Should I take a W or CR for a post-bacc class or stick with my bad letter grade?

Dec 9, 2020
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Hi everyone, I'm currently doing a DIY postbacc for GPA repair (currently sitting at a 3.38). One of the classes I'm taking this semester is cancer bio, but it turned out to be unlike anything I expected. The class is solely focused on the professor's research, exams are all essays specific to his published research papers, and he grades really harshly since it's all subjective. It's likely that I'll get a B- in this class and he does not curve.

My school recently announced that they are permitting CR/NCR. I also have the option to drop the class and receive a W on my transcript. Will either of these grades look suspicious, especially since it's a post-bacc course, or should I just stick with my B-? I don't have any previous W's or CR's and have one P from undergrad. I'm on track for A's for the rest of my classes and this B- would bring it down to a 3.6. Any advice is appreciated.
 

KnightDoc

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Hi everyone, I'm currently doing a DIY postbacc for GPA repair (currently sitting at a 3.38). One of the classes I'm taking this semester is cancer bio, but it turned out to be unlike anything I expected. The class is solely focused on the professor's research, exams are all essays specific to his published research papers, and he grades really harshly since it's all subjective. It's likely that I'll get a B- in this class and he does not curve.

My school recently announced that they are permitting CR/NCR. I also have the option to drop the class and receive a W on my transcript. Will either of these grades look suspicious, especially since it's a post-bacc course, or should I just stick with my B-? I don't have any previous W's or CR's and have one P from undergrad. I'm on track for A's for the rest of my classes and this B- would bring it down to a 3.6. Any advice is appreciated.
I'm really sorry to hear this -- it totally sucks! In the future, please try to be more careful in choosing classes. The good news is that a single class isn't going to determine your fate. The bad news is this is a self-inflicted wound, and all of your options are bad.

It's a DIY post-bacc, all classes are optional, and you need GPA repair. NONE of your options will achieve your objective. B- isn't going to help you, so no reason to go for that if you don't have to. Neither will a CR or a W. Since you don't NEED the credit for anything, I'd probably just take the W and move on. You can also take the CR, since it won't impact your GPA, but nobody is going to think it's a masked A, so I don't see how it helps with GPA repair. It's not like you need the credit to fulfill some requirement, so I honestly don't see how any adcom is going to be impressed with a CR in some random post-bacc bio class.

It's probably six of one and a half dozen of the other between the two. I'd be very interested to hear what others think. Good luck!!!
 
Dec 9, 2020
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I'm really sorry to hear this -- it totally sucks! In the future, please try to be more careful in choosing classes. The good news is that a single class isn't going to determine your fate. The bad news is this is a self-inflicted wound, and all of your options are bad.

It's a DIY post-bacc, all classes are optional, and you need GPA repair. NONE of your options will achieve your objective. B- isn't going to help you, so no reason to go for that if you don't have to. Neither will a CR or a W. Since you don't NEED the credit for anything, I'd probably just take the W and move on. You can also take the CR, since it won't impact your GPA, but nobody is going to think it's a masked A, so I don't see how it helps with GPA repair. It's not like you need the credit to fulfill some requirement, so I honestly don't see how any adcom is going to be impressed with a CR in some random post-bacc bio class.

It's probably six of one and a half dozen of the other between the two. I'd be very interested to hear what others think. Good luck!!!
Thank you so much for your input! I came to the exact same conclusions you did, which prompted me to post and seek advice haha. I still have about a week to decide how I'll proceed, so I'll try to hear out what others have to say as well.

I usually do lots of research prior to enrolling in my courses to avoid this exact scenario, but Covid is what actually prompted him to change his entire course format to this insanity. Most of my classmates are struggling as well, so at least I'm not alone haha. Thanks again!
 
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Rachapkis

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I would not take the grade, as it will not achieve your purpose. If you don't have an exorbitant number of Ws, I would take the W (they aren't as bad as many seem to think). If you do, I would take the Pass.
 
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Goro

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Hi everyone, I'm currently doing a DIY postbacc for GPA repair (currently sitting at a 3.38). One of the classes I'm taking this semester is cancer bio, but it turned out to be unlike anything I expected. The class is solely focused on the professor's research, exams are all essays specific to his published research papers, and he grades really harshly since it's all subjective. It's likely that I'll get a B- in this class and he does not curve.

My school recently announced that they are permitting CR/NCR. I also have the option to drop the class and receive a W on my transcript. Will either of these grades look suspicious, especially since it's a post-bacc course, or should I just stick with my B-? I don't have any previous W's or CR's and have one P from undergrad. I'm on track for A's for the rest of my classes and this B- would bring it down to a 3.6. Any advice is appreciated.
Take the CR grade. A B- will hurt more
 
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Retaking a course should only be done for a better grade. However, since this isn't a retake per se, I'd say take it for CR and if they ask why your out is COVID-19 related issues and you took the course out of personal interest in cancer.
 
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KnightDoc

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I love you. Unfortunately, I just found out that I missed the CR/NCR deadline by a week, so W is now my only option. Should I stick with what you said?
Doesn't really matter. You don't need the class for anything other than GPA repair, and that ship already sailed.

W is bad because it shows you didn't do well. B- shows the same thing, PLUS it negatively impacts both your 3.38 and post-bacc 4.0, so no reason to go there. Take the W and move on.

Either way it's not good, and either way, one grade (or W) in one class isn't going to determine success or failure, so take the W, flip a coin, whatever. One choice isn't that much better or worse than the other to be worth all this agonizing! :cool:
 
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