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Work my ass off in DPT school and get a a ~3.15

gotaspirations

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2+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2016
100
15
  1. Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
    Hey guys,

    I finished my first term... worked my BUTTT off and ended up getting about a 3.15 GPA.

    The class average for my Anatomy exams consistently have been 90s-95. I have personally been getting in the B range. I don't know if it's a ME problem or what, but what the hell?

    ....I barely was able to maintain a 3.0 GPA so that I would remain in good standing. The next two semesters are going to be even harder.... close to (I think 17 or 18 units each!!)

    Is this a ME problem or are people feeling kind of overwhelmed too? I barely maintained a good standing in my program. Is it common for people to go on academic probation across programs?
     

    scrawnyguy

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    7+ Year Member
    Sep 5, 2012
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    Colorado Springs, CO
    1. Physical Therapist
      I definitely struggled a bit through my first term, but I think I'm finally finding my footing. There were a few times when I thought I wouldn't make it. We actually have the same amount of units in our first and second semester (28 each), but our second term is slightly longer so the pace seems less break neck. I'm a non-traditional student so during first term I was pretty much learning to be a student again. Now that I'm about 1/3 of the way through the 2nd term I've pretty much figured out how I study best. It's still a work in progress, but overall life is getting a little better as the weeks go by.
       

      DocTAP87

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      Jan 31, 2014
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      1. Physical Therapy Student
        After my first semester I had a 3.19 and received a B- in one class. I had to meet with my adviser throughout the next semester until my GPA improved. Another person had to have weekly meeting, write a letter as to why they want to stay in the program, retake two practicals, and substantially improve their GPA. He's still in the program. Talking to other people in the program, many people were struggling. The first semester is hard for many reasons but it's a great time to reflect and try to figure out what worked and what didn't.
         
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        Feb 12, 2017
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        Rural livin
          After my first semester I had a 3.19 and received a B- in one class. I had to meet with my adviser throughout the next semester until my GPA improved. Another person had to have weekly meeting, write a letter as to why they want to stay in the program, retake two practicals, and substantially improve their GPA. He's still in the program. Talking to other people in the program, many people were struggling. The first semester is hard for many reasons but it's a great time to reflect and try to figure out what worked and what didn't.


          That is insane.....
           
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          NewTestament

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          Nov 4, 2010
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          1. DPT / OTD
            Some of these standards are ridiculous. Someone who graduates with a 3.0 GPA can still be a great addition to this industry and a great clinician. There's this old belief in academia that GPA actually reflects real-life performance. Keep going. If you flunk out, forget it, and realize we live in a world with incredible opportunities It's not the end of the world.

            My second trimester was 22 credits and I almost flunked out. My 5th term was 22 credits but it seemed more manageable than my 2nd term because I had developed a good system. Keep going.
             
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            nd_dpt

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            Nov 12, 2015
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            1. Physical Therapist
              Hey guys,

              I finished my first term... worked my BUTTT off and ended up getting about a 3.15 GPA.

              The class average for my Anatomy exams consistently have been 90s-95. I have personally been getting in the B range. I don't know if it's a ME problem or what, but what the hell?

              ....I barely was able to maintain a 3.0 GPA so that I would remain in good standing. The next two semesters are going to be even harder.... close to (I think 17 or 18 units each!!)

              Is this a ME problem or are people feeling kind of overwhelmed too? I barely maintained a good standing in my program. Is it common for people to go on academic probation across programs?
              First thing you need to do is quit comparing yourself to your classmates. You're there to help each other, not compete with each other. The first semester is extremely difficult because it's a major adjustment from undergrad work. The way you studied then may not work now. If someone in your class is doing well and you're struggling, ask them for help and see what kind of study strategies they're using. No one cares what your GPA is when you graduate. Keep working hard.
               
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              jblil

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              Dec 1, 2010
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                I was -and still am- close to a few classmates in PT school, and we freely discussed our grades. All of us were on the verge of failing a class or practical, at one time or another. But we all pulled through and became licensed. So don't obsess over your GPA, as long as you aren't kicked out of the program you're in good shape.
                 
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                Never2Late4Change

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                Jul 14, 2017
                23
                13
                  As a first year DPT student myself, I have been struggling to keep my head above water. I absolutely love the material, but I simply cannot seem to retain information as quickly as a lot of my classmates. However, many of us are in the same boat and it is the nature of a rigorous program. As for academic probation, I assume every school will be slightly different - my program allows for two C's; our third C will result in dismissal. We have a remediation program in place to help struggling students, and to my knowledge nobody has been dismissed from the program due to grades, although there have been a lot of students on probation for a semester or two.

                  I think it's important to keep in mind that the goal of the DPT faculty is our success as students. Without successful completion, they don't have a program. Work hard, ask for help, and know that there will be plenty of ups and downs throughout the process!
                   
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                  Feb 12, 2017
                  434
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                  Rural livin
                    Some of these standards are ridiculous. Someone who graduates with a 3.0 GPA can still be a great addition to this industry and a great clinician. There's this old belief in academia that GPA actually reflects real-life performance. Keep going. If you flunk out, forget it, and realize we live in a world with incredible opportunities It's not the end of the world.

                    My second trimester was 22 credits and I almost flunked out. My 5th term was 22 credits but it seemed more manageable than my 2nd term because I had developed a good system. Keep going.

                    When you hit grad school the course load is very heavy.
                     
                    Last edited:

                    jesspt

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                    Jan 31, 2008
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                    Chicago, IL
                    1. DPT / OTD
                      Hey guys,

                      I finished my first term... worked my BUTTT off and ended up getting about a 3.15 GPA.

                      The class average for my Anatomy exams consistently have been 90s-95. I have personally been getting in the B range. I don't know if it's a ME problem or what, but what the hell?

                      ....I barely was able to maintain a 3.0 GPA so that I would remain in good standing. The next two semesters are going to be even harder.... close to (I think 17 or 18 units each!!)

                      Is this a ME problem or are people feeling kind of overwhelmed too? I barely maintained a good standing in my program. Is it common for people to go on academic probation across programs?
                      Tough love time.

                      Of course it's a YOU/ME problem. If the class average is an A for your Anatomy exam and you are getting in the B range, that's a YOU problem. You're under performing relative to your class.

                      That doesn't mean that you can't right the ship and perform better going forward. But you're going to need to figure out how to better assimilate the material presented to you. There are a lot of posts about this very topic throughout this site.

                      P.S. - considering transferring to another PT program is probably not the response of someone who has done self-reflection and is accepting their own role in some of their academic struggles.
                       
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                      ptisfun2

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                      Jan 14, 2013
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                      1. DPT / OTD
                        I think it's important to keep in mind that the goal of the DPT faculty is our success as students. Without successful completion, they don't have a program. Work hard, ask for help, and know that there will be plenty of ups and downs throughout the process!

                        To continue with some tough love Ala Jesspt... the goal of the faculty is multidimensional. It all involves around student education but our primary responsibility always (as licensed PTs) is to protect the public. And sometimes that means students fail out. Happens because of lots of reasons (and probably should happen more often but uni doesn't like students failing out). Fortunately I work in a program with very competitive admissions but there is at least 1 student in every class I think is not ready for even PT grad school (which is not really graduate school in terms of structure). But I agree that grades are too much of the focus at times. Just keep the minimum and learn.
                         
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                        ROSTedFlakes

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                        Oct 6, 2015
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                        1. Physical Therapy Student
                          I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that your class average for anatomy exams was in the 90-95% range. Ours were high 70's and low/mid 80's. We all had meetings after our first anatomy exam and my advisor (also a faculty member) gave me praise for getting a 79% (which was a B-).

                          I just finished my first year of PT school also with a 3.15 GPA. Like others have said, don't stress about the grades as long as you're passing the classes. Your future employer isn't going to give two hoots about your GPA if you have good interpersonal skills and can come across professionally in an interview (as long as you get a degree and pass the NPTE).
                           
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                          ProspectivePT2016

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                          Aug 22, 2015
                          11
                          11
                          1. Pre-Physical Therapy
                            My best piece of advice would be similar to a previous comment and stop comparing yourself to your classmates. Everyone has different backgrounds and different strengths and weaknesses. Often times you will find the 4.0 student unable to communicate well with their patients or deficient in another area.

                            I do realize what it is like to feel like you are behind the curve compared to your classmates, but you would be surprised how many people feel like they are just holding their head above water. Once you get into the rhythm in the next few trimesters I believe things will start to click for you. Do some reflection and talk to faculty about the best strategies to study and focus on time management. My first trimester I was pulling all-nighters before anatomy exams which I thought was beneficial. I corrected that strategy, became more proactive, and tried to get some more sleep and did much better the next time around.

                            I got a C in my first anatomy course first trimester, ended the semester with a 3.1 by the time my 3rd trimester ended I received a 4.0.. Just keep your head down, keep working hard, find what works for you and you'll be just fine.
                             
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                            InpatientDPT

                            New Member
                            Jul 25, 2017
                            8
                            3
                            1. Physical Therapy Student
                              My biggest advice would be the following: form a study group ( may or may not help), talk to your advisor in regards to learning strategies and ways to optimize learning, study class materials literally the day off and talk to your professor if something does make sense.

                              Also, I know exactly how you feel. A low GPA for us bright-minded individuals seems like the end of the world but in all honesty you can do it! I was in academic probation my first semester due to a low GPA and failed one of my clinicals. Like some students, I had to write that horrific letter of appeal and remediate certain areas I needed work on. To say the least, I am happy the way things worked out! So what, I need a little extra time to rationalize concepts and commit the different pathologies to memory. Today I am a licensed and practicing PT for nearly 3 years. And another thing, I passed my NPTE on my first attempt with a 702.

                              Being a Therapist is worth all the blood, sweat and tears we have to endure. Don't give up!
                               

                              Doc-PT

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                              Jul 13, 2017
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                                The second year is sooo much easier! Hang on, even if it's by a thread, cause next year the sailing is much smoother. Focus less on the reading assignments (a lot less in my case) and spend your energy absorbing the information provided during lecture and reviewing information laid out in PowerPoint slides. You'll suddenly have more free time to reset, you'll sleep better and, ultimately, be more present during classes. It's all about balance. I'm pretty sure it's physically impossible to actually complete all the assigned readings and still have time to sleep, eat, bathe, exercise, have a social life and do the assignments that are required to be handed in on top of it. Find the balance and you'll be golden.
                                 

                                Snippybiscuit

                                Full Member
                                May 26, 2019
                                34
                                4
                                  As a first year DPT student myself, I have been struggling to keep my head above water. I absolutely love the material, but I simply cannot seem to retain information as quickly as a lot of my classmates. However, many of us are in the same boat and it is the nature of a rigorous program. As for academic probation, I assume every school will be slightly different - my program allows for two C's; our third C will result in dismissal. We have a remediation program in place to help struggling students, and to my knowledge nobody has been dismissed from the program due to grades, although there have been a lot of students on probation for a semester or two.

                                  I think it's important to keep in mind that the goal of the DPT faculty is our success as students. Without successful completion, they don't have a program. Work hard, ask for help, and know that there will be plenty of ups and downs throughout the process!
                                  What happens on probation?
                                   

                                  Snippybiscuit

                                  Full Member
                                  May 26, 2019
                                  34
                                  4
                                    My best piece of advice would be similar to a previous comment and stop comparing yourself to your classmates. Everyone has different backgrounds and different strengths and weaknesses. Often times you will find the 4.0 student unable to communicate well with their patients or deficient in another area.

                                    I do realize what it is like to feel like you are behind the curve compared to your classmates, but you would be surprised how many people feel like they are just holding their head above water. Once you get into the rhythm in the next few trimesters I believe things will start to click for you. Do some reflection and talk to faculty about the best strategies to study and focus on time management. My first trimester I was pulling all-nighters before anatomy exams which I thought was beneficial. I corrected that strategy, became more proactive, and tried to get some more sleep and did much better the next time around.

                                    I got a C in my first anatomy course first trimester, ended the semester with a 3.1 by the time my 3rd trimester ended I received a 4.0.. Just keep your head down, keep working hard, find what works for you and you'll be just fine.
                                    How did you correct the all-nighter strategy?
                                     
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