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Pass/Fail Organic Chemistry

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genmaichaaa

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Hello,

I'm unsure whether I should change my Orgo I grading option to pass/fail and retake it next year. I got below the average score for my first midterm and after taking the second one...not feeling so great about it either. Would retaking the class and getting a higher grade be able to negate a pass/fail, and how would it be viewed on AMCAS or by adcoms?
 

BigBoss

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What’s your grade in the class?


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genmaichaaa

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What’s your grade in the class?

That's the thing - I don't know because they curve at the end, but I'm picturing a B-/C. I got about 10 points below the average score on my first midterm. Not sure if midterm scores directly correlate with general grades, but over the years the average grade is a B/B-.
 
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BigBoss

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If you think you’ll make less than a C in the class, then withdraw and retake, however, if it’s a C or above, don’t withdraw or retake.


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genmaichaaa

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How about taking it pass/fail and then retake? Is the AMCAS only going to count the first time (P/F) and not look at the second time if you get a good grade?
 

BigBoss

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Medical schools will have access to both grades, but if you retake, they will expect you to do significantly better than your first try. It’s not going to be a dealbreaker for med school acceptances.


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genmaichaaa

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Thank you!
A factor that I'm considering is that a P/F doesn't factor into GPA, although it might look suspicious to adcoms who see me retaking the course...
Also, is P/F viewed as equivalent or less than a C?
 

chemphysicsinstructor

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Yes. A W can be viewed similarly (depending on the committee). For Orgo, which is a weeding class, you should (and probably are required to by many med school pre-reqs) get a real grade.

If a student came into my office and asked this question, I would recommend retaking the course. I would also suggest using the time between the courses to reflect on what was successful and what was not. I would also counsel the student to study the material on their own. In this manner, you will have the best chance for success when you retake the course. In the rather unlikely event that this topic comes up in an interview, be sure to have rehearsed a good response.
 
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