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How many w's is too many?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by basho, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. basho


    Feb 22, 2007
    I've withdrawn from a few college classes (>5), I was wondering how admissions committees look at someone with a lot of w's. I mean my gpa is better because I did so, but some I dropped because I was struggling, or unlucky with teacher or whatever.

    Any advice would be GREAT.:confused: :horns:
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  3. Sammii118

    Sammii118 "Ear to ear baby" 2+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    One, do the w's actually show up on your transcript?

    Two, what my advisor told me was that while it's ok to do that sort of things for one or two classes, provided they're not premed or major requirements, you shouldn't do it too often because med schools may think you only care about grades in a grade grubbing way...:idea:
  4. paranoid_eyes

    paranoid_eyes 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    over five W's is really pushing it. i hope you have a good reason for some of them because it will probably come up during interviews
  5. bwonger06

    bwonger06 2+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2006
    i have a question similar to this.

    ive dropped a lot of my classes before the first week of classes ended (decided to change major half way through the first week of classes). my schedule shows that i dropped the class, but my school says that there is no penalty. should i be concerned?
  6. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    Unless you were sick one semester or had an emergency, >5 W's = grade grubbing.
  7. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    and? isn't the point of this game to have the highest gpa possible? ucsf's computer isn't going to care if you got your 3.8 by bailing out on a few classes...
  8. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    UCSF's computer doesn't make the final admissions decisions.
  9. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    1, or maybe 2, W's is generally okay, but >5 is a major red flag. This sends the message that when the going gets tough, you cut and run rather than tough it out & do what you need to do to succeed. This is not a quality adcoms are generally looking for in future physicians. If you're able to make it as far as an interview (questionable with this record), it will undoubtedly come up, so be prepared with a well-thought-out explanation.
  10. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Generally a 'drop' is considered completely different from a 'W'. Add/drops during the first week of classes typically won't show up on the transcript -- if you drop in the first week, it's kind of like you were never enrolled in the class. W's, on the other hand, do show up on your transcript.
  11. arsenewenger

    arsenewenger 2+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    How adcomms interprete data, no bobody knows. There is nothing wrong with a cut and run tactics as long as you run and come back at the right time. Make no mistake that we live in a society where you are judged by the letters on your transcript . Fair or not... another topic for another day.
  12. estairella

    estairella Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 7, 2006
    Have you seen the Semi-Solicited Advice threads? You know, for computers, those adcoms sure sound pretty human!

    Just shows that the university admissions committees use all the expensive application fees to build super-intelligent AI robots to handle our applications...


    (Seriously though, um, humans kinda look at it too).
  13. Yehosh

    Yehosh 2+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Unless the pre interview screening is purely computerized (which I don't think it is in many places) it may even hurt the chances of getting invites for interviews
  14. Apparently you're not Spartan.......
  15. MirrorTodd

    MirrorTodd It's a gas. Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Dropkick, that is THE best point that anyone has ever made in the history or point making. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: And it's going in my sig.
  16. nekrogg

    nekrogg 5+ Year Member

    May 8, 2005
    i had 3 Ws and on the 4 interviews i went on, no one asked about them. i guess it really depends on what the classes the Ws were in and if you are unlucky enough to get an interviewer who cares.
  17. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    Too many "W"s is when anyone looking at your transcript can see a pattern. If for example, you were injured in the middle of your second semester freshman year and had to withdraw from that semesters work but came back, re-took the classes and finished strong, then five "W"s would be no problem.

    If you have two "W"s after making two attempts at Organic Chemistry because you withdrew when the class got too tough, then those two "W"s are too many. If I, as an admissions committee member can see a pattern of withdrawls from classes, then you are likely going to have to do some solid convincing or else your withdrawal pattern is going to tank your application.

    If you hate your professor, you should get out within the first week and not show a "W" on your transcript. If you are showing "W" it usually means that you are strugging and thus, red-flag.

    I am not saying that you should "fold your tent" and not apply to medical school, I am saying that you need to be prepared to explain your withdrawals and be convincing enough that a medical school would want to take a chance on you.

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