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Schools Is a C grade in thermo really bad?

  1. May 8, 2017 #1
    Hey all, I'm currently studying for my thermo final and it's really kicking my butt. My average has been a C and if I do EXTREMELY well on my final I'll be REALLY pushing for a B. I'm not sure how thermo is taught in other universities, but I'm learning it through statistical mechanics with concepts such as partition functions and all and I never took statistical mechanics before so you can imagine my confusion. I was wondering if a C is really bad in the long run? I mean I'll have to teach the subject to myself again in the future, maybe I'll understand it better with prior knowledge, but grades wise I'm scared. I never got below a B+ in physics courses and as a physics major who wants to go to grad school I feel like I'm failing life with that C!

    EDIT: how much does a C grade affect chances of getting into grad school?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
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  3. May 8, 2017 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    What do you want us to say? It's OK to give up?
     
  4. May 8, 2017 #3
    Nah I'm wondering how bad is a C when applying for grad schools
     
  5. May 8, 2017 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    It's bad. Not as bad as two C's or an F. Now what are you going to do with it?
     
  6. May 8, 2017 #5
    I'll try to make up for it!
     
  7. May 8, 2017 #6

    Choppy

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    Statistical mechanics and thermodynamics is one of the focus areas in most comprehensive exams. So a C grade in it will likely garner more attention than a C in an unrelated elective. If you're struggling with your class now, it might draw into question whether you'll be successful in challenging the department's comprehensive exam.

    That said, put your best effort into it now. Sometimes you can be surprised by the curve.
     
  8. May 8, 2017 #7

    symbolipoint

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    Not so much about Thermodynamics, but have you ever tried reviewing a course or its close-prerequisites and the course you do poorly in, on your own, before studying it again in school? If you do/did, you should expect to learn it better the second time.
     
  9. May 9, 2017 #8
    A lot depends on context. GPA, grades in other physics courses, PGRE scores, etc.

    A C in thermo suggests a weakness. Does the other available info tend to confirm the weakness or suggest the C may be an isolated event unrelated to the skills and preparation habits of the student?
     
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