Questions Based on GPA and more

Discussion in 'Exam HQ' started by Pediatrician1971, Dec 5, 2016.

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  1. Pediatrician1971


    Dec 5, 2016
    Anyways I am a sophomore in High School and had questions on fulfilling my long life dream of becoming an Anesthesiologist. One question I had was about college itself, I currently have 3.5 GPA in high school with multiple homework/completion grades. I was concerned since I saw in college your grades mostly consist of 3-4 test per semester. So question was, is it hard to get 3.8-4.0 GPA in College. Follow up, is it necessary to have a GPA as high as 3.8 and up to enter medical school? My next question is, how difficult is the MCAT and how long does it take to prepare as well as if it is normal to feel intimidated by it. I looked at some Physics sample questions and it discourages me since it looks like something I will never be able to succeed doing. My final question is, how will I be able to enter med school if it is so competitive to get in (I am Asian and heard they accept also based on race)? What if I don't get in will that mean I will be jobless and waste my money on college courses? And what is DO, is that easier then getting MD. I know these questions are overwhelming but I don't have a mentor to guide me to achieving what I really desire in life.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
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  3. Hohohee1


    Oct 20, 2015
    How do you know you want to become an anesthesiologist??
  4. Pediatrician1971


    Dec 5, 2016
    It is just the task that interests me.
  5. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    Acceptance is not based on race.
    Most Asian groups are very well represented in medicine. There are communities that are quite under-represented, though.
    Pediatrician1971 and Goro like this.
  6. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    This depends 100% on how much work you are willing to do, and what college you go to.

    . So question was, is it hard to get 3.8-4.0 GPA in College. Follow up, is it necessary to have a GPA as high as 3.8 and up to enter medical school?

    More difficult that the SAT, according to every med student of mine. I only took the GRE, so I can't compare apples, oranges and melons. You should be intimidated by it. It's a career-deciding, high-stakes exam.

    My next question is, how difficult is the MCAT and how long does it take to prepare as well as if it is normal to feel intimidated by it.

    Come back after you take some college Physics coursework and revisit this.
    I looked at some Physics sample questions and it discourages me since it looks like something I will never be able to succeed doing.

    Have a GPA > 3.5, do well on the MCAT and have some good extracurricular activities. But right now, finish high school and get into college first. And 30% of most med school classes (> 40% at my school) are Asian, so there is no discrimination. Only ~5% of Americans are Asian. They're the most successful minority group in our history, even more than the Jews.

    My final question is, how will I be able to enter med school if it is so competitive to get in (I am Asian and heard they accept also based on race)?

    Pick a good major that will prepare you for both med school and Plan B, if the former doesn't work out. 90% of all pre-meds never go to med school. Major in what interests you the most.
    What if I don't get in will that mean I will be jobless and waste my money on college courses?

    Google is your friend
    And what is DO, is that easier then getting MD.
    Pediatrician1971 and treecat like this.
  7. treecat

    treecat 2+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2014
    I wanted to be a Surgeon and go on the MD/PhD route when I was in high school. Not to destroy your aspirations, but college is REALLY HARD compared to high school. I was top 1% in my high school graduating class and now I have far below 3.0 GPA. I also got to know about Osteopathic Medicine after I got into college and I also gave up the idea of being a surgeon and actually figured that I do not enjoy doing research AT ALL.
    It is easier to think that you can easily get a 3.8 in college. Although, I appreciate that you have a goal in your mind but I think, you need to focus on your high school GPA now, not your college GPA. Take the SAT first, ace your classes now, live the present, the future awaits for you :) You are ready yet to tackle those MCAT physics question but you will be! May be after freshman year of college, you will figure out that you really enjoy Physics and become a Physics professor in future :)

    Good luck!
  8. halmoni


    Dec 7, 2016
    You are still a sophomore in high school. You don't have a "life long dream" of becoming an anesthesiologist. Be a little more open minded about your job prospects, because only a small fraction of premeds even end up going to med school. There are plenty of other jobs in the health field (physician's assistant, medical assistant, dental school, pharmacy school, etc.). Your primary goal for going to college should be to further your knowledge and to mature as an independent individual. If you believe that college would be a waste of money unless you get into med school, maybe college isn't for you.

    Your gpa will depend on your work ethic, what school you choose to go to, and good decision making skills (aka researching your prof's and classes before signing up). I had about a 3.7 in high school, and I'll be graduating this quarter with a 3.9 from a fairly decent university. Personally I found it easier to study in college, but I still studied my ass off. In high school, I never studied for exams until the night before. In college, I often found myself preparing for tests a good week in advance, or having to cram material in 2-3 days minimum if I was really busy. Some lower division classes tend to help w/ the transition from high school by giving you quizzes and mandatory hw assignments. Most upper div classes have 2 or 3 tests and that's it. Generally as long as you have around a 3.6 or above, you would be considered competitive for most med schools. That doesn't mean you can't get in if you have a lower gpa. MCAT + EC's + letters of rec + interviews play a huge role in determining admissions as well.
    Goro and Pediatrician1971 like this.
  9. WheatLom


    Jul 6, 2016
    You will have classes where 1 question drops your exam grade 2/3 a letter, you can have classes where 1 test question is 1-2% of your total grade, you will have classes where exams are none existent and there are other aspects.

    A 3.8 is TOUGH, but.... IT IS HIGHLY doable. You will have to sacrifice some weekends and nights. If you stay discipline you can actually study like 1-1.5 hours a day after class and you'll do EXTREMELY well. Just reviewing your notes slowly over time you will grasp everything more easily and CONFIDENTLY.

    The hard part about college is that exams will start to test your thinking. I just took my last final for the semester and each question probably had about 3-4 lectures of material that was very accurate beside a word or condition. It will ask you which is true, false, multiple answers, is it one answer. You will have to think about the situations and process the facts and apply it.

    I think for a sophomore that last few questions are something to get over. You are in high school, build good habits in school and enjoy it. Cause you will wish you didn't spend all your time on worrying about med school in high school. Just know you have a goal and there are some things before college to prepare. All your clubs and charity work and extracurriculars are worthless to adCom if they are from high school. It is the truth. They want to see the adult you became and not the kid you were.

    Enjoy high school, Keep good study habits, BE ready to take care of business in college. YOU WILL GET IN and do well on the MCAT.
    Pediatrician1971 likes this.
  10. Levo


    Dec 16, 2016
    3.8+ in college is definitely very doable. One major factor is motivation. For most college classes, attendance is optional and homework is not graded. For some students, "life" starts to happen and they end up skipping lectures and homework assignments. Then when finals roll around, they're 3 lectures behind and haven't had much practice solving the types of problems that are going to be on the final. If you show up, stay engaged during lecture, do the work, and try your best to treat "optional" as "mandatory" (within reason, there will be times when the professor assigns way too much), that already puts you ahead of many people in the class.

    Also, in high school, you're locked into taking pretty much the same classes as everyone else. In college, you've got some freedom to focus down on the area that interests you/the area you have the potential of doing well in. If your strength is in literature, that doesn't help much because you still have to take and excel in foundational math/science classes to get into med school. On the other hand, if your strength is chemistry and your biggest weakness is the arts, you that freedom will help you tremendously since you'll be able to mostly, though not completely, avoid the arts classes that would be really tough for you.

    With regards to med school admission: In medicine, just like in anything else, there's a wide range of possibilities, some of which are more desirable than others. There are absolute rock stars out there with 4.o GPA's from competitive undergraduate institutions that end up going to top-ranked MD schools in popular cities like Boston or New York, matching into competitive resident programs (which is the next step after medical school, the one which determines your specialty), and taking on very desirable posts like faculty positions at Johns Hopkins or private practice dermatology in Beverly Hills. Along the same lines, there are people with GPAs less than 3.5 and mediocre MCAT scores who end up going to DO schools (more on that later) in "undesirable" rural locations, and have more limited options as far as what to specialize in after med school. In short, you don't need perfect grades to become a doctor. However, if you're a a weaker applicant, you may end up taking a hit as far as location, prestige, and job prospects.

    With regards to MD vs DO: Essentially, there are two different organizations that credential medical schools. Schools credentialed by the AAMC grant the MD degree, and schools credentialed by the AOA grant the DO degree. The MD degree is far more common. DOs are able to do some things that MDs are not (osteopathic manipulative medicine) but only like 10% of DOs actually end up using those skills in practice, so it's not really a meaningful difference for your career. There are residency programs that accept DO applicants, but not MD applicants. On paper, all residencies that accept MDs are also open to DOs. In practice, however the most competitive MD residencies will strongly favor MD applicants over DO applicants. On average, DO schools do accept students with slightly lower GPAs and MCAT scores than MD schools. For someone who wants to do primary care, either the MD and DO degree would serve them well. For someone who wants to specialize in a competitive field like orthopedics, neurosurgery, or dermatology, an MD would definitely be better. For anesthesiology in particular, I'd say the MD would be an advantage, but either would do.
    Goro and Pediatrician1971 like this.
  11. Pediatrician1971


    Dec 5, 2016
    Forgive me for not responding, deeply appreciate you answering the questions with sincerity. Anyways I am constantly scrolling through the forums and learning so much more as I read more about undergrad. For now I will just focus on graduating high school first. When you said 90% of pre-Med don't make it to med school, is this due to the competitive nature of the situation or based on lack of interest?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  12. Pediatrician1971


    Dec 5, 2016
    Appreciate the advice! Definitely will keep that in mind after high school. I love the in-sight to what college is like. Not sure if this is the mind set that every new freshman is going to have in college, but I could live without a social life. Basically heads in the books, I guess. I am not giving up on anything just quiet yet, maybe things will change but as for now still headstrong about the idea of being a pre med student.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  13. Pediatrician1971


    Dec 5, 2016
    Truly motivated me. I don't have guidance due to the fact that I have no relatives that studied for medical professions. I am still trying to figure things out slowly as college starts to come closer. After reading couple of post on people trying to study for the MCAT during high school and getting obliterated by the community, I definitely am taking things slowly.
  14. Pediatrician1971


    Dec 5, 2016
    I assure you, I am taking on the same work ethic as you in high school. My goal right now is to change it up with the remaining years of high school. Reading my post again made me cringe. The ignorance of my goal of being an anesthesiologist. I guess it was just people easily influence me. As for your GPA, that is amazing! Sorry for the constant questioning, but does a 3.9 GPA mean you basically miss none to little questions on your exams?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  15. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    The difficulty of the pre-med coursework. They're not called weeding courses for nothing. And yes, it's also very competitive, as only 40% of all MD school applicants get an accept. The accept rate at most med schools is about 3-9%.
  16. Pediatrician1971


    Dec 5, 2016
    Thank you for the word of wisdom. To think about it, I don't even know what college I want to go to :nailbiting: After getting these advices, I think it calmed me down. Long story short, I was worrying more about the MCAT more then the SAT/ACT at this point of time. I hope to see you later in my post later when premed comes but for now I think I know enough of what I have to do to prepare for college.
    Ambitiousstudent likes this.

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