upennmed

10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2008
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So basically, I go to an Ivy League who is known for actual grade deflation. All science courses are based around a B-/C+ average, so if you get average, you're getting a 2.5 (imagine the below average gpas!) Anyway, when I got accepted my freshman year into a really competitive science program at the university, I over-extended myself and took too many classes that I wasn't prepared for all at the same time, so at the end of freshman year, I ended up with ~2.5 GPA, which is ridiculous, I know. This year, I tried to redeem myself by taking a similar courseload, but just trying harder, and I think I might be getting ~3.3, it could be higher or lower. BUT my problem is is that I have many C's from freshman year --

Physics I: C-
Physics II: C+
Math II: C-
Math III: C-

I don't know if I should even retake these because they would only change the letter on my transcript and not influence my GPA at all, so I really don't know what to do about that. Also, are there any tips for making up such a terrible first year? And what about when it's application time? I really just want to be an MD, not DO or Caribbean, and I don't know what I'll say in an interview when they ask me what happened freshman year. I'm afraid like I'll sound like I'm blaming everything on the university I went to.
 

cliffhuxtableDO

Hand sanitizer on deck
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2008
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So basically, I go to an Ivy League who is known for actual grade deflation. All science courses are based around a B-/C+ average, so if you get average, you're getting a 2.5 (imagine the below average gpas!) Anyway, when I got accepted my freshman year into a really competitive science program at the university, I over-extended myself and took too many classes that I wasn't prepared for all at the same time, so at the end of freshman year, I ended up with ~2.5 GPA, which is ridiculous, I know. This year, I tried to redeem myself by taking a similar courseload, but just trying harder, and I think I might be getting ~3.3, it could be higher or lower. BUT my problem is is that I have many C's from freshman year --

Physics I: C-
Physics II: C+
Math II: C-
Math III: C-

I don't know if I should even retake these because they would only change the letter on my transcript and not influence my GPA at all, so I really don't know what to do about that. Also, are there any tips for making up such a terrible first year? And what about when it's application time? I really just want to be an MD, not DO or Caribbean, and I don't know what I'll say in an interview when they ask me what happened freshman year. I'm afraid like I'll sound like I'm blaming everything on the university I went to.
Basically, you just have work really hard and aim for straight A's from here on out. Retaking the classes and doing better in them would absolutely increase your gpa, and if you do open your mind to DO the higher grade REPLACES the lower grade. If you really want to be a doctor, who cares what the initials are, and if you want the MD so bad then swallow your pride and head to the Caribbean.
 

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
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Mar 23, 2008
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You'll need to retake those C-'s if you want med schools to count them for credit. As msb mentioned, DO is a great route if you can't pull your AMCAS GPA up enough.
 
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Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
1
I think what MilkmanAl means is that some med schools won't consider you if you have a C or lower in a prerequisite class.

I don't know if I should even retake these because they would only change the letter on my transcript and not influence my GPA at all, so I really don't know what to do about that.
Regaredless of how your school calculates your GPA, the med school application service will refigure it.

The DO application service refigures your application GPA from your transcripts so that only the most recent retake of a class is included (provided the credit hours are the same). The bad grade is on the transcript, but it is not included in the calculation. So retaking classes allows your application GPA to rise faster than it would for the MD application service, which includes all retakes and essentially averages them.
 
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virusgirl

10+ Year Member
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Jun 12, 2008
553
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Medical Student
So basically, I go to an Ivy League who is known for actual grade deflation. All science courses are based around a B-/C+ average, so if you get average, you're getting a 2.5 (imagine the below average gpas!) Anyway, when I got accepted my freshman year into a really competitive science program at the university, I over-extended myself and took too many classes that I wasn't prepared for all at the same time, so at the end of freshman year, I ended up with ~2.5 GPA, which is ridiculous, I know. This year, I tried to redeem myself by taking a similar courseload, but just trying harder, and I think I might be getting ~3.3, it could be higher or lower. BUT my problem is is that I have many C's from freshman year --

Physics I: C-
Physics II: C+
Math II: C-
Math III: C-

I don't know if I should even retake these because they would only change the letter on my transcript and not influence my GPA at all, so I really don't know what to do about that. Also, are there any tips for making up such a terrible first year? And what about when it's application time? I really just want to be an MD, not DO or Caribbean, and I don't know what I'll say in an interview when they ask me what happened freshman year. I'm afraid like I'll sound like I'm blaming everything on the university I went to.
Get over the DO thing. If you can manage a serious turnaround with your grades, then US allopathic schools may overlook a tough freshman year, but if you can't pull it off, you won't get into any of those schools and you may have to settle for being a horrible, lowly DO.

And you do sound like you're blaming everything on the university you went to. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess from your name that you're at Penn. I went to Penn for grad school, and there were plenty of undergrad science majors in my lab who did just fine and got into excellent medical schools. I have a hard time believing that your poor grades are all Penn's fault. Take some responsibility for yourself and improve. If necessary, meet with an advisor or counselor to evaluate your study and test-taking skills. And if Penn truly is the problem, then transfer and go someplace that is a better fit for you. Your Ivy League degree, in and of itself, won't impress anyone -- academic excellence will.
 

upennmed

10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2008
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Get over the DO thing. If you can manage a serious turnaround with your grades, then US allopathic schools may overlook a tough freshman year, but if you can't pull it off, you won't get into any of those schools and you may have to settle for being a horrible, lowly DO.

And you do sound like you're blaming everything on the university you went to. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess from your name that you're at Penn. I went to Penn for grad school, and there were plenty of undergrad science majors in my lab who did just fine and got into excellent medical schools. I have a hard time believing that your poor grades are all Penn's fault. Take some responsibility for yourself and improve. If necessary, meet with an advisor or counselor to evaluate your study and test-taking skills. And if Penn truly is the problem, then transfer and go someplace that is a better fit for you. Your Ivy League degree, in and of itself, won't impress anyone -- academic excellence will.

Wow, thanks for completely degrading me and not helping the situation at all. My original question was to whether or not I should retake the classes and your rant did nothing to answer that.
 

RecyclingBinh

Class of 2014 hopeful!
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Apr 8, 2008
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I think you should retake those science classes.

I got C's in Calculus 2 & 3 and will not retake b/c it is too time consuming.

Does anyone know why many people in this forum get C's in calculus?
 

NotAndrew

Loves Jesus, America Too
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jamesq

10+ Year Member
May 14, 2008
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Wow, thanks for completely degrading me and not helping the situation at all. My original question was to whether or not I should retake the classes and your rant did nothing to answer that.
"Also, are there any tips for making up such a terrible first year?"-

I'm pretty sure that was one of your questions that virusgirl did answer... like she said, get help with your test taking skills or study habits, aim to score higher on the MCAT and possibly see a adviser. good luck.
 
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