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Should I retake these classes, or take new ones?


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So I have a small issue. I'm not bad at science, I just work 40 hours a week in order to be able to afford school. I study as much as I can, but obviously I don't have very much free time.

For this reason, my science classes range from mediocre grades, to just passing.

I'm retaking the ones I got Cs in, but is it worth it to retake the ones I got a B- in? Or should I just take new ones? 

For example: I got a B- in bio 1, but I haven't taken bio 2. This time around, I won't be working, so I have much more time to study, and I know I can do better. 

So should I retake my B- classes, or just go ahead and take new ones?

 

Also, I got a C in biochem. Not all schools require it, but I hate that I have a stupid C. I can't find anywhere to retake it, so I don't really have a choice. But if that is the only C I have on my transcript (after I retake classes), how bad will it look?

 

OR

Should I forgo retaking my B- classes in favor of working full time to gain HCE?

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I didn't retake any classes I received Cs in. (I got a C in both bio 1 and bio 2, amongst other classes). I just took much higher upper level science classes and earned As and Bs in them to show I could handle the workload and be successful in challenging science courses.

 

The only class I retook was one I received an F in. [emoji849] Made sure to get a B in that one during an 18 credit semester

 

 

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Why's that?

 

I interviewed at a program last year and they denied me because of my grades early on in my career. (Over 3 years passed at that point). They advised I start a Graduate science program and take some of those classes and prove myself.

 

I guess what I'm also trying to say is a few Cs isn't the end of the world. My cGPA is below 3.0. I interviewed at a different program this year who respected my explanation of my poor early performance much more than the program last year. I received acceptance notification the day after my interview this year.

 

 

 

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I can't afford a graduate program/I don't have the pre reqs for them.

According to my calculations (I followed CASPA's rules for grading), if I can get an A in physics and microbiology, then retake chem 1 and 2 and O chem with A's, I'll be at a 3.3.

May I ask what your explanation was?

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I still don't understand why you can't take any more undergraduate science classes. Surely there are more.

 

I couldn't afford it either, but I was prepared to take a loan out to afford graduate classes. PA is what I want to do with my life, and my grades were an obstacle. Taking graduate classes would've helped my chances, and I would've done anything to get into a program. Fortunately, I lucked out.

 

3.3 isn't bad. My cGPA is 2.87. Possibly one of the lowest on these boards. However, my last 60 credit hour gpa for cumulative and science (in my most difficult science classes, mind you) was 3.62.

 

The first thing the interviewers brought up was the drastic change in my grades from the first 2.5 years of undergrad to the last 2.5 years of undergrad. I told them the truth - I was immature and had a profound lack of discipline in my schoolwork. I spent too much time enjoying the social life of undergrad studies and wasn't taking into account how the poor grades were jeopardizing my chances to pursue my career choice. After getting my F I hit rock bottom and began seeking out all the help I could from student tutors and professors. I totally changed my study habits and even quit my job to focus on school. I had the grades to back up that statement and I think they respected my honesty.

 

 

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Oh sorry, I misunderstood. I can take more undergrad science classes, just not upperdivision. I was planning on taking ecology and stuff like that.

 

Did you mention that in your personal statement at all?

 

My reason for doing bad has more to do with mental health. I had undiagnosed general anxiety and depression, and I wasn't getting help. I was also sexually assaulted, but I'm not sure I want to mention that in an interview...

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Try to take classes geared toward medicine. After graduating I entered into another institution as a non degree seeking students to take courses like Pathophysiology 1 & 2 and parasitology that weren't offered at my university.

 

Your gpa is much better than mine so you may not need graduate classes. But it's something to consider if you encounter difficulty getting interviews.

 

I did not mention it at all in my personal statement. I used that to express my reasoning for wanting to become a pa, and that's it. No mention of my grades there. However, if the supplemental app or a portion of their CASPA had a section to explain grade deficiencies, I provided s brief explanation. Haven't heard back from any of those programs though so..take that as you may. The program that I've been accepted to didn't have a section of their supplemental for that.

 

Im really sorry to hear that happened.. I'm not sure if I'd share that. But you should probably try to get more opinions than just mine to make that call. With that said, my interviewer prefaced the question about how I can explain my grades with "without revealing any deep dark secrets.." I think the second part of your reasoning could fall under that category. Just IMO.

 

 

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I think what MOprePA meant by upper division classes is the ones at a university that are beyond the basic biology and chemistry courses. For example many schools have a different numbering system to indicate class levels. At my undergraduate university, all courses with the number 0-99 are lower division classes, all of the ones from 100-199 are upper division science courses. I know other schools call them 300 level classes but I'm sure each school calls them something else. Upper division just basically means you're studying a facet of that science in more depth than you would in an introductory course. For example, there are usually different types of physiology classes that may cover one system more in depth than the general Anatomy and Physiology course. Organic Chemistry is an upper level class because it delves into specifically carbon chemistry rather than what you learned in general chemistry. Obviously it isn't as much depth as a graduate school class would be, but it is still deeper than introductory level. Those classes tend to be more difficult than the intro classes but if you can do well in them, it is indicative that you can handle the hard PA classes.

 

Also I recently started a thread about whether or not I should mention my struggles with mental illness and the general consensus was that it might be more beneficial to exclude those facts. The thread is here: http://www.physicianassistantforum.com/index.php?/topic/40096-mental-health/#entry293725

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