So I received the grade for my first exam in Chem2 and it was a glorious F. I was astounded. I figured I did poorly but I defined that as a C not F. I’ve been having trouble with the math. All the ln and log and e’s were driving me bonkers but I worked on them hard. I get the test back and the math wasn’t a problem but the multiple choice is what killed me. I got half of them wrong and I was more than a bit shocked. I failed the first quiz but that was because I assumed that studying the book would suffice. On quizzes we have to study the professors discussion problems not the book. For exams we need to study the book, study guides, and discussion problems. The only issue is she gets her questions from a test bank so they are a completely different format than her quizzes. We also have daily online quizzes and those are different as well. She gave us her old exam from 2010 as a review and I got an 86 on that one and told her why the discrepancy between her old exams and her new ones. That’s when she told me she switched and is now using a test bank. It’s a bit of a hodgepodge but I’m learning to make do. The class average was low but I don’t really care about that.

We can drop our lowest quiz and exam but I can’t say I’m encouraged. The professor helped to discourage me further by telling me that if I work real hard I might be able to bring my grade up to a C. I asked about dropping the grade and she agreed but then said that “It’s not likely that you’re going to get any better. You can always take Chem2 again for a better grade. Med schools don’t want to see W’s so that’s out of the question for you.”

So I’m feeling pretty low right now. Bio exam went great…or at least I think it did, I get the grade back today. We’ll see.

Not a good time right now. Besides all the poor grades my wife comes home and tells me she is getting furloughed. So 20% decrease in salary…yippee! Then my dear ole MIL is admitted to the hospital and then to put a cherry on top of last week our washer/dryer fried itself. Smell of burnt wires and smoke in the condo and clothes that were drying.

Freakin greeeeaaaat day! All this was Friday… Took me till now to compose myself.

F.U.D.??? Yeah…I’m all about that right now.

Big hug! I am going to quote gonnif and hopefully he would not mind: take a breath! A really deep one. It is normal to have F.U.D., but it is critical for all of us to learn how to cope with FUD episodes.

It sounds like multiple choice questions were the problems. Was it because you did not understand the questions or the concept? If you like, you could send me your test without personal identifier, and perhaps we can figure out together what might be the issue. Of course I am not an expert in chemistry, but I have taken it and maybe my experience can be of some help.

Do you own a good Gem Chem review book? If not, it may be a good idea to either invest one or check one out from your local library. You should not solely rely on the review book, but a good review book provides a framework to study and outlines the most important concept of the subject.

Best wishes!

Oh man! It seriously seems like the world is totally against you.

But! Try not to fret too much because it will only make you feel worse. Take a step back, breath and tackle one issue at a time.

From experience I can wholeheartedly say that it is a waste of time trying to study when you mind is going a mile a minute with all sorts of other problems.

As lame as this sounds, I would go for some “contemplative walks” in the dead of the night. No noise, no traffic, no people around. Just me, myself, and I.

Step back re-evaluate and tackle this beast head on. Just think…if all of this was that easy then everyone would be a doctor by now.

Oh! and under no circumstances should you let your professor get under your skin. As callous as this may sound; stick to the one’s that support you and cast aside those who don’t.

FYI- I dropped a few of my premed courses along the way. I have W’s and I’m still going strong. Just think this can be one hell of a talking point when you get to your interview.


Wow! what a helpful Chem professor…

Sounds like it was a pretty bad week

I just want to chime in and confess that I outright failed my first physics test in my post bacc and didn’t do particularly stellar on the first chem test either (i don’t actually remember what I got because there was a curve but without a curve I think it might have been one of those lovely F’s)

ANYWAY my point is I royally messed up, realized I wasn’t studying effectively and invested a ton of time into trying to fix that problem. My physics prof was very helpful with this…chem not so much, but the strategy (involving office hours, tutoring and tons of practice problems) worked for both classes and I never got less than a B on any test ever again. In fact after that semester I never got less than an A. ( i too was allowed to drop the lowest test so in the end I got a B+ in both classes)

So. It is possible.

And while I do wish my post bacc gpa was a perfect 4.0 I think I learned a LOT from the experience of having to claw my way out of that hole and I have included it in my personal statement ; )

Hope my story brings a bit of hope!

Chem professors pretty much suck! All except me of course.

Drop me a PM if you’d like some of the tips I give my students. I’m just too tired right now to type them all here.

Oh, wow, what a time you are having! I feel for you. We’ve all been there where everything seems to fall apart in one fell swoop.

As for the advice on the grades and the studying, you know yourself best, and all profs are different, so it make take some trial and error on your part to get to where you feel comfortable. I had an awful orgo prof 1st semester. I skipped class a lot in the end because I found myself not even wanting to listen to this prof’s lectures because they were more of a hindrance than a help. I got an A in the class because I utilized every resource I could find outside of my prof. I am very grateful for technology! However, it is true that every prof has a way that they format exams so that can be a hard point to get over if their format and their teaching style are keeping you from succeeding. Don’t fall into any trap thinking it’s you (FUD is hard to shake, though, I know-been there done that too many times to count!) Just perservere or move on. I do not believe that a W is a deal breaker. My premed advisor always sends out mass emails when drop dates are coming and going and she makes a big point of letting everyone know that a W is not the worst thing on your record. She has years of experience as a premed advisor. Just be able to explain it seems to be what she advises and what other here seem to agree with. Sounds like your non-school circumstances alone are explanation enough if you do decide to withdraw. Obviously, just don’t complain that the prof didn’t suit your needs or anything that potentially makes you look like you are not adaptable to less than amenable situations (and people), but I know you know that. In the end, what is best for you is what you need to keep in mind. A W is not the most horrible thing and if you decide to stick it out (that dropped exam grade is a nice get out of jail free card-I love it when profs give out a freebie. Can make a bad day/week/month disappear)then search out every resource possible to help you succeed. Sounds like pathdr2b has some good advice and the web is just packed with great teachers, too. You’ll be okay whatever you decide to do. Hard to see it now, but it’s just one grade on one exam in one class. I had a completely awful physics exam (that was not dropped) that I freaked over and thought was just going to end my premed career, but it didn’t. I overreacted (I tend to do that when it comes to this premed stuff!) I then pulled myself together, attacked the material harder, and ended up with an A overall in the class. I NEVER thought that was possible with that poor exam grade, but it was. (Curves help, too!)

You’ll be okay. Just don’t let your chem prof’s comments get you down. Unless she is also a premed advisor or on an adcom, she doesn’t know for sure what is or isn’t out of the question for a premed.

Thanks all. I’m moving forward. We have another quiz tomorrow so we’ll see. I think the W would be better than a C…so we’ll see…get it.

While I did think this style of teaching was a good idea, I’m having my doubts. There isn’t much teaching as there is “facilitating” and it matters where you sit. I’m resigning myself to really just teaching myself and having the material down pat so I can help the two young ladies she just paired me with who are clueless. They are sweet but don’t work as a group. It’s more like they want the other person to teach so I figure if I teach them then I’ll learn it better.

you’re on to something there. I found that when I mentored an associate to his EMT certificate he/I asked questions that I’d never thought of. Teaching forces you to master a subject and/or explore tangents that merely passing/surviving does not. Might be why management and business are big on it, I dunno.

I’m certain, however, it’s one of the reasons Martial Art black belts are required to teach. (that, and any reason to compel free labor is a good reason.) If teaching material helps master material, and the next level is “master”, it only makes sense.