The dreaded re-take

Hi all–General question for the peanut gallery:

I started back on this journey a year ago, and for the most part, it’s gone pretty well. Through gen chem and introductory bio, I somehow managed to pull a 4.0. Considering how bad my GPA was when I finished my BA, it’s improved it by leaps and bounds. However, O-Chem has been a struggle for me. I think I can pull out a B in the class, but my fear is that I’ll end up with a C. I was talking to another non-trad who is in both O-Chem and physics with me, and she was saying that if she ended up with a C, she’d just retake it.

I’d want to retake it as well, and I know that even though my school actually removes the lower grade from GPA calculations, when I go to apply, either to MD or to DO, all of my grades will go before the judgement. I guess I’m wondering if I just shot myself in the foot or not.

I’m sorry to project my general high-strung personality to the rest of the internet, but as supportive as my partner is, he can only tell me so much. And the biggest thing was "since you started doing that you’ve been happier than I’ve seen you in a long, long time.

Any advice is greatly, greatly appreciated.

The weird thing is, as soon as I had my near panic attack last night, I remember that AAMCAS averages classes that are taken more than once, and ACCOMAS uses only the higher grade.

I feel rather foolish at the moment. It’s just funny. After spending ten years post undergrad doing McJob after McJob, finding something that I’m really passionate about is not something I’m used to.

That sounds oddly familiar. I also sailed right through everything with 4.0, including first semester OC, but for whatever reason I just did not get the second semester and ended with a C. I was a DIY post-bacc, but had a non-trad-friendly advisor who correctly advised me NOT to retake, that it would be seen as an outlier as long as I aced the advanced classes and MCAT. He was right; the C was never even brought up at my interview.

Thanks for the advice.

It’s just kind of strange, because even doing this, and even knowing the long odds, I’m so much happier than I have been in a very, very long time. I guess being a broke student just agrees with me more.

I honestly think I probably would want to retake it. I just want to practice. I don’t care if it says MD, DO, or PA after my name. And suddenly being in a position where they could get taken away from me, it scares me more than I realized. I never realized that until now.

Good realization to have.

I really identify with what you are saying. I was much happier doing my premed stuff than for years previously, and still so in medical school. But the biggest challenge for me has been managing my fear of not succeeding - somehow wasting this opportunity. It’s taken months of doing well on my medical school tests to begin to get that under control - however, a bit of anxiety is good in as much as it motivates you - just not taken to extremes


For some of us, even the re-takes did not go well.

I re-took biochemistry II 3 times and got a C each time. The same situation appears to be happening with my genetics course; I got a C the first time around and now it looks I will get a C this time around as well.

In fact it was this situation with biochemistry that prompted me to seek out a learnings skills counselor to find out why I cannot master the sciences (in contrast to the non-sciences, which I have always been able to master with ease).

Just make sure you are working with the instructor to do the best you can, also. Show him/her how you are studying and ask advice on a different approach. Normally do this early in the semester as soon as you begin to struggle. You may find some advice that is useful to you, something that clicks the light on for you. In addition, if you work well and often with the instructor, and become known as a good student and a hard worker, you may get a little mercy if you end up on a breakpoint of the grading curve.

I know it sounds like a copout, but sometimes it really can be the instructor. My organic teacher, who was more of a industry guy than a teacher, pulls the weirdest stuff out of his ass on tests. Reagents we’ve never seen or heard of, synthesis problems way outside of what should be in, let’s face it, an intro to organic chemistry. The class average in my class is in the toilet. I think the high was an 80, and the average a 47. He was beside himself after the exams were handed back, wanting to know how he’s failed as a teacher. The problem is that he just isn’t much of one.

I still feel like I’ve learned a ton in that class, but proving it on the exams has been an exercise in frustration. I looked at an exam someone in another professor’s class got back, and it was so easy compared to mine. Luck of the draw.

Really not a luck of the draw anymore…

Not sure where I found this link but I think it can be very helpful…as with everything, take it with a grain of salt.

Also you might want to check if your school has free tutors or review sessions. I went to the OChem review we had here and it was like attending lecture twice. Except the second lecture was with like 15 people so you could ask lots of questions and walk through things.

I’m not a big fan of rate my professors. It seems to be littered with traditional students who are to lazy to realize that college takes work or folks with axes to grind. Every professor I like they trash and every professor I find bad the love. Ofcourse I also find that the ones they tend to love are the easy A’s, well that A is all fine and good until you realize you didn’t learn crap.

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