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greysloan

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Hey everyone, I am new here (just got an account) and I would really appreciate some advice on how to proceed because I have such low grades right now: the breakdown is as follows

1st sem: 3.0
2nd sem: 2.9
3rd sem: 2.4 (I know :/ I was diagnosed with anxiety at this point and probably explains the previous two)
4th sem: 3.0

So overall, my gpa is a 2.8 ish. I am a rising junior, and intend to take a gap year maybe to do either gpa repair, or an SMP, so I have two years left as of now to do some gpa repair in general. I guess it should also be mentioned that I am a philosophy major/physics and chem minor.

I also have a lot of really great ECs and clinical hours, there hasnt been a semester or a summer that I haven't been doing something research/clinical related, and they've all been really rewarding and in my opinion, very impressive if I had the gpa to match.

I could take summer classes to improve the gpa now that my anxiety and everything has been under control, I don't think my grades were due to laziness, I definitely know the issues, mainly that I was studying a lot, just not studying productively, so I would end up knowing everything but when the test would come around I wouldnt do well on maybe the first one, then it was too late to pick it up to save the grade even though I would do well on the rest. Anyways, point is, I do have a plan on how to improve my grades, I just finished a summer class with an A (4.0) so I guess that should help the gpa as well.

Going on this website really freaks me out because it seems that unless you have a 3.6 you have absolutely no chance, but I'm not sure I will be able to get it to a 3.6 even if I get straight a's every semester from now on (which is also kind of unlikely) If I can continue the upward trend and have a high gpa the following semesters, would it not matter?

Last thing, I was debating just applying to one school on a normal cycle Early Decision, because I assumes it would have them look beyond my grades since the applicant pool would be smaller. If I don't get accepted that would be fine, but I figured I could just try since I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by that.

Just some input would be great! (Also I wasn't sure where to put this post so I put it in this because it felt most relevant, I apologize if I was wrong!)
 

doctorleospaceman

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Going on this website really freaks me out because it seems that unless you have a 3.6 you have absolutely no chance, but I'm not sure I will be able to get it to a 3.6 even if I get straight a's every semester from now on (which is also kind of unlikely) If I can continue the upward trend and have a high gpa the following semesters, would it not matter?
An upward trend can count for a lot. Also keep in mind that the median GPA at most schools (excluding some top tiers) is around a 3.6-3.7. People on SDN often forget that 50% of the medical students at a school fall below that. What I would do is do your best during your remaining two years, then see where your GPA is. If it is still dangerously low an SMP would be your best bet. If it is over a 3.2/3.3 just an unofficial post-bacc would probably suffice. The remaining biggest piece of the puzzle will be the MCAT. Only take it when you are sure you're ready because you'll have to hit it out of the park for the best chances. Are you interested in DO schools or only MD?

Last thing, I was debating just applying to one school on a normal cycle Early Decision, because I assumes it would have them look beyond my grades since the applicant pool would be smaller. If I don't get accepted that would be fine, but I figured I could just try since I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by that.
I wouldn't recommend early decision. Unless you gets your stats way into the competitive range (both GPA and MCAT), you want to maximize your chances by applying to as many schools as you can. Early Decision for medical school isn't really any less competitive.
 

greysloan

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An upward trend can count for a lot. Also keep in mind that the median GPA at most schools (excluding some top tiers) is around a 3.6-3.7. People on SDN often forget that 50% of the medical students at a school fall below that. What I would do is do your best during your remaining two years, then see where your GPA is. If it is still dangerously low an SMP would be your best bet. If it is over a 3.2/3.3 just an unofficial post-bacc would probably suffice. The remaining biggest piece of the puzzle will be the MCAT. Only take it when you are sure you're ready because you'll have to hit it out of the park for the best chances. Are you interested in DO schools or only MD?


I wouldn't recommend early decision. Unless you gets your stats way into the competitive range (both GPA and MCAT), you want to maximize your chances by applying to as many schools as you can. Early Decision for medical school isn't really any less competitive.

Thank you so much for your response. To answer your question about DO, I did consider it but I don't think I really follow the ideology that goes into it, I feel like it would be wrong to just do it so that I can get in. I think I would prefer MD. Also, I have been doing a lot of practice for the MCAT right now and seem to be doing quite well; do you think that a high MCAT score plus the upward trend in my grades may not require me to do any post bacc/smp work?
 

doctorleospaceman

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Thank you so much for your response. To answer your question about DO, I did consider it but I don't think I really follow the ideology that goes into it, I feel like it would be wrong to just do it so that I can get in. I think I would prefer MD. Also, I have been doing a lot of practice for the MCAT right now and seem to be doing quite well; do you think that a high MCAT score plus the upward trend in my grades may not require me to do any post bacc/smp work?
I think that's fair. Most people do an MD only cycle and then MD+DO the second if need be. As far as post-bacc/SMP, that's something that you'll only be able to decide after you finish your degree and see how you score on the MCAT. Too early to tell for now, but it night be possible to avoid both since hypothetically you can finish with a 3.5 if you get 4.0s from here on out.
 
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