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Stronghopeful

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Just concluded my sophomore year, the past 3 semesters have gone totally bad.

Freshman year:
1st semester- 3.6
A in CHM I
A in MTH I
B in BIO I
B+ in PHL

2nd semester- 2.79
B in CHM II
B+ in MTH II
C- in BIO II
B in WRT

Sophomore year: 3.17
1st semester-
A- in ORGO I
B+ in RSCH
C+ in Genetics
B+ in Neuro

2nd semester- 3.00
A- in RSCH
B in ORGO II
C+ in Biochem
C+ in Neuropsy.

I'm sitting on a cumulative of 3.14 with 65 hours of credit. Am I completely screwed? The mistake I made is that I took 2-3 hard classes at once, which I will not be doing next year. Do I still have a chance? I'm afraid that I can't pull back and show because a lot of the requirement bio classes I have completely tanked in
 

FattySlug

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You really have to pull up your GPA. You need at least a 3.4 to have a reasonable chance at MD. If that is not possible you can look into DO. Take a year off after graduation to do your MCAT to make sure you get 30+.

You still have 2 years left. Study like crazy and aim for 4.0 every semester. MCAT you can retake but a low GPA is very hard to fix. Good luck.
 

MedAdComMD

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Take 3 more years of full-time classes + 1-2 classes in the summer.

2 years of bad grades is definitely redeemable (3.0 + 3.0 + 4.0 + 4.0 + 4.0)/5 = a respectable 3.6.
 

tonesofheresy

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Hey guys, I'd like some serious/honest input regarding this...though I know most of you are in the same boat as me in terms of how little we really know about what reasons medical school will find to deny admission...I have a friend with a 3.97 GPA overall and got denied...but anyway, I've been out of high school for 8 years now. I took two years off and have one semester that was ruined due to legal reasons (ended up failing/retaking everything). I was physically unable to take my finals, so there's a chance, albeit slim, that I can get the semester removed from my transcript, but in any case, I have a 3.6 GPA (with grade-replacements honored) which probably means a 3.2 or something if they don't remove that particular semester. I took this April MCAT and got a 39, which I understand is pretty decent, so I'm wondering if I should apply to "brand name" schools or set the bar a little lower in light of my low GPA. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I failed to mention that I'll be graduating in Fall (maybe next May) with 3 or 4 degrees...will the extra degrees help explain the extra time it took to graduate? Or will they just make it look like I want to be a perpetual student to avoid actual work? I'm so torn...

SECOND EDIT: My actual breakdown for the MCAT was PS: 13, VR: 11, BS: 15 (this one surprised me...I was sure the PS and BS would be switched, but *shrug*)
 

MedAdComMD

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Hey guys, I'd like some serious/honest input regarding this...though I know most of you are in the same boat as me in terms of how little we really know about what reasons medical school will find to deny admission...I have a friend with a 3.97 GPA overall and got denied...but anyway, I've been out of high school for 8 years now. I took two years off and have one semester that was ruined due to legal reasons (ended up failing/retaking everything). I was physically unable to take my finals, so there's a chance, albeit slim, that I can get the semester removed from my transcript, but in any case, I have a 3.6 GPA (with grade-replacements honored) which probably means a 3.2 or something if they don't remove that particular semester. I took this April MCAT and got a 39, which I understand is pretty decent, so I'm wondering if I should apply to "brand name" schools or set the bar a little lower in light of my low GPA. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I failed to mention that I'll be graduating in Fall (maybe next May) with 3 or 4 degrees...will the extra degrees help explain the extra time it took to graduate? Or will they just make it look like I want to be a perpetual student to avoid actual work? I'm so torn...

SECOND EDIT: My actual breakdown for the MCAT was PS: 13, VR: 11, BS: 15 (this one surprised me...I was sure the PS and BS would be switched, but *shrug*)

Your MCAT will redeem your 3.2 GPA, but if you do get a 3.6, then you would be competitive at any MD schools.
 

Stronghopeful

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Anyone know if I should retake these classes for MD? What additional courses in Biology should I take, if I should take any next year?

Right now I have Inorganic and Physics in my courseload next semester. I think with a lighter courseload, I will excel better, so it may be better just to stick with that and not add difficult courses?
 

Stronghopeful

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I'm a realist not an idealist and so far it's looking dim for me in MD.

Freshman year:
1st semester- 3.6
A in CHM I
A in MTH I
B in BIO I
B+ in PHL

2nd semester- 2.79
B in CHM II
B+ in MTH II
C- in BIO II
B in WRT

Sophomore year: 3.17
1st semester-
A- in ORGO I
B+ in RSCH
C+ in Genetics
B+ in Neuro

2nd semester- 2.84
A- in RSCH
B in ORGO II
C+ in Biochem
C+ in Neuropsy.

Cumulative is 3.09 with 65 hours. I haven't gotten higher than a B+ in all bio classes, chem is my best area so far...which is of course what I'm majoring in.

How (for a lack of a better word) ****ed am I? I think the problem is I took too many difficult courses at once so it was hard to focus on any one course really well. Next year I'm not doing that by only taking Inorganic and Physics.

Suggestions on what I can do to improve my GPA, what courses I should take, whether I should retake some stuff, or should I just quit now. My GPA does not at all reflect my aptitude nor does it reflect the knowledge I have of those subjects. I will do very well on the MCAT, I'm sure.


My E.C.'s/Clinical so far is outstanding. Currently I'm working at a lab that works with diabetes and I understand things very well.
 

Stronghopeful

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If you're serious about becoming a physician, I would do a post bacc and/or apply DO. Both would likely increase your chances at getting in. Make no mistake though: that GPA is going to hurt.

What courses should I take to make up for my horrible performance in bio courses especially
 

Propylene

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What courses should I take to make up for my horrible performance in bio courses especially

Some more science classes. High grades in physiology and biochemistry could help there, but boosting that sGPA is key. Show them you can handle a couple of difficult science courses.
 

barcoderider

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If you really want to do this you need to get all A's from here on out. If you wait until you graduate to apply your GPA will be a much more competitive 3.55 or so. You can definitely still pull this off, you will just need every other part of your app to be stellar. Don't write yourself off yet.
 

estradiol9

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You're not hopeless at all. You still have a few semesters left before you apply. Maybe you can take a biology class over the summer? Sometimes when you only have one class to focus on, you do better. What classes are you taking in the fall? When are you taking the MCAT?

You've taken a lot of science courses so far. I would try to pick up some general requirements that you think you can get an A in. These will help raise your cumulative GPA. While taking those, take a smaller amount of science classes perhaps? Maybe just one or two per semester. I did my worst the one semester I decided to take Physics II, two upper level biology courses, General Chemistry II, and their respective lab courses.

If you can't find a way to improve your GPA to where you want it, you can do an SMP like another person mentioned. Study hard for your MCAT. Bad GPA + Good MCAT = not so bad. Bad GPA + Bad MCAT = bad.
 

Barcu

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Re-evaluate your study methods. Figure out why you can't handle those courseloads. You need to be able to if you want to get into and succeed in med school. Taking a lower science workload may help your gpa, but it's not going to do you many favors when med school rolls around.
 

Espadaleader

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Never give up bro. You need to chill out with classes though. ORGO II, Biochem, Neuropsy, and RSCH - too much power. Science classes are like electron withdrawing groups: they "withdraw your intellectual density". Get some electron donating classes like humanities lol.
 

Stronghopeful

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What I'm really worried about is that med schools will think that I'm horrible at biology itself.

I mean I've gotten a B, C-, B+, C+, C+, C+...that looks absolutely terrible.
Does not taking bio courses my junior year affect me in that regard? Cause I wanna fully focus on Inorganic and Physics this time. And because I'm highly math oriented, I'll likely do well.
 

SarahBellum1

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I'm basically in the same boat as you...Seriously, don't give up! If you really want to go to med school, you'll make it happen one way or another. You should for sure wait until after senior year to apply (that's what I'm doing). And like others have said, figure out how you're studying wrong, and change it. Make sure to set aside a lot of time to focus on studying for the MCAT. I'm studying this summer like it's my job. Depending on your MCAT score, then decide if you need to do SMP, post-bacc, etc. But it's definitely not over.
 

Stronghopeful

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I think the problem is I never go to classes, and only study from the books....but another problem is that I'm very mathematically oriented, so I suck at reading. Anyone know how to reading comprehension?
 

Barcu

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I think the problem is I never go to classes, and only study from the books....but another problem is that I'm very mathematically oriented, so I suck at reading. Anyone know how to reading comprehension?

Why don't you go to class? Reinforcing the material many times through class, books, and studying in groups really helped me get through bio classes. Try new strategies if you aren't doing well. Don't just continue doing the same thing that doesn't work.
 

Monocles

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    I think the problem is I never go to classes, and only study from the books....but another problem is that I'm very mathematically oriented, so I suck at reading. Anyone know how to reading comprehension?

    Well, go to class. A lot of times professors test you on specific things that they cover in lectures that aren't in your textbooks. Also, if you're having trouble or struggling with having so many biology courses per semester, have you thought about taking less each semester? Taking 3+ science courses can be a tough load with labs, and if you're teaching yourself all the materials from the books, then you're definitely going to have a tougher time than someone who is only taking 2, etc.
     

    Stronghopeful

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    Well, go to class. A lot of times professors test you on specific things that they cover in lectures that aren't in your textbooks. Also, if you're having trouble or struggling with having so many biology courses per semester, have you thought about taking less each semester? Taking 3+ science courses can be a tough load with labs, and if you're teaching yourself all the materials from the books, then you're definitely going to have a tougher time than someone who is only taking 2, etc.

    Yeah I understand this now. Will there be any negative consequences of not taking any Biology course for Jr. year because my only science classes will be Inorganic and PHYSICS
     

    Juicec

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    I think the problem is I never go to classes, and only study from the books....but another problem is that I'm very mathematically oriented, so I suck at reading. Anyone know how to reading comprehension?

    You can't honestly be searching for answers of why you keep getting C's when you never attend class can you? I mean professors specifically teach what they expect you to learn for exams and tests, if your never there to learn it you would be expected to simply know the entire textbook inside and out which simply wont happen inside a 4 month semester.

    Go to class like everyone else and watch your grades drastically improve.
     

    Stronghopeful

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    You can't honestly be searching for answers of why you keep getting C's when you never attend class can you? I mean professors specifically teach what they expect you to learn for exams and tests, if your never there to learn it you would be expected to simply know the entire textbook inside and out which simply wont happen inside a 4 month semester.

    Go to class like everyone else and watch your grades drastically improve.

    Can't wake myself up in the morning? Even if I do go to class, I fall asleep Guess that has to change
     

    Tapepsi

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    Can't wake myself up in the morning? Even if I do go to class, I fall asleep Guess that has to change

    It MUST. Believe it or not there is a correlation between performance on tests and class atttendance. You need to be there in the classroom. Find someone who you can make sure you're awake or set 3 alarms. Just make sure you are in class!!!! Do you drink coffee or any type of caffeine? If you don't, start now.

    Edit: Taken directly from my physiology syllabus: "Attendance is not required. However, based on past experience, no student who has missed more than 3 classes has received a grade higher than a C."
     
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    nabeel76

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    I think you'd be better off taking a 5th year to graduate and then applying after - or at the end of that 5th year. You mentioned you were a chem major, and therefore your not going to have the luxury of taking only 1 or 2 science classes a semester. You still have classes like PChem, Inorganic Chem, Physics, Instrumental Analysis, and Analytical Chemistry left. Not to mention several upper level chem electives, including probably another semester of biochem, and various chem labs, just to complete your degree.

    I agree with your sentiment that your track record makes you look as if your biology is not your thing, which is not a good thing considering you want to apply to medical schools. Therefore your going to have to salvage your GPA here by excelling in your Gen Ed courses and Chem courses first. After you've finished those requirements, hold off applying for graduation a year and use that 5th year to knock out several upper level bio's - at least 2 a semester, but I would do 3, and beat them down... show them no mercy, cause your going to have to prove that you can carry a full load of biological sciences prior to application.

    Good Luck
     

    fizzgig

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    go whether you fall asleep or not. sit at the front. doodle. learn to write with your other hand. whatever keeps you up and taking notes and listening as best you can. i totally understand class induced coma, but go anyway. i've had profs sing to me at the end of class to call me out, and put graded papers on my head while i was sleeping. i missed stuff, yes, but not nearly as much as if i'd not gone at all (especially because it's not like you're reviewing super efficiently on your own during that classtime...)
     

    hiyaman

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    If you really want to do this you need to get all A's from here on out. If you wait until you graduate to apply your GPA will be a much more competitive 3.55 or so. You can definitely still pull this off, you will just need every other part of your app to be stellar. Don't write yourself off yet.

    This, if you get straight A's preferably. This is basically what I did to raise my GPA. goodluck :luck:
     

    nabeel76

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    It MUST. Believe it or not there is a correlation between performance on tests and class atttendance. You need to be there in the classroom. Find someone who you can make sure you're awake or set 3 alarms. Just make sure you are in class!!!!

    Edit: Taken directly from my physiology syllabus: "Attendance is not required. However, based on past experience, no student who has missed more than 3 classes has received a grade higher than a C."

    This really depends on your learning style, I am completely a visual learner and get little to nothing out of auditory lectures, especially science lectures. They are largely useless unless you've already done the reading and/or studying prior to the lecture - which I was never able to do consistently, if at all.

    In my experience, I managed to always be at the top of the class by using the teacher as a resource instead. I studied the powerpoints and the textbook and then if I had any questions, I would go to office hours and get them hashed out only AFTER I had done the reading and attempted to figure it out on my own first.

    At least for me, this worked like a charm... I was always more critically involved in the learning process after I had attempted to do it on my own, as opposed to sitting in a lecture in which I haven't yet had the time to read anything and passively listening to some science teacher ramble on about the order of some complicated signal transduction pathway etc.

    This might not work for all, but like I said it depends on your learning style. For me it saved me a lot of time that went into actually studying for the material. It also got me into office hours here-and-there and therefore helped secure several good LOR's.

    Caveat: just make sure you have a buddy or two in the class that can inform you of date changes, assignments, handouts, or any points that the instructor might have emphasized in terms of testing material. Also make sure you go to all exam reviews.
     

    Nebby

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    You still have a ways to go, leaving you time for improvement. Where there's a will, there's a way. Besides, what has "quitting" ever accomplished?
     

    Stronghopeful

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    I appreciate the advice.

    I have two main questions now:

    1) Is it worth retaking any classes?
    2) Which bio classes are available for me to take to prove that I can excel?
     

    startswithb

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    Follow these posters' study advice.

    Read my mdapps. You can get there.
     

    two thirty

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    Eh, I skip class all the time and I do fine.

    Your problem seems to be your tough semesters. I've capped out at 2 sciences(usually 12-14 hours total) a semester(my AP credit and nonscience major allow for this) and it is much easier to manage.
     

    senorsquishie

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    Retaking I'm not sure, I am sure others will advise you, but I advise taking upper level Bios to prove you can do it. The whole point of GPA is to show you can handle Med school.

    This doesn't mean you have to do it by yourself. Profs have office hours for a reason. Schools have tutoring centers. If you struggle, don't resist going. No one but you is going to know you went to a tutor to get that A much less care.
     

    YouNeverKnow22

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    Eh, I skip class all the time and I do fine.

    Your problem seems to be your tough semesters. I've capped out at 2 sciences(usually 12-14 hours total) a semester(my AP credit and nonscience major allow for this) and it is much easier to manage.

    :thumbup:
     

    searun

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    What I'm really worried about is that med schools will think that I'm horrible at biology itself.

    I mean I've gotten a B, C-, B+, C+, C+, C+...that looks absolutely terrible.
    Does not taking bio courses my junior year affect me in that regard? Cause I wanna fully focus on Inorganic and Physics this time. And because I'm highly math oriented, I'll likely do well.

    Yeah, that series of grades does look good. Hopefully, the Ad Comm will not linger over this and move on. So they may think you are average at biology, not bad at biology.
     

    Stronghopeful

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    Yeah, that series of grades does look good. Hopefully, the Ad Comm will not linger over this and move on. So they may think you are average at biology, not bad at biology.
    That's not what I want...I want at least 3-4 A's in bio classes to balance it out
     

    TriagePreMed

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    Stop moving my threads please. I'm not looking for advice from this section, plus it's really slow here...rather get extra advice from the original section it was in.
    Like it or not, this is the appropriate section.
     

    SN1

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    It MUST. Believe it or not there is a correlation between performance on tests and class atttendance. You need to be there in the classroom. Find someone who you can make sure you're awake or set 3 alarms. Just make sure you are in class!!!! Do you drink coffee or any type of caffeine? If you don't, start now.

    Edit: Taken directly from my physiology syllabus: "Attendance is not required. However, based on past experience, no student who has missed more than 3 classes has received a grade higher than a C."


    Absolutely:thumbup:

    I NEVER missed a single class in my entire undergraduate career. Got a 4.0 so far.
     

    Stronghopeful

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    Just calculated my overall bio GPA:

    2.38 on 17 credits

    I just don't see how I can recover at this point?
     

    TriagePreMed

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    Just calculated my overall bio GPA:

    2.38 on 17 credits

    I just don't see how I can recover at this point?
    40 units at A- would get you around a 3.3, which is DO competitive and may be accepted at some MD programs if the overall is 3.6 and a competitive MCAT. I wouldn't get discouraged if I were you.
     

    Stronghopeful

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    40 units at A- would get you around a 3.3, which is DO competitive and may be accepted at some MD programs if the overall is 3.6 and a competitive MCAT. I wouldn't get discouraged if I were you.

    When should I take the 23 extra credits?
     
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