personal statement: HOW to explain a bad semester

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Yogi Bear, May 24, 2002.

  1. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member

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    I just finished junior year and I'll be applying to med school this year and I had a disastrous semester 2nd semester of junior year. By disastrous, it was about 1 point lower than what i normally get (high 3's). it's gonna obvious stand out. how should i approach explaining this in a subtle way? i was just trying to do too many things (ECs, research) in too little time while taking MCATS.
     
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  3. vyc

    vyc Senior Member

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    they will see your bad semester. i wouldn't take your precious personal statement space to explain it. maybe mention it in passing if it fits in with whatever else you want to write about but there is absolutely no need to bring even MORE attention to it.
     
  4. none

    none 1K Member

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    Just don't mention it in the personal statement. You need something to talk about during interviews.
     
  5. Hi Yogi,

    I agree with VYC and None. I had straight B/B-'s one quarter after getting pneumonia, and I've even had a couple of C's in my college career.

    When I was applying, I was advised not to put this in my personal statement b/c it's negative, and b/c more important, positive, personally significant experiences should go there.

    Also, one of my professors who wrote me a letter of rec actually offered to explain my illness and other academic difficulties in his letter (albeit, briefly!)

    Despite these blemishes in my record I ended up with 8 interviews, and one acceptance. I had the opportunity to explain all the blemishes in my record at pretty much all of my interviews.

    So I think for now, emphasize all the wonderful things in your record where it counts--in the personal statement and the AMCAS. Aim for getting interviews. You can explain everything else when you interview, or perhaps those who write your letters can throw in a line or two on your behalf.

    Best of luck!
     
  6. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    i agree. if you have 5 strong semesters and 1 subpar spend time on the 5 (cuz that is who you really are not the 1). if everything else is good you might be surprised by how much of a nonissue that semester is.
     
  7. Drako

    Drako Senior Member

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    I had a bad quarter during my sophomore year. I received my first C+ ever. But when i wrote my personal statement, I did not explain it. Only one of my interviewer asked about the bad grade and I explain to her the reason why. Fortunately, my reason is very ligitimate. We were almost homeless (long story). If I were you, I wouldn't waste space on the personal statement trying to explain that part of your transcript. Talk about something else.
     
  8. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member

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    Don't waste space on your PS by expaining a "bad" semester, especially if it's C+'s you're worried about--that can even hurt you because it'll look anal.

    About the only way I would recommend anyone to allocate any space on thier PS to explain a bad semester is if they got straight D's or F's.
     

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