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Hey guys, so I had a pretty good GPA pre-covid, but ever since online learning, my grades are starting to slip. I got a B+ in one of my biology courses (not that that isn't a good grade but it will lower my GPA), and then one A- and an A in psych courses, but I'm more so focused on my STEM courses slipping. Will med school adcom's take into account the difficulty of online learning, or do you think I should stress myself out into trying to get A's like I previously did a bit more easily.

I'm obviously going to continue to push myself to do better and try to adjust good to this online learning, but I can't get this nagging thought out of my head that because I am unable to get a 4.0 like my other pre-med friends who aren't as affected with online learning (if anything, their grades are flourishing) than I don't have a chance.
 
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HouseJC

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No, you are more than your grades. You don't need a 4.0 GPA to get into medical school; please stop this neuroticism. You can have a 4.0 GPA, but if your MCAT is poor and ECs are weak, you won't get into medical school. It's the overall package that counts.

If you want some food for thought on your grades, then perhaps address why your grades began to slip. Are you falling behind on your classes and lectures due to the virtual format? Are you less engaged/motivated to study? Don't stress yourself out by seeing it as a failure (again, I'm not saying you are failing your classes). Rather, see your drop in grades as an opportunity for growth.
 
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Hey guys, so I had a pretty good GPA pre-covid, but ever since online learning, my grades are starting to slip. I got a B+ in one of my biology courses (not that that isn't a good grade but it will lower my GPA), and then one A- and an A in psych courses, but I'm more so focused on my STEM courses slipping. Will med school adcom's take into account the difficulty of online learning, or do you think I should stress myself out into trying to get A's like I previously did a bit more easily.

I'm obviously going to continue to push myself to do better and try to adjust good to this online learning, but I can't get this nagging thought out of my head that because I am unable to get a 4.0 like my other pre-med friends who aren't as affected with online learning (if anything, their grades are flourishing) than I don't have a chance.
You may be able to explain in your applications. So just focus on compensating in other activities and other semesters now. Good luck
 
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In life, whenever someone asks if they should freak out, the answer is invariably "no". Freaking out will never help the situation. Do the best you can under these current circumstances. GPA is admittedly important, but is only one of many metrics that we look at. And as @HouseJC said, you do not need a 4.0 GPA to get into medical school. Just look at admissions statistics from the MSAR.

Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing who and which classes are more affected by online learning, so I would not bank on schools taking "into account the difficulty of online learning". However, we are mindful that the COVID pandemic is affecting some students more than others (e.g death(s) in the family, unemployment, access to reliable internet, etc), and have been taking these factors into consideration. Many secondaries either directly ask about the impact of COVID, or have an optional essay where extenuating circumstances can be discussed. Best of luck
 
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Goro

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Hey guys, so I had a pretty good GPA pre-covid, but ever since online learning, my grades are starting to slip. I got a B+ in one of my biology courses (not that that isn't a good grade but it will lower my GPA), and then one A- and an A in psych courses, but I'm more so focused on my STEM courses slipping. Will med school adcom's take into account the difficulty of online learning, or do you think I should stress myself out into trying to get A's like I previously did a bit more easily.

I'm obviously going to continue to push myself to do better and try to adjust good to this online learning, but I can't get this nagging thought out of my head that because I am unable to get a 4.0 like my other pre-med friends who aren't as affected with online learning (if anything, their grades are flourishing) than I don't have a chance.
Med schools do not expect perfection and actually select against it.

Like virginity, there comes a time to lose one's 4.0 GPA.

That said, we expect you do do well in coursework, online or not. So don't get any Cs.
 
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KnightDoc

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Med schools do not expect perfection and actually select against it.

Like virginity, there comes a time to lose one's 4.0 GPA.

That said, we expect you do do well in coursework, online or not. So don't get any Cs.
Is this really true?????

I totally understand schools not expecting perfection, and how premeds being neurotic about less than perfect GPAs would be a turn off for adcoms. In a world of holistic reviews, however, do adcoms really, actually, honestly penalize candidates for perfect GPAs because they are a sign of gaming a transcript, or of being overly neurotic, as opposed to just being really, consistently smart? Is the person who is not necessarily neurotic, but just happens to do well in everything at a disadvantage for being able to do so?

Just like an occasional B or C is easily forgiven, can the same not be said for straight As?? Like professional sports teams trying to position for the next draft, do 4.0 students really have to tank at least one class in order to lose their virginity and avoided being selected against??? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Or is this just at @Goro's school? Or is @Goro conflating "resource protection" at certain schools with holding consistent academic excellence against candidates? Are really high MCAT scores (520+) also actually selected against by med schools, due to the neuroticism evidenced by the ability to achieve such a high score??

@LizzyM @gyngyn @Moko @Med Ed ???????
 
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Is this really true?????

I totally understand schools not expecting perfection, and how premeds being neurotic about less than perfect GPAs would be a turn off for adcoms. In a world of holistic reviews, however, do adcoms really, actually, honestly penalize candidates for perfect GPAs because they are a sign of gaming a transcript, or of being overly neurotic, as opposed to just being really, consistently smart? Is the person who is not necessarily neurotic, but just happens to do well in everything at a disadvantage for being able to do so?

Just like an occasional B or C is easily forgiven, can the same not be said for straight As?? Like professional sports teams trying to position for the next draft, do 4.0 students really have to tank at least one class in order to lose their virginity and avoided being selected against??? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Or is this just at @Goro's school? Or is @Goro conflating "resource protection" at certain schools with holding consistent academic excellence against candidates? Are really high MCAT scores (520+) also actually selected against by med schools, due to the neuroticism evidenced by the ability to achieve such a high score??

@LizzyM @gyngyn @Moko @Med Ed ???????
I don't know if that's true, but back in 2013 an Emory Adcom doc told me that they had a blanket policy of not interviewing 45's (the then-perfect score on the MCAT), because, I quote, "45's are weird."
 
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KnightDoc

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We actively avoid perfectionists.
I guess I understand that, but I don't understand the willingness to exclude the person who just happens to always get As in order to avoid the person who is neurotically, actively seeking them out, since there is no way to distinguish them without a deeper dive (interview).
 

KnightDoc

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I don't know if that's true, but back in 2013 an Emory Adcom doc told me that they had a blanket policy of not interviewing 45's (the then-perfect score on the MCAT), because, I quote, "45's are weird."
This doesn't shock me because it is consistent with the sentiments expressed by many, including me :), in the yield protection thread.

I am unfamiliar with 45s (before my time :)), but in today's world, 524+ is 100%-ile, which translates to around 350 test takers per year. 528 would be a tiny fraction of that (probably less than 70 out of 70,000 annual test takers). Whether or not they are "weird," they are, I'm sure, statistically extremely unlikely to enroll at Emory, so it's probably a decent call not to waste an II on them.

4.0s, on the other hand, are, as at least one adcom posting on SDN put it "a dime a dozen." That would be a ton of people to exclude from med school based on excellent grades, particularly in a holistic environment in which 2.5s are afforded an opportunity to reinvent themselves. Maybe someone needs to start a gap year post-bacc for 4.0s to attend to gather a few Bs in advanced basket weaving so premeds can show they are not perfect. :cool:
 
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I guess I understand that, but I don't understand the willingness to exclude the person who just happens to always get As in order to avoid the person who is neurotically, actively seeking them out, since there is no way to distinguish them without a deeper dive (interview).
I don't think they meant that literally. All of my high school friends at our state schools have 4.0's and they definitely aren't robotic, neurotic premeds by any stretch of the imagination. They also all pulled <510 on the MCAT so that should tell you something about what that 4.0 means in the context of the school.
 
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KnightDoc

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I don't think they meant that literally. All of my high school friends at our state schools have 4.0's and they definitely aren't robotic, neurotic premeds by any stretch of the imagination. They also all pulled <510 on the MCAT so that should tell you something about what that 4.0 means in the context of the school.
I agree, but two different adcoms did say it, literally!

Med schools do not expect perfection and actually select against it.

Like virginity, there comes a time to lose one's 4.0 GPA.

That said, we expect you do do well in coursework, online or not. So don't get any Cs.

We actively avoid perfectionists.
 

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I've interviewed 8 applicants with 4.0 and at least 3 have been offered admission so it is not a dream killer at my school.
 
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I agree, but two different adcoms did say it, literally!
Haha, I think it goes beyond just numbers. By "avoiding perfectionists" I think that means post-interview, at least the way I interpreted it; rejecting people solely based on a 4.0 sounds like a joke.
 

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I guess I understand that, but I don't understand the willingness to exclude the person who just happens to always get As in order to avoid the person who is neurotically, actively seeking them out, since there is no way to distinguish them without a deeper dive (interview).
We have a way.
 
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Hzreio

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Is this really true?????

I totally understand schools not expecting perfection, and how premeds being neurotic about less than perfect GPAs would be a turn off for adcoms. In a world of holistic reviews, however, do adcoms really, actually, honestly penalize candidates for perfect GPAs because they are a sign of gaming a transcript, or of being overly neurotic, as opposed to just being really, consistently smart? Is the person who is not necessarily neurotic, but just happens to do well in everything at a disadvantage for being able to do so?

Just like an occasional B or C is easily forgiven, can the same not be said for straight As?? Like professional sports teams trying to position for the next draft, do 4.0 students really have to tank at least one class in order to lose their virginity and avoided being selected against??? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Or is this just at @Goro's school? Or is @Goro conflating "resource protection" at certain schools with holding consistent academic excellence against candidates? Are really high MCAT scores (520+) also actually selected against by med schools, due to the neuroticism evidenced by the ability to achieve such a high score??

@LizzyM @gyngyn @Moko @Med Ed ???????

No, the message is not that schools dislike high stats. It's what high stats are sometimes correlated with
 
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KnightDoc

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No, the message is not that schools dislike high stats. It's what high stats are sometimes correlated with
Yes, of course. Nobody implied, and I did not read anyone's comments to mean, that high stats were disliked. I was honestly just trying to question whether @Goro's school "actually select[ing] against [perfect stats]" was really a thing at other schools, beyond the obvious explanation of resource protection at some schools.

@gyngyn's and @LizzyM's response were very helpful in clarifying that 4.0s are not lethal in and of themselves, and that, to the extent that they are the tip of a perfectionist red flag iceberg, schools have ways of figuring that out from the rest of the app. I get it, totally get why perfectionism could be a real problem in the pressure cooker of med school, and am grateful for the clarification!! :cool:
 
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Hzreio

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Yes, of course. Nobody implied, and I did not read anyone's comments to mean, that high stats were disliked. I was honestly just trying to question whether @Goro's school "actually select[ing] against [perfect stats]" was really a thing at other schools, beyond the obvious explanation of resource protection at some schools.

@gyngyn's and @LizzyM's response were very helpful in clarifying that 4.0s are not lethal in and of themselves, and that, to the extent that they are the tip of a perfectionist red flag iceberg, schools have ways of figuring that out from the rest of the app. I get it, totally get why perfectionism could be a real problem in the pressure cooker of med school, and am grateful for the clarification!! :cool:

I think this was a read between the lines situation
 
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HopeP

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Like virginity, there comes a time to lose one's 4.0 GPA.
And some become so emboldened from college freedom they do that in very first Q and then regains their senses.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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I don't know if that's true, but back in 2013 an Emory Adcom doc told me that they had a blanket policy of not interviewing 45's (the then-perfect score on the MCAT), because, I quote, "45's are weird."
Is that adcom still at Emory or moved on to different school?
 
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In life, whenever someone asks if they should freak out, the answer is invariably "no". Freaking out will never help the situation. Do the best you can under these current circumstances. GPA is admittedly important, but is only one of many metrics that we look at. And as @HouseJC said, you do not need a 4.0 GPA to get into medical school. Just look at admissions statistics from the MSAR.

Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing who and which classes are more affected by online learning, so I would not bank on schools taking "into account the difficulty of online learning". However, we are mindful that the COVID pandemic is affecting some students more than others (e.g death(s) in the family, unemployment, access to reliable internet, etc), and have been taking these factors into consideration. Many secondaries either directly ask about the impact of COVID, or have an optional essay where extenuating circumstances can be discussed. Best of luck
To be fair, I asked “Should I be freaking out?” when my girlfriend at the time texted me that we needed to talk. She ended up breaking up with me.

So you’re correct, there was nothing to freak out about. That girl straight up sucked yo
 
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gonnif

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This doesn't shock me because it is consistent with the sentiments expressed by many, including me :), in the yield protection thread.

I am unfamiliar with 45s (before my time :)), but in today's world, 524+ is 100%-ile, which translates to around 350 test takers per year. 528 would be a tiny fraction of that (probably less than 70 out of 70,000 annual test takers). Whether or not they are "weird," they are, I'm sure, statistically extremely unlikely to enroll at Emory, so it's probably a decent call not to waste an II on them.

4.0s, on the other hand, are, as at least one adcom posting on SDN put it "a dime a dozen." That would be a ton of people to exclude from med school based on excellent grades, particularly in a holistic environment in which 2.5s are afforded an opportunity to reinvent themselves. Maybe someone needs to start a gap year post-bacc for 4.0s to attend to gather a few Bs in advanced basket weaving so premeds can show they are not perfect. :cool:
I think the perfect/near-perfect GPA/MCAT raises the question: are they only a perfectionist or do they have more? Remember with at least 80% of applications per school needing to be weeded out prior to II, there is in many ways a negative attitude or process on evals.

The long-time perception across many adcoms members that I have spoken to over the years is wary of a "geek" or "nerd." These are the types who have perfect/near perfect academic records, hundreds/thousands of hours of research, an overflow of shadowing usually in some academic sub=specialty, ECs that are almost always school related (preaemic med club, journal club, TA, tutoring, etc). Often they have weak off-campus service, across culture, out of comfort zone, etc. In other words, no evidence of major interpersonal/social skills outside of the the academic bubble. Are they isolated OCD types who have spent four years in the Library and Lab? So I guess it is more important to see the "4.0" as just a flag to make sure they have the other skill sets necessary for success in medical school. Of course someone like the above may be more attractive the the research powerhouses and MSTP schools.

Additionally the "dime a dozen" of perfect/near-perfect is also the way that many students present themselves as something fantastic and is reason enough to accept them. Yes superior GPA and MCAT show that you are academically extremely well qualified, having the necessary student skill sets. This usually also indicates that you have the motivation, commitment, and time management to achieve the other needed skills and experiences to be considered. Since just under 90% of those with 3.8+/517+ get accepted this seems to the case.

some 1/4 to 1/3 of my students seeking advising on reapplication are these outstanding types who usually suffer from one or more of the following:
1) small, upper end school list
2) lack of clinical and/or community service
3) lack of clear motivation and commitment in PS/Secondaries

Very rarely do I meet a stereotypical "geek," though I have come across them. I recall one having nearly perfect GPA and MCAT but almost no outside activities. No matter how much I tried to suggest what the person needed, they insisted they would get a masters instead.
 
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HopeP

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Since just under 90% of those with 3.8+/517+ get accepted this seems to the case.
In other words only ~10% of those falls into
The long-time perception across many adcoms members that I have spoken to over the years is wary of a "geek" or "nerd." These are the types who have perfect/near perfect academic records, hundreds/thousands of hours of research, an overflow of shadowing usually in some academic sub=specialty, ECs that are almost always school related (preaemic med club, journal club, TA, tutoring, etc). Often they have weak off-campus service, across culture, out of comfort zone, etc. In other words, no evidence of major interpersonal/social skills outside of the the academic bubble. Are they isolated OCD types who have spent four years in the Library and Lab? So I guess it is more important to see the "4.0" as just a flag to make sure they have the other skill sets necessary for success in medical school. Of course someone like the above may be more attractive the the research powerhouses and MSTP schools.
 

KnightDoc

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I guess A- in 1 credit lab course in first semester did the trick for my kid :cool: He must be reading SDN too much.
More likely, it's his dad reading SDN too much!!! :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

And yes, congratulate him on his A- in his one credit lab. I'm sure THAT made all the difference in the world for him!! :cool:
 

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Hey guys, so I had a pretty good GPA pre-covid, but ever since online learning, my grades are starting to slip. I got a B+ in one of my biology courses (not that that isn't a good grade but it will lower my GPA), and then one A- and an A in psych courses, but I'm more so focused on my STEM courses slipping. Will med school adcom's take into account the difficulty of online learning, or do you think I should stress myself out into trying to get A's like I previously did a bit more easily.

I'm obviously going to continue to push myself to do better and try to adjust good to this online learning, but I can't get this nagging thought out of my head that because I am unable to get a 4.0 like my other pre-med friends who aren't as affected with online learning (if anything, their grades are flourishing) than I don't have a chance.
We already have 359853058 threads like this in pre-allo
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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I think the perfect/near-perfect GPA/MCAT raises the question: are they only a perfectionist or do they have more? Remember with at least 80% of applications per school needing to be weeded out prior to II, there is in many ways a negative attitude or process on evals.

The long-time perception across many adcoms members that I have spoken to over the years is wary of a "geek" or "nerd." These are the types who have perfect/near perfect academic records, hundreds/thousands of hours of research, an overflow of shadowing usually in some academic sub=specialty, ECs that are almost always school related (preaemic med club, journal club, TA, tutoring, etc). Often they have weak off-campus service, across culture, out of comfort zone, etc. In other words, no evidence of major interpersonal/social skills outside of the the academic bubble. Are they isolated OCD types who have spent four years in the Library and Lab? So I guess it is more important to see the "4.0" as just a flag to make sure they have the other skill sets necessary for success in medical school. Of course someone like the above may be more attractive the the research powerhouses and MSTP schools.

Additionally the "dime a dozen" of perfect/near-perfect is also the way that many students present themselves as something fantastic and is reason enough to accept them. Yes superior GPA and MCAT show that you are academically extremely well qualified, having the necessary student skill sets. This usually also indicates that you have the motivation, commitment, and time management to achieve the other needed skills and experiences to be considered. Since just under 90% of those with 3.8+/517+ get accepted this seems to the case.

some 1/4 to 1/3 of my students seeking advising on reapplication are these outstanding types who usually suffer from one or more of the following:
1) small, upper end school list
2) lack of clinical and/or community service
3) lack of clear motivation and commitment in PS/Secondaries

Very rarely do I meet a stereotypical "geek," though I have come across them. I recall one having nearly perfect GPA and MCAT but almost no outside activities. No matter how much I tried to suggest what the person needed, they insisted they would get a masters instead.
Thanks for the explanation and makes perfect sense. My only issue simple quotes like we don't want perfectionists or dime a dozen or age=maturity gives out wrong impression and those are the only things (and Alabama Trailer park) I disagree with adcoms :)
 
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More likely, it's his dad reading SDN too much!!! :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

And yes, congratulate him on his A- in his one credit lab. I'm sure THAT made all the difference in the world for him!! :cool:
No, I wasn't happy about A- in a lab, but I would have been fine with A- in underwater basket weaving to satisfy adcoms.
 
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KnightDoc

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No, I wasn't happy about A- in a lab, but I would have been fine with A- in underwater basket weaving to satisfy adcoms.
So, it turns out that your son is fine, but YOU are the perfectionist who would be rejected if you applied!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

You claim to be a stud at reading between the lines, but several adcoms have posted, on this very thread, that it's not the 4.0 that holds some candidates back, but what it represents, as confirmed elsewhere in the application. If their suspicions are true about an applicant, they won't be overcome by an A- in underwater basket weaving, so maybe you're not as good at reading between the lines as you think! :cool:
 

gonnif

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Thanks for the explanation and makes perfect sense. My only issue simple quotes like we don't want perfectionists or dime a dozen or age=maturity gives out wrong impression and those are the only things (and Alabama Trailer park) I disagree with adcoms :)

I think part of the issue is the difference in attitude of premeds and adcoms. Many premeds often view things on an application in the most optimistic way and this shapes the way they assume the process works. Adcoms must view them in a much more critical fashion and thus must ask both what is good about this application and what is bad about this application. The most common joke I used to explain this if a student says they can walk on water, an adcom may note "applicant cant swim"
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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So, it turns out that your son is fine, but YOU are the perfectionist who would be rejected if you applied!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
But I would have never achieved 4.0. I peaked in HS and that's why I spend too much time on SDN :)
 
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