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I am currently taking a course where my final mark is determine by 2 papers worth 50% each. I really hoped to get at least a B on my first paper. Unfortunately, I got a B- (71%?). I worked for 2-3 weeks on this very short paper and got help from both my TA and the writing clinic. I am in my final semester of undergrad (have not applied to grad school yet) and now I am considering dropping this course. If I drop this course, I will not be able to graduate in June and will have to take a course in the summer. This also means that I will only have 3 courses on my transcript this semester (if I drop it). This is a philosophy course and thus there is no positive correlation between how hard one studies and their mark (professors have told my class this many times). I will need a B+ on my second essay. I want to graduate in the top 10% of my class and, in order to do that, I need at least a 75% in this class. However, I am not sure how possible this is no matter how much I study or how much help I get. My other marks on my transcript are good, especially the ones that relate to the program I am interested in doing graduate work in. I am not studying philosophy in graduate school. My cGPA is a 3.5 and my GPA for the past 2 years of study is a 3.6-3.7. Graduate schools usually require at least a 3.3 for the last 2 years and a 3.0 overall.
I am not sure whether or not to drop this course. Will a low mark (high 60s/low 70s) in my last year affect my chances for grad school?
EDIT: "Good" GRE scores will not be able to "make up" for an discrepancies in my transcript since I am not required to take the GRE (nor is it accepted by most places).