Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHigher Education (University +) · 8 months ago

Undergrad won’t let me even attempt to enroll in med school prerequisites due to ACT math?

Hello. I just was wondering if there was any loophole around my college not allowing me to enroll in the required prerequisites for medical school due to my act math? I understand my act is important, however, there’s no way it can be the end all be all definition of my intelligence. I’m not stupid by any means. All the advisors even tried to tell me I wasn’t allowed to take the main principles of biology course, that I had already taken and received an A in. I mean, sure, math isn’t my strongest suit, but I can do it. I just got anxious with the ACT math because I, at the time, had undiagnosed ADHD and for the life of me, I could not focus on the math questions. I did good on every other section, it was just the ACT math I did bad in (19). I have tried to convince them to let me enroll in the most basic courses, however, they claim I will hold everyone else back. I’ve even been told by one that, because my ACT math was that, I would be a terrible doctor. But I love biology, anatomy, phys, chem, etc.. Those are the courses I’m the best with and I literally feel like I have to convince myself to try for any other career path. I just can’t get medicine out of my head, I just want to at least try to be a doctor. I guess what I’m asking is, is there any way in the world to get them to allow me to enroll in the courses? They’ve even placed holds on my account to prevent me from trying to register for them from home.

Thanks guys!


I can do math. I’ve passed every math class with a high A. I just messed up the ACT math. I offered to retake it for my university and I also offered to take multiple math courses a semester. They’ve told me both of these options are not possible and are a waste. I suppose I’ll move on to another career choice. 

10 Answers

  • 8 months ago

    I think you might be misunderstanding something they're telling you.

    You should be able to take the classes as soon as you meet all prerequisites. It sounds like you don't meet the math prerequisite for science classes at your university.

    But even if your ACT (or SAT) score wasn't high enough to meet the math prerequisite, you should be able to take a placement test to place into a college-level math class. At the very least, you should be able to take remedial classes (although they will need to be taken in succession, not concurrently as you proposed).

    Some options are:

    1. You might be able to get departmental permission to take some of the classes without meeting the math prerequisite. Certainly not physics, but perhaps biology and maybe even chemistry. Go directly to the department chair (or at least their office) to get permission, if your advisor isn't cooperative. 

    2. Look into your university's math placement exam. You'd think they must have one for students who didn't take the ACT. If they have one, take it (study first).

    3. If not, but if your university accepts the CLEP, take the CLEP for College Algebra. If you pass, you should be able to place into any science class that isn't calculus-based. Many medical schools don't even require calculus anymore; if you can place into statistics you would be fine.

    4. If your university does not accept CLEP scores, or if you fail the college algebra CLEP, then take the math placement exam at your local community college. Take math classes over the summer until you've finished college algebra. 

    5. If there are more than one remedial math classes you need to take (i.e., one remedial math class plus college algebra), you might be able to arrange a "leave of absence" at your current university, while you take classes at the community college to get up to speed. Most universities don't allow students to take classes at another college while on a leave of absence, but you may be able to get special permission. That said, if you really do have so many remedial math classes to take, you might need to take it to heart what people are saying, that you might not be able to make it in medical sciences. 

  • 8 months ago

    Competition for admission to premed programs is very tough, and standards for acceptance into such programs are far higher than for admission to the university. There are no loopholes.

    If you are still in freshman year, have you taken calculus yet? Perhaps if you earn an A in calculus, straight-As in all your other subjects, they will reconsider for next year. After all, you need minimum 3.75/3.85 GPA to have a chance of acceptance into med school.

  • John
    Lv 6
    8 months ago

    As stated in another answer, many colleges will require a student with poor math skills to pass a non-credit remedial math class before the student can take regular math courses.  Your college does not seem to have such a policy, which means you and your college are not a good match.  

    You need to either (1) transfer to a college with such a policy, or (2) consider a different career.  In addition to math courses, you will also need to take many science classes.  College science courses are basically studies in applied mathematics.  You will not be able simply to skip over math if you want to become a physician.

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    Med school has way more people applying than they have space for so they set up minimum limits just to reduce the numbers they have to consider.

    Your choice is to retake the course, do better and apply.  Quite frankly, if you can't do math, I don't want you near me as a doctor.

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  • 8 months ago

    You'll need to report this.

  • 8 months ago

    Oh well, that sucks, im sorry. You can always become a nurse

  • cmac'm
    Lv 5
    8 months ago

    They can only make recommendations, they cannot disallow you from registering for a class.

    Talk to someone in the registrar's office to try and get your hold off. And consider trying to get a different advisor.I recommend sending an email to the dean of that college and set up a meeting.

    It's important you handle this in a professional manner. Make calls and follow them up with emails for documentation purposes. Be polite, firm, and confident.

    It's also important you have a plan and be in control of your own future. Good luck.

  • Lv 7
    8 months ago

    I've never been in a doctor's room where the doctor is solving complex math equations in front of the patient. lol. I am just saying, that doesn't even make sense that someone told you a doctor needs to be really good at math. I am a computer software developer and don't do well in math. Everyone says you need to be good at math to be a software developer, but look at me with a career in it for 8 years now!

    Talk is talk. You aren't going to get anywhere with talking to these people, unfortunately. So you need to prove yourself. Can't you take some basic college math classes first to prove you can do it? What classes do you need BEFORE the med school prereqs? So maybe you need to take a few basic math college classes to catch up and prove yourself. Get A's in the lower level math classes and work your way up. That is what I would do.

  • .
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Most all colleges determine placement by the Accuplacer exam.  Transfer to a different school.

  • MS
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    There is good reason for those policies.  Generally, students who do poorly on those sections of the ACT do poorly in those classes.  At my school, students who don't score high enough on the Math ACT have to take a remedial math course before they can take one that counts toward their degree.  If they want to take a higher-level math course, then they must have a particular ACT OR pass a lower-level course at the university with a particular grade.  You will probably be able to take the math courses you need, but you might have to start farther down the ladder and work your way up.

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