Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
GeneParmesanPI
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:24 pm

Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby GeneParmesanPI » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:56 pm

So in the first semester of my freshman year, I was certain I wanted to major in biomedical science. Long story short, I now have a C in chemistry on my record. Other than that, I have all A's, and yet the C is still dragging down my GPA. Even if I get perfect grades from now until I apply to law school, I'll still be hovering around 3.88. Which is certainly nothing to scoff at, but it's frustrating to know that a C (in a class that is now worthless to me) is preventing me from having a 4.0.

I've considered retaking the class (my school would replace the old grade with the new one), but I've heard that even though my school will delete the old grade, law schools would still factor the C into my LSDAS GPA. Is this truly the case? And if so, does it make retaking the class essentially worthless?

User avatar
awilson11
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:25 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby awilson11 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:02 pm

GeneParmesanPI wrote:So in the first semester of my freshman year, I was certain I wanted to major in biomedical science. Long story short, I now have a C in chemistry on my record. Other than that, I have all A's, and yet the C is still dragging down my GPA. Even if I get perfect grades from now until I apply to law school, I'll still be hovering around 3.88. Which is certainly nothing to scoff at, but it's frustrating to know that a C (in a class that is now worthless to me) is preventing me from having a 4.0.

I've considered retaking the class (my school would replace the old grade with the new one), but I've heard that even though my school will delete the old grade, law schools would still factor the C into my LSDAS GPA. Is this truly the case? And if so, does it make retaking the class essentially worthless?

They will factor in the C, but they will also factor in the additional A. So it won't erase the C, but it will boost your GPA a bit closer to 4.0. Although you might as well just take an additional class worth the same number of units that may be easier (same effect).

2011Law
Posts: 822
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby 2011Law » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:10 pm

awilson11 wrote:
GeneParmesanPI wrote:So in the first semester of my freshman year, I was certain I wanted to major in biomedical science. Long story short, I now have a C in chemistry on my record. Other than that, I have all A's, and yet the C is still dragging down my GPA. Even if I get perfect grades from now until I apply to law school, I'll still be hovering around 3.88. Which is certainly nothing to scoff at, but it's frustrating to know that a C (in a class that is now worthless to me) is preventing me from having a 4.0.

I've considered retaking the class (my school would replace the old grade with the new one), but I've heard that even though my school will delete the old grade, law schools would still factor the C into my LSDAS GPA. Is this truly the case? And if so, does it make retaking the class essentially worthless?

They will factor in the C, but they will also factor in the additional A. So it won't erase the C, but it will boost your GPA a bit closer to 4.0. Although you might as well just take an additional class worth the same number of units that may be easier (same effect).


+1

User avatar
sanjola
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby sanjola » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:29 am

I would advise against it. I retook a class in UG that I got a D in simply because it was a simple Communications class and didn't try at all. I retook it and got an A, but it really doesn't matter to law schools. Are you sure you can pull a definite A? If it's really bothering you, I think it would be easier to add a short addendum to your applications explaining the C.

User avatar
Neidermeyer519
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:20 am

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby Neidermeyer519 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:37 am

All A's and once C...I really don't see any school holding that against you. I agree that a short addendum would be fine. As for retaking it, it would likely be a bigger pain in the ass than its worth.

Sandro
Posts: 2526
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:12 am

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby Sandro » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:13 pm

Please do not write an addendum for a C when you have a 3.98 GPA. It will come off looking whiney and I would question the decision making of someone who feels the need to explain 3 credits out of ~120+.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:31 pm

Sandro wrote:Please do not write an addendum for a C when you have a 3.98 GPA. It will come off looking whiney and I would question the decision making of someone who feels the need to explain 3 credits out of ~120+.


If you are going to YS, they might want to know why you scored 1 single C (not even a B). If you are applying to everywhere else, they won't care regardless as long as the LSAT is good. So I say no addendum for anywhere but YS, if at all.

User avatar
sanjola
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby sanjola » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:40 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Sandro wrote:Please do not write an addendum for a C when you have a 3.98 GPA. It will come off looking whiney and I would question the decision making of someone who feels the need to explain 3 credits out of ~120+.


If you are going to YS, they might want to know why you scored 1 single C (not even a B). If you are applying to everywhere else, they won't care regardless as long as the LSAT is good. So I say no addendum for anywhere but YS, if at all.


True, but the OP seems like he/she needs some piece of mind. An addendum might come off as a neurotic over achiever to some adcomms or someone who really cares about their grades.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:46 pm

sanjola wrote:True, but the OP seems like he/she needs some piece of mind. An addendum might come off as a neurotic over achiever to some adcomms or someone who really cares about their grades.


At this point, I don't know what the adcomms want :(

Maybe I should have written an addendum about my 12 YO grades? I am being serious...

GeneParmesanPI
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:24 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby GeneParmesanPI » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:22 pm

sanjola wrote:True, but the OP seems like he/she needs some piece of mind. An addendum might come off as a neurotic over achiever to some adcomms or someone who really cares about their grades.


That's largely what it's about: peace of mind. I don't know if it seems a bit ridiculous, but that lone C is actually a considerable source of stress for me, considering how much of a numbers game admission to top schools seems to be.

A 3.9+ would definitely help me breathe a bit easier than a 3.8+. Or am I making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is?

User avatar
well-hello-there
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:38 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby well-hello-there » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:35 pm

GeneParmesanPI wrote:
sanjola wrote:True, but the OP seems like he/she needs some piece of mind. An addendum might come off as a neurotic over achiever to some adcomms or someone who really cares about their grades.


That's largely what it's about: peace of mind. I don't know if it seems a bit ridiculous, but that lone C is actually a considerable source of stress for me, considering how much of a numbers game admission to top schools seems to be.

A 3.9+ would definitely help me breathe a bit easier than a 3.8+. Or am I making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is?

If you're trying for summa cum laude, then retake. It will be an easy "A" the second time around because you have already been exposed to the material.

The LSDAS GPA will factor in both grades and so I don't think that will help your admissions prospects much.

I think that a class retake would actually hurt you at some of the super elite schools. If they notice that you spent your time retaking a class they might think you were trying to game the system when you could have otherwise been improving your intellect in another more interesting class.

User avatar
well-hello-there
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:38 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby well-hello-there » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:45 pm

http://www.lawpad.com/gpa_calculator/

In this LSDAS GPA calculator, I input 126 "A" credits and 4 "C" credits for a GPA of 3.94
When I input 130 "A" credits and 4 "C" credits, it output a GPA of 3.94.

The only reason you should retake that class is if it is preventing you from having the words "summa cum laude" on your transcript and you want your transcript to say that.

BeachedBrit
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 am

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby BeachedBrit » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:13 pm

Unless your school actually deletes the original course from your transcript, no. I actually spent a few hours a day for a week lobbying to get a D in PE from my freshman year (made up w/ an A the next year) removed from my transcript. Had the Dean's and Vice-Chancellor's on my side but the Registrar still said he couldn't/wouldn't do it.

User avatar
well-hello-there
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:38 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby well-hello-there » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:28 pm

BeachedBrit wrote:Unless your school actually deletes the original course from your transcript,

I doubt there are any schools that do this ^

lots of schools, however, leave the original grade on the transcript but omit it from their gpa calculation

gens1tb
Posts: 315
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:36 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby gens1tb » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:40 pm

r6_philly wrote:
sanjola wrote:True, but the OP seems like he/she needs some piece of mind. An addendum might come off as a neurotic over achiever to some adcomms or someone who really cares about their grades.


At this point, I don't know what the adcomms want :(

Maybe I should have written an addendum about my 12 YO grades? I am being serious...



I wrote an addendum explaining two dual-enrollment classes I took when I was 14-years-old because they took my GPA down like .13; as the cycle wears on I regret that addendum...

User avatar
well-hello-there
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:38 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby well-hello-there » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:48 pm

gens1tb wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
sanjola wrote:True, but the OP seems like he/she needs some piece of mind. An addendum might come off as a neurotic over achiever to some adcomms or someone who really cares about their grades.


At this point, I don't know what the adcomms want :(

Maybe I should have written an addendum about my 12 YO grades? I am being serious...



I wrote an addendum explaining two dual-enrollment classes I took when I was 14-years-old because they took my GPA down like .13; as the cycle wears on I regret that addendum...

The GPA calculation that LSDAS uses is so unfair to some people. Those credits you earned when you weren't even old enough to get a drivers permit should be stricken from the record. A .13 increase in GPA is potentially worth $100 K in scholarship money.

GeneParmesanPI
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:24 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby GeneParmesanPI » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:47 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
gens1tb wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
sanjola wrote:True, but the OP seems like he/she needs some piece of mind. An addendum might come off as a neurotic over achiever to some adcomms or someone who really cares about their grades.


At this point, I don't know what the adcomms want :(

Maybe I should have written an addendum about my 12 YO grades? I am being serious...



I wrote an addendum explaining two dual-enrollment classes I took when I was 14-years-old because they took my GPA down like .13; as the cycle wears on I regret that addendum...

The GPA calculation that LSDAS uses is so unfair to some people. Those credits you earned when you weren't even old enough to get a drivers permit should be stricken from the record. A .13 increase in GPA is potentially worth $100 K in scholarship money.



Is this in reference to credits you earned in high school and stuff, like AP and classes where you got credit from a community college? Are those factored into the LSDAS? Because I had around 20 credits coming into college...should I be counting those toward my GPA?

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Retaking a class to raise GPA: worthless?

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:52 pm

GeneParmesanPI wrote:
Is this in reference to credits you earned in high school and stuff, like AP and classes where you got credit from a community college? Are those factored into the LSDAS? Because I had around 20 credits coming into college...should I be counting those toward my GPA?


Most likely yes. Go read the LSAC website on submitting transcripts and see if they will count.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests