Q. If I'm really struggling in a class and I'm debating on using my Q-drop, what are the pros and cons? When is it a good idea to use the Q-drop option, and when is it a bad idea? (Monika D.) A: The most important thing to remember about a Q-drop is that it is as permanent on your record as any other grade you may receive in the class- whether that’s failing or an A-. Graduate and professional schools may question why you Q-dropped the class, so either they will assume you were doing poorly, or they may ask you why in an interview. A good time to use a Q-drop for a class is if it’s negatively impacting your entire semester, perhaps reflected in both your grade in that class and your grades in other classes. If you are unable to manage your time to succeed in this class in addition to your other classes, you may need to evaluate whether you should be taking it at a time in which you can’t succeed.
However, there are many, many situations where you should likely not use a Q-drop. Firstly, making an A- or a B in one class (I know, pre-meds) isn't going to make admissions committees vomit on your application. In fact, a Q-drop may indicate that either you did rather poorly and did not want them to see your performance, or you were being a bit dramatic about your A-.
Consider whether you can survive with a small hit to your GPA rather than redoing the entire course. If you have to take the class for your major, also, it may be unwise to Q-drop, as it could put you behind. All in all, be prepared to defend your Q-drop in a way that won’t make people roll their eyes. Having more time to Netflix or avoiding an A- is not a good reason, but having a particularly challenging semester in which your work schedule did not permit you time to get the help you needed to succeed may be.