whoam

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2005
43
0
Status
Hi,
I am new to this forum, can anyone tell me or point me in the right direction as where I can find examples, or give examples of how I can write in my personal statement the reason that my GPA is low, but I do have the potential and the drive to go to medical school. I've seen on many school sites asking for explinations as to why your marks aren't good, and with explanations they may consider your application.
Thanks for any help that you can give.
 

BlueMagpie

Meladori
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2004
220
0
The Interstitium
Status
I had this very same problem when I applied this cycle. How do you explain away a low GPA without making yourself look bad? The advice people gave me (and which I followed) was to stay away from explanations in your personal statement. Your personal statement should demonstrate your passion and drive to become a doctor. It is your opportunity to demonstrate how qualified you are. I did this by talking about my various experiences in the field and how they each helped me to realize why I wanted to be a doctor.

Many schools will ask for a separate essay from you explaining any low points in your application, and if you have a premed advisor, explain the situation to him/her so that they can add it in with their recommendation for you. Definitely put a positive spin on your previous problems. Such as, I had A,B,C problems but I've learned D,E,F and am now a more mature and insightful person. If you've had anxiety or depression that hurt your grades, I wouldn't out and out say it. It will make them worry that you'll have the same issues in med school--which is why you have to demonstrate how you've learned from your mistakes.

Good luck, whoam. I hope that helped somewhat. :luck:
 

RachelD

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2004
249
1
Oklahoma City
Status
I pointed out my past "lower" grades in my personal statement. After I had submitted it to AMCAS a friend who is a medical student and read my essay said I should not have included it because it draws attention to a weakness. After they read that you have low grades they go right to your grade section and look at it.
Stay away from explanations. You can talk about it during the interview. Just make sure you have an upward trend in your grades and that you have taken classes to "prove" youself.
Good Luck :luck:
 
About the Ads

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
RachelD said:
I pointed out my past "lower" grades in my personal statement. After I had submitted it to AMCAS a friend who is a medical student and read my essay said I should not have included it because it draws attention to a weakness. After they read that you have low grades they go right to your grade section and look at it.
Stay away from explanations. You can talk about it during the interview. Just make sure you have an upward trend in your grades and that you have taken classes to "prove" youself.
Good Luck :luck:
I seriously doubt any school even gets to your PS until they have already looked at your grades, but do agree that there's no reason to highlight a flaw. I do think you need to put a positive spin on certain things like past underachievement or hurdles you have overcome in the (secondary)applications though, as in many cases you may never get to an interview to explain yourself.
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2003
2,336
6
Status
Attending Physician
For the first 20 or so drafts of my PS this application cycle, I couldn't get away from using a big chunk of it to explain my poor early undergraduate record. Only after getting beaten about the head and neck by all of my reviewers did I finally realize that although it was weighing heavily on me, my early bad grades were NOT who I am. I wound up mentioning the problem in a sentence or two and then contrasting it with recent results.

The lesson, I think, is to underestimate neither the importance nor the difficulty of the personal statement, and to seek plenty of qualified resources to help with the review process.
 

2tall

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2004
1,952
5
USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Visit site
Status
I mentioned my mediocre past. I think there are ways to mention negative things in a positive light. One of the key points I wanted the readers of my PS to gleam was maturity/growth. I mentioned the attributes I lacked which prevented me from succeeding in my coursework. I was very brief...about 2 sentences. I brought it up because I believed it was relevant to my statement. For me, I thought it was worth mentioning...also it added a little humor to my PS.

I don't think it matters. I wouldn't DWELL on it, though.
 
About the Ads