Question of the Week: Should I Drop Gen Chem?

Friday, Nov 16, 2018

Hi HPA – I’m a first year student and I didn’t do as well as I wanted on the Gen Chem midterm. I really want to do a sophomore early assurance program. Should I drop the class and take it over the summer to preserve my GPA?
The midterm is 20% of your CHM 201 grade. Your grade for that class is 1/12 (or so) of the GPA that you’ll report for your early assurance application. So, this first exam grade is about 1.67% of that sophomore application GPA, which in itself is only one of many factors that early assurance programs are considering in their applicants (letters of recommendation, activities, essay, interview, and standardized test scores are some of the others). A first science exam grade tends to feel very important because it’s the first piece of evidence you have that feels connected to your academic preparation for medical school, but in reality, it’s a very small piece in the grand scheme of things. Your response to the grade is more important than the grade itself. Do you lose confidence, blame external forces, and resign yourself to feeling like you’ll never be able to do better among peers that seem more talented and prepared than you, or do you take a step back, embrace your current level of preparation, think concretely about behaviors you may change and actions you may take in order to improve your performance, and keep striving to do your best for yourself, trying not to compare yourself to others? We hope you’ll go the latter route and we’re here to support you as you move forward. Please come by to chat so we can learn more about you and your situation before we definitively give you our opinion on whether or not to drop the class, and so we can discuss the implications of dropping the course in more detail.

QOTW in 2017: Advanced Chem Course to Supplement AP Credit
QOTW in 2016: Biology Requirement