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The Issue of Retaking "C" classes

mariexotonimariexotoni Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
edited May 2012 in Graduate School
Hi, I'm a very frustrated soon-to-be sophomore. Going for my BS in Physics.
My college does not allow anyone (as far as I can tell) to retake courses that they've received a C-,C or C+ in. This is something I cannot understand, but I won't go into that.

My first semester went pretty badly.
ANT111- Anthropology: B- (3credits)
MAT210- Calc I: C- (4)
MUS101- Worlds of Music: B+ (3)
PHY112- Physics I: B+ (4)
PHY195- Physics Seminar: A (1)

This gave me an overall gpa of 2.80. I didn't study that much for Calc 1, so that's the grade I deserved. Anthropology I studied my butt off and wasn't too happy with the grade.

My second semester went better.

COG266- Brains, Minds, Consciousness: A (3)
MAT220- Calculus 2: C (4)
PHY212- Physics II: A (4)
PSY100- Psychology: A (3)

This gave me an overall of 3.43. Still not too pleased with it but it's an improvement. Most of my studying time (studied most of the day) went to calc 2, so I'm a little heartbroken. I also got behind when I was sick for two weeks.

I dreamed of being able to one day have a career in neuroscience and wanted to go to another school after college, whether it be med school or graduate school. I know my grades will improve more next semester because I'm getting in the rhythm of things, but I feel like I'm being punished by not being able to retake my calc courses (which were heavily loaded with theory). It's very discouraging. C's are not a very good grade to get, especially with the economy now and how competitive the job market is becoming. I think policies should change, but for now.. is there anyway I can find a loop hole to retake these two classes? Calc 2 was very, very difficult with infinite series and sequences which killed my grade and I hate to think that getting two C's will ruin the chance of me getting into a field I'd one day like to be apart of.

I'd love to get into a good grad school, but I don't know how to fix what I've done/make myself look better to grad schools besides just improving my gpa each semester. Any advice would be great guys
Post edited by mariexotoni on

Replies to: The Issue of Retaking "C" classes

  • Peregrin5Peregrin5 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    C's are unfortunately death. I was in a similar boat as you, and when it came close to the end of a quarter, I eventually learned to simply fail out of the class rather than get a C, so I could retake it and do better. I don't think that is the best course of action, but it may be the only course of action.

    Another option may be to take the class for pass/fail credits. I didn't know this either, and there were many electives that I took for grade credit and got B's or C's in them and they ruined my GPA.

    The best thing to do is simply to apply yourself and ensure that you do better in your other semesters. At this point, you are fine. They like to see an upward trend and most schools don't even regard your first two years of college, and will only look at your last two years/degree gpa.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 10,955 Super Moderator
    You're not being "punished." You earned the grade you got; why should you be able to retake the class and get a higher grade? I could see if you failed the class, because that indicates that you didn't learn the material - but if you did learn the material and just did not perform well, why should the college let you retake it?

    Instead of looking for a loophole, you should concentrate on building strengths. Continue with your pre-med courses and the other courses for your physics major and neuroscience interest, and do well in them. If you desire, take more advanced math classes and excel. It's just freshman year; you have the opportunity to raise your GPA and your coursework in your last two years will matter more.

    Cs are not "death," that's ridiculous. I have 2 or 3 Cs on my transcript and I got into a top 20 PhD program in my field. (And they weren't in my first year!) You can certainly recover from a two Cs, especially in your first year - just do better in your next two years.
  • mariexotonimariexotoni Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    Why? Well because I'd be the one paying money to retake the class, along with spending additional time, and probably doing more work to ensure I get a good grade. Because C's can really effect your gpa, and this is the time for really growing up, and I am, sadly, represented by this GPA. okay?
    Yes, this may freakin' be "passing", but merely "passing" is NOT good enough to get a decent job. it's competitive
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,475 Senior Member
    FYI----Allopathic (MD) medical schools do not allow grade replacement. Every college grade (even if earned from co-enrollment in high school) will be computed into your cumGPA and sGPA. So even if you retake your "C" classes, those C's still must be reported as part of your application and will continue to affect your GPA. There's no getting away from them.....

    But as julliet said, one, even two aren't fatal--even for med school candidates.

    And while it's certainly possible to major in physics and go to med school --- I have a kid now in med school who did exactly that, it will be much more difficult to major in physics and go to grad school in neuroscience. (My other kid does neuro.....)
  • jahdudejahdude Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    If you did badly in a course, be it an F or a C, and you retake that course (lets assume that you would be allowed to retake a course where you got a C), that C will still be reported in your transcript (I believe this is the case in most places) and therefore the school that receives your application will see the original grades, as well as the retaken ones. Now once they have two grades for the same course, different institutions do different things with them (do note that I am basing this off what I have heard in the past) average them, some ignore the failed course, while some ignore the retaken one (and other things could happen too).

    As for why you should not be allowed to retake it? Well simply put, there is no justifiable reason to (other than improve GPA). You learned some of the stuff, but you performed poorly in the course. By being able to retake courses, it is also unfair to those who did well on the first try. Why should someone be given a second chance when they got a C? It is (90% of the time) their fault. By letting people retake it, you will have those who can afford it retake a course and do really well in it, while those who cant afford it not retake it (so say someone got a B but wants to retake it, and another person got a C and wants to retake it). As I said, it is also unfair, it makes you seem equivalent to someone else who, say, got an A- in the class (assuming you would get an A- when you retook it) which is simply not the case. The other person's A- is "legit" while yours is due to retaking it.

    Just work harder, but to remember that 1st year is the easy year (in terms of the difficulty of the material, hell my 1st year was mostly relearning stuff in a bit more depth from IB HS, such as Calc1 and 2, Econ 101 and 102, etc), so the next 3 years will be harder, so do take that in mind, and work harder if you want the good grades, rather than trying to find a loop hole and wasting money.
  • Peregrin5Peregrin5 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    @jahdude: I can see how it would be unfair in terms of money for those who can afford it and those who can't, but it is also unfair in terms of maturity and discipline.

    Everyone matures at different stages in life, and immediately right out of high school, there are more and more students who simply don't have the discipline and organization to make the transition to college, and some may not gain that maturity during the entire four years they are there.

    Those students will receive lower GPAs and it's unfair because other students were raised with a higher level of maturity, or in many cases, simply have helicopter parents that ensure that their GPAs are extremely high. (I have heard cases of parents doing the coursework FOR their children IN COLLEGE. Pathetic.)

    I believe everyone should be allowed a second chance, and I do think there is something wrong with a college's policy of not allowing a student to retake a course, even if it was a C, a B, or even an A. Sometimes a student might get an A, but felt that they didn't get everything out of the course they could have, and under university rules, they wouldn't be allowed the freedom to simply retake it even if they had the money.

    Being disciplined and organized, and having strategies to succeed in college are learned techniques. They are not simply transmitted by working extremely hard. People who had parents or generations who went to college before are more likely to succeed because their parents would have taught them the skills to succeed. Others may be intelligent, but have never learned these concepts. Also, as a teacher, I can definitively say that public High Schools do NOT adequately prepare students for college. Those who succeed are learning skills of success at home.
  • Peregrin5Peregrin5 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    @juillet: "Death" being an exaggerated term that C's will significantly lower your GPA and are unchangeable.
  • mariexotonimariexotoni Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    Don't understand what my majoring in physics has to do with any of it, but okay. If you think they're not related fields, they are
  • jayeyeseejayeyesee Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member

    you are quite the snarky one aren't you? word of advice... when someone is offering you advice, don't be rude even if you disagree with what they say. you're going to run into a heap of problems with your advisor (if you go to graduate school) with an attitude like yours. don't come here looking for advice to be disrespectful to the people that do not even know you that are trying to help you.
  • photonxyzphotonxyz Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    I think you did quite well for your first two semesters! It's a learning experience.... Now, my advice moving forward: Schedule your classes, email the professors teaching the classes, get the syllabus for each class and start studying now! I have a 3.89 with almost 200 credits under my belt and getting ahead has been the key to my success.

    The beauty of almost all college courses is the syllabus! They usually provide a detailed outline of what you need to know, the tests, homework, final, etc.
  • mariexotonimariexotoni Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    well then you can butt out.
  • mariexotonimariexotoni Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    i'm not going to be polite to people who are attitudey.
  • AlphaDeltaDeltaAlphaDeltaDelta Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    If your university won't allow you to retake classes, there is nothing you can do. Continue improving in other areas.
  • ANDS!ANDS! Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    Continue improving in other areas.

    . . .maturity and responding to constructive criticism being two that come to mind. Also working on not making up words (attitudey -o_O).
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,608 Senior Member
    i'm not going to be polite to people who are attitudey.

    You'll make a fine doctor someday.
This discussion has been closed.