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A good metaphor for GPA/MCAT/ECs in terms of medical school admission

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MedAdComMD, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. MedAdComMD

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    Since I been getting quite a few PMs from pre-meds about their application, I figured I should share an analogy/metaphor for assessing pre-med's credentials during my days when I reviewed applications.

    The analogy is this:

    Pretend that you want to buy a nice house for your family

    Your GPA (viewed as a general range) is the neighborhood the house is in
    Your MCAT (compared as a standarized test) is the actual house
    All your ECs are the renovations/decorations within the house.


    So ask yourself: Would you buy a very nice mansion in a very bad neighborhood? Would you buy a run down house in a very nice neighborhood? How much decoration/renovation/accessories within the house would sway you to buy a bad house in a bad neighborhood?

    Keep this in mind when asking does my ECs make up for poor GPA/MCAT or both.
     
    #1 MedAdComMD, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
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  3. CodeBlu

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    I'd like to change your analogy...

    the MCAT is the neighborhood you're in (since it's only a 5 hour test)
    the GPA is your specific house (since that's what you've been working on for 3+ years)
    the ECs are the renovations and decorations on your beautiful GPAHome.

    Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart... have a pleasant day now!
     
  4. orangeblue

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    Funny thing is that when I read this title post, this is exactly what I thought:


    MCAT : the value of the land that you bought. A property in the City (ie. Manhattan or downtown [Whatever City] will always be worth more due to close proximity to a major street, etc. It can only go up in value.

    GPA: Is the structure of the house- foundation- that you are building it on.


    ECs: the embellishments, the granite counter tops, the Mercedez parked, the wonderful french manicured lawns, the Lalique crystal...
     
  5. MedAdComMD

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    Your GPA is viewed rather as a "general range" it is in (the 3.60s, 3.70s...etc etc)

    The MCAT score is standarized and thus compared more narrowly.

    As you can see, a beautiful house in a upscale neighborhood can sway a buyer even with little renovations inside...
     
  6. Lexicon0

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    I think the original analogy as it stands is more accurate.. The mcat can easily be changed/improved like a specific house. However, your gpa is more resistant to change just any particular neighborhood...
     
  7. paul411

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    This house comes with a luxury car?! Sweet :p

    Also, I think people are taking the analogy/metaphor too literally.
     
  8. CodeBlu

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    The MCAT is standardized... exactly my point. Which means if one can do better or worse on it... and then re-write say 8 times... what good is that?

    The GPA however, as others have mentioned is resistant to change and is more reflective of your work ethic.
     
  9. MedAdComMD

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    Take home message of this analogy is that your GPA and MCAT makes up the foundation of your application. Superb renovations will only very rarely make up for a bad house in a bad neighborhood.

    However, it is possible to sell a excellent mansion in a MEDIOCRE neighborhood and vice versa.
     
  10. circulus vitios

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    My nice house in an average neighborhood is sparsely decorated.
     
  11. LizzyM

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    You can always rebuilt the house (retake the MCAT) but it takes far more effort, to the point of being almost impossible, to improve a neighborhood that has been less than optimal for years and years or that has gone downhill.

    I love the OP's analogy.
     
  12. RogueUnicorn

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    [email protected] trying to have an argument here. cool it, this isn't the first time i've noticed you talkin out your behind..
     
  13. circulus vitios

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    He's definitely a that guy.
     
  14. CodeBlu

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    I thought it was funny :laugh:

    Although, I did like the OPs original analogy.
     
  15. Geekchick921

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    #1 rule of real estate. Location, location, location...
     
  16. pkwraith

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    Gunners = squatters that move into your house and change your locks while you're doing grocery shopping
     
  17. CodeBlu

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    :laugh:
     
  18. oaklandguy

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    I'm working with a run down shack in Detroit with no renovations.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. 1TB4RKSB4CK

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    Ask yourself if you want a Detroit One dollar home.
     
  20. Stumpyman

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    But the three rules of real estate are location, location, location... so if gpa is the neighborhood....
     
  21. oaklandguy

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    Is URM like a foreclosure or a short sale?
     
  22. LizzyM

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    No, it is an experience. Like tasteful decorating, it can enhance a modest house in a decent but not excellent neighborhood.
     
  23. oaklandguy

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    Very fair analysis. Just unfortunate that not every student has the opportunity to have tasteful decorating. But there are many renovations available I guess.

    I would say that I have a jack and jill bathroom with great fixtures, and german cabinetry.
     
  24. LizzyM

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    Every student has 168 hours in a week and a minimum of 156 weeks between HS graduation and submitting the AMCAS (some have many times more). There is no excuse for the beige box of cookie cutter look-alikes with the decorating consisting of copying an entire house, room by room, from a catalog. There is no excuse for an empty house, with an empty porch, and an empty yard.

    Everyone should put their personal touch on the application. Some experiences are thrust upon you -- you don't get to choose them (racial or religious discrimination, illness, death of a close relative, near death experience, natural disaster), others are under your control and you are wise to select what you love because you have to live your life, not live the life someone else things you should have.
     
  25. lkthlttr

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    I definitely like the analogy, particularly if you think about a strong upward trend in GPA as being the equivalent of a neighbourhood which once was a little rough but has been gentrifying in recent years.
     
  26. Chemdude

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    Application: Woman
    MCAT: rear
    GPA: bosom
    EC's: personality

    More clarification: An attractive woman has all of the above components. If one of these components is unsatisfactory, another component can make up for the deficiency. Adcoms may consider one of the app components as more important than the others. Similarly, men do the same with regards to women.
     
    #25 Chemdude, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  27. oaklandguy

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    So strong and unique extracurriculars are essential is what you are saying? While MCAT and GPA only count towards shallow schools?
     
  28. wololololololo

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    So MCAT prep courses and SMP's are like implants?
     
  29. Chemdude

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    Yes, exactly.

    Right on.
     
  30. oaklandguy

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    So the face can be absolutely hideous??

    Seriously though I do believe that I am still in the running at specific schools because of my picture that I included with my apps. My stats definitely are not up to par with some of the schools, yet I still am in the running so we will see.
     
  31. circulus vitios

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    What if we're minimalists? :oops:
     
  32. Chemdude

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    Totally forgot about the face haha. Let me do a little editing:

    Application: Woman
    MCAT: rear
    GPA: bosom
    Clinical experience: face
    All other EC's: Personality.

    Clinical experience is always necessary, as a woman without an attractive face is usually assumed wholly unattractive. An attractive woman has all of the above components. If one of these components is unsatisfactory, another component can make up for the deficiency. Adcoms may consider one of the app components as more important than the others. Similarly, men do the same with regards to women.
     
  33. oaklandguy

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    butter-clinical experience
     
  34. lkthlttr

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    Some other thoughts...

    Being in-state is like the house being located in a neighborhood that is only a 10 minute drive from work and right around the corner from the grocery store.

    Clinical volunteering is like the plumbing of ECs. Sure the house may be in a decent neighbourhood, and has a huge marble island in the kitchen, but if there is only one toilet that doesn't flush properly and all the pipes creak and moan when you run the water in the kitchen sink, you aren't going to be that excited about it.
     
  35. TheMightySmiter

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    This metaphor can be taken way too far...is an IA for academic dishonesty on your record like a termite infestation? Letters of recommendation are like acknowledgments that the house meets building code? And a committee letter indicates that the city itself has checked on the foundation integrity rather than just private contractors? A typo in your PS is like a tile missing in the shower? God I could seriously go all day...
     
  36. lkthlttr

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    Excellent. I love it.
     
  37. oaklandguy

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    As an overall applicant I'm feeling like low income housing, or maybe like a college dormitory.

    Research is like having a grotto.
     
  38. wololololololo

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    A pub is like having a personal theater.
     
  39. oaklandguy

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    starting a charity is like having a swimming pool.

    So I'm the one crib in the projects with multiple personal movie theatres and a basketball court.
     
  40. lkthlttr

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    As a reapplicant, I feel like I have a stigma from being on the market for too long, 'cause my realtor was asking too much originally.
     
  41. lkthlttr

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    Totally read that wrong at first.

    "A pub in the basement would be awesome... I'd have my friends over to watch the game on my big screen and... oh wait. That's not what he means"
     
  42. wololololololo

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    Have it gated with some security.
     
  43. TheMightySmiter

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    I'd say being URM is like having a house with historical significance--like, this house was part of the underground railroad, or Franklin Roosevelt spent his childhood here.
     
  44. craps

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    So, uh, where does the price of the house come into all this?
     
  45. lkthlttr

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    Size of the financial aid package.

    Or rather, the value of the education that the school is offering you with an offer of admission, which includes the size of the financial aid package.
     
    #44 lkthlttr, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  46. LizzyM

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    Price is like the LizzyM score (gpa*10+ MCAT) times 10,000 (or is it 100,000).

    Some folks are looking in the 730,000 and up range, others would be happy with something about $600,000. Others will take something around $550,000 if it has historical significance.
     
  47. Buttermellow

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    That's exactly what I thought, or what I wanted to be true since I have a high GPA and mediocre MCAT. But seriously, I would consider GPA more (personally) since it shows 3+ years worth of work, while the MCAT is just a single test (and we all know that it's possible to do way better/worse on a single test than you deserve). However, I do get that it's a standardized test while GPAs are very un-standardized.
     
  48. poohbear12345

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    even though I have a low Cgpa (3.35) i love this analogy. I wonder if the golden rule of real estate applies (location, location, location). And how about the fact that some schools set you up to be in a much nicer neighborhood.
     
  49. pkwraith

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    Starting a charity is good for your application.

    Having a swimming pool is not good for the value of your home. It's one of the worst investments for your house in terms of ROI. Ditto for home theater.

    Better analogy would be: swimming pool = premed club. It might make the home owner happy with himself, but translates into zero value.
     
  50. oaklandguy

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    That's probably what they say on HGTV, I'm over here talking about MTV Cribs. You know that any baller (top 20) wants a pool.
     
  51. TheGloaming

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    Good interviewing skills are equivalent to a great realtor with a great sales pitch that knows every feature of the house and is very enthusiastic about it.
     

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