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Competitive Advantage this Cycle

premed12324

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Do you guys think that with COVID 19 going on fewer people will be applying for the same number of seats? So, is there is an advantage applying this cycle as opposed to next because next cycle will probably have the overflow from people that were going to apply this cycle?
 

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Do you guys think that with COVID 19 going on fewer people will be applying for the same number of seats? So, is there is an advantage applying this cycle as opposed to next because next cycle will probably have the overflow from people that were going to apply this cycle?
This is the third time today some has posed the question. So far AMCAS has had the largest number of applications started in the first few days of the cycle some 70,000+. Is it more people deciding to go to Medical school? It is just everyone is home and can start early? Is it people who are trying because they can delay the MCAT? Will there be more people this cycle? Less people? Ask me in October 2021 when the data is in. Until then it is meaningless speculation that doesnt help your application
 
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Do you guys think that with COVID 19 going on fewer people will be applying for the same number of seats? So, is there is an advantage applying this cycle as opposed to next because next cycle will probably have the overflow from people that were going to apply this cycle?
Nope. In times of bad economies, more people apply. My school has seen 2x the number if apps
 
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jhmmd

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The one thing that has been consistent (with the data) is that the process is getting harder and harder every year. When I first started thinking about med school, a 3.7 cGPA was enough to get a couple of acceptances (at least). In the 2010s, it was ~3.8. Not sure what it is now (and MCAT scores notwithstanding), but the number of people applying increases constantly. The one thing that stays the same is that ~40% of those who apply matriculate. So you can do the math, more applicants with the same percentage of students matriculating means that the process just gets harder.

Not to discourage you or anything--just being honest. Good luck with everything OP
 
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The one thing that has been consistent (with the data) is that the process is getting harder and harder every year. When I first started thinking about med school, a 3.7 cGPA was enough to get a couple of acceptances (at least). In the 2010s, it was ~3.8. Not sure what it is now (and MCAT scores notwithstanding), but the number of people applying increases constantly. The one thing that stays the same is that ~40% of those who apply matriculate. So you can do the math, more applicants with the same percentage of students matriculating means that the process just gets harder.

Not to discourage you or anything--just being honest. Good luck with everything OP
A 3.7 gpa is still enough, and is in fact the median gpa in tons of MD schools in the US.
 

la flame

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I'm pretty sure the same amount of applicants will apply. However, from those applicants, many will have less shadowing, volunteering, clinical experiences than a usual year. I mean of course, there are premeds who have spent years cultivating those hours but there is many more premeds who got their hours cut short due to Covid.

The only reason there seems to be so many applicants this year so far is because what else is there to do at home lol? And who even knows if certain states will be open for the MCAT at certain times compared to other states like Texas.
 

KnightDoc

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The one thing that has been consistent (with the data) is that the process is getting harder and harder every year. When I first started thinking about med school, a 3.7 cGPA was enough to get a couple of acceptances (at least). In the 2010s, it was ~3.8. Not sure what it is now (and MCAT scores notwithstanding), but the number of people applying increases constantly. The one thing that stays the same is that ~40% of those who apply matriculate. So you can do the math, more applicants with the same percentage of students matriculating means that the process just gets harder.

Not to discourage you or anything--just being honest. Good luck with everything OP
Maybe I'm not so good at math, but how exactly does more applicants + same percentage matriculating = process is harder? Same percentage matriculating sounds like the process is neither easier nor more difficult.

In fact, higher GPAs is probably reflective of nothing more than UG grade inflation! :) Median MCATs going up while the matriculation percentage stays constant probably just means we are collectively getting a little better at taking the test, probably due to resources like SDN and reddit providing more and better resources with which to prepare as the 2015 version of the test ages gracefully.
 

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Maybe I'm not so good at math, but how exactly does more applicants + same percentage matriculating = process is harder? Same percentage matriculating sounds like the process is neither easier nor more difficult.

In fact, higher GPAs is probably reflective of nothing more than UG grade inflation! :) Median MCATs going up while the matriculation percentage stays constant probably just means we are collectively getting a little better at taking the test, probably due to resources like SDN and reddit providing more and better resources with which to prepare as the 2015 version of the test ages gracefully.
I thought higher GPAs are either due to increasing number of Asian ORMs or premeds spending more time studying since they keep hearing that it's getting tough to get into medical school.
 
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jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
Maybe I'm not so good at math, but how exactly does more applicants + same percentage matriculating = process is harder? Same percentage matriculating sounds like the process is neither easier nor more difficult.

In fact, higher GPAs is probably reflective of nothing more than UG grade inflation! :) Median MCATs going up while the matriculation percentage stays constant probably just means we are collectively getting a little better at taking the test, probably due to resources like SDN and reddit providing more and better resources with which to prepare as the 2015 version of the test ages gracefully.
I should have clarified that there's a middleman process--say 90,000 people apply to med school in 2019, and 10,000 get interviews. About half of those offered interviews end up matriculating. Say 100,000 apply in 2020 and the same percentage (~10,000) end up getting interviews. While the percentage matriculating remains the same, the odds of matriculating go down. Make sense?
 
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LizzyM

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Maybe I'm not so good at math, but how exactly does more applicants + same percentage matriculating = process is harder? Same percentage matriculating sounds like the process is neither easier nor more difficult.

There are a fixed number of seats in med school (not so much the seats in the hall as the number of slots in the clinical training portion of the curriculum). So as the number of applicants rises and the number matriculating remains the same (meaning the proportion who get admitted declines) it could be said that the process gets harder. It is no harder for the cream of the crop who are getting in no matter what the entire pool looks like. Those who weren't going to get in when there were 30,000 applicants in the country are just as likely to get rejected when there are 45,000 so it is no harder for them. Where it is harder is for the borderline candidate --if overall there will be 300 offers at a given school, in a small pool of 5500 applicants you might rank #300 and squeeze in while in a larger pool of 6,000 you might rank #333 and be out of luck.
 
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KnightDoc

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I should have clarified that there's a middleman process--say 90,000 people apply to med school in 2019, and 10,000 get interviews. About half of those offered interviews end up matriculating. Say 100,000 apply in 2020 and the same percentage (~10,000) end up getting interviews. While the percentage matriculating remains the same, the odds of matriculating go down. Make sense?
No -- because 10,000/90,000 = 11% and 10,000/100,000 = 10%, so the percentages are not the same! The percentage matriculating is calculated from the number applying, not the number interviewing!!
 
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KnightDoc

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There are a fixed number of seats in med school (not so much the seats in the hall as the number of slots in the clinical training portion of the curriculum). So as the number of applicants rises and the number matriculating remains the same (meaning the proportion who get admitted declines) it could be said that the process gets harder. It is no harder for the cream of the crop who are getting in no matter what the entire pool looks like. Those who weren't going to get in when there were 30,000 applicants in the country are just as likely to get rejected when there are 45,000 so it is no harder for them. Where it is harder is for the borderline candidate --if overall there will be 300 offers at a given school, in a small pool of 5500 applicants you might rank #300 and squeeze in while in a larger pool of 6,000 you might rank #333 and be out of luck.
Believe me, I ABSOLUTELY understand this. I thought the poster was referring to the fact that the number of seats has steadily risen over the past few years, along with the number of applicants, and that the percent matriculating has remained steady at around 40%, so I was questioning how it can be "harder" when the percent successful has remained constant. Of course, if the number of seats remains the same as the number of applicants rises, it will become statistically more difficult, but, in that case, the percent matriculating will not remain constant.
 

LizzyM

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Seats might rise a tiny bit as new schools open but the proportion of applicants admitted drops when applications surge far beyond what could be absorbed by the new schools. The 42-43% matriculating which seems to be a very steady number is a three year average, IIRC, so it flattens out any rise and fall in proportion that I think we'd see we looked at each year independently.
 
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KnightDoc

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Seats might rise a tiny bit as new schools open but the proportion of applicants admitted drops when applications surge far beyond what could be absorbed by the new schools. The 42-43% matriculating which seems to be a very steady number is a three year average, IIRC, so it flattens out any rise and fall in proportion that I think we'd see we looked at each year independently.
Fair enough, but, the fact remains, using that three year average and taking into account the fact that the number of seats has risen over the past few years, the 40-something percent matriculating has been constant over the past few years, so one really cannot say that admission is more difficult now than a few years ago, no?

Also, as an adcom, do you have an opinion on my speculation regarding rising GPAs being more a product of UG grade inflation than candidates on the whole being way smarter than in the recent past? Finally, am I nuts for thinking that slightly rising MCAT scores are a product of people being better able to prepare for the test since the test is a few years old now and there are more and better preparation resources available, as opposed to successful candidates just being way smarter and better at taking tests than in the past?
 
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LizzyM

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Fair enough, but, the fact remains, using that three year average and taking into account the fact that the number of seats has risen over the past few years, the 40-something percent matriculating has been constant over the past few years, so one really cannot say that admission is more difficult now than a few years ago, no?

Also, as an adcom, do you have an opinion on my speculation regarding rising GPAs being more a product of UG grade inflation that nandidates on the whole being way smarter than in the recent past? Finally, am I nuts for thinking that slightly rising MCAT scores are a product of people being better able to prepare for the test since the test is a few years old now and there are more and better preparation resources available, as opposed to successful candidates just being way smarter and better at taking tests than in the past?

I think candidates are working as hard as they need to work and as the competition gets more fierce, they work harder, particularly if they have a tiger mother breathing down their neck. I also think that there is more grade-grubbing by undergrads who are fixated on GPA and terrified at losing even a half-point out of 100, to the dismay of faculty everywhere.

There are a ton of resources available for MCAT prep and stuents who are informed about the importance of the test put an enormous amount of effort into test prep. Back in the early 2000s it was typical to take the exam in April of Junior year. Now I'm seeing more applicants take shortly before senior year begins after prepping for an entire summer... and taking a gap year as a result. Keep in mind that I'm only seeing the top 2%... maybe top 5% if you count legacies and other special applicants.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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I think candidates are working as hard as they need to work and as the competition gets more fierce, they work harder, particularly if they have a tiger mother breathing down their neck. I also think that there is more grade-grubbing by undergrads who are fixated on GPA and terrified at losing even a half-point out of 100, to the dismay of faculty everywhere.

There are a ton of resources available for MCAT prep and students who are informed about the importance of the test put an enormous amount of effort into test prep. Back in the early 2000s it was typical to take the exam in April of Junior year. Now I'm seeing more applicants take shortly before senior year begins after prepping for an entire summer... and taking a gap year as a result. Keep in mind that I'm only seeing the top 2%... maybe top 5% if you count legacies and other special applicants.
As GPA expectations keep increasing especially for ORM students, helicopter parents like me do keep a close eye and advise kids to plan the majors/minors and select UG schools wisely and keep an eye on MCAT prep as well. With good planning MCAT can be taken spring semester of junior year.
 

jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
Believe me, I ABSOLUTELY understand this. I thought the poster was referring to the fact that the number of seats has steadily risen over the past few years, along with the number of applicants, and that the percent matriculating has remained steady at around 40%, so I was questioning how it can be "harder" when the percent successful has remained constant. Of course, if the number of seats remains the same as the number of applicants rises, it will become statistically more difficult, but, in that case, the percent matriculating will not remain constant.
KnightDoc said:
Fair enough, but, the fact remains, using that three year average and taking into account the fact that the number of seats has risen over the past few years, the 40-something percent matriculating has been constant over the past few years, so one really cannot say that admission is more difficult now than a few years ago, no?
I think you're misunderstanding LizzyM's posts. She said that the number of applicants continues to rise, but the total number of seats are not rising to match the number of applicants. Make sense?
 
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KnightDoc

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I think you're misunderstanding LizzyM's posts. She said that the number of applicants continues to rise, but the total number of seats are not rising to match the number of applicants. Make sense?
Totally! I either misunderstood or you misspoke when you said:

The one thing that has been consistent (with the data) is that the process is getting harder and harder every year. When I first started thinking about med school, a 3.7 cGPA was enough to get a couple of acceptances (at least). In the 2010s, it was ~3.8. Not sure what it is now (and MCAT scores notwithstanding), but the number of people applying increases constantly. The one thing that stays the same is that ~40% of those who apply matriculate. So you can do the math, more applicants with the same percentage of students matriculating means that the process just gets harder.

Not to discourage you or anything--just being honest. Good luck with everything OP

I thought you meant the same percentage of a higher number of applicants, which means more matriculants. It now appears that is not what you meant at all!
 
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gonnif

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Just some thoughts and observation
1) historically, the main driver, by far, for the size of the applicant pool is the size of the college age demographic (+3-5 years).
2) the pressures of competitiveness and selectiveness (which are different) are primarily due to the ratio of the applicant pool to seats
3) For MD schools, the aggregate number of seats for entering M1s has increased by 35% since 2000 while the applicant pool size has increased by 41% in the same time frame. As a result the matriculant rate has fallen from 44% to 41% in the same time period. In the last cycle it was 2.4 applicants per seat
4) The aggregate competitiveness (the number of applicants per seat) has roughly remained the same or has just slightly increased. As automation and technology with ease of centralized online application system, including multiple letter processing mechanism, applicants can submit to more medical schools, thus number of applications at the individual school level. Thus it isnt the ratio of competitiveness (aggregate applicants to seat ratio) that is increasing but the ratio of applications per seat. This allows schools to increase the selectiveness (academic and other metrics) by which candidates are picked. In short, for the applicant, getting into medical school isnt actually more competitive; it has become more selective.
5) In comparison, similar factors are at work in Osteopathic schools but in the opposite direction. While there has been a nearly three fold increase (280%) in the number of first year Osteopathic seats since 2000, the aggregate applicant pool has increased by 300%, with an applicant to seat ratio of 2.8 to 1. This in fact, with a growing ratio of applicants to seats, makes Osteopathic school more competitive by definition. The DO schools react by becoming more selective with increasing metrics.
6) In sum, difficulty in acceptance to MD school is driven by the increasing number of applications per seat, which increases the the selectiveness. So it isnt more competitive to get a seat in MD school, it is harder because of the selectiveness. In DO school, it is the actual increase in the ratio in applicant per seat, or the competitiveness, that makes it difficult
 
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KnightDoc

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Just some thoughts and observation
1) historically, the main driver, by far, for the size of the applicant pool is the size of the college age demographic (+3-5 years).
2) the pressures of competitiveness and selectiveness (which are different) are primarily due to the ratio of the applicant pool to seats
3) For MD schools, the aggregate number of seats for entering M1s has increased by 35% since 2000 while the applicant pool size has increased by 41% in the same time frame. As a result the matriculant rate has fallen from 44% to 41% in the same time period. In the last cycle it was 2.4 applicants per seat
4) The aggregate competitiveness (the number of applicants per seat) has roughly remained the same or has just slightly increased. As automation and technology with ease of centralized online application system, including multiple letter processing mechanism, applicants can submit to more medical schools, thus number of applications at the individual school level. Thus it isnt the ratio of competitiveness (aggregate applicants to seat ratio) that is increasing but the ratio of applications per seat. This allows schools to increase the selectiveness (academic and other metrics) by which candidates are picked. In short, for the applicant, getting into medical school isnt actually more competitive; it has become more selective.
5) In comparison, similar factors are at work in Osteopathic schools but in the opposite direction. While there has been a nearly three fold increase (280%) in the number of first year Osteopathic seats since 2000, the aggregate applicant pool has increased by 300%, with an applicant to seat ratio of 2.8 to 1. This in fact, with a growing ratio of applicants to seats, makes Osteopathic school more competitive by definition. The DO schools react by becoming more selective with increasing metrics.
6) In sum, difficulty in acceptance to MD school is driven by the increasing number of applications per seat, which increases the the selectiveness. So it isnt more competitive to get a seat in MD school, it is harder because of the selectiveness. In DO school, it is the actual increase in the ratio in applicant per seat, or the competitiveness, that makes it difficult
I honestly think we are all saying the same thing -- the matriculant rate going from 44% to 41% over 20 years is not really a big move at all. With respect to selectivity, @LizzyM addressed this in her comments above.

It seems as though stats for the entire pool, from top to bottom, have gotten better over the years. Whether this is due to grade inflation (as I believe) or to applicants rising to the occasion (pushing by tiger parents and grade grubbing), it's just not clear that it's more selective or competitive, since everyone's numbers seem to be going up without any external evidence that our generation is really any more brilliant than those who came before us (I think the multiple posts per day regarding P/F grading is ample evidence of this :)). I think we can all agree that admission has not gotten any easier over the past 20 years, but an admit rate drifting down 3% for the mid to low 40s is really not a sign that it's significantly more difficult than in 2000.
 

jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
I honestly think we are all saying the same thing -- the matriculant rate going from 44% to 41% over 20 years is not really a big move at all. With respect to selectivity, @LizzyM addressed this in her comments above.

It seems as though stats for the entire pool, from top to bottom, have gotten better over the years. Whether this is due to grade inflation (as I believe) or to applicants rising to the occasion (pushing by tiger parents and grade grubbing), it's just not clear that it's more selective or competitive, since everyone's numbers seem to be going up without any external evidence that our generation is really any more brilliant than those who came before us. I think we can all agree that admission has not gotten any easier over the past 20 years, but an admit rate drifting down 3% for the mid to low 40s is really not a sign that it's significantly more difficult than in 2000.
@KnightDoc with all due respect, it's not just the admit rate; it's the stats of premeds who are admitted. Over time people have been getting in with higher and higher GPA/MCAT combos. This is a fact.
 
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KnightDoc

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@KnightDoc with all due respect, it's not just the admit rate; it's the stats of the premeds who are admitted. Over time people have been getting in with higher and higher GPA/MCAT combos. This is a fact.
So we're all a lot smarter? It's not grade inflation, grade grubbing, carefully selecting classes and majors to protect GPA, and having more and better materials with which to prepare for the test? Great!! I'll take the compliment. :)
 

jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
So we're all a lot smarter? It's not grade inflation, grade grubbing, carefully selecting classes and majors to protect GPA, and having more and better materials with which to prepare for the test? Great!! I'll take the compliment. :)
KnightDoc not sure where you are in your premed studies but this is pretty standard for most premeds, law school, med school, competitive schools in the northeast, etc. It's outside of the norm when premeds go out of their way to help other premeds. Use this info accordingly.
 
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LizzyM

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I think we can all agree that admission has not gotten any easier over the past 20 years, but an admit rate drifting down 3% for the mid to low 40s is really not a sign that it's significantly more difficult than in 2000.

Given the number of applicants, there is a statistically significant difference between 21,622/52,777 (41%) in 2019 compared with 16,816/39,108 (43%) in 2006. And that's a drift of only 2% points.
 
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So we're all a lot smarter? It's not grade inflation, grade grubbing, carefully selecting classes and majors to protect GPA, and having more and better materials with which to prepare for the test? Great!! I'll take the compliment. :)
I don't know if they've gotten smarter as opposed to have gotten better. It's an arms race and there are more resources available now.
 
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KnightDoc

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I don't know if they've gotten smarter as opposed to have gotten better. It's an arms race and there are more resources available now.
I guess it depends on how you define "better." Again, I'll take the compliment. But I'm not sure a drift up in GPA that can maybe be attributed to grade inflation, or to people reacting to the apparent increased competition by grubbing more for grades, or padding their transcripts with more easy classes, makes us better. Or a slight drift up in MCAT scores that can be attributed to more resources. There is more available to us, and we are better prepared as a group.

Does this really make it more competitive, as we are all lifted by the rising tide of achievement? The same way more EC volunteer hours, because they are now expected, doesn't make us more altruistic (or, does it?), as evidenced by the lack of a rush into primary care in inner cities and rural areas to fill those persistent needs, and away from an attraction to lucrative specialties.
 

KnightDoc

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Given the number of applicants, there is a statistically significant difference between 21,622/52,777 (41%) in 2019 compared with 16,816/39,108 (43%) in 2006. And that's a drift of only 2% points.
But you made the point earlier that most of the additional 13,000 applicants wouldn't have been competitive before, so it's really not more difficult, or did I misunderstand you? Which way are you saying the statistically significant difference is going? Intuitively, given that an additional 5,000 people were admitted in 2019 as compared to 2006, that 2% (only 5% of the 40%) doesn't seem significant at all, if you're saying it's way more difficult now because an additional 8,000 of the 13,000 are unsuccessful.

Bottom line - an additional 5,000 people are successful, but the accept rate goes down 2%. Does that really make it statistically significantly more difficult to be successful? If I had confidence in my application, I'd rather be in the pool with 5,000 additional spots, even with an additional 13,000 applicants. I'd assume at some point the world will run out of applicants better than me, and I'd rather be competing for more spots, within reason (i.e., if the accept rate went from 43% to 25% I'd probably feel differently, but with 43% going to 41%, I'd rather have the extra spots.) In any case, given that the 2% drift happened over 13 years, it just doesn't look like a big change at all to me.
 
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KnightDoc not sure where you are in your premed studies but this is pretty standard for most premeds, law school, med school, competitive schools in the northeast, etc. It's outside of the norm when premeds go out of their way to help other premeds. Use this info accordingly.
Yes, I get it. What I'm saying is that the fact it happens more now than in the past, and that it results in higher GPAs than in the past, does not mean that we are smarter, or that getting into med school is more difficult, than in the past. By the way, grade grubbing and structuring a course of study to maximize a GPA have absolutely nothing to do with going out of one's way to help peers, or refusing to do so!!

I think most of us here enjoy the back and forth, feel we receive at least as much as we contribute, and believe that the pool is large enough that we do not feel threatened by the possibility that someone else might benefit from our experience, opinion, advice, etc. I get that's not the case everywhere, but that, too, is probably dependent on the culture where you go to school, your personality, etc.

I want to contribute because I feel like I have already benefited greatly from the advice and knowledge generously shared with me here. I don't care who benefits from anything I post because I honestly do not believe my success or failure will be determined by whether or not a handful of people use anything I say to their advantage. If I felt otherwise, I'd lurk and not post, as I have no doubt literally thousands of people do.
 
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jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
Yes, I get it. What I'm saying is that the fact it happens more now than in the past, and that it results in higher GPAs than in the past, does not mean that we are smarter, or that getting into med school is more difficult, than in the past. By the way, grade grubbing and structuring a course of study to maximize a GPA have absolutely nothing to do with going out of one's way to help peers, or refusing to do so!!

I think most of us here enjoy the back and forth, feel we receive at least as much as we contribute, and believe that the pool is large enough that we do not feel threatened by the possibility that someone else might benefit from our experience, opinion, advice, etc. I get that's not the case everywhere, but that, too, is probably dependent on the culture where you go to school, your personality, etc.

I want to contribute because I feel like I have already benefited greatly from the advice and knowledge generously shared with me here. I don't care who benefits from anything I post because I honestly do not believe my success or failure will be determined by whether or not a handful of people use anything I say to their advantage. If I felt otherwise, I'd lurk and not post, as I have no doubt literally thousands of people do.
There is considerable debate over whether grade inflation exists at all. See this.

Grade grubbing has to do w/helping one's peers. A lot of it depends on where you go to school.
 
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KnightDoc

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There is considerable debate over whether grade inflation exists at all. See this.

Grade grubbing has a lot to do w/helping one's peers. A lot of it depends on where you go to school.
You totally lost me with the comment about grubbing and helping peers! Please explain!

With respect to your link, I really couldn't follow it at all. The author seemed to be saying that inflation doesn't exist because students are getting smarter, so, as a group, they deserve higher grades, and it's not inflation, much as we all have a higher standard of living because our society produces more goods and services than in the past.

I say BS. In a non-inflated world, grades are adjusted like MCAT scores, so that an A always means top X% of the class, etc. In that author's world, we are all so smart that most of us deserve As, so grades no longer have an ability to distinguish us. By definition, if everyone's grades are going up, we are in a grade inflated universe because, no matter how smart we are, 50% of us cannot be in the top 25%!!!! :)
 

jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
You totally lost me with the comment about grubbing and helping peers! Please explain!

With respect to your link, I really couldn't follow it at all. The author seemed to be saying that inflation doesn't exist because students are getting smarter, so, as a group, they deserve higher grades, and it's not inflation, much as we all have a higher standard of living because our society produces more goods and services than in the past.

I say BS. In a non-inflated world, grades are adjusted like MCAT scores, so that an A always means top X% of the class, etc. In that author's world, we are all so smart that most of us deserve As, so grades no longer have an ability to distinguish us. By definition, if everyone's grades are going up, we are in a grade inflated universe because, no matter how smart we are, 50% of us cannot be in the top 25%!!!! :)
Grade grubbing involves competing against your peers. Make sense?

W/respect to your second question, if students are getting smarter, are you saying that they don't deserve higher grades?

There will always be a way to distinguish between an A and an A+, for example. And I agree with you, 50th percentile =/= 25th percentile.

/thread
 

KnightDoc

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Grade grubbing involves competing against your peers. Make sense?

W/respect to your second question, if students are getting smarter, are you saying that they don't deserve higher grades?

There will always be a way to distinguish between an A and an A+, for example. And I agree with you, 50th percentile =/= 25th percentile.

/thread
Not really -- First of all, I don't do it, but if I did, it would be to try to help myself. After all, I wouldn't be asking the prof to take a few points from you to give to me. :)

And yes, with respect to grades, I guess I am. I honestly don't think we're smarter than our predecessors. It's very possible that the tools and technology we have available to us today just makes it easier for us to consume and process information. The grading scales need to be adjusted to account for that. The point of grades, at least for the med schools, is to distinguish us. If we all have As, like Step 1 going P/F, they'll just have to use something else.

And, with all due respect, you are wrong. On AMCAS A+ = A, no distinction because all schools don't offer A+. My understanding is that AMCAS does not even pass along the + to the schools.

Grading on a strict curve ensures grading integrity because it imposes a grade distribution, which is what people using grades to evaluate us want to see. Half of every class getting A with the rest getting B results in no meaningful distribution, with the difference between success and failure being the difference between a 3.89 and 3.91. If it ever got that bad, believe me, the MCAT, with its strict distribution, would just become that much more important.
 
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jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
Not really -- First of all, I don't do it, but if I did, it would be to try to help myself. After all, I wouldn't be asking the prof to take a few points from you to give to me. :)

And yes, with respect to grades, I guess I am. The point of grades, at least for the med schools, is to distinguish us. If we all have As, like Step 1 going P/F, they'll just have to use something else.--right, so that there's a way to distinguish bet. students, like I said

And, with all due respect, you are wrong. On AMCAS A+ = A, no distinction because all schools don't offer A+. I meant this in an abstract sense

Grading on a strict curve ensures grading integrity because it imposes a grade distribution, which is what people using grades to evaluate us want to see. Half of every class getting A with the rest getting B results in no dmeaningful istribution, with the difference between success and failure being the difference between a 3.89 and 3.91. If it ever got that bad, believe me, the MCAT, with its strict distribution, would just become that much more important.
Just for argument's sake: 1st bolded sentence is the definition of grade grubbing. Underlined is correct.

Most professors don't even grade on a curve anyway. There are many types of curves, FYI, not just bell-shaped curves, and it gets complicated...and like has been said this thread has gone to s$$$ lol
 
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jhmmd

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premednjit said:
Do you guys think that with COVID 19 going on fewer people will be applying for the same number of seats? So, is there is an advantage applying this cycle as opposed to next because next cycle will probably have the overflow from people that were going to apply this cycle?
OP to answer your question: If you are applying for this cycle, you should have had all of your ducks in a row the day that the app opened--businesses didn't start shutting down until March or so, so that shouldn't hurt anyone's app too much. You need hundreds of hours of volunteering/clinical experience these days, and most people can't amass that in two months. So the short answer is: if you were prepared, there shouldn't be an advantage to applying next cycle as opposed to this cycle, due to the premed requirements.
 
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LizzyM

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But you made the point earlier that most of the additional 13,000 applicants wouldn't have been competitive before, so it's really not more difficult, or did I misunderstand you? Which way are you saying the statistically significant difference is going? Intuitively, given that an additional 5,000 people were admitted in 2019 as compared to 2006, that 2% (only 5% of the 40%) doesn't seem significant at all, if you're saying it's way more difficult now because an additional 8,000 of the 13,000 are unsuccessful.

Bottom line - an additional 5,000 people are successful, but the accept rate goes down 2%. Does that really make it statistically significantly more difficult to be successful? If I had confidence in my application, I'd rather be in the pool with 5,000 additional spots, even with an additional 13,000 applicants. I'd assume at some point the world will run out of applicants better than me, and I'd rather be competing for more spots, within reason (i.e., if the accept rate went from 43% to 25% I'd probably feel differently, but with 43% going to 41%, I'd rather have the extra spots.) In any case, given that the 2% drift happened over 13 years, it just doesn't look like a big change at all to me.

Have you studied statistics? Do you know what a chi-square is? It is the way of testing the hypothesis that 2 proportions are different in a way that could not be explained just by chance. When you plug in the numbers I posted earlier, you get a p-value that is 0.001 or smaller (I don't recall the exact p-value.)

What I am saying is that 41% admitted is a smaller proportion than 43% being admitted some years earlier and the difference is statistically significantly different, it is unlikely to be explained just by chance. Yes, a larger number of people were admitted to medical school but the pool of applicants was larger, meaning that one was competing in a larger pool. Maybe that pool contained many very qualified applicants but only 41% of them were admitted. A larger proportion of the pool of applicants, 43%, were admitted back in 2006. Whether the number of appliants is 30,000 or 50,000, those who make up the bottom 10,000 are not getting in. For them it is a long shot. Likewise, it is not more difficult for the cream of the crop, they are getting in, often with multiple offers, regardless of the size of the pool. Where it gets tricky is when you are at that 57-59th percentile,, so to speak, when in a good year the top 43% get in and in a bad year only 41% get in.
 
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Grade grubbing involves competing against your peers. Make sense?

W/respect to your second question, if students are getting smarter, are you saying that they don't deserve higher grades?

There will always be a way to distinguish between an A and an A+, for example. And I agree with you, 50th percentile =/= 25th percentile.

/thread
No, grade grubbing is all about the individual. "I want to go to medical school and I need an A in this class!"

Delivered in a whiney voice, at that.
 
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KnightDoc

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Have you studied statistics? Do you know what a chi-square is? It is the way of testing the hypothesis that 2 proportions are different in a way that could not be explained just by chance. When you plug in the numbers I posted earlier, you get a p-value that is 0.001 or smaller (I don't recall the exact p-value.)

What I am saying is that 41% admitted is a smaller proportion than 43% being admitted some years earlier and the difference is statistically significantly different, it is unlikely to be explained just by chance. Yes, a larger number of people were admitted to medical school but the pool of applicants was larger, meaning that one was competing in a larger pool. Maybe that pool contained many very qualified applicants but only 41% of them were admitted. A larger proportion of the pool of applicants, 43%, were admitted back in 2006. Whether the number of appliants is 30,000 or 50,000, those who make up the bottom 10,000 are not getting in. For them it is a long shot. Likewise, it is not more difficult for the cream of the crop, they are getting in, often with multiple offers, regardless of the size of the pool. Where it gets tricky is when you are at that 57-59th percentile,, so to speak, when in a good year the top 43% get in and in a bad year only 41% get in.
Yes, I understand! I was just saying that I didn't think 2% over 13 years was meaningful, particularly when an additional 4,800 are being admitted. I get that the pool is bigger, and that the p-value is tiny so it's not a random deviation. But, because the odds of admission are not random, I'd rather be in a pool with 21,622 seats and 52,777 people competing for them than one with 16,816 seats and 39,108 applicants, even though a statistically significant 2% fewer applicants will be successful.

I like my odds against the additional 13,669 people, and would rather have the additional 4,806 seats available to compete for, since, statistical modelling aside, I don't think each of the 52,777, or 39,108, have an equal chance at success. I'd agree with you if the number of applicants went up to 41,015 with the number of seats remaining the same, but, as I said, I'd happily trade 2% at 43% to have a shot at 4,806 additional seats, given my profile.

TBH, I think the greater emphasis on "holistic reviews" just encourages more less qualified people to apply as compared to 2006, so I'm good with the accept rate going down by a statistically significant 2%, and I honestly don't think this makes admission more difficult for qualified applicants, as compared to when the admit rate was 2% higher but there were 4800 less available seats.
 
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la flame

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Lets say you have a crush on your cute ochem lab partner. Do you want 40 guys talking to her on a weekly basis or only 20? If you are average looking, you hope its 20. She can only date one person (med schools matriculate the same amount every year).
 
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KnightDoc

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Lets say you have a crush on your cute ochem lab partner. Do you want 40 guys talking to her on a weekly basis or only 20? If you are average looking, you hope its 20. She can only date one person (med schools matriculate the same amount every year).
Yeah, in your case I'd go with the 20, but, you jumped into the thread a little late. Please go back to confirm that med schools DON'T matriculate the same amount each year. This conversation revolves around the acceptance rate dropping 2% while the number matriculated increased by 4,806! Of course, if the acceptance rate drops while the number of seats remains the same, I'd rather be in the higher acceptance rate pool, unless you could show empirically that the larger pool was lower quality.

If my partner is willing to go on a date with either 21,622 out of 52,777 dudes or "only" 16,816 out of 39,108, and I possess the requisite hubris or innumeracy to believe that I have a better shot than 59% of the additional suitors who I think were likely attracted to apply by virtue of the fact that they heard she will date literally anyone, so they are applying even though many of them are just not her type, I'll go with the 41% because I want the extra 4,806 chances for her to say yes. :)
 
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KnightDoc

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Is it hubris or innumeracy to believe you'll be in the top 41% of a large pool but not in the top 43% of a smaller pool??
Hubris. Again, I like that there are so many extra seats, and truly believe that improved stats are more due to grade inflation than more fierce competition. I honestly think holistic reviews encourage more people at the bottom of the pool to apply, as opposed to the increased number applicants being equally distributed across the pool. Lies, damn lies, statistics and innumeracy. :)

I love your prior breakdown of who is actually impacted and how (top, middle and bottom of pool), but believe you are applying the chi-sqaure with blinders on by assuming that the extra applicants are equally distributed across the pool. I think they disproportionately fall into the bottom 10,000 in your example (increased outreach and recruiting in the name of diversity creating a situation in which a disproportionate number of additional candidates to just not be well qualified), and that the middle candidates on the bubble benefit more from the increased number of seats than are hurt by the fact that the admit rate goes down 2%. No way to know for sure, but the story doesn't begin and end at the 2% when 4,806 more seats are in the equation.
 
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LizzyM

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Hubris. Again, I like that there are so many extra seats, and truly believe that improved stats are more due to grade inflation than more fierce competition. I honestly think holistic reviews encourage more people at the bottom of the pool to apply, as opposed to the increased number applicants being equally distributed across the pool. Lies, damn lies, statistics and innumeracy. :)

I love your prior breakdown of who is actually impacted and how (top, middle and bottom of pool), but believe you are applying the chi-sqaure with blinders on by assuming that the extra applicants are equally distributed across the pool. I think they disproportionately fall into the bottom 10,000 in your example (increased outreach and recruiting in the name of diversity creating a situation in which a disproportionate number of additional candidates to just not be well qualified), and that the middle candidates on the bubble benefit more from the increased number of seats than are hurt by the fact that the admit rate goes down 2%. No way to know for sure, but the story doesn't begin and end at the 2% when 4,806 more seats are in the equation.

The way to know for sure is to find Table 25 from AAMC for some year in the past and the same table from a recent year (or 3 year period, as I think that is how it is reported). It is now called Table A 23. https://www.aamc.org/system/files/2020-04/2019_FACTS_Table_A-23_0.pdf

There you have the size of the pool for each GPA/MCAT combination and the number and proportion matriculating. Beautiful data. Wish I had the time to chi-square the data in every pair of cells -- the long ago and the recent for matriculated/not matriculated to see what's happening.
 
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