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Premed advise: improve GPA or take MCAT?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jbg, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. jbg

    jbg
    2+ Year Member

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    • Major: Bio
    • Undergrad: 4th year (21 years old)
    • GPA: 3.49
    EC and stuff (not much):
    • one semester of volunteering in the hospital (2006)
    • 2006 - present: on the Executive Board for a volunteering group here in my university; we volunteer in the community with organizations in the city (soap kitchens, homeless shelters, planting trees..~ 100 hours.
    • 2 semesters of undergraduate research in biotechnology.
    • 2 awards for commitment to community through service (was nominated by fellow students).
    • member of Association of Microbio Students and Red Cross.
    In the first two years of undergrad, I got a couple of Cs. I took too many classes and at the same time I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.. so thus, lack of caring and lack of studying contributed to my bad grades.

    So far, I've completed 32 classes (counting the labs). Despite getting A in organic chemistry I, which I took my freshman year, I got a C in orgoII and microbio next semester.

    I've gotten a total of 5 Cs (two of which are from general education requirement classes).

    My last 10 classes were As (junior year in college). Half of which were upper level science courses such as biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, immunology and analytical chemistry.

    This is a couple of my options:

    Option 1:

    Take one class during Winter 2009 (cancer biology) and study/prep for the MCAT and volunteer in the hospital. I hear that it's best to apply early, so I want to take early MCAT like in May. But I won't have enough time to study for it if I'll be a full time student again.

    With this, I will graduate in Winter 2010.

    Disadvantage: I will be applying with low GPA (which will raise to at least 3.5 after spring/summer 2009 and fall 2009 semesters).

    Option 2:

    Be a full time student in Winter 2009 and study for the MCAT during the summer to take it in late August.

    I will have to take a class or two during the summer semester though to graduate.

    Disadvantage: I will be applying late!!!
    Advantage: I will have time to raise my GPA and build my EC (volunteer in the hospital)

    Should I then apply to graduate school for a year or take upper level courses as an undergrad?

    Like I said, my grades are really bad the first two years in college (Bs and Cs), but it has gone up since then.

    What are your suggestions? Any feedback is much appreciated.

    I guess what I'm trying to figure out is how to make my application stronger by the time that I apply. Since I got Cs in the early science courses, I will need to re learn all of that material, so that's why I need a lot of time to prep for the MCAT.

    Also, I was thinking of retaking orgoII and microbio to raise my GPA automatically. Would that be a good idea? Or would it not benetif me a lot since they would average the two grades anyways and since I've gotten As in other upper level science courses.

    I'm hoping to go to Wayne State University (MD).
     
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  3. bluesmd

    2+ Year Member

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    i would say study your butt off for the MCAT and do well on it. option 1. a 3.5 is ok if you have a decent MCAT. especially if wayne state is your first choice. and plus you have a nice upward trend all As in upper level science classes, definitely looks good. do NOT BOTHER APPLYING if you are APPLYING LATE. it hurts you A LOT. it hurts even the people who have relatively good gpas and mcats, unless its like 3.93, 40 or something crazy like that. do lots of volunteering, shadowing, research. all that good stuff. good luck.
     
  4. Docere

    5+ Year Member

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    I looked at the Wayne University Early Decision requirements. If you're set on going there, I'd recommend you meet these requirements somehow:

    http://www.med.wayne.edu/admissions/special_programs/early_decision.asp

    3.60 cGPA
    3.60 sGPA
    10 on each section of the MCAT

    EDIT: Apparently 3.50 is NOT okay for Wayne, even if you do ED. So I'd probably take one or two classes for this next semester while studying for the MCAT (guaranteeing at least a 30). Then take classes and make sure to get a good grade and raise that GPA to a 3.6 at least. Make sure that when you take your MCAT, your scores won't "expire" (you'll apply to med school within two years)
     
  5. bluesmd

    2+ Year Member

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    i thought about suggesting that, but then the OP just makes the cut-offs. i think that is dangerous because they will be late in the game for the rest of the schools. it's understandable they might have a first choice, but if they want to be a doctor and not have to go through the process again, shouldn't they just apply really early to a range of schools and hope for the best.
     
  6. jbg

    jbg
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    My GPA won't raise to 3.6 after this semester even if I get a 4.0. It went from 3.2 to 3.49 after 30 credits of As.

    I'd like to go to WSU, 'cause I go to undergrad here, but I will certainly be applying to other schools.

    Could I apply with a 3.4 (not ED), but then update them with my fall 2009 and winter 2010 grades?

    Or I could still take the MCAT this summer (Option 1), but apply next summer.

    Thanks!
     
  7. jbg

    jbg
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    I'm definitely planning on applying to a range of schools, not just Wayne State.

    I just don't know if it will be best to be a part time student next semester and finish college in 5 years or finish it in 4 years, but take MCAT at the end of the summer. The second option will give me time to raise my GPA, but it won't give me as much time as I think I need to study for the MCAT in order to score 30+.
     
  8. RoadRunner17

    RoadRunner17 Fleet of feet
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    Whatever you do, if you don't get in next year, I recommend taking a year off and doing a post-bac with 20+ credits of hard science classes and get all A's. They'll consider your post-bac science GPA as your overall science GPA, which essentially means you erase those C's in these science requirements. That got me into Wayne State this year, IMO. However, the only bad thing I can think of is that you may have already taken these kinds of classes, and you will be hard-pressed to find other upper-division BCPM courses to take.
     
  9. jbg

    jbg
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    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to look into that.
     
  10. BeardedRunner

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    MCAT is huge, I think that it's the most effective way to make yourself stand out.
     
  11. jbg

    jbg
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    I will keep that in mind all the time as I study for the MCAT :) I just hope that the score that I get will be enough to make up for my low GPA.
     
  12. Code Brown

    Code Brown Low man on the totem pole
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    From an admissions perspective (from what I have seen at our school), a 3.49 is okay but you better have a 34 or so. If you can pump it up over 3.5, you can drop to a 32 or so. Just my two cents worth...
     
  13. jbg

    jbg
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    Thank you. I appreciate your feedback.
     

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