UCSB2004

Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2004
88
0
Status
I applied to Medical School for the 2003-2004 application cycle and did not get in. Mainly it was due to bad grades and low MCAT scores. After realizing that I would not get in I decided to apply to post-bac programs (UCI, UCD and UCLA), to which I didn't get in either. Many admissions members at Medical Schools suggested that I stay a fifth year at UCXX to finish improve my science GPA, so I did. So basically I'm dedicating the 2004-2005 school year to making my next medical school application more competitive.

The last quarter of my fourth year I took 8 units of upper division biology and 4 units of English and earned a 3.90GPA. Last quarter (the first quarter of my fifth year at UCXX) I took 12 units of upper division biology along with 4 units of Spanish and earned a 3.92 GPA.

Overall now I have a 3.06GPA and approximately 2.62 science GPA. If I continue to do this well this quarter and the next I should expect to have approximately 2.8 science GPA by the end of Spring quarter, and somewhere around a 3.1 overall GPA.

Now, I am debating on wether I should reapply to post bac programs or wether I should just reapply to medical school this June. One thing to keep in mind is that I have taken many biology courses, so I might have a hard time finding courses that I haven't yet taken if I did decide to attend a reapplicant/post-bac program like the one offered by UCI/UCLA.

Also, what is your opinion about taking the April vs the August MCAT? I would most likely be better prepared if I waited until August, however, I don't want to put myself at a disadvantage by not taking the April exam instead.

Any feedback appreciated.
 

Reckoning

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2003
243
4
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
UCSB2004 said:
Medical Schools suggested that I stay a fifth year at UCXX to finish improve my science GPA, so I did. So basically I'm dedicating the 2004-2005 school year to making my next medical school application more competitive.
I'll take a wild guess and say UCXX is UCSB, not sure why, just have a feeling. Kudos for rocking the last year. Get a sweet MCAT score to match 30+, work VERY hard on your PS, and apply widely (20+) and you should be okay.

But what is worrisome is that no post-bacc would take you. There must be something you are not telling us. Were you booted, arrested, or have multiple F's on your transcript?
 

crys20

make it happen!
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2004
1,130
1
Status
Are you only planning on applying to allo schools? If your MCAT is super high that would be one thing but I think with a 3.1/2.8 it will be difficult no? You could always apply to med schools and if you didn't get in anywhere apply to a post bacc in time to go to that in the fall you'd be starting med school.

I'm tired of advising people in these positions to apply DO and I know it sounds preachy so I'll refrain :)
 

Benzo4every1

Wine Ho
10+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2005
278
1
Status
Attending Physician
Take the April MCAT if you think that you are ready to take it. Don't take it if you are not ready. Only take the MCAT in August, if a) you had not done well in April and would like a higher score. every chance counts, so don't mess up. Even if you had to retake it, and scored better with improvement they look highly upon that.

good luck!
 
OP
U

UCSB2004

Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2004
88
0
Status
First of all I want to thank all three of you givinme me some feedback. About the UCXX... what I meant to say is that the Med School admissions people suggested that I stay at a UC school since I had done my undergraduate work at a UC. About not being accepted to Post-bac programs... I got a 16P total MCAT (8BS, 4PS, 4VR) the year I took it, and most reapplicant post-bac programs require a minimum 18 cummulative MCAT and a 2.7 or 2.8 science GPA, which I didn't have at the time.

Once again, thanks to all of you for helping me out. I really appreciate it.

Reckoning said:
I'll take a wild guess and say UCXX is UCSB, not sure why, just have a feeling. Kudos for rocking the last year. Get a sweet MCAT score to match 30+, work VERY hard on your PS, and apply widely (20+) and you should be okay.

But what is worrisome is that no post-bacc would take you. There must be something you are not telling us. Were you booted, arrested, or have multiple F's on your transcript?
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
UCSB2004 said:
First of all I want to thank all three of you givinme me some feedback. About the UCXX... what I meant to say is that the Med School admissions people suggested that I stay at a UC school since I had done my undergraduate work at a UC. About not being accepted to Post-bac programs... I got a 16P total MCAT (8BS, 4PS, 4VR) the year I took it, and most reapplicant post-bac programs require a minimum 18 cummulative MCAT and a 2.7 or 2.8 science GPA, which I didn't have at the time.

Once again, thanks to all of you for helping me out. I really appreciate it.
I don't think you can talk realistically about applying to med school again until you post a competitive MCAT. Clearly if you are not going to be ready in April, don't take it in April -- this is not something you can "wing", and it would be disasterous to have two sets of really low scores. One bad test is something you can explain away -- two is a pattern. And if you won't be prepared until August, and thus can't see your score before you would really want to submit AMCAS, you may want to consider boosting your GPA for an additional year instead of applying so soon. That's my two cents -- Others feel free to contradict me.
 

qqq

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2005
192
0
Status
Law2Doc said:
I don't think you can talk realistically about applying to med school again until you post a competitive MCAT. Clearly if you are not going to be ready in April, don't take it in April -- this is not something you can "wing", and it would be disasterous to have two sets of really low scores. One bad test is something you can explain away -- two is a pattern. And if you won't be prepared until August, and thus can't see your score before you would really want to submit AMCAS, you may want to consider boosting your GPA for an additional year instead of applying so soon. That's my two cents -- Others feel free to contradict me.
have you taken an mcat study course? take it!!
 

2tall

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2004
1,952
5
USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Visit site
Status
Let me first say...how proud I am of you for not giving up. You've definitely put in a lot of work to perform this turnaround. It's something I did myself...so in effect...while complimenting you, I'm also complimenting myself. (Ha!) :) Admissions committees woud look favorably on this positive trend. If you received a D or lower in any of the medschool prereqs REPEAT them.

You've tackled upper level sciences. The MCAT is next. Your biological sciences score will definitely improve without a doubt. It's the other two sections you need to work on. Whether you take the April on August MCAT depends on 1. Your preparedness (You can't afford another bad day) 2. When you hope to begin medical school.

If you want to start Fall 2006...the April MCAT is the obvious choice.
 

2tall

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2004
1,952
5
USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Visit site
Status
If you want to start Fall 2007...the August MCAT would give you more time to prepare. The other advantage is you'll have the following April MCAT, if there's more room for improvement.

Shoot for YOUR personal BEST. People always say you need this score or that score, but people are different. I will say that I think you need at least a nine in each section ([email protected] guess that's a 27 - such a hypocrite).

After do your best on the MCAT...then it is time to assess whether to apply for medical school or a postbacc/special master's program.

So what is your plan for improving your MCAT? Why did you apply with a 16?
 

2tall

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2004
1,952
5
USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Visit site
Status
You're more than your GPA or MCAT score!

Make sure you're a well-rounded applicant. Do you volunteer? have clinical experience? are you active in the community? have you shadowed a physician? done research? are you active in your church? play sports? play a musical instrument? speak another language? traveled abroad?

The whole package gets you the interview. Once you're there you'll want to have other things to talk about besides...what happened in undergrad...why were your grades so low...what did you do improve your GPA/MCAT. Those things are definitely important, but you have more to offer.

APPLY EARLY...APPLY EARLY...APPLY EARLY!

RESEARCH YOUR SCHOOLS...FIND SCHOOLS THAT LIKE NON TRADITIONAL APPLICANTS!

I have no doubt you're going to be an excellent doctor. I like it when people prove they CAN change.

Good luck to you. Post here if you have any additional questions or feel free to PM me.
 

impetigo

Anesthesia Resident
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2004
76
0
USA
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hate to be a downer, but I don't think people are being honest or realistic with you here. With such low GPAs, even if you aced the MCAT it probably would be an uphill battle to get into a US allo program. No matter how well you do the second time on the MCAT, a low score continues to follow you around without mercy even if you improve a lot. First time I took it I got a 27M and then 35S the second time around, but on interviews I was always met with scepticism as to how I improved so much. Maybe you should consider getting a PhD and doing serious bio-med research and then applying...
 
OP
U

UCSB2004

Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2004
88
0
Status
impetigo said:
Hate to be a downer, but I don't think people are being honest or realistic with you here. With such low GPAs, even if you aced the MCAT it probably would be an uphill battle to get into a US allo program. No matter how well you do the second time on the MCAT, a low score continues to follow you around without mercy even if you improve a lot. First time I took it I got a 27M and then 35S the second time around, but on interviews I was always met with scepticism as to how I improved so much. Maybe you should consider getting a PhD and doing serious bio-med research and then applying...
Fortunately I did my research with Medical Schools before turning to SDN. I just wanted to hear the student side of the story. According to some UC Medical Schools as well as a couple out of state I shoud take the August MCAT and reapply in June. They told my it might be tough to get into a UC school, but I have some chances of getting into an out of state school. I appreciate the fact you took time out of your schedule to answer my question, but I am too dedicated to quit. I will continue on my journey, and when I get my acceptance letter I will come back and let you all know how it happened. One admissions com. member offered to help me through the process by helping me choose the schools that are most likely to accept me and by helping me with my personal statement. I don't think somebody would actually waste their time if they thought I didn't have a chance.
 

TwoLegacies

Senior Member
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2004
269
0
San Diego
Status
crys20 said:
Are you only planning on applying to allo schools? If your MCAT is super high that would be one thing but I think with a 3.1/2.8 it will be difficult no? You could always apply to med schools and if you didn't get in anywhere apply to a post bacc in time to go to that in the fall you'd be starting med school.

I'm tired of advising people in these positions to apply DO and I know it sounds preachy so I'll refrain :)
OK, *i* will then :)

you should consider applying to DO schools. look into the philosophy and see if it appeals to you. i think it's pretty cool myself.
DO schools don't focus as much on GPAs and MCAT scores with regards to admissions. The science GPA cut-off for many DO schools (per their websites) is 2.7, so if you continue to do well-- congratulations!, btw-- you can surpass that mark.

don't let anyone tell you you are a lost cause. just know that because of your past grades, you will have to put in extra effort into something that already takes a ton of effort.

also, make sure to get some clinical experience/ shadowing if you haven't done so already. i think it's really important to make sure you know what you're getting into! good luck, and again congratulations on the fruits of your hard work.
 

crys20

make it happen!
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2004
1,130
1
Status
OK, *i* will then
ahh it was taking all my willpower not to :)

The fact of the matter really is that with that GPA you aren't going to get into a US allo school, or else the odds are very very slim unless your MCAT is 32+ I'd say and even then I think it's sketchy. Is there a chance, yes but I have to think it's almost not worth the $$$ to apply.

So if you are set on US allo schools you need to do a post-bacc and you need to take the MCAT. Taking it in August is also going to be to your disadvantage....Now I know people can improve alot but to go from a 16 to a 30+ seems like an awful lot. If I were you I would do the post-bacc, take the MCAT and apply NEXT summer to MD and DO schools both.

You aren't a lost cause, anyone can make it happen I think, or at least 95% of people if they work hard enough for long enough. But I really do think it's in your best interest to get your stats remotely competitive before applying. And please, please please maximize your chances by applying to DO schools! :)
 

group_theory

EX-TER-MIN-ATE!'
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2002
4,675
1,579
Status
Attending Physician
I agree with the others - you should not re-apply this coming application cycle.

As it stands now, your GPA of 3.06 (2.62 sGPA) with a MCAT score of 16P will not get you into any US allopathic OR osteopathic medical school.

If according to your projection, you get 3.1 GPA overall (2.8 sGPA), you will still be at a disadvantage. You will barely make the cutoff for secondaries at some osteopathic school, and your GPA will be below the average GPA of DO applicants. You need at least a 25 on the MCAT (a more conservative estimate would be 30) to be a competitive applicant with such a low GPA. As it stands now, low GPA (based on your projection) and < 25 MCAT means low probability of interview/acceptances unless there are special circumstances.

Sometimes the advice on SDN seems to be "apply DO, they take everyone" when in reality the percentage of the applicant pool interviewed and accepted at DO schools are on par with a lot of allopathic schools.

However, there is hope (this post is meant to be constructive)

AACOMAS calculates GPA differently than AMCAS. If you repeat a course, AACOMAS will only count the latest attempt (it will list the previous attempts though so schools might ask about them). AMCAS averages them out while AACOMAS takes the latest. So if you repeated a lot of your courses, your GPA could increase thanks to the way AACOMAS calculates. So it might be wise to retake some of your courses that you did poorly on. This is why a post-bac would be more ideal in your situation than a Masters. You need to raise your undergrad GPA. A more ideal time to take MCAT would be April 2006, since you shouldn't be applying this upcoming cycle.

So your goal is to raise your GPA and do well on the MCAT.

While LORs and healthcare/research experience are a plus, they are no substitute for poor undergrad performances and low MCAT. I know you are eager to start medical school and become a doctor, but 3-4 years of poor undergraduate GPAs must be fixed and it will take some time. Having 2+ years of high GPA and sufficient time to study for MCAT would significantly improve your chances of acceptance. If you were to take the April 2005 MCAT and do poorly, then the odds are against you for a US medical school (MD or DO). August 2005 MCAT may be possible, depending on whether you can do well (but then you still have a low GPA and you are late in the game since MCAT release scores in November so the odds are against you)

I wish you the best of luck. I do hope that in the future, you will update this thread with a post saying how you got into the medical school of your choice.