Have they really accepted your numbers once you make it to an interview?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by hito, Dec 6, 2000.

  1. hito

    hito New Member

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    Can somebody who has been through the interview process shed some light on this?

    If you make it to the interview stage does that mean your scores and GPA are no longer a factor in getting accepted. In other words do MCAT scores and grades get you to the interview or do they also play a final role in getting an acceptance after the interview? I am asking because I have some interviews lined up but my grades and scores are not that great. How much of whether I get accepted or not depends on the interview?
    Thank you for any input.
     
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  3. Cameron

    Cameron Senior Member

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    I think this varies from school to school. For example at my state school (Utah) they state that your grades and scores do NOT matter (they aren't even forwarded to the selection committee) once you're at the interview stage. However, I think that is an exception.

    While it's true that once you're offered an interview you are considered to be academically qualified, that doesn't necessarily mean that your scores and grades won't factor into a final decision. If I were you I wouldn't worry about your grades and scores. You can't change them. You've been offered some interviews (congrats!) which means you have a chance to impress them and demonstrate that you're more than your scores. Those schools obviously want to get to know you, so be confident and show them they were right to invite you for an interview!

    Good luck and keep us posted! Where are you interviews?

    - Cameron
     
  4. study buddy

    study buddy Junior Member

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    Yes they do matter. If someone has a better GPA and MCAT than you, and you both have similar interview experiences, the grades and scores will end up tilting the scale in favor of the other person (other factors apply too, but I think grades and MCAT are the most important after one has interviewed). I've heard people say that everyone is on an even playing field once you interview, but that's not true. Grades and MCAT will ultimately factor into the decision. A couple of years ago, after being put on the alternate list, I called the dean of the med school and asked him what to do to improve my chances, i.e., what went wrong.
    He said my interview was fine, but it was the MCAT score that was of concern.
     
  5. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Getting the interview indicates that the school thinks you are generally academically sound enough to possibly matriculate there. However, most schools still take your numbers into consideration when deciding on admission -- at some schools they give you a score based on your interview evals, and then give you a score for your GPA/MCAT, and add the two together. So the interview alone will not make or break you. But, when you get to the interview stage, your odds are typically 50/50 at most schools. Hope this helps.
     
  6. My poor stats were definitely a central issue at my interview I just had. I don't know why they even bothered to invite me. Their attitude wasn't forgiving of my bad grades just because I made it to interview--it was more out of sympathy than anything. It's rather upsetting if you ask me.

    Be prepared to give a good defense on your stats.
     
  7. 12R34Y

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    study buddy that isn't entirely correct. My state school (Kansas) doesn't use grades/MCAT after or during the interview. Grades and MCAT's are only used to get the interview. Once at the interview the committee will never see your academic stuff. Only rec, personal statement. That's it. Everyone is truly on equal playing field at interview.
     
  8. puffy1

    puffy1 Senior Member

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    Here is the process by which GPA and MCAT is taken into account at my state school. First, GPA and MCAT determine whether or not you get an interview (basic for all schools). You get the interview, you go through it, and then they evaluate you as a person and potential physician.

    Afterwards, they meet every three weeks to go through the last set of interviewees. It is then that my school combs through a person's entire application, GPA and all. They see whether or not the person's performance has been consistent, has improved or declined during their time in undergrad and/or grad. Then they take the MCAT into account, and finally give an overall score on the merit of academic performance.

    Then they go through the interview performance and give a score for that. Then they give a non-cognitive score from a survey you fill out on the secondary. If you get a high enough overall score, you automatically get accepted. if you fall short, you are discussed by the selection committee and voted on.

    I'm not 100% sure of the entire process, but I think I'm relatively close.
     
  9. Oceandust

    Oceandust Senior Member

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    Hi Lilycat,

    Do you really think once you've penetrated into the interview bubble your chances go up as markedly as 1 in 2?

    When I perused the USNews Rankings, and clicked on any top 10 school, and looked at their interview:acceptance ratio (click the pull down menu, "Admissions"), I did not find anything better than 5 to 2. Most of the time it was around 4 to 1 or 3 to 1.

    My question: is the interview so crucial as to weed out anywhere's from 60-75% of the interviewees, or do they now fine-tooth other factors like GPA/MCAT, extracurrics, unique things?

    As always, appreciate your feedback.

    -O.
     
  10. lizard

    lizard Member

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    I know you addressed this to lilycat, but I thought I would add my two cents also. I think the chances of acceptance after an interview vary from school to school. Some schools are as you noted, but I think some are as low as 1 in 2. I think the best odds I have seen were at U Mich where it was 1 in 2.

    Good luck to all...
     
  11. lilycat

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    About the 1 in 2 question -- so far, at the four schools I have interviewed, they have all mentioned that about half of those interviewed ultimately get accepted. However, I'm sure this probably doesn't apply to all schools, esp. some of the most competitive, ie Harvard, Hopkins, etc. I would have to look at the US News website again, but make sure you are reading the headings right -- typically they don't list the # of acceptances for a school, but rather the # matriculated. But again, I haven't seen that site in a while, so I could be wrong. At one school I interviewed, they specifically mentioned that the AAMC requires, or "highly recommends" that all state schools admit at least 1.5x their class size, and that private schools admit 2x their class size, to guarantee that all spaces are occupied. This concept seems to gel pretty well with what I have heard from the other schools, in describing their admissions processes. My personal theory is that it seems extremely difficult to just get rejected after the interview process -- some schools even have flat-out admitted this. You either get accepted, or you get wait-listed (again, I am generalizing upon 4 schools I have personal experience with). Actually, I take that back -- I am generalizing upon my own experience, as well as that of four very close friends who all applied in the previous two years -- they all got either waitlisted or accepted post-interview, no flat-out rejections (at this was at some very top-tier schools, such as Hopkins, Wash U, Yale, Duke, Stanford). From what I have seen from the interview process, a lot of it is to see if you "fit" with the school, if these people would like to teach you or be classmates with you. However, I think you are probably right about the "fine-tuning" at this stage -- I don't think it's really the interview itself that makes or breaks you -- rather the final analysis of your application in its entirety, and how it stacks up to everyone else.

    [This message has been edited by lilycat (edited 12-21-2000).]
     
  12. Oceandust

    Oceandust Senior Member

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