Withdraw - I'm really not sure?

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I am in my first semester of Nursing School and am taking Pharmacology. I have done relatively well in the course, except I didn't do well on the first exam. Because of the first exam, my grade is hovering at a 77. I have to achieve a 78 average to pass. I have one more exam to take and the final. I got a call from my instructor saying that this is the halfway point and I have the option to withdraw since my grade is borderline passing. If I choose to withdraw, I can retake the class in the Fall along with my Nursing Fundamentals course. If I stay in Pharmacology and take the next exam and final, and for some reason do not have a 78 average after taking them, then I lose my seat. I am really torn as to what to do. I know that I don't want my average to drop below a 77 because I do NOT want to lose my seat. On the other hand, I have worked really hard since my first exam and have pulled out really good grades on the previous two exams. I just don't know what to do! I wanted to ask your advise as to what would be the best decision in this situation?

Prettyladie

1,229 Posts

Specializes in Emergency.

this is really tough. if it were me, id take my chances and just study reallly hard for all the exams, and assignments you have. id hate for you to withdraw and you could have passed. i cant really answer for you, but id just go ahead and complete the course. But when you say "lose your seat" you mean out of the program completely? Do you think you can pull a 78, because only you know your grades and the difficulty of the tests, and if for some reason you cant, I'd withdraw and try again. But honestly it seems possible that you can pull a 78 since you said you've been doing better.

Specializes in Acute Care Psych, DNP Student.

I'd study like I've never studied before and turn the grade around. Many students do poorly on their first nursing school exams. It's usually a wake up that they are going to have to adjust their study habits for nursing school - that they are in a new league, academically.

However, if you have some unusual or temporary extenuating circumstance that is going on this semester, it might make sense to withdraw. If not, what would be different next semester?

CuriousMe

2,642 Posts

I'd do the math and figure out what grade I needed on my final to pass. I'd then look objectively at whether I could make that grade (ie, is the final cumulative, how much time will I have to put in to studying, etc). I'd also ask my Prof for their counsel on what I should do.

Once I had all the info, I'd make my decision.

tailormade

4 Posts

Yes, when I say "lose my seat" I would be out of the program completely.

I think I would be able to pull out a 78+ average but I guess I'm just scared that if something were to happen and I didn't make the 78, then I'm out of the program. It would be extremely hard to be re-admitted into the program because they are changing the curriculum and new applicants are taken over the people who are re-applying.

Oh and thank you for your replies, you have given me a lot to think about. =)

I did ask my instructor for her advise, and she basically said it would be very risky to continue but that I could bring the grade up and still pass.

Specializes in Acute Care Psych, DNP Student.

Maybe it depends on how low those initial exam scores were, and if you can reasonably overcome them. Good luck - this is a challenging decision.

CuriousMe

2,642 Posts

Yes, when I say "lose my seat" I would be out of the program completely.

I think I would be able to pull out a 78+ average but I guess I'm just scared that if something were to happen and I didn't make the 78, then I'm out of the program. It would be extremely hard to be re-admitted into the program because they are changing the curriculum and new applicants are taken over the people who are re-applying.

Oh and thank you for your replies, you have given me a lot to think about. =)

I did ask my instructor for her advise, and she basically said it would be very risky to continue but that I could bring the grade up and still pass.

Math is your friend here. Do the math and figure out what specific grade you'll need to pass your course. Don't just think that you'd be able to pull out the average you need. The specificity of knowing the number will do two things for you....it will let you know if it's reasonable to think you can get that grade (ie, after the first exams you've been pulling mid 80's but you'd need a 96 to pull your grade up) but it also gives you a target to shoot for.

The other thing you might want to think about are the benefits to taking the class over again. It would give you another shot at that first material (not only grade wise, but understanding wise) and you could end up with a better grade on your transcript.

Peace,

CuriousMe

shann106

214 Posts

Specializes in Case management, occupational health.

I would study my a$$ off and bring my grade up. Is your final worth more than your regular exams? If so you could really rock the final and bring your grade up considerably.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Since the instructor said it was risky to continue, they were doing you a favor and giving you a hint. I would withdraw and take it again. The big advantage, you get the time between now and then to spend studying the material, AND you start over with a clean slate. You should be able to pull a B or an A on the first exam the second time around and might be able to get a good grade instead of just squeaking by. And you would get rid of the added pressure of coming from behind to stay afloat. Good luck.

AOx1

961 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education.

You also need to consider: where will your overall GPA be were you to not pass? For example, if you did end up with a D or an F in the course, exactly where would that leave your GPA? With that GPA, would you be able to get in to another nearby program? That should also be factored in.

As an instructor, I have seen both sides of the coin. The student who fails miserably in the beginning, comes in early, and really is determined and gains true mastery over the subject in the end (but really, this requires early intervention!)

Conversely, I have also seen the student who carries on in the same manner. Denial can be a powerful force in these cases- who doesn't just want to crawl in a corner when faced with a daunting task, even if only for a bit? I think you need a few more facts to make the best decision.

Also, while being completely honest with yourself, do YOU feel that even if you were to bring the grade up to just passing that you would have adequate command of this knowledge to care for a patient (pretend it's for a friend or family member) in the way that I'm sure you would want to care for them? Certainly a lot of pharm is learned on the job, but it can be hard to do if you don't understand the foundations of pharm.

I would also consider looking at why you did not pass. Ask if you can review the exams thoroughly to determine if it was your knowlege of content, your test-taking skills, or something else that led to the problem. This way you won't repeat the same mistakes.

Most of all, don't give up. One failed class hardly means you can't be a good nurse. I see students with this view all the time and it just isn't true. Brush yourself off, make an informed choice that puts you at peace, and carry on.

I would also consider asking to talk to the admissions committee. I would think that you would impress them if you told them that you know now why you were not successful and that you have a plan in place to help you succeed in the future.

MissGwen

66 Posts

Oh, wow! That is a tough decision to make. A nail biter for sure!

It sounds like you have had three exams thus far and have one more "regular" exam to go plus the final, correct?

Ok. So, let's see. How much is each exam worth and how much is the final worth? What did you make on the first two exams?

Are there any other assignments other than exams that comprise your grade?

Oh, and will the final be questions taken from the previous exams or will it be all new questions?

Honestly ask yourself what do you need to do to raise your scores? What could you do differently from here on out?

:)

g

tailormade

4 Posts

I have decided to withdraw and re take Pharm in the fall. I really do not want to risk losing my seat and being kicked out of the program. Thank you all for your responses. You have really helped me out a lot! =)

Plus, I think if I take it over again, I will understand the material much better and be able to improve my grades.

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