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What to do with 4Bs and a drop in GPA?

worldmomworldmom 1 replies1 discussions Forum Champion
Any opinion is appreciated. Thank you in advance.

My son, a current HS Jr., received 4Bs + 2As during the first semester of Jr year, in which 3 of the Bs were AP classes. Yesterday, he found out for now there will be 2Bs for this second semester final grade (again B in AP Music Theory & AP Cal BC) or maybe even more. Finals are in mid June. Son insists to take a summer class/classes at community college to boost his total GPA (earned at HS+outside HS) adcoms use in the reviewing process. We understand grades from cc classes does not change his HS GPA but son said they are weighted more in the total GPA just like HS AP classes. Should he 1)just take any easy summer class(es) at cc and get an easy A to boost his total GPA? If so, anyone can suggest an easy A class? 2)Or, retake AP Cal BC at cc, which I assume is either Cal I or Cal 2? Will retaking yield an easier A? 3)Or, take another course in music, e.g Appreciation/History of Music, to hopefully get an A to compensate for that B in AP Music? He is thinking to major in engineering. Which of the above ways can gain back a slight edge for my son besides the needed GPA increase? Does retaking Calculus at cc look negative/no effect to adcom?

Also, I'm a little confused on the sGPA used for health programs application, PT/PA/MD.... Does sGPA only include grades from the pre-health prerequisites courses (2 Chem, 2 Physics...) or all science+math courses ever taken in college + college/cc courses took during HS? Thanks.
edited May 2013 in Parents Forum
10 replies
Post edited by worldmom on
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Replies to: What to do with 4Bs and a drop in GPA?

  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 55 replies2 discussions Junior Member
    Does he have some colleges he is targeting? The 4Bs and 2 As is around a 3.3 and while some colleges look at all classes some only look at GPA in core classes.

    Talk to the high school to see if he can "replace" a class with a "take-over". At our school you can only do that if you get a D or a Fail.

    He might consider working this summer, these days that is as valuable on a college application as replacing one B with one A.

    Meanwhile spend the summer making sure your son has a college application list that fits him based on where he is now GPA-wise EA schools won't see senior grades and any bump senior fall will be given to colleges fairly late in the admissions game.
    edited May 2013
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  • worldmomworldmom 1 replies1 discussions Forum Champion
    Thanks for replying.

    With his current GPA situation, he knows he has to lower his safety list. Just that he is very frustrated with himself since he has been working very hard since 1st grade and had only received 1 B in his sophomore English over 10 years of schooling. That's why he insists to take a summer class or classes before he needs to put the gpa onto the application this fall. In that case, I would rather he chooses the "right" class.

    Yes, he has been volunteering during school years and summers. And, his school will only allow repeat within the school district for grades below D(I think). However, I have to double check if taking Cal 1 or 2 in cc is considered as a repeat and if adcom is ok with that. Son would also like to review the material since he is going into engineering but he also has the option of choosing free online class which doesn't go onto his transcript.

    So, I guess he should pick the any easy class or the music class to compensate that B in AP Music?
    edited May 2013
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  • ordinarylivesordinarylives 24 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    Personally, I think your s should let it go. Admissions people are smart enough to recongnize trying to build a gpa with fluff courses, as would be the case with the music class. Additionally, grades/grading scales differ radically from school to school. I hate that test scores matter as much as they do, but they are a constant measure across school districts. If his ACT/SAT score is where he wants it, the slightly lower GPA from one semester will have less impact.

    I agree with momofthreeboys advice to look for a job, not a volunteer opportunity.
    edited May 2013
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  • minimini 105 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    Look for a job, be a volunteer, and have fun! there aren't that many teen summers left. Find a safety - that you can afford, and that he loves - and then you don't have to worry about this stuff at all. (You should be spending more time finding the right safety than anything else when it comes to colleges.)
    edited May 2013
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  • blueiguanablueiguana 74 replies1 discussions
    I agree with momofthreeboys & ordinarylives. In addition, if this is your oldest, know that Jr year is a bear, it just is. APs are demanding, they usually have time robbing ECs, They are studying for SATs, ACTs, SAT2s, AP exams, you are trying to fit in visits to colleges, and on top of this their hormones are runamuck!! Also, evaluate if there was something specific that led to those B's that can be avoided looking at next year. You and your son need to look objectively at this. It's not a judgment of him as a student, it's an effort to see if you can make it easier next year. Is there an overwhelming EC that is just so time consuming he can step back on? Be involved, but maybe not so many hours. Were there just too many AP classes calling for his time and attention? There are core academic APs that colleges are going to be looking for. Is there one he could drop to lighten his load next year while still staying competitive? Your GC can be very helpful in this discussion and should be able to give you some guidance. You may assess and find no adjustments are needed, but it's worth looking.
    edited May 2013
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 295 replies1 discussions Junior Member
    If he is considering applying to medical or other professional school, he should know that actual college courses taken while in high school do count for the purpose of calculating college GPA for medical or other professional school application purposes, regardless of whether they count for high school or (undergraduate) college purposes.

    Preloading his college GPA with A grades can be helpful, but if he gets non-A grades, he would be starting at a disadvantage for medical or other professional school purposes.
    edited May 2013
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 295 replies1 discussions Junior Member
    Also, it does not seem to be worth the trouble to repeat calculus that he got a B grade in, unless he knows that the AP course at his high school was of low quality (i.e. no one gets a decent score on the AP test and/or he has looked at college calculus final exams and found huge gaps in his knowledge).
    edited May 2013
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 48 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    +1 to Mini's post.
    edited May 2013
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  • mathmommathmom 69 replies1 discussions Junior Member
    Agree with Mini. You know, maybe he really is a B student at that level of courses. If he gets better grades senior year, he might want to avoid EA or ED. I really think he would be better off with a job or really interesting volunteer activity in the summer. The difference a summer school A would make to his GPA is going to be minimal.
    edited May 2013
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  • Icarus77Icarus77 3 replies0 discussions
    Sounds like a bright young man.A B in a weighted course is far from failure.Perhaps you might ask him what his goals are, he might surprise you.
    edited May 2013
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