So I messed up this year... Need help thinking about how to be competitive for next cycle.

Jack-Kennedy35

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2017
133
17
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Hey guys,

I graduated from a Top 20 university in 2019 with a bachelors degree in Biology. So this cycle has been a disaster for me dealing with COVID-19 and it basically feels like a whole year was sort of wasted. Anyways my cumulative GPA is a 3.8x and my science GPA is a 3.7x.

My extracurriculars are set and are pretty comprehensive with poster presentations, publication and presentations. I am continuing all my activities and have quite a bit of clinical experience already, so that's no problem... I really enjoy them!

I am preparing to apply next cycle and I really hope to become a more competitive applicant in any way. I'll be studying for the MCAT until January. Here are my options:

1.) Go for an M.S degree in Biology (for my own interest sake and also if it can help my application in any way, as I'm not doing it for grade repair).

2.) Work as a clinical research coordinator full time + take Spanish Classes at a CC (I have been interested in learning Spanish for a while now)

3.) Take some upper level Biology classes at a nearby 4-year institution such as Immunology, hematology, e.t.c (I heard doing well in these can make my application even more competitive)

@LizzyM @Catalystik @gonnif @gyngyn @Faha
@Goro
 
Last edited:

Rogue42

2+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2017
622
765
Southeast
Status
  1. Medical Student
Can I ask you what exactly about this cycle has been a disaster other than having to do interviews through zoom? Have you had trouble trying to get an MCAT test date? Have you taken the MCAT, and if so, what was your score? I am just wondering because your thread title is, "So I messed this year up...," I am just wondering what exactly you messed up? If you can explain that, then the people you have tagged can better help you.

Secondly, you asked what's a better way to be competitive without really giving full detail of your profile so, I will give it my best shot;

The best way to be competitive other than gpa since it does look pretty good, is to have a good MCAT score 500+ gets you a shot at DO, 505+ gives you an extremely solid chance at any DO school and a look from low tier MD, 510+ and you should start to really pick up a lot of interest from MD, and 515+ should gain you an acceptance from somewhere pending everything else in your application and interview is consistent. Further, if your ECs are comprehensive like you said, then you can never go wrong with more clinical experience or volunteer experience - bulk that up.

As for your other three options, none of them are really going to do much for you. No one cares about a M.S. really (especially if its only a year long), take this option if you want to do it for yourself - otherwise there isn't a real reason for it. Just be careful because they will care if your Masters gpa isn't great. Working is a great idea, real world experience is always a good thing to have. The CC spanish classes aren't going to help your chances, but knowing Spanish can never be a bad thing - again if you choose this option, choose it for yourself and not for any other reason. Finally, you can take those classes, but you have already academically proven that you can handle the coursework with your GPA (hypothetically - it needs to be paired with an MCAT to know for sure).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Jack-Kennedy35

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2017
133
17
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Can I ask you what exactly about this cycle has been a disaster other than having to do interviews through zoom? Have you had trouble trying to get an MCAT test date? Have you taken the MCAT, and if so, what was your score? I am just wondering because your thread title is, "So I messed this year up...," I am just wondering what exactly you messed up? If you can explain that, then the people you have tagged can better help you.

Secondly, you asked what's a better way to be competitive without really giving full detail of your profile so, I will give it my best shot;

The best way to be competitive other than gpa since it does look pretty good, is to have a good MCAT score 500+ gets you a shot at DO, 505+ gives you an extremely solid chance at any DO school and a look from low tier MD, 510+ and you should start to really pick up a lot of interest from MD, and 515+ should gain you an acceptance from somewhere pending everything else in your application and interview is consistent. Further, if your ECs are comprehensive like you said, then you can never go wrong with more clinical experience or volunteer experience - bulk that up.

As for your other three options, none of them are really going to do much for you. No one cares about a M.S. really (especially if its only a year long), take this option if you want to do it for yourself - otherwise there isn't a real reason for it. Just be careful because they will care if your Masters gpa isn't great. Working is a great idea, real world experience is always a good thing to have. The CC spanish classes aren't going to help your chances, but knowing Spanish can never be a bad thing - again if you choose this option, choose it for yourself and not for any other reason. Finally, you can take those classes, but you have already academically proven that you can handle the coursework with your GPA (hypothetically - it needs to be paired with an MCAT to know for sure).

Hi so to answer to ur question, I started studying for the MCAT last November with the hope of taking it this March. I was set and ready to go however my exam was cancelled. I was then supposed to take it in May, then June, then July but it kep getting cancelled. All this time I was forced to continue studying so as to not forget the content but I kept running myself into the ground basically cuz I was dead burnt.

My MCAT is scheduled for September 27th rn so we’ll see if I am ready but I’m preparing for the worst. Even now I’m so incredibly burnt out but I’m slowly pushing through. I’ll only take to if my practice scores are decent leading up to it. If not then I’ll take a month off and then basically start studying in November to take it end of Jan.

I also already submitted my DO apps ( no interviews yet tho) and MD to one school. So yeah it’s a mess :(
 
About the Ads

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,379
13,908
The Other Side of the Portal
Status
  1. Attending Physician
Hey guys,

I graduated from a Top 20 university in 2019 with a bachelors degree in Biology. So this cycle has been a disaster for me dealing with COVID-19 and it basically feels like a whole year was sort of wasted. Anyways my cumulative GPA is a 3.8x and my science GPA is a 3.7x.

My extracurriculars are set and are pretty comprehensive with poster presentations, publication and presentations. I am continuing all my activities and have quite a bit of clinical experience already, so that's no problem... I really enjoy them!

I am preparing to apply next cycle and I really hope to become a more competitive applicant in any way. I'll be studying for the MCAT until January. Here are my options:

1.) Go for an M.S degree in Biology (for my own interest sake and also if it can help my application in any way, as I'm not doing it for grade repair).

2.) Work as a clinical research coordinator full time + take Spanish Classes at a CC (I have been interested in learning Spanish for a while now)

3.) Take some upper level Biology classes at a nearby 4-year institution such as Immunology, hematology, e.t.c (I heard doing well in these can make my application even more competitive)

@LizzyM @Catalystik @gonnif @gyngyn @Faha
Get a job that pays decently. Bonus points if it's a response to covid-related needs: daycare for healthcare workers, contact tracer, nostril swabber/saliva collector, hotline responder. Take Spanish for fun (P/F is fine to take the stress off). Volunteer for a cause you care about where you work directly with those you aim to serve and try to use your Spanish. Exercise. Be artistic. Recover from academic stress and get your head back in the game.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users
D

deleted1005514

Hi so to answer to ur question, I started studying for the MCAT last November with the hope of taking it this March. I was set and ready to go however my exam was cancelled. I was then supposed to take it in May, then June, then July but it kep getting cancelled. All this time I was forced to continue studying so as to not forget the content but I kept running myself into the ground basically cuz I was dead burnt.

My MCAT is scheduled for September 27th rn so we’ll see if I am ready but I’m preparing for the worst. Even now I’m so incredibly burnt out but I’m slowly pushing through. I’ll only take to if my practice scores are decent leading up to it. If not then I’ll take a month off and then basically start studying in November to take it end of Jan.

I also already submitted my DO apps ( no interviews yet tho) and MD to one school. So yeah it’s a mess :(
Where are your practice scores now?
 

Jack-Kennedy35

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2017
133
17
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Get a job that pays decently. Bonus points if it's a response to covid-related needs: daycare for healthcare workers, contact tracer, nostril swabber/saliva collector, hotline responder. Take Spanish for fun (P/F is fine to take the stress off). Volunteer for a cause you care about where you work directly with those you aim to serve and try to use your Spanish. Exercise. Be artistic. Recover from academic stress and get your head back in the game.

Thanks for your reply! So, a MS doesn’t do much for us huh? It doesn’t look impressive if we’re doing it for the sake of doing it rather than seeking grade repair?
@Catalystik
 
Last edited:

Rogue42

2+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2017
622
765
Southeast
Status
  1. Medical Student
Thanks for your reply! So, a MS doesn’t do much for us huh? It doesn’t look impressive if we’re doing it for the sake of doing it rather than seeking grade repair?
No, not really; also just in the way that you phrased this makes it sound like you'd be doing it to look impressive and not just for the sake of doing it. Again, one-year master programs in science definitely don't help unless its for grade repair. If you really wanted a MS in Biology, then go get a two-year masters in biology where you have to defend a thesis - but again, do it for yourself and not to "look impressive."
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,379
13,908
The Other Side of the Portal
Status
  1. Attending Physician
Thanks for your reply! So, a MS doesn’t do much for us huh? It doesn’t look impressive if we’re doing it for the sake of doing it rather than seeking grade repair?
@Catalystik
If it provided a not-yet-acquired research experience or access to a teaching gig, it might enhance a med school application. Most MD schools do not consider a traditional hard science masters as an convincing source of GPA repair (since grade inflation is typical).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads