Should I retake classes?

Ridley
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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:30 pm

Should I retake classes?

Postby Ridley » Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:33 pm

When I first started my undergraduate degree I had the mind set of only wanting to be high school physics teacher. I didn't care too much about my grades. As a result, I ended up with 4 C's in my second year. Should I retake these classes? My GPA right now is only a 3.2, but if I retook these I'm sure I would see it go up to 3.5-ish. I guess what I'm wondering is whether a graduate school is more concerned with 3rd and 4th year GPA or the whole thing?

I haven't written the GRE and I do have research experience.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Should I retake classes?

Postby HappyQuark » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:29 pm

Just as a heads up, it is probably not wise to post the same question twice, even if it might be relevant to more than one of the categories of the forum.

As to your question, your job as an applicant is to demonstrate that you are capable of doing the work required to be a good student, researcher and educator. If you go to them with poor grades and say, "Here is what I can do" then that looks bad. If you improve your grades, at the very least they know you are capable of doing the work, even if it wasn't the first time through. Also, you can discuss in your statement of purpose why you may have done poorly in the classes you are retaking and stress the point that although you did poorly the first time, you successfully demonstrated that you are capable of doing the work.

pqortic
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Re: Should I retake classes?

Postby pqortic » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:54 pm

I deleted the other topic.

higher grades are always better but you can compensate the general physics grades ( I assumed they are mostly general physics courses since you took them in the first and second years) with good pgre.

Ridley
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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:30 pm

Re: Should I retake classes?

Postby Ridley » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:16 am

Hi,

yes sorry. I posted in the wrong place at first and I was in a rush. Won't do it again. :)

Anyway, to follow up, the classes that I did poorly in were all second year classes. I've since scored at least an A- in every class. I have the feeling that retaking all of these classes would be like a waste of a semester, no?

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YellowXDart
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Re: Should I retake classes?

Postby YellowXDart » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:48 pm

The majority of grad school applications will only ask for your gpa during the last 4 semester in college, so it might not even factor in.

mobytish
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Re: Should I retake classes?

Postby mobytish » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:19 pm

YellowXDart wrote:The majority of grad school applications will only ask for your gpa during the last 4 semester in college, so it might not even factor in.


All of mine asked for my total gpa. None asked for last 4 semesters...

If you're concerned about it, you can look at the applications for the grad schools you're interested in now to get an idea about it.

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quizivex
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Re: Should I retake classes?

Postby quizivex » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:23 pm

YellowXDart wrote:The majority of grad school applications will only ask for your gpa during the last 4 semester in college, so it might not even factor in.
WTF? I've been on the forum for 4 years and looked into many schools and never heard of any asking for that. To come out and tell someone "the majority" "ONLY" ask for the last 4 semesters is a bit extreme isn't it? Where did you get that impression?

Of course, even if they don't ask for your "last 4 semester GPA", a trend of improvement is a good thing, but that will only be noticed if they actually look carefully at your transcript, which they should unless the numbers are so low that they discard the application quickly.

As for Ridley, I don't want to give an official recommendation one way or another, but the schools do ask for your "major GPA", which in effect weighs your last two years more since you're taking mostly upper division major courses and less core/intro math classes as you took your first two years. So if these 4 C's are physics classes they'll bring down both your major GPA and overall GPA, but if they're math/core it may be less important to retake them and perhaps the time would be better spent on research and additional physics classes.

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YellowXDart
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Re: Should I retake classes?

Postby YellowXDart » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:58 pm

I definitely got that impression from applying both last year and this year. I would say 75% of the schools I applied to asked me to calculate my GPA based only on the last 4 semesters or 60 credit hours.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Should I retake classes?

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:23 pm

YellowXDart wrote:I definitely got that impression from applying both last year and this year. I would say 75% of the schools I applied to asked me to calculate my GPA based only on the last 4 semesters or 60 credit hours.


Are you suggesting that most grad schools only care about your last 4 semesters or that they only asked for the last 4 semesters? I would agree with the statement that they probably mostly care about your upper division coursework but I've never heard of a school that didn't ask for your GPA and/or major GPA.

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Quantum Triviality
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Re: Should I retake classes?

Postby Quantum Triviality » Wed May 19, 2010 10:57 pm

I definitely think retaking classes is a waste of time, especially if they were second year classes. Here are my reasons:

1. It won't boost your GPA a ton
2. It takes a lot of time
3. From my experience talking to people on admission committees, they look at your physics grades so you aren't going to sneak it by them that you got a C




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