explaining MCAT or grade in personal statement

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ruraldr2b, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. ruraldr2b

    ruraldr2b ruraldoc

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    I have a question for anyone that might have some advice about my personal statement for AMCAS. This is my third time applying to medical school. The past two times I only applied to my state school because of low MCAT scores. This year I took a prep course, did a lot better on practice tests, hope to have done much better on the real thing, and want to apply to many other schools besides my state school. My question is about whether to mention my MCAT scores or the C I got in Organic Chem. My state school said the C?s in organic chem raised a flag for them so I have been taking upper level chem courses to make up for this. During that semester I got a little overextended in campus activities along with a set of terrible organic professors that caused this slump in my chemistry class. Since I am applying to other schools this year do you think I should explain those grades or do you think it could wait until the interview(if I was granted one) Also, I am assuming I will hopefully greatly improve my MCAT scores and do you think I should mention why I had improved (for example: didn?t have all the needed classes the first time taking it) or just let them decide that on their own or wait until interview. Any advice would greatly be appreciated. Thanks a lot
     
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  3. dpark74

    dpark74 Senior Member

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    I really don't think it's appropriate to mention one bad grade or a poor MCAT score in your personal statement. I believe the statement is to explain why you want to go into medicine, what motivates you to learn about medicine, etc. If it was an entire semester of courses, then maybe it would be good to address it. Ad coms will find the C in orgo and your MCAT score with no problem, so don't shed light onto it unnecessarily. Wait until the interview where you will have an opportunity to address these issues.

    Good luck with your apps and the third time is always a charm!
     
  4. BushBaby

    BushBaby Nipplelina

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    Ditto on what Dpark said.

    Your personal statement is not meant for you to explain every f'up in your application.

    If they want to know what happened in Orgo, they will ask you that at the interview.

    I had a C+ in Orgo I and an A in orgo II....and not once was I questioned about it.

    I also had a B+ in physics I and a C+ in physics II. Nobody is perfect. As long as your GPA rounds up nicely, your personal statement speaks out and ofcourse your mcat's are up to par, then you have nothing to really worry about.
     
  5. DarkChild

    DarkChild Senior Member

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    okay, a couple questions for you...
    1) did you get interviews before? if so, that would be the ideal time to address these concerns
    2) if you didnt get interviews before, then figure out why your academic performance suffered at that point in time, then discuss what was happening in your life at that point... how it made you stronger... and how it made you want to do medicine more...
    in the description before you start on about how it affected you... tangentially mention that it affected your academic performance... along with other things.
    ;) slick huh :D
     
  6. ruraldr2b

    ruraldr2b ruraldoc

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    Well,

    I narrow-mindedly applied to only my state school and did get an interview (they interview all in-state apps). Now that I will be applying to many schools I am a little more concerned because this will be the first time they will see my app. Thanks for the advice. That is probably true that if they do have a question about they can ask me in the interview and that I should remain as positive as possible in my personal statement and let them get a great feel for who I am.
     
  7. S.c. Cdc28p

    S.c. Cdc28p Member

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    In general you should not waste the precious space in your personal statement explaining grades and such. As the above posters said, focus on your motivations of becoming a doctor. Any explanation of a bad grade will dilute the message and weaken the essay.

    If you're fortunate enough to have a letter from your premed committee along with the regular recommendation letters, you could ask the premed committee people to explain the bad grades, MCAT, etc... for you.
     

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