DIY post-bacc with no advisor, should I pay for a comprehensive service?

Jan 16, 2020
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This is my third time posting, so I'm sorry for that, but I'm a deeply confused non-trad doing a DIY post-bac. I have no access to advising services and am overwhelmed by the application process. I'm considering hiring an advising service, but have seen on these forums that its not usually recommended so thought i'd try here first before I pay someone. These are my stats and current situation:

cGPA: 2.58
Post-Bac GPA: 3.75
AMCAS science GPA: 3.19
AACOMAS science GPA: 3.51
I have four 2 credit graduate classes thrown into this mix as well at a 3.47 and I got a 3.0 in my 9 credit accelerated W-EMT course this fall (not factored into my post-bac gpa.)
I'm a licensed EMT and have been volunteering at the COVID vaccine clinic in my area (~50 hours so far), I have non clinical volunteer work (~70 hours) with HIV patients, and volunteer work with children (~700 hours) that was non clinical and education focused.

My undergrad degree was a BA in photography. I have two C's in science in math from my undergrad and one from a community college that are tanking my sGPA, but am on track to pull it up by summer. If I took only the necessary credits for the rest of my post-bac maintaining my current 3.75, by summer 2022 I should end up with a 2.9 cumulative, AMCAS sGPA of 3.49, and AACOMAS sGPA of 3.68. I understand the cGPA will weed me out of the 3.0 cut off for many schools. I'm also applying as a California resident which is a disadvantage.

I was initially going to apply for the 2022 med school application cycle, but didn't realize that rolling applications open in May. I don't think I can be a successful applicant this cycle, so am going to wait until 2023. With a few extra classes taken in the 2022/2023 school year I should be able to pull my cGPA above the 3.0 cut off as well as have more time to devote to clinical work, but with the application due a year in advance will medical schools even see this extra work I put in? Would they only be looking at my 2.8/2.9 cGPA that would be submitted in May?

I haven't taken the MCAT yet. I'm not sure when I'm supposed to take it for the 2023 application cycle. I also don't know what books to buy to study for it, whether I should join a prep course, ect... I've asked every applicable advising office in my school and they say that because I'm DIY they cant help me. Sorry for the long post, but I don't have anyone available to answer my questions so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

DT III

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Mar 4, 2017
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Yep, definitely have at least a 3.0 cGPA and sGPA on your transcripts before applying to medical school. Advisers wouldn’t help even if you were a regular student. By the way, why don’t you just declare to be a degree seeking student and then just drop out when your GPA’s are where they need to be? All of your questions can be answered on Goro’s guide to reinvention and the MCAT threads on this website. Just do a ton of searching around and you will find everything that you need.
 
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samc

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I did not have an advisor. 35 MCAT, 3.55 cGPA and sGPA. An advisor could have saved me from my first application, where for GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT REASON I only applied to like 3 schools. But my second application was a very reasonable 27 schools, didn't work, went for a successful third round with 41 apps and 2 acceptances. I don't think an advisor could have saved me from that 3rd round. My 27 school picks were very reasonable. So I think you're OK without an advisor as long as you don't do anything really, really stupid like apply to only 3 programs. Make sure your app is complete on day 1. Make sure you apply to lots and lots of lower-tier programs.

And I went for ExamKrackers for MCAT prep--I posted some video workthroughs from them and other useful stuff here. You can probably be successful with any mainstream company, though--EK was just the one that clicked for me,
 
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Nugester

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I applied once and fortunately was accepted <3.0 (postbacc + masters close to 4.0 though). I didn't have an advisor either; I scoured SDN and reddit and filtered what I read. I will second what was mentioned earlier about Goro's guide as it will answer most of your questions. Also, it is ideal to have everything > 3.0 but more importantly, to show sustained success during your reinvention years.

For the MCAT I used resources from ExamKrackers and did practices from Altius, Next step, and from AAMC (which should be primary as you get closer to your actual exam). Key is to do practice questions!!

Good luck!
 
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