Explaining Dip in Grades

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10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2013
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I have one semester where I have an overwhelming number of B's and a C (in Ochem actually). My pre-dental advisor said my grades are still more than acceptable, but that I should probably draft a statement for secondary applications explaining how I have learned from that experience and have grown from it.

Have people noticed a question specifically directed for this on their secondary applications, as my advisor was implying? Does this belong somewhere on the AADSAS instead?

If anyone has noticed it on the secondaries, how many characters is the answer usually limited to?

Thanks for your help!

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I applied to 17 schools and did not have to fill out many secondaries. I think I only filled out 2 actually--BU and Western. BU didn't ask about any dip in grades and asked about why you want to go to BU. Western had a list of things you could have potentially talked about--significant experiences, hardships, and dips in grades. I don't quite remember the word limit though. I think one page for everything (experiences/dips/etc), but don't quote me on that. I can't speak for the other 40 something schools out there and their secondaries though. And no, there's no place on AADSAS specifically to explain a dip in grades. Preparing a statement or thoughts on your dip in grades is something to do before an interview though, just in case they ask. Hope this helps! Good luck!
I've actually had some pretty bad grades due to personal issues, but not once were the brought up. I had an increasing trend after all of that stuff happened, but my GPA is still on the "lower side" for what you'd find on SDN. Around a 3.3 or a 3.4 now maybe, I don't know, but no one ever brought it up in an interview. And in the secondaries, the ones that had the space for it, I talked about my personal issues and just wrote one sentence that "this prevented me from performing well in school" or something like that, and that was it.

Don't worry about your grades, I'm sure you're good to go! Good luck :)
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I can't remember if it was penn or minnesota, but one of them required for explanation for poor grades (lower than a C/not passing). You should be ok and not necessarily belong to write such explanation.
It was Minnesota! Only if you had a D or an F though, if I remember correctly...
Very helpful responses. Thank you! I had a suspicion that my advisor didn't really know what she was saying because it's pretty clear she's mainly a pre-med advisor and does dental advising "on the side".