Worried about receiving a B in Physics 1

  • #1
Hello everyone,

I have just completed my second semester in college, and I ended up receiving a B in my introductory Physics 1 course (Newtonian mechanics and waves). I love physics with a passion, and this course was the reason I switched my major to astrophysics. To be more accurate, my final grade in the course without the curve was a 78, and with the curve, it's an 85. My professor stressed that he teaches a very challenging introductory physics sequence, and that a B is a phenomenal grade considering his standards. I took this professor because he has a reputation for being the one who will actually teach you physics to understand it, rather than an easy A. For most of the semester, I was always answering the professor's questions, and he recognized that I am a great fit for the field. However, I just feel degraded because I couldn't get an A in the introductory course to my field. Should I retake Physics 1 in the fall? How would a B on my transcript look for graduate school? What should I do?

Best regards,
Jake M. Genova
 

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  • #2
Dr Transport
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I got a C in Physics 1 way back when......I was still able to get my degree and go on to graduate school
 
  • #3
Choppy
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Are you sure your 85 percent score translates to a B grade? In the system I'm used to, that's either an A- or a an A and translates into a 3.7 on a 4 point scale. The 78 would probably be a B grade. That said, different schools have different systems. Double check where you stand on your official grading system. The other thing to pay attention to is where you stand in relation to the class average.

Regardless, the real concern is how well you learned the material and how confident you are with it. A single B on your transcript is in a first year course not going to be a major factor in graduate school admission if you go on to get As in the higher courses. It will likely be a factor if the reason for the B is that there are some holes in your knowledge which will come back to haunt you in every upper level course you take.
 
  • #4
Are you sure your 85 percent score translates to a B grade? In the system I'm used to, that's either an A- or a an A and translates into a 3.7 on a 4 point scale. The 78 would probably be a B grade. That said, different schools have different systems. Double check where you stand on your official grading system. The other thing to pay attention to is where you stand in relation to the class average.

Regardless, the real concern is how well you learned the material and how confident you are with it. A single B on your transcript is in a first year course not going to be a major factor in graduate school admission if you go on to get As in the higher courses. It will likely be a factor if the reason for the B is that there are some holes in your knowledge which will come back to haunt you in every upper level course you take.
It is. For my school, 90-100 is an A, 80-89 is a B, 70-79 is a C, 60-69 is a D, and 0-59 is an F. No pluses or minuses. The B was because of stupid mistakes on examinations, such as reading the question too fast and missing a key part of the problem (e.g. friction or no friction). I am fully confident that I understand all of the material presented to me.
 
  • #5
symbolipoint
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It is. For my school, 90-100 is an A, 80-89 is a B, 70-79 is a C, 60-69 is a D, and 0-59 is an F. No pluses or minuses. The B was because of stupid mistakes on examinations, such as reading the question too fast and missing a key part of the problem (e.g. friction or no friction). I am fully confident that I understand all of the material presented to me.
Some schools or systems will assign grades that way. It could come from the institution, not from what the department wants so the department must conform. My opinion, ... not good for some types of courses. Other things to consider.

Someone earning B in an introductory Physics course in that situation is doing great, and should not be worrying so much. Now, as in the previous post, "how well did you learn"? That would be most important.
 
  • #6
Vanadium 50
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just feel degraded because I couldn't get an A in the introductory course to my field.
If a B makes you feel "degraded", that's something you will not fix by asking a bunch of strangers on an internet forum.

How would a B on my transcript look for graduate school?
Do you really think admissions has conversations like this? "Here's a candidate with a good GPA, good GRE scores, and great letters. Let's admit...wait...what is this? Four years ago he got a B. A B! The shame! The horror!"

I wouldn't worry about this. I might worry about how well you have the material down. "I have the material down, but I just make mistakes on the questions" sometimes means that, and sometimes means one actually doesn't have the material down.
 
  • #7
Scrumhalf
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The B was because of stupid mistakes on examinations, such as reading the question too fast and missing a key part of the problem (e.g. friction or no friction). I am fully confident that I understand all of the material presented to me.
What everyone is trying to tell you is that as long as the stuff in red is true, and you try to eliminate the stuff in blue in your next course, you'll be fine.
 
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