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Should I retake freshmen math classes?

  1. Dec 22, 2014 #1
    I know that there are multiple threads regarding retaking classes but everyone's situation is different and I wasn't sure if those posts were going to apply to my situation.
    I suffered medical problems, both mental and physical, before even entering university and had them all through freshmen year. I somehow managed to get B+ or above in other classes such as physics, but I got C+ in calc 1, calc 2, and I'll probably get C or C+ in physical mathematics, too. I'm not surprised that I got poor grades with being sick all the time, but the problem is that I only got C+ in math courses. I'm afraid that only getting C+ or below only in math courses will be viewed as an inability to comprehend even basic level math courses.
    As for my actual understanding in those course materials, I dedicated all my summer and winter breaks to studying those and I think I understand them well enough. My only concern is how it will look on my grad school application. In terms of improving GPA retaking courses would be more effective as it removes bad grades and injects better grades. However, I understand that retaken courses can sometimes perceived to be worse than having some C's. Also, I'm not that concerned with GPA itself anyways. With finally being recovered and all, I'm pretty confident that my grades will only improve.

    So my question is: Should I retake freshmen level math classes so it doesn't look like I'm terrible at math or is it better to get better grades in other, more advanced math classes to prove my competence in math?

    p.s. I am allowed to retake those classes (even though I technically passed) according to my school policy. Oddly enough, my school does not require, nor offer any more math classes other than the 3 mentioned above for physics majors, not even linear algebra, but I can take classes for math majors if I want to so taking advanced math courses is also possible.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2014 #2


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    I would only retake the class if you seriously feel you will benefit in terms of learning the material. If you feel you know the material and you would only be re-taking the course to improve your grade, it's probably not a great plan. Remember, this can backfire. Say you get a proff that you don't learn well from, or you encounter some other life issue that keep you from functioning optimally and end up with little or no improvement. Some peole will believe they understand the material, study less and end up with a worse mark than the first time. What then?

    The people on admissions committees will vary in what they look for, but generally speaking doing well in more senior classes will trump a poor mark in a first year class.
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