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COVID-19 induced P/F, P/NP UG Grading, Impacts on Future Applicants

HopeP

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    At this is point it is known fact quite a few quarter systems have already announced P/NP (P/F) grading mandatory for spring Q. If student doesn't have an alternative option to change schedule (especially BCPM and prerequisites classes), how that may be viewed a year from now for a potential 2021-22 application cycle?
    How that may be played out for a perfectionist (mercy, just for comparison reference) vs a need to boost GPA for every opportunity one has?
    How that may be played out to AdComs when 2 applicants very similar profile, but one has P/F and one has letter grading score in that particular Q, class (candidate could be from UG w/o P/F during Covid-19 or a senior with GAP year, hence regular grading)?
    Note: University has specific note on transcript for P/NP rationale.
    I understand that this is ever changing situation and no one knows definitely, however leaving it as it is mayn't provide a remedy for a year from now.
     
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      If student doesn't have an alternative option to change schedule (especially BCPM and prerequisites classes), how that may be viewed a year from now for a potential 2021-22 application cycle?
      My state schools will be approaching applicants on a case-by-case scenario on how it impacted you and what your institution enforced. They are accepting P/F, but if it is optional, they're relying on students to make the choice of taking a grade.


      How that may be played out for a perfectionist (mercy, just for comparison reference) vs a need to boost GPA for every opportunity one has?
      Perfectionists are lame, but again case-by-case scenario. One good semester, doesn't determine your ability to handle med school, adcoms will view at all other semesters as well.

      How that may be played out to AdComs when 2 applicants very similar profile, but one has P/F and one has letter grading score in that particular Q, class (candidate could be from UG w/o P/F during Covid-19 or a senior with GAP year, hence regular grading)?
      They would look better upon someone who chose to take a grade, but if it is mandatory and nothing can be done, guess what? #case-by-case scenario.

      Example: Student had a loved one get the virus and can no longer focus. Institution has option for P/F. This student ought to take the P/F in such a situation, there is more important things than their semester, such as their loved one to focus on.
       
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      Goro

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        At this is point it is known fact quite a few quarter systems have already announced P/NP (P/F) grading mandatory for spring Q. If student doesn't have an alternative option to change schedule (especially BCPM and prerequisites classes), how that may be viewed a year from now for a potential 2021-22 application cycle?
        How that may be played out for a perfectionist (mercy, just for comparison reference) vs a need to boost GPA for every opportunity one has?
        How that may be played out to AdComs when 2 applicants very similar profile, but one has P/F and one has letter grading score in that particular Q, class (candidate could be from UG w/o P/F during Covid-19 or a senior with GAP year, hence regular grading)?
        Note: University has specific note on transcript for P/NP rationale.
        I understand that this is ever changing situation and no one knows definitely, however leaving it as it is mayn't provide a remedy for a year from now.
        Both will be considered. SDNers should NOT obsess over single metrics.

        We're only talking about one semester, y'know.
         
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        KnightDoc

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          At this is point it is known fact quite a few quarter systems have already announced P/NP (P/F) grading mandatory for spring Q. If student doesn't have an alternative option to change schedule (especially BCPM and prerequisites classes), how that may be viewed a year from now for a potential 2021-22 application cycle?
          How that may be played out for a perfectionist (mercy, just for comparison reference) vs a need to boost GPA for every opportunity one has?
          How that may be played out to AdComs when 2 applicants very similar profile, but one has P/F and one has letter grading score in that particular Q, class (candidate could be from UG w/o P/F during Covid-19 or a senior with GAP year, hence regular grading)?
          Note: University has specific note on transcript for P/NP rationale.
          I understand that this is ever changing situation and no one knows definitely, however leaving it as it is mayn't provide a remedy for a year from now.
          What exactly is the question here? If it's mandatory, there is nothing you can do, so what's the point of obsessing and asking an bunch of what ifs?

          Schools will absolutely accept it. So what? An A will always be better than a P, but there is nothing you can do about it!

          Someone who needs a boost is going to be losing an opportunity to boost. So what? They can't do anything about it.

          As pretty much everyone who is in a position to know what are talking about has said, it's one semester out of 6, 8, or more for post-baccs, so it really shouldn't make or break an application. But yeah, it will suck if someone who was having a great semester is now going to get Ps, especially if they need the GPA boost, but it is what it is.

          What is your question? Will the person receiving As be in a better position? Yes, they will be. Is it fair? No, it is not. Now what?
           
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          HopeP

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            What exactly is the question here? If it's mandatory, there is nothing you can do, so what's the point of obsessing and asking an bunch of what ifs?

            Schools will absolutely accept it. So what? An A will always be better than a P, but there is nothing you can do about it!

            Someone who needs a boost is going to be losing an opportunity to boost. So what? They can't do anything about it.

            As pretty much everyone who is in a position to know what are talking about has said, it's one semester out of 6, 8, or more for post-baccs, so it really shouldn't make or break an application. But yeah, it will suck if someone who was having a great semester is now going to get Ps, especially if they need the GPA boost, but it is what it is.

            What is your question? Will the person receiving As be in a better position? Yes, they will be. Is it fair? No, it is not. Now what?
            Yes it is mandatory, not optional. Student only has control of class selection and schedule, which is still up in the air for summer.
            Would it be wise to shuffle some classes between spring and summer (if school offers in summer) and opt for letter grade in summer (another unknown at this point whether letter grade will resume in summer or not)?
            In lieu, fill spring Q with gen eds and non-BCPM classes.
            Bottom line looking for defensive strategy to minimize GPA impact.
             

            KnightDoc

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              Yes it is mandatory, not optional. Student only has control of class selection and schedule, which is still up in the air for summer.
              Would it be wise to shuffle some classes between spring and summer (if school offers in summer) and opt for letter grade in summer (another unknown at this point whether letter grade will resume in summer or not)?
              In lieu, fill spring Q with gen eds and non-BCPM classes.
              Bottom line looking for defensive strategy to minimize GPA impact.
              Do whatever you think is right, but this is just temporary and is probably not going to have a meaningful impact on an application one way or the other.

              You can drive yourself crazy running all the possibilities trying to optimize a strategy for what will turn out to be a few classes over an entire academic career. I am not altering classes or sequencing over this. For what it's worth, I wouldn't expect in person classes or letter grades to return until the fall at the earliest.
               

              gonnif

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                ****The Novel Corona Virus/COVID-19 & the Future for Premeds(Post Count #018)****

                Because of COVID-19 and the very dynamic changes this will bring throughout society for the this year (and likely for the next 2-3 years if pandemics of the 20th century would indicate), questions will come up again and again about online prereqs, P/F courses, MCAT prep and testing, volunteering, shadowing, Physician LOR, lab requirements, etc. However, there is no definitive answer as no one knows which schools will act in which ways, nor how the upcoming cycle will happen. However, as medical schools are on the front lines of this both in treating patients as well as setting appropriate behavior for community public health, it would seems reasonable that most medical schools will take into consideration over the next few years at least. In this time of War, and make no mistake we are in a World War of Corona, we all must learn to live with uncertainty and ambiguity about the future.
                 
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                Wowilikedebt

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                  Another related question but regarding current applicants. @Goro if you don’t mind shedding some light here. Or if anyone else has some input I would appreciate it

                  Would an update letter be needed to current schools I’ve been WL’d at?

                  Right before the COVID-19 outbreak I sent in an update letter outlining new volunteering opportunities, research, etc. But so much has changed since. Would I need to send in an update letter explaining all these changes?

                  For example, my instituation’s new grading policy, volunteering that I am no longer able to do, and clubs I am no longer part of. However, I will be able to finish my research thesis remote.

                  Just a little hesitant if the effects of COVID-19 are some what implied already or if I would personally need to send an update letter to WL schools. I sent in my original update letter 2.5 or so weeks ago. Would another update letter so soon be professional?
                   

                  Goro

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                    Another related question but regarding current applicants. @Goro if you don’t mind shedding some light here. Or if anyone else has some input I would appreciate it

                    Would an update letter be needed to current schools I’ve been WL’d at?

                    Right before the COVID-19 outbreak I sent in an update letter outlining new volunteering opportunities, research, etc. But so much has changed since. Would I need to send in an update letter explaining all these changes?

                    For example, my instituation’s new grading policy, volunteering that I am no longer able to do, and clubs I am no longer part of. However, I will be able to finish my research thesis remote.

                    Just a little hesitant if the effects of COVID-19 are some what implied already or if I would personally need to send an update letter to WL schools. I sent in my original update letter 2.5 or so weeks ago. Would another update letter so soon be professional?
                    Such an update would be worthless. The previous one was of little value because things you're going to do don't count, only things you have done. Words are easy, doing is harder. The only exception is if the WL is at a needy school like Gtown, Jefferson, U Penn or Mayo.
                     
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                    gyngyn

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                      Joint Statement from the Admissions Deans of California Medical Schools Regarding Academic Work and MCAT Tests that are Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak



                      The purpose of this message is to address concerns from prospective applicants who are experiencing unprecedented educational upheaval during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants for the upcoming application cycle can count on our common commitment to the following principles:



                      Pass/Fail Grades – Our schools will accept pass/fail grades, without prejudice, for courses taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has always been our practice to consider grades in the context of numerous other aspects of the application, and an international crisis certainly provides a unique and compelling context. In making this statement, we are cognizant of the fact that some undergraduate schools are providing an option for students to take courses either for grades or on a Pass/Fail basis. We therefore want to be explicit that applicants should not feel pressured by us to choose the graded option. Students and their families are facing many challenges at the moment – maybe even life and death challenges. The pressure for grades need not be one of them.



                      MCAT Tests – We will accept applications from individuals who were unable to take the MCAT due to COVID-related test cancellations. For these candidates, we will base secondary application decisions on the information that is available to us at the time of the application. Assuming that MCAT testing resumes prior to October, we will require applicants to have taken the MCAT before we make admissions decisions for the Class of 2025. Accordingly, applicants should not delay applying simply because an MCAT score is not yet available.


                      Raquel Arias, MD
                      John Balmes, MD
                      Clarence Braddock III, MD, MPH
                      Daphne Calmes, MD
                      Iris C. Gibbs, MD
                      Kama Guluma, MD
                      Mark Henderson, MD
                      Megan Osborn, MD, MHPE
                      Sarah Roddy, MD
                      Emma M. Simmons, MD, MPH
                      Lindia Willies-Jacobo, MD
                      David Wofsy, MD
                       
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                      KnightDoc

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                        Goro, could you please clarify what you mean by the bolded?
                        I am pretty sure he means that those schools are notorious for taking yield protection to an extreme, and actively solicit obsequious expressions of undying devotion in making decisions, particularly off the WL. How did I do, @Goro?
                         
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                        EdgeTrimmer

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                          Joint Statement from the Admissions Deans of California Medical Schools Regarding Academic Work and MCAT Tests that are Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak



                          The purpose of this message is to address concerns from prospective applicants who are experiencing unprecedented educational upheaval during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants for the upcoming application cycle can count on our common commitment to the following principles:



                          Pass/Fail Grades – Our schools will accept pass/fail grades, without prejudice, for courses taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has always been our practice to consider grades in the context of numerous other aspects of the application, and an international crisis certainly provides a unique and compelling context. In making this statement, we are cognizant of the fact that some undergraduate schools are providing an option for students to take courses either for grades or on a Pass/Fail basis. We therefore want to be explicit that applicants should not feel pressured by us to choose the graded option. Students and their families are facing many challenges at the moment – maybe even life and death challenges. The pressure for grades need not be one of them.



                          MCAT Tests – We will accept applications from individuals who were unable to take the MCAT due to COVID-related test cancellations. For these candidates, we will base secondary application decisions on the information that is available to us at the time of the application. Assuming that MCAT testing resumes prior to October, we will require applicants to have taken the MCAT before we make admissions decisions for the Class of 2025. Accordingly, applicants should not delay applying simply because an MCAT score is not yet available.


                          Raquel Arias, MD
                          John Balmes, MD
                          Clarence Braddock III, MD, MPH
                          Daphne Calmes, MD
                          Iris C. Gibbs, MD
                          Kama Guluma, MD
                          Mark Henderson, MD
                          Megan Osborn, MD, MHPE
                          Sarah Roddy, MD
                          Emma M. Simmons, MD, MPH
                          Lindia Willies-Jacobo, MD
                          David Wofsy, MD
                          Given that it's a sellers market , do you'll think UCs (and other schools) will interview the applicants with MCAT scores first and plan to interview rest after October/November?
                           

                          gyngyn

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                            Given that it's a sellers market , do you'll think UCs (and other schools) will interview the applicants with MCAT scores first and plan to interview rest after October/November?
                            I think we'll look at everybody. There may well be applicants who are interviewed before the MCAT becomes available.
                             
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