Can I get into a top 20 medical school with a 3.4 GPA?

Nov 26, 2020
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I moved to the US from Ethiopia in 2017 and didn't speak English then. As a result my first 3 semesters sucked. I have 3 F and 4 C. I have retaken the F classes and gotten better grades. I have been getting straight A for the past two semesters and I intend to continue doing that.But the highest GPA I can achieve a 3.42. I was also in med school in Ethiopia but I had to withdrew (to move to the US) after finishing about 65% of it. I speak 4 languages (I understand some med schools care about that).I am working hard on my extracurriculars in accordance to the schools I'm looking at. I have not taken the MCAT yet but provided I do well, how do you rate my chances at one of the top medical schools in the country? If not do you think I should focus more on lower seeded medical schools? Thank you so much in advance.
 
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I moved to the US from Ethiopia in 2017 and didn't speak English then. As a result my first 3 semesters sucked. I have 3 F and 4 C. I have retaken the F classes and gotten better grades. I have been getting straight A for the past two semesters and I intend to continue doing that.But the highest GPA I can achieve a 3.42. I was also in med school in Ethiopia but I had to withdrew (to move to the US) after finishing about 65% of it. I speak 4 languages (I understand some med schools care about that).I am working hard on my extracurriculars in accordance to the schools I'm looking at. I have not taken the MCAT yet but provided I do well, how do you rate my chances at one of the top medical schools in the country? If not do you think I should focus more on lower seeded medical schools? Thank you so much in advance.

60% of applicants, many with a significantly higher GPA, fail to get into a single medical school.

Your goal should be to get into ANY medical school, a very challenging feat on its own. If you focus on only top schools you will be a permanent reapplicant.
 
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Also just FYI, based on personal experience of someone I know, some med schools also deem applicants ineligible who’ve attended medical school anywhere in the world. I think Harvard is one example.
 
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Nov 26, 2020
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60% of applicants, many with a significantly higher GPA, fail to get into a single medical school.

Your goal should be to get into ANY medical school, a very challenging feat on its own. If you focus on only top schools you will be a permanent reapplicant.
Okay. Thank you. So I have 14 schools I am looking at to meet their requirements. Of those, only 3 are top 20. But I honestly don't care about which medical school. I read that the 3 F that I have are a deal breaker. Is it possible to explain those because of my early language inefficiency? Is it possible to create a theme on my personal statement and secondary around my former experience in medical school?
 

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Where you can realistically apply to will depend on your MCAT score. Post your actual score here in the future.
 
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Don’t be afraid to go to a DO school. Where you do your residency will have more impact on your ultimate career than where you went to med school.
 
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Okay. Thank you. So I have 14 schools I am looking at to meet their requirements. Of those, only 3 are top 20. But I honestly don't care about which medical school. I read that the 3 F that I have are a deal breaker. Is it possible to explain those because of my early language inefficiency? Is it possible to create a theme on my personal statement and secondary around my former experience in medical school?
Fs won't be deal breakers anywhere, and can be overcome through GPA repair. Your former med school experience, on the other hand, could be a deal breaker, depending on the school. You need to research that at every school you are considering before getting too far into the process. Assuming schools would receptive to admitting you even though you previously matriculated elsewhere, the uniqueness of your story and the obstacles that you overcame to get to this point would likely serve to mitigate the weakness in your GPA. Good luck!!!
 
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Orims

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I moved to the US from Ethiopia in 2017 and didn't speak English then. As a result my first 3 semesters sucked. I have 3 F and 4 C. I have retaken the F classes and gotten better grades. I have been getting straight A for the past two semesters and I intend to continue doing that.But the highest GPA I can achieve a 3.42. I was also in med school in Ethiopia but I had to withdrew (to move to the US) after finishing about 65% of it. I speak 4 languages (I understand some med schools care about that).I am working hard on my extracurriculars in accordance to the schools I'm looking at. I have not taken the MCAT yet but provided I do well, how do you rate my chances at one of the top medical schools in the country? If not do you think I should focus more on lower seeded medical schools? Thank you so much in advance.

I know everyone's case is different, but if you moved to the US from abroad relatively recently I was wondering if you are considered an international students. If so, a 3.4 will out you at an even greater disadvantage than someone who is a citizen or a resident. International student admissions are incredibly competitive as it is and a 3.4 will certainly not help, specially for admissions to a top 20 school. Of course the MCAT will be a key factor in all of this, so make sure you score high enough to "balance" out the low GPA.

Best of luck!
 
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Goro

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I moved to the US from Ethiopia in 2017 and didn't speak English then. As a result my first 3 semesters sucked. I have 3 F and 4 C. I have retaken the F classes and gotten better grades. I have been getting straight A for the past two semesters and I intend to continue doing that.But the highest GPA I can achieve a 3.42. I was also in med school in Ethiopia but I had to withdrew (to move to the US) after finishing about 65% of it. I speak 4 languages (I understand some med schools care about that).I am working hard on my extracurriculars in accordance to the schools I'm looking at. I have not taken the MCAT yet but provided I do well, how do you rate my chances at one of the top medical schools in the country? If not do you think I should focus more on lower seeded medical schools? Thank you so much in advance.
Rising GPA trends are always good.

However, your job is to get into A medical not the 30+ schools that are "Top 20". If Drexel or TCU are your only accepts, will you turn them down?
 
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Goro

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Okay. Thank you. So I have 14 schools I am looking at to meet their requirements. Of those, only 3 are top 20. But I honestly don't care about which medical school. I read that the 3 F that I have are a deal breaker. Is it possible to explain those because of my early language inefficiency? Is it possible to create a theme on my personal statement and secondary around my former experience in medical school?
Beggars can't be choosy and you will need to have DO schools on your eventual list.
 
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I moved to the US from Ethiopia in 2017 and didn't speak English then. As a result my first 3 semesters sucked. I have 3 F and 4 C. I have retaken the F classes and gotten better grades. I have been getting straight A for the past two semesters and I intend to continue doing that.But the highest GPA I can achieve a 3.42. I was also in med school in Ethiopia but I had to withdrew (to move to the US) after finishing about 65% of it. I speak 4 languages (I understand some med schools care about that).I am working hard on my extracurriculars in accordance to the schools I'm looking at. I have not taken the MCAT yet but provided I do well, how do you rate my chances at one of the top medical schools in the country? If not do you think I should focus more on lower seeded medical schools? Thank you so much in advance.
Like others have said, let go of the desire to get into a Top 20 and get into a med school in general.

You've got an interesting story, plausible reasons for starting slow, and that will take you far if you finish your academic career strong and do well on the MCAT.

David D, MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
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Nov 26, 2020
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Rising GPA trends are always good.

However, your job is to get into A medical not the 30+ schools that are "Top 20". If Drexel or TCU are your only accepts, will you turn them down?
lmao Absolutely not! I really don't care about which medical school. I am just shooting for the stars.
 

BeingForItself

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I got close to pulling it off last cycle! 3.4 GPA but with a 520+ MCAT, an AmeriCorps service term, and a few years of clinical research experience, wound up on a top 20 school's waitlist but never rolled off.

At this point I'm just hoping to get in anywhere. You can get in to great medical schools with a 3.4 GPA but other parts of your application need to be strong.
 
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If you have extra cash, give it a shot, no one can predict the admissions.
 
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I moved to the US from Ethiopia in 2017 and didn't speak English then. As a result my first 3 semesters sucked. I have 3 F and 4 C. I have retaken the F classes and gotten better grades. I have been getting straight A for the past two semesters and I intend to continue doing that.But the highest GPA I can achieve a 3.42. I was also in med school in Ethiopia but I had to withdrew (to move to the US) after finishing about 65% of it. I speak 4 languages (I understand some med schools care about that).I am working hard on my extracurriculars in accordance to the schools I'm looking at. I have not taken the MCAT yet but provided I do well, how do you rate my chances at one of the top medical schools in the country? If not do you think I should focus more on lower seeded medical schools? Thank you so much in advance.

If you get a really good MCAT score it's possible... not all 3.4 GPAs are equal either. Like, a 3.4 biomedical engineer from MIT vs. 3.4 psych major at ASU is very different
 
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Are you a US citizen or permanent resident? If not, you may have more difficulties than merely the GPA as many schools are not friendly to international students. Or is that factored into your short list?

Prep the hell out of the CARS section of the MCAT... that is most likely to trip up non-native readers of English.
 
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Nov 26, 2020
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Are you a US citizen or permanent resident? If not, you may have more difficulties than merely the GPA as many schools are not friendly to international students. Or is that factored into your short list?

Prep the hell out of the CARS section of the MCAT... that is most likely to trip up non-native readers of English.
I am a permanent resident. I’m working on the CARS section.
 
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