Struggling in pre-req that I have AP credit for, what are my options?

MarylandMatt

Veni Vidi Vici
Jan 29, 2012
219
85
Maryland
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I am struggling in a class called Human Biology which is a two semester specialized Anatomy and Physiology class that fills 1 year of biology pre-req. I received a 66 on the first exam and 52 on the first practical lab exam. It's really stressing me out because I received a 5 on the AP Biology exam and have credit for the class (4 hours) and thought it was just going to be a review of what I already knew. It's completely new material and is just not clicking with me. The format is different from my chemistry class because there is no recitation and grades only come from exams and low point pre-labs, whereas in chemistry there are homework problems and a recitation quiz every week, along with lab reports that all count for a grade. This really helps me learn the material but in the biology class, the professor just expects us to memorize everything as he reads from a power point in lecture. There are no assignments, lab reports, or quizzes to stay on top of the material and buffer out exam grades.

I have A's in all my other courses, including gen chem. I'm enjoying all of my classes except this one.

I'm thinking about what my best options are:
-If I get an 85% average on every single exam and assignment from here to the end of the semester, I can get a solid B. My semester GPA would be a 3.5-3.67 depending on my other classes. If I end up with a C or C+ in Human Biology, I'm looking at a 3.3-3.4 with A's in everything else.
-I can withdraw from the course, focus on my other courses, and end up with a 3.8-4.0 for first semester. I couldn't take another Biology class again until the summer or next semester, so I would get major and gen-eds out of the way next semester in place of biology, since it is a 2 semester course.

Considerations:
-Can I still use AP credit after withdrawing from a course to get credit for the course? I have 4 credits from my AP score for this exact course. I would be exempt from this course, retain credit progression, and would then take a 5 credit hour regular general Biology course in the future. This course would in my opinion be a better format for me.
-Do I just need to suck it up and take the lower grade so I'm not playing catch up with the pre-reqs? I was planning on taking two semesters of orgo this summer, a semester of math next semester, english next year, and physics junior year.
-How much is too much to take in the summer? Is orgo going to be all I can handle or could I double up with orgo and biology, or orgo and a semester of math or english?

I know I should probably be talking with an academic advisor about this but I can't get an appointment until Thursday and I just had to get all this off my chest. Hope you guys can impart some advice.
 

mimelim

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Sep 19, 2011
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#1 Withdraw from the class.
#2 Whether or not you can 'use' your AP credit will depend on your school, you need to ask them. I'm not entirely caught up on this, but I'm pretty sure most medical schools are going to want you to take your classes at a university and not use the credits unless you have upper division classes as well.
#3 I'm not sure how you will be behind in pre-reqs (minus a single bio class)
#4 By FAR the bigger issue is that you had so many problems with this class. You need to figure out why. I hate to break it to you, but the hand holding gets less and less as you go through your education. Homework/assignments etc give way to single exams. You need to find a way to deal with that.
 
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MarylandMatt

MarylandMatt

Veni Vidi Vici
Jan 29, 2012
219
85
Maryland
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
#2 I will talk to my advisor about this one. The score counts, but only for free elective credit. I will take another Bio class that it doesn't give credit for to fulfill pre-req.

#3. By taking Bio, I postponed some major requirements. If I drop Bio and postpone it til summer or next year , I'll essentially have lost a semester to take required major classes so I'll have to take some extra classes here and there to make up for it. Not that big of a deal.

#4. I'll also talk about this. It might be a common adjustment problem since my HS wasn't really that rigorous so I'm more used to that style than some of my peers. I'll work on adapting.
 
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MarylandMatt

MarylandMatt

Veni Vidi Vici
Jan 29, 2012
219
85
Maryland
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Okay I can update this a bit.

1. I have a 73 in the class. Going to take this next test and see how I do, I will get my score back before the withdrawal deadline is up and I have a meeting set up with my advisor so we can talk about it then. I can take the regular biology class because I can opt out of the class I'm in right now. I'd take psych or philosophy next semester in place of bio.

2. Sophomore course load - if I withdraw from this class, I still have to get a year of bio done. Would it be okay to take biology and organic chemistry at the same time? They would be my only sciences sophomore year. I would be taking 16 credits and the other classes wouldn't be heavily math or science based.

Thanks