hike5

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Alright so my MCAT is 29 Q ( 10 P, 10VB, 9B) and I have a cGPA of 3.2 and sGPA of 3.0.
I live in California and have a B.S. in Biology from Ohio State University. My top choice is Western University here in Cali, what do you guys think?

EC:

Paid for my undergrad with loans/grants and actually wanted to go the Dentistry route until 700 hours of dental assisting slapped me in the face. Anyway, I have worked as an assistant dental tech for 2 years in undergrad among other jobs to make survival cash.
Leadership: SAT instructor for large classes of high school students in the downtown LA area ( 8 months) and do private tutoring for SAT, and all sciences. ( 9 months)
Clinical experience: I currently volunteer at a free clinic for the homeless and underprivileged (80 hours) and at a cancer/hematology center located within a hospital ( 100 hours).

I have also shadowed 2 D.O. physicians for over 60 hours each. (ongoing)

Please let me know if there is anything else I'm missing and please be honest. No sugar coating here, just give me the facts. I appreciate all of the input!
 
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hike5

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Over 150 views and no replies? I just want some honest input, folks. Please help me out, or let me know if any more info is required.
 
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hike5

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Yea, these are my final grades. I was on the deans list for several quarters, had a big dip at the end of sophomore year and beginning of junior year. Then it shows an upward trend through the rest of undergrad. I should mention that one of my LOR is from a D.O. who lectures at Western University.
 

hike5

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Ok, given that Western University will be difficult to get into, to which schools should I focus my efforts?
 

user3

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Best chances (including but not limited to): Touro's, LECOMs, AZCOM, PCOM-Ga, LMU, RVU, NSU, UNECOM, + the 3 new schools.

Western is definitely worth a shot though.

Your GPA is a little low but you are still plenty competitive. Honestly, you are probably looking at 10+ interviews.
 

hike5

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Really? I will definitely apply to all of them! One more issue: I've considered retaking some Ochem classes. I went to Ohio State which operates on the quarter system, but I live in Southern California and would retake the classes here. I want to retake ochem 1 and 2 with lab, but some schools only offer the lecture and lab separately. So, if I were to retake the two ochem classes with lecture and lab, that amounts to 4 classes being retaken....not so good in the eyes of the admission committee. If I take 2 ochem courses which both include the lab with the lecture, it looks like I only took 2 classes. My question is: if Ohio State offered the ochem lab and lectures as 2 separate courses ( totaling 4 courses because I took ochem 1 with lab and ochem 2 with lab), would AACOMAS replace my grades correctly in either situation?
 
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One more issue: I've considered retaking some Ochem classes.

I went to Ohio State which operates on the quarter system, but I live in Southern California and would retake the classes here. I want to retake ochem 1 and 2 with lab, but some schools only offer the lecture and lab separately. So, if I were to retake the two ochem classes with lecture and lab, that amounts to 4 classes being retaken....not so good in the eyes of the admission committee. If I take 2 ochem courses which both include the lab with the lecture, it looks like I only took 2 classes. My question is: if Ohio State offered the ochem lab and lectures as 2 separate courses ( totaling 4 courses because I took ochem 1 with lab and ochem 2 with lab), would AACOMAS replace my grades correctly in either situation?
This is a tricky question. The replacement policy requires that the courses be substantially similar in the coursebook description (which to me means that if the lab was included the first time you took it, it shoud be included in the retake), and that the credits be the same or greater. If you are trying to substitute semester hours for quarter hours of credit, it becomes even trickier.

I recall a post in PreMedOsteo where an applicant had the policy applied differently for each term of retke with lab that he wanted replaced, so there may be nuances that only AACOMAS knows.

TriagePreMed is the master of answering this question, but is unavailable just now. You might try to PM him or Search out his previous responses on the issue. But even better would be to call AACOMAS with the details of what several schools near you have to offer, and ask them this question.
 

bohobitty

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As a general rule, medical schools don't like to see people retaking classes. For example, if you did poorly on OChem I, take OChem II and knock it out of the park. Raising an OChem grade from a C the first time you take it to an A the next time you take it won't shock or impress anyone...they'll be expecting you to do a lot better since you'll have learned it twice.

I had a classmate in undergrad who retook classes any time he got a grade lower than a B+. He graduated with a good GPA (probably 3.8ish?) as a result of having retaken these classes and did reasonably well on the MCATs. He's been trying to get into med school for 3 years with no success.

The fact is, pretty much everyone is going to bomb a few tests in med school. They want to see that you won't dwell on it when it happens and that you can pick yourself up afterwards, move on and do well.
 

PancakeSorting

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As a general rule, medical schools don't like to see people retaking classes. For example, if you did poorly on OChem I, take OChem II and knock it out of the park. Raising an OChem grade from a C the first time you take it to an A the next time you take it won't shock or impress anyone...they'll be expecting you to do a lot better since you'll have learned it twice.

I had a classmate in undergrad who retook classes any time he got a grade lower than a B+. He graduated with a good GPA (probably 3.8ish?) as a result of having retaken these classes and did reasonably well on the MCATs. He's been trying to get into med school for 3 years with no success.

The fact is, pretty much everyone is going to bomb a few tests in med school. They want to see that you won't dwell on it when it happens and that you can pick yourself up afterwards, move on and do well.

I think having many repeated classes will look bad (especially if you decided to repeat a class because you got a B: is your friend on crack??? :laugh:) But if you have one class, particularly a class relevant to medical school admissions, where you did poorly (i.e., a C or worse) then it could definitely be beneficial to retake it, at least for DO schools. Since DOs operate on a grade replacement scheme, you could bump your GPA up a bit. For MDs, I doubt it'd matter too much, although it might show them that you are competent in that subject.

Calculate your GPA with your current grade and with a realistic guess of what grade you would receive if you retook it. Does it make a big difference? If not, I'm not sure I'd retake it, just because there is always a chance you won't do as well as you'd hoped due to some random factor. If you do retake it, make sure you do whatever necessary (studying nonstop, get tutoring, whatever) to get a good grade, preferably an A. IMO, retaking a class and getting below an A isn't that impressive (since, you know, you've already taken it once :cool:). But DO adcoms might feel differently, who knows...
 

user3

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As a general rule, medical schools don't like to see people retaking classes. For example, if you did poorly on OChem I, take OChem II and knock it out of the park. Raising an OChem grade from a C the first time you take it to an A the next time you take it won't shock or impress anyone...they'll be expecting you to do a lot better since you'll have learned it twice.

I had a classmate in undergrad who retook classes any time he got a grade lower than a B+. He graduated with a good GPA (probably 3.8ish?) as a result of having retaken these classes and did reasonably well on the MCATs. He's been trying to get into med school for 3 years with no success.

The fact is, pretty much everyone is going to bomb a few tests in med school. They want to see that you won't dwell on it when it happens and that you can pick yourself up afterwards, move on and do well.

That is strange. What do adcoms tell him when he asks for app feedback? I have applied to DO schools and they seemed to focus mostly on overall performance. Has he gotten at least gotten interviews? Waitlists?
 

ag9124

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As a general rule, medical schools don't like to see people retaking classes. For example, if you did poorly on OChem I, take OChem II and knock it out of the park. Raising an OChem grade from a C the first time you take it to an A the next time you take it won't shock or impress anyone...they'll be expecting you to do a lot better since you'll have learned it twice.

I had a classmate in undergrad who retook classes any time he got a grade lower than a B+. He graduated with a good GPA (probably 3.8ish?) as a result of having retaken these classes and did reasonably well on the MCATs. He's been trying to get into med school for 3 years with no success.

The fact is, pretty much everyone is going to bomb a few tests in med school. They want to see that you won't dwell on it when it happens and that you can pick yourself up afterwards, move on and do well.

That seems highly unlikely to me, it must be other weaknesses in his application holding him back.
 

theseeker4

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As a general rule, medical schools don't like to see people retaking classes. For example, if you did poorly on OChem I, take OChem II and knock it out of the park. Raising an OChem grade from a C the first time you take it to an A the next time you take it won't shock or impress anyone...they'll be expecting you to do a lot better since you'll have learned it twice.

I had a classmate in undergrad who retook classes any time he got a grade lower than a B+. He graduated with a good GPA (probably 3.8ish?) as a result of having retaken these classes and did reasonably well on the MCATs. He's been trying to get into med school for 3 years with no success.

The fact is, pretty much everyone is going to bomb a few tests in med school. They want to see that you won't dwell on it when it happens and that you can pick yourself up afterwards, move on and do well.
If he has an AMCAS gpa of 3.8 and did well on the MCAT, re-taking classes is NOT why he is not getting in, whether he thinks it is or not.
 

TriagePreMed

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Really? I will definitely apply to all of them! One more issue: I've considered retaking some Ochem classes. I went to Ohio State which operates on the quarter system, but I live in Southern California and would retake the classes here. I want to retake ochem 1 and 2 with lab, but some schools only offer the lecture and lab separately. So, if I were to retake the two ochem classes with lecture and lab, that amounts to 4 classes being retaken....not so good in the eyes of the admission committee. If I take 2 ochem courses which both include the lab with the lecture, it looks like I only took 2 classes. My question is: if Ohio State offered the ochem lab and lectures as 2 separate courses ( totaling 4 courses because I took ochem 1 with lab and ochem 2 with lab), would AACOMAS replace my grades correctly in either situation?
Yes, AACOMAS should replace your grades accordingly, but I suggest you e-mail them. I sent them an e-mail through the application and they replied within hours.

As for your chances, they are a bit low since both cGPA and sGPA averages are around 3.5. I would recommend at least planning on a few more retakes and listing them as planned if you wish to apply this year.
 
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