How important are grades?

  1. I am now taking 2 prereqs for nursing - bio and English comp. I'm sure I can ace the bio with hard work and studying but the English I'm not so sure about. I have good writing skills but the professor has a rep for being a very arbitrary grader. This makes me nervous because I feel that it's not in my control whether or not I get an A. From what I've read on these boards a high GPA is very important for getting into nursing school. Am I making a mistake if I don't drop the class?
  2. Visit JeanettePNP profile page

    About JeanettePNP

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 1,947; Likes: 1,349
    Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Pediatric pulmonology and allergy

    13 Comments

  3. by   mixyRN
    Quote from ChayaN
    I am now taking 2 prereqs for nursing - bio and English comp. I'm sure I can ace the bio with hard work and studying but the English I'm not so sure about. I have good writing skills but the professor has a rep for being a very arbitrary grader. This makes me nervous because I feel that it's not in my control whether or not I get an A. From what I've read on these boards a high GPA is very important for getting into nursing school. Am I making a mistake if I don't drop the class?
    Your question is variable, depending on the program you are considering and the selection criteria of the school. I would recommend you contact an admissions advisor the nursing program you are applying to and ask this question.
    Personally, I earned a B+ in English comp 1 and 2, which transfers to my nursing school as strictly a B, and my advisor told me that should be ok for my program but it may or may not be for yours. Also consider that you are never guaranteed an A in any class, so the best you can do is approach the course with 100% effort. Good Luck to you!
  4. by   Irishowl
    If it were me I would try and stick it out and do my best, but it really is up to you. Also, it depends on how competive your school's nursing program is. The school I am in your overall GPA has to be 2.5 which leaves room for a few "off" classes. However, your GPA for your A & P, Chemistry and Microbiology has to be a 3.0. My school accepts people into the program based on a lottery system, so somone with a 4.0 has no advantage over someone with a 3.5

    Some schools have a scoring system that takes your grades, drops, withdrawals and number of attempts at classes into account to give you a rank.

    Maybe you should take your concerns to your counselor and see if they have an opinion? Good luck! I hope you end up having a great semester.
  5. by   JeanettePNP
    Quote from mixy
    Personally, I earned a B+ in English comp 1 and 2, which transfers to my nursing school as strictly a B, and my advisor told me that should be ok for my program but it may or may not be for yours. Also consider that you are never guaranteed an A in any class, so the best you can do is approach the course with 100% effort. Good Luck to you!
    I'm not sure yet where I'm applying or how long it will take me to get through pre-reqs. I'm going back to school at age 33 with 5 children so I"m taking things very slow for now. The difference between English and the sciences is that with science you either know your stuff or you don't. If I get an 80% on an exam I know which questions I got wrong and can relearn the information. With English, the grade is based on much more subjective criteria. Your writing can be just fine but if the prof doesn't like your style for whatever reason or you're not outstanding enough, you don't get an A. It's the lack of control that bothers me.
  6. by   mixyRN
    Quote from ChayaN
    I'm not sure yet where I'm applying or how long it will take me to get through pre-reqs. I'm going back to school at age 33 with 5 children so I"m taking things very slow for now. The difference between English and the sciences is that with science you either know your stuff or you don't. If I get an 80% on an exam I know which questions I got wrong and can relearn the information. With English, the grade is based on much more subjective criteria. Your writing can be just fine but if the prof doesn't like your style for whatever reason or you're not outstanding enough, you don't get an A. It's the lack of control that bothers me.
    It's true that the grading in English is somewhat subjective, based upon the instructor's opinion of your style but most of the grade does come from the structure, organization and completeness of the essay. I would suggest asking the instructor to review your essays and offer suggestions for improvements prior to turning them in. Some instructors like that kind of initiative by the student and it can score you some brownie points in addition to a higher grade.
    If it were me, I would take the course and stay after the first day of class to discuss your concerns with the teacher. Then you can decide if you want to keep the class or drop based on whether or not the instructor was understanding and addressed your concerns.
  7. by   JeanettePNP
    That sounds like a good plan. Thanks for your input Mixy.
  8. by   JeanettePNP
    Quote from Irishowl
    Maybe you should take your concerns to your counselor and see if they have an opinion? Good luck! I hope you end up having a great semester.
    Good idea.

    Right now I'm looking at about 4 different programs but they're all quite competitive so I need the highest grades I can get.
  9. by   JentheRN05
    My favorite instructor had a favorite saying.
    C = RN
    Fact is now it's more like B- = RN so I think I would simply do my best. I personally graduated with honors :mortarboard:
  10. by   Jules A
    Our program was all about your gpa and score on the nursing entrance exam. I would check around where you might want to apply because it can make a big difference. The other thing I would keep in mind that just because you've heard something about a teacher does not mean it is true or that you will find it to be that way. Good luck.
  11. by   JaxiaKiley
    Sounds like everyone has given great advice. Just find out what you need for your program because they are all so different, and talk to the teacher about your concerns. Good luck!
  12. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Will the schools you are looking at accept CLEP credit? You can save money and time and also not have it help or hinder your grade. It's Pass/Fail. Just a thought. When I took the tests a few years ago, they weren't too bad.
  13. by   Jules A
    Quote from NurseyBaby'05
    Will the schools you are looking at accept CLEP credit? You can save money and time and also not have it help or hinder your grade. It's Pass/Fail. Just a thought. When I took the tests a few years ago, they weren't too bad.
    Yes CLEPs are awesome but fwiw my LPN school wanted the exact number of my score on an English CLEP to figure in with my gpa when I applied to their program.
  14. by   Jacek
    I took english composition last semester. I got a C from the first assignment, a B from a second one.
    I started harrasing the teacher about the ways to improve and fixing mistakes, I also told her I was getting tutoring. My community college has free tutoring services, also available online. I used the online version. Plus I gave my essays to a friend at work for any suggestions.
    I finish the class with an A. I had to work a little harder, because I've been to this country for only about 4.5 years and I'm not that comfortable in English.

    Good luck.

close