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Old 05-09-2013, 12:22 PM   #1
 
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Unhappy RIP to My GPA

Hey collegiate curlies!! Just wondering if y'all could give a girl some advice!

I just finished my sophomore year in college as a biochemistry major and my GPA is NOT where it needs to be, but being completely honest, I have no idea why!

I study nearly all day everyday. And I'm not talking about that 'stare at the page for 30 mins, but don't retain any information' studying (even though we've all been there at some point lol). I feel like I really am absorbing the material, I work problems (if it's applicable to that class), I take notes in class and while reading the textbook, I could go on and on.

Either way my exam grades don't reflect my knowledge of the course and it's setting me back tremendously. Any advice? Thanks so much!!
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
 
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Can you identify why, if you understand the material, you are getting questions wrong on tests? When you look at questions/problems you got wrong, can you see the reason why? What is it?

I'm not really clear what you mean - you say you are not retaining the info...but yet you also say you are absorbing it. And that sounds contradictory to me. do you understand the material or not? Are you able to knowledgeably participate in class and get the answers right?

Is this problem in all courses or just biochem?

Some ppl are not good test takers. Or maybe you have a learning disability and need some special accommodation made for test taking? Maybe you need some sessions w/ a professional tutor who can give you better study tips?

I would speak to my guidance counselor asap with more detail.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:31 PM   #3
 
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I'm sorry you're struggling. How long have you had this problem? Has anything happened in your life recently? Is there any possibility that you have some test-taking anxiety?
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
 
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I'm sorry you're having a tough time. I think the best thing to do is talk to a professor you have a good relationship with and ask for input specific to your tests. If you go to a huge university where that's not possible, speak with your faculty advisor. It could be anything, from test anxiety to not being able to apply what you're learning to different situations. It could also be that you're not cut out to be a biochem major.

If you figure out what's happening and it's fixable, you can always retake the class(es) you did poorly in to raise your GPA.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:05 PM   #5
 
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Could it be that you're not understanding the material as well as you believe you are, you may be taking away the wrong points? Have you reviewed your exams to see exactly where you're going wrong?

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Old 05-09-2013, 03:16 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000 View Post
Can you identify why, if you understand the material, you are getting questions wrong on tests? When you look at questions/problems you got wrong, can you see the reason why? What is it?

I'm not really clear what you mean - you say you are not retaining the info...but yet you also say you are absorbing it. And that sounds contradictory to me. do you understand the material or not? Are you able to knowledgeably participate in class and get the answers right?

Is this problem in all courses or just biochem?

Some ppl are not good test takers. Or maybe you have a learning disability and need some special accommodation made for test taking? Maybe you need some sessions w/ a professional tutor who can give you better study tips?

I would speak to my guidance counselor asap with more detail.
I was saying that I am absorbing the material and that I'm not doing the type of studying where I just stare at the page and don't retain information.

My issue is in all my courses, not just biochem. :/ I also think that maybe I have poor test taking skills because my university offers free tutoring in nearly every course, yet I still perform poorly on exams.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:20 PM   #7
 
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I'm sorry you're struggling. How long have you had this problem? Has anything happened in your life recently? Is there any possibility that you have some test-taking anxiety?
It's been this way my entire collegiate career. I mean, my home life is far from perfect and stress free, but I don't think that's an excuse to perform poorly for two years in school, ya know? I've had friends suggest that I have test-taking anxiety, but I didn't take them seriously to be honest. I assumed every stresses about tests lol.

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I'm sorry you're having a tough time. I think the best thing to do is talk to a professor you have a good relationship with and ask for input specific to your tests. If you go to a huge university where that's not possible, speak with your faculty advisor. It could be anything, from test anxiety to not being able to apply what you're learning to different situations. It could also be that you're not cut out to be a biochem major.

If you figure out what's happening and it's fixable, you can always retake the class(es) you did poorly in to raise your GPA.
Thank y'all so much for your advice! I'm taking summer classes to hopefully bring my GPA back from the dead lol. I'll let y'all know in the future how things turn out. Guess all I needed was some encouragement
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
 
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The best way for me was to take practice tests and answer all the questions/problems at the end of the book/chapter and quizzes or any study guides that you get from the TA or professors. Are you reviewing your tests and learning from your mistakes as to why you got them wrong? And possibly use that as a guide on studying for the next one? Also being part of a study group helps tremendously.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
 
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Biochem is a hard major. In my undergrad some of my hallmates were biochem and they would celebrate when they made their c and b minuses. I just graduated in 2012 and am in a masters program now but I will say that I wish that I had listened when they said no one cares about gpa that much. The last 5 valedictorians at my school aren't really doing anything special. What I have learned is its not about the grade it's about internships and networking. The people who did a ton of internships and volunteer work are the ones that got into grad school or good jobs. After you get your degree employers and grad school will want to know you have experience. Your gpa is sort of a second thought. But good luck.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:18 AM   #10
 
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Biochem is a hard major. In my undergrad some of my hallmates were biochem and they would celebrate when they made their c and b minuses. I just graduated in 2012 and am in a masters program now but I will say that I wish that I had listened when they said no one cares about gpa that much. The last 5 valedictorians at my school aren't really doing anything special. What I have learned is its not about the grade it's about internships and networking. The people who did a ton of internships and volunteer work are the ones that got into grad school or good jobs. After you get your degree employers and grad school will want to know you have experience. Your gpa is sort of a second thought. But good luck.

If she's trying to get into a medical school, I would tend to disagree.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:40 AM   #11
 
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It is a mixture of both, schools won't even glance at your application if you don't have any experience of any sort (volunteering/internship/job related), that's one of the requirements when applying to medical school, so GPA isn't everything but you can't have a crappy GPA either.

I know plenty of people who have 4.0's and aren't doing anything because they didn't get internships or have jobs and have no experience and work at like walmart or best buy, and then I know some people who barely had a 3.0 and have careers. Then there's some who had 4.0's with experience and still didn't get into medical school.


It's rough out there.

my bff has a degree in chemistry, super smart, 3.5 gpa....works at an office.



I wouldn't give up if you really love it, and you can take courses over.

Some people are English majors and get into Medical school, I learned that when I went on a tour to a Medical University two years ago, most of the med students didn't even major in chemistry or biology, it made me mad, lol.

So it could really go anyway under the sun, I would just focus on your grade issues right now, just in general because you might have test anxiety, and you don't want to have poor grades all of your college career. Even Doctors, surgeons, dentists, etc will tell you they've had bad grades at some point, it's not the end of the road, slip ups happen, but again you don't want poor grades the whole time you're in college.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:50 AM   #12
 
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When I was in college, I constantly had appointments with my professors to discuss how I could learn the material better for the tests/projects/presentations that I didn't do as well as I could have on.

It was always tremendously helpful! Sometimes it would turn out I had the concept right, I just didn't express myself clearly, or I was confusing two similar ideas, or the teacher had made a mistake grading, etc.

Yes, in classes of 100+ people, the professors always knew my name
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #13
 
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If you really think it's test taking anxiety, you can try self hypnosis and relaxation techniques. There are probably lots of ipod apps and podcasts that help with this.

I also think it would help to talk with your professors. Like Rubber Biscuit, I had a lot of appointments with professors to discuss how to learn the material better. I went to a private university, which was much more conducive to this kind of relationship.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:00 PM   #14
 
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Biochem is a hard major. In my undergrad some of my hallmates were biochem and they would celebrate when they made their c and b minuses. I just graduated in 2012 and am in a masters program now but I will say that I wish that I had listened when they said no one cares about gpa that much. The last 5 valedictorians at my school aren't really doing anything special. What I have learned is its not about the grade it's about internships and networking. The people who did a ton of internships and volunteer work are the ones that got into grad school or good jobs. After you get your degree employers and grad school will want to know you have experience. Your gpa is sort of a second thought. But good luck.

If she's trying to get into a medical school, I would tend to disagree.
I agree. From what I've heard, GPA for med students is more important than anything. It's better to go to an easier school and have a higher GPA than vice versa.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:29 PM   #15
 
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But who really expects a biochem major to have a perfect 4.0? It's just not realistic. Anywhere in the 3s should be perfectly fine. I am in grad school for public health but on all the applications what they wanted was job history and research you did. During the interview and the personal statement essay nobody cares that you spent every weekend in the library for 16 consecutive hours. That being said of course you can't expect to get anywhere with a 1.5 gpa but if you have a 3.4 or something like that I don't think it matters that much.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:14 PM   #16
 
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I agree with those saying make appts. with your professors for help. It's very important to ask for help early on in the semester. With a lot of the hard sciences if you don't get the basics right off the bat, you'll be lost for the rest of the semester. Make sure you're connecting what is taught in lecture with your labs.

Also, don't be afraid of asking your peers to study with you. My study groups often helped me understand or focus on points I wouldn't have on my own.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:30 PM   #17
 
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But who really expects a biochem major to have a perfect 4.0? It's just not realistic. Anywhere in the 3s should be perfectly fine. I am in grad school for public health but on all the applications what they wanted was job history and research you did. During the interview and the personal statement essay nobody cares that you spent every weekend in the library for 16 consecutive hours. That being said of course you can't expect to get anywhere with a 1.5 gpa but if you have a 3.4 or something like that I don't think it matters that much.
I know it's hard and I've met med students say they wish they picked an easier major and or school because unfortunately the gpa matters more. It might be different now.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:20 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
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But who really expects a biochem major to have a perfect 4.0? It's just not realistic. Anywhere in the 3s should be perfectly fine. I am in grad school for public health but on all the applications what they wanted was job history and research you did. During the interview and the personal statement essay nobody cares that you spent every weekend in the library for 16 consecutive hours. That being said of course you can't expect to get anywhere with a 1.5 gpa but if you have a 3.4 or something like that I don't think it matters that much.
I know it's hard and I've met med students say they wish they picked an easier major and or school because unfortunately the gpa matters more. It might be different now.
Unless things have changed since I was in college, a biochem major does need a 4.0 GPA or very close to it to get into med school. I had one friend whose hopes of med school were dashed when he went below a 4.0 because of one class he took his junior year. He ended up going to dental school instead. A 3.4 would have been laughed at.
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