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Explaining long periods of low grades

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by VCMaude, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. VCMaude

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    Hi all,
    I am struggling to come up with an appropriate way to explain a 2 year (4 semester) period of low B's, C's, a D, and several withdrawals. This happened during my junior and senior years of undergrad when I was having some mental health issues (and immaturity issues). These grades combined with my better ones from the first 2 years left me with a cGPA of 3.37.

    I decided I wanted to go to medical school later after graduation and took the rest of the medical pre-reqs (the only thing I'd taken in undergrad was Bio 1). I did much better with a post-bacc GPA of 3.89. Unfortunately, a few of these classes were at a community college, which I know they don't like, but I also had some from 4-yr schools.

    I think a 2-yr period is too long not to address, as it will make me look like someone who just can't handle upper-level coursework. But I'm afraid that citing mental health issues as the only cause will seem insufficient for a period that long. Is is a bad idea to also say I was simply immature? How honest are people when it comes to explaining low grades? Any suggestions or tips from others would be much appreciated, thank you!
     
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  3. YiSheng

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    I don't think it would be a problem if you explain sufficiently. From your post, I am not sure how long did your health issues impede your studying and grades, but I would assume it took about one year? You could explain that it took you time to adjust back to the normal lifestyles and you have demostrated your ability to take upper division through your high GPA from post-bacc.

    I know you sometimes hear that it's bad to take classes at a community college but as I have read elsewhere on this forum, most DO schools won't mind too much (especially since you took most from a university).

    All in short, just explain everything to the best of your ability in you personal statement and I think you should recieve some forgivence.
     
  4. Drrrrrr. Celty

    Drrrrrr. Celty Osteo Dullahan
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    I don't think they'll even ask about it. You've made it clear in your post-bacc that you're smart enough to succeed, now just back it up with a high mcat and you'll be fine. However if they do ask you probably should keep the discussion short and sweet.
     
  5. NurWollen

    NurWollen Strong with the Force
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    OP, I don't think you have too much to worry about. Be sincere if they do ask you about it, as Serenade said, rock the MCAT... I think you'll be ok. You may not have your pick of schools, but if you apply broadly and are willing to relocate, you'll get in somewhere.
     
  6. Goro

    Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    Au contraire, sometimes we do ask about these events, to gain insight into why people struggle int he first place, and what helps turn them around.

    So, just be honest,..saying "I was immature at the time" is a perfectly good answer. It was true of me when I was an undergrad! "I had some health issues" is also common answer, and also fine.



     

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