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Did you do this on your PS?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by em783, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. em783

    em783 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 27, 2006
    So I'm curious, how many of you mentioned your GPA shortcomings or the reason you struggled in a particular area of your pre-med coursework in your personal statments?

    I'm curious becuase, although my GPA is decent, it isn't by any means a strong point of mine and I'm wondering if I should have said something about that in my PS like a lot of people recommend.

    I have been questioned about one course in particular (O-chem I) by 2 or 3 interviewers this cycle, so clearly there is a consisent red flag that they're seeing. So did any of you do this? Is it one of the questions with an obvious answer in that it's a given you're simply expected to mention why you have an average to below-average GPA for a med school applicant?
     
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  3. Teee

    Teee Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    if you have a compelling reasons, then mention it. if you just partied really hard, then... i don't know. it depends on how bad ur gpa is, 3.4 and above, you don't have to mention it unless you have a compelling reason. below that, find a reason and write a sentence without making your PS all about it.

    I only wrote a sentence about how i worked throughout college and struggled to maintain grades but i added at the end that i learnt time management and all that good stuff.
     
  4. PeripateticMD

    PeripateticMD Peripatetic 5+ Year Member

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    don't do it. do not excuse your GPA. do not explain it. explain how great you are. make the PS make them want to meet you. worry about the GPA if they ask you in the interview (which they will if it's your weak point). there were 3 schools where I gave my reason for a huge dip in my GPA (and it was a damn good reason), and those 3 didn't get back to me (i withdrew from 2 in january, so i don't know if they would have in the end), but i got invited to about 15 interviews, went to 10, explained the dip in the interviews, and was accepted at 6 (withdrew from the other 4 before hearing back).
     
  5. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Go to the link in my signature- it is an entire thread devoted to the personal statement and has several important tips from the SDN community :)
     
  6. em783

    em783 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 27, 2006
    OK so my GPA is right at that cusp ... it is 3.35, and my BCPM is 3.5. I've had interviews, but no definitive luck so far. Would you think in my case that I made a mistake in not mentioning a sentence or so in terms of that? In all other respects I have a strong PS, I should add.

    The real reason is immaturity and overloading my semester schedules waaay beyond the limit thinking I could make it work, so it's not like your case where you had to work and that was understandably difficult. Oh God, tell me I didn't screw myself in this process. I'm just worried because all of a sudden I've been hearing from others (other applicants/former classmates) and reading in admissions essay books that it's almost expected to do this.
     
  7. armybound

    armybound future urologist. Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    If you got interest (interviews) then you must not have done something really wrong with your PS.

    I did mention my grades in my PS. After braluk reads it and gives me feedback I'll let you know if it stays in there or not.
     
  8. em783

    em783 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 27, 2006
    Oh, just read those additional responses....thanks for the advice guys. I will definitely visit that link, but in response to PeripateticMD's post, it would make sense if the reason was legitimately justifiable.

    However, mine, like I said, was just a result of making a poor decision in overloading myself with difficult coursework and then not learning from that in a subsequent semester.

    Anyhow, I guess I can see both sides to the story as to why it can be a pro or a con in mentioning your faults.
     
  9. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 16, 2007
    Highlight positive

    Do NOT highlight negative, will seem like you are making excuses.

    For example, instead of saying I took hard courses and thats why my GPA is bad, say something along the lines of "my intense interest in the subject matter pushed me to repeated take more and more advanced difficult courses." (not these words exactly, but notice no mention of bad GPA)
     
  10. armybound

    armybound future urologist. Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    you CAN make excuses, or you can give an explanation. there is a difference.
     
  11. em783

    em783 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 27, 2006
    Braluk, that is an *awesome* and extremely helpful link you composed. Thanks so much! If only I had seen that prior to writing my PS and applying this year. I think I paid more attention to your "Conception Day Valedictorian" than the links below it, sadly enough :)
     
  12. Teee

    Teee Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    May 21, 2006

    if you have had interviews, then i don't think it matters that much. schools would be able to see that you overloaded your schedule and reasonably infer from that. i overloaded too, 22 -25 credits per semester. i don't think you made a mistake not mentioning it if it is obvious on ur transcripts. just send update letters with ur current grades, but if you have had interviews, then you are several steps above the PS stage.
     
  13. sendwich

    sendwich you rock! 10+ Year Member

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    if you must mention it, be very brief (taking all responsibility). you want to demonstrate maturity, not blaming circumstances.
     
  14. Kfire326

    Kfire326 7+ Year Member

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    To compensate for a low verbal score, I mentioned in my PS that I learned to speak another language fluently just by picking it up from my parents growing up (no formal education whatsoever).

    I didn't mention it in my PS, but I've been asked about a C+ in calculus II at 3 interviews. It happened my freshman year, so I was honest and told them that I didn't have any direction, didn't try as hard as I could have/should have. I agree with those above me that say you should highlight the positive. I always wrapped up my answer with something like "look how well I'm doing now."

    I got into all those schools.
     
  15. armybound

    armybound future urologist. Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    i hope they don't ask me about the Cs I've made, it would take up the whole interview time
     

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