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How do Med Schools look at Retaken Undergrad classes?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by smileyman22336, Apr 22, 2012.

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  1. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    Hey there! First off, I apologize if this question has already been asked, I'm just curious. What if a person started off undergrad bad, with over 5 C's in science courses, especially those that are prerequisites for med-school, then later retakes all of those courses and gets A's and also graduates with a BS or a Masters in a program. Do med schools view the undergrad class retakes as bad since there were so many? How does this affect GPA? Do the retakes replace the first grade, or are they averaged? I know it might differ depending on the school policy, but what's been your experience with this issue?
  2. xXIDaShizIXx

    xXIDaShizIXx Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Candidate

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    If the letter grades show up, then medical schools take all of them into account. It is more of an average of the two if you will. I'm not certain about the graduate work, but I know for certain it does nothing to change your undergraduate GPA (which they look at most). What are your stats, if you don't mind me asking OP?
  3. sector9

    sector9 'He's a loathsome, offensive brute' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    All courses will be factored into your AMCAS GPA and must be reported to medical schools, even if the grades were removed from your transcript by your undergrad or if your undergrad doesn't use them in their GPA calculation.

    AACOMAS has a policy allowing retakes to substitute the older grade
  4. xXIDaShizIXx

    xXIDaShizIXx Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Candidate

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    Yes, that is another question, OP. M.D. or D.O.?
  5. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    m.d.
  6. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    What exactly is AACOMAS? I am not familiar with this term...

    So, the classes would be considered in gpa calculations, but only the replaced grade? Meaning the grade that the person gets the second time they repeat the course?
  7. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    Oh so they will show up and be averaged? Hmm well still that's good.
    Well I have a lot of B's in history, government, and the Englishes, and as for the science courses, most of which are prerequisites I had C's and retook to get B's and A's, let me be more specific in the only C's I've ever had and what I got when I retook.

    College Algebra, first time C, second time A
    Pre-Calculus, first time C, second time B
    General Chemistry 1, first time C, second time A
    General Chemistry 2, first time C, second time A
    Organic Chemistry 1, first time C, second time B

    In Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 I have two A's.
    In General Biology 1 and 2 I have 2 A's.
    In college physics 1 I have an A.
    In organic chemistry 2 I have a B.
    In microbiology I have an A
    In Calculus 1 I have an A
    In statistics I have an A.

    All classes are lab and lecture combined, that's how my school does it, so the lecture and lab grade is the same.

    It's like a mixture. For microcomputer applications I have an A.

    Umm but the thing is, I want to retake all of the classes which I didn't get an A, in about 2 semesters, before continuing working on my BS degree. I don't know if that would be helpful. I want to take Org 2, the Englishes, the histories, and governments and change all of my B's to A's. Cause I no longer have C's anymore since the retakes. I mean some of the classes in which I retook to get B's I still would like to take them again for a third time even though I know it might not look good.

    My school replaces the grade with the newest grade you got in the class, but I want to know how the medical school's view this. I wanna get into Baylor or something. I'm interested in their program, or something in Texas first.

    I wanna know if it's worth it to do the retakes before continuing my education in a higher level. Pretty much all my prereqs are done, I just want to retake to get A's hoping even though they are retakes, the process will be helpful to me by the medical school admissions committee.

    I got off to a bad start in undergrad but I'm working hard to fix it, and I will not apply to med school till my application is solid as a rock. I am determined and motivated.
  8. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    Although if I got the C in college algebra and retook it at a different institution and got the A, would I also have to go back to the school I got the C and take it there too for it to be completely replaced?

  9. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    AACOMAS is the AMCAS for DO schools. and TMDAS (i think) is for texas schools. If you have an C in 4 credit chem and retake it for an A, AMCAS will look at it as 4 credits at C and 4 credits at A, or effectively (and this is why they say average) 8 credits at B. However keep in mind it is the full 8 credits, That is why it is better to take higher level classes and NOT retake classes in AMCAS because you don't get any added benefit retaking when doing well on higher level makes it look better.

    For DO schools using AACOMAS, the same scenario, 4 credits at C replaced with 4 credits at A would be considered as 4 credits at A as long as it is the exact same class. So retaking for DO schools is much more valuable. This can be done at any school as long as it is the same class per course description.

    TCOM is the only DO school in texas and it uses TMDAS like the other texas schools, so you would not benefit from retakes at TCOM.

    That being said, retaking anything less than a B is a waste of time.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  10. JESSFALLING

    JESSFALLING

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    Considering your many retakes, your GPA will be much higher for D.O. admissions. You may consider applying both M.D. & D.O........a lot of folks do these days.
  11. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    At the risk of sounding stupid, I would just like to clarify: even remedial math (arithmetic) classes, an EMT class, a firefighting class, a non transferrable "how to study in college" class at a cc go in as well? Anything at all ever taken at an accredited institution with a letter grade? Do people ever just take a ton of easy or online classes to fluff up their GPA?
  12. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    Anything you have ever taken that was at a college or ended with college credit. Yes they do. I had 2 years of automotive technology classes (about 100 credit hours) at 4.0 that helped keep my gpa high. I didn't take them to fluff my gpa but it worked out that way.
  13. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 2

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    Don't bother re-taking B's. Unless you are focusing on DO, re-taking B's is not worth the time, and even for DO schools, it likely isn't worth it. It is better to take upper-level classes for an A than to take a class you already took and passed a second time for an A. After all, it is a lot easier to get an A the second time you take a class than get it is the first time you take it.

    If you are not a Texas resident, or don't have strong ties to the state, you will not want to limit yourself to Texas for med schools. They only take I believe 20% of each class from out of state, so you would be well-served to look elsewhere unless you are a resident, or willing to wait a year and establish residency.

    Demonstrating you can get A's, especially in the upper-level sciences, will be your best course whether you are applying in Texas or not. Focus on doing well from now on, forget about the classes you got B's in (especially if the B was on a retake...:eek:) and get the A's on the rest of your courses.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  14. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    Oh wow, thats so strange! That's what I was thinking, was that people would be able to take extra easier classes to improve their gpa. Wouldn't easier non major science classes count into the science gpa as well? I don't know if that's a fair way to go though, something about the idea of taking easier science classes to boost up a gpa doesn't sit right but I'm probably just over thinking it, it's not like a person wouldn't be doing the work.
  15. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 2

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    It is only replaced at DO schools, not MD schools, just to be clear.

    No it doesn't have to be at the same school, you have to take a course for as many or more credits as the first time you took the class, and the course must be demonstrably equivalent in scope and subject matter for it to count as a grade replacement retake for DO schools. MD schools obviously don't care what you take where for GPA purposes, since they count everything.
  16. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 2

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    Remember that schools will see your entire transcript on your primary application. Sure, you could boost your numbers by doing this, but Adcoms will see that you took "remedial chemistry for non-majors" after taking the pre-reqs, and recognize you are trying to boost your GPA artificially. They will take that into account when assessing your entire application.
  17. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    That's a good point. Ugh I wish I could boost up my gpa faster. Gr.
  18. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    gpa repair is a long process. especially if you are looking for MD schools because it takes 2 good grades for every 1 bad grade (on average) to even make a slight move. And padding your gpa is generally obvious. it was a benefit for me, however I did the auto classes first so it was more of a "i changed my mind." Settle in because it is going to be awhile.
  19. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    There is a silver lining to the rain cloud though which is that I still have two and a half more years of undergrad because I recently switched over from poli sci, so hopefully I can do some damage control. This is going to be a painstakingly slow and tedious process but hey I did it to myself, lesson learned.
  20. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    What's a D.O. school? And so I'm understanding now that to apply for an MD program I shouldn't retake B's, but for a DO program I should because MD programs average and DO's replace. Seems like I should retake so that I can have more options. And I am a Texas resident and would like to stay in the state, I know there's a few schools here that I'd like to apply to, especially Baylor, but of course I will keep my options open. So, most of you all are saying to continue with upper level courses and do well on them besides focusing so much on retakes especially B's. What would these courses be? Like for a Bachelor's degree? I got my associates in chemistry. I'm worried cause I heard if I go for a masters degree or anything above a bachelor's M.D schools wont even consider the grades or degree when applying, so it wont give me an edge, because the undergrad grades are only what they look at. I'm trying to figure out if I stand a chance besides the fact I have so many B's and some A's and the C's that I retook, because I see that most people apply with amazingly high gpa's and mcat scores and volunteer hours, so I'm trying to make myself competitive but I don't know how now considering my current situation with undergrad, even though I did retake a lot and now only have A's and B's in everything.
  21. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    I have another question, I hope it isn't border line insane, haha. I now know that MD schools will average a retake that was originally a C that turned into an A into a final average of B. So many of you all suggested that if I had a B, that for MD schools, I should not retake any B's. What if I had a C originally in one of my classes, and I retook the class and got an A? The MD school will average that into a B. Well what if I retook the same class after already getting an A and get another A in it. Will that B turn into an A finally? Or does it stay as a B? Haha, not that I'm going to do that, I'm just wondering. And also, what's there to do to still have a chance and fix my undergrad situation, do I just take courses that aim towards a bachelor's and aim high. I want to know what I can do to have a good shot and redeem myself. Thanks for all of your responses in advance.
  22. Donald Juan

    Donald Juan

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    I think you misunderstand how gpas work. If you retake a class it's not averaged in the sense you are describing. For example, if you took bio 101, 4 hours, and made a C the first time and an A the second time, for gpa calculations you still have 4 hours of 2.0 and 4 hours of 4.0. It's "averaged" in the sense that they are equivalent to 8 hours of 3.0 credit. They don't treat it like one class.

    With that being said, there is absolutely no reason to retake courses if you are positive you want to go to an allopathic school. Take upper levels, they have the same effect on your gpa as retaking courses, and proves that you can handle difficult courses.
  23. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    Thank you for clarifying this for me. So since I have All A's and B's on my transcript now, I'm fine to move on and take upper level classes instead of worrying about retakes correct? I'm considering taking Cal 2 and Cal 3 as well as University Physics 1 and University Physics 2 just to show the admissions committee I've matured in my study methods and am able to handle such classes. Would that be a smart move?
  24. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    I'm just curious.. Are you at a two year or four year institution?
  25. JESSFALLING

    JESSFALLING

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    No, this sounds like a horrible idea. Take courses which will be more relevant to your future career. I recommend Biochemistry, Genetics, Cell Biology, Immunology, and Neuroscience.

    If you need to further boost your GPA, take courses in statistics, nutrition, astronomy, psychology, economics, English, history, art, music, or other medically-related humanities like bio-ethics, dying-death-afterlife, religion, Spanish, etc.
  26. gonnif

    gonnif Director, OldPreMeds.org Lifetime Donor

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    I concur strong with the above. Taking difficult classes in Calc and Physics will not impress the adcom on a "social" aspect of your application; it will only risk affecting your science GPA. As the previous poster has said, taking the upper level bio would be more appropriate. You address the low grades in your PS where maturity, motivation and commitment are appropriately discussed
  27. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    Currently a 2 year, got 2 associates degrees, one in bio and one in chem. But a four year institution is literally 20 mins away and I can sign up.
  28. smileyman22336

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    Well another reason why I was considering those two classes was because at UT Austin the chemistry degree requires them, but I'm not sure if I should move or just attend the local four year university. I think I'd much rather do what you advised though and go for a chemistry/ bio degree here and take those classes instead. I am aiming for all A's from now on no matter what.
  29. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    I think that if you're serious about medicine, go to the four year university this upcoming fall and get yourself a really good advisor. You need to start taking the classes that are more applicable to your goal. once you transfer, do well, and you will be fine. :)
  30. smileyman22336

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    Wouldn't it help for the MCAT? Just curious I'm not sure how in depth the math and physics are though. And I will take upper level bio courses definitely in this summer to make a statement that I'm maturing as a student, hopefully they can see that. But I'd have to do so at a four year institution, not a two year that I'm currently attending. At the four year institution I have four classes taken: English 1302 where I got a B, Government 2 where I got a B, History 2 where I got an A, and College Algebra where I got a C. The problem is, the college algebra, I retook at the two year institution I'm currently in and got an A, but I don't know if the medical committee will still consider it to be a 3.00 credit for me, since I had a C and retook and got an A despite it being at a different institution. I believe so though.

    This summer I will sign up for some biology courses. The chemistry ones are too hard to find.
  31. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    Man you are looking in to this way too much. your posts seem spastic and panicky. The adcoms aren't going to break everything down when you apply. They will see that you took these classes here and those classes there. One class they aren't going to notice. And is it a 3 credit class or are you talking a B? As we have stated, AMCAS won't consider it a B average. They will consider it 3 or 4 credits at A and 3 or 4 at C. If you really want to show adcoms that you can handle more, do well at the university.
  32. gonnif

    gonnif Director, OldPreMeds.org Lifetime Donor

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    There is no calculus on the MCAT, none, nada, zilch

    The physics is all first year and more like the in depth word problems that are found in a general physics text book, usually the last several problems in the chapters. It is more concepts and calculations that should be thought of in order of magnitude so you can easily eyeball wrong answers . In other words, if you need to actually do calculations on the MCAT to get an answer you are doing something wrong. From the units, magnitude of answer, direction, or similar, you should be able to eliminate answers easily and get the correct one.

    I am not a big believer in taking advanced classes solely for the purpose of MCAT prep. While this is common in biology with immunology, genetics, etc, what really is happening is the material in the freshman texts is not covered in class as in depth as it should be. I think students can be well served by utilizing the freshman texts in their subjects fully.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  33. smileyman22336

    smileyman22336

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    Thank you for your response, and to the rest of you as well. So, I'm understanding it's a better idea to just finish college physics 2, since it is a prerequisite at most medical schools, and drop the cal 2 and cal 3 and university physics 1 and 2, and begin taking more biology and chemistry classes at the local university and get A's on them. I will do all of this. Do you recommend I postpone applying for the graduation for the bachelor's degree and take as many undergrad bio and chemistry courses as possible so that the admissions committee will see all the courses I have taken and excelled in which will hopefully make up for the classes I previously messed up on at the CC which I retook? I'm asking this because I've heard med schools don't usually consider masters and phd classes, just bachelor's and post bacc g.p.a.

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