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Need advice for retaking a class

  1. Dec 29, 2011 #1
    hello guys!

    This semester I was ruthlessly gutted in my Differential Equations class and it has been stressing me severely. I shamefully made a D in the class...

    I know this is my fault, but at the same time I feel as though the professor teaching it had much to do with it also. He was extremely intent on making the class into a "do all the questions on a computer" type of class. It involved much much coding and doing the work by hand would net me half credit. The assignments that required hand work only I received 90+% every time.

    I have worked through the book and made sure I am able to perform the practice problems and some of the word problems correctly, but this grade in the class still looms heavily over me.

    Basically, I want to retake the class, but due to my tight schedule this would potentially endanger me from graduating on time next year (I am currently a Junior going into the Spring semester). However, here is my schedule for next semester:

    • Analytical Mechanics
      Language Class
      Abstract Algebra

    The first two use Differential Equations in the class. Instead, do you guys think that acing those two classes requiring DE would "forgive" my D grade? Or should I find the time to take it over the Summer? Summer is also an issue because I am to do research for about 10 weeks at another school and I am uncertain if I can take a class on the side.

    This is mainly with concern to graduate school admissions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 29, 2011 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    And if you do poorly in those two classes because you didn't have a solid background, you'll really be up the creek, no?
  4. Dec 30, 2011 #3
    Yes but so far I don't think I will have much of an issue right away. I've previewed the chapters and the mathematics do not feel foreign to me
  5. Dec 30, 2011 #4
    Better check your school's policy on retaking classes, and also consider the policy of the graduate school. My school, if you retake a class, both grades will show on your transcript. So even if you pass with an A the second time, the transcript will show a D, and an A, and both will potentially count towards your GPA.

    Calculating a GPA for a repeated class also varies by school. They may only count the first time towards your GPA and ignore the second grade entirely. They may also average the two. So a D + A averages to a C+?

    If you have all A's except for this class, and you have a good understanding of the material such that you can move on to the next class without difficulty, might be best just to ignore it and move on with your life.
  6. Dec 30, 2011 #5
    I'm in the same boat you were. Got a D in differential equations. At my school, a C- is passing - not a D. Frankly, I would retake the course. You need to learn how to use computers to solve problems. On the bright side, it gives you another semester to take a few more classes that you wouldn't ordinarily have had time to take ... maybe even grad school classes.
  7. Dec 30, 2011 #6
    Sound suggestions.

    Even if you're not taking grad-level courses, spreading out your courses a little could help you out. Or, you could take some other courses you're interested in. :)
    You could try learn some of the computational stuff over the summer, before you retake the course?
  8. Dec 30, 2011 #7
    Thank you all for the replies!

    I think next semester I'll drop my abstract algebra class for an intro computer programming class specifically catering to math and science majors. I'm not fully sure if Angry Citizen is saying to retake DE or not though.

    I have another question though, assuming I find no possible way to make up this grade, how much would grad schools admissions scrutinize the D grade? What about Math classes in general?
  9. Dec 30, 2011 #8
    I was suggesting you retake the course, yes:

    I've never been on a grad school's admissions board, but if you retake differential equations and get an A, and if that A shows up on your transcript, then they'll think you had a bad semester and bounced back beautifully. It's a risk though; if you retake the class and get a C, then I imagine they'll think, "This dude can't do ODE's. Mucho bad in physics."
  10. Dec 30, 2011 #9
    stuff happens, it isn't the end of the world. i think an important lesson is learning how to do work using a computer to solve computational problems. in research, grad school, and the real world, being able to do this could prove to be a big deal, depending on what you end up doing.
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