kootz

not again!
Jan 25, 2010
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Baaahston.
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I've got great experience and recs and according to school feedback great essays.

My only problem is my GPA and GRE scores.

I could wait another year and apply for class of 2016 to take several science classes and get As as a school recommended.

OR I could reapply to Western were I got an interview and was then declined.

What do you think the best route is.

thanks!:D
 

nyanko

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How many times have you taken the GRE? Can you retake it? How low of a GPA are we talking?
 

marycatherine

working on the pre-reqs
Nov 14, 2009
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Would you be very happy at Western? If you love Western then why not re-apply?

If your GRE is one of your main problems, could you buckle-down this summer and retake it to improve your score and then reapply to a few schools? Or if you've got a particular school in mind (or want to have the most options) then you could certainly take the next year to really work on your application. I'm taking 2 years to get everything together (though I'm an English major, so I've got a lot to catch-up on.) I'm actually really looking forward to getting all of the experience and trying to make everything as good as I can (and try to bank some money while I'm at it!). If you don't mind waiting, then I don't see too much of a bad side.
 

gilch

VMRCVM
Oct 2, 2009
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I want to preface this by saying that I know very little about Western's acceptance policies. The way I understand it, they put high emphasis on having a diverse class and want people they think will be compatible with PBL. I've also heard that they are very forgiving/tolerant of low GPA/GRE.

Have you had a Western postmortem yet? Do you know why you were rejected? If it is diversity and/or PBL problem, there might not be much you can do about that. Are you doing some great unique experience now or in the near future that might help with either of these?

Just something to think about...
 
OP
kootz

kootz

not again!
Jan 25, 2010
72
0
0
Baaahston.
Status
Pre-Veterinary
How many times have you taken the GRE? Can you retake it? How low of a GPA are we talking?

I signed up for the GRE. It will be my 3rd time taking it... I think.

My science GPA is a 3.0 at a very tough undergrad school. I got C's in Chem.
 
OP
kootz

kootz

not again!
Jan 25, 2010
72
0
0
Baaahston.
Status
Pre-Veterinary
How many times have you taken the GRE? Can you retake it? How low of a GPA are we talking?
I want to preface this by saying that I know very little about Western's acceptance policies. The way I understand it, they put high emphasis on having a diverse class and want people they think will be compatible with PBL. I've also heard that they are very forgiving/tolerant of low GPA/GRE.

Have you had a Western postmortem yet? Do you know why you were rejected? If it is diversity and/or PBL problem, there might not be much you can do about that. Are you doing some great unique experience now or in the near future that might help with either of these?

Just something to think about...

True. I have to wait until MAY to talk to them!!

I did really like Western but I'm not sure if it was just because it was the only place I interviewed at. I think I would do well in PBL and really liked the system.
 

nyanko

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If you have a lot of undergrad credits already it might be hard to really raise your GPA enough from a 3.0 to make much of an effect pure-numbers wise. If you don't have that many credits then you might be able to get away with another year making a huge difference. Of course either way it will improve your last 45 credit hours for schools that look at that.

However, doing really well on the GRE, particularly the quantitative portion of it, will probably help to balance a lower GPA a lot more. If the rest of your app is stellar, it's probably the initial GPA/GRE screening that's getting you kicked out of the pool for the other schools that didn't interview you. If you can bypass that even by just raising your GRE enough you might have more luck.

I would definitely do a file review with all of the schools you didn't get into, too, to see what their feedback and advice is. It sounds like you already did at least one, so that's good...
 

BlacKAT33

UPenn c/o 2014!! :)
Jul 1, 2009
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First, i would get the file review. So maybe just relax for now because you should be able to get the review soon, after mid April right?

If later you find out that the reason you did not get in can easily be fixed then I would apply again to western next year after trying to fix the problem.

If the problem is GPA, then you def need to take at least 1, maybe 2 years off. That will be hard to fix and it depends how many classes you can take at once (full time or part time+work).

If you can fix the problem easily, then I would go about "pretending" like you are still trying to prepare yourself for the rest of your schools. For instance, more experience, study and retake the GRE (take a class or tutor). Even if you apply for western this coming cycle, you have that WHOLE year off while you wait again. You can easily improve your overall application over the 12 months and then if you don't get in for 2015 at western you should be competitive to apply to maybe 5 schools for 2016.

I hope this wasn't too confusing, it sounds more confusing as i typed it but the general point is simple.
 

nyanko

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If the problem is GPA, then you def need to take at least 1, maybe 2 years off. That will be hard to fix and it depends how many classes you can take at once (full time or part time+work).
It also depends on how many credits you already have. Personally, I have two undergraduate degrees and because of that, my cumulative GPA after one year of getting a 3.91 in graduate school went from a 3.16 to a 3.18. :laugh:

One other thing to look at, as far as just the numbers game goes, is what the place considers into your "science" GPA. UCD just uses prereqs for that, and if you got a C or better in the prereq they just average any retakes of the class, so it's not that helpful.

Again, if the schools you're aiming for weight GPA and GRE equally, you could be competitive with just upping your GRE enough. I'm sure that the reason that I got interviews at Davis both years is because of my GRE. And bribing the monkeys.

edit for example: At WSU, the tiers are based on GPA OR GRE at the highest levels as this chart represents. Now, though you may not be thinking of applying there I like the chart because it gave me a better idea of what schools might think of as the sort of GRE scores that balance out a mediocre GPA.
 
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gracietiger

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Apr 9, 2009
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When schools average previous grades with new, retaken course grades, do they only consider the average grade, or may they more heavily consider the retaken grade?
For example, I took bio and chem about eight years ago as an undergrad freshman. I was pre-law, didn't care much about science, and received C's. I was also at a very rigorous university and taking the courses honors, but I'm not sure that will matter much.
Now, I am retaking those courses at UC Davis, and have received A+s in the retaken courses. I am very concerned, however, that the average of the grades won't be competitive enough. Would schools be inclined to consider that the previous courses were taken at a time that I was in a totally different place in life and that those grades don't demonstrate my actual aptitude for the sciences and learning them? It seems many people on this forum have been able to overcome previously bad grades - do you believe it is because you compensated for them later on?
 

that redhead

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I have a weaker GPA than yours. I've really turned myself around this past semester and will be taking a full summer course-load. I'm hoping I can get as close to perfect from here on out as possible, but as Nyanko mentioned, since I already have a lot of credits bringing my GPA up significantly really isn't possible in so short a timespan. Basically, I'm going to do my damnedest. I also have really good experiences, LORs, and extra curriculars. My GRE isn't bad, although I will be re-taking at least once, maybe twice.

Do I think I stand a chance of getting in? No, not really. But I would rather say I tried than look back at this year and wonder. My $0.02, but I don't doubt the wisdom of taking a year off applications and trying again later.
 

sumstorm

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Would schools be inclined to consider that the previous courses were taken at a time that I was in a totally different place in life and that those grades don't demonstrate my actual aptitude for the sciences and learning them? It seems many people on this forum have been able to overcome previously bad grades - do you believe it is because you compensated for them later on?
I believe having a 4.0 in upper level sciences (FT) for a year just prior to applying (a decade after graduating) did a lot to show schools that I really could hack the coursework portion of vet school. I drew attention to it in my PS by having a sentence about work affecting my UG GPA, but that my recent 4.0 reflected my dedication in pursueing vet med. I think without that, adcoms would have had niggling doubts. However, I did NOT retake anything....I went for courses that were the next level to what I had taken (and earned C's in) at the undergrad level.
 

nyanko

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Hey gracietiger, haven't seen you around in awhile! Some schools (UIUC comes to mind) allow you to petition to throw out grades that old, so that might be worth looking into.

It is my personal impression (based on observation of admissions cycles, statistics and adcom reports that I've seen) that when schools look at grades, there's two ways they sort of do it. Because of the high volume of applicants there has to be some initial sort of screening. This is where the "numbers game" comes in, I think. This is where objectively the averaging out of the prereqs will probably not help the science/prereq GPA. It will help last 45 if the school takes that into account.

But if you get past that stage, to where the adcom isn't looking at quite so many applications, the upward trend and noticing the recency of your retaken grades might come into play as a more subjective quality.
 

Mereafterthough

Cornell DVM c/o 2014!
Jul 5, 2009
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Where did you apply this cycle other than western? If you look at successful applicant stats some people (like myself) got into vet school despite the fact that we had low GPAs and "horrible" GRE scores. I agree with the others in saying that a file review is definitely necessary. I was going to wait to apply for class of 2015 because of the same reasons but I was encouraged to apply now and I got in. I guess what I'm trying to say is you never know what can happen. I would do the file review and see if you can improve on the things they mention before apps come out again this June.
 

moosenanny

UC DAVIS class of 2014!!!
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Some schools (UIUC comes to mind) allow you to petition to throw out grades that are old, so that might be worth looking into.
I know Mizzou lets applicants do this as well. I'm not 100% sure on the details, but I think if classes are more than 6 years old, you can elect to throw them out. However, I'm nearly positive that if you want to throw some old classes out, you have to throw all of them from that time period out (i.e., you can't selectively choose which ones to keep vs. drop).
 

DVMDream

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Question: With calculating the "science" GPA. Is this all bio/physics/math/chem courses or is this the prerequisites for each school? So most schools also require enlgish (which I obviously can not type in :rolleyes:) and humanities as well do those grades count into this GPA or does it really just depend on the school. Also, for those schools that look at the "science" GPA does this GPA only include those courses that are required as pre-reqs or do you have to include all additional bio courses you took that were not required (as pre-reqs) into the "science" GPA?
 

eventualeventer

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DVMDream, it depends on the school. UIUC looked at my transcript and used all of the courses they thought were science. I think UCDavis and MSU just use prereqs.
 

DVMDream

Don't disturb the snowflakes
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DVMDream, it depends on the school. UIUC looked at my transcript and used all of the courses they thought were science. I think UCDavis and MSU just use prereqs.
That makes it really confusing because my "science" GPA can then be anywhere between a 3.3-3.6 or close to 3.7; it does not help when the schools also do not tell you how they calculate it. It would allow me to know if I am competitive or not at that school so I do not waste time and $$ applying to schools that I am not competitive at.
 

nyanko

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That makes it really confusing because my "science" GPA can then be anywhere between a 3.3-3.6 or close to 3.7; it does not help when the schools also do not tell you how they calculate it. It would allow me to know if I am competitive or not at that school so I do not waste time and $$ applying to schools that I am not competitive at.
Yeah, I asked this at my UCD file review a couple of years ago and when they told me what my "science" GPA was I was like, oh I guess they just count the prereqs. My upper division sciences GPA is somewhere around a 3.75, but my prerequisite GPA is a 2.99. :rolleyes:
 

gracietiger

10+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2009
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Thanks, guys! Unfortunately, I am not planning to apply to schools that will throw out grades. In fact, because I will follow my boyfriend to wherever he decides to attend dental school (in San Francisco or Philly), I'm really only going to be able to apply to Davis or Penn. Great, huh? Two of the schools that seem to be known for having high application numbers and a more rigorous screening process.
As an undergrad, I took the Intro to Bio and Chem, got roughly C's in both (maybe a B- or two), and also took Calculus and Stats (I think both were around B's, no lower though). I was a philosophy major, and did quite well in that area, so fortunately my overall GPA isn't horrible.
Should I also retake Calculus and Stats to prove that I am just starting from a fresh plate at this point in my life? Or would it be more effective to prove myself by taking more upper division science classes - though they won't be included in the prereq GPA? I think I'm hanging on to this hope that retaking these classes will miraculously raise my science GPA, but as nyanko pointed out, they probably hardly will. Do I just accept a bad science GPA and pray someone will actually read my application to see that those grades were from years ago?

nyanko, congrats on UC Davis!
 

marycatherine

working on the pre-reqs
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268
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It also depends on how many credits you already have. Personally, I have two undergraduate degrees and because of that, my cumulative GPA after one year of getting a 3.91 in graduate school went from a 3.16 to a 3.18. :laugh:

One other thing to look at, as far as just the numbers game goes, is what the place considers into your "science" GPA. UCD just uses prereqs for that, and if you got a C or better in the prereq they just average any retakes of the class, so it's not that helpful.

Again, if the schools you're aiming for weight GPA and GRE equally, you could be competitive with just upping your GRE enough. I'm sure that the reason that I got interviews at Davis both years is because of my GRE. And bribing the monkeys.

edit for example: At WSU, the tiers are based on GPA OR GRE at the highest levels as this chart represents. Now, though you may not be thinking of applying there I like the chart because it gave me a better idea of what schools might think of as the sort of GRE scores that balance out a mediocre GPA.

aaaaaaaaand you just made me decide to apply to WSU this year. thank you!
 
OP
kootz

kootz

not again!
Jan 25, 2010
72
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Baaahston.
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I have a weaker GPA than yours. I've really turned myself around this past semester and will be taking a full summer course-load. I'm hoping I can get as close to perfect from here on out as possible, but as Nyanko mentioned, since I already have a lot of credits bringing my GPA up significantly really isn't possible in so short a timespan. Basically, I'm going to do my damnedest. I also have really good experiences, LORs, and extra curriculars. My GRE isn't bad, although I will be re-taking at least once, maybe twice.

Do I think I stand a chance of getting in? No, not really. But I would rather say I tried than look back at this year and wonder. My $0.02, but I don't doubt the wisdom of taking a year off applications and trying again later.
I agree. I'd rather not live with the "what if" going through my mind. My adviser is just advising me otherwise :confused:

Where did you apply this cycle other than western? If you look at successful applicant stats some people (like myself) got into vet school despite the fact that we had low GPAs and "horrible" GRE scores. I agree with the others in saying that a file review is definitely necessary. I was going to wait to apply for class of 2015 because of the same reasons but I was encouraged to apply now and I got in. I guess what I'm trying to say is you never know what can happen. I would do the file review and see if you can improve on the things they mention before apps come out again this June.

I applied to UPenn and Tufts (my IS). 3 schools I know- I'm thinking of expanding my list of school I apply to in hopes I get in somewhere.