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Should I retake topology?

  1. Jul 30, 2015 #1
    This September I will be going back to school after being away for 3-4 years. When I was going before, I took a class in point-set topology. I passed the class, but only with a 53. This wasn't for lack of ability, but for a lack of motivation. I dropped out of school after that semester and did other things with my life. Now that I am more mature, I know that I want to go back to continue my math studies and I will be fully devoted this time. My question to you all is:

    A 53 in topology looks bad. At my school, you are allowed to retake a course in which you already have the credit for, provided the reason is because you need a higher mark for entry to a certain program. You are allowed to this once and once only. I am thinking of requesting to retake topology and cite the reason as: "Topology is an important math subject and grad schools would look down on me if I have a low mark in it". I think that reason would work. But is it really important that I retake topology? I have been self-studying it and I feel that I am quite good with it. Nonetheless, should I retake it so that grad schools will see that I got a good mark in it?

    I think that my new mark would completely overwrite my old mark, making my old mark invisible to anyone looking at my transcript.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2015 #2


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    so your plan is to go back to school, do well and have a transcript with all good marks on it, and back in the part where the courses are listed that you took years ago, before leaving school, there is a bad mark in topology, and you are wondering whether the old mark, obtained in a previous career, will hold you back. You do realize that transcript courses have dates on them as to when you took the course, and so anyone looking at it will know that bad mark came before your recent renaissance? If this is correct, and I believe it is, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to retake a course you say you have already learned well since then. What do you think? When I was in school no one ever retook anything, so my transcript had a bunch of terrible grades in freshman and sophomore courses, and then a sentence that said "withdrew from school" and then a year later, it started again with good grades in junior and senior courses. It didn't seem to cause me a problem. I assume they figured if that I could ace more advanced courses, then there was no problem. Why don't you ask some professors at your school who are going to have to recommend you, or some at a grad school where you intend to apply? Those are the people whose opinions really matter.
  4. Jul 31, 2015 #3
    I think what you said makes a lot of sense. I am going to just take another course that furthers my interests in pure maths.
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