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shegotzsole22

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I'm currently a junior at a state school and I'm worried about my chances...

My college GPA is:
1st semester- 3.77
2nd semester- 3.65
3rd semester- 3.25
4th semester- 3.00
summer- 3.40
5th semester- 3.50

I know that I messed up my sophomore year and I have been trying to improve ever since then. My freshman GPA is much higher because I was taking gen ed courses at that time for the most part.

The reason why my sophomore year GPA is so low is because I got a D in Orgo I the first time and I was also taking cell bio at the same time and got a C. When I retook Orgo I, I got a B and I'm planning on retaking Cell Bio so that I can prove that I can get an A in the class. I also had several close family members pass away within only a few weeks of each other during the spring semester so that didn't really help my sophomore year GPA either.

So I've been trying to pick myself up ever since then and if all goes well with this semester and the summer (4.0 hopefully), I should end up with an overall GPA of about 3.65 and a science GPA of 3.5.


My EC's are:
-250+ hours of volunteering in various departments (ER, PACU, Orthopedics)
In the orthopedics department I was able to work along side with the PT and had lots of patient interaction since it was my job to physically help them with their PT exercises
-60+ hours of volunteering in a special nursing home for people with MS and other varying degrees of brain damage
-shadowed a surgical technician, anesthesiologist, orthopedic surgeon, and several general practitioners
-held 3 leadership positions in a sorority
-have done 100+ hours volunteering within the community (mostly in relation to breast cancer awareness and the Susan G. Komen Foundation)


Given everything that I have done, what score do you guys think I should be aiming for on the MCAT?

Also, what else do you think that I could do to strengthen my application?

I don't know if I should include this in my EC's too but I worked my freshman year (just a regular restaurant job) and I also dance in my spare time. I was also involved with various clubs my freshmen year but never held any major positions.
 

shegotzsole22

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Forgot to say that I'm a bio major and a double minor in chem and psychology. I may end up turning that psychology minor into a major though since I still have another year.
 

RecyclingBinh

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hmm...just be prepared to talk about your grade fluctuation and not give the excuse "b/c i was taking cell bio at the same time". adcom want to see that you can handle hard classes at the same time. i got 2 C's in calculus and it hurt my gpa a lot. but that was freshmen year and i improved my gpa every semester. in your case i do not know what to say. maybe mobius or some other SDN experts can help you.

best of luck!
 

Mobius1985

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If you apply with a GPA of 3.65, which is right at the mean for accepted students, you should be fine with an MCAT of 31+ (higher is always better, of course). The erratic spring academic performance will be forgiven due to your good explanation of family turmoil, but this will not excuse you from needing to redeem it. Why did the sophomore fall semester go bad? From what I've read posted on SDN by adcomm members, they like to see 1.5 to 2.0 years of good recent grades (to me this means A- or better) to prove the early good GPA wasn't the fluke. Remember that AMCAS does not erase retaken classes. They will essentially average the two grades together, regardless of what your undergrad institution does. I hope your GPA assumptions include that D in Orgo. I, too, would retake the Cell Bio.

Your clinical experience and shadowing look great. I really like the variety of clinical settings. Your leadership appears to be above average. Are you planning to get in a research experience?

The clubs won't help you much, unless you were an officer, or the club participated in lots of community service or fund raising. The dancing makes you look well rounded. And definitely include the restaurant job, especially if it included client interactions, management, training, etc. It helps support that you have people skills and/or stayed busy helping to support yourself.
 

shegotzsole22

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If you apply with a GPA of 3.65, which is right at the mean for accepted students, you should be fine with an MCAT of 31+ (higher is always better, of course). The erratic spring academic performance will be forgiven due to your good explanation of family turmoil, but this will not excuse you from needing to redeem it. Why did the sophomore fall semester go bad? From what I've read posted on SDN by adcomm members, they like to see 1.5 to 2.0 years of good recent grades (to me this means A- or better) to prove the early good GPA wasn't the fluke. Remember that AMCAS does not erase retaken classes. They will essentially average the two grades together, regardless of what your undergrad institution does. I hope your GPA assumptions include that D in Orgo. I, too, would retake the Cell Bio.

Your clinical experience and shadowing look great. I really like the variety of clinical settings. Your leadership appears to be above average. Are you planning to get in a research experience?

The clubs won't help you much, unless you were an officer, or the club participated in lots of community service or fund raising. The dancing makes you look well rounded. And definitely include the restaurant job, especially if it included client interactions, management, training, etc. It helps support that you have people skills and/or stayed busy helping to support yourself.


It was during my fall semester of my sophomore year that I first found out that my aunt and grandmother were going to die soon. My aunt had lung cancer even though she never smoked in her life and my grandmother suffered a stroke several years prior and became paralyzed and it was just a coincidence that they passed away at about the same time. They pretty much raised me when I was younger because my parents were always really busy and never home. So it was quite an emotional year for me.

Also, my sophomore year was when I first began to take classes that were a lot harder than I was used to. I never had to study in high school to maintain A's and B's and freshmen year was pretty much the same way so I never really learned how to study until towards the end of my sophomore year. That was a problem for me because I was taking courses that I didn't have any prior knowledge in (like Orgo) so I didn't know how to approach them.

Since I just switched from a psychology minor to a psychology major, I'm planning on doing research this summer with a biopsychology professor whose main area of research is neuropharmacology and brain trauma. I'm not sure how this would look to admissions since it's not the traditional bio research experience but it does relate to bio more than psychology.

Thanks everyone for your responses! I really appreciate it! :)
 

Mobius1985

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I'm planning on doing research this summer with a biopsychology professor whose main area of research is neuropharmacology and brain trauma. I'm not sure how this would look to admissions since it's not the traditional bio research experience but it does relate to bio more than psychology.
I think research in this area will look great to adcomms.
 
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