Hello, my questions are about pre-optometry:
1) What was it that you think got you the acceptance into optometry school? What was your overall undergrad GPA and Science GPA, OAT scores, any extra curricular activities?
2)Since so many applicants can have a high GPA,OAT scores, etc. What do you recommend one do to make themselves stand out to the acceptance committee of each Optometry school?
3) My grades in the first 3 years in college suffered, do you think I blew my chances of getting accepted into optometry school even if I went to retake courses to earn a higher grade, or do you think that perhaps the acceptance committee will consider it if they see that I've took the time to make up for my mistakes?
Admissions committees use a variety of factors, which I'm sure you know. As far as what got me into school, it was probably more the OAT which I did extremely well on and my personal statement. My GPA was respectable but mediocre compared to most of my classmates.
Personally, I think it should be your personal statement that stands out, because most people are going to have decent GPAs and OAT scores. Unless either of those things are really in the stratosphere, which it sounds like in your case they're not, I would focus on the personal statement.
You said your grades suffered....obviously there are varying degrees of suffering. Some people with a 3.5 think they are performing horribly and others with a 2.5 think they are doing great! So you'll have to be a bit more clear on just how bad your grades are.
In general, I do not recommend retaking classes unless you have failed them, or are below the minimum threshold required by the school you want to attend, which I think in most cases is a C. Check with the individual schools but I think most of the time, you are better off taking higher level courses and doing well rather than retaking 1st and 2nd year courses as a junior or senior.