Course Retakes

Hello all,

I apologize as I’m sure this has been asked many times before, but I wasn’t able to find anything that was specific enough to my current situation so I made a new topic. Regrettably, I went against the advice of many on this site and tried to hurry my way through the prereqs so I could apply to med school this summer. As it turns out, I won’t be able to apply this summer anyway, so taking Orgo II, physics I, physiology, and organic lab all in the same semester while working part-time turned out to be a big mistake. I have finals this week, and it’s looking like my gpa will be somewhere around 3.1 (3.5 on the high side and 2.8 on the low side).

On top of that, I got a C in Orgo I last semester. So after a strong start, I’ve really stumbled the past 2 semesters, which has me considering course retakes. As of right now, I only have 1 C, but it looks like I’ll be making another in physiology (that won’t look too impressive to admissions committees). I wouldn’t be able to retake physiology until the fall, but I do have the opportunity to retake OC I (4 week course) this summer. Should I do it? Have I already ruined my chances at being accepted into medical school? I’m trying to stay positive, but I feel like FUD is taking over my life right now…

With that said, I hope the rest of you are getting through finals and wrapping up another strong semester!

I don’t think your schedule was that strenuous, so I’d focus on understanding more about why your study habits didn’t produce “A’s” in your classes.

If I were you, I would NOT Take any classes this summer, I’d take a step back and relax, then try to come up with a schedule in the fall which will set you up to succeed.

Good luck!


Thanks for the response. I agree that it should not have been all that strenuous. I’m still fighting some bad study habits (way too much cramming, skipping classes to cram for exams, etc.). I know I have only myself to blame for that. I guess my question was mainly about whether or not I need to retake those classes in which I got C’s. I’m thinking a C in physiology may be a major red flag to admissions committees.

  • chifan1881 Said:
I guess my question was mainly about whether or not I need to retake those classes in which I got C's. I'm thinking a C in physiology may be a major red flag to admissions committees.

In my experience (and some of my grades from 20+ years ago are FAR worse than C's), the best defense against bad grades is time/distance and great grades.

By giving yourself at least a semester off, I think you're putting yourself in a better position to make all A's starting in the Fall or Spring. But be warned, if you take classes this summer and you don't make all A's, you're creating a MUCH steeper hill to overcome academically.

Sorry to hear of your struggles. I think it’s time to take a step back. Heading straight into an intensive course does not seem the right path.

As for repeats, med school don’t love them. A better way to address your GPA issues is to take more science classes and perhaps even higher-level classes and score As. Another option is to head to a formal SMP program and excel there. Yes, I know, more time and money. None of this is easy but hopefully it will pay off in the long run.

Great luck to you!

–Dr. Miller

I think other posters have hit the nail on the head: what you need is to take additional science courses and get great grades in them. Then you need to be prepared to speak about what you learned from this experience on interviews. Students with upward GPA trends often get asked what they learned from the process. It is best to focus on learning new study habits and coping strategies and not blame these grades on a hectic schedule as med school will be hectic and you’ll need to cope with it.

You can still apply successfully, especially if you apply to a broad range of schools when the time comes. For now, focus on becoming a better student and taking new courses that you will do well in. Good Luck!