Mar 15, 2010
2
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello, I am currently a junior in my spring semester at UF. I am projecting to get a 4.0 this semester to boost my gpa but my overall gpa is 2.75 and my science gpa i think lower but i do not know how to calculate that factoring retakes. I am aiming to consistently do well from now on and project to have around a 3.3 by the time i graduate in 2011. I had three bad semesters in my first two years which caused me to have a poor gpa now but I am steadily raising it up. I will have A's in the two science courses I am taking this semester. I will try to retake 3-4 courses this summer and am determined to still reach med school. I do not plan on taking the mcat until after I graduate in 2011 so that i have more time to study. I would like to know what my options are and what steps I need to take to make med school a possibility after these setbacks. Should I look into post bac's and smps? What do you think? Any advice would be greatly appreciated :) (sorry for the long post)
 

Morsetlis

I wish I were a dentist
7+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2010
4,924
37
161
31
The "Garden" State
Status
Resident [Any Field]
How to calculate GPA, AMCAS style:

Add up all the graded/earned credits (as in, making an A in a four-credit class gives you 100% of a 4.00, making a B in a four-credit class gives you 75% of a 4.00, which is 3.00. Making a C in a three-credit class gives you 50% of a 3.00, which is 1.50 credits.)

Divide this by all the taken credits (a four-credit class gives 4.00 credits taken, a three-credit class gives 3.00 credits taken, etc.)

This gives you a percentage.

Multiply by 4.00.

Ignore pass/fail classes.

Alternative method:

Use the Internet.
 

aztri

Swim. Bike. Run.
5+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2009
73
0
91
Phoenix Art Museum
Status
Pre-Medical
What is your major? Foremost, you should always be prepared to have a back up plan. Typically, when someone prepares for medical school, they acquire such achievements and experiences that they are plenty qualified for alternative career paths. That's not to discourage you from med school, it's to give you a safety in case it doesn't work out perfectly (i.e. it takes more than one application round to get accepted or you have to take the mcat more than once - both of which are not uncommon in the least).

Right now, you need to focus on improving your gpa, which by the sounds of it you are. It is always better to have your gpa improve over time rather than the reverse. A 3.3 overall will still be fairly low for a straight forward acceptance so may need to do a post bac or a master's program to pull up your gpa more. There are several options with the master's programs. Aside from standard programs (typically 2yrs with a research project), there are 4+1 master's programs that combine your undergrad with a 1yr master's, which allows you to graduate in 5yrs. UF offers these programs:

http://www.admissions.ufl.edu/ugrad/combdegreecontacts.html

Another type of master's program that you may be interested in is called a Special Master's Program (SMP), which allows you to have a "linkage" to affiliated medical schools (and sometimes DO, Dental, etc. schools). Antoher reason to pursue a postbac or master's is that generally secondary applications will ask you what you have done in your time off after graduation. It is much easier to say you were still a student pursuing additional education.

How are your extracirriculars (ECs)? Have you spent time in a clinical setting, doing research, volunteering, tutoring, working, etc? Having devoted time to at least the first three of these is crucial for two reasons. 1) It shows you have dedicated time to a diverse set of activities, that you pursued your interest in gaining more knowledge and becoming more well-rounded, and that you have explored clinical so you know you like it as well as other things so you know what you are capable, but do not necessarily want to pursue (i.e you've done research and think it's very important, but don't want to work in a lab for the rest of your life). 2) You need exceptional letters of rec (LORs). They need to say more than she got an A in my class. They need to say I can think of no one better to become a physician and it would be a mistake not to let her in. You commit some time to these activities so you can talk about them in your interview and write about them in your amcas application. It's much better to say I committed 100 hours of volunteering at so-and-so organization, than I was there for a couple weeks and thought it was cool.

When you take your mcat, make sure you are doing decently well on the practice tests before you take the real thing. Once you take it (and if you don't void it) the score is on your record forever. After 3 years it expires (med schools won't accept it), but I'm pretty sure it remains visible on your record. You can refer to the SDN mcat thread for more mcat advice.

When you apply, you MUST follow this one piece of advice: Apply as soon as amcas opens. This is a MUST! You need to be one of the first applications the committee sees so that they feel more compelled to give you an interview and then an acceptance. When you apply, choose schools broadly. Use the MSAR as a guide to compare your stats.

Start writing your personal statement soon. Just a rough draft. By the time you apply, it should be rewritten a few times to perfection. Have as many people as you can look at it. Everyone is looking for some little thing or they do like this other thing. You need as much constructive criticism as you can get. You ECs are important too. Make sure to include detail and ensure than they are well written.

Wish you the best of luck :)
 
Mar 15, 2010
2
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
What is your major? Foremost, you should always be prepared to have a back up plan. Typically, when someone prepares for medical school, they acquire such achievements and experiences that they are plenty qualified for alternative career paths. That's not to discourage you from med school, it's to give you a safety in case it doesn't work out perfectly (i.e. it takes more than one application round to get accepted or you have to take the mcat more than once - both of which are not uncommon in the least).

Right now, you need to focus on improving your gpa, which by the sounds of it you are. It is always better to have your gpa improve over time rather than the reverse. A 3.3 overall will still be fairly low for a straight forward acceptance so may need to do a post bac or a master's program to pull up your gpa more. There are several options with the master's programs. Aside from standard programs (typically 2yrs with a research project), there are 4+1 master's programs that combine your undergrad with a 1yr master's, which allows you to graduate in 5yrs. UF offers these programs:

http://www.admissions.ufl.edu/ugrad/combdegreecontacts.html

Another type of master's program that you may be interested in is called a Special Master's Program (SMP), which allows you to have a "linkage" to affiliated medical schools (and sometimes DO, Dental, etc. schools). Antoher reason to pursue a postbac or master's is that generally secondary applications will ask you what you have done in your time off after graduation. It is much easier to say you were still a student pursuing additional education.

How are your extracirriculars (ECs)? Have you spent time in a clinical setting, doing research, volunteering, tutoring, working, etc? Having devoted time to at least the first three of these is crucial for two reasons. 1) It shows you have dedicated time to a diverse set of activities, that you pursued your interest in gaining more knowledge and becoming more well-rounded, and that you have explored clinical so you know you like it as well as other things so you know what you are capable, but do not necessarily want to pursue (i.e you've done research and think it's very important, but don't want to work in a lab for the rest of your life). 2) You need exceptional letters of rec (LORs). They need to say more than she got an A in my class. They need to say I can think of no one better to become a physician and it would be a mistake not to let her in. You commit some time to these activities so you can talk about them in your interview and write about them in your amcas application. It's much better to say I committed 100 hours of volunteering at so-and-so organization, than I was there for a couple weeks and thought it was cool.

When you take your mcat, make sure you are doing decently well on the practice tests before you take the real thing. Once you take it (and if you don't void it) the score is on your record forever. After 3 years it expires (med schools won't accept it), but I'm pretty sure it remains visible on your record. You can refer to the SDN mcat thread for more mcat advice.

When you apply, you MUST follow this one piece of advice: Apply as soon as amcas opens. This is a MUST! You need to be one of the first applications the committee sees so that they feel more compelled to give you an interview and then an acceptance. When you apply, choose schools broadly. Use the MSAR as a guide to compare your stats.

Start writing your personal statement soon. Just a rough draft. By the time you apply, it should be rewritten a few times to perfection. Have as many people as you can look at it. Everyone is looking for some little thing or they do like this other thing. You need as much constructive criticism as you can get. You ECs are important too. Make sure to include detail and ensure than they are well written.

Wish you the best of luck :)
My major is communicative disorders. I have taken all the prerequisites except for physics 2 and orgo 2 but will have them done by senior year. I have done extracurriculars such as volunteering in hospitals. I volunteered in one freshman year and am currently volunteering at two different hospitals a total of 9 hours per week. I worked last year at the O' Connell center doing a part time job. I spent time shadowing p.a.'s in different specialties, saw a surgeon do surgeries for around 10 hours and saw a pulmonary doctor work in his private office so I have observed these specialties. I volunteered overseas in a third world country one summer watching skin graft procedures/ burn victims. I have volunteered in a school organization since freshman that plays soccer with autistic children. I was also involved in a bunch of different clubs freshman year but never held any officer positions. I was on a history month committee briefly freshman year. This pretty much spans my extracurriculars at the moment. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me since my gpa is against me but I am willing to put the time and effort in. What do you think I should do after my bachelor's an smp or master's? What are the pros and cons and what would be best for my situation?