For me, I got a D in Matrix Algebra II... I simply could not understand what the professor wanted me to know or the exam questions they asked. Other students seemed fine with the methods and questions. It was bizarre. I got A's in every other math class. I should have withdrawn from that class, the D cost me way more than the W would have.
Jumping in to say that I took a W in my first attempt at Real Analysis. The course was cross-listed between undergrad and grad students (many of whom had taken Real Analysis as undergrads and had thus seen the material before), and the professor was curving the two groups as one. As an undergrad who'd never seen the material, that made it extremely difficult for me to land in the top half of the distribution.
I re-took the course and did well. Given my admission results and the rest of my profile, it's hard for me to say how much the W cost me, but I did get top-15 offers when I applied.
You guys are still talking about advanced math courses. OP is taking intermediate macro in their 6th semester in college. Underpreparation shouldn't be an issue, and the demographic should be substantially weaker than an advanced pure math class.
Like I said, it's not possible for me to know exactly how ridiculous the course was, but I really want to emphasize that this doesn't typically happen to strong students. So yes, I do think it's going to look bad on a transcript. If the instructor was in fact uniquely awful and unreasonable, it's going to affect your chances nonetheless because the adcoms have no way of knowing those caveats (having your letter writer explain the situation may help, but he/she can't afford to devote an entire page to your situation). Adcoms will assume with some positive probability that you could have just lacked initiative/discipline while taking the course, as I do.
I'd still recommend carefully looking at whether you actually have a chance of getting a B+/A-, perhaps by asking the instructor directly, and to work very hard for that goal if you do have a chance.
Last edited by chateauheart; 04-11-2018 at 02:55 PM.
FYI: I have gotten A's in all my math courses, which was one of the reasons my adviser considered just dropping it and explaining the situation in my application. But thanks for your input anyway.
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