W or take a chance on a C-??

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by BuckleyGirl, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. BuckleyGirl

    BuckleyGirl BuckleyGirl

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    Hi all! I need some advice....

    I'm taking O-Chem right now, summer session - pretty intense and there is a chance I won't get a C, and therfore will have to re-take it for it to count as a pre-req. Should I take that chance, or should I just withdraw and get a W? I'm planning to apply first time this Fall, and I fully am aware I most likely won't get in the first time around, but wanted to get a take on people's thoughts since you all have such good advice!!

    Here are my thoughts...
    Pros on dropping with a W:
    -take it this fall, get a better grade
    -more time this summer to work (need more hours)
    -re-take GREs and up my score
    -time this summer write a better application

    Pros on possible C- or below, with re-taking in Fall
    -shows AdComs I'm willing to stick with it and therefore no W
    -small chance I'll get better than a C-
    -if I do pass, I'll have a lighter load in the Fall

    Anyway, some help would be great!!!
    thanks!!!
     
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  3. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012

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    I think to put it in perspective, C is generally the minimum accepted at most schools. A "C" is not going to do your GPA or your application any favors, and it sounds like that's the best you're hoping for. I saw withdraw, figure out a good way to explain the situation (took on too much, whatever), and demonstrate your competence in the subject by getting an "A" in it in the fall.

    It sounds like you've got a ton going on right now, including applying for vet school (perhaps before you think you're ready). I'd take a little bit of time to think carefully about the choices you're making and how you'll defend them and why you made them (and feel they were the right choices) if needed (i.e. at a vet school interview).
     
  4. critterfixer

    critterfixer Veterinarian

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    I would talk to your professor and find out what your realistic chances of pulling off a C or better are at this point. If your professor believes you have a chance to do it and also knows you are willing to ask for help, then I say stick it out. I received a C in both semesters of Organic and was not willing to take it over again. I'd done well in all my other pre-reqs and truthfully, a couple of Cs just won't be a big deal.

    However, if your professor tells you your chances are slim to none, then I'd take the W.
     
  5. CalpardNY

    CalpardNY UIUC CVM c/o 2012

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    I pretty much agree with what VAgirl said. If you think you can do better in the fall - even with all the other classes and stresses of a normal semester going on - then i would say take the W. But be prepared to defend your actions both in your VMCAS (use the additional info section but spend most of the time talking about your successes and how you are a god candidate - dont harp on the negative) and your interviews.

    I was taking Orgo fall of my junior year with 3 of the hardest science classes at my college, while being a member of my varsity-level (without the NCAA restrictions) and a professor who couldn't teach (he just read pp presentations and you had to have them printed in advance and you weren't allowed to come ask questions). I could have finished and possibly gotten a C or w/d and taken it over the summer (at a school where the grade transfered back into my gpa).

    I ended up taking it and getting a B+ and then an A- and loving the class. I was interviewed at 4 schools (this is my first application cycle) and accepted to 3 and wait-listed at the 4th. I have to say i didn't address it directly on my application (i talked about ways i was an individual and a strong applicant), but it came up in my interviews. I had a whole explanation prepared and I guess it worked as I am off to the U of I in the fall!

    Sorry that was so long winded but hope that helps!
     
  6. MickeysPet

    MickeysPet MSU CVM c/o 2012

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    Organic chemistry in the summer is tough...I tried to do both semesters in a summer, and ended up dropping the 2nd course. I was sure I wouldn't do any better than a C. I picked it back up 2 springs later, got a B+ and it was never discussed in either of my interviews. Definitely the best decision for me!
     
  7. Hobiecat1642

    Hobiecat1642 U of M c/o 2012!!!

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    I would drop it, if you can.
     
  8. Sweetcaroline14

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    I personally would drop it. Work on a great GRE and then take it when you have a better chance of showing your abilities! Summer can be brutal...Good luck to you! :) Oh, I almost forgot.... I'd check with my prof before I dropped it. I would make sure that a C- or below was my only shot before I took the W. Sometimes, there is a little bit of a break when you take a hard core summer class, so just my opinion!

    I'm taking O-Chem right now, summer session - pretty intense and there is a chance I won't get a C, and therfore will have to re-take it for it to count as a pre-req. Should I take that chance, or should I just withdraw and get a W? I'm planning to apply first time this Fall, and I fully am aware I most likely won't get in the first time around, but wanted to get a take on people's thoughts since you all have such good advice!!

    Here are my thoughts...
    Pros on dropping with a W:
    -take it this fall, get a better grade
    -more time this summer to work (need more hours)
    -re-take GREs and up my score
    -time this summer write a better application

    Pros on possible C- or below, with re-taking in Fall
    -shows AdComs I'm willing to stick with it and therefore no W
    -small chance I'll get better than a C-
    -if I do pass, I'll have a lighter load in the Fall

    Anyway, some help would be great!!!
    thanks!!![/quote]
     
  9. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012
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    I would drop it (especially if your GPA is on the low side, if it's on the higher side then it may not hit it that hard..)

    No worries taking a W on a class. Physics kicked my arse and I had to W it one quarter. I retook it the next quarter and got a B+. Wasn't brought up in my interview, no one seemed to mind.

    Will you be able to meet enough of the pre-reqs to apply this fall if you drop it? I believe most schools (at least the ones I applied to) wanted a large portion of the pre-reqs done already. If you'll need to take o-chem over, will you still be able to take biochem in time? Just some things to think about. Also if you retake o-chem in the fall, some schools may not see your fall grades in time for the interview invite process.

    Anyhoo, best of luck. Summer o-chem is a toughie and you have my sympathy :luck:
     
  10. cwazy cat lady

    cwazy cat lady Slave to Felines

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    Hi Lailanni! :)

    Hi Buckley Girl:

    I agree with the vast majority of posters on here; if you will have enough time to retake and invest more effort and attention, drop this class and the sooner the better. At some schools the W is accompanied by a number which indicates how far along in the course you were when you withdrew. I think earlier looks a bit less worrisome than later. One W will not matter and the fact that it was a summer course will look even less suspicious, I think. A C- could really hurt your GPA. Plus, perhaps you would have better luck if a different professor taught it, or you had less on your plate, or even the class at a different time of the day... ???

    Also, are you sure you are on track for a C-? I thought I was doing really terribly in one class and I was scared to death of the second midterm, but I worked hard (though I was seriously bummed and anxious the whole time) and it all ended up okay... So maybe you will be able to pull it up. Perhaps that performance on the last exam or whatever was due to you making a giant boo-boo that you normally would not make. I guess what I am saying is that if the cause for your concern, and the concern itself, is really really fresh, maybe give it a few days or weeks even, before you make your final decision. If you are like me, you could be overreacting.
     
  11. BuckleyGirl

    BuckleyGirl BuckleyGirl

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    Thanks for everyone's input!

    I've talked with the professor and the vet I work for, and I think I am going to drop the class. I'll continue with the lab for both sessions, and so I'll just be dealing with the lecture in the future.

    On another note, since I will have taken the lab I have been looking at online courses and K-State has online courses for Orgo I and II. Since my Fall schedule already conflicts with Orgo lecture, do you know if an online course will be legit for Vet-Schools? It seems OK, but just wanted to know if anyone had prior experience with online science courses....
     
  12. BarkMeowKa

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    Courses that are online in my area do not even say that they were taken online. The transcript reads as if that course was taken at the actual school, they do not differentiate it. So I do not know how the vet schools would know if it was online or not. It might be the same for your school. So why not take an online course.
     
  13. LucyLoo

    LucyLoo LucyLoo

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    I second BarkMeowKa, I took Histology online at CSU (very good course if anyone is interested) and you would never know the difference looking at my transcripts.
     
  14. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    Because when the vet schools look at the list of courses you took for the Fall 08 semester and realized you took 12 credits at your primary school in Washington DC and then 3 credits for Ochem at Kansas state, they will just assume you commuted to Kansas 3 days a week for class.

    We can try to game the system as much as we want, but the adcoms at vet schools are not idiots.


    Also, keep in mind that taking orgo over a summer session is frowned upon to begin with because its a difficult course, and doing it during a summer semester doesn't show you can handle it during a "meaningful full time course load". Do we do it anyways? Sure, but its not going to plus towards ones application even if we think its more difficult during a shortened semester.
     
  15. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    I know people throw this around here all the time, but have you been officially told by an adcom that it's "frowned upon"? Because I find that pretty hard to believe. I don't think it's a plus to an application per se but I think the shortened semester may tend to balance out the "non full-time course load." And also, who's to say that you didn't take a full time course load in the summer? I took organic chem I & II as well as a web server programming course over the summer that I took them. And last summer I took Immunology, Molecular Biology II, Physics II and did my undergrad honors thesis over the summer. If that isn't a full course load I don't know what is. I think that post is rather dismissive towards those of us who just treat summer like "another semester" of the year.
     
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  17. BuckleyGirl

    BuckleyGirl BuckleyGirl

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    Yikes...OK I don't think anyone is meaning to offend anyone...I think David was just trying to make me feel better bc I couldn't handle O-Chem in the fast paced summer session. I've taken summer sessions before and did fine - I think its not a pus or minus..it is what it is.

    Aaaanyway, I'll figure it out. Thanks guys!
     
  18. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    Well I feel like he's giving out bad information unless he's been explicitly told by an adcom member that taking things over the summer is bad for your application. At the end of the day if you have questions, that's who you should ask, someone at your chosen school(s). This place is awesome and I love the community here, but people often give out questionable information presented as fact here and I just want others who may be lurking but not registered to read with some degree of skepticism too.
     
  19. mstweetie

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    hey! i'm new to SDN and i love it! I'm applying this application cycle. I was wondering if your undergraduate school has the same grading scale as this:

    A 4.0-3.9
    A- 3.8-3.5
    B+3.4-3.2
    B3.1-2.9
    B-2.8-2.5
    C+2.4-2.2
    C2.1-1.9
    C-1.8-1.5
    D+1.4-1.2
    D1.1-0.9
    D-0.8-0.7. E0.0
     
  20. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    VMCAS does. You went through the application process and you know how you have to list out each semester and all the courses you took during it. If you took a full time course load over a summer with hard courses, then that is very different than taking a single course over the summer and Adcoms will see then when they view your application.

    Who told me its frowned upon? It was actually an Adcom from the Dartmouth med school. Said that taking hard courses alone during a summer session doesn't demonstrate ones abilities as well because it is their only course and allows them to devote 100% of their time to it, as opposed to having to balance its demands with those of other courses. They also told me that taking courses at a 4 year university would be looked on more favorable than if I were to take them at a community college(which is another somewhat controversial issue).

    Personally I agree with them, and feel its reaffirmed by the fact that I have to write a letter for my AVC supplemental app explaining why it is that I took any of my pre-reqs during a semester with less than 9 credits hours in total(excluding labs). If it wasn't a factor, they wouldn't require the explanation, so at the very least AVC takes it into consideration.


    I'm not bashing the op, just pointing it out. I took Chem II alone last summer and am taking less than a full time course load this summer.
     
  21. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    The way you phrased it, david, made no allowances for differing course loads over the summer at all, just "taking it over the summer is frowned upon." Also remember that med schools are a little different than vet schools in general, and what schools look for/like/dislike differs from school to school even with DVM programs, and everything is looked at in the context of the entire application. I don't think people need more reason to freak out about their applications as they're filling them out right now, God knows I did enough freaking out last fall about every little thing posted on here, and seeing you post that with no qualifiers would have definitely added onto the pile seeing as how I took a lot of summer courses in order to finish 2 degrees in a total of 6 years.
     
  22. LucyLoo

    LucyLoo LucyLoo

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    Um, yeah...I think david was just trying to help someone that posted and it's up to them to decide if they will take the advice or not. No need to jump all over someone for giving solicited advice.
     
  23. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    I just feel like it could have been phrased better, is all. Obviously taking any good number of prerequisite courses in any part-time semester is possibly something you'll have to explain, and have a good one ready for it. If I'm jumping on someone you'll know it. That's not jumping on him. ;)
     
  24. LucyLoo

    LucyLoo LucyLoo

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    Welcome mstweetie! :hello:
     
  25. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers no wake up time. sleepy time.
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    Yeah, hi! Sometimes we bicker with each other in here. Don't let it scare you.

    My school doesn't do +/- grades. So, nope. Not the same.
     
  26. mstweetie

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    Thanks for the welcome LucyLoo and Twelvetigers!

    Yea, I just found the grading scale on my school's webpage since I was never used to letter grades. I always thought a 2.5 was a C! Don't some schools require us to put a letter grade as well as the grade point in their application? Correct me if I'm wrong :/
     
  27. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012

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    FWIW, I agree with nyanko. I, too, freaked over every little thing said on this board, so I am glad this discussion has happened. If it helps a few people feel like they haven't totally screwed up their chances by taking a tough pre-req over summer term, then I think it was worth it. I also agree that every vet school differs from the others in certain areas, so med schools could easily be even more different. Just take everything with a grain of salt...none of us know anything definitively (even the things that adcoms have told us, because they're still just people, so other adcoms are almost guaranteed to feel differently on some points).

    Ah, the hell of application time. One day I would think, wow, they're going to not only not let me in, but they'll laugh at me, too. And then next I'd think, no, no, this is ok, I'm a good candidate. It's a rough road. Hang in there, everyone!!
     
  28. tastrophe

    tastrophe NCSU c/o 2013

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    I don't see the big deal with taking the W, although I personally would take the chance with the C and not unquestionably have to retake it.

    I took Ochem lecture and Ochem lab over the summer, dropped the lab (with a W) and then retook the lab that fall semester. It was the ONLY course I took that fall, a one credit lab, 3 hours/week. Although I had a good reason for it (basically my school told me I didn't have to take it to graduate, then come August said, uh, yeah, well, we messed up, you do have to take it; this was back before I decided I really did want to go to vet school), no one ever asked me about it. Until this discussion, it never even occurred to me that I might be asked about it, so I guess the adcoms must have looked at the transcripts and figured out what happened.

    VAgirl and Nyanko, I'm actually glad I didn't find this board until after last year's admissions cycle ended, or I think I would have freaked out about a *lot* of things! :laugh:

    Mstweetie, welcome to the forum!
     
  29. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012

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    I certainly can see that. Though I think this board is an invaluable resource and I'm glad I found it before/during the cycle that I applied. Still...it took several tries for this board to stick with me...the first several times I came away from it in anxious fits.:laugh:
     

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