should I explain a C or withdraw in my personal statement

huihui

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I had a C and a withdraw in two graduate level course taken in US. I did my undergraduate level courses in another country and only did my pre-reqs in US. Should I explain the C and the withdraw in my personal statement?
 

theseeker4

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I had a C and a withdraw in two graduate level course. I did my undergraduate level courses in another country and only did my pre-reqs in US. Should I explain the C and the withdraw in my personal statement?
Your personal statement is supposed to answer "why medicine." It shouldn't be used to make adcoms focus on your academic missteps. Don't mention it at all until asked.
 

Ismet

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No, don't put it in your PS. Most secondaries have a section where you can describe academic missteps, save it for then.
 

NeuroLAX

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I definitely agree with the consensus thus far. You will have the opportunity to explain yourself appropriately in secondaries. For your PS, focus on your passion for medicine and what has motivated you to pursue it.
 
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huihui

huihui

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Thanks, but AMCAS said on their website:


In addition, you may wish to include information such as:
· Special hardships, challenges or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuits
· Commentary on significant fluctuations in your academic record which are not explained elsewhere in your application

Is it a single C or withdraw not significant fluntuations?
 

theseeker4

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Thanks, but AMCAS said on their website:

In addition, you may wish to include information such as:
· Special hardships, challenges or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuits
· Commentary on significant fluctuations in your academic record which are not explained elsewhere in your application

Is it a single C or withdraw not significant fluntuations?
First, it is "may wish" not "should", let alone "must." Second, a single C or single withdrawal is not a "significant fluctuation." Third, to paraphrase LizzyM, an adcom member from a top school, poor grades are like zits and your application is like a first date. Would you spend time on your first date pointing out and discussing a zit, or would you want to spend your time showing the person you are on a date with your positive attributes?

If you really want to point out to every adcom who reads your application how you couldn't handle a class one (or two, or three) time(s), feel free. I don't think you will find many people who would agree that this is the best use of your personal statement space.
 
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Your PS is def not a summary of academic performance or activities. Your PS should portray passion for medicine and why you know for certain this is your path. Grades should have no place in your PS...

A single C in a course is not a "significant fluctuation", an example of a significant fluctuation would be flunking out a semester due to family, health issues, etc. and only if it wasn't explained elsewhere.
 

RelicLTD

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I had 10 W's when I applied. I did not mention them at all in my PS. I had a short, focused PS that answered "Why Medicine?" I got plenty of interviews and things turned out fine.

No reason to focus on the negatives when you don't need to. I was asked about my W's in interviews... if they care they will ask.
 
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I had 10 W's when I applied. I did not mention them at all in my PS. I had a short, focused PS that answered "Why Medicine?" I got plenty of interviews and things turned out fine.

No reason to focus on the negatives when you don't need to. I was asked about my W's in interviews... if they care they will ask.
:eek:

And to the OP, is a C really that bad...? I mean, I would never attempt to get a C in a class, but really it's harldy anything that needs explanation.
 

RelicLTD

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Just to avoid giving the wrong impression... These were all on the very front of my application, and I transferred to a stronger institution and performed well from then on. Your mileage may vary.
 
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Just to avoid giving the wrong impression... These were all on the very front of my application, and I transferred to a stronger institution and performed well from then on. Your mileage may vary.
I don't understand much about the actual application process (I'm still a freshman) but wouldn't that just make it worse? I mean, the first thing the reviewer sees is a crapload of W's. My premed advisor told me that anything above 3 Ws was likely to lead to very few acceptances...
 

RelicLTD

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Well take it for what its worth. I essentially dropped out of college twice and then got my act together. I think it appeared better and was more understandable and forgivable than a bunch of hand picked W's from science courses that you were afraid of getting a poor grade in.
 

johnnydrama

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I had a C and a withdraw in two graduate level course taken in US. I did my undergraduate level courses in another country and only did my pre-reqs in US. Should I explain the C and the withdraw in my personal statement?
Don't specifically mention them unless there was a serious life changing event associated with them.

Have an answer prepared for interviews, but don't mention it unprompted.
 

Dan1804

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Some secondaries specifically ask you to discuss low grades and Ws. I'd save it for that.
 
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huihui

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What if the course I got C is ethics in biomedical science?
And the course I withdrew is molecular medicine?
Ethics in biomedical science seems so important to the medical profession.

I got C because I seldom participated in the discussion, which I was not used to when I first came to the US.

I withdrew the molecular medicine course because I was transferring to another school soon and also the professor who taught the course died before the final unfortunately.

sorry I should make it clear at the beginning
 
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theseeker4

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What if the course I got C is ethics in biomedical science?
And the course I withdrew is molecular medicine?
Ethics in biomedical science seems so important to the medical profession.

I got C because I seldom participated in the discussion, which I was not used to when I first came to the US.

I withdrew the molecular medicine course because I was transferring to another school soon and also the professor who taught the course died before the final unfortunately.
It doesn't matter. The answer doesn't change. Wait to be asked, either in an essay or an interview. This answer is going to be the same no matter what the classes were. Do not mention it in your PS.