Nov 30, 2010
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone,
Last year was my first year away from home and I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I took lots of humanities and gen eds and I partied a little too much and I ended up with a 2.4 overall gpa. This summer I decided I wanted to go the pre-med route and this semester I have managed to turn my B's and C's in humanities courses to 3 A's and a B in entry-level science courses.
I recognize that I am severely disadvantaged due to my horrid freshman year, and that the highest I can get my gpa to if I make straight A's from here on out is a 3.7. Realistically looking at it considering my history, I'll probably be looking at a 3.5 when i graduate. So I suppose my question to you, the student doctor network, would be what should I do to compensate for my less than stellar gpa?
 
Aug 13, 2009
468
18
Status
Medical Student
I don't think a horrible first year is terribly crippling so long as you get good grades from now on. If you demonstrate improvement and do well in more advanced classes it will be pretty clear that you are not lacking in intelligence or discipline. It would have looked far worse had you gotten a 4.0 and bombed your last semester, after you had gotten accepted to a medical school already.
 

lftbndlbrnchblk

7+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2010
187
0
Status
You want to try to get that GPA as high as you can and probably as early as you can. You can avoid a year off by taking care of business now. Take hard classes, go for that upward trend, etc etc but like you said, now the highest you can get if everything goes your way is a 3.7. That's a good GPA, but if you're saying it's unlikely, that's probably because it is. A 3.5 is good but, you could do better if you do summer school to make up for some of the unfortunate outcomes you had your first year. Most people don't have to do any summer work, but I think you bought yourself at least two or three classes with a GPA of 2.4...

It's a small part of your application but it is a part they consider and use to make final decisions. I agree with the above poster, though, it's not the end of the world for you or anyone in your position.
 
Jun 15, 2010
124
0
WA
Status
Pre-Medical
Agree with the above two posts. Work hard to redeem your GPA, and demonstrate a strong upward trend, and you should be okay. That way when/if you get to the interview stage, you can talk about in a positive light - that you spent your first year finding yourself and definitely made some mistakes along the way, but once you discovered what you want to do with your life, you made big changes/matured/etc.

You should also pursue your passions and do things that set you apart from cookie cutter applicants (and this would be true for you regardless of GPA). Get the basics of clinical experience/shadowing done, but also don't hold yourself back from pursuing other extra-cirriculars and non-academic experiences because you're concerned about making up for your bad year. People who are admitted with below average GPAs often have interesting life experiences that set them apart and make them intriguing to an admissions committee. You should definitely work hard to get good grades, but don't let that be your only focus.
 

tomh98

Professional Runner-Up
May 7, 2010
344
0
Status
continue to get good grades, kick ass on the MCAT, and you should be fine.

One director of admissions once said that people who have a bad first year have an advantage in that they can demonstrate growth and improvement (for what that's worth).