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GPA of 3.3

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ponybreeder4, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. ponybreeder4

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    So after my first year of college..i am at a 3.3..granted i have been taking a very heavy courseload this whole year...upwards of 21 units when the average is 14..working two jobs, in a sorority, several clubs, and socializing. my spring quarter gpa shows significant improvement. now how hard do you guys think it will be to raise a 3.3 to a point where i am considered competitive for admission? i go to a top 20 school..so classes are no joke.
     
    #1 ponybreeder4, Jun 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  2. thethethe

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    with 1 year under your belt only, its very easy to bring it up to a 3.6. good luck
     
  3. neurocirujano

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    No offense, but with everything you were involved in, how could you see it ending any differently than it did? :confused:
     
  4. adamMD

    adamMD MS-4
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    You have a lot of ECs but just be careful. Some schools simply plug gpa and mcat into a formula when selecting students to interview. 3.3 sounds great for your situation but I just hope schools would even recognize your struggle pre-interview.

    Why are you taking so many classes anyways? Are you trying to graduate in two years or something?
     
  5. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    First year of college is nothing. That is SOOOOOOOOOOO much time to bring it up.

    I had a 2.0 my freshman year. It took me 3 years to bring that bad boy up to a 3.3. well, really two years since I didn't care until junior year or so.
     
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  6. ponybreeder4

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    no im not trying to graduate early..its just that i am interested in so many different things..that taking 21 units is the only way i can sitll take some fun classes along with pre-med requirements
     
  7. neurocirujano

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    Very noble... Seriously. I wish I wasn't such a gunner... :(
     
  8. cdmccart

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    I just finished my sophomore year and looking back, I know I could've done better had I prioritized better. I kept thinking "I need to volunteer to get into med school"... "I should tutor too!"... "But I also need to work enough to make some money"... "And taking 17 credits will look really good"... What i failed to realize is that no matter how many or how great your ECs are, if your GPA is crap they aren't going to give you a second thought. GPA matters more than ECs. Not to minimize the importance of ECs, but if it comes down to choosing between going to a "required" sorority event (I'm in a sorority too so I know how it goes) and studying for a Physics exam, pick studying.

    And PS... taking 21 credits a semester isn't going to impress adcoms if you aren't performing.

    EDIT: Don't be in such a rush to graduate in 4 years and think you HAVE to take tons of credits a semester to make sure you get it all done. What'll end up happening is you'll be taking all these classes because you're interested and you'll plan on "enjoying" the courseload... but you'll have so much to do between your 6 classes, clubs, work, sorority stuff, etc that you'll be miserable.
     
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  9. nerakium

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    Like everyone else said, just make sure you have your priorities straight and that you maintain balance.

    The first couple of years are pretty scary as far as GPA goes. It can fluctuate a lot because you just don't have very many credit hours yet. But as long as you keep your grades up, your GPA should steadily rise and even out in the end.
     
  10. JLC

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    You've got two years, you'll still have a wonderful GPA by the time you apply if you can get a higher gpa average your next two years.


    Also, I would highly suggest that you take a lighter course load (not too light, but def don't try for anything more than what may actually hurt you than help you). Taking all those classes is def an achievement and its very impressive, but when it comes to gpas, well its about the gpa and not the number of units. On the other hand I knew a few people who were always taking heavy course loads and told me that the adcoms were def aware of this. But then again, adcoms will only review a transcript if they were interested in an applicant in the first place so be sure to work on the GPA.


    One of my friends was sort of in your position a couple years ago where he was taking a heavy load and was just overwhelmed (I don't know if you were or not) but in the end after he started taking a more average course load he was getting straight A's....coincidence? I think not :laugh:

    good luck
     
  11. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    I don't understand why people feel they need to take 21 credits every semester to graduate on time. Going into college I had 9 credits. The summer there, I took 7. The next summer I started with 15 and finished 8 (it was a rough semester). I then stuck with 16-18 most of the time and just took a few summer courses. I had time to do two study abroad programs and I graduated 20 credits OVER the required number and only 2 classes short of another degree...which would've been 1 class but I dropped it when I realized I'd have to stay an extra semester to get that other degree.

    You don't have to kill yourself in college. Most schools are designed to make you take at least one or two summer sesssions, but honestly, that isn't a big deal. I tend to like summer classes more. Keep in the 12-15 credit range and do things to have fun, not to mark off on a checklist. I see WAY too many premeds go in with the attitude they have to have a nice little cookie cutter application. You first priority should be to do well in college. Your second priority should be to find 2 or 3 activities you REALLY like and be consistent with those. At my previous university, I was president of the German club. That was a pretty time consuming thing itself, but I loved it. I'm also sure it is much more interesting than joining the premed club like 90% of applicants do. (Don't worry, I have that too). Yes, I research, but it is something that interests me and I don't break my back to do it. A couple hours a week....not in a lab.

    I feel it really takes a year or two for some people to get in the full swing with college. Sometimes it takes 3 years...which was my case. I never developed study habits before going to college and it wrecked me when I was here. All that time that others spend finding out ways to learn better, I was sleeping in the hallway and tuning drums. (Nope..not kidding. I literally skipped classes to go sleep in a darkened hallway) Just lower the load a bit and work hard. Who cares if you take an extra year? I am yet to meet a medical student that has regretted taking an extra year. In fact, the vast majority of bitter med students are the ones that DON'T.
     
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  12. bcat85

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    OP you'll be fine. Actually, even maintaining a 3.3 with a decent MCAT score would probably get you into a D.O. school or maybe some lower-tier M.D. schools.
     
  13. admitER

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    Good for you!!! My biggest regret in undergrad was never taking one class just because I wanted to take it (only classes I liked and were required in one way or another). i.e. I always thought it would be fun to take a photography class.

    Now, if you continue to take that many classes at once you will burn out. Are you dead-set on graduating in 4 years? Because, with interests as diverse as yours, why not take five years and minor in something fun? As long as you do well in your classes, it will only diversify you as an applicant, IMO. Also, as long as you take a decent amount of hours per semester (say, like SIX below what you are currently doing) med schools won't care that you took five years versus four to graduate.

    If you do that, and make an effort not to spread yourself too thin, your GPA will take care of itself.

    Best of luck to you!
     
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  14. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
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    just be careful because you are starting to rack up credits.. unless you maintain a high credit load from now on (around 20), it will be even harder than usual to pull up your grade because of how the math works out. (on the semester calender at least)
    your gpa isn't too low to pull up, though, so i wouldn't stress about it.. id advise cutting back on your EC's though lol (the one which you truly are not passionate about and would be obvious filler on an app)

    PS: i think all schools have easier/less demanding courses but i guess you meant your classes specifically were difficult.
    and don't you go to a UC (not Cal)? which list of top 20 are you referring to?
     
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  15. tncekm

    tncekm MS-1
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    Easy to bring up, but something has to give. Classes aren't going to get easier and having a good GPA is very beneficial to your app--at the very minimum it makes a big difference with respect to the level you must perform on your MCAT to be considered.
     
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  16. ponybreeder4

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    UCLA..notorious for pre-med weeder classes.
    i already haver junior standing..i guess i just never sat down and counted up how long it would take me to graduate without taking all the crazy classes. its just so many people here are taking summer school and im not that it makes me concerned..oh if i dont take summer classes i may be behind so i need to pick up the slack during the school year?
     
  17. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
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    haha, cali is too competitive for my taste
    junior standing and you are already worried about falling behind?? (aren't you a rising sophomore??)
     
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  18. TheMagicCookie

    TheMagicCookie Sexier than Punxsutawney
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    OP- I know this is terribly off topic...but are you a horse person? Your username caught my attention and I just had to ask! :D
     
  19. Are you still considering graduating in 3 years?

    Undergrad in 3 years and med school right after?
     
  20. devilpup

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    be very careful, you could be threading on dangerous grounds...
     
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  21. mbe36

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    1.) Take a lighter course load. Do well in the things that matter. No one will look favorably at a poor GPA just because you had a heavy course load.

    2.) Be smart about EC's. Find things that you enjoy AND prepare you for the road ahead. Do not overload with useless things just because you have time to fill.

    Best of luck!
     
  22. ponybreeder4

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    haha no im not really a horseperson..but they're fun to ride lol

    and i am no longer considering graduating after 3 years...i realized this would be nearly impossible considering i very much value having a social life.

    does anyone know if it is easier to get A's in uper divs?
     
  23. gplex86

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    It can be done. I got 2 MD and 1 DO acceptance with a 3.4 GPA (3.3 science) at University of Michigan and a 30 MCAT. I even submitted my AMCAS in December. A miracle, right?

    However, try and get it to a 3.5 if you can. I understand that you want to take more "fun" classes, but that GPA is going to be important. I had two non-science majors and a bio minor on top of the premed classes. Although I enjoyed these classes, taking 18 credits a semester was very stressful and absolutely hurt the GPA. Focus, focus, focus!
     
  24. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
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    well ive heard grades usually stop being assigned based on a curve, so generally your grade is based on the amount of effort you put into class rather than how everyone else does on tests.
    technically classes get harder because the material is more advanced, but i guess ease of the class (i.e. ease of exams) all depends on the professor
     
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  25. tncekm

    tncekm MS-1
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    Did you have exceptional EC's?
     
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  26. gplex86

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    Crazy-ridiculous EC's.
     
  27. tncekm

    tncekm MS-1
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    Well, then don't be teasing us you bastard!!! :p Applying in December with a 3.4 / 30 and getting 2 MD and 1 DO acceptance is just nuts :laugh:
     
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  28. gplex86

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    Yeah, I'm planning a big SDN post chronicling this journey. So I'll leave out much of the background except to say that I never planned on applying to med school this year. But there's an old Yiddish saying, "man plans, God laughs."

    First, I think my curriculum turned a few heads. I'm an English and biopsych major, and a biology minor. I also did honors in biopsych. There's almost no crossover between these curriculums, on top of all the premed classes. To finish it all I had to take 18 credits almost every semester, and took classes nearly year-round. I'm graduating with 180 credits. In four years.


    Clinically:

    1) I shadowed a primary care doctor in a rural, undeserved area. I was there 8am-5pm every Friday one semester, as I had Friday's off. Since she was the only doctor in the office, I got a lot of hands on experience [+1 LOR].

    2) Starting sophomore year, I became a volunteer first aid responder for the Red Cross.

    3) During junior year, I did basic EMT training, while taking 18 credits.

    4) Then I became a volunteer EMT for the Red Cross

    5) During senior year (right before submitting AMCAS), I did EMT specialist/intermediate training, again while taking 18 credits. Lots of great, dirty, hands-on-patient clinical experience. As a EMT-S, I can do IV's. [+1 LOR]

    * Add on some smaller clinical experiences, like a religious program where we visited patients in the UofM hospital, a soup-delivery service for sick students, etc.


    Research:

    1) I researched developmental disabilities with children. Too much to describe here. I worked with this professor for 2 years.[+1 LOR]

    2) Honors research, for my thesis. I researched hemispheric changes in the brain that occur with age. So I worked with real, live, elderly subjects. 2 Published works, 1 award at a state neuroscience convention. I didn't just work as an RA, either. The project is all mine, start to finish. [+1 LOR].


    Leadership etc:

    I was also very involved with the Michigan Daily newspaper. I started out as an opinion writer, moved up to the editorial board, and eventually rose to prominence as a columnist. Now THAT was awesome. Imagine getting a biweekly podium with a circulation of >100,000 people. I wrote about a lot of issues like the environment, health issues, international issues, etc. Managed to get a little recognition from Washington Week, too.

    How I got this all done with classes, I'll never know. There's also a lot of miscellaneous stuff that I needn't add here. Also got LOR's from my prehealth adviser and an very prolific English professor to round out the set. And you can imagine, being a writer, what kind of essay I penned for the personal statement.

    So, how'd I do with admissions? After submitting the AMCAS on Dec 1, I was verified by Dec 15 and has most secondaries done between then and January. (The osteopathic app was basically a cut-and-paste job). I got 5 MD interview offers and 2 DO. I skipped on one DO interview after getting my first acceptance to TUCOM in late February, and skipped on St. Louis for Jewish reasons. I got post-interview rejected from Yale (they gave me an extension), waitlisted at GW, accepted at Techion (in Israel), and NYMC (off the waitlist).

    So, standing out probably helped me a lot. And with my good looks and shining personality, I interview well. My GPA really wasn't that bad, by the way. Most of my premed science grades were solid B's, with some A's, and nothing below a the occasional B-. Got A's in pretty much all major classes, though the bio minor certainly dragged me down. I also had an upward trend, so my junior and senior year GPA's were 3.6/3.5. And it's Michigan - we're known for science rigor.

    I'll be going to NYMC in the fall for the MD/MPH, assuming I dont get off the GW waitlist.
     
    #28 gplex86, Jun 16, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  29. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
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    nicely done. ::thumbup::
     
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  30. 194342

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    wow, your EC's are intense.... Good luck at NYMC!
     
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