If you were in my shoes?

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10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2008
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Okay here is the situation: I am a nontraditional student with a 3.02 gpa and a 2.78 science gpa and a very lousy 15Q MCAT. I have two masters degrees my gpa for one is 3.87 and the other is 4.0. On my practice MCAT I did much higher. I wasn't feeling good on that day I really should have voided my test. Anyways I am 32 years old and I am doing a career change and I have a family with children, I want to know what would be the best way to go: Should I try to get into a special Master's Program?:confused:
Carribean School ?:confused:
I already submitted my application before I received my MCAT score, should I retake in January and continue with the application cycle?
Should I study even harder for the MCAT and retake for next years cycle and just work for that year?:confused:


has an opinion
15+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2006
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Sorry to tell you this, but your undergrad GPAs are keeping you out before your MCAT gets into the picture. Take a look at my mdapps and see what your GPAs would do for you with a 31 MCAT.

Graduate work is considered a nice extra-curricular activity, from the perspective of med school admissions. That 3.87 and 4.0 don't help you at all, unfortunately. If you'd scored a 35+ on the MCAT, you might have been given some consideration, but with under 30, that's all the proof an adcom needs that your grad work isn't demonstrating the academic prowess they're looking for.

I think that no matter what, you need a 30+ MCAT score, whether you go DO or MD, and whether you do more undergrad coursework to improve your GPAs. You might need to spend 4-6 months studying full time to get a 30+. I think you should write off this app year.

I also think that you need to get your undergrad science GPA up over 3.0, no matter what.

After your MCAT is over 30 and your cumulative undergrad GPAs are both over 3.0, then you can:

1. Take more undergrad coursework until your GPAs are over 3.1 for DO school, or over 3.4 for MD school. These are bare minimums, imho.

2. Or go do an SMP.

3. Ideally, do both.

Best of luck to you.


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10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
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Agree with drmidlife
The reason the adcoms care so much about undergraduate GPA (especially in classes like organic chemistry) is that it shows how you do vs. other science types (or science majors) in college who might be bound for medical or PhD or master's programs. Also, they need to see that you can do graduate-level course work in science classes, which is what A and high B grades show. They need to know you can study and assimilate a huge volume of material like you'll need to in medical school. Some grad schools require a 3.0 just to stay in, so a high grad school GPA alone isn't going to save you. It might help a little if it was a biology or chemistry master's degree or something.

I would not go to the Caribbean if you can only get 15Q on the MCAT and had <3.0 GPA in undergrad. That suggests you might likely have trouble with the US medical licensing exam, and not being able to pass that will definitely and always keep you out of ANY US residency. You could potentially waste years and thousands and thousands of dollars and end up with an MD degree that would be useless as far as practicing in the US. I would not suggest anyone enroll in any Caribbean school except for maybe 1 or 2 of them, and in any case I don't recommend it for you for the reasons stated above.

I would suggest retaking any premed classes that you got less than a B+ in (definitely all less than B) including chemistry, organic chem, and physics, if necessary. Try to get an A or at least close to it. After that I would study for the MCAT and retake it...consider a prep course.

I wouldn't be so quick to bail for the Caribbean. It seems like a quick easy answer but it isn't. Just search SDN to find the folks who went down there and failed out, and/or found out they couldn't get a license in certain US states even with their MD degree from down there, or the ones who went all the way through school down there but now can't get a residency because they couldn't find any that would take them, or they couldn't pass the US medical licensing exam.

Nobody is telling you to give up, but if you want to be able to do the work in medical school then you need to show you can keep better than a B average in undergrad, and at least 9's or so on the MCAT.


Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
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Agree with the previous posters. You almost certainly won't get into any American school this year with those stats, so cut your losses and get ready for next year or the year after. Your GPA and MCAT are so low that you need to spend some significant time doing major rehab on both. Definitely retake the MCAT, and either take some extra UG science classes or do an SMP for your GPA.

Just FYI, even retaking the MCAT won't save your current app, because you can't use a January 2009 score for this year's app cycle at most (maybe all?) med schools. At my school, a January 2009 MCAT would make you eligible to apply in June 2009 for the entering class of 2010, but you would *not* be able to use a January 2009 MCAT score to apply for the entering class of 2009.


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5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
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If you retake and take some other courses the in science area, this will also help prepare for the MCAT and Medical College. For example, first start with the basics (Phys, Inorg and Org Chem) then take Histo, Vert Phys, Comp Anatomy, Immun, Genetics, Biochem (not in that order). These will allow you to do better on the MCAT and help prepare you for Med School.


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10+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2008
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I feel your pain! I took the MCAT this July to see how I'd do and I scored a 15N :(. I had no intentions on applying with anything below 30 though. Besides, my prereq's have gotten old. My plan is to retake the prereqs through a post-bac program, retake the MCAT after taking a prep course, and then apply. Hang in there!!


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15+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2004
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I'm curious about the amount of prep that was done to score so low on the MCAT. Did you have all the "required" classwork complete? Did you do any type of prep? Is English your first language?

A 15 on the MCAT fits you into the 06.5&#9472;08.3 percentile.

Sorry if that sounds rough!

PS. I agree with the posters above. You have to address both your MCAT and your GPA in order to get into any medical school. It's going to be a long road (at least 2 years) so, if you're truely inspired by medicine, get to work!

Scaled Percent Percentile
Mean MCAT= 24.9
Score/% at that score/%tile
45 0.0 99.9&#9472;99.9
44 0.0 99.9&#9472;99.9
43 0.0 99.9&#9472;99.9
42 0.1 99.9&#9472;99.9
41 0.1 99.7&#9472;99.8
40 0.2 99.5&#9472;99.6
39 0.4 99.2&#9472;99.4
38 0.7 98.5&#9472;99.1
37 1.0 97.6&#9472;98.4
36 1.3 96.2&#9472;97.5
35 1.9 94.4&#9472;96.1
34 2.4 92.0&#9472;94.3
33 2.9 89.0&#9472;91.9
32 3.9 85.1&#9472;88.9
31 4.6 80.5&#9472;85.0
30 5.2 75.3&#9472;80.4
29 5.7 69.6&#9472;75.2
28 5.9 63.7&#9472;69.5
27 6.3 57.3&#9472;63.6
26 6.3 51.0&#9472;57.2
25 6.3 44.7&#9472;50.9
24 5.7 38.9&#9472;44.6
23 5.5 33.4&#9472;38.8
22 5.1 28.4&#9472;33.3
21 4.7 23.7&#9472;28.3
20 4.0 19.7&#9472;23.6
19 3.6 16.1&#9472;19.6
18 3.0 13.2&#9472;16.0
17 2.7 10.5&#9472;13.1
16 2.1 08.4&#9472;10.4
15 1.8 06.5&#9472;08.3
14 1.5 05.0&#9472;06.4
13 1.3 03.7&#9472;04.9
12 1.0 02.7&#9472;03.6
11 0.8 01.9&#9472;02.6
10 0.6 01.3&#9472;01.8
9 0.5 00.9&#9472;01.2
8 0.4 00.5&#9472;00.8
7 0.2 00.3&#9472;00.4
6 0.1 00.2&#9472;00.2
5 0.1 00.0&#9472;00.1
4 0.0 00.0&#9472;00.0
3 0.0 00.0&#9472;00.0


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10+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2007
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You are not getting into any SMPs with that MCAT/UG gpa combo, let alone med school.

How did you prep for the MCAT? What were your scores like on practice exams?

I'd look into DO schools. Retake UG classes to boost your GPA. DO schools will only count the more recent grades.

If you only look at MD schools, you need about 45-60 UG credits, plus a SMP, plus a good MCAT (30+).

Make sure you don't take the MCAT again until you score 10+ on each section on multiple practice tests under timed conditions.
Check out the MCAT forums for some help.