I have a big GPA problem...

I am a sophomore at a upper tier target (Harvard, Wharton, etc) and I have a bit of a dilemma. After taking 4 classes this semester, I got A's in 3 of them, and a C- in calculus (due to lack of interest in the course, didn't like the professor, personal issues with my mom passing away).

With this C-, my GPA is 3.5, and without it, my GPA is 3.9. I have the option of retaking it next semester, and the grade that I get will replace the C- when calculating my GPA, but the C- will remain on my transcript.

Do you guys think I should retake it? I REALLY dislike the class and it would be hell to retake it, and the C- would remain on my transcript. However, if I can manage a B ish or higher, my GPA wouldn't fall to 3.5. Or would you guys say leave the C- and boost it later with other courses?

This is a big deal to me and I'll gladly give silver bananas to any helpful / non-trolling comments. Thanks

The WSO Advantage - Investment Banking

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation + Learn More.

IB Interview Prep Pack

30,000+ sold & REAL questions Learn More.

Find Your Perfect IB Mentor

Realistic IB Mock Interviews. Learn More.

Comments (11)


What is covered in this calculus course? If you're at a school where they cover all of single variable calc, I know that can be tough. I'd say fuck it. But if you go to a school where calc 1 just covers limits, differentiation, and an intro to integration, suck it up that class really isn't very hard if you put in a tiny bit of effort. The 3.9 to 3.5 drop is pretty substantial.

Wait you just took it, it should be pretty easy the second time around. I say go for it regardless.


Talk to the registrar, ask if you can retake it over the summer at a local community college so you can get the GPA mark off your record, obviously the C- will stay, but it won't count toward your GPA calculation.


Retake it with dedication in honor of your mom. If you're this concerned about your GPA, you're probably a good student, and it would have made her proud and so on. (Not trolling.)


Just retake it. You already took the course once, doing it again would be a sort of review. There will be no new material and you know what to expect this time around.


you could just list major gpa and everything is alll good.


Not that big a problem really. I think you're fine either way.


A C- means you already know about 70% of the material. Just learn the other 30% this time around. Personally, I find I learn a lot more learning something for the second time. You can just focus on the parts you don't understand instead of being overwhelmed by everything all at once.

You won't have another personal setback next semester, you (hopefully) won't have a dick for a professor, and you're already more than halfway there to an A. Get yourself a study buddy in the class - this way you won't fall behind as easily. A 3.9 gets you all the interviews you could want. A 3.5, not so much. Fairly easy decision if it were up to me.

Good luck!


Thanks everyone! I'm not sure if my school will accept a community college course for GPA, is this usually the case? If not, I'll just retake it next year


Dude - Calc I/II is not hard at all. Retake and slay that shit. If you can't interviewers will think yourahugeidiot


Is this your last math course?

On the one hand, the C- in Calc will not show up on your resume.

Here are some reasons you might want to retake it:

-A C- in Calculus is embarassing if it comes up. Absent other information, it indicates a fundamental weakness in quantitative skill. And an 800Q on the SATs just says "This guy's lazy when it comes to math." It probably won't come up, but if it does, it's embarassing. As a quant, I am still embarassed of the fact that I got a B- in Differential Equations. I am even more embarassed of the fact that I had to study my butt off just to keep it from being a C+.

-Getting As and Bs in the engineering/physics math sequence (Calculus of a single variable/multivariable/ diffyqs/ linear algebra/ pobability) gives you a lot of options for grad school. If you are thinking of studying finance, econ, financial engineering, or math in grad school, you need to retake that course.

-A general understanding of Calculus, as well as Probability, is a fundamental skill for virtually any white-collar professional. If it's differential equations, OK, you can say F--- it and walk away with a C-. But basic calculus is something you *want* to understand. If you don't understand it, it will *definitely* be an impairment to a career in S&T or research and probably hurt a career in banking, too.


To unlock this content for free, please login / register below.

  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • LinkeIn
  • Twitter
Connecting helps us build a vibrant community. We'll never share your info without your permission. Sign up with email or if you are already a member, login here Bonus: Also get 6 free financial modeling lessons for free ($200+ value) when you register!

What's Your Opinion? Comment below:

Login or register to get credit (collect bananas).
All anonymous comments are unpublished until reviewed. No links or promotional material will be allowed. Most comments are published within 24 hours.
WallStreet Prep Master Financial Modeling