SweetOrchid

10+ Year Member
Feb 29, 2008
15
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Hello,

My GPA is below ave. (cum = 3.35 and sci = 3.16) mostly due to the time I've spent on my job, pharmacy volunteering, and other extracurricular activities for the past years.

For personal statement questions which ask to explain for any disparities in grades, should I not write about my juggle between work, volunteering, extracurricular, and studies as a reason? Feels like an excuse. Rather than making excuses for my grades, should I just go straight to "...but what I've learned from my involvement/experiences have helped me to become who I am today" (or something along those lines)...and write about what I've learned through my commitment?

Or is that completely neglecting to answer the prompt? I just don't want to make excuses for my grades, I'm sure adcoms have heard all the reasons before.

Has anyone been in this situation?

I really hope you can help me. Thank You so much.
 
Jun 9, 2009
7,402
8
Status
if you want to write about the difficulties in your grades and such, write about the challenges you faced and how you managed to overcome those difficulties.

if you come from a difficult school, then they might understand. also, if you had heavy course loads every semester, they might understand that too.
 

Passion4Sci

LML
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2009
7,504
12
Palo Alto, CA
Status
Pharmacy Student
Frame it like this:

I've done X, Y, and Z for the past A years, which have culminated in a strong understanding of pharmacy, blah, blah, yadda yadda, and I was able to still maintain a cGPA of 3.35.

By the way, 3.35 is, by definition, above average.
 
Jul 15, 2009
129
0
Orange County
Status
Pharmacy Student
Frame it like this:

I've done X, Y, and Z for the past A years, which have culminated in a strong understanding of pharmacy, blah, blah, yadda yadda, and I was able to still maintain a cGPA of 3.35.

By the way, 3.35 is, by definition, above average.
+1

Do not say it contributed to your GPA in a negative way. They will interpret it as you take on too much than you can handle and you don't learn from your mistakes.
 
May 4, 2009
35
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
I was told in my interview last year to expect about 3 hours of studying every night if I were to be accepted into Pharmacy School. In other words, they wanted to make sure I had what it took to handle their "rigorous" curriculum. If you say that you had a "low" GPA because of juggling school, work, and ECs you are in essence admitting that a busy schedule hinders your ability to be successful. A busy/rigorous schedule is the very thing they want to make sure you can in fact handle. I didn't have a great GPA or PCAT score either (in my opinion). I simply said that I did the best I could with the schedule/circumstances I had. I said that maintaining the GPA and getting the PCAT scores that I had with my schedule proved that I was determined and would do everything I could to be successful in their program, should I gain admittance.