caliopt23

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Hi everyone, I'm writing here because i feel beyond anxious and hopeless and want to hear your opinions. I took my OATs in October and just finished gathering all my evaluation forms, but now that it has come down to it I don't think I stand a chance at getting an interview based on my stats: CUM GPA 2.83, Science GPA ~3.0, OAT AA 340, TS 350, and lots of extracurriculars. I've spoken to admission counselors at PCO, ICO and Western University recently, all said apply anyway and the lady at PCO gave me some hope as well. So what do you guys think of my chances at getting an interview. Have you heard of anyone getting in with similar stats in the past couple years, cause i know it gets more compettitive each year. I'm really hopeless and desperate and would really appreciate if you tell me what you think.
 

afasano

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Hi everyone, I'm writing here because i feel beyond anxious and hopeless and want to hear your opinions. I took my OATs in October and just finished gathering all my evaluation forms, but now that it has come down to it I don't think I stand a chance at getting an interview based on my stats: CUM GPA 2.83, Science GPA ~3.0, OAT AA 340, TS 350, and lots of extracurriculars. I've spoken to admission counselors at PCO, ICO and Western University recently, all said apply anyway and the lady at PCO gave me some hope as well. So what do you guys think of my chances at getting an interview. Have you heard of anyone getting in with similar stats in the past couple years, cause i know it gets more compettitive each year. I'm really hopeless and desperate and would really appreciate if you tell me what you think.

Did you speak with NOVA... accd to the profile of the previous class, they have a lower gpa... this might be something to look into!

...
 

eheaps

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I have similar stats to you (GPA 2.87, sci GPA around a 3.0, OAT TS/AA 330) and I applied to 10 schools just in case because I felt the same way that I wouldn't get more than a couple interviews if that. I have had 6 interview invites so far (Western, SCO, SUNY, PCO, NOVA, UMSL)(only went to one, Western, the rest are coming up next couple months) and was put on hold at ICO and they will do a second review in January after my fall grades are in. So don't hesitate and apply anyway. As long as you have good experiences/jobs/extracurriculars you still have a chance. I worked a couple jobs in the field and took over as the president of my schools pre-opt society which probably stands out to them. Make sure you get good LORs as well. Good luck, I hope you decide to apply! There is love for <3 GPAs!
 
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afasano

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I have similar stats to you (GPA 2.87, sci GPA around a 3.0, OAT TS/AA 330) and I applied to 10 schools just in case because I felt the same way that I wouldn't get more than a couple interviews if that. I have had 6 interview invites so far (Western, SCO, SUNY, PCO, NOVA, UMSL)(only went to one, Western, the rest are coming up next couple months) and was put on hold at ICO and they will do a second review in January after my fall grades are in. So don't hesitate and apply anyway. As long as you have good experiences/jobs/extracurriculars you still have a chance. I worked a couple jobs in the field and took over as the president of my schools pre-opt society which probably stands out to them. Make sure you get good LORs as well. Good luck, I hope you decide to apply! There is love for <3 GPAs!


I think reading this post probably gives motivation to everyone who has a low gpa, and avg OAT scores!!!
 

caliopt23

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I have similar stats to you (GPA 2.87, sci GPA around a 3.0, OAT TS/AA 330) and I applied to 10 schools just in case because I felt the same way that I wouldn't get more than a couple interviews if that. I have had 6 interview invites so far (Western, SCO, SUNY, PCO, NOVA, UMSL)(only went to one, Western, the rest are coming up next couple months) and was put on hold at ICO and they will do a second review in January after my fall grades are in. So don't hesitate and apply anyway. As long as you have good experiences/jobs/extracurriculars you still have a chance. I worked a couple jobs in the field and took over as the president of my schools pre-opt society which probably stands out to them. Make sure you get good LORs as well. Good luck, I hope you decide to apply! There is love for <3 GPAs!

I can't thank you enough for sharing this with me, it surely gives me motivation to finish my personal statements. And Congratulation on all the interviews, I mean 6 is pretty impressive, and beyond my expectations. Are you from a competitive school?
 

eheaps

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I was ecstatic after I got news of the first one. Hopefully a couple of them turn into acceptances. I go to University of Maryland, which I think is a fairly competitive school, so that could be part of it. But yeah, good luck with your applications. Don't be afraid to say a little something if they have a "does you academic performance accurately describe your abilities" section, maybe add a few words on why your GPA is a little on the low side. Also don't be afraid to retake a class and get a better grade, they like to see improvement trends!
 

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I'm really interested in PCO, how's everyones experience (those with low GPAs) been with PCO? Thank you
 

oceanblue392

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I just got an interview PCO. my initial stats, ~3.0 gpa and AA 350 OAT weren't enough to warrant an invitation for an interview. I called and they told me they were waiting on my fall grades (just 1 class: retaking gchem). I just retook my OAT and did better (RC over 300, AA 370), and as soon as I faxed my score report page, they extended me an interview.

same thing happened with NOVA

I also applied to a lot of schools (11) and hopefully 1 more just in case. i have 4 interviews: SCO, NOVA, ICO, PCO and 1 rejection: SUNY. as the previous poster said, they like to see improvement trends, also if you can explain any unusual circumstances you may have (i changed majors)

I'm really interested in PCO, how's everyones experience (those with low GPAs) been with PCO? Thank you
 
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caliopt23

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I'm also thinking about re-taking the OAT, but I have to wait until the end of January, I just don't think 350 is high enough to compensate for the GPA. The admission counselor at PCO sure gave me alot of hope though, I guess she was just being nice!
 

eheaps

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Retaking would be ok if you do better but 350 is a solid score! You should still apply now if you haven't yet and could always tell them that you plan on retaking it. Applying early is a huge benefit as most schools use a rolling admissions process.
 

preopt2012

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I am in the same boat. my science gpa is around 3 but my over all gpa was brought down last semester bc of two extremely hard classes and research. first time, oat score was 320AA and 340 Science..second time, 330AA and 330 science. i got rejected at ico in october. for NECO, i just heard friday and they said to bring up my gpa or retake oat.

i also applied to Nova, PCO, Western, and UMSL. UMSL told me that my reading and gen chem scores are lower (want everything over 300). they want everything over 300. my gen chem is 350 so i don't know what she is talking about.
 

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How can you bring up your GPA for this cycle and is your overall GPA alot lower than your science? Have you heard from the other schools you mentioned..
 

eheaps

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If you don't have each OAT category at 300 or higher you will have a hard time getting interviews. Especially the sciences.
 
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optometry55

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I had two, physics and math, under 300 and I've already had three interviews, so it's possible.
 

preopt2012

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How can you bring up your GPA for this cycle and is your overall GPA alot lower than your science? Have you heard from the other schools you mentioned..

I don't know if you are specifically asking me or not. My overall gpa is around 3 as well but overall semester gpa for last semester is much lower than my science and overall gpa.

my oat scores are all over 300 in all the sciences besides reading. i haven't heard from any where.
 

caliopt23

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I don't know if you are specifically asking me or not. My overall gpa is around 3 as well but overall semester gpa for last semester is much lower than my science and overall gpa.

my oat scores are all over 300 in all the sciences besides reading. i haven't heard from any where.

Well that's disappointing, and I think this will me be in a few weeks once they receive my applications :(...I'm hoping to at least here from Western University since they're a new program; have you contacted them?
 

eheaps

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Do you guys have any good leadership positions or at least some good job/shadowing experience. I think that's what helped me, even with Western (which I have now gotten in to). I'm the president of my schools pre-optometry society (we set up meetings with opt school recruiters so Ive met a lot of important people that way, including Dr. Hoppe from Western and Dr. Johnston from SUNY) but if they see you are involved and have a strong desire it will help you out.
 

afasano

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I had two, physics and math, under 300 and I've already had three interviews, so it's possible.


im interestin in ur stats...
...what schools did you apply to, and which did you get interviews to... and finally did you get accepted to any yet>?
 

caliopt23

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Do you guys have any good leadership positions or at least some good job/shadowing experience. I think that's what helped me, even with Western (which I have now gotten in to). I'm the president of my schools pre-optometry society (we set up meetings with opt school recruiters so Ive met a lot of important people that way, including Dr. Hoppe from Western and Dr. Johnston from SUNY) but if they see you are involved and have a strong desire it will help you out.

It's been almost a year that I've been looking into Optometry and since then I've joined two optometry clubs (different universitis), held a retail position, I've been an intern at a private office (100 hrs), shadowed two other doctors (~50 hrs), I have done vision screening with one of the pre-optometry clubs and preformd some screenings independently. I've not held any leadership positions though.
 

eheaps

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That's very good experience for the time frame. The vision screenings definitely help alot because that gives you hands on experience which they might value more so than shadowing although both is important. I'm not sure if thats the case or not but i think its more valuable.
 

optometry55

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im interestin in ur stats...
...what schools did you apply to, and which did you get interviews to... and finally did you get accepted to any yet>?

Well my OAT TS was 320 and AA was 310, and I have a 3.75 GPA, I interviewed at PCO, OSU, and Pacific all in the last two weeks, and I haven't heard back from any yet. I also put into SCO but I haven't heard anything from them.
 

preopt2012

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Do you guys have any good leadership positions or at least some good job/shadowing experience. I think that's what helped me, even with Western (which I have now gotten in to). I'm the president of my schools pre-optometry society (we set up meetings with opt school recruiters so Ive met a lot of important people that way, including Dr. Hoppe from Western and Dr. Johnston from SUNY) but if they see you are involved and have a strong desire it will help you out.

I have been working at private office for over a year. I have shadowed a dr. for about 40 hrs now, I started volunteering couple of mths ago at a hospital. I was Vice President of an organization for two yrs and became President in January of 08. I recently started Unite For Sight.

Thanks a lot for your feedback. It gives me a little hope.
 
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preopt2012

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i took oat two times already, first time science 330 overall 310 bc of reading.
second time, science was 320, overall 330 - did worse in bio than expected..part of it was bc i freaked out

do you think i should retake my oats? or would it better to take higher level bio classes. i never took general bio bc i had ap credit but took microbio and biochem.

thanks a lot for your help. :)
 

eheaps

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As far as I know they say more than two times is a little excessive. Is it true that they combine elements from multiple tests, similar to the SAT? If that's the case would you be in better shape?
 

preopt2012

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As far as I know they say more than two times is a little excessive. Is it true that they combine elements from multiple tests, similar to the SAT? If that's the case would you be in better shape?

i am not sure about that but if they did do that, i would be in better shape. i think that would get me few interviews.
 

afasano

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Well my OAT TS was 320 and AA was 310, and I have a 3.75 GPA, I interviewed at PCO, OSU, and Pacific all in the last two weeks, and I haven't heard back from any yet. I also put into SCO but I haven't heard anything from them.


well that is a very impressive gpa.
 

eheaps

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Would it be a mistake to talk about a low gpa in the essay questions?

If there is a question asking like, does your academic performance accurately describe your abilities and you feel that your grades should be higher then by all means say a few words about it. I think SUNY had this question and I wrote a couple paragraphs (have an interview there in Dec). If it isn't directly in the question, it might be better to focus on important elements like experiences and desires for the field as most of the essays have limits to around 500 words.
 

missopt

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i took oat two times already, first time science 330 overall 310 bc of reading.
second time, science was 320, overall 330 - did worse in bio than expected..part of it was bc i freaked out

do you think i should retake my oats? or would it better to take higher level bio classes. i never took general bio bc i had ap credit but took microbio and biochem.

thanks a lot for your help. :)

More than twice is excessive. They don't average the scores together, but they do get to see the scores from each exam. That's why they don't recommend you take the OAT your junior year without studying to "gage" your score and then retake it after studying. OAT scores above 320 are average at a lot of places. Perhaps for SUNY it's not competitive, but it is for others (NOVA, for instance). I think it also depends on your GPA. And do you mean take more upper level courses this semester and then apply for next year? It may be the case that some schools will put you on hold until your semester grades come in, but I have not heard of any of them waiting for you to finish another semester before accepting you.
best of luck!
 

missopt

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I am in the same boat. my science gpa is around 3 but my over all gpa was brought down last semester bc of two extremely hard classes and research. first time, oat score was 320AA and 340 Science..second time, 330AA and 330 science. i got rejected at ico in october. for NECO, i just heard friday and they said to bring up my gpa or retake oat.

i also applied to Nova, PCO, Western, and UMSL. UMSL told me that my reading and gen chem scores are lower (want everything over 300). they want everything over 300. my gen chem is 350 so i don't know what she is talking about.

I think what the schools mean by "bringing up the grades" is that the application will be put on hold until this semesters grades have come in. This is usually the case for GPAs that are a little lower than their average incoming classes GPA. They do this to compare how you've been doing in the past and how much improvement you can do to see if it's a trend or just a previous hard/bad semester.

and did you get flat out rejected from ICO without an interview? I got a 340AA/TS and I applied late (perhaps 3 weeks ago) and was extended an interview.

best of luck!
 

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To missopt, is your gpa on the low side, because it seems to me (from the posts I've heard) that ICO has been extending interviews to those with good stats this year.
 

afasano

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To missopt, is your gpa on the low side, because it seems to me (from the posts I've heard) that ICO has been extending interviews to those with good stats this year.

what is the defination of "good stats"?
 

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IMO having around average gpa/oat/experience combination (not lacking in any of those areas).
 

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My school offers a few month long classes (non sciecnce classes only) during January and I've registred for two classes, hoping that I could add a few points to my gpa last minute. Do guys think this would be helpful at all since they're non science classes. Thanks
 

sportsdude00

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My school offers a few month long classes (non sciecnce classes only) during January and I've registred for two classes, hoping that I could add a few points to my gpa last minute. Do guys think this would be helpful at all since they're non science classes. Thanks
some, but not much. every time i've talked to any admissions counselors they talk about my science courses, not much else.
 

preopt2012

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More than twice is excessive. They don't average the scores together, but they do get to see the scores from each exam. That's why they don't recommend you take the OAT your junior year without studying to "gage" your score and then retake it after studying. OAT scores above 320 are average at a lot of places. Perhaps for SUNY it's not competitive, but it is for others (NOVA, for instance). I think it also depends on your GPA. And do you mean take more upper level courses this semester and then apply for next year? It may be the case that some schools will put you on hold until your semester grades come in, but I have not heard of any of them waiting for you to finish another semester before accepting you.
best of luck!

I know that they tell you take OAT after our junior year and trust me I studied. I am not gona spend almost 200 dollars and not study.

I was just asking to see if it would be consider too much since I might have to take a year off. I talked to admissions at ICO, PCO and NECO. They told me that if I take a year off, then they recommend that I take OAT one more time even though it will be my third time.
 

aDubs

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Dont be worried too much if you have a mediocre GPA. You can compensate for it with a better OAT score. I would recommend that if you have a 3.0 gpa, you should aim for a 350 or 360 score on the OAT to balance it out more. But I do know people who have gotten into optometry school with a 3.0 gpa and lower OAT score (I believe around 310?) Sometimes its just the luck of the draw.
 
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