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GPA Trends....How Important are They

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DrCurious, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. DrCurious

    DrCurious Senior Member
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    How important are GPA trends? For example my GPA, by the time I apply this summer, will be no where near stellar (hopefully 3.55 or so with a science of 3.6), my GPA freshmen year is really bringing me down, ended the year with a 3.0. Since then I have pulled 3.75 both semesters sophmore year, and most likely will pull 3.85 or better this semester. Now I know that my GPA isnt good enough for alot of schools but with a good MCAT (30-32) and good EC's will my GPA hold me back or will it be looked over do to the conintued upward performance. Thansk in advance.
     
  2. calvinandhobbes

    calvinandhobbes Senior Member
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    i think trends are really important. try to point it out somewhere in your essays or interview
     
  3. Labslave

    Labslave Senior Member
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    Trends are important, just nowhere near as important as the overall number. The key is to demonstate that improvement in the trend over a long period of time...in your case for instance, you only have two years of classes to back up your improvement. This is in no way trying to discourage you, but your application would be a lot stronger if you waited another year to apply. It would not only give you an opportunity to continue your upward trend, but also bring your overall GPA up (not to mention give you more exposure to upper level sciences, which may help you with the MCAT).

    I chose to wait an extra year for this reason, and I don't regret it at all.
     
  4. eric23

    eric23 Member
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    I'm on the same boat. I am a senior this year and will be applying with a little over a 3.5...upward trend with 3.8 last year...and expected 3.8-4.0 this year. I think it is important for adcoms to understand that I'm not who I was two years ago, and applying my senior year...taking a year off...seemed to be the best way to do so...plus I have more time to build my application and study for the MCAT! :thumbup:
     
  5. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    i know for a fact that the only reason i'm getting interviews is the fact that i got straight As 3 out of my last 4 semesters (one while i was studying for the MCATs). my sci gpa blows but i still have 4 interviews. trends are huge.
    -mota
     
  6. LabMonster

    LabMonster Clinically relevant.
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    Trends are important. ADCOMS realize pre-meds are human and make mistakes. I got an interview at Wake Forest with horrible cumulative & science GPAs - but the damage was done almost 10 years ago. I don't think I'l get in this cycle, but as long as you have a decent resume - you should be loving your upward trend and 3.5! Best of luck.
     
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  7. Ashanti Rock

    Ashanti Rock Senior Member
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    I think that trends are very important. I also had a lower gpa in my freshman going into sophomre year, but during my last 3 semesters, I took several upper level biol classes and was able to get A's in most of them. I decided to take a year off so that schools would see this when I applied. This factor in addition to my letters of rec's and ec's, I believe is what is getting me through this prcess. So far I've done 1 interview, 4 more coming up in dec. and got an acceptance with a scholarship offer. I think that trends, especially in upper level biol. classes are important to convince adcoms that you have the potential to do well in med school. G'luck!
     
  8. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    trends are definitely important

    I would even go so far as to say that they may approach the importance of the total BCPM

    be expected to be asked about it in interviews-one interviewer even asked me "why was your GPA freshman year ****?"

    this is where being the salesperson you have to be on your interview comes in

    for example, if you're GPA freshman year sucks, then calculate what your GPA would be without freshman year
    my BCPM on amcas was 3.43, but if I took out freshman year, it would be around a 3.65
    not to mention that freshman year was with easier courses with lower competition like freshman biology than the courses I took junior and senior year like immunology and virology that were with PhD students, in which I got better grades; this of course makes no sense, so they saw that freshman year was an abberation

    I told this to every single interviewer and made sure that they knew it
    like I said, be a salesman



    Also, another tip to the OP
    I'm somewhat a non trad and applied the year after I graduated college
    I suggest applying senior year or the year after college and taking 1 or 2 years off
    this way, you'll have all of your grades, including all of your senior year grades from college, and another year of B+'s, A-'s, and A's does a lot of good to counteract a bad freshman year, it boosts up GPA even more
    and besides, it's only a year, it's not forever
    plus, the other benefit of this is that you don't have to take the MCAT in April, you could take it over the prior summer to applying which does 3 things
    1. concentrate solely on your grades to do the best you can, since you don't have the MCAT to study for
    2. do nothing for the whole summer except study for MCAT (this helps)
    3. you can always take it next april before applying if you do bad

    it's relaxing having your MCAT done the summer before

    here's a scenario for you
    take your MCAT August after Junior year
    apply June after you graduate senior year
     
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  9. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    trends are extremely important. i wouldn't be in med school if that weren't the case. ended freshman year like 2.8, but had it to 3.4 by application time. of course it's important that the grades you are getting are in hard science classes, and a good MCAT is also important.

    conversely if you trend downward, you're in a lot of trouble.

    GPA is only one aspect of the application. The MCAT is another huge piece, but so are things like research, clinical experience and other EC's. Adcom's really are looking for interesting, well-rounded people who will add something to the class. This is important because you simply aren't going to impress many adcom's with grades alone; EVERYONE applying has good grades. But not everyone can show that they are the complete package.

    And the interview is of paramount importance once you get to that stage. If you look good on paper, but are a pain in the ass or a jerk or just socially inept, they are not gonna take you. However, if you're a borderline applicant - the kind of applicant that fills the majority of the spots in classes (there are only a limited number of "perfect" applicants), then a good interview will set you apart.

    Ok, that's stoic's guide to getting into med school. Remeber to brush your teeth and floss.

    Love ya,
    S
     
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  10. swifteagle43

    swifteagle43 Lover- not a fighter
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    Once BCMP is important
     
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  11. qwerty123

    qwerty123 Member
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    Like many others, I thought that my low cumulative GPA would bring me down. However, many of my interviewers have told me that it is nothing to worry about since I have the upward trend thing going. Good luck!
     
  12. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member
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    Trends are really important. My cumulative GPA of 3.5 consisted of straight A for the last year and a half (with 2 A-). I highlighted this in my essay and my improvement has come up a number of times in interviews.
     
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  13. somewhere2010

    somewhere2010 SDN Donor
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    similar situation for me! one D+ ruined my GPA for a while, but i had straight As senior year and post-bac...i explained why my grades sucked one semester, and they totally understood.

    btw, congrats on everything, princessd3! still super excited about michigan? and how did you like pritzker? i don't know how i'll choose between the two!
     
  14. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member
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    Hey how are you! Yeah still like Michigan a lot. I haven't been to Pritzker yet but I am excited with all the good things I heard. All the best!
     
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  15. eccles1214

    eccles1214 Member
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    I had a downward trend for a while:

    When I started college I wasn't premed, and I was working 30-45 hours per week supporting myself, so a downward trend.
    Freshman year 3.5
    Sophomore year 3.3
    Junior year 2.0

    10-year hiatus for working, etc.
    I then went to a CC, to change majors. Now working in health care but not premed, yet. I was not convinced that I would be a competitive candidate, so I studied my other love: sociology at a CC and at the alma mater.

    Community college (2 years): 3.9
    Senior year 3.7
    Year 5-6 (to finish a new degree): 3.7

    After a year abroad, I finally decided to go after medicine, after working and volunteering for 14 years in the health care field. I'm pursuing a 2nd bachelor's since it will take me at least 3 years to shore up my 2.9 science GPA (3.7 non-science) and study for the MCAT, and I feel that I might as well get something for all the hours I'm putting in to studying.

    Post bacc year 1: 4.0
    Post bacc year 2: ?.? <=== in progress.
     
  16. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    yea, you're fine. that one bad year all those years ago with so many good years currently show's you've got what it takes.
     
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  17. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    Looks good to me, although I think you'll find if you can make it over that 3.0 science GPA hump, it will help a lot.
     
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  18. attaboybambeeks

    attaboybambeeks Senior Member
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    wonderfully spoken.
    I agree completely.
     
  19. {:(

    {:( Member
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    I know the university of washington has a weighting system for GPA's. Check their website for the formula, but basically what it does is it makes your third year GPA the most important and your first year the least important.
     
  20. farvabull

    farvabull Member
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    What about a downward trend? I see some of you saying downward trends are looked down upon, But what if it's like from a 4.0 to a 3.8? It's pretty hard to keep it up close to a 4.0...and a 3.8 is a solid number, but is it frowned upon because it's a "downward" trend? Also, how do you think that would compare to someone who had a 3.0 there freshman year, and then pulled off straight A's for 2 more years and got it up to a 3.6-3.7. Do you honestly think trend is MORE important then the actual GPA? I know adcoms vary in their opinions on this sort of thing, but what do you think?
     
  21. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    I think you are fine. Here is how I think it is viewed roughly.

    Keeping a 4.0 is best.
    3.5 with a bad semester early and the rest 4.0 with upward trend next best.
    3.5 straight 3.5's all semesters
    etc.
     
  22. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    yea you're splitting hairs here. a trend involves more than a .2 change in GPA. think 4.0 to 3.5 to 3.2 from freshman to junior year. that's a downward trend.
     
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