Pinkfluffybunny

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Okay sorry if this has been asked (if anything, I feel like the OPPOSITE has been asked)

Basically, when this semester started, I took this upper level linguistics course just because I was interested in linguistics (has nothing to do with BCPM) but since it was a grad class and I'm and undergrad, I took it pass/fail at the start of the year just because I don't have a huge background in linguistics and I didn't want the pressure of being the only non-linguistics major in the class to psych me out

HOWEVER about 2 weeks ago my university changed policy and now added the "optional pass/fail" for COVID again this semester. We are allowed to see our grades after the semester ends and decide to make them pass/fail.

At the moment, I have all As and A-s and I have no intention to p/f any of those classes but I've seen a ton of posts here saying if you have all A grades and 1 "P" people think its a C or something you're trying to hide - I think I have a B in my ling class, but since it's already pass/fail from before we received the new pass/fail information I can't switch it to a letter grade.

I've read a lot of comments from people getting upset that others are pass/failing Bs due to the pandemic, but I pass/failed the class before we even knew we could do that this semester so would that be seen as me being a perfectionist or something like that? Should I try and see if I can get the registrar to unmask my pass/fail grade?

Sorry if this is kind of neurotic, its just that I don't have any pre-med friends so all my advice comes from sdn or reddit (pre-med advising at my school takes over a month to get an appointment) and so far it seems like having all A range grades and one P is shady to most people.

My GPA would go down a bit if I end up unmasking the B (if they even let me) but honestly I worked for that grade and it's not the worst thing in the world, I just don't know if it's worth taking it up with the dean of student affairs and trying to get that to switch!
 
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Okay sorry if this has been asked (if anything, I feel like the OPPOSITE has been asked)

Basically, when this semester started, I took this upper level linguistics course just because I was interested in linguistics (has nothing to do with BCPM) but since it was a grad class and I'm and undergrad, I took it pass/fail at the start of the year just because I don't have a huge background in linguistics and I didn't want the pressure of being the only non-linguistics major in the class to psych me out

HOWEVER about 2 weeks ago my university changed policy and now added the "optional pass/fail" for COVID again this semester. We are allowed to see our grades after the semester ends and decide to make them pass/fail.

At the moment, I have all As and A-s and I have no intention to p/f any of those classes but I've seen a ton of posts here saying if you have all A grades and 1 "P" people think its a C or something you're trying to hide - I think I have a B in my ling class, but since it's already pass/fail from before we received the new pass/fail information I can't switch it to a letter grade.

I've read a lot of comments from people getting upset that others are pass/failing Bs due to the pandemic, but I pass/failed the class before we even knew we could do that this semester so would that be seen as me being a perfectionist or something like that? Should I try and see if I can get the registrar to unmask my pass/fail grade?

Sorry if this is kind of neurotic, its just that I don't have any pre-med friends so all my advice comes from sdn or reddit (pre-med advising at my school takes over a month to get an appointment) and so far it seems like having all A range grades and one P is shady to most people.

My GPA would go down a bit if I end up unmasking the B (if they even let me) but honestly I worked for that grade and it's not the worst thing in the world, I just don't know if it's worth taking it up with the dean of student affairs and trying to get that to switch!
Great question that no one has asked before, and one I honestly hadn't even considered!!! You're right -- before COVID, P/F was used to encourage you to take classes outside your comfort zone without fear of negative GPA repercussions, it was understood you didn't use it for prereqs, and there was no stigma attached to it. COVID changed that by allowing people to go P/F midstream, after having an indication where things were going, and this changed how P/F is viewed.

I'd make the effort to explain the situation to the dean and see if you could make the change, but it's just one class, so it's not going to kill you if you are stuck with it, even though it doesn't look great. I'd argue that it's inequitable to allow people to mask grades but not allow them to unmask. Please let us know what you do and how it works out. One P with all As and A-s will NOT be the reason you are not accepted anywhere. Really! :cool:
 

Pinkfluffybunny

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May 31, 2018
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@KnightDoc

Thanks for the advice:) Just an update on that - I got a B+ in my 1 credit physics lab bringing my semester GPA to a 3.81 instead of a 3.84, would it still look shady? Just because I'd assume adcoms would question why I'm showing 1 non A grade and not the other? I'm definitely not going to hide the physics grade

I emailed the office of student affairs for the pass/fail meeting to see if I could switch it to a grade but honestly I feel kind of stupid self sabotaging myself when its a class I had never even intended to take for a grade.

This semester has been rough overall because my mom got covid and spread it to my whole family and that was a huge issue until a few days ago but wow I just want to be done with the semester !!!

I only have 1 p/f grade other than this one and that was for a random philosophy class about greece, so I definitely don't overuse them!
 
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Angus Avagadro

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Agree with @Goro . What's wrong with a B? Lots of people get into med school with a B or 2. Dont over think it.Adcoms know people aren't perfect. If it was below a B, I might consider moving to P/F. 3.8 is a very good GPA. Pretty much wont hurt you anywhere. Good luck and best wishes!
 
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@KnightDoc

Thanks for the advice:) Just an update on that - I got a B+ in my 1 credit physics lab bringing my semester GPA to a 3.81 instead of a 3.84, would it still look shady? Just because I'd assume adcoms would question why I'm showing 1 non A grade and not the other? I'm definitely not going to hide the physics grade

I emailed the office of student affairs for the pass/fail meeting to see if I could switch it to a grade but honestly I feel kind of stupid self sabotaging myself when its a class I had never even intended to take for a grade.

This semester has been rough overall because my mom got covid and spread it to my whole family and that was a huge issue until a few days ago but wow I just want to be done with the semester !!!

I only have 1 p/f grade other than this one and that was for a random philosophy class about greece, so I definitely don't overuse them!
Oh boy! Is everyone in your family okay? That is by far the most important thing!!!

For most people, it's really not about overusing P/F, since most UGs had (before COVID) rules on how many credits could be taken this way, and, as I said before, the rationale behind allowing it in the first place is solid and non-abusive. COVID scrambled everything by removing the limits, allowing you to make the election sometimes right up until the end of the class, and, in some cases, making it mandatory. This forced med schools to accept it when they wouldn't otherwise, but also to rightfully cause adcoms to question it when it isn't applied to all classes in a given semester.

All this said, absolutely nobody except you will care about or notice a B+ in a 1 credit lab, and the difference between a 3.81 and 3.84 is meaningless in evaluating you as a candidate. There is nothing "shady" about P/F. It's just assumed they are masking Cs (with or without a B+ in a lab :)), because very few of us have a high enough GPA (4.0) to actually be concerned about an occasional B, so they just aren't masked by most people.

When anything is made opaque, a sophisticated observer will assume the worst. C (or sometimes C-) is the lowest grade for which you can receive a P, so that is what is assumed. It will totally suck if you are locked into the P when you actually received a B, especially when you are going to be stigmatized by the inference caused by COVID when the P would have otherwise been perfectly fine and would not have created any inference at all. For this reason, hopefully the school will be understanding and provide you relief. If not, again, it's just one class and you will be 1,000% fine if this is the biggest weakness in your application! :cool:
 

Pinkfluffybunny

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@Goro @Angus Avagadro Thanks for your responses :)

I think you might have misunderstood though, I'm definitely taking my physics class as a B+ but the class in question has been a pass/fail class since before my University changed our rules for COVID this semester because originally this semester started off normal and we were not allowed to pass/fail midway through the semester.

My professor said I have to talk to the dean of student affairs to see if I'm allowed to re-convert that pass/fail to a grade, and he's not even sure if I'm allowed to since I had originally made it a pass/fail class before the COVID grading, and nothing in the new grading system says I can change it back.

I was just asking if it was worth going to the meeting with the dean of student affairs (and like the 3 academic officers) and trying to re-convert it... I don't think I'm ashamed of a B it's just that these meetings (and the follow-up meetings) take time and I didn't know if it would be worth it or not.

I definitely do not have a 4.0, and I've received more than my fair share of B's (and even got a 100% unmasked B+ this semester :) ) so I'm more asking if it's worth arguing with that office to change their policy for me or if I should just take the pass/fail since that was the default before my University switched. I'm just a non-confrontational person in general which is why I was hesitant to have to go the first route but I definitely will try if adcoms see it as a red flag!
 
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Pinkfluffybunny

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Oh boy! Is everyone in your family okay? That is by far the most important thing!!!

For most people, it's really not about overusing P/F, since most UGs had (before COVID) rules on how many credits could be taken this way, and, as I said before, the rationale behind allowing it in the first place is solid and non-abusive. COVID scrambled everything by removing the limits, allowing you to make the election sometimes right up until the end of the class, and, in some cases, making it mandatory. This forced med schools to accept it when they wouldn't otherwise, but also to rightfully cause adcoms to question it when it isn't applied to all classes in a given semester.

All this said, absolutely nobody except you will care about or notice a B+ in a 1 credit lab, and the difference between a 3.81 and 3.84 is meaningless in evaluating you as a candidate. There is nothing "shady" about P/F. It's just assumed they are masking Cs (with or without a B+ in a lab :)), because very few of us have a high enough GPA (4.0) to actually be concerned about an occasional B, so they just aren't masked by most people.

When anything is made opaque, a sophisticated observer will assume the worst. C (or sometimes C-) is the lowest grade for which you can receive a P, so that is what is assumed. It will totally suck if you are locked into the P when you actually received a B, especially when you are going to be stigmatized by the inference caused by COVID when the P would have otherwise been perfectly fine and would not have created any inference at all. For this reason, hopefully the school will be understanding and provide you relief. If not, again, it's just one class and you will be 1,000% fine if this is the biggest weakness in your application! :cool:
Yes! My mom was hospitalized for like 12 days but she's finally out and both are on their way to recovery:)

Definitely taking the B+ for a grade, but if for some reason the dean does not accept my request to convert my pass/fail to a grade, do you think I should mention that in the COVID prompts?

Your response definitely made me feel a bit better about it thanks so much!
 

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@Goro @Angus Avagadro Thanks for your responses :)

I think you might have misunderstood though, I'm definitely taking my physics class as a B+ but the class in question has been a pass/fail class since before my University changed our rules for COVID this semester because originally this semester started off normal and we were not allowed to pass/fail midway through the semester.

My professor said I have to talk to the dean of student affairs to see if I'm allowed to re-convert that pass/fail to a grade, and he's not even sure if I'm allowed to since I had originally made it a pass/fail class before the COVID grading, and nothing in the new grading system says I can change it back.

I was just asking if it was worth going to the meeting with the dean of student affairs (and like the 3 academic officers) and trying to re-convert it... I don't think I'm ashamed of a B it's just that these meetings (and the follow-up meetings) take time and I didn't know if it would be worth it or not.

I definitely do not have a 4.0, and I've received more than my fair share of B's (and even got a 100% unmasked B+ this semester :) ) so I'm more asking if it's worth arguing with that office to change their policy for me or if I should just take the pass/fail since that was the default before my University switched. I'm just a non-confrontational person in general which is why I was hesitant to have to go the first route but I definitely will try if adcoms see it as a red flag!
We're in the middle of a massive pandemic. Med schools understand that grades are going to P/F in order to make life easier on students. We're not going to look at this a an F. And even if you failed the class, you could still get into medical school.

There is a pernicious pre-med delusion that a W or a P is worse than an F, or the same thing. They're not, so please spread the word.
 
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Angus Avagadro

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@Goro @Angus Avagadro Thanks for your responses :)

I think you might have misunderstood though, I'm definitely taking my physics class as a B+ but the class in question has been a pass/fail class since before my University changed our rules for COVID this semester because originally this semester started off normal and we were not allowed to pass/fail midway through the semester.

My professor said I have to talk to the dean of student affairs to see if I'm allowed to re-convert that pass/fail to a grade, and he's not even sure if I'm allowed to since I had originally made it a pass/fail class before the COVID grading, and nothing in the new grading system says I can change it back.

I was just asking if it was worth going to the meeting with the dean of student affairs (and like the 3 academic officers) and trying to re-convert it... I don't think I'm ashamed of a B it's just that these meetings (and the follow-up meetings) take time and I didn't know if it would be worth it or not.

I definitely do not have a 4.0, and I've received more than my fair share of B's (and even got a 100% unmasked B+ this semester :) ) so I'm more asking if it's worth arguing with that office to change their policy for me or if I should just take the pass/fail since that was the default before my University switched. I'm just a non-confrontational person in general which is why I was hesitant to have to go the first route but I definitely will try if adcoms see it as a red flag!
Agree with my wise colleague @Goro . During these times, I would not be concerned about the P. You have a fine GPA, competetive for almost any school, depending on the other factors in your app.
 
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Yes! My mom was hospitalized for like 12 days but she's finally out and both are on their way to recovery:)

Definitely taking the B+ for a grade, but if for some reason the dean does not accept my request to convert my pass/fail to a grade, do you think I should mention that in the COVID prompts?

Your response definitely made me feel a bit better about it thanks so much!
Thankfully everything is okay at home!!!! As I expressed previously, I definitely think it's worth the meeting with the school because showing a B is definitely better than a P, but the adcoms advising that a P is not a death sentence are absolutely correct. What they don't say is that a C is also not a death sentence (true) but is definitely less good than a B (also true! :cool:).

So, the goal is to try to mitigate this without appearing overly neurotic. The most direct fix would be to convince your admin that it is inequitable to allow people to mask bad grades while not allowing you to unmask a good one, thereby creating the inference that you are masking a bad one. I think it's a winning argument, but I don't know the culture at your school, so I have absolutely no idea how this will go.

If it doesn't work out, sure, it's worth a mention in your app without making a huge deal out of it. Just say something like you took the class P/F, before the semester began, as P/F classes were intended to be taken, i.e., to allow you to take classes outside your comfort zone without needing to worry about the grade. Absolutely don't mention trying to unmask it and being unsuccessful, but maybe also reassure the adcom that you did not make the election midway through the class, and actually did well in it. I wouldn't worry about this until after your meeting though, because if the policy is silent on converting back to a letter grade, you might actually get what you are seeking, given the circumstances.
 

HopeP

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@Goro @Angus Avagadro Thanks for your responses :)

I think you might have misunderstood though, I'm definitely taking my physics class as a B+ but the class in question has been a pass/fail class since before my University changed our rules for COVID this semester because originally this semester started off normal and we were not allowed to pass/fail midway through the semester.

My professor said I have to talk to the dean of student affairs to see if I'm allowed to re-convert that pass/fail to a grade, and he's not even sure if I'm allowed to since I had originally made it a pass/fail class before the COVID grading, and nothing in the new grading system says I can change it back.

I was just asking if it was worth going to the meeting with the dean of student affairs (and like the 3 academic officers) and trying to re-convert it... I don't think I'm ashamed of a B it's just that these meetings (and the follow-up meetings) take time and I didn't know if it would be worth it or not.

I definitely do not have a 4.0, and I've received more than my fair share of B's (and even got a 100% unmasked B+ this semester :) ) so I'm more asking if it's worth arguing with that office to change their policy for me or if I should just take the pass/fail since that was the default before my University switched. I'm just a non-confrontational person in general which is why I was hesitant to have to go the first route but I definitely will try if adcoms see it as a red flag!
Sounds very familiar, similar things happened at UIUC too and lots of pre-meds have made decisions right before they allowed C/NC for current semester, kinda just 2 weeks back, less than a month from semester end.
 

Pinkfluffybunny

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if anyone was following this here is an update:
I asked my dean if it was possible and he said strange request but sure - ended up letting me take the class for a grade right before the final so I pulled an all nighter and got a 100 on the final bringing me up to an A- that will now be on my transcript!
 
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