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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 grades and I will discuss ways to get the train back on the tracks 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 a distance away from your family and friends, the first time you may have to live independently, and the first time you may have taken a class with 300 other students packed into the auditorium.  It can be a very difficult time to adjust to this 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 your study strategies that carried you through high school and it may be difficult for you to keep up with classes that are not in the structured schedule you were accustomed to in high school.  By the time the Final Grades are published for the course, there is a chance that you may receive a "B" or even a "C" right out of the gate.  This is a detrimental blow to your career in Medicine but is it considered to be the "head shot" to your Medical dreams or just bullet glancing off of 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 do well further on in your studies so there is a chance they may be understanding about a specific circumstance.  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 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 ending 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 chance to score much higher considering you already have seen the material and may know the style of exam questions that you may face.  It does not look great on your application to Medical School seeing that you retook a course in order to improve the grade 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.  They will ask you about it during the interview but the important thing is you are able to even still get that interview.  

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