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Thread: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

  1. #1
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    Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

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    Hi everyone,

    I am currently a junior and taking intermediate macro theory this semester. I am a math and econ double major.
    But the problem is that this professor who's teaching my intermediate macro is just giving everyone a very hard time and no one is doing too well (he's on his two-year term at my school and this is his last semester lol). I was wondering if dropping this class and getting a W in it would significantly hurt my chances of getting to top 20 phd programs? I will be re-taking the course with my advisor in the coming fall, and I expect to do well in that class maybe my advisor could even mention in the recommendation letter that I am doing it fine (assuming that I do) in that class.
    Let me know what you guys think!
    FYI: I have gotten good grades in other challenging courses including multivariable calculus, real analysis, comp sci courses, etc.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

    I had two W's on my record and got a top 10 placement. Don't even think I mentioned them in my app. You'll do fine.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

    I guess if you're taking grad micro I or some other very advanced econ course next fall as well, it wouldn't matter as much. But getting a W in intermediate macro in your junior spring semester is not ideal at all, especially because you'll have to waste more time on this course next semester. How difficult would it be to try to tough it out and aim for an A-/B+?
    Last edited by chateauheart; 04-10-2018 at 02:50 AM.

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    Re: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

    No one is probably going to notice. What is concerning is that you can't handle intermediate macro because your professor is giving everyone a "hard time". In graduate school every professor gives everyone a "hard time". If you can't adversity in intermediate macro, what are you going to do when you start graduate school and every class is like this or worse?

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    Re: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaysa View Post
    No one is probably going to notice. What is concerning is that you can't handle intermediate macro because your professor is giving everyone a "hard time". In graduate school every professor gives everyone a "hard time". If you can't adversity in intermediate macro, what are you going to do when you start graduate school and every class is like this or worse?
    Echo this comment as well. It's impossible to know from our perspective just how tough the instructor is being, but typically, someone who's good enough to get into an econ PhD should be pretty happy to get a tough instructor on an intermediate macro theory class. The jump from undergrad macro to grad macro is so huge that even an unusually tough undergrad macro class is unlikely to be half-way as difficult as grad macro, and there are plenty of UGs who try to take grad macro in their junior or senior year.

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    Re: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

    I said "hard time" because I didn't want to explicitly talk about every detail this professor is doing. Almost everyone in his class filed a complaint together to the department chair hoping that he changes a little bit. But I get what you mean. I am certainly ready for a challenging class but I just hate professors that are just so indifferent about teaching and blatantly doesn't give a crap in classes.

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    Re: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

    Hey minskymoment, thank you for your input. May I ask which classes those were? Like were they econ classes?

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    Re: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

    I'd just take the W... but only because your advisor is teaching it next semester. That gives you a good reason for the W if anyone asks (or you want to mention it in your SOP).

    I think some of the comments in this thread already are a little harsh. Sometimes a professors methods and approach are so jarring that even otherwise solid students cannot succeed in a class. This may or may not be the case here but I'd give the OP the benefit of the doubt.

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    Re: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

    Quote Originally Posted by db2018 View Post
    I said "hard time" because I didn't want to explicitly talk about every detail this professor is doing. Almost everyone in his class filed a complaint together to the department chair hoping that he changes a little bit. But I get what you mean. I am certainly ready for a challenging class but I just hate professors that are just so indifferent about teaching and blatantly doesn't give a crap in classes.
    Not to beat a dead horse, but again, that basically describes most graduate courses. No serious researcher wants to teach; they want to do research and will view anything other than research as a nuisance that they could give two craps about. Graduate courses are tough not only because the material is harder and there is more to cover in less time, but also because the professors tend to phone it in and are generally terrible teachers.

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    Re: Is W in Intermediate Macro that bad?? Even if I do well later?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaysa View Post
    Not to beat a dead horse, but again, that basically describes most graduate courses. No serious researcher wants to teach; they want to do research and will view anything other than research as a nuisance that they could give two craps about. Graduate courses are tough not only because the material is harder and there is more to cover in less time, but also because the professors tend to phone it in and are generally terrible teachers.
    I know brilliant researchers--including Nobel prize winners--who are splendid teachers.

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