Jul 10, 2009
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Pre-Medical
My grades are incredibly sporadic and inconsistent; this past spring I had horrible grades, which plummeted my GPA. I'm hoping to play the uphill trend card and belt out some straight A's for the rest of my undergrad career, I hope.

With a low GPA and the omnipresent possibility of still managing to perform badly, I'm highly considering taking next semester off (aside from a class and 2 labs) and focusing heavily on the MCAT. I've taken classes nonstop since I began my undergrad with my summer load often being very dense and I'm reaching a burnout point, especially since my work ethic is so inconsistent right now (but I'm finally getting back into my consistent ways in high school!). Is taking a semester off a bad idea? Also, I was told to raise my sGPA I could take graduate level classes and earn a 5th year master's. How does that even sound?

Also, I did poorly in two of my pre-med req classes (orgo 2 and bio 2 - C's). Would retaking them reflect badly? Or is it better to just stick with taking upper-level bio classes?

I would appreciate any and all input.
 
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Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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1) Is taking a semester off a bad idea?

2) Also, I was told to raise my sGPA I could take graduate level classes and earn a 5th year master's. How does that even sound?

3) Also, I did poorly in two of my pre-med req classes (orgo 2 and bio 2 - C's). Would retaking them reflect badly? Or is it better to just stick with taking upper-level bio classes?

4) I'm aiming for an ideal score of 38. With the hypothetical situation of a 3.6 cGPA and a 3.4 sGPA (I'm trying to be modest and prevent anymore disappointment) and a 38 on the MCAT, what are my chances? :)
1) It won't hurt your chances to get into med school, if that's what you're wondering. Many applicants will take a lighter load while studying for the MCAT, due to family issues, or because of burnout. It's better to anticipate that you won't perform highly in classses if you don't ramp down the academic effort than to try anyway and get poor grades.

2) Classes taken toward a masters degree will be listed under graduate BCPM GPA and won't help your uGPAs. Grad classes taken when you are not a masters candidate will go toward your undergrad GPA. Few schools regard the graduate level grades (but there are some).

3) Retaking them is a fine idea if you didn't master the material well enough to excel on the MCAT. Otherwise, you can redeem them in the eyes of most adcomms with high grades in Biochem or upper-level Bio. There are a few MD schools that expect no lower than a B in the prerequisites. If you know you state school is one of them, that might be another good reason to retake.

4) With a 3.44/38, stats tables suggest you'd have a ~64ish% chance of success.
 
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