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Do UC's accept a D?

stressedstarfishstressedstarfish 6 replies1 threads New Member
Currently am a sophomore in high school. For some reason, Chemistry last semester was easily the hardest class I have ever taken (and I'm taking an AP). I ended with a high D. The worst course grade I've ever gotten and I've been so disappointed in myself. Anyways, my goal is to get into a UC, I'm not super into the really prestigious ones like UCB or UCLA, the other ones are good for me too (UCR, UCSD, etc). All my grades are basically As and Bs, I am also planning on taking multiple APs junior year and an honor class next year as well. Basically, my transcript is good enough for several UCs....minus that one D. I'm incredibly ashamed about this grade and I'm doing my best to make sure it doesn't happen again this semester and I'm working extra hard to end with at least a B-. Is there any way at all I could smoothly (or not smoothly) apply and get accepted into a UC school with this D? I had my entire high school experience carefully planned out, with the class I am taking and the extracurriculars, but this one D had to ruin everything. I've heard of some people who got into UCs who had a D and others who had a couple Cs. Will this single D completely ruin my chance of getting into any UC? I know there are other Universities out there but I'm close to all of them. I hope there is a chance the UCs don't bat an eye looking at my transcript because of that D. Is it possible that I immensely improve my grade this semester I can get into a UC? Please help I've been stressing about this a lot lately. Thanks.
ps,
What about Cal State schools?
edited January 28
15 replies
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Replies to: Do UC's accept a D?

  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 29829 replies320 threads Forum Champion
    Yes, some of the UC’s will accept a D but if you do not retake the course, the D will be calculated into your UC GPA which could impact your chances. Also, UC’s require a minimum 2 years of a Laboratory science for the (d) portion of the A-G course requirements to apply. A D is not a passing grade to complete this requirement. FYI: UC’s are also considering a 3 year Science course requirement instead of 2 so something to consider.

    1) So you need to figure out how much will the D impact your UC GPA (10-11th grades) at the end of Junior year if not repeated.

    2) What courses will you take or have taken so far to fulfill the (d) requirement for the A-G courses?

    3) If you are leaning toward a STEM major, how will not doing well in a science course effect your admissions?

    Every student has their strengths and weaknesses, so yes you can get into a UC but one D will not help but it is also not a definite rejection.

    Although UC’s tend to be very GPA focused, your test scores, EC’s, HS course rigor and essays will all contribute to your chances.
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  • stressedstarfishstressedstarfish 6 replies1 threads New Member
    edited January 30
    Thank you so much! Lab sciences are a subject I absolutely hate and they honestly are the death of me. However, if I take an extra lab science class as an elective, and pass, will the D not matter as much since I took an extra one and passed? Also, what if I don't get a D the 2nd semester, does that help much? What if it's just that semester I didn't pass? Also, another question, is it different with Cal state schools or are they just as hesitant with a D? Thanks again!
    ps,
    Not planning on working in STEM. Trying to stay away from lab science and mathematics in the future as much as possible.
    edited January 30
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 29829 replies320 threads Forum Champion
    The UC’s do not have grade validation for Laboratory Science courses so passing the 2nd semester of Chemistry will help but it will not validate or replace the 1st semester D so you would only get credit for 1/2 year of that course toward the UC requirements.

    Your D if not repeated will have an impact your UC GPA which is only 10-11th grades. How much depends upon how you are doing in your other classes. If you are aiming for UC Merced and Riverside, then the D might not have as great of an impact than at the rest of the UC’s.

    The UC’s are becoming more and more competitive, even Merced and Riverside, so any blemish on your academic record could make a difference.

    UC GPA calculator: https://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/

    Just some UC GPA information from 2019 to help you determine target schools:

    2019 UC capped weighted GPA averages along with 25th-75th percentile range:
    UCB: 4.23 (4.15-4.30)
    UCLA: 4.25 (4.18-4.32)
    UCSD: 4.16 (4.03-4.28)
    UCSB: 4.16 (4.04-4.28)
    UCI: 4.13 (4.00-4.25)
    UCD: 4.13 (4.00-4.26)
    UCSC: 3.96 (3.76-4.16)
    UCR: 3.90 (3.69-4.11)
    UCM: 3.73 (3.45-4.00)

    For the Cal states, again they only use 10-11th grades in their GPA calculation and the CSU capped weighted GPA = UC capped weighted GPA so there will be an impact on your GPA if you do not repeat the 1st semester.

    They also have a 2 year Laboratory Science course requirement so you need 4 semesters of passing grades of these type of courses.

    Cal states admit based on numbers only, so no essays or EC’s are considered. GPA and test scores are the main factors so depending upon how much D affects your GPA, some of the Cal states might not options either.

    At this point, all you can do is try your best and figure out which other Lab science courses will fulfill the a-g requirements.

    Best of luck and 1 D is not an automatic rejection.
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  • stressedstarfishstressedstarfish 6 replies1 threads New Member
    Since I passed Biology both semesters in freshman year, that's 2 of the 4. And Psychics next year, assuming I will hopefully pass both semesters as well will fill 4/4 requirements of passed lab science semesters, correct? Will it be necessary to retake that one semester of Chemistry then or can I just pass Psychics next year and fill requirements? Maybe doing an extra science elective at one point will help too, I'm assuming ..
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 29829 replies320 threads Forum Champion
    Passing Biology and Physics would fulfill the 2 year Laboratory Science requirement. If you do not want the D to be included in your UC GPA, then you need to retake that semester of Chemistry. If not, the D will be reported and included in your GPA calculation.

    UC’s only use 10-11th grades so Freshman grades are not included.

    UC’s also recommend a 3rd of year of science but Environmental Science, Earth Science or Astronomy are options to consider.

    Other ways to fulfill the science requirement:

    SAT Subject Examination
    Each test clears one year:

    Biology: Score of 540
    Chemistry: Score of 530
    Physics: Score of 530

    AP or IB Examination
    Score of 3, 4 or 5 on any two AP Exams in Biology, Chemistry, Physics (B, C, 1 or 2) and Environmental Science; score of 5, 6 or 7 on any two IB HL exams in Biology, Chemistry or Physics

    College courses
    For each year of the requirement, a grade of C or better in a transferable course of at least 3 semester (4 quarter) units in a natural (physical or biological) science with at least 30 hours of laboratory (not "demonstration")
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  • stressedstarfishstressedstarfish 6 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you. Is there an alternative to retaking the class in order for the D not being reported and included in my GPA calculation? (I doubt it) Would I have a chance if I didn't redo the course, leaving it on my transcript? What if I achieve the Capstone award? I hear it is impressive and maybe it has the potential to make up for the bad Chemistry grade?
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 29829 replies320 threads Forum Champion
    The only way to replace the D on the transcript is to retake the exact same class. Leaving the D on the transcript will impact your UC GPA since the UC’s only use 10-11th grades in their GPA calculation but how much of an impact will be dependent upon what grades you have for the other a-g courses.

    To be competitive, it is recommended you have 1 year of Biology/Chemistry and Physics on your transcript. Will you take another Chemistry class instead?

    The Capstone award can be impressive but nothing really replaces academic grades as far as the UC’s are concerned. GPA is king.

    Doing well on the Chemistry II Subject test could show the schools you indeed know the material and that the D was a small blip on your academic record.
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  • stressedstarfishstressedstarfish 6 replies1 threads New Member
    I'm not planning on taking another Chemistry class, but if it actually helps, I can take a lab science elective such as... AP environmental science possibly? Also, what do you mean by the "Chemistry II Subject test"? What is that? Thanks again
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 29829 replies320 threads Forum Champion
    edited February 19
    SAT II subject test for Chemistry with a score of 530 will give you Chemistry credit.

    https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/pdf/sat-subject-tests-student-guide.pdf

    The D will remain on your transcript if not repeated and will impact your UC GPA which uses only 10-11th grades in the calculation. You will also not get credit or extra weighting for the AP Chemistry class that semester.

    AP Environmental will meet the Laboratory Science A-G UC/CSU requirement but UC’s will consider it less rigorous than the other AP sciences. UC’s are big on HS course rigor.

    Wait until end of Junior year to see how much your D will impact your chances. Make a balanced college list with at least 2 safety schools and you should have some good options although some of the UC’s may not be possible.
    edited February 19
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  • stressedstarfishstressedstarfish 6 replies1 threads New Member
    edited February 20
    Ok. Wait are you saying that I should take an AP lab science for better chances to a UC? Yikes...I'm trying to get the bare minimum done for lab science since lab science classes are, quite literally, the death of me, lol
    edited February 20
    Post edited by Gumbymom on
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  • SouthoftheriverSouthoftheriver 9 replies0 threads New Member
    @stressedstarfish, the always fantastic Gumbymom is mapping out two separate issues — GPA and UC a-g requirements.

    First, the GPA. UCs only count grades in 10th and 11th when calculating GPA. Your D would count as zero points for that class, causing the GPA to go down. The *only* way to fix that issue is by retaking a semester of the exact same chemistry class - you cannot substitute another science class like Environmental Science.

    Now the a-g. To meet required a-gs at UC you need two years of laboratory science. You can meet this with your Physics classes next year. Your D means that semester cannot be used to meet the a-g requirement.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 29829 replies320 threads Forum Champion
    edited February 20
    To be competitive for the UC’s, it is recommended to take a Biology/Chemistry and Physics course regardless of intended major. You will not be rejected for not taking 3 years of a laboratory science (minimum 2 years) but the majority of students applying will have at the minimum 3 years and most will have 4 years.

    You do not have to have all AP Science classes but you should have a rigorous overall HS schedule.

    edited February 20
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  • stressedstarfishstressedstarfish 6 replies1 threads New Member
    edited February 22
    Understood. That's too bad... since I sadly won't even have any time over the summer to retake anything (my family visits family on the other side of the world all summer long).

    I suppose taking a lab science class senior year - and passing - would help my applications and my overall look, correct? I know it wouldn't erase the D from Chemistry of coarse : (, but only some students take 4 years, and passing 3 of them for me would count as taking 3 years, helping my requirements and chances, right? That's probably what I plan to do, if it helps.

    What do you suggest I do to increase my chances of getting into a UC without retaking Chemistry? More extracurriculars? I'm currently playing for my school's Badminton team, taking part in community service events, and taking mild art classes outside of school. Not impressive, I know. : / I am thinking about starting maybe music lessons of some sort in Junior year, like guitar or piano. I'm perplexed about this since retaking the class isn't a viable option for me.


    I read both replies. Thank yuo -
    edited February 22
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 29829 replies320 threads Forum Champion
    edited February 22
    I think it really depends upon how much of an impact the D has on your GPA and also which UC’s and major you are targeting.

    I would also say the majority of applicants applying to the UC’s have 3-4 years of science. Meeting the minimums really does not cut it for the UC’s these days. See the statistical data below just on admit rates.

    UC’s tend to be very GPA focused and consider GPA, test scores, HS course rigor and personal insight essays Very important over EC’s which are important.

    EC’s will help differentiate you from other applicants but they will not overcome subpar academics. You need to prioritize what is important to you.

    Below is some UC statistical data to use as a guideline for determining how you want to proceed with your academics.

    https://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/

    2019 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.40-3.79 capped weighted and not major specific:
    UCB: 1%
    UCLA: 2%
    UCSD: 9%
    UCSB: 6%
    UCI: 7%
    UCD: 9%
    UCSC: 40%
    UCR: 53%
    UCM: 80%

    2019 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.80-4.19 capped weighted and not major specific:
    UCB: 12%
    UCLA: 7%
    UCSD: 33%
    UCSB: 32%
    UCD: 47%
    UCI: 35%
    UCSC: 72%
    UCR: 87%
    UCM: 96%

    2019 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 4.20 or above capped weighted and not major specific:
    UCB: 38%
    UCLA: 35%
    UCSD: 71%
    UCSB: 73%
    UCD: 84%
    UCI: 55%
    UCSC: 85%
    UCR: 97%
    UCM: 98%

    2019 UC capped weighted GPA averages along with 25th-75th percentile range:
    UCB: 4.23 (4.15-4.30)
    UCLA: 4.25 (4.18-4.32)
    UCSD: 4.16 (4.03-4.28)
    UCSB: 4.16 (4.04-4.28)
    UCI: 4.13 (4.00-4.25)
    UCD: 4.13 (4.00-4.26)
    UCSC: 3.96 (3.76-4.16)
    UCR: 3.90 (3.69-4.11)
    UCM: 3.73 (3.45-4.00)

    2019 Data:
    25th - 75th percentiles for SAT totals:
    UCB: 1340-1540
    UCLA: 1330-1550
    UCSD: 1300-1520
    UCSB: 1280-1520
    UCD: 1230-1490
    UCI: 1250-1510
    UCSC: 1200-1450
    UCR: 1130-1400
    UCM: 1020-1290

    25th - 75th percentiles for ACT composite + language arts
    UCB: 28-35
    UCLA: 29-35
    UCSD: 26-34
    UCSB: 26-34
    UCD: 24-33
    UCI: 24-34
    UCSC: 24-32
    UCR: 21-30
    UCM: 18-26
    edited February 22
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  • SouthoftheriverSouthoftheriver 9 replies0 threads New Member
    @stressedstarfish, have you talked to your guidance counselor or math teacher? What do they suggest? Have you considered tutoring to help you with chemistry this semester? I would put your focus on what you can do academically this year. My daughter is a sophomore taking chemistry and you are right, it’s tough. She has found working with a tutor and Khan Academy helpful.

    Gumbymom mentioned taking an SAT subject test - they have one in chemistry- as an option. I don’t know how much an extracurricular will compensate for the lower GPA. Is there an extracurricular that would be relevant to your intended major/academic interests?

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