How a repeat class gets calculated

tongue.gif Hi Everyone,
Not too long ago I posted my nightmarish experience with Organic Chem I this past semester. Well, I ended up with a terrible grade and so the nightmare I will have to repeat it (which now puts off med school for another year). I go to a very small school in a rural area---and unfortunately for me, there is only one professor who teaches it at my school and there are no other schools around other than community college (which my advisor told me she'd cut my head off if I retook it there). I truly believe that my prof was part of my problem. So, I have decided that I do not want to retake Organic here. I have decided to spend the summer back at the school I got my masters from (since I've taken a few pre-reqs there already anyhow) and take Organic I and II over the summer. I'm more confortable with the prof who teaches it there and the environment will be a positive one--not like the "only 40% of you will pass my class" attitude I suffered through already.
My advisor gives me her blessing....but she talks about how my poor grade will still be factored into my GPA since I won't be retaking the course at the same college and therefor won't have the option to have the GPA part updated. As a result, the grade remains on my transcript here and my GPA remains as it is. BUT....does this really matter in the long run?? When my GPA is calculated by the med schools when I apply, will this really matter in terms of GPA if my poor grade is replaced by an A or B?? I know that the bad grade will still be visible, but if I make up for it by retaking it, what's the difference??? Isn't it the same thing to get a D in a five credit course and then turn around and get an A in a five credit course??? The GPA is made up for??? Or am I really shooting myself in the foot by not retaking at the same school??
I get really confused about the whole calculating GPA thing when it comes to applying. I was hoping some of you more informed people out there could maybe help me out with this.
Thanks, Anna

All I can relate is how it was when I applied thru both ACMAS & AACOMAS --then, both of them required that you enter and utilize every single grade in the calculation of your GPA. It did not matter if it was a retake - all attempts counted. It did not matter whether it was the same or a different school you retook a course at - all attempts counted.
Now, I have heard in several circles that the AACOMAS service has reformed thier policy on retakes in that only the most recent attempt counts in the GPA & I believe that this is irrespective of where the retake occured. I have not heard any such information regarding the AMCAS service.
As I said, this is second-hand info. Therefore, before you or anyone else gets all excited about it, I would strongly suggest that you visit both the AMCAS & AACOMAS web sites and get the straight poop from the horse's mouths. In fact, once you know the truth, come back here & post it. I can only imagine how many others would find the correct answers very interesting.

AMCAS definitely does not do as Dave has mentioned. I had several retakes on my AMCAS in this go around and all of them where calculated in to my GPA. AMCAS does make you designate that the class was a retake.
Some schools in their secondaries make you list your pre-reqs with grades. In that case I always put the most recent administration of the class and thus the higher grade.
As for an A and D “cancelling” each other out. Sure they do, but the real picture is that if you get an A it indicates you understood what the hell you were doing.

Yes, Dave and conure are correct. AMCAS makes you put all grades on the app and averages all into the gpa. AACOMAS makes you put all the grades taken, but only uses the latest repeats to calculate the gpa. Just repetitive from above, but hope it helps. Can also go to both the web sites for the above and look in the application booklet.

wink.gif Thanks guys....for the info. I think I was worried over nothing. I mean, it's not the greatest thing to have to retake a course...but what's done is done, and I don't feel that having to retake Orgo is the nail in my coffin. I think all will be well (try to stay positive I keep telling myself!) Anna biggrin.gif

What about a W? Will this have to be shown on the app and if so is there anyplace to give a reason for the withdrawal? huh.gif

I am pretty sure that you do have to show put in W's but of course they do not affect your GPA. For any questions regarding how to fill and what goes in AMCAS go to look under AMCAS and there should be a 2003 AMCAS. There is a pdf. file associated with the application that gives all the details about how grades go in, what need to be put in, etc. It is a must have if you are planning on applying anytime soon. I even read it last year just to have my ducks in a row. It is huuge but very informative.

Thanks efex, I'll check the site. I am many moons away from applying now but it is still worth a look.

Believe me, it will get here before you realize it. It seems like yesterday when I joined the e-mail OPM list OMG! and it has been years. I kept wondering when it would be my turn to apply, waiting for Mary Renard to get in, all the trials and tribulations that we all have gone through, and now look. Mary is what a third year now? I am getting ready to apply ahhhh! and Nat is a first year surgical resident. Time will fly and before you know it, it will be your turn to study for the MCAT.

QUOTE (OldManDave @ Jan 28 2003, 05:13 PM)
All I can relate is how it was when I applied thru both ACMAS & AACOMAS --then, both of them required that you enter and utilize every single grade in the calculation of your GPA. It did not matter if it was a retake - all attempts counted. It did not matter whether it was the same or a different school you retook a course at - all attempts counted.

Just to clarify OldManDave's mistatement here -- AACOMAS has allowed a repeated course to replace the previous grade since at least 1992 (back when it was actually difficult to get into med school -- only kidding!! sheesh, can't you people take a joke? ). I know this because I applied to DO schools back then only because of this policy. You would be amazed at how much even a single grade change can increase your GPA.
I'm not pointing this out to be nitpicky, but just to let potential applicants who are considering retaking a course know that this is nothing new with the osteopathic application process, and that it will probably be around for some time. One of my concerns back then was that I would go through the trouble of retaking a course to increase my GPA, only to find out that they were phasing out this retake policy the next year. Just letting you know that this is not likely to be phased out anytime soon. Not only has this policy been around for more than a decade, but it helps the DO schools appear to be competitive with the MD schools (GPA-wise anyway). There is one guy on SDN (now at OSU Osteopathic) who retook 7 courses -- now that's some serious grade inflation. But I digress...
BTW, OMD, I have noticed that you have posted this misconception several times, and I'm just really curious how you could have missed it when you were applying to KCOM, etc.? Not trying to pry, but if you completed a second BS degree magna cum laude from scratch, you could have applied to DO schools with nearly a 4.0. Not only would that, combined with a decent MCAT, have virtually guaranteed your acceptance to all of those schools, it probably would have netted you a very nice scholarship to boot. You don't have to answer this; I was just a little amazed.
Good luck to all!

I have moved all non-topic related converation to here:…=ST&f=39&t=2209
Please keep this topic on track. Thank you.

Ok folks, below is a copy of the email I received from AACOMAS today in regards to GPA calculation.

Dear Geoff,
You should list all courses taken including the first time you took a course. However, when AACOMAS calculates the GPA, only the most recent course is included in the calculation.
Jennifer Richardson
Assistant Director
Application Services

I guess that pretty much clarifies the question in regards to AACOMAS. Now if we can find out about the individual schools…