Given that Pass/Fail is elective at your school, and that you will keep only a subset of your grades, any class that shows up as Pass/Fail will certainly be interpreted as a low grade.
I am an ug in europe planning to apply for phd in the next 2 years. I take 5 classes in this semester. 3 of them are intermediate macroeconomic theory 1 (eric sims), mathematics for economists (simon blume) and Linear algebra and differential equations.
I am pretty sure that I will ace all of these courses but my other 2 courses are microeconomic theory 1 and statistics 1 and I will probably pass these courses with b-/b because of high level course work and I couldn't focus on them because I need to take care of my grandparents. If I had time I would probably get an A from those courses too. I can use pass/fail option at the end of the semester for these 2 courses and it won't affect my GPA. However, I don't think this would be good in my transcript. What should I do? My current gpa is 3.80 and I am in my second year. Moreover, I am pretty sure I can take A's in microeconomic theory 2 and statistics 2 in the next year but corona ruined everything.
The fact is that you got a B, regardless of what you claim to know or don't know. That's the truth of the matter. If you want to hear that adcoms will be more understanding, it's unlikely that it'll be the case. That being said, while you can't do anything about that grade, you can help bolster your profile by doing well in other courses. PhD admissions is a dispassionate affair.
The gist of it all is that you shouldn't expect adcoms to be as sympathetic as you want them to be. If they end up being sympathetic, it'll work to your favour, but it isn't prudent to hope for them to cut you some slack, since there will always be applicants who still manage to do well for the courses taken this year, during the period of the coronavirus.
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