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Help me Decide...Please Help! (to apply or not to apply)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by WonderBoy, Apr 24, 2002.

  1. WonderBoy

    WonderBoy Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Hi guys,

    I need your help major. I was hoping on applying for the class of 2003. And also planning on taking the MCAT this august. If guys could evaluate my stats and give some suggestions, I would appreciate it a lot.

    The following is a summary of my premed science classes.

    Freshman Year:
    General chem 1: C GChem Lab1: B
    GChem 2: B GChem Lab2: B
    Calculas 1: B Calculus 2: B-

    Sopohmore Year:
    Orgo 1: Withdrew
    Bio 1: B- BIO 1 lab: B-
    Physics 1: B- Physics: B-

    Junior Year:
    Orgo 1: B Orgo lab: A- (took over summer)
    Orgo 2: B+
    Bio2: B- Bio 2 lab: B-
    Phy 2: B+ Phy2 lab: B+ (book taken over summer)

    Senior Year:
    Biochem 1: A-

    My science gpa comes out to around a 3.0 with a cum of 3.28. Obviously, I need to beef up my science gpa. My science grades and over gpa are not high for a number of personal reasons, health problems in the family and me working parttime.

    Nevertheless, I am graduating this semester with a BA in Economics. But i need to raise my science gpa and show the adcoms that I can handle science. What do you suggest I do? Should I wait another year and do an enrichment program such as the IMS program they have at MCP, BU and Georgetown? or take science classes as non-marticulant student at a University? So what do you guys think I should do? apply, wait, or just do some masters program? Thanks a lot.
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  3. rajneel1

    rajneel1 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2001
    first talk to a pre med advisor. i would suggest taking science classes to pick up your GPA (as a non matriculant student) because then they will count as undergrad and you don't ahev to do an expensive post bac program for med students. then just do extracurriculars, good ones. don't apply this year. i think you have atleast one more year of building your application. but that is just my opinion!
  4. vyc

    vyc Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2002
    i agree with the above post.
  5. patient

    patient Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    You need faith to apply, be it this year the next.
    There are some people with lower grades than yours who are in med school and others with higher grades who are didnot get accepted.

    Believe in yourself, gather courage and do whatever you want. If you do not get next year while improving your grades, then you may be better off with experience in the coming year when you may have improved your grades.
  6. GATC

    GATC Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    I think you might need to do some postbac. Your science GPA is below the average, but it is also close to your overall GPA. Meaning that if you keep taking science courses, by this time, your GPA will not go up much. You can either apply for the experience now (I think it might be a good learning experience- some of my friends have been accepted with 3.4-3.5s) or do some postbac stuff to show that you are committed. Good luck to you. Don't despair. Also take the MCAT. What have you got to lose, you still have to take it anyhow.
  7. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Don't neglect to consider osteopathic schools. Although they are more competitive overall, they tend to look beyond the numbers.
  8. Ibis

    Ibis Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2001
    Miami, FL
    Post-bacc classes are separated on the AMCAS app. from those taken for your BA.....much like the year to year separation (Freshman, Sophmore, etc.). It allows you to clearly illustrate any change in performance.

    If med school is your only objective, I would recommend taking post-bacc classes at a pace that allows you to really kick-a##. (Try to get all A's!) Consider courses like Biochem, Human Phys, Genetics, Molecular Bio and Cell Bio. Just my .02 :)
  9. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2001
    anchorage, ak
    Unless you have incredible EC's and life exeriences and can write them up in a dynamite personal statement (or are URM), then I don't think you're ready to apply yet. The process is just too horrible and grueling to go through just for the educational experience when your GPA does not make you that competitive. And since you won't even know until mid to late October what your MCAT score is, you don't know if it'll be high enough to compensate for your GPA, by which time you will have invested an incredible amount of time, money and effort into the process -- without even knowing which schools you'd have a realistic shot at. Sorry to be so negative, but I think you'll have a much better picture of where you're at after you take the MCAT.
  10. WonderBoy

    WonderBoy Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    First of all I want to thank everyone for responding. I am not really sure what I am going to do. However, I do know I want to go to med school, and there is nothing that is going to get in my way, I want it too bad. Not a day goes by when I don't think about med school.

    Anyhow, I realize that my application basically depends on my MCATs. So I am going to work my butt off during the summer, and take the August MCAT. Depending on how I do on the AAMC practice tests, I will apply, august is not too late to apply. While over the fall, I will take some science classes as a non-marticulant. I know I can't afford those expensive postbac programs.

    If anyone else has any ideas, please feel free to add. Thanks.
  11. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2001
    this still isn't the best idea; you would really benefit from raising your GPA *before* you apply, not during the time you apply. there are several reasons why your plan isn't the best thing for you to do:

    1) actually august really IS kind of late for you to be applying. it's not too late in that you haven't missed any deadlines, but if any part of your application is borderline (and yours is: your GPA is low), then you need every advantage you can get in the application process....and applying *early* is one of the best things you can do to increase your odds. why? well, if you submit your AMCAS app in august, it will take a few weeks to process and be forwarded on to the med schools you select on your AMCAS app. then you wait while the schools send on secondaries to you (if they don't screen you out first). then it takes time for you to fill them out and send them back. all things considered, it could be october before your MCAT scores come in and your application is ready to be reviewed, and when you need everything going on your side, october is mighty late. many schools have already offered acceptances by then, so you are competing with your low GPA for a increasingly-smaller group of open spots. applying EARLY is the number-one thing you can do to improve your chances of getting in, because the later and later it gets in the application cycle, the fewer open spots and the harder it becomes to be considered for them.

    2) the science classes you take during the application cycle won't work to bring up your GPA. most schools make decisions based on the GPA you report on your AMCAS application, and while they may look at any new grades that you send in, your GPA won't be recalculated by adcoms in order to take your new grades into account. in short, you need to have an improved GPA from the get-go, when you fill out the AMCAS app, not later on.

    3) while a high MCAT score can help you out, it still won't totally cancel out your GPA. your GPA is the most important part of your application, and it needs to be solid. while yours isn't horrible, it won't turn any heads and may get you rejected very early on before anyone even bothers to look at the rest of your app, because screening of applications in the early stages is generally based on your stats.

    personally i think you would be better off spending a year taking more science classes to bring your GPA up *before* you apply. that way, taking the MCAT in august won't hurt you--it will help, because you'll have your scores nearly a year in advance before you apply, and will allow you to retake it in april if you don't do as well as you hope. i agree with everyone else who mentioned that this process is far too grueling (not to mention EXPENSIVE) for you to take a chance on applying with very-borderline numbers in the hopes that you *may* squeak by, because unfortunately the odds are stacked against you. i'm not trying to be harsh, but that's how it is.
  12. WonderBoy

    WonderBoy Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Thanks for your respond Sandflea. You are not being harsh, but realistic and I appreciate that.
    I just have to think about it more. Probabaly going to have to wait another year. Really would hate to do that, but out of my control. Well we'll see. Any other suggestions?
  13. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2001
    anchorage, ak
    August is too late to apply, unless you're a super candidate that the top 10 schools are going to be fighting over. If you're really going to apply this year, you need to apply in June, otherwise you will not be getting any secondaries until September when people are already interviewing. This is akin to shooting yourself in the foot.

    I applied in July last year (late due to AMCAS troubles, otherwise would have applied earlier) and took the August MCAT, and it was hard as hell getting all my secondaries in before my MCAT scores got to the schools at the end of October (or later in many cases). If you're going to take the August MCAT and are not a stellar candidate, if is absolutely necessary to have your files complete at all the schools you're applying to when those scores come in. If you don't even start with your primary app until August, you're going to be so far behind, I can guarantee you you'll be kicking yourself.
  14. Kermie

    Kermie Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2002
    I just wanted to say that SMW and sandflea are giving you good advice. Last year I was in a very similar situation that you are in now. I have a very similar UG GPA, I took the August MCAT and I waited to see scores in October to apply. I WOULD NOT DO WHAT I DID! Although I have a Masters, many ECs, and good essays, I did not do very well in the admissions process (and it was hell!).

    Since my rejections, I have talked to many admissions committees and deans of admissions and many told me that if they had seen my complete application in July or August or even September I would have gotten an interview. If you have any weaknesses in your record, then it is best to apply early so you don't have to reapply (like myself). In the meantime, take some extra science classes to try and boost your undergrad GPA. These can be at your state school, which can be affordable and many are at night. If you are in the Boston area, Harvard Extension offers classes at around $500-$600 each. It will be better than spending thousands on an unsuccessful application. I wish I had gotten that advice last year.
  15. trouta

    trouta Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    I agree with SMW. Take the August MCAT... See how you do and enroll in some science classes to bring up your GPA for the next application cycle. By taking the August test you can see whether you really ought to take it over again in April to boost up your scores. You may not need to though and you can then focus on your classes until the next app. cycle.

    The better overall candidate you make yourself out to be, the more choices you will likely have when it comes time to pick a med school.
  16. shorrin

    shorrin the ninth doctor 7+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2001
    the tardis

    Do you want to go through this twice? You at least have to be prepared for the worst.

    I have a 3.15 BCPM
    and a 30MCAT (august 01)

    I sent my AMCAS on july 25th.

    I only interviewed at my state school in dec. But I got an acceptance yesterday. It can happen. But please have a backup plan just in-case. If you want more info please PM me. Good luck, it is a difficult decision to make. I know I was there.
  17. WonderBoy

    WonderBoy Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Congrats Shorin! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> You give me some hope. I really don't what to go outside the U.S. for med school I sent you a PM btw.

    Everyone else thanks a lot, I did not expect this such much response, you guys are great. I can't say I don't agree with you guys, you have some great points.
    The whole process is as painful as giving birth, just a giant pain in the arse. We'll see, I still have some more time to think about it. One way or another I am pretty sure I will be taking science classes as a non-marticulant and add more EC's. Thanks again.
  18. banannie

    banannie Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2002
    Durham, NC
    Hi Imago,

    In addition to what everyone's said above, I'd just like to add that taking a year off will also give you the opportunity to grow as a person, get some real world perspective, allow you time to volunteer and pursue outside interests, and enable you to just relax.

    Believe me, you do not want to have to deal with AMCAS in the middle of graduating, moving to a new place, starting a new job, and separating from friends who are moving away. You're going to need some down time! :) I was in the same position as you last year. Currently, I'm working full time, taking a bio. class in the evening, and volunteering with 2 organizations . . and I still have lots of free time. It's great! Best of all, I am more enthusiastic than ever to go to medical school, and actually excited to begin this whole crazy application process.

    Good luck, whatever you decide!!!
  19. reesie0726

    reesie0726 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 23, 2001
    arlington, tx
    I really agree with many of the above posters recommending you to wait. Take the Aug mcat and see how you do. Use those scores for your application next year. Enroll in post bac courses at your local university. Kick butt in them. Physiology, genetics, cell bio, micro are pretty good courses. Do some extracurrriculars that will make you stand out and that you enjoy. If you do all of thi and make good grades and a good mcat score, you will have a very solid chance of getting in. Dont go through this application process for the hell of it. It is too time consuming and expensive. Try to do it next year when you can be a more attractive applicant.

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