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Exactly how much is positive grade trend taken into account

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by freemontie, Sep 21, 2014.

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  1. freemontie

    freemontie Banned Banned

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    Aug 19, 2014
    For myself, before I decided to do pre-med, I didn't care much about my GPA and took some classes that I didn't really "study to ace" (i.e. did the the work but didn't study hard/ re-read /do many practice problems necessary to ace.)

    QUESTION:
    Suppose there's two applicants both with ~3.6.
    The first one has about a 3.6 every year.
    The second has a 3.3 the first two years, a gap year(s) and then 3.9 the second two years.
    Suppose most/all of the pre-med classes were taken in the last two years.

    Could you tell me in words/numbers how much adcoms distinguish between these two people? Thanks. @gyngyn
     
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  3. werunthis

    werunthis 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 2, 2014
    I'm not an adcom or anything but j think the positive grade trend is really hyped up and just something we use to boost people's moral. I say this because in high school one of my friends made straight As up until senior year where he literally failed multiple classes, but he still got into schools like UF, UC Berkley, etc. while others who had relatively similar GPAs that were consistent didn't get in to the schools he did.
     
    freemontie likes this.
  4. freemontie

    freemontie Banned Banned

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    Aug 19, 2014
    Maybe, I was thinking that 3.9 grades later on, including the actual pre-med classes, is more proof that one can excel in med school classes vs. someone who got 3.6's throughout. (But in my case I have non-premed BCPM courses in the first two years which would bring down my sGPA as well).

    Kind of like 'Hey I look- I can get 3.9's' vs. 'I'm always a 3.6 student'.
    But maybe you're right in that they don't think about it too much/don't care.
     
  5. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    Downward trend is always worrisome.
    When the overall gpa is good, nobody's looking for trend.
    When the gpa is borderline in an otherwise desirable candidate, people start talking about trend.
    We don't compare candidates to each other in the way you described.
     
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  6. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    Both will be accepted. Both have competitive numbers for medical school. The second candidate in your scenario had a rough start to college, went away to fix things, and then came back showing off his/her true potential.

    The wise LizzyM has commented that whenever she sees a significant dip in the 2nd year of a transcript, followed by a major rise in GPA, she knows that it was Organic Chemistry that clobbered the applicant.

    I suspect that pre-meds are the only ones who engage in the "the people who are strong all the way through will have the edge" mentality.

    And I concur 100% with my learned colleague gyngyn.

     
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