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How much will one bad Phys. Ed. grade hurt my chances at a college?

EntelechyEntelechy Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
edited June 2009 in College Admissions
This year is the end of my junior year and my grades are:
English H - A
Spanish H - A+
AP Biology - A+
AP European History - A
Physics H - A
Digital Photography - A+
General Psychology - A+
Phys. Ed. (1st quarter ) - A+
Health (2nd quarter) - A+
Phys. Ed. (3rd quarter) - B (injured, excused from a gym for a few weeks)
Phys Ed. (4th quarter) - D (not a typo, which apparently was bad enough to drag my entire second semester gym grade to a D also, the math doesn't really add up, but let's deal with the issue at hand first)

SAT I : 630R, 610M, 640W (Will retake)
SAT II: 720Bio, 660Spn, 800Chinese, 720Chem, 700Phys
ACT: 27 (Will retake)

While in my school, physical education and health are not calculated towards GPA, that "D" will doubtlessly pose to be an eyesore to admission offices in any college. The phys. ed. program in my school is ridiculous because the grade is dependent on how much a teacher likes you. There are way more gym teachers than needed in the school, and since the school refused to outsource a few, a rotation schedule is in place where the class gets a new teacher every quarter. My 4th quarter gym teacher did not tolerate me very well since he held prejudice against all students who are not on the varsity team.

My question is, how much will this D affect my chances of getting into an average, middle tier college? My gym grade will definitely pick up during the senior year back to an A again unless I have the misfortune of having that teacher again. If I do not encounter this teacher again in my senior year, and also if I back up with an effective application essay addressing this, would the admission officers be willing to ignore this discrepancy?
Post edited by Entelechy on

Replies to: How much will one bad Phys. Ed. grade hurt my chances at a college?

  • frutiaspicefrutiaspice Registered User Posts: 1,265 Senior Member
    I don't think most schools actually look at PE as part of the GPA. If you're worried, you should ask your counselor to write a letter explaining the situation.
  • jenx1234jenx1234 Registered User Posts: 303 Member
    if it doesn't affect your GPA, i don't think it will hurt you at all. many of the schools i have recently visited told me that when they recalculate GPAs, they ignore all (forgive me for saying this but..) pointless classes, such as gym, ceramics, basketweaving, etc. i doubt ANYONE would say "ah, gym failure! keep them OUTTA here!"
  • apple1984apple1984 Registered User Posts: 338 Member
    First of all, let me sympathize with you for having to take PE as a junior. In response to your question, I would try to explain the bad grade on the "extra comments" section of your application; just emphasize that the "D" wasn't a disciplinary issue and try not to sound "whiny" or blame your teacher for the grade (i.e. be extremely diplomatic and don't criticize the teacher).
  • wallfleurwallfleur Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    I'm sure the admission officers might chuckle a bit and pass it over. Don't worry about it too much...
  • clinegirlclinegirl Registered User Posts: 464 Member
    I agree...but do note: MIT requires students to pass a swim test to graduate...I'm not sure if they check your PE grades but they do care about fitness/swimming!
  • livesforsummerlivesforsummer Registered User Posts: 428 Junior Member
    In my school, P.E. isn't in the GPA.
  • EntelechyEntelechy Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I would be in a hysterical fit if MIT even consider looking at me with my mediocre SAT scores, especially with the math. I feel like I have some chance at Boston University, University of Rochester, and possibly Trinity College, but that D is seriously bothering me. I fear that the colleges will take it as a sign that I suddenly slacked off during the year or something. I can only hope rec. letters, test scores, and ECs will cover it up.
  • jenx1234jenx1234 Registered User Posts: 303 Member
    i'm sorry that you had to take gym your junior year. :O
  • EntelechyEntelechy Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Yea, my school requires 3 quarters of gym and a quarter of health for all 4 years. Even my biology teacher said that the requirement was well above the state limit, but I guess my school was too useless to fire a few gym teachers to make room for more productive courses. Ironically, this year, they cut family and consumer sciences due to lack of funding. Anyone who is in my school would agree that spending one day in a cooking class would turn out to be ten times more productive than spending a year in a wishy-washy phys. ed. program that teaches nothing.
  • monstor344monstor344 Registered User Posts: 2,502 Senior Member
    While in my school, physical education and health are not calculated towards GPA, that "D" will doubtlessly pose to be an eyesore to admission offices in any college.

    No adcom will care about your P.E. grade. Relax; you are fine.
This discussion has been closed.