As many of you as I have read are wondering about scores and admissions selections, I wish you the best. I am new here, so I beg your patience as I ask for any wisdom that people might offer. As a 29 year old who has returned to school to do the older 'pre-med' thing, I have a few concerns. First of all, my previous scholastic performance ten years ago was acceptable but less than stellar with 2 years of tough courses and a 3.3 GPA. Unfortunately I wasn't really trying back then, but now I have set my mind on going the full term and sticking it out. Knowing that for the next 2 years my grades will have to be excellent, so far I have been studying excuberantly and have achieved 4.0's in a 2 out of 3 classes. The third, a biology class, I just today got back a test with an 84% on it. This discouraged me because I felt as if I knew the material (for those of you who have not done this well, please do not see this as bragging. I am working very hard for these grades). Anyway, the teacher informed me that I was at the top of my class. Putting this all into perspective, if I get a string of teachers like this where 3.7's are the best they will give no matter what, it is going to make my cumulative GPA somewhere around a 3.5 or 3.6 tops, considering that I would have a year and a half probably before MCATs and admissions attempts to pull the GPA up. I know that with a decent MCAT score, demonstration of distinct commitment in good grades from my return to school after an 10 year absence, and total commitment to becoming a physician, I bear some bit of a chance to making it into a school. Outside of school I have been involved in medical research for the last six years, (that which drove me to believe that I must become a doctor). On top of this, I have to work to pay my way through school as well as support my family. so, my questions so far are; 1. when you encounter teachers who are very strict about giving out top grades, do you work super extra hard for them or just make sure you know the material very well? 2. How do I go about putting together a list of schools? Obviously, since the University of Washington is near me and I will be finishing my undergrad there it would be my primary choice, but since they only accept about 7% of applicants I am soberly concerned... 3. Anyone have any tips or tricks on the financial end of it? My family has no financial support for me at all, nor does a single person in my family posess a college degree. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated and I thank you for the opportunity to participate in this community.