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Can I raise my GPA enough to become competitive?

H2Otoo

New Member
Nov 5, 2014
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  1. Pre-Medical
    I am currently a sophomore and I have to say, I was very immature in the beginning, still am now, but I'm in the midst of changing myself right now. Last year, my cGPA was 3.3 (not on AMCAS scale), but my bcpm is even lower. I have many grades ranging from C- to B+. I have no excuses since I didn't study at all. Well, this semester is even worse with orgo and genetics. I decided that I need to change way too late in the game and I think I'll end up getting two more C-s in the bcpm and end up taking something like a 3.2. Now that is really low. It's a huge slap in my face and I'm working on time management now. How likely is it for me to pull my GPA up to a competitive level assuming I can pull off A- or higher on all classes after this semester? Or is it time to seriously think about DO?
     

    Hospitalized

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    Sep 9, 2014
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      You can forfeit to two more C-'s or you can challenge yourself and try to get B+/A-. I'm not sure if you're quarter or semester based, but there is ample time to bring your grades up from a C-. If you really do change your study habits and continue to pull A's/A-'s through the rest of college, there's plenty of time for you to bring your GPA up to the competitive level for MD. You're only a sophomore and have plenty of time (and easy electives I'm assuming) to bring your grade up. You should think about DO not from a "grade" perspective, but from a perspective of what kind of care you want to provide and the kind of training you want to receive in medical school. When you hit spring semester of your junior year, then you can think about exclusions.
       

      mehc012

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      Jul 9, 2012
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        I am currently a sophomore and I have to say, I was very immature in the beginning, still am now, but I'm in the midst of changing myself right now. Last year, my cGPA was 3.3 (not on AMCAS scale), but my bcpm is even lower. I have many grades ranging from C- to B+. I have no excuses since I didn't study at all. Well, this semester is even worse with orgo and genetics. I decided that I need to change way too late in the game and I think I'll end up getting two more C-s in the bcpm and end up taking something like a 3.2. Now that is really low. It's a huge slap in my face and I'm working on time management now. How likely is it for me to pull my GPA up to a competitive level assuming I can pull off A- or higher on all classes after this semester? Or is it time to seriously think about DO?
        C'mon, you're at the easiest point for doing the math. You are exactly halfway through. Therefore, if you manage to pull a 4.0 with a similar credit load from here on out, you will end up with the average of your GPA and 4.0. Let's give you a 3.9 to be remotely realistic...(3.2+3.9)/2 = 3.55, which is respectable.
        Pull a 3.8, and you're still looking at a 3.5, which is not bad.

        The bolded question, as it stands, is meaningless. If we make the assumption you outline, you can calculate pretty damn exactly what you'll end up with. No judgement calls or discussion needed.
        So the real questions are:

        How likely is it you will pull an A- average from here on out?
        - Cue hard-line realists telling you 'no way', optimists saying 'hell yeah!', you ignoring all but the optimists because let's be real, the only sensible strategy from here on out is to go for it anyway...and this was a pointless exercise.

        What is a 'competitive level' for MD schools?
        - You're probably OK 3.5 and above, it's doable down to around 3.2 given an otherwise stellar app (and I mean true rockstar status), none of this information is case-specific

        So, not sure what you were really asking, but there you have it.
         
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        1. Pre-Medical
          You could. Based on the information given, the chances of it could really go either way though. If you're consistently bombing that says something which runs along the lines of it will be very challenging for you to get As from now on. However, if you really care, obviously it can be done as many others do it. See how you do by the end of your Junior year and if you're in the same position, then it's time to ask the hard questions.
           

          H2Otoo

          New Member
          Nov 5, 2014
          8
          0
          1. Pre-Medical
            C'mon, you're at the easiest point for doing the math. You are exactly halfway through. Therefore, if you manage to pull a 4.0 with a similar credit load from here on out, you will end up with the average of your GPA and 4.0. Let's give you a 3.9 to be remotely realistic...(3.2+3.9)/2 = 3.55, which is respectable.
            Pull a 3.8, and you're still looking at a 3.5, which is not bad.

            The bolded question, as it stands, is meaningless. If we make the assumption you outline, you can calculate pretty damn exactly what you'll end up with. No judgement calls or discussion needed.
            So the real questions are:

            How likely is it you will pull an A- average from here on out?
            - Cue hard-line realists telling you 'no way', optimists saying 'hell yeah!', you ignoring all but the optimists because let's be real, the only sensible strategy from here on out is to go for it anyway...and this was a pointless exercise.

            What is a 'competitive level' for MD schools?
            - You're probably OK 3.5 and above, it's doable down to around 3.2 given an otherwise stellar app (and I mean true rockstar status), none of this information is case-specific

            So, not sure what you were really asking, but there you have it.

            I think my main problem is stamina. I get burnt out way too quickly. I am healthier now, although still quite low in stamina, but what's really different is that caffeine suddenly started working on me mid-semester this year, so I can now drink some caffeine if needed be. (Last year, I'd drink coffee and fall asleep after 5 minutes because the drink was warm and cozy...) I think I'll be decent with other parts of my app. I'll probably be working in the hospital for four years of my UG and am already a co-author in something. Buuuuuut, I also might be overestimating myself. Thank you for your help. I guess it's time to become a caffeine-addict.
             

            H2Otoo

            New Member
            Nov 5, 2014
            8
            0
            1. Pre-Medical
              You could. Based on the information given, the chances of it could really go either way though. If you're consistently bombing that says something which runs along the lines of it will be very challenging for you to get As from now on. However, if you really care, obviously it can be done as many others do it. See how you do by the end of your Junior year and if you're in the same position, then it's time to ask the hard questions.

              I know it'll be super challenging, but that's why I needed a reality check (aka huge punch to my face) here. I don't mind DO, just wondering if I should start looking into that as well if MD isn't practically possible. I'm already showing improvement somewhat. In my first orgo exam, I got 48 while class average was 75 and my second exam, I got 65 while class average was 60. Concepts in my sciences class actually weren't that hard to me, but I never took time to memorize anything... May not be sufficient, but I'll just consider this semester as the semester of change.
               

              H2Otoo

              New Member
              Nov 5, 2014
              8
              0
              1. Pre-Medical
                You can forfeit to two more C-'s or you can challenge yourself and try to get B+/A-. I'm not sure if you're quarter or semester based, but there is ample time to bring your grades up from a C-. If you really do change your study habits and continue to pull A's/A-'s through the rest of college, there's plenty of time for you to bring your GPA up to the competitive level for MD. You're only a sophomore and have plenty of time (and easy electives I'm assuming) to bring your grade up. You should think about DO not from a "grade" perspective, but from a perspective of what kind of care you want to provide and the kind of training you want to receive in medical school. When you hit spring semester of your junior year, then you can think about exclusions.


                I only have one exam and the final left. Do you think it's possible for me to pull from C- to a B+? Now that you say it, I might strive for a B- instead realistically.
                p.s. I actually like DO's philosophy better than MD.
                 

                H2Otoo

                New Member
                Nov 5, 2014
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                1. Pre-Medical
                  When you hit spring semester of your junior year, then you can think about exclusions.
                  11ce12.jpg

                  Yes, I'll still try until then, or who knows, maybe I'll do masters or something else and then try again if not.
                  I know it's not the end, but you can't deny that my situation is not too great.
                   

                  allantois

                  Conversation Starter
                  7+ Year Member
                • Jan 28, 2013
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                    I only have one exam and the final left. Do you think it's possible for me to pull from C- to a B+? Now that you say it, I might strive for a B- instead realistically.
                    p.s. I actually like DO's philosophy better than MD.

                    DO philosophy is overrated. All med schools these days teach students holistic approach to medicine.
                     

                    mehc012

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                    Jul 9, 2012
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                    1. Medical Student
                      Yes, I'll still try until then, or who knows, maybe I'll do masters or something else and then try again if not.
                      I know it's not the end, but you can't deny that my situation is not too great.
                      Your current situation is fine. You are nowhere near the panic zone (or you shouldn't be). Just get your grades up consistently from here on out and you'll have a 3.5 with a strong upward trend - a position nobody outside of SDN would ever complain to be in. Sounds like you're doing fine on other fronts.

                      Honestly, your biggest problem right now is that you keep coming to SDN to look for validation. This just isn't a good spot to look. You're fine, learn to trust that without having to be told that, and you'll be good. Calculate your GPA/max GPA if all goes well periodically just to see what track you're on. If you mess up a semester, look at what you could do with a postbacc. The routes to the MD are numerous. Since you don't care MD vs DO, plan to apply both anyway and then you'll have even less to stress over.
                       

                      Pete Clat

                      Full Member
                      May 13, 2014
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                      1. Pre-Medical
                        Your current situation is fine. You are nowhere near the panic zone (or you shouldn't be). Just get your grades up consistently from here on out and you'll have a 3.5 with a strong upward trend - a position nobody outside of SDN would ever complain to be in. Sounds like you're doing fine on other fronts.

                        What would you consider to be the panic zone?
                         

                        mehc012

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                          What would you consider to be the panic zone?
                          Depends on your cutoff for a 'bad' GPA. I personally feel that anything over 3.5 is peachy, but it drops off very quickly once you hit 3.4 and below. For the record, I'm at a 3.3 after a postbacc, so I'm not picking this to suit myself.
                          Danger zone is when you calculate that, even if you ace all of the future classes you plan to take, you can't get it into a reasonable zone - at least a 3.4 if the rest of your app is stellar, ≥3.5 if it's normal or worse.
                          Panic zone, to me, is reserved for when you are going to be stuck near screen-out levels even if you improve from here on out.
                           

                          H2Otoo

                          New Member
                          Nov 5, 2014
                          8
                          0
                          1. Pre-Medical
                            Your current situation is fine. You are nowhere near the panic zone (or you shouldn't be). Just get your grades up consistently from here on out and you'll have a 3.5 with a strong upward trend - a position nobody outside of SDN would ever complain to be in. Sounds like you're doing fine on other fronts.

                            Honestly, your biggest problem right now is that you keep coming to SDN to look for validation. This just isn't a good spot to look. You're fine, learn to trust that without having to be told that, and you'll be good. Calculate your GPA/max GPA if all goes well periodically just to see what track you're on. If you mess up a semester, look at what you could do with a postbacc. The routes to the MD are numerous. Since you don't care MD vs DO, plan to apply both anyway and then you'll have even less to stress over.

                            I guess so. I think it can't be helped because I'm a type of person who asks for bunch of people's opinions before doing anything crucial. That doesn't mean I don't have my own opinion or confidence in myself. Sometimes, if I need to make a decision without somebody's help, I'll do it, but if not, I don't think it's that bad... Even if SDN said I had no chance at all, I think I still would've tried. I realized today that I posted here mostly to make a firm realization that I need to up my game. Before posting this, I didn't even knew my cGPA accurately. Anyway, it's been lovely because after posting here, I changed 90 degrees. I went to the library, studied much more than before, and it's only been one day since I posted here :) After this week, I hope to make another 90 degree turn to make it 180 degrees.
                             

                            mehc012

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                              I guess so. I think it can't be helped because I'm a type of person who asks for bunch of people's opinions before doing anything crucial. That doesn't mean I don't have my own opinion or confidence in myself. Sometimes, if I need to make a decision without somebody's help, I'll do it, but if not, I don't think it's that bad... Even if SDN said I had no chance at all, I think I still would've tried. I realized today that I posted here mostly to make a firm realization that I need to up my game. Before posting this, I didn't even knew my cGPA accurately. Anyway, it's been lovely because after posting here, I changed 90 degrees. I went to the library, studied much more than before, and it's only been one day since I posted here :) After this week, I hope to make another 90 degree turn to make it 180 degrees.
                              I'm just saying that the opinions on here don't influence your next actions in any direction, and that your questions aren't opinion-based anyway, really. Just seems like a pointless exercise.
                               
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