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Pass/Fail Frowned Upon by ADCOM?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gsquared, May 14, 2008.

  1. gsquared

    10+ Year Member

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    Our school offers a pass/fail option that may be retroactively converted to a grade at any time (i.e. I could take a class pass/fail, get an A, and then change the pass to an A with no penalization). I am somewhat hesitant about taking a few classes that really interest me, as I have heard that they are notorious GPA killers (specifically music theory, german, and calc/stats).

    If I were to take these classes and do poorly (but still pass), how would would different ADCOM's perceive this? I'm sorry if this is a narrow offshoot of previous topics, but this is a something that I'm legitimately concerned about.

    Thank you!
     
  2. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Pass/fail courses aren't figured into your GPA at all. Quite a few people take extra courses out of interest for p/f, just so that they can learn without the pressure. It's not a problem unless it's a pre-req.

    If anyone pops in here to tell you not to do because they are automatically counted as "C's", ignore them. That's not how it works.

    I wonder if it's common for a school to let you retroactively switch to a grade. I haven't heard of that before.
     
  3. gsquared

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    It seemed exceedingly strange to me as well- one would think that system like this would get flagrantly abused, but apparently it isn't. My advisor recommended I take a few of these classes P/F, and then if I do well I have some additional padding for my GPA...if not, then I simply have a P or F on my transcript.

    Specifically, I wonder about taking foreign language or match classes (two of my weaker areas). I know many schools require math, but could you take this P/F as a pre-req for admission? Would taking a foreign language P/F be looked down upon?
     
  4. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Foreign language should be fine. As long as none of the math classes are required courses any place that you intend to apply, go ahead with that, too. Don't do pre-reqs p/f. I'd be more wishy-washy on that if you didn't have that grade conversion option, but since you do, it sounds like a very fortunate safety net. Might as well take advantage of it.

    I'll stick one caveat in there. People tend to slack off & treat their p/f classes as less important to study for. Sometimes they wind up shocked to actually fail them. It happens. If you treat them with the same respect that you would any other class, you get more out of them. In your case, if you wind up doing well, you can let it shine on your transcript. Treat them like the grades actually count.
     
  5. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Med schools won't care if you have a couple of P/F classes, but do not take the math course P/F if it is your only higher math class.

    Many med schools require a semester of math, some require a year. It is usually required to be either Calculus and/or Statistics. If you have already satisfied this, take the math class P/F, but if you need it to satisfy the prereq, take it graded option. Many medical schools will not accept pre-reqs done P/F.
     
  6. gsquared

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    So I shouldn't worry about taking a few classes P/F as long as they aren't pre-reqs for the medical schools I'm thinking of applying to? This is great news, because there are a few classes I have been downright dreading.
     
  7. BluePhoenix

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    I took a good number of the pre-rec's pass/fail...not by choice, just how they were graded for frosh at my undergrad. So I suppose I'll see how that goes this coming year, luckily I've got a good number of other science classes as well.
     

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