Better to withdraw or get a C?

It hasn’t come to that point but I was wondering…
If you think you are going to get a C in a course, is it better to withdraw or get a C? I always thought it is better to withdraw but another student here was told by the admissions people at Hopkins that Ws look horrible and should be avoided unless you are getting a D or an F.

My opinion…don’t withdraw. Take the C if you have to and re-take the class if time permits later. Depending on what the C is in, sometimes it’s not a killer to get a C in Orgo or something like that, but best bet is to not get any C’s at all. I think W’s can sometimes stereotype the student as not being able to finish what he/she started in the eyes of Ad Com members.

Calvin, this may seem harsh, but I hope you understand where I am coming from:
either you are going to do this or you are not. Going around the country/county/city trying to get someone elected is nice and all that, but it mayjust keep you out of medical school. You need to decide what is important right now, getting someone a nomination for something or getting a good grade and going on to medical practice. You cannot do both. Trust me, plenty of us here have tried before you.
Someone sitting in the WH is not going to help you get into medical school. Concentrate on what is urgent and not what is important. This is a very incredible process to go thru. It would be a shame to miss it because you bombed a class or failed to excel in it due to other distractions.
Like I said: I hope you understand what I am saying.

Are you aware that “Calvin” has had significant health challenges and setbacks in the past few months? Her one weekend in South Carolina hardly seems like the major obstacle she’s had in her way.
And I don’t agree that everything else should take a back seat to the pursuit of medical school, actually. I think it’s different for each person. Given that medical schools are there all the time, but presidential elections only come around every four years, Calvin’s desire to be involved this year makes lots of sense to me. It would be kinda masochistic, to say the least, if you decided that the pursuit of ONE important goal meant that you had to deprive yourself of another truly significant and meaningful thing in your life. Sometimes you have to do that, but usually there’s a compromise that can be worked out. That’s up to Calvin to decide.
Meanwhile, back to the original question: Calvin, I’ve PM’ed you about folks you might talk to at GWU about this question. I honestly don’t know the right answer here.

Go you!
My impression has always been that Withdraws are worse than Cs, especially this far into the semester. I know you’ve
had all kinds of stuff going on… but it’s my impression that withdrawing from 1 course (if you’re taking more than 1) isn’t so
great… if you withdraw from all of your courses, that’s another story and adcoms might figure out that something
was up(something bad happened)…
Anyway… my personal thought is that once you’ve put forth this much effort this far in the semester then you can’t
give up… There’s still time to bring grades up and make amends or something like that.
Take it in stride. I know you always do.

Honestly Joe, I think if you have read anything I have written of late you’d know just how FOS your post is. One weekend away – not near any tests, or even two, is not going to change my grade.
I was not looking for advice on how to live my life but rather had a conversation at school with some other students and the question of which is better, a C or W is better so I thought I would ask the group here.

Opinions are like AH everyone has one, what your best bet is to do if you are contemplating this is asking schools directly. From my understanding (another opinion he he) a W is not bad if you only have a few if you have a boat load then it will look bad.

Well, the one thing I have decided is to postpone the MCAT until August. Now I can focus on getting better and doing well in my classes…

I had forgotten the health aspects. Sorry, and I was under the impression you were on the road with the Edwards thing.
Please do not call me FOS again. I found that mildly offensive…
so lets let it lay. good luck the rest of the way…

I didn’t call you FOS, I said your post was. There is a big difference.
And the impression given may have been my fault but in the end I have only done two trips for Edwards, both were weekenders. The campaign has been really good about that, though it will be August before I do anything more.

so there it is…now back to your topic. How many weeks do you have left and how many exams? That is your big determinant. If you have more than or equal to 2 exams left, you can pull out of the C to a B and graze an A.
Some of Orgo is BS. I’ll tell you that right away. However, some of it applies when understanding how the molecules interact and sometimes you can predict action in Biochem just by seeing them in certain pathways. Of course, then…enzymes come into play and you can forget everything I have just said.
Deficiences…I hate em.

The semesster ends in mid May. We have two exams and the final left so although I didn’t do as well on the first exam as I would have liked (apparently neither did the majority of the class as he said he was disapointed in us and realized later that some of the questions might have been too hard as the grad students had trouble with them). So that’s 80% of my grade to go. If I can kick some orgo butt on the next few exams I can still pull out an A.

My two cents on this topic (which I know is hypothetical since you’re acing orgo, Calvin) is that overall, it’s probably better to get a C than a W. At least that way, no one can assume that you were getting a D or F. There are some people who always assume the worst, so better not to let them!
When I was a freshman in college, I dropped two classes (different terms at least) because I was afraid I’d end up with low B’s! We were on trimesters, and the drop deadline was really early, and in one of the cases I’d overloaded on credits that term and then realized that was a bad idea… so I withdrew. Hey, my roommate (also a frosh) didn’t think it was a bad idea, and after consulting with her I went ahead! Later in life I retook both classes and got A’s, but to this day I’m afraid that when I apply to med school, they’ll say, “oh look, she failed Calc 1 and Intro to Christianity. What’s her problem?!” Oh, and on top of that–I took organ lessons pass-fail!! (Which actually was a good thing, however, as I proved to be none too talented in that area.)
Anyway, I think it’s better to just get a C.
Speaking of enzymes–it’s so true!–here you spend all this time in orgo learning the rules of organic chem, and then you find out in biochem that the whole point of enzymes is to get around all those rules–just when you’re getting good at using them! Ugh.

Hi Alison,
With all that you have been through this year, you probably can withdraw and explain the circumstances however, one C will not tank your application especially with all the other stuff that you have going. If this is the only C, you can easily offset with a couple of As and explain the circumstances. You don’t have to re-take a course that you received a C in. That is a huge mistake unless you are sitting there with a C+ average and you are trying to do damage control (not your case by any stretch of the imagination). The important thing to consider is to keep moving forward and not retracing your steps. In light of all of the health problems and hospitilizations, a C in organic for you is equivalent to an A for anyone else.


In my experience, rarely does a single “C” in a med school pre-req course keep someone out of med school. Do try to make sure your transcript isn’t littered with them, but it just doesn’t make sense to repeat a class that you got a “C” in, or to withdraw. As Natalie says, just keep moving forward. Wow them that you can do the work at a more advanced level, and do it well.