Jul 2, 2009
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So, I have basically been having a difficult time this semester. My girlfriend of 6 years and I broke up a month ago (her decision) and for about two weeks I didn't attend classes I was so broken up. I laid in bed for basically that whole period. As a result my grades have been not doing as well. For the main classes I'm taking (2nd semester Physics w/ Calc, Analytical Chemistry, 3rd semester Calculus) My grades should still be at worst B's. However, for one class I missed an exam that was 25% of my grade, and the class is graded 50% on attendance. As a result the best I could do is a D. I decided to drop the class and get a W rather than study for a D.

My question: How bad will this look to dental schools? I want to have a realistic chance to get accepted my first round of applying, so how will it affect that as well?
 
Nov 20, 2009
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In my opinion its better to have a "w" than a D. You can always come up with an excuse for that W. It won't look bad, just make sure you have an explanation, and make sure that explanation is not your broken heart.
 

ozzie33

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In my opinion its better to have a "w" than a D. You can always come up with an excuse for that W. It won't look bad, just make sure you have an explanation, and make sure that explanation is not your broken heart.
I got a W and they didn't even mention it. Also helped it was freshman year, and if they did say something I could just point out that I retook the class and got a B
 

Ninja9

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I had 3 W's and none of them were ever mentioned in my interviews. I think as long as you have a good GPA, a few blemishes aren't going to matter THAT much.
 

salem21

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If you take a look at predents.com, you'll see a lot of people getting in with gpa's under 3.5. So obviously there are students getting in to schools that aren't perfect. Just use it as motivation for a great DAT score, get some shadowing and volunteering in, and get your GPA up and you'll be fine. You definitely aren't alone; just scroll through some old posts and see all the other people who are facing similar problems. Keep working hard and you'll be back on track.
 

peerless218

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If you take a look at predents.com, you'll see a lot of people getting in with gpa's under 3.5. So obviously there are students getting in to schools that aren't perfect. Just use it as motivation for a great DAT score, get some shadowing and volunteering in, and get your GPA up and you'll be fine. You definitely aren't alone; just scroll through some old posts and see all the other people who are facing similar problems. Keep working hard and you'll be back on track.
Get a W is MUCH better then having a letter grade that'll really hurt your GPA when you apply to dental school. Since W wont count towards your GPA, although some schools WILL still go ahead and count that W as a F still, but hey...that's only a handful.
 

DatRat86

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I had 2 w's, dont sweat it just dont get more then you have to and it wont affect your chances at all!
 

wwdaffodils

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Don't worry about it too much, but use it as motivation to work extra hard next semester. None of my interviewers mentioned my one W at all, except for my interviewer at Penn. She asked something along the lines of, 'Well, I see the rest of your transcript is great, but you seem to have had a bump in the road during your 2nd semester of sophmore year?' That semester I was about to get a D in intro bio (intro bio!), so I took a W instead, and I wasn't doing so hot in my other classes either (B, B+, B-). I told her, honestly, that as much as I wish I had a legitimate excuse, I didn't. I just took on more than I could handle that semester (full course load + job + internship), and I learned a big fat lesson in time management. I think my interviewer actually appreciated my mistakes because she was talking about students who are always good at academics and what happens the first time that they're faced with difficulty. I got in with my lousy semester, but bear in mind that I basically got all A's until I graduated. Your interviewer will understand that you're not a robot, and that these things happen. Be honest, own up to your mistakes, and try again.
 

dentalstudent00

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prior to taking the W, did you at least attempt to email or meet with your professor to explain the situation? i'm pretty sure he/she would have been totally understanding to your short period of depression and recovery.. it's a very normal process especially after 6 years and anybody could relate to this fact. i know how you feel and in panic, most would not take the time to reach out and seek help from a counselor or professor, but they are human as you are. if it doesn't work, the W will be noticed, but your future grades, hopefully more A's and a high DAT score will definitely overcome a W.

as for your relationship, realize that is no more. but what you do have is a passion to be a dentist and financially security. personally, this will take you farther in life than that chick that once broke your heart.. years from now, you will look back and realize that your wife is far hotter, funnier, smarter, sweeter, kinder and caring and easily triumphs any ex-girlfriend you once had by miles. your life will make sense and better yet, you will have the skills to donate and help out the community. everybody wants to have a passion and purpose, but in the meantime, i say you take the time you once spent with that chick and hit the gym, increase that cardio, bulk up and concentrate on academics. plus, there are now plenty of smart girls you can study and party with that you couldn't before :thumbup:
 

sfoksn

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keep in mind some dental schools count W's as flat out F's... example: UCSF
 

Vicviper

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I keep cracking up about how people think W's are like the bubonic plague. As long as you have less than say 4 or 5, it's a total non-issue, as long as it's not the same class a number of times. I had 6 for various reasons, and it didn't even come up once at any of my interviews. Because of partly the silly advice people give about how bad W's are, and this was before I actually understood their real insignificance, I chose to stick in a class instead of taking a W, and that D did unrepairable damage to my GPA, so lesson learned.
 
Mar 12, 2010
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Take the W. I'm sorry about the break up. I can imagine that being devastating. Hang in there. :)
 

Oracle DMD

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keep in mind some dental schools count W's as flat out F's... example: UCSF
i don't know how true that is but i'll search around. if it is true it's ridiculous. :thumbdown:
 

Impulse155

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I had 3 W's and none of them were ever mentioned in my interviews. I think as long as you have a good GPA, a few blemishes aren't going to matter THAT much.

Good to know I took the D over the W or PNC...
 
Jul 2, 2009
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Thanks for the information everyone. I will take the class next semester and get an A.

As for my actions during my depression phase, I didn't do anything. I literally sat around my room nearly 24 hours a day.

My question now is what should I say if I am asked about the W in an interview? I don't want to say I took on too much of a course-load because it is untrue and I would think would look bad. I also wouldn't want to dive that deep into my personal life in an interview. I guess those are the only explanations I can come up with and both seem to be bad reasons or excuses.
 

peerless218

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i don't know how true that is but i'll search around. if it is true it's ridiculous. :thumbdown:
I asked UCSF admission last year when I applied. They say they'll look at the LATER grades if you repeated classes. So I am assuming that means they don't look at your 1st grade, including the F. C. West for sure counts W as a F as I was told straight up by the admission recruiter.
 

Vicviper

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Thanks for the information everyone. I will take the class next semester and get an A.

As for my actions during my depression phase, I didn't do anything. I literally sat around my room nearly 24 hours a day.

My question now is what should I say if I am asked about the W in an interview? I don't want to say I took on too much of a course-load because it is untrue and I would think would look bad. I also wouldn't want to dive that deep into my personal life in an interview. I guess those are the only explanations I can come up with and both seem to be bad reasons or excuses.
Although I highly doubt they will, just be honest, that's one of the most important things during your interview. Just say that you had some personal issues going on at the time, but that you'd resolved them, and since you got a good grade on your retake, it shows you know the stuff. It's a legit answer, everyone has personal things come up now and then - we're not robots.
 

Oracle DMD

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i hit up a friend of mine at UCSF and this is the respone i got.:


-yo. this is the response i got from our dean of admissions, hope this clears things up.

"Honorable withdrawals are not F's or NP grades. They appear as W on the transcript. But anyone not in dental school might think that one can withdraw from a given class any quarter as can occur in undergraduate studies. As you know, this is not the case. All courses have to be completed during the quarter or quarters assigned. If not the student has to withdraw from the year and retake all the courses. Hope this makes sense."-

so W's are not considered F's, but do look bad if not retaken.
 

dentalWorks

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one W ain't gonna kill you. Chances are it woun't even be asked in the interview process.

Just retake the class another semester and try your best.

My underestand of W's is that it is ONLY bad if you have too many of them. Its showing them that your just unable to handle the courses your putting on your schedule.