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What's worse?

  1. Mar 27, 2008 #1
    on the a transcript? a C or a W?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2008 #2
    Probably a C. If you have only 1 or 2 W's, I don't think it matters as much.

    (I'm assuming W = withdraw).
     
  4. Mar 27, 2008 #3
    some universities allow you to switch any class that your taking to an audit as long as your passing, this would be much better than a w, it also allows you to keep on showing up.
     
  5. Mar 27, 2008 #4
    anyone else?
     
  6. Mar 27, 2008 #5

    lisab

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    I think a W looks better than a C. But like DefaultName said, don't get too many of them.
     
  7. Mar 27, 2008 #6

    robphy

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    W will probably not affect your GPA.
     
  8. Mar 27, 2008 #7
    I think it depends. If it is a course you will retake later, you'd better get an A next time.
     
  9. Mar 27, 2008 #8

    Ex1

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    (Assuming I understand the concept of withdrawn correctly) I think it depends what class you are withdrawing from and what you replace it with - or do - afterwards.

    If you're going to withdraw from something pretty fundamental then it's going to raise questions and look worse than a C, but if you're leaving something less important and replace it with something more traditional, then having that new, better class on your transcript it going to be a definite plus.

    If it is a sensible, important class then I'd take the C, but then I've never been overly bothered about grades. No one in the real world has ever asked what grades I got in my degree either so long term, in summary, grades probably don't matter as much as what classes you take. HTH.
     
  10. Mar 27, 2008 #9
    I had a W in my first year, it was in a class that I was doing extremely well in (had 100%), but just decided it was not the direction I wanted to go with my degree and withdrew from it so I could focus on courses more relevant to the program I was trying to get into. The W has never been an issue, sometimes I forget I even withdrew from a class, no advisor has ever cared and it didnt prevent me from getting into my program whereas a C might have.
     
  11. Mar 27, 2008 #10

    symbolipoint

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    The grade record of W has very little meaning unless you produce more than about 1 W per year. This makes comparing W to C very difficult. grade of D is worse than C. You should sensibly withdraw from a course in which either you do not need "now", or if you are earning less than a C. If you are earning a C, you really should continue and work hard enough to do better (if better might be possible).

    Really, difficult to judge. Anyone take two passes through each of a sequence of courses in order to achieve C or better? W's for those purposes might look bad, but then they look at least better than D's or F's. This is in great part why I suggest that you hopefully do not produce more than one W per year, especially in a sequence of courses.
     
  12. Mar 27, 2008 #11

    mathwonk

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    anyone with my experience knows a W is an F, with 99% certainty.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2008 #12

    symbolipoint

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    Does that mean that a W is in most cases worse than a C?
     
  14. Mar 27, 2008 #13
    I have two Ws on my transcript but I dropped one because of scheduling conflicts with work and the other was because I realized I didn't need the class.
     
  15. Mar 27, 2008 #14
    You are a single data point.
     
  16. Mar 27, 2008 #15
    C > W

    W > F
     
  17. Mar 27, 2008 #16
    In many cases a W shouldn't be a big deal at all: i.e. major change, unnecessary class
    I wouldnt collect them though, and it probably looks bad if you withdraw and then take the class later
     
  18. Mar 27, 2008 #17
    W -->F, 99% Surely you Jest...
     
  19. Mar 27, 2008 #18

    mathwonk

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    i have been teaching for 30 years at a state school, and have given W's to approximately 40% of all calculus students during that time.

    Of those, all but one that I can recall were failing miserably when they took the W.

    so that is actually far higher than 99% F's.

    essentially no one at my school takes a W for ANY reason except they are getting an F.

    the one exception was an honors student who was getting an A-, and wanted an easy A.

    In that case the W was worse than an F, as it also denoted a student with no guts, and no self respect, unwilling to accept a challenge.

    so a W actually suggests poor performance at the F level, and lack of commitment.
     
  20. Mar 27, 2008 #19
    That may be correct on the statistics, but a W will not imply anything that your resume doesn't already.
     
  21. Mar 27, 2008 #20

    symbolipoint

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    Many employers want to see college transcripts, not just the résumé. Your resume may help you look good on paper, while the transcript may suggest (only) that you had trouble in some subject area; and this trouble may not necessarily be significant for the position for which the company will use you. IF the W's are in too many courses of your major field, then you could run in to problems with some employers. Hopefully you gained very valuable on-the-job experience or training to overcome this.
     
  22. Mar 27, 2008 #21
    by resume, I really mean academic history. i.e. GPA, what class you dropped, what year
     
  23. Mar 27, 2008 #22

    lisab

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    If the course is on core material (i.e., Calculus or first year Physics), you will really need to know the material better than at the grade "C" level. Take the W and re-take the class; if it's a core class, really learning the material is critical -- it will put you in a position to do well in later courses.
     
  24. Mar 28, 2008 #23
    1) Not true. A "W" in most schools is decided by the student.

    2) As the OP said, he could've withdrawn from the class due to other reasons. It does not mean the student has an F in the class. While some students withdraw due to poor performance, there may be other issues at stake. I'm sure if am employer looks at his college transcript, the OP can explain why he/she dropped the course.

    3) I think you're going overboard with the "student with no guts, no self respect" thing... What may interest you may not interest the student at all. It's hard to study for a class where the professor might make it seem boring, or if the topic is dull/dreary.


    OP: don't worry... as I said before, 1 or 2 W's won't hurt (in your whole undergraduate career). Just make sure it's not every year.
     
  25. Mar 28, 2008 #24

    symbolipoint

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    Mathwonk was expressing a strong general trend based on his experience as a professor of Mathematics in college/university. Viewpoints on W's vary depending on any particular region community and particular levels of courses. Sometimes, students take too many courses in a semester and one or two of those courses aren't well learned; other times, a student may be weak in pre-requisite course topics and a current course is not well learned; still other times, a student may just naturally be weaker in a certain subject or sort of course of a certain subject.
     
  26. Mar 28, 2008 #25

    Defennder

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    If you ask me, I'll prefer a W for a course if I'm confident of getting at least a B on the retake, rather than an F followed by a B on next retake.

    EDIT: I just reread the first post and it seems as though the discussion has side-tracked somewhat. We're suppposed to be comparing W and Cs, not W and F.

    But in any case, I think it depends on whether or not your college allows to retake a course if you didn't fail it (ie. got a C) and whether the new grade would replace the old one, as well as whether a newer and better grade can replace a W.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2008
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