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This article covers a common issue that an incoming Freshman may face when they are trying to get into Medicine. An overly ambitious schedule can lead to low science grades and I will discuss ways to get back on track before it's too late.

When you begin your coursework to complete your Bachelor's degree, you may be experiencing a lot of "firsts."  

This could be the first time you are away from your family and friends, the first time you have to live independently, and the first time you have taken a class with 300 other students packed into the auditorium.

It can be a very difficult time for any student. It's objectively hard to adjust to this radically new way of life, and if you are too ambitious and take difficult classes at the start of your studies, you can find yourself drowning in coursework and potentially struggling to complete the assignments on time.  

There is a strong possibility that you may not have fine-tuned the study strategies that carried you through high school for college. It may be difficult for you to keep up with classes that do not come with a structured schedule like the one you were accustomed to in high school.

By the time the final grades are published for the course, there is a chance (or rather, risk) that you may receive a "B" or even a "C" right out of the gate. Yes, receiving a poor grade may even be another of those infamous "firsts" to add to your ever-growing list. A low grade in a core science class is a detrimental blow to your planned future career in Medicine — but is it considered to be the "head shot" that ends your medical dreams, or can low grade just be a bullet grazing your arm? I'll answer that question as well as present my top 3 strategies to try to rally from this slow start.  

Number 1:  Ask the Professor for a Chance to Increase Your Grade or Repeat the Class 

Professors understand the importance of doing well in your first semester to propel you to greater heights further on in your studies. So, there is a chance they may be understanding about a specific circumstance that may have prevented you from doing better.  

If you meet with a professor individually after grades come out and explain that you had a difficult time transitioning into a new environment, there is a chance that he or she could take pity on you and increase your grade to a more respectable level. You may have an opportunity to do an additional assignment or task to make up the difference in points in order to improve your grade.  This is a shot worth taking because a low score in a core science class can be hard to recover from at the start of your studies.  

In reality, most professors will not be so understanding — so another option that you can consider is to retake the course and score a higher grade. If you took biology your first semester and ended up receiving a "C," it will be unrealistic to assume the professor is going to give you a "B."  

If you repeat a course, however, you have a real chance to score much higher, especially considering the fact that you will already have seen the material and may know the style of exam questions that you may face.  

Retaking a course does not look great on your application to Medical School, but Medical Schools are much more understanding if this is an option you consider in your first year of studying because you are adjusting to a new style. Any Medical School you apply to in future will ask you what caused you to retake a course during the interview, but the important thing is you are able to even still get that interview.  

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