Worth of retaking low-grade classes?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
MLBrandow
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:12 pm

Worth of retaking low-grade classes?

Postby MLBrandow » Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:01 pm

I had a bad semester last fall and got 2 D's and an F. I am retaking one of them now, but after finding out that the LSAC GPA recalculation counts them anyway, do I bother retaking the other two?

Surely my college GPA would be better, which would look good on paper having potentially graduating with a .2 higher GPA, but the LSAC GPA is what really matters.

The classes:

Mass Comm and Society (gen ed) - D
Microeconomics - F, needed this class for POS major at USF, but at FSU it's not a required class for the major, and if I don't pursue an econ minor, this class is moot anyway.
World Perspective (gen ed) - D, this is the class I'm retaking now.. probably will get an A+



So, should I even bother with it? I'm asking for two reasons:

1) Will Law Schools actually applaud my retaking these classes and getting A's?

2) I'm thinking of pursuing a major in physics. If I do, it would be better to take Calc I and Gen PHY I this summer rather than retaking classes that are otherwise moot. The geneds I needed I passed and the one I failed I won't need at all for this.


So, is it better to retake the classes anyway, and make my college GPA look as much as a quarter point better? Or is it moot since they'll be ultimately factored in for the recalculation, and I can use those 6 credit hours to take relevant classes, whose As would "average" out the grades anyway?

Thanks for any input. I've got a few weeks before I need to register for my summer classes.



Also, would it be better to retake Microeconomics for the A or A+, since I received no credit at all? I am considering that.
Last edited by MLBrandow on Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

dtrossen
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:03 pm

Postby dtrossen » Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:52 pm

Retake the classes. If you recall I was in the same situation as you are now.

* You can still graduate Cum Laude because your university will replace the grades allowing you to get a high enough GPA for honors. This happened to me and now I can forever put Cum Laude on my resume.

* You will show law schools that you have the capability to excel in the classes and that another issue was at play in getting the bad grades.

* If you change your mind about law school, every master's / PhD program will use your university's GPA which will not include the failed grades. I barely got into Stanford for my MS. If I hadn't retaken the 3 courses I would not have made it.

These are just 3 reasons to retake.

MLBrandow
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:12 pm

Postby MLBrandow » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:31 pm

I was going to retake the Micro class anyway, but not the Mass Comm.

Suppose I will retake both now. Thanks for the input.

MLBrandow
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:12 pm

Postby MLBrandow » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:54 pm

I litigated my case before the associate registrar, and he gave me two senarios:

1) I can fight an uphill battle to get the policy changed (but there's a chance it would be) and thenn retake the classes.

or

2) I can petitiion for a retro-withdrawal from the fall semester, thereby erasing the grades (practically a grade forgiveness). With my fall circumstances, I'd likely get this granted.

What that means is that I'd have my W W F D D B- turned into either 6 W's or 5 W's and retain the B- (if they decide to allow me to keep that class, which he said is very possible).

This could end up being a super blessing in disguise, because now rather than having to retake classes that I don't need, I can just erase them altogether. Should I do that?

dtrossen
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:03 pm

Postby dtrossen » Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:58 pm

Absolutely!!! 6Ws might actually be the best since the B- is lowering your GPA and then you can come up with a story for your all withdrawl quarter (otherwise 1 B- looks strange). Since you are a star student at your school, they may play ball with you on this. Fight like a madman for the Ws and your law school GPA will literally jump several tenths of GPA points. If UCLA would have done this for me I would have gone to Harvard (as I would have been 3.7+ in engineering after my A+s, 175 LSAT, work exp, and a Stanford MS with a 3.8- pretty close to a Harvard lock). Make sure you get straight W grades and not WF or WNP grades which LSAC still counts as failing (see my post I showed you on LSAC's GPA policies. What a nice school if they do this for you . . . with your big projected LSAT even Harvard is possible for you.

MLBrandow
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:12 pm

Postby MLBrandow » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:21 pm

Well, there are circumstances which must be met for the petition to be granted. But one of the bigger reasons beyond my own academic apathy was that my grandfather was living at home on hospis care and I would miss class to be with him when he was coherent, and I ended up missing a lot of classes.

My case is helped a lot because that B- is my only "decent" grade, and that was in an introductory political science class, and obviously, since I'm a political science major and am generally very knowledgable about that, my not going to class didn't prevent me from still passing the class.


He actually said that they would probably allow me to keep the B- when they withraw the D D F, but I would just make the "case" that I don't think that's fair to do and that I should be withdrawn from the semester entirely, which I'm sure they won't dispute.

It works out great because I don't have to retake that other D and F class because I don't need them anyway, and I can just retake POS2041 over the summer for an easy A+.

Yeah, the record will just show W W W W W W rather than W W F D D B-, which is just great.



-----
Now I've got another few questions for you. With those out of the way and the credits removed, there's a chance I might be able to get into the 3.7-8 range, and not only that, but now after doing some more research, it appears I'll be able to not only change my major to Physics, but still major in Political Science. This means I'll be graduating with a BS in Physics, a BA in Political Science, and then a double minor in Mathematics (required for physics majors) and History (just something I wanted to get, but also a required minor for Political Science majors, although not specifically History, that's just what I chose).

So, in graduating with let's be conservative and say a 3.7 with a double major in Physics and Political Science, and again be conservative and say I land a 170 LSAT:


1) What are my chances of getting into a Harvard Law or other top 5-7 school? Say I were accepted into a Law School, would that then improve my chances of getting into their Physics program (or vise versa) simultaneously, or would the two be considered independent or codependent?


2) I have the option of testing out of my foreign language, computer competancy and oral communication requirements. I know that I will pass all of these tests more than sufficiently, but I also realize I won't get any academic credit. Now, if I took these classes, I'd be able to manage A or A+s in the four classes. Should I take the classes for the GPA boost or test out of them for the sake of getting out of college earlier (although these would likely be taken over the summer)?



Thanks again for all of your help and insight.

dtrossen
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:03 pm

Postby dtrossen » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:47 pm

The 170 / 3.7 should get you into several great schools. I would say no to HYS with these numbers. I would think you would get into at least one school in the 4 to 7 range and tons of top 14 schools. I don't think you can complain about that.

As far as the spanish classes, I generally say no to more classes just to boost grades. Try to get out of school in a reasonable time frame.

Getting all Ws is slightly preferable, but don't fight over the B- if it is going to cause trouble, it is a small detail.

I would think the dual degree might cause trouble and is looking too far into the future. I would stick to law school admission and consider applying for the dual degree during your first year of law school if that is what you want.

MLBrandow
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:12 pm

Postby MLBrandow » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:25 pm

I did the math, and it won't make a difference in terms of graduating faster, based on necessary order of Physics classes.

I'll graduate in Spring '09 (5 years, but technically 4 since 2005 had no classes).

I'm really expecting to land in that 3.75-8, 175-178 range, but of course only time will tell, and there is still a lot of work to be done to get there.

Now, I do have another question. I'll be pursuing FSU's "Honors in the Major" for both Physics and Political Science. What effect might that have?

I would probably agree about the coop JD/PhD, but that's so far off that I'm really not worried about it at this time. I just thought it was a relevant question for admissions purposes.

dtrossen
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:03 pm

Postby dtrossen » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:00 am

I generally think the honors has minimal effect, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: Worth of retaking low-grade classes?

Postby Kohinoor » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:48 pm

MLBrandow wrote:I had a bad semester last fall and got 2 D's and an F. I am retaking one of them now, but after finding out that the LSAC GPA recalculation counts them anyway, do I bother retaking the other two?

Surely my college GPA would be better, which would look good on paper having potentially graduating with a .2 higher GPA, but the LSAC GPA is what really matters.

The classes:

Mass Comm and Society (gen ed) - D
Microeconomics - F, needed this class for POS major at USF, but at FSU it's not a required class for the major, and if I don't pursue an econ minor, this class is moot anyway.
World Perspective (gen ed) - D, this is the class I'm retaking now.. probably will get an A+



So, should I even bother with it? I'm asking for two reasons:

1) Will Law Schools actually applaud my retaking these classes and getting A's?

2) I'm thinking of pursuing a major in physics. If I do, it would be better to take Calc I and Gen PHY I this summer rather than retaking classes that are otherwise moot. The geneds I needed I passed and the one I failed I won't need at all for this.


So, is it better to retake the classes anyway, and make my college GPA look as much as a quarter point better? Or is it moot since they'll be ultimately factored in for the recalculation, and I can use those 6 credit hours to take relevant classes, whose As would "average" out the grades anyway?

Thanks for any input. I've got a few weeks before I need to register for my summer classes.



Also, would it be better to retake Microeconomics for the A or A+, since I received no credit at all? I am considering that.

Yes, LSAC will take into account the retaken classes. Your GPA is still going to get wrecked though.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 5 guests