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So I've decided to deliberately fail Calculus II?

  1. Nov 7, 2012 #1
    Hi folks, long story short I failed my first Calculus II exam back in October, but since I couldn't get my money back, or get to drop the course, I've decided to stick with it at least to see the material and perhaps pass it on the final. However, I'm likely to fail the second midterm tomorrow too and I'm getting really stressed as I've been reading an F on your transcript looks really bad, although I never considered transcripts or GPA important until I started reading recently, and now I'm totally freaking out and made a mistake. Should I drop with penalty, just fail it and retake? Drop out of college? What do I do???????????????????????

    Edit: I realize I posted on this recently, but the answers there were less than helpful, and it turned into a long discussion about mathematical walls, I will keep this more concise. Thanks...
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2012 #2


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    Really, this is your choice and you should get advice from the proper people in your locality/institution. One suggestion could be, drop the course if you still are permitted; but drop or not, try to continue to attend and be acquainted with the material.

    Very important is you need to know why you are failing. Are you just not learning this course's material well, or did you not learn well some material from Calculus 1 ? If you are weak in any Calculus 1 topics, then you NEEEEEDDD to relearn those, meaning study Calculus 1 by yourself before repeating Calculus 2. Ideally you might need two or three months to do that right, but you may not have that much time between Fall and Spring semesters. But either way, you will need to repeat Calculus 2.
  4. Nov 7, 2012 #3
    I don't know about your school policy, but my school policy is that if you score an F on a subject, you can retake it and the grade will be rewritten on your transcript and the previous F removed.

    So there might still be hope.
  5. Nov 7, 2012 #4
    @symboli: No I'm pretty confident with my Calculus I abilities. I still know practically all the material from that course, and it isn't giving me issues in Calc II, I thought I was doing well in Calc II until the first midterm, as I was performing well on all the assignments and such and studied fairly hard for the midterm but failed it miserably 30% (class average 39%), now I'm beginning to not understand the material, I've gotten a tutor, but I'm finding I don't have the time needed for this course, I'm taking my schools big Physics II with this course (doing fantastic in it) this semester as well, and I just can't see myself being able to pass tomorrow's midterm. I was kind of hoping that I could just learn what I am facing in this course and retake it next semester. I literally have no academic program or path right now so it's not like it would hurt me much. I frankly need to retake a Linear Algebra course I took and barely passed last year too. I'm kind of just treading water and going nowhere right now with math, I'm not really sure what my options are and how me failing this course could affect my future decisions.
  6. Nov 7, 2012 #5
    Most of the people I've talked to who are passing this course are taking it for the second time. So... I'm kind of at a loss.
  7. Nov 7, 2012 #6
    Okay so take it for a second time, but make sure you identify why you failed the course and use it as a learned lesson. Make sure you don't fail any other course again.
  8. Nov 7, 2012 #7
    When I was in school, students were allowed to drop a course and receive a "W," which stands for "Withdrawal," which stayed on one's transcript, but did not factor into one's GPA. The student then had to re-take the course with a passing grade to receive credit. I'd say that a "W" looks worse in the world of Academia than it does to Industry. Most places don't ask for transcripts when hiring, but some do. A "W" is generally frowned upon (treated similar to a failing grade), but if you only have one or two and can concoct a legitimate reason or excuse for dropping a class then it's not usually a deal breaker. It's when there are several "W"s on a transcript that it really raises a red flag. If I were you I would drop the class to avoid the "F." You will not receive a refund but you will avoid a hit to your GPA, which is typically something you'll be asked about in an interview. In my experience, fewer employers ask for a transcript so no one will ever really know that you dropped a class. Good luck. Calc II is the most difficult of the three.
  9. Nov 7, 2012 #8


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    If you were 9 points under your the average you didn't fail miserably. Some test can be designed to be extremely hard. Who knows you may be able to actual pass this class. Fail miserably is what happen to my freshman year. I got a 39 when the class average was a 70. Now that's an epic fail!

    Don't give up hope just yet!
  10. Nov 8, 2012 #9


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    You said you're failing right now. How does your Calculus 2 professor handle grading? Curve according to scores, or strict pre-assigned scale? Is the 39% class average the middle C grade for right now? That may tell you something about how your GRADE really is. If you feel weak in the course by end of the term, you should still restudy.
  11. Nov 8, 2012 #10
    My professor does not curve, he says the math department doesn't believe in curving. He says it isn't unprecedented that he could fail 70% of us. :/
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