If you were me, would you take a gap year?

  • Yes

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • No

    Votes: 5 83.3%

  • Total voters
    6
May 29, 2019
3
0
1
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
Hey Everyone! I'm in need of some advice. I've asked around from friends, family and classmates for their advice about whether or not I should take a gap year following my undergrad graduation in May 2020 but everyone keeps pulling me in every which direction so hopefully you all, who may just as well be in the same boat as I am, could help!

Here are my current Stats:

Undergrad rising senior majoring in Allied Health Science and minoring in Spanish (graduate in May 2020)
cGPA: 3.751 (but in PTCAS it will be ~3.70, I retook the only C on my transcript in NUTR 214 and earned an A)
pGPA: 3.95 (based on schools I'm looking at; I still have to take 2 PHYS classes in the Fall/Spring)
extra: 3 years of DI Track and Field, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, University Tour guide, Note taker and planning to join the Pre-PT club in the fall
Observation: Currently 110 volunteer hours (Ik this is low:() in 2 settings (4 locations): 103 in outpatient ortho, 7 in elementary school
GRE: Still havent taken yet but have been preparing for the last 2 months and was planning to take it in August

So, mostly everyone tells me to just go for it because they think if i take a gap year ill lose motivation for school (which I wont b/c being a PT is a career path I've been passionate about for years now and I worked wayyy to hard, especially on all my preq's to just stop now) but also, alot of them dont necesarily know/understand how competitive it is to get in and I want to feel confident enough to feel like I will get in which I currently do not.

What things should I do to better my app during my gap year (if i take it). I was planning on getting more hours in more settings and studying more for the GRE and taking it in April/May instead of August. What do you all think is best? Please share any and all advice, tips or experiences. It would be MUCH appreciated. THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!
 
Jan 21, 2019
25
23
11
I'm not quite clear on what your reasons are for wanting a gap year. If it is just to improve your stats, I don't think that is necessary. Or at least, you have a good enough shot this year that you might as well apply, and if you don't get in, then you can take a year. If it is to work and make money, need a break from school, etc, that is a decision only you can make, and really, a year doesn't matter in the long run!
 
OP
K
May 29, 2019
3
0
1
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
I'm not quite clear on what your reasons are for wanting a gap year. If it is just to improve your stats, I don't think that is necessary. Or at least, you have a good enough shot this year that you might as well apply, and if you don't get in, then you can take a year. If it is to work and make money, need a break from school, etc, that is a decision only you can make, and really, a year doesn't matter in the long run!
My main reasoning for the gap year is because im not too confident in my stats...I feel although my gpa is kind of my strongest point Im afraid I wont achieve the best score on the GRE (never been a great standardized test taker even if I prepare way in advance) and have to rely on other areas of my application such as obs. hours, which I dont have much of. I've seen applicant average of the schools I want to apply to as well as on here and there are some upward of 300- 400+hours. So ultimately, I just dont know if my application will be competitive enough by the time this cycle arrives.
 

Louisiana2018

2+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2016
14
3
41
Status
Pre-Medical, Physical Therapy Student
I do not think you need a gap year. Your stats are great and as long as your observation hours are the minimum for the program, don’t worry. You have a lot of settings so you are showing diversity. Focus on your GRE. Take practice tests and make sure you get the score you need. In the mean time, while waiting for the cycle, you could always do more observation hours if wanted. I worked as a PT/OT tech at a hospital for 7 months before school and made sure I mentioned my increase in hours once I got my interview. I had similar stats as you with only 90 verified hours on application (completed 600+ from working by the time of my interview) and I got accepted into both schools I applied for. My recruiters told me there is a minimum number of hours for a reason, because that is how many you need. They don’t expect everyone to do 1000+ hours. Keep confidence in yourself and apply. You are in a great spot. Don’t let anyone discourage you otherwise.
 
Feb 6, 2019
18
4
1
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
Just on the flip side, I'm pro gap year! I graduated in 2018 and chose to take a gap year. It wasn't because I was worried about my stats or that I needed to work on my observation hours or anything, I just felt like I needed a break. After going to school for basically 16 years straight I just wanted to work for a year and hang out with my friends and my family before I had to seclude myself again. People also tried to tell me I would lose motivation for school if I took a break, but honestly I've found it to be the opposite. I've been working at the front desk of a large volume medical office and I feel that I'm even more excited to get back to learning and jump into the field I'm passionate about with now even more patient care experience and knowledge of the challenges of how medical practices truly operate. And, I applied this past cycle and still got into my top two schools. So gap years may not be for everyone, but it was definitely the right choice for me!
 
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ya1

Mar 9, 2019
75
34
21
Take practice GRE tests, see what scores you get. If you are satisfied with them now, then take it in August. If not satisfied, study more and take later.
For observation hours, get 40-ish hours in inpatient setting and be done with it. There is no need to have hundreds of observation hours (unless you are applying to schools that do require more hours or more variety)..
I do not really understand why you are not confident that you get in a PT school with your high GPAs lol??? There are probably a few people with higher GPAs than yours, but not that many!
If you do feel like you need a break from school for 1 year, then definitely take it to relax or do whatever you want. Otherwise, it sounds like your application will be competitive enough to get in this year (unless you get really low GRE score).
Good Luck!
 
OP
K
May 29, 2019
3
0
1
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
Thank you everyone for your input! It truly means ALOT and i greatly appreciate it! After doing some thinking, I think im gonna just go for it and apply this cycle:)....im gonna try to get more inpatient hours and do well on the GRE. Any tips for getting LOR from PTs you only shadowed a short time? The two I am planning on asking i have only shadowed them for ~30-40 hours and im scared they will deny my asking. Thanks again!!!
 
Jan 21, 2019
25
23
11
PTs are use to being asked to write letters for students who shadow. I think you assume that if you someone is shadowing you, they will ask for a letter! Just thank them for the opportunity to shadow, say you'd appreciate a letter, and probably attached a resume/CV or even your essays and ask if there is anything else they need (info, not bribes ;-)) to help write the letter.