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What Impact will dropping a class have on my application?

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Hi! I've decided recently to drop my Honors Algebra 2 class in favor of the standard class. I am personally glad of the choice as it has relieved quite a bit of stress and had quite a negative impact on my mental health. I finished the trimester with a B, along with a B+ in AP Chem and all A's in my other classes. Obviously this shows I have a weakness in math and science. However, I really want to attend UMich for hopefully a pre-med major, I am strongly considering Psychology at the moment. But now my worries have transferred to the future: will dropping this class disadvantage me when it comes to my applications? I just feel that on my application I won't have any way to explain why I dropped the class, so it just makes me look like I dropped it because I got a B, which was not the motivating factor. I'm very much what you would call the "well-rounded" student when it comes to my extracurriculars and hasn't really achieved anything astronomically special that would set me apart from other applicants. Have I just effectively undermined all of my efforts to get into the University of Michigan?

math
Michigan
sophomore

1 answer

answered on
7
votes

IMO if you want to be Pre-Med at UMich you have to find other ways to show you are good at math.

Some suggestions are the following:

Take Pre-Calc and AP Calculus if you can. I don't know what grade you are in. If you think you stink at math, that's just in your head. I got a B+ in Honors Algebra 2 and that bummed me out because I had an 89. But instead of feeling defeated, I started studying really hard for the SATs and spent like 10-20 hours a week doing SAT math go lots of books to help me like College Panda or Dr. Chungs. I got a 750 on the SAT math section after the summer of 10th grade so that gave me some confidence that I could do the math. So when I signed up for Pre-Calc 11th grade it was easier than Algebra 2 and got an A in it.

I didn't want to do AP Calc senior year while I was filling out college applications so I took Calculus I through outlier.org and earned an A and 3 college credits from UPitt. It turned out to be the best math class I took in HS and it was taught by 3 profs, 1 from MIT, 1 from Davidson, and 1 from a London College. One used a blackboard, one taught using a tablet and one taught using pen and paper, and I realized I need different ways of teaching to retain and learn higher maths. I'm still signed up for the AP Test just for the heck of it. I want to know if I can get a 5 in AP Calc. even though I won't get my results back until after I've already committed to a college.

The other thing I'd suggest that didn't work out for me is to study and take the SAT Subject 2 tests in Math Level 1 or Math Level 2. I signed up for Math 2 but my test was canceled twice this past Spring and Summer so I just gave up on that idea. But the thinking was at the time, if can show a 750+ score preferably a 770-800 on Math 2, then all the colleges would know I have some mastery over higher math.

Failure or defeat is an opportunity to regroup, recharge, redirect your efforts toward your goal. You don't have to retake Honors Algebra 2 to get there, you just have to chalk it up to an impasse and keep forging ahead.

Good luck with your maths journey and college applications journey.

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such a detailed answer!! Based on the math class that I am currently in, I will be taking precalc (regular, not honors) next year, and then as a senior, I will be taking Calculus. The only problem is my school only provides calc as an AP class, and I'm not sure if I would succeed in AP calculus. But thank you again and good luck as well!
Dude, I knew I'd bomb AP Calc so I took my online Calc.I through outlier.org over the summer. I was only 7 weeks and boom I was done with math before 12th grade. Look into it.