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View Full Version : Math Stat,drop it now or get a B on the transript?



JQX
11-08-2014, 02:25 AM
I found this course far more difficult than what I expected.:miserable:

econ girl
11-08-2014, 02:20 PM
What topics are you covering in math stat? Is it your first, second or third course in statistics? I would think that if it's your first statistics class it would be better to take the B and then try to take a follow-up course and get an A in that. You want to show you have some exposure to the material – I think the econ PhD would be hard without knowing any stats whatsoever.

If it's your second or third stats course...it's up to you. I am of the (probably unpopular) opinion that it's best to take as much math as possible, even if you don't get A's in all of the courses, just so you have the strongest knowledge base possible to start your PhD. This may hurt your signaling though, so don't take that advice as anything more than my personal preference.

PhDPlease
11-08-2014, 05:57 PM
You will need at least 1 statistics course before entering the econ phd program. If this is your first stat course and you drop it, you'd have to retake it another time. Also if you drop it and it is a prereq to other courses like econometrics, it can mess you up in terms of timing. (not sure how your program is structured; in my undergrad stat was prereq to econometrics and then econometrics was prereq to research opportunities, advanced seminars, etc.) If you've already taken other stat, I agree w/the above post, I think it is ok to drop if you don't think you'll do well.

JQX
11-08-2014, 10:56 PM
You will need at least 1 statistics course before entering the econ phd program. If this is your first stat course and you drop it, you'd have to retake it another time. Also if you drop it and it is a prereq to other courses like econometrics, it can mess you up in terms of timing. (not sure how your program is structured; in my undergrad stat was prereq to econometrics and then econometrics was prereq to research opportunities, advanced seminars, etc.) If you've already taken other stat, I agree w/the above post, I think it is ok to drop if you don't think you'll do well.

this is not my first stat course. I took intro to prob theory, intro to statistical methods, experimental analysis, and time series. I got all A's in these courses. This Math Stat course is just difficult. In my opinion, A standard upper-level Math Stat is more difficult than Real Analysis I

PhDPlease
11-09-2014, 12:13 AM
^In that case I'd say you have enough stat and it's fine to drop

JQX
11-09-2014, 02:04 AM
^In that case I'd say you have enough stat and it's fine to drop

Thanks for your advice. But I will still talk with the professor first and then make a final decision.

Insti
11-09-2014, 02:45 AM
You should know what will happen to your transcript if you drop this class. Will you get 'Withdraw' or something similar on it? Adcoms my have questions as to why you dropped it.

JQX
11-09-2014, 04:11 AM
You should know what will happen to your transcript if you drop this class. Will you get 'Withdraw' or something similar on it? Adcoms my have questions as to why you dropped it.

you are right,insti. If I drop this course, there will be a "W" on the transcript (W=withdraw). So what is your advice?

Catrina
11-09-2014, 05:00 AM
If you are going to get a W, then you shouldn't drop since it would likely then be assumed that you were doing worse than a B.

JQX
11-09-2014, 05:18 AM
If you are going to get a W, then you shouldn't drop since it would likely then be assumed that you were doing worse than a B.

Sigh......but will a B on the transcript ruin my chances for, say, at least top 30? I am in the my final year of my undergrad. I cannot take any other upper level stat course to cover the bad grade of Math Stat.

Insti
11-09-2014, 06:30 AM
No one bad grad will ruin your chances. I will have to side with Catrina here and say that adcoms will assume you were going to pass marginally with a D or a C which is way worse than a B.

Econhead
11-09-2014, 05:23 PM
Maybe I am being presumptuous here, but I seem to be the only one focusing on why you are going to get a B. Unless you are on a quarter system, you have a month till the final exam. Why are you so sure that you are going to get a B? Did you do absolutely dreadful on the midterm? Are you not understanding the material? Why is it so difficult? Grad econ isn't only Stats, but if you are finding math stats so difficult that you know you're going to get a B (no chance for an A- or B+ even), I would be a little reticent about grad econ (not to say that you should give up-that's not what I am saying at all).

I'm not saying Math Stats is an easy course. In fact, I think it can be difficult depending on the course structure and how much you are expected to memorize (vs. having some type of "cheat sheet"). What I am saying, is that you should identify what it is that is giving you difficulty. If nothing else, you probably need to work on these areas.

Blanket
11-09-2014, 08:27 PM
Maybe I am being presumptuous here, but I seem to be the only one focusing on why you are going to get a B. Unless you are on a quarter system, you have a month till the final exam. Why are you so sure that you are going to get a B? Did you do absolutely dreadful on the midterm? Are you not understanding the material? Why is it so difficult? Grad econ isn't only Stats, but if you are finding math stats so difficult that you know you're going to get a B (no chance for an A- or B+ even), I would be a little reticent about grad econ (not to say that you should give up-that's not what I am saying at all).

I'm not saying Math Stats is an easy course. In fact, I think it can be difficult depending on the course structure and how much you are expected to memorize (vs. having some type of "cheat sheet"). What I am saying, is that you should identify what it is that is giving you difficulty. If nothing else, you probably need to work on these areas.

You're being more than presumptuous. I took an Intro to Stats course at my last university, a directional state school, and BOMBED a midterm terribly. I messed up one problem that comprised a huge % of the midterm test, took too much time on it, and couldn't give more time to easier questions. Just a bad test on a bad day. I ended up squeezing out an A in the class by studying like a maniac and getting the highest score on the final, but had I made a silly computational error on the final, I would have ended up with a B at a school you've never heard of. And that certainly wouldn't mean I'm not cut out for grad econ. I've since transferred to an Ivy and am excelling here.

I've come to find out that this forum is largely populated by wolves in sheep's clothing. By that I mean many of the advice-givers are trying to manipulate the supply of Econ Ph.D's in order to boost their own placement. Or something like that.

Econhead
11-09-2014, 09:05 PM
You're being more than presumptuous...Just a bad test on a bad day.

I think you are mis-reading my post. OP specifically said they found the course much more difficult than they expected. He didn't say that he made a mistake. Also, often courses like Math Stats have midterms that are weighted 35% or more. That's why I asked if he just bombed the test, and that is why he *knows* that he can't get higher than a B. I also specified that I wasn't stating that doing poorly in Math Stats should mean an end to OP pursuing grad Econ, but OP should be aware that if he is having trouble with the calculus aspect, that this could prove problematic for graduate Econ. Alternatively, if his course requires a lot of proofs, and he has done well in a proofs course, that this is something else entirely.


I've come to find out that this forum is largely populated by wolves in sheep's clothing. By that I mean many of the advice-givers are trying to manipulate the supply of Econ Ph.D's in order to boost their own placement. Or something like that.

I think you need to be careful of such grand generalizations that appear as attacks. Aside from whatever chip you seem to have on your shoulder, why exactly do you think that there are many people trying to manipulate the supply of applicants? Assuming that people that are so determined to get an Econ Ph.D really could be discouraged by posts on here, how many people do you really think are going to be so discouraged as to not apply? Read the posts over the past 2 months, and I dare you to find a handful of posts that have been anything but helpful in terms of providing seemingly accurate information. Just because we don't **** rainbows and sunshine doesn't mean that we are being discouraging. We are direct in our comments. If people evaluate their circumstances, what we are saying, and give it some thought, there are very few people that should actually ever be truly discouraged from applying. In the case of my posts, I advised OP to examine why he is having trouble, and whether the source of his difficulty could be deleterious to pursuing a Ph.D (and if so, to fix it!).

OP, please forgive this derailment. My question still stands. Even if you don't want to answer it publicly, you should figure out what is giving you difficulty in the course, why, and try to fix it.

JQX
11-09-2014, 11:09 PM
I think you are mis-reading my post. OP specifically said they found the course much more difficult than they expected. He didn't say that he made a mistake. Also, often courses like Math Stats have midterms that are weighted 35% or more. That's why I asked if he just bombed the test, and that is why he *knows* that he can't get higher than a B. I also specified that I wasn't stating that doing poorly in Math Stats should mean an end to OP pursuing grad Econ, but OP should be aware that if he is having trouble with the calculus aspect, that this could prove problematic for graduate Econ. Alternatively, if his course requires a lot of proofs, and he has done well in a proofs course, that this is something else entirely.



I think you need to be careful of such grand generalizations that appear as attacks. Aside from whatever chip you seem to have on your shoulder, why exactly do you think that there are many people trying to manipulate the supply of applicants? Assuming that people that are so determined to get an Econ Ph.D really could be discouraged by posts on here, how many people do you really think are going to be so discouraged as to not apply? Read the posts over the past 2 months, and I dare you to find a handful of posts that have been anything but helpful in terms of providing seemingly accurate information. Just because we don't **** rainbows and sunshine doesn't mean that we are being discouraging. We are direct in our comments. If people evaluate their circumstances, what we are saying, and give it some thought, there are very few people that should actually ever be truly discouraged from applying. In the case of my posts, I advised OP to examine why he is having trouble, and whether the source of his difficulty could be deleterious to pursuing a Ph.D (and if so, to fix it!).

OP, please forgive this derailment. My question still stands. Even if you don't want to answer it publicly, you should figure out what is giving you difficulty in the course, why, and try to fix it.


So here's my situation: I am taking Real Analysis I, Math Stat, Econometrics, and Advanced Micro(undergrad verwsion) for this term. It just seemed to me that I cannot handle all of these courses at the same time.

And yes, I think I just bombed my midterm test, which accounts for 20% of the final grade. If I can do extremely well in the final, then I can still end up with an A.

My situation is just like what Blanket described. After you bombed a midterm test, the only way to get an A in a course is that you have to do exceptionally well in the final. But this is not an intro stat course, this is Math Stat, an upper level stat course, I simply cannot predict if I can do well in it.

fantinity
11-09-2014, 11:14 PM
I don't think a B will hurt you that badly. Also, since the course is still in progress, you can try to fix your grade.

Also, I certainly don't think that a withdrawal will be assumed to be C or D. Where is this information coming from? There are tons of reasons to drop a course. Given that you already have stats courses on your transcript, I don't see a problem.

Blanket
11-09-2014, 11:37 PM
I think you are mis-reading my post. OP specifically said they found the course much more difficult than they expected. He didn't say that he made a mistake. Also, often courses like Math Stats have midterms that are weighted 35% or more. That's why I asked if he just bombed the test, and that is why he *knows* that he can't get higher than a B. I also specified that I wasn't stating that doing poorly in Math Stats should mean an end to OP pursuing grad Econ, but OP should be aware that if he is having trouble with the calculus aspect, that this could prove problematic for graduate Econ. Alternatively, if his course requires a lot of proofs, and he has done well in a proofs course, that this is something else entirely.

My sincere apologies. If your "rethink grad econ" was in response to their saying the class was far more difficult than they anticipated, I did indeed misread your post.




I think you need to be careful of such grand generalizations that appear as attacks. Aside from whatever chip you seem to have on your shoulder, why exactly do you think that there are many people trying to manipulate the supply of applicants? Assuming that people that are so determined to get an Econ Ph.D really could be discouraged by posts on here, how many people do you really think are going to be so discouraged as to not apply? Read the posts over the past 2 months, and I dare you to find a handful of posts that have been anything but helpful in terms of providing seemingly accurate information. Just because we don't **** rainbows and sunshine doesn't mean that we are being discouraging. We are direct in our comments. If people evaluate their circumstances, what we are saying, and give it some thought, there are very few people that should actually ever be truly discouraged from applying. In the case of my posts, I advised OP to examine why he is having trouble, and whether the source of his difficulty could be deleterious to pursuing a Ph.D (and if so, to fix it!).

OP, please forgive this derailment. My question still stands. Even if you don't want to answer it publicly, you should figure out what is giving you difficulty in the course, why, and try to fix it.

This was meant as a sarcastic funny. "Or something like that" pointed to my intended tone.

PhDPlease
11-09-2014, 11:41 PM
I agree w/not dropping given the W. I don't think one B would keep you out of the top 30 if everything else is good (of course that depends on stuff like the rigor of your undergrad, your letters, and other things we aren't aware of). I also don't think finding one class challenging while taking a bunch of challenging courses at the same time means one isn't cut out for a PhD. I'd be a lot more concerned if this were a consistent pattern of multiple B's, finding many classes too challenging, etc than if it is just one class, esp given that from how you've described it, it seems like this course might consist of more math majors going on to math PhDs than people considering Econ PhDs (which of course econ requires a lot of math but not as much math as a math phd requires).

Econhead
11-10-2014, 12:20 AM
So here's my situation: I am taking Real Analysis I, Math Stat, Econometrics, and Advanced Micro(undergrad verwsion) for this term. It just seemed to me that I cannot handle all of these courses at the same time.

And yes, I think I just bombed my midterm test, which accounts for 20% of the final grade. If I can do extremely well in the final, then I can still end up with an A.

My situation is just like what Blanket described. After you bombed a midterm test, the only way to get an A in a course is that you have to do exceptionally well in the final. But this is not an intro stat course, this is Math Stat, an upper level stat course, I simply cannot predict if I can do well in it.

If that's what is going on, then don't sell yourself short. It may be more time consuming (and more difficult to get an A) than you expected, and hence you may have unknowingly overloaded yourself in terms of coursework, but that does not mean that you are incapable of doing the work. I did something similar to myself, only I was taking Calc III, Differential Equations, Math Stats, Intro to Proofs, and something else all at the same time.

I don't know how well you are doing in your other courses (and how much time you can throw towards this), but if the midterm was only worth 20%, I would figure out what you need to get on the final in order to get an A-, and try to study your *** off over the thanksgiving weekend to make sure that happens. You know better than the rest of us what your limitations are and what else you have going on, and whether this is feasible.

I am generally of the same sentiment as PhDPlease - keep the course, even if you end up with a B. Just make sure you are going to keep your other classes balanced.

coffeehouse
11-11-2014, 01:33 AM
A single B grade will not kill you.
I had a B- in my ONLY analysis course, and I am currently at a top 5 program. I do not feel mathematically behind my classmates either (of course minus a few).

Insti
11-12-2014, 03:38 AM
A single B grade will not kill you.
I had a B- in my ONLY analysis course, and I am currently at a top 5 program. I do not feel mathematically behind my classmates either (of course minus a few).

You just broke you-know-which site.

Mathew952
12-05-2014, 03:32 PM
Admissions is certainly high stakes, so I understand the anxiety of wanting the best possible grades, BUT remember that your math grades are like data points, and your math GPA is more like the average. Yes, maybe you're so damn good you'll get all As all the time. But I came to realize one day, as I was panicking that I'd suffer the deathblow of... an A-.... that my Math GPA overall will still be a 3.93. So yeah, it's not as good as an A. But if you have as many math courses as you claim, the statistical chance that even if you're an A student that you'll get a B or A- at least once is pretty high. Tl;dr I don't think an Adcom is going to seriously discount you over going from a Math GPA of 4.0 to 3.9. There's a lot of pessimism on this board at times. I personally think a W would hurt more than a B, because 1), a B is not terrible, 2) you also want to show you actually have the skills. I used to be of the "give up if you ever get less than an A" mindset but sometimes you just need to take a deep breath.