General Post-Bacc Vs. Retaking After Strong Upward Trend

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Sep 4, 2006
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Hi. I've read many threads on the pros and cons of retaking classes (as an informal) vs. enrolling into a formal Post-Bacc program (linked to medical schools and not linked). I'm here because I have a very strong upward trend in my Junior and Senior years of college and am left wondering what my best options are.

Just for example, I received C's in all core chemistry classes (freshman and sophomore years), but have demonstrated my ability to perform well academically by receiving an A in Biochemistry (senior year). This is the general trend between my lower division science classes and upper division science classes (worst quarterly GPA was 2.3 and best was 3.9). Should I retake the classes I did poorly in at a CC because I have proven my ability to do well in upper division classes? I must retake a C- anyways. My overall gpa is 3.2. My science GPA is 3.0.

I am half latino, and considered economically disadvantaged. If I'm going to take loans out to do any post-bacc work I need my best options in front of me. I will graduate in June. Can someone please lay out a couple options for me.


1) Considering your steep upward grade trend, apply as you are, if you can get a strong MCAT score. Don't take the test until you have repeatedly scored in your target zone on practice tests. You can see graphical representations of the historical success rate of all applicants with various cGPA/MCAT combinations, as well as stats specific to Latino and Asian applicants here: SDN Success Rate Charts - 2017 Edition

2) Work for a few years after graduation, save your money, and apply to an (expensive) GPA enhancing program or SMP, ideally with linkage.

3) Beef up your sGPA by retaking Cs in prerequisites and new coursework through a do-it-yourself postbac (but only if you will earn As, as a B grade does nothing to repair your GPA (though you'll still be reinforcing the material you may not have fully grasped on the first round, so you'll do better on the MCAT). It's my opinion that retaking classes at a less-expensive CC will not work against you at most med schools, especially considering you will apply as economically disadvantaged. Adding a few additional upper-level classes in the sciences at a 4-year school would be frosting on the cake, if you can manage it financially. Consider seeking a job on a campus where the benefits include free tuition.
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