Drop for a W rather than get a C?

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In summary, this person has a tough decision to make because they may not be able to improve their grades in the course enough to pass with a C. They should talk to their professor to see if there is any other way to pass the course.
  • #1
Xcountry
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Short Version:
I goofed up and received an F on the first calc III midterm. It looks like the max I can get in the Class is a C. That wouldn't be a problem except for I already have 2 other C's.

Long Version:
I am a sophomore in engineering physics, looking to go into nuclear engineering in grad school. My freshman year I went to a local college because my mom worked there so I was able to go for free. I was able to pull a 3.5 or so gpa for the first year with no effort.

This current year I transferred to a huge state university. Fall quarter I received 2 C's and 1 A, mostly because I was putting forth minimal effort like last year. That dropped me to just under a 3.3 cumulative GPA. This quarter I am receiving A's in all of my classes except for Calc III, which I recently just bombed the first midterm. I understand the concepts, however I wasn't expecting all the odd limits and such (my ignorance).

So now I am in an uncomfortable situation in either dropping the class and taking the last gen physics with sophomore physics next fall or making sure I do really well on the next midterm and Final and pulling a C.

(Just to note that I was not the only one who did horrible. the grading scheme for this midterm was: Below 25/100-F, 35/100-C, 45/100-B, 55/100-A).

Any and all advice and suggestion are appreciated.
 
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  • #2
That's quite the curve - although not unheard off.

It's been my experience that when mid-term results are less than stellar, the grading scheme may often be altered to place more weight on the final exam. You may want to speak with your professor about this - although I suspect since the mid-term has already been curved, this is unlikely.
 
  • #3
Choppy said:
That's quite the curve - although not unheard off.

It's been my experience that when mid-term results are less than stellar, the grading scheme may often be altered to place more weight on the final exam. You may want to speak with your professor about this - although I suspect since the mid-term has already been curved, this is unlikely.

That was my first impression as well. I talked the professor about it, and he said in his experience people who failed the first midterm usually end up failing the class, due to statistically not doing much better on the second midterm and final. We crunched the numbers and If I did perfectly on the last two exams than I could theoretically get a B-.
 
  • #4
Xcountry said:
I talked the professor about it, and he said in his experience people who failed the first midterm usually end up failing the class

You should take his advice seriously.
 
  • #5
Tough decision because you really do not know how well you will improve or retain what you are currently studying. If you continue to struggle and not improve and if you have two or more other courses now, then maybe drop the Calc III with a W; but try to continue attending the course for a few weeks just to try to keep learning. If you appear to be earning a true C in the course, then maybe just stay enrolled and take the risk, but work very intensely at this Calc III. In any case, you might still need to study it again on your own during the summer; if you earned a C, the review will keep you familar and skilled. If you dropped with a W, the review should render the course easier to successfully pass when you take it the second time.
 
  • #6
symbolipoint said:
Tough decision because you really do not know how well you will improve or retain what you are currently studying. If you continue to struggle and not improve and if you have two or more other courses now, then maybe drop the Calc III with a W; but try to continue attending the course for a few weeks just to try to keep learning. If you appear to be earning a true C in the course, then maybe just stay enrolled and take the risk, but work very intensely at this Calc III. In any case, you might still need to study it again on your own during the summer; if you earned a C, the review will keep you familar and skilled. If you dropped with a W, the review should render the course easier to successfully pass when you take it the second time.

I am thinking if I do drop the course, then I will probably still go to the class.

I just learned from my TA that only a handful of people actually passed the midterm (with a 25 or higher). Next Friday is the deadline to drop, so I have about a week left to get a feel what will happen.

Thanks all!
 

Related to Drop for a W rather than get a C?

1. What is the concept behind "Drop for a W rather than get a C"?

The concept behind this phrase is that it is better to withdraw from a course and receive a "W" on your transcript instead of receiving a lower grade, such as a "C". This can help maintain a higher GPA and avoid negative impacts on your academic record.

2. Will dropping a course for a "W" affect my GPA?

No, dropping a course for a "W" will not affect your GPA. The "W" does not factor into your GPA calculation and is essentially neutral on your transcript.

3. Are there any consequences for dropping a course for a "W"?

In most cases, there are no major consequences for dropping a course for a "W". However, it is important to check with your academic advisor or institution's policies to ensure there are no specific consequences for your situation.

4. Can I drop any course for a "W"?

In most cases, you can drop any course for a "W". However, some institutions may have restrictions on how many courses you can drop for a "W" or may require a valid reason for dropping the course.

5. Will a "W" on my transcript affect my future academic or career opportunities?

In most cases, a "W" on your transcript will not significantly impact your future academic or career opportunities. Employers and graduate schools typically focus more on your overall GPA and academic performance rather than individual course withdrawals. However, it is important to be mindful of your academic record and only drop a course if necessary.

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