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Individual Grades/GPA

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bbas

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To what extent do grades received in individual courses matter as compared to GPA as a whole? In other words, say one applicant has a 3.3 (all B's) while another has a 3.3 (mostly A's with a couple of C's). Would these two applicants be equally qualified, or would one have the edge?
 

LizzyM

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bbas said:
To what extent do grades received in individual courses matter as compared to GPA as a whole? In other words, say one applicant has a 3.3 (all B's) while another has a 3.3 (mostly A's with a couple of C's). Would these two applicants be equally qualified, or would one have the edge?

A steady Eddie with all B+s will have a better shot than a undulating Earl with a mix of Cs and As even if both have a 3.3 gpa. However, it all depends on what the Cs are in. If is is O-Chem & physics, Earl is toast. If it is Intro Japanese and Art History (with As in O-Chem & Physics) then Earl may be ahead of Eddie.
 

hermit

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One of SDN's resident adcom members has addressed this in the past. According her, your overall GPA and MCAT score gets your app looked at (assuming you make the cut). Once you clear that hurdle, performance in key courses (among other things) can get you an interview offer ahead of someone else. For example, a C in organic will sting more than a C in history.
 

zach1201

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Lizzy,

What do people think about a poor grade in a prereq that was retaken later for a much better grade (e.g. C+ first time, A second time around). What about upward trends in academics?
 

LizzyM

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zach1201 said:
Lizzy,

What do people think about a poor grade in a prereq that was retaken later for a much better grade (e.g. C+ first time, A second time around). What about upward trends in academics?

Upward trends are great. Most applicants have a j-curve with the lowest gpa in sophomore year.

I have to say that I don't see many retakes. I tend to run down the column of letter grades looking for C+ or lower & then look across to see what the course was and when the course was taken. I might not even look to see if the course was retaken. One poor grade is forgivable. One horrible semester can even be overlooked if the applicant has a story to go along with it. A horrible college career (before the applicant was pre-med) can sometimes be overlooked if the applicant has a 4.0 post-bach of 30 credits or more and several years of work experience (goes to the maturity factor). In all these instances of below median grades, you want to see MCATs that are at or above the school's median.
 

zach1201

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LizzyM said:
Upward trends are great. Most applicants have a j-curve with the lowest gpa in sophomore year.

I have to say that I don't see many retakes. I tend to run down the column of letter grades looking for C+ or lower & then look across to see what the course was and when the course was taken. I might not even look to see if the course was retaken. One poor grade is forgivable. One horrible semester can even be overlooked if the applicant has a story to go along with it. A horrible college career (before the applicant was pre-med) can sometimes be overlooked if the applicant has a 4.0 post-bach of 30 credits or more and several years of work experience (goes to the maturity factor). In all these instances of below median grades, you want to see MCATs that are at or above the school's median.

Thanks!
 

bbas

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LizzyM said:
Upward trends are great. Most applicants have a j-curve with the lowest gpa in sophomore year.

I have to say that I don't see many retakes. I tend to run down the column of letter grades looking for C+ or lower & then look across to see what the course was and when the course was taken. I might not even look to see if the course was retaken. One poor grade is forgivable. One horrible semester can even be overlooked if the applicant has a story to go along with it. A horrible college career (before the applicant was pre-med) can sometimes be overlooked if the applicant has a 4.0 post-bach of 30 credits or more and several years of work experience (goes to the maturity factor). In all these instances of below median grades, you want to see MCATs that are at or above the school's median.

In that case, is it worth the time and effort to retake C+ grades (in ochem or physics specifically) or will an above average MCAT score help make up for it?
 

baylormed

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To tell you the truth, consistent B's just show some consistent mediocricy.

On the other hand, many A's and a couple (notice I said a couple, not half C's/half A's) might show better capacity.

Some may disagree, but that's okay. It's just my opinion.
 
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