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Linear Algebra Grade

  1. May 19, 2008 #1
    So today I got my final grades back and this was my lowest. A B+ in Linear Algebra. I'm panicking. Haha.

    Just a quick question, since this is my lowest grade so far, would Graduate Schools/Medical Schools look down upon this? Grad schools such as Princeton or MIT. I just have this feeling like they're are going to stare at my transcript and at this one class and just say: "B+ in Linear Algebra! Ha, what an idiot!" Like this is going to be the only thing that sticks out is this B+.

    I have the option to retake the final and raise my grade anyway, I'm just looking for advice cause I hated this class and would hate to sit through days of studying again.

    I know I'm being very dramatic and I apologize.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2008 #2
    As long as you have the rest of your stuff together, no one will probably ever care.
  4. May 19, 2008 #3
    Keyword: Probably...
  5. May 19, 2008 #4
    Oi, I should really learn to bend the truth a little when I know people will seize upon my qualifiers...

    Really, don't worry about it. If anything, take it as a sign to work harder in future classes.
  6. May 19, 2008 #5
    Wow, that would be nice to be able to retake finals. Maybe you should go study and get an A, instead of posting on the internet about it.
  7. May 19, 2008 #6
    I had a post written out saying not to worry about it and that what has happened can't be changed, but I failed to read this part of your post. I agree with the guy above me. Get off the internet and start studying. Who cares if you don't like it? Get it done.
  8. May 19, 2008 #7
    If you're planning on going to medical school, be forewarned that most of them will at least informally do a bit of psychological evaluation when you interview. The fact that you are really worried about a B+ bodes ill for that.

    So in short, learn to do your best and live with what it yields. If you can't deal with a B+, how can you deal with losing a patient?
  9. May 19, 2008 #8


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    I believe he's asking whether he should bother retaking the final exam or just leave it as it is. It's not a horrendous grade, but it's nothing to boast about either. Seriously are you guys really going to advise him to retake every class in which he didn't get an A?
  10. May 19, 2008 #9


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    a B+ is your lowest grade? put your rear end down here and i will personally kick it for you. get real. what kind of candy ass courses have you been taking?
  11. May 19, 2008 #10
    I agree with mathwonk, also, Linear Algebra is a really really important course. I don't know which sequence of it you are taking, but a rigorous linear algebra course with proofs is essential to a mathematician.
  12. May 20, 2008 #11
    Sweet mother of mercy. I don't know what's worse, hearing that someone is worried about getting anything but an "A" (don't worry about it) or the people who pipe in with the opinion that if you don't have 4.00 GPA then you're screwed for life. (NOT that this has happened here, but I have seen that attitude in so many grad school related boards.)

    And whatever you do, do NOT spend your entire personal statement/application letter explaining your terrible, terrible "B". Congratulations, you're only "above average" instead of "significantly above average" in this one class. I'm sure your educational and career options are all still just as open as they were before. Maybe more, since they will not have to assume you're the kind of overachieving 4.0 student who will crack and go bell-tower on them the first time they get a less-than-perfect grade.

    Sure, re-take the final if it means that much to you. But you could also write it off as your one inconsequential flaw--like the "beauty mark" on the cheek of Marilyn Monroe, in a way.
  13. May 20, 2008 #12
    Point to me where exactly in my post I recommended he retake the class. It would be ridiculous to retake a 16 week course just to boost his grade from a B+ to an A+ and I actually made a nod towards not retaking the class and not worrying about the grade once it's in. What I did recommend is taking advantage of the fact that the professor is allowing the students to retake the test. If the OP doesn't take every possibility to ensure that he does well, maybe grad schools should think twice about accepting him.
  14. May 20, 2008 #13


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    I haven't heard of a college which allows their students to retake just the final exams. Surely such an anomaly would be reflected somehow in the transcript. There has to be a catch here. The OP should verify this.
  15. May 20, 2008 #14
    The real question here is did you learn everything that you feel you were supposed to learn in the course? Actually, that's the only question. When people obsess over grades they usually forget about the knowledge that the 'A' is supposed to represent.
  16. May 20, 2008 #15
    I think it's also important to know how meaningful A's our in your school. If A's are given freely, the B+ might represent failure. Good old grade inflation. That's why letters of recommendation are invaluable to the committee that will look at your application. Well honest letters. It's getting to the point where transcripts and letters are nearly meaningless unless you badly mess up. I would bet that research and tutoring experience can make all the difference in the world on those grad school apps.

    Anyway I'm blathering on, I'm just saying that your grade is not a priori meaningful without knowing the context, and the people reading through hundreds of applications are too busy to frame that grade properly.
  17. May 20, 2008 #16


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    I agree as well. I had a rigorous proof based linear course (meaning we were graded on our ability to prove things correctly) and it is not an easy course. If your course was anything like the one I had or the ones many people talk about here, a B+ is nothing to be ashamed about.
  18. May 20, 2008 #17
    Right on, I know it's nothing bad but nothing great. I was just wondering if i should even bother. I'm happy with the grade, but just wondering if it is worth studying again for about 1 point.

    And it's just the teacher, she is a kind hearted older lady who feels that if our final was lower then our test average, then we should have the opportunity to retake the final.
  19. May 20, 2008 #18
    Most of you are missing the key point of his post..that he could study a bit more and retake the FINAL (not the class). If he actually did this, it would make the entire thread pointless. Of course one B+ is not going to make a difference, but if you can put in a couple days more of study time and not have to worry about it, why not do this?
  20. May 20, 2008 #19
    Well what if you received a B in Linear Algebra? Is that something to be the ashamed of?
  21. May 20, 2008 #20
    This can't be a serious question.
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