Dec 21, 2013
1
0
I have 5 months left before the next application cycle for MD programs. I have two options:

1. Take more classes and get my gpa up to 3.45 from 3.4. In this case, I will be taking classes full-time in Spring.
2. Not take any more classes (keep my 3.4 gpa) and study for MCAT to get a high score. (I am thinking that if I put all that time and energy into MCAT - instead of taking additional classes - my MCAT score will increase?)

Which is better? I guess I am wondering if I will get screened by having 3.4 gpa regardless of my MCAT score.
Also, what else can I do for the next 5 months to increase my chances of getting accepted?
Any advice will be appreciated! :) Happy Holidays!
 
Jun 17, 2013
166
10
Status
Medical Student
I would say focus on the mcat. A 3.4 and 3.45 really aren't all that different.
 

MedMinded

MS3
Jul 13, 2013
117
13
www.medicalminded.com
Status
Medical Student
I would say focus on the mcat. A 3.4 and 3.45 really aren't all that different.
I agree as well.

Your best possible scenario would be to take classes and get a 3.8 or higher AND score very well on the MCAT. A positive trend in grades plus a solid MCAT would ease any worries of reviewers. However, MCAT is definitely the more important of the choices so do well enough on it and you'll be fine.
 

mehc012

Big Damn Hero
7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2012
9,323
8,330
The Black
Status
Medical Student
I agree as well.

Your best possible scenario would be to take classes and get a 3.8 or higher AND score very well on the MCAT. A positive trend in grades plus a solid MCAT would ease any worries of reviewers. However, MCAT is definitely the more important of the choices so do well enough on it and you'll be fine.
I'm not sure you realize how much coursework it takes to overcome a low GPA. If you already have a 3.4 with a full 4yrs of credit, it would take you another 4yrs of full-time coursework at a 4.0 to bring yourself up to a 3.7...a 3.8 without grade replacement is a pipe dream. So yeah, this advice is equivalent to saying "your best option would have been not to mess up in the first place" which is decidedly unhelpful.
 

MedMinded

MS3
Jul 13, 2013
117
13
www.medicalminded.com
Status
Medical Student
I'm not sure you realize how much coursework it takes to overcome a low GPA. If you already have a 3.4 with a full 4yrs of credit, it would take you another 4yrs of full-time coursework at a 4.0 to bring yourself up to a 3.7...a 3.8 without grade replacement is a pipe dream. So yeah, this advice is equivalent to saying "your best option would have been not to mess up in the first place" which is decidedly unhelpful.
I understand grades completely. My advice was to get a 3.8+ for the semester. Thus it would show a positive trend.
 

mehc012

Big Damn Hero
7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2012
9,323
8,330
The Black
Status
Medical Student
I understand grades completely. My advice was to get a 3.8+ for the semester. Thus it would show a positive trend.
Ah, my bad...I thought you were advising them to work their GPA up to a 3.8, since the prior post was focusing on the minimal difference between a 3.4 and a 3.45 overall gpa!
 

solitarius

7+ Year Member
May 20, 2010
1,344
923
Status
Medical Student
The bigger bang for the buck is the higher MCAT, but it's also a harder feat.
 
Dec 2, 2013
74
17
Status
Pre-Medical
Does not make much of a difference 3.4 to 3.45. They will not screen you out because you have a 3.4, Its best to focus on your MCAT
 
Apr 20, 2013
68
57
Status
Pre-Medical
I was in a worse position. I went from a 3.2 to 3.4 with my last 36 credits all being 3.8. Rocked the MCAT with a 35 though, got a few IIs. I'd recommend looking into DO programs too if you want to maximize chances of acceptance with a 3.4.
 

mehc012

Big Damn Hero
7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2012
9,323
8,330
The Black
Status
Medical Student
I was in a worse position. I went from a 3.2 to 3.4 with my last 36 credits all being 3.8. Rocked the MCAT with a 35 though, got a few IIs. I'd recommend looking into DO programs too if you want to maximize chances of acceptance with a 3.4.
Yeah, that's about where I'm sitting. Just shy of a 3.2 -> just shy of a 3.4 over 2yrs with 4.0's. Not a full courseload, but I'm working 2 jobs and volunteering at the same time, so hopefully that'll be enough. I'll reevaluate once I take the MCAT!
 
Sep 7, 2013
804
172
somewhere down south
Status
Pre-Medical
I was in a worse position. I went from a 3.2 to 3.4 with my last 36 credits all being 3.8. Rocked the MCAT with a 35 though, got a few IIs. I'd recommend looking into DO programs too if you want to maximize chances of acceptance with a 3.4.
That's awesome. I'm in the exact boat, hoping it works out.
 
Mar 3, 2013
1
0
Vancouver
Status
Pre-Medical
Has anyone here taken the MCAT or know somebody who has and if so what exactly does it include? I have just started the second year of my undergrad and would like to get an early heads up. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!
 

mehc012

Big Damn Hero
7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2012
9,323
8,330
The Black
Status
Medical Student
Has anyone here taken the MCAT or know somebody who has and if so what exactly does it include? I have just started the second year of my undergrad and would like to get an early heads up. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!
That is completely unrelated to this thread. I'd recommend using the search function, checking out the entire dedicated MCAT subforum, Googling the MCAT, looking on AAMC's official website, or asking your advisor. Or, if you don't want to do any of the legwork, at least post your own thread instead of hijacking.
At any rate, make sure you actually LEARN the materials in your prereq courses; that's a good start and covers most MCAT topics.
 
Apr 12, 2012
1,081
472
Earth
Status
Non-Student
I agree with the others that the return on GPA versus potential return on the MCAT is negligible. Assuming you absolutely must/want to apply next cycle, I would rather spend the time reviewing for the MCAT. On the other hand, if you are willing to apply the cycle after next, you could work on the MCAT and take some upper division courses for fun that might be helpful for medical school (genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, etc.) and that may help raise your GPA.