View Full Version : Good Luck to all you guys! and Help wanted!

02-19-2008, 11:41 PM
Hello, guys:

I know all of you worry about the application this year right now and I cordially hope all of you get offers you expect and deserve!

I have a question related to my application next year for Fall, 2009. I have finished 12 math classes, almost a workload for a B. Sc for math major (including calculus I - III, line algebra, stats and probability, diff eqa, real analysis, abstract algebra, vector calculus, topology etc). However, I got 11 "A"s in and 1 "D" in calculus II (I do not know how I get that embrassing grade,:yuck::mad: but I did not attend the final because I missed it anyway:sleepy:, not to find excuse here, just expressing a fact). How should I treat that "D" in my application? Do I need to mention that in my application or I should put more emphasis on all those "A"s to verify my math ability?


02-20-2008, 12:11 AM
I got a C in graduate level math stats (an embarassing grade as it's the only C on my transcript and it was one of the first quarter classes for an econ grad student at my university) and debated over whether to explain this in my SOP. I decided against explaining it, as it was fairly obvious from the high marks I received in all other econ and math classes (I also took nearly enough math to get a B.S. math), that something went wrong in this class. Sounds like you're in a similar situation, although a D is pretty alarming. Given that it must have been fairly early in your math education and you've clearly shown a mastery of mathematics at the grad econ level, I lean toward not mentioning it. Of course, I've only gotten into University of Virginia so far so I really don't know how my bad grad and lack of explanation is going to effect me.

02-20-2008, 12:24 AM
They will notice it. The SOP is the time to explain any weaknesses on your record. If you aced all of your other math classes, they won't have any doubts as to your mathematical ability.

02-20-2008, 12:26 AM
I would say mention it. You can be honest, too (i.e. "I missed the final").

02-20-2008, 05:07 AM
Well, if you got an A in calculus III I don't see what the big deal is. I assume that calculus II provides a base for calculus III and if you aced that you obviously have the base. I think adcoms will see it for what it is, an outlier, and do what we normally do with outliers, ignore it. I wouldn't worry about it.

02-20-2008, 05:18 AM
I was sort of in the same situation and I asked a lecturer about it. I had got a very low grade in Abstract Algebra but he said not to bother about it because all my other grades were A's. I wouldn't mention it unless I had a really good reason for getting it like being ill on the day of exams.

02-20-2008, 11:03 AM
i would explain it, but only if it sounds like a convincing explanation, otherwise ignore it. the adcoms aren't stupid. also, i would do anything i can to retake the class (summer courses etc.), i don't know if thats possible in your university.

02-20-2008, 11:09 AM
my point is that if the adcom gets the impression that you are trying to trick them (either by ignoring it, or by giving an unconvincing explanation), that will hurt you much more than any single bad grade can possibly hurt you.

02-20-2008, 11:19 AM
ok, i will continue writing to myself.
I'll give you an example from my own application. My math grades in my first year of university were lower than in my second year (i'm in the third year now, here in israel a BA is three years). they were still good grades but it was clear that there was on average a 7% difference in the grades. i wrote in my application that during my first year in university i was on military duty. i didn't write this as an explanation for the lower grades, but i do think it made them understand that certain grades should be judged differently than others.
so maybe you shouldn't write that you had one bad grade because..., rather you should write in general, something like, "during much of semester X i was sick and despite this i insisted on continuing to study blah blah blah...". but again only if you can make it sound convincing and not like a made up excuse.

02-20-2008, 03:18 PM
In the University I attended it wasn't possible to rewrite an exam for a course you had already passed. It's just one grade...I think anyone looking at one grade would think it was an anomaly and not really focus on it...but that's my opinion.

02-20-2008, 09:56 PM
I would say mention it. You can be honest, too (i.e. "I missed the final").

I agree. I might add "I went on to earn an A in Calc III and Analysis" for good measure. Anyone can have a bad day, or even a bad semester. It happens.

02-21-2008, 12:01 AM
Thanks for all of you. I always get something positive and nice. Since I have another 10 months before application in Fall, 2008, I will think it over. I prefer to have a quick clarification like this "I am confident in my math preparation since I aced most math classes (11 out of 12), especially in thise advanced-level classes like abstract algebra etc..."

02-21-2008, 01:25 AM
Look into how repeating the course looks on your transcripts, as certain possibilities might negate the need to explain the discrepancy.