e. study skills and time-management)?

If you just drop it, you'll get a W, first of all, and secondly, unless you correct what's holding you back, you run the risk of not improving when you retake the course.
I have a tutor and while its helping it doesn't seem to be doing enough. I don't think I have a learning disability seeing that I've never had a problem in school prior to this. I have contacted my teacher who feels my best bet is to drop. He is very straight forward and a very challenging teacher who offers no extra credit. I am waiting to hear back from an advisor to see what she thinks i should do. Thanks for your input!
 

md-2020

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Whats the curve? Did you get a D/F before or after said curve?

I never got over a 75 on an orgo test but the average was a 62-65 so I got 2 B's. Curved to a B-
 

moisne

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Withdraw and take it again.

I did probably over 500 questions of Ochem synthesis. I bought a random ochem textbook with the answer key. If your class uses a textbook - scavenge the internet for the answer key. I don't believe this is cheating - because there is no point in doing practice questions wrong.

In undergrad, I downloaded or bought the answer key for every single textbook we used. (So I guess I did cheat...) But the exams and learning are what really mattered.

Sometimes I get tired of writing them out after say 100 questions in a day... I'll just flip to a random page in that chapter and simply read answers (most aren't even assigned). Understand WHY the answer key did the problems that way. <-- my method for every chem E class, my chem E GPA = 4.0 (we won't mention my english scores).
 
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OldDogNewTricks

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Purchase the book Organic Chemistry as a Second Language. First semester ochem is exceptionally easy when you have the right teacher, and the right teacher is almost never the one you're paying $1000 to stand in front of you in class. On top of that, do as moisne said and purchase the companion answer book to your textbook, some textbooks only have odd numbered answers in the back. I did the same and did every problem from every chapter we went over, and as a result I set the curve every test. Also scour youtube for anything you're having difficulty with, every tutor you could ever need is on there. Good luck.
 
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Ukpremed

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Drop and retake. I would ask myself if Chem is the major for me? At some schools, you will have to take upper lever synthesis and organic theory for a major. You might want to do Bio, health science, ect.
 

tenblackalps

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Withdraw, read and work through "Organic chemistry as a second language" by David Klein, then get an A next semester.
 

sdelucia

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I would drop.

I gave an odd question for you. How did you do in Geometry compared to other math subjects?
Math has always been a strong suit for me but if I did better with subjects like algebra, calculus, then I did with geometry. I still did well but it was more frustrating to me to visualize.
 

sdelucia

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Drop and retake. I would ask myself if Chem is the major for me? At some schools, you will have to take upper lever synthesis and organic theory for a major. You might want to do Bio, health science, ect.
I chose chemistry as my major just because it made the most sense. Most pre-med classes are chemistry so it just worked that way. I have decided to go back to biology and psychology as my majors.
 

Dral

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Math has always been a strong suit for me but if I did better with subjects like algebra, calculus, then I did with geometry. I still did well but it was more frustrating to me to visualize.

Hmm, this is what I expected based on my own experience (but opposite). I always had trouble with Math...did well, but really had to work at it. Geometry on the other hand came naturally to me. I think I got like a 108% in that course (extra credit). I also found Ochem not difficult at all. I bought the plastic model set, but all I used it for was to make a model of EtOH to set on my desk. I could easily visualize things without using it.

I always made connections between the two subjects. They are both visual-type things and I always likened synthesis reaction steps to geometric proof steps. I'm sure someone will disagree, but whatevs.

I wonder if there are some visualization techniques (in addition to the model set) that may help you with you Ochem.
 
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