Jan 15, 2016
7
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Pre-Medical
Hi all! I'm a prefrosh headed off to MIT this Fall, and I have a few quick questions (especially for MIT premeds out there).

I'm a bit conflicted on whether or not to take MIT's placement exams, also known as the ASEs. I know the material in Intro. to Biology (7.01x), Principles of Chem. (5.11x), MV Calculus (18.02), Intro. to Programming (6.0001), and Organic Chemistry I (5.12) well because I've either taken the equivalent in high school and/or have been studying the material over the summer. If I take the ASEs and "pass" them (C equivalent or above), I get a P in my official transcript, i.e. no letter grade. However, I just realized that the "hidden" letter grade does factor into the AMCAS GPA. In other words, if I end up getting Cs in all of these ASEs, I'll get to take more advanced classes (which I really, really would love to) but will have 2.0s calculated into my AMCAS GPA...

Now, I absolutely love learning, and I want to jump into where I'd fit best academically. But wouldn't this be detrimental to my applications? Given that I do well in my classes throughout my 4 years of undergrad., would medical schools understand that these are placement exam grades rather than "actual" grades?

Thanks for helping!!!
 
Oct 26, 2015
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Medical Student
Dont do it man. Med schools dont read that in depth on grades you get, and usually err on the side of caution. Just take your prereqs, get A's and you will still have plenty of time to take upper level classes.


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studentdocftw

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^seconded. A solid GPA from MIT will leave less questions. You don't want to give adcoms the opportunity to question your GPA. A high GPA is a high GPA, end of story.
 

aldol16

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I seriously doubt the placement exams will hold the weight of a course, even in AMCAS. For that to happen, the "C" would need to have assigned to it like x credit hours. Placement exams are usually assigned 0 credit hours at most universities. Check with MIT first.
 
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NoodleDoc
Jan 15, 2016
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Thanks for the replies, guys. From my understanding of MIT's policies, ASEs are listed under AMCAS courses as "CLEP" but are still calculated into the AMCAS GPA like other courses. However, it is not calculated into the MIT GPA. For those who have already applied, do you know if there is an optional section in the AMCAS application where I can explain this discrepancy?
 

Gorilla-san

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Have you considered taking the exams and doing well? (as in getting an A) LOL... I really understand where you are coming from though If i had the opportunity to skip those classes I would (they will take at least a year and a half of your time and are the prereqs for almost any upper level course) In my humble opinion I would take the exams for the courses I know I could get As in and if Im not sure Im going to ace the exam then I would bite the bullet and take the course.
 
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NoodleDoc
Jan 15, 2016
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Have you considered taking the exams and doing well? (as in getting an A) LOL... I really understand where you are coming from though If i had the opportunity to skip those classes I would (they will take at least a year and a half of your time and are the prereqs for almost any upper level course) In my humble opinion I would take the exams for the courses I know I could get As in and if Im not sure Im going to ace the exam then I would bite the bullet and take the course.
Ideally, I'd get As on the placement exams. I've been studying for them a lot but having realized that a "bad several hours" of testing might raise a red flag in the admissions offices, I've begun really reconsidering taking them.
 

Gorilla-san

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I feel you man.. it really depends on what you are most confident in. If you feel like you might walk in and bomb an exam I wouldnt even risk it. Another possibility is to check to see if you can void an exam. As in take it and if you did bad you can make it disappear so it doesn't appear on your record. (kinda like the MCAT void) (BTW I'm straight guessing right now, i really don't know what the policies are at MIT)
 

gonnif

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just to set the record absolutely straight, AMCAS will not repeat will not, use courses with "P" in any GPA calculation. There is no "hidden" grades used from a college in GPA calculation towards medical school. Anything else that you may hear is a myth and patently false .

Additionally, depending, some medical schools require letter grades for prerequisite courses and does not allow other courses to fulfill these requirements. while its very likely that many medical schools will have moved from formal course requirements to core competencies, it is still something to keep in mind

AMCAS 2016 Instructions (p8)

Most courses with the AMCAS Course Type listed below are not included in AMCAS GPA calculations. Instead, the total hours for each of these categories are reported to medical schools under the heading Supplemental Hours.

*Pass/Fail - Pass
*Pass/Fail - Fail
*Advanced Placement (AP) Credit
*College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
*Other Test Credit
 
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gonnif

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Ideally, I'd get As on the placement exams. I've been studying for them a lot but having realized that a "bad several hours" of testing might raise a red flag in the admissions offices, I've begun really reconsidering taking them.
What grade you get on the placement exams is utterly irrelevant to your medical school GPA calculation (which is NOT your college GPA). Only the grade on the transcript matters, which will be a "P". Any "A" that you earn on the placement exam will never be seen by a medical school
 
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NoodleDoc
Jan 15, 2016
7
0
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I feel you man.. it really depends on what you are most confident in. If you feel like you might walk in and bomb an exam I wouldnt even risk it. Another possibility is to check to see if you can void an exam. As in take it and if you did bad you can make it disappear so it doesn't appear on your record. (kinda like the MCAT void) (BTW I'm straight guessing right now, i really don't know what the policies are at MIT)
Good idea; I'll check with them.

just to set the record absolutely straight, AMCAS will not repeat will not, use courses with "P" in any GPA calculation. There is no "hidden" grades used from a college in GPA calculation towards medical school. Anything else that you may hear is a myth and patently false .

Additionally, depending, some medical schools require letter grades for prerequisite courses and does not allow other courses to fulfill these requirements. while its very likely that many medical schools will have moved from formal course requirements to core competencies, it is still something to keep in mind
Interesting. Perhaps the handout they gave me during admitted students weekend (CPW) was for last year's application cycle. The policies may have changed by now.

Edit:
From their packet:
"Q: I took an ASE for one of more of the prerequisite courses. How will the medical schools view these grades?
A: ASE grades do appear on your official transcript, so you will enter them into the AMCAS application just like any other course (noting CLEP as the special course type), and they will be viewed just like your other course work. While ASE grades do not factor into the MIT GPA, ASE grades will factor into the AMCAS GPA"

MIT ASEs can be taken by non-freshmen (only MIT freshmen are allowed to take ASEs for Pass/Fail). Perhaps this is where the discrepancy is.
 

gonnif

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Good idea; I'll check with them.


Interesting. Perhaps the handout they gave me during admitted students weekend (CPW) was for last year's application cycle. The policies may have changed by now.

Edit:
From their packet:
"Q: I took an ASE for one of more of the prerequisite courses. How will the medical schools view these grades?
A: ASE grades do appear on your official transcript, so you will enter them into the AMCAS application just like any other course (noting CLEP as the special course type), and they will be viewed just like your other course work. While ASE grades do not factor into the MIT GPA, ASE grades will factor into the AMCAS GPA"

MIT ASEs can be taken by non-freshmen (only MIT freshmen are allowed to take ASEs for Pass/Fail). Perhaps this is where the discrepancy is.
If you get a letter grade on your MIT transcript, it will be calculated into the AMCAS GPA (ie what medical schools see for purposes of admission)
If you get a "P/F" on your MIT transcript, it will not be calculated into the AMCAS GPA

It solely depends what appears on your transcript
 
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2015
239
148
Status
Medical Student
Good idea; I'll check with them.



Interesting. Perhaps the handout they gave me during admitted students weekend (CPW) was for last year's application cycle. The policies may have changed by now.

Edit:
From their packet:
"Q: I took an ASE for one of more of the prerequisite courses. How will the medical schools view these grades?
A: ASE grades do appear on your official transcript, so you will enter them into the AMCAS application just like any other course (noting CLEP as the special course type), and they will be viewed just like your other course work. While ASE grades do not factor into the MIT GPA, ASE grades will factor into the AMCAS GPA"

MIT ASEs can be taken by non-freshmen (only MIT freshmen are allowed to take ASEs for Pass/Fail). Perhaps this is where the discrepancy is.
You need to contact a premed advisor at your school.
 
Mar 25, 2016
88
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi all! I'm a prefrosh headed off to MIT this Fall, and I have a few quick questions (especially for MIT premeds out there).

I'm a bit conflicted on whether or not to take MIT's placement exams, also known as the ASEs. I know the material in Intro. to Biology (7.01x), Principles of Chem. (5.11x), MV Calculus (18.02), Intro. to Programming (6.0001), and Organic Chemistry I (5.12) well because I've either taken the equivalent in high school and/or have been studying the material over the summer. If I take the ASEs and "pass" them (C equivalent or above), I get a P in my official transcript, i.e. no letter grade. However, I just realized that the "hidden" letter grade does factor into the AMCAS GPA. In other words, if I end up getting Cs in all of these ASEs, I'll get to take more advanced classes (which I really, really would love to) but will have 2.0s calculated into my AMCAS GPA...

Now, I absolutely love learning, and I want to jump into where I'd fit best academically. But wouldn't this be detrimental to my applications? Given that I do well in my classes throughout my 4 years of undergrad., would medical schools understand that these are placement exam grades rather than "actual" grades?

Thanks for helping!!!
Congrats on MIT. Truly such a great school. MIT is the frontrunner of innovation in this country. Anyway, I would take advantage of the P/F rule your first semester. Take some interesting courses like MV Calc, Programming, etc. At MIT, you will not find myriad pre meds; lots of people are into engineering and compsci.
 
Mar 25, 2016
88
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Wait is myriad an adjective or a noun? I was told by an educator that it is an adjective; however, many people subconsciously use it as a noun.
 
OP
NoodleDoc
Jan 15, 2016
7
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Congrats on MIT. Truly such a great school. MIT is the frontrunner of innovation in this country. Anyway, I would take advantage of the P/F rule your first semester. Take some interesting courses like MV Calc, Programming, etc. At MIT, you will not find myriad pre meds; lots of people are into engineering and compsci.
Thanks for the congratulations :)! I'm really excited.

Wait is myriad an adjective or a noun? I was told by an educator that it is an adjective; however, many people subconsciously use it as a noun.
I'm not sure; I've always used it as a noun. E.g.: "I have a myriad of worries, coming to MIT ;)."