Significance of B in intro chem (and W) as prefrosh? should I explain it in my app later on?

llIl

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Hello!, this is my first question :). It is summer for me and I enrolled in two courses (8 credits) at my local juinor college. Both are intro classes- intro Chem and phys. General Chem I is the course above it, and I'm taking that next semester. I had an A in Chem until the final which dropped me to a B. I also took a W in conceptual physics (had an A. I just didn't want to continue it thru the summer).

It shouldn't matter that much, will adcoms just glance over it since the level of courses are low and I didn't not start at the university level yet? I dealt with college apps a while back, so I know colleges look at the transcript and not just your gpa, looking for trends and specific courses. I'm just frustrated I ruined my transcript so early on. I'm starting college next month at a top 15 school, so I think I can prove myself by taking courses there and getting As, correct?

Also if anyone cares, I'm happy this happened early on. This was a humbling experience since I got to realize the rigor of college classes-not the same as high school at all where everyone is handed As. Now I won't underestimate the time and effort needed to succeed. I did not even get the textbook for Chem and winged every test, which bit me in the back when it came to the final. If I were to explain it on my app, I wouldn't focus on my arrogance; I would just say expand on how it was a learning experience.

Thank you, I appreciate the help. I look forward to being part of the sdn community :)
 

plasticdiscoball

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Yes, it's completely fine. Just don't make a habit of it, and no one will care.
 
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efle

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you do not need to explain a B in a freshman year intro chem class on your app, or in your interviews, or ever!

Be ready to change your idea of good science grades. Top 20 colleges are full of students that had straight As throughout highschool and then scored top couple percent on the SAT/ACT. Many people find it difficult to adjust to being in science classes that are curved against such a competitive crowd and busting butt to get something like a B+. If you end up experiencing that, do not get discouraged. You do not need a near-perfect sGPA to get into med school coming from that kind of college, look at WashU's data from a couple years back below (for example 80% of people with a ~3.5 are getting in). A mix of As and Bs is doing great, not something to worry about explaining to admissions.

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llIl

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Jul 26, 2017
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you do not need to explain a B in a freshman year intro chem class on your app, or in your interviews, or ever!

Be ready to change your idea of good science grades. Top 20 colleges are full of students that had straight As throughout highschool and then scored top couple percent on the SAT/ACT. Many people find it difficult to adjust to being in science classes that are curved against such a competitive crowd and busting butt to get something like a B+. If you end up experiencing that, do not get discouraged. You do not need a near-perfect sGPA to get into med school coming from that kind of college, look at WashU's data from a couple years back below (for example 80% of people with a ~3.5 are getting in). A mix of As and Bs is doing great, not something to worry about explaining to admissions.

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Thank you efle! Interesting data, I remember the chart for my university also had very high acceptance rates compared to the national average as well, which is reassuring.

And you're right, I don't need to be absolutely perfect but I'll try my best haha
 

LizzyM

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Also keep in mind that while we will look at your gpa year by year (and pre-college matriculation classes -- those taken in HS-- separately) overall you will have 120 credits or more contributing to your GPA. If you have 120 credits you have a maximum of 480 grade points.... having a B in a 4 credit chem class reduces your maximum possible grade points earned to 476 and your GPA would be reduced from 4.0 to 3.97. Not a big deal. In fact, some adcoms will say with some admiration "well, at least he's not perfect."

Also, keep in mind that if you take more than the minimum 120 units and do well then that B is further diluted as the denominator of your GPA increases.
 
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