Pre-Med Q&ACategory: Scheduling and ClassesPass/Fail English 125
AvatarFreshman asked 3 years ago

Hi guys,
I’ve never been that strong in English. In high school, I would always have to work so hard just for an A or A- in AP English Lang/Lit. I know university level English is going to be a lot tougher, and I don’t know if I want to risk my GPA. Of course the grade consists of essays, but a large portion of the grade is discussion and participation, and it’s hard for an introvert like me to make meaningful contributions to the conversation.
I want to do Pass/Fail for English, and the deadline is coming up. Since it’s not required for MCAT or medical schools, will they care if I do pass/fail?

1 Answers
AvatarOwen Doane answered 3 years ago

Hi there!
A few things to note here. First is that English classes may not be required for some medical schools, but there are certainly a few upper tier schools that do require one or two semesters of English (Columbia, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, etc.). Second, medical school admissions committees do tend to emphasize science GPA, which an English course will not contribute to. If you’re worried about getting a B, it might not seem like it right now as a freshman, but this really will not tank your GPA in the long run. It might be helpful for you as a student to push yourself outside of your comfort zone a little with this class, which might make for an interesting story at interviews, regardless of the grade you receive!
This all being said, if you feel taking English for a letter grade will affect your mental well-being this semester, definitely take it P/F. Admissions committees are becoming quite understanding of individual circumstances during the pandemic, and will likely not judge you if they see a P/F class on your transcript during this semester. Also, if you are taking a relatively heavy course load, and you feel that taking English P/F will help you focus on your other science courses, go for it. If you want to discuss your individual circumstances “in-person” I’d recommend dropping by our Zoom advising hours (Sun-Wed, 6-10 PM) or attending one of the pre-health advisor’s office hours on Zoom as well.
Best of luck this semester!
Owen, PMH Co-president

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