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.