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Need some help

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by MIKEJACK5, May 14, 2007.

  1. MIKEJACK5

    MIKEJACK5 Junior Member
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    Hello All,

    Back in my old undergraduate days I failed my two biology prereq courses and got grades of a D+ in Chemistry and then an F in the retake (I know, I was a horrible student). I had some things going on in my life at the time that affected my performance.

    I went back to school school and then got As in the after mentioned courses. The only thing is, the format of the Biology courses have changed, as well as the name of the courses, so these grades can't directly replace the other grades. In addition, a retake can only replace one grade at my school. So I was able to get the F in chemistry removed, but I'm stuck with the other grade of D+, and the two failures in the biology courses.

    Does anyone know how I would go about petitioning for removal of these grades? Who would I write to and what would I write? There is not an official petition form at my school, so I would have to write the letters directly. Please, someone help me out. I'm desperate to have these grades removed. Thanks.
     
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  3. menaniac

    menaniac Moxious!
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    Unfortunately, if you are planning on applying to US allopathic med schools, you can't really "remove" grades. The AMCAS calculates your GPA based on *every* class you've ever taken, even if you re-took it and got a better grade, both classes are "counted" toward your GPA. There have been some threads having to do with "grade forgiveness" in some schools in Texas, but I know nothing about that. If you are thinking of applying to DO schools, I think they do the grade replacement thing instead of counting everything, even if you repeat it. Maybe someone more savvy about DO can chime in.

    Good luck with your GPA...it sounds like you're gonna need it. Don't be too discouraged, though. I had 5 credits of F in Physics I and a D (4 credits) in Calc II as an undergrad many years ago. I retook the classes, raised my grades, and with 5 semesters of straight A's barely brought my GPA up to where I could squeak by. Its a long, tough road but it is possible. Don't be deceived that you can just erase all those boo-boo's though.:( You have to work past them.
     
  4. MIKEJACK5

    MIKEJACK5 Junior Member
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    What I'm confused about is in my school, if you retake a class and get a higher grade, the lower grade comes off of your record and gets replaced with a "R". How would they even be able to see the grade when its not there officially any more? Also, do you think I would be successful with the petition to the departments? Let me know man, I'm really curious. Thanks.
     
  5. menaniac

    menaniac Moxious!
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    You say that the grade replacement is indicated by an *R* on your transcript. That right there shows that you took the class more than once. On the AMCAS form, it tells you to list every class that you've ever taken, even if it doesn't show upon your transcript. If you don't do this, and it later comes to light that you "overlooked" a few D's or F's, you can have your butt unceremoniously thrown out of school or residency or whatever. Never, *ever* lie (or "omit" something you know should be there) on your applications. Personal responsibility and honesty is something that is more than highly regarded in medicine, with good reason. We'll be dealing with people's lives, so fudging things here or there is just not acceptable. (Not that I think you'd necessarily try to do this, but I wanted to state the consequences for the record). That R on your transcript is a big red flag to actually look further for the original grade, not just the replacement.

    My school had the same policy about grade replacement. When I graduated my official GPA was a 3.45. My AMCAS calculated GPA was a 2.93 (5 credits of F has a lot of weight). After a lot of hard work, and straight A's, I brought that up to a 3.23. Not stellar, but within the range of barely acceptable. Bottom line, Allopathic Med Schools don't care what your particular school's rules are regarding grade replacement. They play by their own rules. It really is kind of a game, so its best to learn the "rules" early, and jump through the hoops that they want you to jump through.

    That being said, its kind of futile to try to change the grades on those other classes you took. All of the grades will show up regardless of what the class was actually called, and whether its listed with an R or not. You can petition if you want (I know it would have done no good at the school I went to), but you run the risk of pissing people off and looking like a whinny pre-med, thus endangering the good will of your professors and administrators when it comes to letter writing time. The powers that be don't like people who try to buck the system (whether its deserved or not), and it could be reflected later on down the line. Don't burn any bridges you don't have to, especially if the result won't get you anywhere in the long run anyway. Those grades will show up, no matter what the classes are called.

    Again, that advice is purely for allopathic schools. I think DO schools have different rules, and do allow some kind of grade replacement. You might want to post a question about that in the DO forum if no one here can answer that. If that's the case, maybe it would be worth your while to try to get those other bad grades replaced too. I don't know how successful you'd be, and I have no idea how you'd go about doing something like that, but in the particular circumstances of DO school, maybe it would be worth looking into.

    Good luck with everything. If you really want to be an MD, and are willing to work really hard to get there, then you can be successful. You just have to be willing and able to put the time and effort in to remediate your colorful transcript. To be realistic, you should sit down and calculate what your AMCAS GPA is counting every grade you've ever gotten, then figgure out how many credits of "A" you would need to bring your GPA up to at least a 3.2 or something. That will give you a better idea of how much time, effort and money we're talking about, assuming you ace everything you'll be doing from now on. If it still seems doable to you, then go for it! If it seems like too long a road, then at least you'll know that going in, and can look at other options (DO, carribbean, PA etc.). Only you can decide if its worth it. It was for me... :)
     

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