TehTeddy

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Hello SDN,

This might not come up in interviews, but I want to be prepared regardless. Sorry if I sound neurotic.

My university gpa is just under a 4.0, but my AMCAS gpa is ~3.85 due to one bad semester studying abroad.

The reason is simple - I had thought my classes were P/F, since they'd be shown on my university transcript as P/F, and I knew AMCAS didn't accept foreign transcripts. So if given the option between exploring the country, getting more involved in student orgs, etc., and studying for a better grade, I'd always opt for the former.

What I didn't realize was that, since my study abroad was sponsored by another American university, AMCAS calculates those grades into your gpa, even if your home institution reports them as P/F. Had I gone directly, they would have been truly P/F. Obviously it was a mistake not reading the fine print; I just knew AMCAS didn't accept foreign transcripts and thought I was clear. But it is what it is now.

I'm not sure how I should go about explaining this if asked. I feel like saying "I thought it was P/F" won't look good. At the same time, mentioning being away from family and alternative grading systems wouldn't be totally genuine, although technically true.
 

Goro

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Since when is a 3.85 bad?

No one anywhere on this planet would possibly care.

grades less than a 4.0 are not a reflection on your character.

A warning; perfectionism is weeded out in the admissions process.
 
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Since when is a 3.85 bad?

No one anywhere on this planet would possibly care.

grades less than a 4.0 are not a reflection on your character.

A warning; perfectionism is weeded out in the admissions process.
I don't think OP is asking whether or not a 3.85 is okay. It sounds like he is asking how best to explain a 2.8 semester abroad in the context of an otherwise 4.0 transcript. This is not one C. This is pretty much all Cs for one semester, when the extenuating factor was not realizing he was being graded. Not exactly a compelling explanation. Neither is not caring about school while abroad.

What is the advice in this case? Still no explanation necessary because a 3.85 doesn't require one?
 
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CliveStaples

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I don't think OP is asking whether or not a 3.85 is okay. It sounds like he is asking how best to explain a 2.8 semester abroad in the context of an otherwise 4.0 transcript. This is not one C. This is pretty much all Cs for one semester, when the extenuating factor was not realizing he was being graded. Not exactly a compelling explanation. Neither is not caring about school while abroad.

What is the advice in this case? Still no explanation necessary because a 3.85 doesn't require one?

Nobody will ask any questions about somebody's 3.85 GPA. Recognize that adcoms are only trying to answer one question with the GPA/MCAT: "can this applicant handle the academic rigors of medical school." There is no concern with a 3.85. You will not be asked about it. Your interviewers will not be pouring over your transcript semester by semester to see where you were 0.15 away from a 4.0.
 
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Goro

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I don't think OP is asking whether or not a 3.85 is okay. It sounds like he is asking how best to explain a 2.8 semester abroad in the context of an otherwise 4.0 transcript. This is not one C. This is pretty much all Cs for one semester, when the extenuating factor was not realizing he was being graded. Not exactly a compelling explanation. Neither is not caring about school while abroad.

What is the advice in this case? Still no explanation necessary because a 3.85 doesn't require one?
Where did the OP state that s/he got a 2.8 in a single semester?
 

TehTeddy

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Nobody will ask any questions about somebody's 3.85 GPA. Recognize that adcoms are only trying to answer one question with the GPA/MCAT: "can this applicant handle the academic rigors of medical school." There is no concern with a 3.85. You will not be asked about it. Your interviewers will not be pouring over your transcript semester by semester to see where you were 0.15 away from a 4.0.
Thanks for the advice (and @Goro), I won't worry about it too much then.
As for the other people, it was higher than 2.8. My undergrad gpa was a bit under 4.0 as I said in the OP.
 
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Where did the OP state that s/he got a 2.8 in a single semester?
Hello SDN,

This might not come up in interviews, but I want to be prepared regardless. Sorry if I sound neurotic.

My university gpa is just under a 4.0, but my AMCAS gpa is ~3.85 due to one bad semester studying abroad.
I took this to mean he had one BAD semester, not that he had a 3.85 one semester -- 7 semesters of 4.0 and one semester of 2.8 would yield a 3.85!
 

TehTeddy

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I took this to mean he had one BAD semester, not that he had a 3.85 one semester -- 7 semesters of 4.0 and one semester of 2.8 would yield a 3.85!
Right that's what I mean. Also for the record, I didn't not care about school then, but there was no incentive to go beyond a satisfactory level (or so I thought). I'd rather explore the local culture/travel than strive for an A over a B, if it would look the same anyway. I wasn't boozing around.
 
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Right that's what I mean. Also for the record, I didn't not care about school then, but there was no incentive to go beyond a satisfactory level (or so I thought). I'd rather explore the local culture/travel than strive for an A over a B, if it would look the same anyway. I wasn't boozing around.
It's cool, and I'd still love to hear what @Goro has to say about this. I think he read your OP too quickly, and didn't really answer your question.

I don't know what to tell you, but I don't think it's as simple as 3.85 is great, so no explanation necessary for the 3.0 while abroad while the rest of the transcript is 4.0. Maybe something along the lines of being distracted while overseas along with the grading system being different? I don't know, but if you say nothing I'd be surprised if it wasn't brought up, since it's such an outlier for you. JMHO, and I really would love to hear an expert opinion or two!
 
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