What Impact will dropping a class have on my application?
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?
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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.