Help For Struggling Pre-Pharm Student

Hello, I’m currently having a lot of difficulty in terms of preparing myself for pharmacy school. Currently, I am a junior and I am a Biology major. My cumulative GPA is 2.77 and has been that way since the first semester of my sophomore year. I understand that it is really easy to say that “it is not for me” but I don’t necessarily think it’s that it is too hard. I just don’t know what I’M DOING WRONG. I find myself consistently getting C’s in my prereq classes and I know that is not good. I haven’t taken the PCAT yet. I was planning to this fall, but I know I haven’t studied/reviewed enough to actually sign up.

Here is what I have so far:

Freshman year:

Introductory Bio: C (very close to a B but professor was not having it)

General Chem 1: B

General Chem 2: B (very close to an A)

General Chem Lab: B

Calculus: C

Sophomore Year:

introductory Biology 2 (Ecology based): C

Genetics: C

Orgs 1: I failed with a D the first time, then got a C the second time

Orgo 1 lab: C

Stat: C (but I am retaking it this Winter)

I took A&P one at Community college and got an A

In my junior year:

I’m currently taking Physics and Cellular Biology and a Bio lab. In the spring I will do Orgs 2 and Physics 2.

For my other non-stem classes I received A’s which is what is keeping me somewhat a float.

In terms of experiences, I am lacking a lot in this field as well. I have a PTCB certification that I have not been able to use it because no one will hire me because I don’t have much experience except that I extern a little bit at CVS. I also work as a general chemistry TA in my school. I really want to get into research. But I don’t know how to advocate for myself because I know my GPA is not competitive enough. I just feel stuck because I’m not sure how to help myself. I know I can improve on my classes but I’m not even sure what is going wrong in the first place. I also don’t know if I have messed up so badly either. Also, as you advance in the biology track in my school, you cannot retake. The only classes I can retake are Calc and Stat. As for orgo, I cannot retake it a third time. I just don’t know what to do because I am not this kind of student anyways. I am someone who takes pride in their work and I don’t like to back down, but honestly, I feel like I have nothing to prove that.

I don’t have a lot of guidance too. My university helps students that enroll in programs in my school, but if you are not in some program, the resources available to help you are non existent. I just want to know what I should do and how I should do it so that I can make changes, but it is honestly so difficult to find help these days. What can I do to improve my position and get into pharmacy school?

First, here’s what the pharmacy schools themselves say about admissions:
https://www.aacp.org/resource/frequently-asked-questions-faq-about-pharmacy-admissions
Second, based on what you’ve written-at this point, it’s still worth the effort to improve your grades. Does your school have a tutoring/counseling center that offers classes/advice on study techniques?

I guess as a former math major I can only coherently comment on calculus and statistics, and it might be a bit late.

The thing that I have noticed about calculus, is that it depends a LOT on its prerequisites. Students who were very strong in trigonometry, algebra, and precalculus usually find calculus relatively straightforward. Students who were weak on the prerequisites usually struggle in calculus. It is important to understand the concepts, and to be very comfortable with the concepts. I still remember forgetting the formulae on an exam, and re-computing them from first principles in the margin of the exam before answering the exam questions. Statistics is again something where you need to understand the concepts. However, there are also a lot of types of statistical methods and formulae that you need to memorize. I at least found it hard to re-derive these from principles, and had to actually memorize them, which was tough. I found statistics much more difficult than calculus.

Your classes overlap a lot with premed classes. Unfortunately this means that the classes are tough and grading is tough, and you are competing with some of the very top students in your university.

You should always try to stay ahead in all of your classes. Attend every class. Sit at the front of the room. Always pay attention. Start doing you homework the day that it is assigned. If you pick up a tiny bit from trying to do the homework, that might help you pick up a tiny bit more during the next lecture. Getting a tutor is also a good idea. Remember that Saturdays are intended to be time to catch up on homework that you didn’t get done during the week, and Sundays are intended to be time to do the homework that you didn’t get done on Saturdays. Also remember that you need to get enough sleep in order for your brain to work well when you are awake.

I agree with @crankyoldman that you should continue to strive to improve your grades as much as you can. If you can finish strong, then this is likely to help you down the road.