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P/F during the time of Covid-19

STEMblonde

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Sep 12, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
    How do you think Adcoms will look at courses taken as pass/fail instead of letter grades. My semester is all A's except one B+ which will lower my gpa. I'd prefer to take it as a pass to keep my gpa, but I've heard people may assume my grade is worse.
     

    squids82

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    1. Medical Student
      If you think that you'll be competitive against people that are taking letter grades this semester then go for it, but most people are assumed to not take P's for higher grades
       
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      KnightDoc

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        If you think that you'll be competitive against people that are taking letter grades this semester then go for it, but most people are assumed to not take P's for higher grades
        This ^^^^. There is a lot of speculation and confusion surrounding this. Med schools do not like P/F, especially for prereqs. COVID has backed them into a corner, because some schools are making it mandatory, and it would be very obnoxious to make people retake these classes under the circumstances.

        People are also using the situation to their advantage by voluntarily taking certain classes P/F. If you're doing it to mask a C, that's understandable, and probably what adcoms will assume when a single class is taken P/F. If you're doing it to try to game the system by eking out an extra 0.01 on your GPA, you're really just playing yourself, because you'll save the 0.01 at the cost of having the reader think your B+ might have been a C.

        In fact, if they knew you were so neurotic that you masked a B+, it would probably be even worse for you, because their experience has shown them that candidates who are so obsessive about things like this do not react well to inevitable setbacks in the course of med school.
         
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        Doctor-S

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          How do you think Adcoms will look at courses taken as pass/fail instead of letter grades. My semester is all A's except one B+ which will lower my gpa. I'd prefer to take it as a pass to keep my gpa, but I've heard people may assume my grade is worse.
          In response to your post:

          1. Some adcoms will view a P/F grade as an "average" grade - especially if the rest of the student's grades in the same semester are letter grades, and not P/F grades.

          2. Some adcoms might assume the student was cherry-picking opportunities to "hide" a low course grade; and therefore selectively chose the P/F option to hide an "average" grade (e.g., to hide a letter grade of anything less than an "A"). In other words, some adcoms might view the P/F as GPA protection, and assume the student earned nothing higher than a "passing" score in the course (e.g., "C" letter grade).

          In your case, your letter grade of B+ is higher than an "average" grade. Suggest you take the B+ grade.

          To be honest, I would notice a P/F in this case because it will be the sole P/F in a single semester that shows letter grades of all A's for all other courses in the same semester - especially if the P/F is for a pre-requisite. Yup, it would catch my attention, but that's just me.
           
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