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Horrible Grade in Biology

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by poiuyt123, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. poiuyt123

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    I just received my first semester Bio grade and I got a D. I know there have been many threads about this but I'm not sure what course of action I should take. Here are my options:

    1. Retake Bio I in the summer,take a different med school prereq such as General chem I in the spring
    2. Retake Bio I next fall, take General Chem I in the spring
    3. Continue on and take Bio II next semester(not sure about this because many people on this forum have been saying that med schools wont accept grades less than a C)

    Please advise me on what I should do. Thanks.
     
  2. FIREitUP

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    the general consensus here is that you shouldn't retake a class that you did poorly in. Rather, you should take upper level classes and perform well in them to prove that your poor grade in the lower level class was a fluke. However, I don't know about whether they will take a D or not, but I figure it will average in your AMCAS gpa either way. I say take bio II next semester.
     
  3. CafeMed

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    I'm pretty sure you need to have at least a C in order for med schools to accept it so the OP would have to retake the class.
     
  4. FIREitUP

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    oh...if this is true then disregard my answer and retake.
     
  5. Greonis

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    I would definitely recommend retaking Bio I, not just because medical schools will frown upon the grade, but also because it may prevent you from even enrolling in Bio II. I would also shy away from option #3 for two reasons: you may not yet be prepared for Bio II (it could integrate some components of Bio I), and it might raise a red flag to see you move on in the sequence despite your poor performance in Bio I. I implore you to hold off from taking Bio II until you have retaken and mastered Bio I.

    As for when you retake the class, only you can make that call. I'm also not sure why you cannot start taking General Chem I until you've finished Bio I. Whatever the case, it is your decision to make, so start doing research on both the summer and fall sections (costs, professors, times, etc...) and make it happen in a way that suits you best. No matter what you choose to do, however, you should also take the time to analyze why you received the grade that you did and attempt to change your strategies. Potential investigations include: asking for advice from peers who took the class and did well, talking to your Bio I professor for tips on studying, and analyzing/modifying your schedule (IE: eliminating superfluous activities and replace them with study time).

    Best of luck!
     
  6. Mobius1985

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    In my opinion, if you got a D in Bio I, you should repeat it.

    At my undergrad school, Bio I and Bio II could be taken in any order as the content did not rely on the other class. I'll assume that's not true at your school, as Bio I is apparently not offered second semester. If it were, I'd choose to take it again immediately, before I forgot too much. If you did not master Bio I, then taking Bio II prematurely would likely result in another poor grade. So don't choose #3.

    Of the remaining choices, I'd pick #1, as you'd be undistracted with any other courses and could put 100% of your attention into getting an A in the course: do every study problem at the end of the chapter, make flash cards, outline the book, then make summary notes, get tutoring, or whatever it takes to get an A. Don't work. Don't have fun. Your only job, if you want to convince yourself you're a viable med school candidate, is to prove to yourself you can get that A. Whatever you learn from changing your study habits, you can apply to your coursework in the fall.
     
  7. FIREitUP

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    Edit: retake, I think you need a C or better for med schools to accept it. I agree with the above poster.
     
  8. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor
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    the only times retaking a class isn't necessary (or essentially a waste of time) is when there's a grade of C or higher... a grade of D means the OP barely knows what happened in that course.

    Also, med schools are going to make him/her retake it anyways.
     
  9. WannaBePreMed

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    Med schools don't except anything below a C or C-, depends on the school. The best course of action would be to retake Bio I this up coming semester so that the material is still fresh in your mind, then if you want to, take gen chem (or any other pre-req) over the summer. Be aware that med schools know that summer classes are watered down so it might not look too great if you retake Bio I in the summer after you got a D in the fall. Keep your head up you've still got time to bring your grades up. I wish you good luck :luck:
     
  10. iTool

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    first thing's first: determine why you did so poorly in bio and fix it. fast. do not risk your other pre-req grades until you have determined the route of the problem.

    try and maximize your chances of doing well from now on. does that mean taking only one science class at a time until you've learned to manage yourself well/ get the grades you want? does that mean taking a lighter credit load while taking the pre-med prereqs? does it mean getting a tutor/mentor or just working harder/going to office hours, changing study routine?

    you can obviously recover from this but i'd like to emphasize that you need to try maximizing your chances of making A's from now on so you wont be at a disadvantage (gpa) when applyign to medical school.
     
  11. Food

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    Yea, a C in a class is usually the pre-req for the next class in the sequence. You have no choice other than to retake it.
     
  12. poiuyt123

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    I probably did not add enough detail in explaining the situation and there are a few things that I left out. The main reason that I received a D was because i was adjusting from the high school to college transition. Yes, I know this shouldn't be an excuse and I could've atleast pulled off a minimum of a C. The real problem was that I was a commuter student who happened to have a very hectic and inconvenient schedule. The undergraduate institution that I happen to go to made it even worse because: they did not allow freshman to choose classes, add/drop is impossible because there are way too many students and classes are filled too the maximum, and commuting is terrible because the campus is split into smaller campuses and a lot of time is wasted since you can only take a bus. There were many days in my schedule where I could absolutely get no work done because I didn't have much time in between classes and by the time I came home I was extremely tired. However I cannot blame everything on my school because part of my poor performance in the class was also my fault. I kept falling behind on the assigned readings which meant I was not up to date when it comes to lectures and labs. I simply just did not keep up and read the chapter enough to understand it. Also, when it came to exams I did not study well in advance...I kind of crammed. The problem is not the actual material or the subject itself...its just that I just did everything the wrong way. Now I've realized my mistakes and learned what I should do to get better grades when it comes to any college class in general.
     
  13. poiuyt123

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    I actually can move onto Bio II even though I received a D. However since many people are insisting that it is the best choice...I will retake it. The problem is that it is not available in spring which means its either summer or next fall. In the summer, I am already planning on taking a writing course because I have failed it this semester (its not a real F its considered an EF which means it doesnt factor into your GPA but you do still have to retake it). This writing course which is considered a requirement to graduate is considered one of the most difficult classes at my school and it requires a lot of time and effort. I would rather not take the writing class and the Bio class at the same time because I don't want to get screwed over again. For the spring semester, I thought about taking a pre-req such as Gen Chem because I don't want to fall behind in my med school requirements. So I'm very confused as to what I should do and there are a lot of other things to consider.
     
  14. poiuyt123

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    anyone else got advice?
     
  15. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    Retaking isn't just the best choice, it's the only choice. You'll have to retake it and get at least a C to be admitted to med school, as someone suggested earlier. I second Mobius's advice.
     
  16. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    If you can't take Bio I until the fall, maybe you could take Bio II in the spring anyway, so that you remain on track: If and Only If Bio II does not rely on the material from Bio I.

    Whatever you choose to do next semester, I'd say ultimately pare down your schedule to something doable. The important thing is that you do well...how fast you do it is not important. So if it means that you only take two classes next semester while you're readjusting, then just do that. Whatever it takes to do well. You can always add credits in coming semesters if you find that you're exceeding your expectations.

    Just my $0.02.
     
  17. ATB Pre Med

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    It woulld make a ton of sense to just retake it. Biology is one of the key classes for acceptance into pretty much any Med school. I'd retake it. Make things a little easier on you in the end.
     
  18. xrevision

    xrevision Senior Procrastinator
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    If you want to be a doctor retake the course.
     
  19. Organic20

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    The logical and reasonable option that you have is to retake the class since you dont understand well the material or did not learn it at all for whatever reason you have. Also, you need a C or higher in alll the prereq for us med school. So, your best option is to retake the class and get an A to prove that you can handle a science class. Good luck and do whatever you have to do to get an A. As other posters have said your job is to get an A.
     
  20. poiuyt123

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    would it be stupid to take Bio II next semester and retake Bio I next fall?
     
  21. fusionx22

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    Poiuty123, I sympathize with you. I agree with Greonis above. His advice is sound. It sounds like you've already identified your problems; however, I must say that you should try your hardest to live on campus. I don't know you situation, but you have to get your schedule to work, and the best way I see that happening is if you live on campus. Just remember not to freak out. Stay calm, plan ahead, and the best of luck to you.
     
  22. WannaBePreMed

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    Well said xrevision :thumbup:
     
  23. Disambiguation

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    If Biology is run the same manner as my University where 85% of the material on exams comes from the textbook, then read ahead in your Bio II section, determine if the chapters overlap on basic Bio I knowledge. I bet there is very little overlap. Like less than 5%. If this is the case, I would take Bio II then take Bio I over the summer so your schedule does not get messed up.

    If you know this grade was a matter of responsibility, then you should believe in yourself and what you say. For better or for worse, we're going to always make decisions that carry certain risks. I'm right now borderline in my Organic Chemistry I class (getting a C or a D with a 50 average) because I really screwed around this semester. Even if I get a D, I'm still confident that I will study the material over the winter break and re-read what I did wrong on my exams.

    I'm working over with my Genetics professor on a farming extension lab this summer so I really can't waste time taking over Organic I and taking a full-on course of Organic II Chemistry. I believe in myself and I'm ready to correct my ****-ups.

    Know what you want to do. Feel what you think is right. And then just try to do your best fulfilling what it is you want to get out of life. Good luck.

    Remember, you are not a failure because you got a D in Biology. I believe you are a failure if you let a one-letter grade change your enthusiasm and your drive to carve out your own piece of the world for yourself.
     
  24. Zirna

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    Disambiguation, that's really good advice about not being a failure. It made me feel better! :oops:

    I'm pretty much in the same boat, I got a C- in Orgo I, partially because I didn't study before tests like I should have, and partially because of some personal things that happened recently. Since it's not offered in the spring, I guess I just have to try and take Orgo II and do REALLY well and then retake Orgo I in the summer. How bad does this look on paper? How much does Orgo II build on Orgo I usually? Also how bad does a summer class look as a retake?

    I'm a microbiology major so my class load is pretty heavy, I have lab classes all the way thru second semester senior year, so I'd rather just retake in the summer so I can concentrate fully on orgo...

    Also I have a C in calc that is my own damn fault...I was planning on just taking the hit and moving on. Should I try to retake that as well? I know for sure I can get an A in the next calc in the series.
     
  25. poiuyt123

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    Seems like going on to take Bio II and retaking Bio I during the summer is the best choice. It at least won't mess up my schedule. You've seem to understood my problem since its not about the material that screwed me over...its the fact that I just didn't do what was required. Im just hoping my decision to continue on to Bio II and retaking Bio I later won't look weird when med schools look at my application. Disambiguation, do you happen to go to Rutgers New Brunswick or Rutgers Newark? I go to Rutgers New Brunswick.
     
  26. Disambiguation

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    I'm at New Brunswick and I had Professor Brey last semester for Biology. I heard that you had a couple of Professors like Janes and such. I have a class with Janes for Plant Science next semester so I'll discover first hand whether current-Bio is being taught better/worse than last year.

    These are my credentials: Bio I: A, Bio II: B+ (failed the practical in Bio II. Saved myself with all As on my exams. Completely stupid). I like reading though. So I like in general the whole Bio--> Genetics --> Kinesiology --> Immunology stuff. Chemistry is raping me. I might like Physics since I enjoy theoretical math like Calculus. But we'll have to see about that.

    I'm sure you'll be fine for Biology II. It's just a matter of drive and how bad you want it when you go to Rutgers. Commuters have to work even harder though. I commuted for General Chemistry over the summer and that Route 18/Route 1 traffic up-route is a bloody killer (the one that involves that screwed-up bridge that is still not finished yet after like x amount of years of work on it). Some idiot ran out of gas in the middle of the road and decided to swerve horizontally blocking three lanes of traffic. A cop had to come and it was absolutely terrible. I left three hours early for a thirty minute drive and I ended up being fifteen minutes late to my final exam for Chemistry I.

    Good luck with Biology II. It's easy to get swallowed up by Rutgers.

    I know this is ridiculous advise especially since our tuition raise to over 10,000 a semester is bull****, but honestly think about living on campus. It helps a lot. And I mean a LOT!

    Nice to see a fellow Scarlet Knight. :)
     
    #26 Disambiguation, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  27. poiuyt123

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    Janes was actually the best out of the three lecturers we had. Yea, I have no choice but to study my ass off next semester for Bio II. I have got to repair my GPA at all costs. Route 18 is total mess and Busch to Cook/ Douglass is one of the worst commutes ever and I had to go this route for Bio lab and Bio lecture. Living on campus is probably one of the best things to do but its not gonna happen until next year. Even next year is not guaranteed considering how its a lottery system and theres just not enough housing for so many students. I'm guessing your probably either a junior or senior. Thanks for the advice.
     
  28. PlasmaMembrane

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    #28 PlasmaMembrane, Feb 11, 2009
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  29. NotAndrew

    NotAndrew Loves Jesus, America Too
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    You thought wrong. 5 days after the last post is a bit late. Nearly 2 months of no activity is just silly.
     
  30. PlasmaMembrane

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    #30 PlasmaMembrane, Feb 11, 2009
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