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I started freshman year of the B Sc this past spring. I have been taking accelerated classes (mostly by schedule chance not by pure choice) and was getting a cumulative 4.0

That was until BIO 111.

I found out after starting back at college that I'm pregnant (very yay but surprise!) and the symptoms have been kicking my backside. I blame being older haha. Anyway, my grade for BIO hasn't been weighted as yet and I've got two weeks until the finals, but so far I'm getting a B/B- which if I'm right drops me to 3.6 overall.


How horrific is that?


I'm taking 17 hours this fall, and I purposely made my classes based on relative simplicity and am praying I will get great grades with those.


Should I panic? Or should I retake the class at a later point? Will it help to retake it?

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It depends on how many cumulative hours you have to determine how hard a lower grade pulls you down. If you've been making A's for a long time, and this is just one B, your GPA will still be stellar. My GPA, as an example, not to be arrogant, is 3.95 cumulative and 3.76 in science classes, and I made 5 B's over 15 hours. I dont remember how many total hours I have, but it is around 130+. Thankfully, those B's were not B-, as those classes were just solid letter grades for my university.

The only concern is that Biology can be a prerequisite for some programs, so having a B- as calculated by CASPA, is worth 2.5 instead of 3.0. If you continue to do well, making A's especially in other prerequisite courses, I doubt it will dent your chances significantly. You probably need to complete most of your courses to get the whole picture.


I don't think the answer is ever to panic! Haha, joking aside, I think you're worrying too much. If you make A's most of the time, you're going to have a good GPA. Retake the class later if the rest of your whole application is lacking. But it sounds like you will be very busy soon (congrats!), so just focus on preparing to be a mother, being a mother, and doing the best you can in the rest of the classes you need.


Take what you like and leave the rest!

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Thank you for replying! 

So far I honestly have less than 10 hours. I have at least two weeks before I know what my final grade will be for BIO 111. 

Edited to add: every class I have I received a 4.0 until this class. 


There wasn't any arrogance detected ;)


I have difficulty finding others to talk to because my advisors (who are beyond friggin awesome) one of them is on the boards at the MD and PA school that I am hoping to attend. Well, PA school. He keeps pushing MD but honestly, at my age, I don't want to be in school for the next 8 years and working until I'm 70 to pay off school loans. The students in most of my classes are not on the same schedule or career path and no one wants to talk about grades, especially if they're halfway decent.


Unfortunately, for the PA program I want to attend, BIO 111 is a pre-req. How disastrous will that B be? 


I have over 4000 hours patient contact, will hopefully start PA shadowing next year, I have several recommendation letters but I assume they will be outdated by 2019 so hopefully I'll have refreshed ones by then lol. I was going to take 21 credit hours this Fall but with the baby on the way I dropped to 17. I intend on taking as many classes each term/semester including Winter, to get this done. 


If I retake the class to get an A instead of a B, will it look bad that I retook it? 


Sorry for the million questions. And thank you - big surprise - but what's that saying "When you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans?" Thankfully the university has been absolutely amazing and even rearranging course materials around me. 

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I wouldn't worry in your situation. It's a B which I wouldn't consider bad at all, life happens and sometimes you can't help it. What you can help is now that you're pregnant... take it easy! You'll have unexpected days where you won't be feeling your best and possibly miss lectures. 


Taking accelerated credits or high course count can come back and bite you later on. Don't rush things because you feel time ticking. I would advise against taking anything more than 12 credits in your situation so you can realistically maintain a high GPA and be less stressed during your pregnancy. 


Don't bother retaking the class unless you have a C or lower. Save that money for application time, those fees (CASPA, secondary application, GRE, interview expenses) can really add up. Use that time to accrue PCE, volunteer or shadow. When I applied I had some C's and still managed to secure interviews and an acceptance. Stop worrying!

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^^agreed.  Don't worry about the B.  I got a B in both Chem 1 and Chem 2 lectures as well as a C in a Bio class that I took 14 years ago... the rest of mine are As. I still have a Science GPA of 3.7 and having no problems getting interview invites.  With about 50 science credits a couple non As don't hurt.  


Good luck, relax- you have a long road ahead


The top programs all take holistic approaches, 3.5 - 3.6 cumulative is plenty competitive as long as the have a decent GRE, good LOR, PA shadowing, PCE hours, and volunteering... GPA is important, but it is really just a small piece of the pie

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I sense a lot of anxiety in OP.


I teach and serve on an admissions committee: not every 4.0 gets into PA school. It might surprise you to hear the debates about 4.0 candidates that faculty often have... it can remind you of the debates we have for students with 3.0 GPAs. Personally, my vote goes to whomever I'd be more comfortable seeing as my PA in the clinic.


I wouldn't retake a class for a "B" with the GPA you've listed. Depending on the school you're applying to, they may only consider the first grade, the most recent grade, or an average between the two. So this is a lot of worrying and shenanigans for not much payout.


As other have said, admissions committees look at you in totality (GPA and GPA patterns (ex: people usually have a bad semester either freshman or sophomore year, then pull it together), GRE, HCE, volunteer experience, LORs, etc).


Rather than worry about this, I would encourage you to explore what type of learner you are. When you figure this out, reflect on why that might have influenced your performance in the "B" class. Just be aware of it and that's it. Having your learning style pinpointed is key to dealing whatever life / PA school throws at you.


I ask applicants all the time in interviews what kind of learner they are and they have no idea what I'm talking about.

You need to know this to get through PA school, especially with a young child.

PA school moves too fast to be figuring out what study / learning techniques work for you once you get in.

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Thank you so very much I can't tell you how much I appreciate these replies.


I'm 36, if I'm lucky I'll finish this B Sc before I'm 40 and apply to the PA school here. 


Honestly, I felt that a B wouldn't be horrific as long as I could prove that I am consistent or improving. My husband has been a little on the pushy side of I need to be competitive, which I already know, but I honestly don't know if I can maintain the 4.0 especially when I get to the algebra classes because seriously I have the hardest time comprehending that.


I will admit that I am fairly certain that my grade suffered for a reason other than the pregnancy but I'm a little embarrassed about it. I have mild ADD and some PTSD/anxiety, and I don't want it to be an excuse. I am unable to take the ADD medication while pregnant, and my PTSD/anxiety medication I voluntarily weaned to a very low dose. As odd as it sounds I need noise to study and learn. I missed an exam due to an appointment, I sat in the professor's office to take the exam and he had classical music playing. He offered to turn it off and I begged him not to. It was the best grade I've got in Biology so far. 


I believe I am an auditory learner. 

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If you are putting pressure on yourself to get straight A's in undergrad...well you're setting yourself up for failure.  Like others here have said, you don't need a 4.0 to get into PA school.  The fact that you are stressing over a single B and your GPA in the first semester when you likely have over 100 credits to still accumulate before graduation tells me you are a worrier.  For your own mental health, you've got to stop that.


More importantly, if not getting A's gives you panic attacks, you need to think long and hard about PA school - it is leaps and bounds more difficult than undergrad course work.  If you are going to expect yourself to ace PA school or alternatively have panic attacks or anxiety when you get B's you need to get that sorted out now.  There's not really time to breakdown over a bad grade in PA school because as soon as one exam is over you have to start preparing for the next one.  


Spend some time browsing the accepted student stats and you'll see that Bs and even Cs are pretty commonplace for students accepted to programs.  You're making a mountain out of a non existent mole hill.

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