Schools think that I needed 5 yrs to graduate, but my 5th yr was to improve GPA

Dec 1, 2010
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I had enough credits done and had all my requirements completed to graduate after my fourth year.

Though, I took a 5th year at my university (which was last year... Fall 2009 and Spring 2010)...for the sole purpose of improving my GPA.

I figured it would be obvious to med schools that I took my 5th year solely to raise my GPA.

Though, on a recent interview, one of the interviewees asked me: "If you had to take 5 years to get through undergraduate school, what makes you think you can handle a med school course load?".

So, apparently it is not so obvious why I spent a 5th year at my undergraduate university.

So, do you think I should email every school and let them know why I took a 5th year, just to avoid any confusion? I mean, I certainly would look at Person A who took 5 years to graduate in a much different way as I would look at Person B who took the usual 4 years.
 

jm192

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I had enough credits done and had all my requirements completed to graduate after my fourth year.

Though, I took a 5th year at my university (which was last year... Fall 2009 and Spring 2010)...for the sole purpose of improving my GPA.

I figured it would be obvious to med schools that I took my 5th year solely to raise my GPA.

Though, on a recent interview, one of the interviewees asked me: "If you had to take 5 years to get through undergraduate school, what makes you think you can handle a med school course load?".

So, apparently it is not so obvious why I spent a 5th year at my undergraduate university.

So, do you think I should email every school and let them know why I took a 5th year, just to avoid any confusion? I mean, I certainly would look at Person A who took 5 years to graduate in a much different way as I would look at Person B who took the usual 4 years.
No.

The interview is definitely where you take care of this. The interviewer doesn't care that you took 5 years to graduate, or that you took an extra year. What really happened isn't the essence of the question.

There was a 5th year. He wanted to know why. I wanted to raise my GPA is the wrong answer. I wasn't really the most serious of students, and I felt I needed an extra year to improve my time management, study skills, and boost my GPA probably sounds a little better.
 

ILikeDrugs

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I remember reading my school's newspaper about 4 years ago, there was an article that stated that more than 1/2 of all students took 5 years to graduate. It may not be that uncommon these days with all the cut-backs. Then again, this was a Cal State school with 40k students experiencing cut-backs.

I actually took 6 years because a class that I thought was suppose to satisfy a requirement turned out to not satisfy that requirement. I didn't realize this till October came around and still had not received my degree. That's when I called and was informed that I didn't graduate. :oops:
 
OP
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Dec 1, 2010
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No.

The interview is definitely where you take care of this. The interviewer doesn't care that you took 5 years to graduate, or that you took an extra year. What really happened isn't the essence of the question.

There was a 5th year. He wanted to know why. I wanted to raise my GPA is the wrong answer. I wasn't really the most serious of students, and I felt I needed an extra year to improve my time management, study skills, and boost my GPA probably sounds a little better.
True, that is a great way to answer that question at an interview.

However, I'm not really concerned with how I should answer that question at an interview, as I have already gone on most of my interviews. And at those interviews, nobody else asked me that question.

I just have no idea if all the med schools are looking at my application and thinking that I needed 5 years to graduate because I couldn't handle the course load in 4 years. I just want to know if it seems a bit rude or odd to email them and just let them know that I didn't really need that 5th year to graduate.
 
Oct 9, 2010
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I just want to know if it seems a bit rude or odd to email them and just let them know that I didn't really need that 5th year to graduate.
It's not rude if you contact them to tell them that you didn't need a fifth year, but they'll think you're crazy. I.e. if you say you didn't need it then why did you take it? ("to boost my GPA" is not something you want to tell an adcom- for one thing, if it already isn't painfully obvious to you, you're shining a spotlight on your flaw and saying "hey! please pay careful attention to my poor grades from before in the basic science courses that I openly admit I couldn't handle") Did you have money you so badly wanted to burn? But those are minor questions that come secondarily to why is this crazy person wasting my time by telling me this?
 
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getright

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Now what if you graduate in 5 years with a 160 credits? I've changed my major a bunch of times lol.
 
Jan 17, 2010
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I just want to know if it seems a bit rude or odd to email them and just let them know that I didn't really need that 5th year to graduate.
Not rude, but not a good idea. You're saying that your communication skills are below par, you explained something poorly. Let it drop lest you call more attention to it. Lots of applicants didn't graduate in 4 years.


I remember reading my school's newspaper about 4 years ago, there was an article that stated that more than 1/2 of all students took 5 years to graduate. It may not be that uncommon these days with all the cut-backs. Then again, this was a Cal State school with 40k students experiencing cut-backs.

I actually took 6 years because a class that I thought was suppose to satisfy a requirement turned out to not satisfy that requirement. I didn't realize this till October came around and still had not received my degree. That's when I called and was informed that I didn't graduate. :oops:
In addition to the budget issues, many CSU students work part or full time and can't graduate in 4 years anyhow (even if they could get classes when they need them). I'd bet OP went to a public school, most privates aren't happy about students staying more than 8 semesters undergrad. And doing so can be expensive.
 
OP
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Not rude, but not a good idea. You're saying that your communication skills are below par, you explained something poorly. Let it drop lest you call more attention to it. Lots of applicants didn't graduate in 4 years.

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By emailing "them", I meant all of the other schools I applied to... not the one that asked me about this 4yr/5yr deal at my interview. I'm fine with what I told that specific school at that interview, and I'm actually glad they asked me about it at that interview so I could let them know what I was doing for the 5th year. What I'm worried about is all the other schools.
 

DaisyBuchanan

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OP, I really wouldn't worry about it. I'm kind of surprised you got asked that question at all. If schools want to know about it, they'll ask... otherwise, I wouldn't bring it up.
 

boggvir

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I took like eight years to graduate (work). Don't worry about it.
 
Jan 17, 2010
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By emailing "them", I meant all of the other schools I applied to... not the one that asked me about this 4yr/5yr deal at my interview. I'm fine with what I told that specific school at that interview, and I'm actually glad they asked me about it at that interview so I could let them know what I was doing for the 5th year. What I'm worried about is all the other schools.
You gonna tell them why you didn't have more clinical hours?
Or why the B's you got weren't A's?
Or why you didn't have broader ECs?

No, of course not. Do what you want, but I think you're just being neurotic. You really just need to let go and not worry about it.