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Do improvements in grades matter?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DemonDeacon, May 1, 2004.

  1. DemonDeacon

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    During my freshman year, I was sick a lot and had a 3.0 avg. I transferred to a different school, and for two years, I've got a 3.8 avg. Combine it all the gpas, it turns into a 3.4 :(

    Do med school admissions really look at whether you've improved or not? How much of a disadvantage am I in?
     
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  3. UseUrHeadFred

    UseUrHeadFred Oh no! It's a Wumpus!
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    From what I've heard, YES. You have an advantage over people with a 3.4 that got a 4.0 in their freshman year and have since dropped.

    Not a bad place to be. Keep it up!
     
  4. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    Yes, improvement helps. It's certainly better than getting worse.
     
  5. Lux Aeterna

    Lux Aeterna the eternal light
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    Yes, improvements matter, and adcoms WILL notice. PM me if you want details as I was in a similar situation as you and had a pretty good application cycle.

    Good luck!
     
  6. I went from a 3.2 or so to 3.6 and it really helped. Plus if your last year or two are mostly A's then that's a big plus I think.
     
  7. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    in short, YES. My cum. is a 3.1 but I went from 0.99 to deans list.
     
  8. chickenpotpie

    chickenpotpie Member
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    yea, verily
     
  9. DemonDeacon

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    thanks for the encouraging remarks!

    i just hope the initial screening doesn't hurt.
     
  10. UseUrHeadFred

    UseUrHeadFred Oh no! It's a Wumpus!
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    I think a 3.4 will go through most schools screens without a problem.
     
  11. mikedc813

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    Without a doubt improvements are invaluable to you. I started my first semester in college with a C+, a couple of Bs, an a couple of As. Since then I got mostly As and some B+s and the adcoms told me that my 1st semester college grades were to them an "abnormality". Show them that you can do the work and they'll be more than likely to disregards your early poor grades. The upwards trend will certainly help you (just as a downward trend will certainly hurt you)!
     
  12. ad_sharp

    ad_sharp Senior Member
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    This is what a few admissions folk told me: They really look at your last 60 credit hours of coursework the most in determining if you will be a good candidate for med school. This is not to say that the beginning doesn't matter, but as a previous poster pointed out--It definately looks better to start poorly and then show significant improvement rather than the other way around. gl.
     
  13. duka

    duka Senior Member
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    I know in my committee letter, they mentioned that my GPA had improved each semester while I was in college, and one interviewer mentioned it. I think it definately made a difference, especially if at some point, you talk about "learning how to learn" or something of that sort.
     
  14. sfgboy

    sfgboy Village fool
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    improvements totally matter... just don't make any excuses about your early weaker grades. but if someone brings it up in an interview, be prepared to talk about it. from what i've seen, adcoms appreciate the honesty of saying you slacked off or weren't focused your first couple semesters, and they conversely frown upon defensive posturing.
     
  15. DemonDeacon

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    ^Should I then not include any comments in my personal statement?
     
  16. BassDominator

    BassDominator Senior Member
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    I wouldn't waste space in the personal statement to explain grades, but there's usually extra space on secondary applications for this kind of stuff. I would definitely explain your situation there.
     
  17. sfgboy

    sfgboy Village fool
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    Definitely not in your personal statement. Yours PS should be an integrated story of sorts, something to grab the attention of readers. Turning it into a sentence-style list of your achievements and excuses for lack of achievement is a gross waste of your essay. You don't get many chances where the podium is yours to tell the adcoms what you desire... why waste it on telling them you were sick?

    I even think it's of questionable value to bring it up in your secondaries. When secondaries ask if you had special circumstances to discuss, unless it's something that's really going to garner empathy from a reader, I wouldn't mention sickness. I know this is debatable, but you're grades have been decent enough recently that adcoms will know a proverbial switch was flipped and that what was once adversely affecting your grades is history.

    Under the circumstances:
    1) why draw attention to your poorer early grades? and
    2) why give the adcoms a chance to think that you're just making excuses for yourself?
     
  18. DemonDeacon

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    That's not a bad idea. I could write about the hardships, but it'll have to be in a non-defensive way, I guess. Thanks a lot!
     

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