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The Impacts Of One Bad Grade (Low 70S) Despite 90Ish In All My Other Courses


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I have just completed the first semester of second year. Unfortunately, due to a rigid work schedule and a course notorious for failing students, I now have a big ugly 70 something glaring at me from my transcript, which otherwise is filled with 89s and 90+s. 

 

Realistically, this 70 will hinder my chances of being a 3rd year applicant, which i really wanted to try to be. I'm really sad that despite all my hard work in first year and in all my other courses, I've burnt out at just the right time to bomb this one final, setting myself back tremendously. 

 

I was wondering if any successful med school applicants have ever been in a similar situation? I am also looking for some advice. 

 

It seemed like I had the potential to be a good applicant before, but now the 70 is going to be a red flag and it will also prevent me from getting scholarships or research grants. Its seems like all I can do now is quit my tiring and stressful job so I can focus on keeping my grades consistent, as well as study for the mcat.  I think I will still apply in 3rd year more for the experience than anything as I still meet cutoffs. Hopefully I can learn from this and not mess up so badly in the future.

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For one, it's not that bad. It's not a failed course and there's only one. A lot of schools will drop your lowest year, so assuming you do better in your future years, they'll disregard your 2nd year including that 70.

 

There's no denying that it will hurt your GPA since a 70 must be a 3 or something. However, what you need to do is to continue to get stellar grades in order to 'dilute' out that 70. Does it hurt your chances for med school? Yes. But I don't think it should hinder you from applying in 3rd year (if you keep it up + perform well on the MCAT). Most schools will calculate and even report your GPA/academic score, but it's not really known how they may hand-pick students during the final selection process. For example, if two students are essentially identical across the board, they may look into each student's transcript to see things like this: You're clearly a strong student with one bad course. To me, you would rank higher than a student who has average to good grades in all their courses with an identical GPA.

 

Oh, and the scholarships/research grants that I've encountered look at academic average (%) rather than GPA. Thus, a 70 doesn't hurt as much as it would on the GPA scale. Though this is probably institution-dependent, but you can probably look it up.

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Birdy is a rather vivacious presence on this forum, so I'm not surprised that anyone would find interest in parodying her!

 

Although getting a B is rough, sometimes not meeting expectations has a way of humbling a person and making them a lot better than they were before. When I feel like my self-worth is on the decline, I always manage to prove myself wrong by becoming more efficient, creative and reflective than before. 

 

You'll begin to both hate adversity as a setback and appreciate it as opportunity. 

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I have a D+ on my transcript from first year and am currently in 4th year. My cGPA is a 3.6 and last 2 years around 3.85. Work hard next semester and take summer courses to bring up your cGPA. While schools state they don't take summer courses into GPA calculation, your cGPA includes every course taken in university regardless of the term it was taken in. Also, is your 70 a B or B-? While at York it is a B, every other school would usually count it as a B-. Much easier to overcome than my D+, I'll tell you that.

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Bad grades or bad days, they will always happen. The first grade I ever received on something in university was a 20%. The key difference in those who are successful and those who are not is how they handle these situations. As a doctor, a bad response to a bad day could mean a patient's life. Persisting through this situation with a positive outlook and determination to recover will only make you stronger.

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Bad grades or bad days, they will always happen. The first grade I ever received on something in university was a 20%. The key difference in those who are successful and those who are not is how they handle these situations. As a doctor, a bad response to a bad day could mean a patient's life. Persisting through this situation with a positive outlook and determination to recover will only make you stronger.

Well said :)

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Thank you everyone for your replies! I will keep my chin up.

 

To be honest, my mistake was neglecting what I thought would be an easy genetic course for notorious third year courses (Organic Chem II and Biochem II). Although I ended up doing well in orgo and biochem, I  bombed the genetics final due to not devoting enough time to study for it (unfortunately acing the midterm and the assignments did not redeem me). My 70 will remain on my transcript as a reminder to never slack off. (AND PRAISE THE STARS IT WASN'T IN THE SIXTIES). I am now tentatively hopeful for the future.

 

My overall gpa for first and second year is just very barely acceptable at an omsas 3.89. If I manage a consistent performance next semester, I can pull it up above 3.9 for my 3rd year applications. Costly lesson well learnt. 

 

:)

 

(And apologies to Birdy. I did not frequent this forum until last week so I had no idea about your username! I didn't mean to offend you, if that's what I've managed to do. I love your blog.)

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I'm not doing this as a joke. I am absolutely devastated with my 70. If this happened in first year I could have brushed it off due to the Canadian med school application system being very forgiving of bad grades in 1st year. However it happened in 2nd year and made my otherwise perfect gpa into an abysmal 3.7 for the semester. I may be over reacting, but it is hard not to when students in upper year with more consistent grades and better ECs than me are not accepted into med schools in Ontario. 

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I'm not doing this as a joke. I am absolutely devastated with my 70. If this happened in first year I could have brushed it off due to the Canadian med school application system being very forgiving of bad grades in 1st year. However it happened in 2nd year and made my otherwise perfect gpa into an abysmal 3.7 for the semester. I may be over reacting, but it is hard not to when students in upper year with more consistent grades and better ECs than me are not accepted into med schools in Ontario.

 

Just relax and enjoy Xmas, this mark will not ruin your future. No one cares about your gpa for the semester, it's your cGPA when applying that will matter (and most schools will have a weighted formula that might remove any impact of this grade on your gpa). If your semester gpa went down to a 3.7 then you didn't get A+ in your other courses so you didn't ruin a perfect gpa. What is your current gpa? I am sure you are stressing way too much about this, people have gotten much worse grades and still have gotten into med school, although this sucks, its not the end of the world or the end of your chances of getting into med school. Just forget about it, relax, spend time with family and recharge your batteries for next semester!

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Just relax and enjoy Xmas, this mark will not ruin your future. No one cares about your gpa for the semester, it's your cGPA when applying that will matter (and most schools will have a weighted formula that might remove any impact of this grade on your gpa). If your semester gpa went down to a 3.7 then you didn't get A+ in your other courses so you didn't ruin a perfect gpa. What is your current gpa? I am sure you are stressing way too much about this, people have gotten much worse grades and still have gotten into med school, although this sucks, its not the end of the world or the end of your chances of getting into med school. Just forget about it, relax, spend time with family and recharge your batteries for next semester!

Sorry, I meant I would have a gpa that is something like a 3.98 without this grade. It is not a 4.0 but it is practically perfect especially since some schools round to the tenth. My term gpa (omsas standards) is 3.7. Cumulatively my gpa is something like a 3.89. I'm sure it is not unrecoverable as I am still in second year but I have made thing unnecessarily difficult for myself as a third year applicant. Merry Christmas to you and thanks for the encouraging words. 

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3.89 with a semester to go shouldn't hinder you too much. Just make sure you do well next semester and you should be able to come out with a 3.91 which should be competitive. I honestly think your mcat will be a bigger determinant then your Gpa. Have you taken the mcat?

 I am pretty confident I have what it takes to do well in the mcat. However the test is completely different this year so there are so many variables to consider. I think I will wait until this summer to write so I can gauge it a little based on the reactions of the April and May writers. The plan is to spend the next semester keeping my grades consistent and to have a little bit of fun with all the ECs I can now enjoy after quitting my job. 

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 I am pretty confident I have what it takes to do well in the mcat. However the test is completely different this year so there are so many variables to consider. I think I will wait until this summer to write so I can gauge it a little based on the reactions of the April and May writers. The plan is to spend the next semester keeping my grades consistent and to have a little bit of fun with all the ECs I can now enjoy after quitting my job. 

 

well it isn't completely different. There is only one new section and some shuffling around of the content a bit :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

An update on my grade.  :)

 

It turned out a whole 12% of my grade was not added, and I did not get a 70 in the class after all. I think this little administrative error nearly gave me a heart attack (just kidding I am fine).

 

My university does not post class averages or even your final grade. To see your exam an appointment must be made with the professor. I am glad to have booked an appointment because I would have had no idea a full 12% of my marks went by the wayside! Time to email somebody about setting up a system in our school where our final exam grades can be viewed... I really hope no one else in my class was in this situation. Because of the amount of trouble it takes to see the final exam a lot of people might just let their bad marks go even if it seems a little suspicious.

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