Jul 14, 2009
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Hi, this is my first time posting on this site. To start I really enjoy and appreciate all the advice people have been giving to others, that being said I need some advice of my own.
What has been done so far:
Took 4 AP courses in High School, (1 wasnt official AP but got college credit)
Here they are and grades:
Bio- A
Eng - A
Enviro- A
US Hist - A

The letter grades are what my current college has given them. I currently go to Oswego State University of New York. (SUNY System)
But I previously went to to different colleges....long story
First NCCC (Community school- went over the summer of my senior year in HS to get an english credit for Cornell- but didnt go there anyways)
English 101 - A
PCalc C

For my freshman year I went to University of Guelph (Canadian University- I am not Canadian in case you are wondering)
I did not expect the curriculum to be so far advanced than US schools, they blow us away in terms of scholastics...Plus I became a father too.
So I did horrible here:
Bio 1 and 2- Both a B
Chem 1 and 2- Both a C
Physics 1- C
Calculus- B
Psych 101 -B
Stat B- B
As you can see I have done horrible in these classes in A canadian school- but I am unfamiliar with how these grades equate with US schools....they do not even use letter grades but use percentages- the letter grades above were given via my current school....

So family drama aside, two moves later, another child later and I am at SUNY Oswego.
Double Major (BS, BA) Zoology and Philosophy- Minor in Chemistry
My grades rock here:
Current GPA: 3.72 overall over 2.5 semesters (I am halfway through summer semester)
Science GPA:3.7 (not including transfer sciences)

So first question- how does Admission boards look at this? Overall GPA is different for each school....whereas my current school does not include previous grades- as they do a "fresh" start....

EC:
* Eagle Scout
* Leader within the troop
* Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society
* Sigma Xi- International Scientific Research Society
* IS- Science- Mitochondrial Protein Import- possible publication (will not be a major author but will be a contributor)
* Summer Research Position- Full time researcher in a Genetics Lab- doing population genetics on invasive shrimp species, H. anomola in Great Lakes- will be published as second author, 2 Conferences in spring '10.
* Publication in Fall '09 on Policy regarding invasive species
* Volunteer/Internship (no credits) at local hospital averaging 10hrs/week I shadow mostly in the Surgical Suite as well as ER and NICU/OBGYN- Will be continuing this trend until I graduate in 2011.

I have not taken an MCAT yet, will be in Spring 2010 but preliminary testing shows an average of 33-36.

I am not looking for top tier schools, unless you consider UPenn and University of Rochester- to be top tier.
I am limiting my choices to all schools in NY (except NYC) and majority of those in PA.

So- What are my chances, how can I improve them?

I feel pretty good about my state schools such as SUNY at Buffalo and SUNY Upstate Medical, but Im not sure considering my previous history at other schools.

Thanks for any help!:)
 
Last edited:

Stratego

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And this is "urgent" because . . . .?

All your grades from all institutions will be included in your cGPA when you apply to med school, even if a school "forgave" them.

You can figure out your cGPA with this AMCAS calculator:
http://medschool.ucsf.edu/postbac/pdf/AMCAS%20GPA_Calculator%20Version%204%20Final.xls

Here is the grade conversion guide. Look on the last page for the numeric grade conversion: http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/2009conversionguide.pdf

Let us know your cumulative GPA including all grades earned at colleges.

Kindly edit the original post removing all HS activities, as they are not regarded in the med school admission process. Eagle Scout is an exception.
 
OP
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Jul 14, 2009
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I calculated the Canadian GPA using AMCAS and I get a 2.875
NCCC GPA 3.0
Oswego GPA 3.72

Im not sure if Admissions Boards are going to average them all out.... I hope not.
 

Stratego

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They will, so you need to also, if you want advice on your chances.
 
OP
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Jul 14, 2009
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AMCAS CUMULATIVE: 3.43
AMCAS BCPM 3.31
AMCAS OTHER: 3.7

What is the "other" and do AP scores count?
I included them as they show up as grades on my transcript.
This Cum includes a Canadian University....

I still have two full years left...my credits make me a second semester junior but I am going into my Junior year this fall
 
Last edited:

Stratego

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"Other" means not BCPM.

My AMCAS transcript did not mark any grades after my AP classes, but I don't know if that's always true.

If you have completed about 75 credits and have 60 left to go, with straight As you could really get that cGPA higher to compensate for that bad year (my quickie math says potentially 3.61). Recall that the median cGPA for those accepted is 3.65. If you are lower than that, you'd need a proportionately higher MCAT score to compensate (31 being the median).

So if you kick your academic effort into high gear, complete the clinical experience you've outlined, considering your strong research and past leadership, I'd say your chances of getting into some of your state schools are good with an MCAT of 32.
 
OP
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Jul 14, 2009
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Thanks...it sucks that my one bad year is going to drag me down....I really wanted a cGPA of 3.8 or so. I did not want to be at average- my fault I guess. Can I mention in my personal statement the reason I did so poorly without being whiny? I did NOT know that Canadian schools have such a rigorous curriculum. (HS gets at least three years of each science- mandated!- In NYS we have 1 year of each....its a sad thing)

Are my chances good for UofRochester?
Thanks.
 

Stratego

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URochester has median GPA for those accepted as 3.7, MCAT 33. Matriculant data is 3.63 and 31.8. So yes , you have a good chance with an MCAT of 32.
 
OP
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Thanks again....now I just got to get A's in everything....shouldnt be much of a problem.
That MCAT however....well hopefully the BR books will help and EK....I am going to go on a rigorous schedule with that....

Oh will being a Genetics TA help at all?
 

Stratego

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Then I've properly motivated you. Having a solid, achieveable goal works wonders.

Teaching is another valued EC.

Consider a formal classroom MCAT prep course.
 

camaras2480

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OP
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One last thing- do you know where I could find out if AMCAS uses AP grades?
Also for prereq's 2 are from AP's.....
Or if anyone has any more insight?
Thanks
 

camaras2480

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One last thing- do you know where I could find out if AMCAS uses AP grades?
Also for prereq's 2 are from AP's.....
Or if anyone has any more insight?
Thanks
As far as I know, AP grades do not get calculated into your GPA. I don't even understand how you got a grade for a class you didn't take (got AP credit for). They are supposed to just be "Pass" in general.
 

Anesthetic

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yea, im also interested with how AMCAS uses the AP scores.

Also, how did they give you a letter grade for your AP tests score? was it just based on the score you got on the AP class, or was it based on the percentage you had during highschool?
 
OP
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My transcript has letter grades for each but they are not used in that school specific GPA...not sure if that helps.
If it turns out that my APs do not count in cGPA than I have an even lower cGPA.....not good
 
OP
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Jul 14, 2009
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yea, im also interested with how AMCAS uses the AP scores.

Also, how did they give you a letter grade for your AP tests score? was it just based on the score you got on the AP class, or was it based on the percentage you had during highschool?
They use a system whereas anything over a 4 AP is an A, 3 is like a B, and 2 and under do not count....
Im not entirely sure why they do this, as other schools have a different system.
I know Cornell will only accept 5's in many cases and 4's get half credit or so...
 

camaras2480

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My transcript has letter grades for each but they are not used in that school specific GPA...not sure if that helps.
If it turns out that my APs do not count in cGPA than I have an even lower cGPA.....not good
You should call AMCAS to verify this. But quite frankly, I would be very surprised if they ARE counted. Do let us know!
 

Stratego

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From the AMCAS instruction book:
AMCAS Grades that Do Not Affect the
GPA​
The following AMCAS grades do not have a weight or value in
computing the AMCAS GPA:​
[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
G
.Used to indicate AP credit not assigned a letter grade

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
L​
.Used for CLEP or USAFI/DANTES credit not assigned a letter
grade

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
P​
.Used for courses taken in a Pass/Fail system, which are Passed

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
N​
.Used for courses taken in a Pass/Fail system, which are Failed
For the following types, no entry should be made in the AMCAS Grade
Column. These courses have no value or weight in the AMCAS GPA.

AU
Audited courses
[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
CC​
.Courses which are currently being taken or which you expect
to take

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
DG​
.Multi-term courses

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
EX​
.Exempt courses

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
NR​
.Courses for which there is no recorded grade because of
school error

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
W​
.Courses from which the applicant has withdrawn or "dropped"

 

camaras2480

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From the AMCAS instruction book:
AMCAS Grades that Do Not Affect the
GPA​
The following AMCAS grades do not have a weight or value in
computing the AMCAS GPA:​
[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
G
.Used to indicate AP credit not assigned a letter grade

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
L​
.Used for CLEP or USAFI/DANTES credit not assigned a letter
grade

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
P​
.Used for courses taken in a Pass/Fail system, which are Passed

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
N​
.Used for courses taken in a Pass/Fail system, which are Failed
For the following types, no entry should be made in the AMCAS Grade
Column. These courses have no value or weight in the AMCAS GPA.

AU
Audited courses
[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
CC​
.Courses which are currently being taken or which you expect
to take

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
DG​
.Multi-term courses

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
EX​
.Exempt courses

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
NR​
.Courses for which there is no recorded grade because of
school error

[FONT=Verdana+Bold0]
W​
.Courses from which the applicant has withdrawn or "dropped"

hahaha awesome :thumbup:
likin that enormous font lol
 

dru2002

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I am not looking for top tier schools, unless you consider UPenn and University of Rochester- to be top tier.
UPenn not top-tier!? Really? They are ranked 3rd for research and 12th for primary care. They have a mean MCAT of 35 and a mean 3.8 cGPA. They are also the first medical school in America. I wish I had the stats to apply here. Everyone I have ever met who went to Penn raves about it. Good luck on your app.
 

camaras2480

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Ok UPenn is my "Hopeful- Long Shot" category
lol. UPenn is considered by many as the top medical school, simply because it is the only one to rank in the top 10 in both Primary Care AND Research rankings. Impressive stuff :)
 
OP
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Guess my cuz must be good- she went there and finished- specializing in Anesthesiologist- she is at Yale doing her residency....
 

Bacchus

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When talking about Penn, call it Penn and not UPenn. You'll fit in better. Just a tip!
 
OP
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Hello again,
Was wondering if an upward trend (Freshman year was Horrible for me- like a 2.9cGPA and BCPM 2.7- AMCAS) Sophomore year was a 3.79 cGPA and 3.72 BCPM.
I did not do well because it was a different college (Canadian) and others have told me on this forum that admissions will calculate an overall- obviously this severely hurts my cGPA.

Will an admissions board look at the huge increase from freshman to sophomore year and consider this?

I just do not want to be hurt to badly from that bad year...

I know I will get all A's in my remaining classes, (well most likely)

Any advice is appreciated
 

camaras2480

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Hello again,
Was wondering if an upward trend (Freshman year was Horrible for me- like a 2.9cGPA and BCPM 2.7- AMCAS) Sophomore year was a 3.79 cGPA and 3.72 BCPM.
I did not do well because it was a different college (Canadian) and others have told me on this forum that admissions will calculate an overall- obviously this severely hurts my cGPA.

Will an admissions board look at the huge increase from freshman to sophomore year and consider this?

I just do not want to be hurt to badly from that bad year...

I know I will get all A's in my remaining classes, (well most likely)

Any advice is appreciated
Upward trend is always good. Keep it up for as long as you can, and it will certainly help. Yes, it will be noticed, especially if it is 2.9, 3.8, 4.0, 4.0
 
Jun 26, 2009
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lol. UPenn is considered by many as the top medical school, simply because it is the only one to rank in the top 10 in both Primary Care AND Research rankings. Impressive stuff :)
Not that Penn isn't a fantastic school, but this claim is simply not true. The University of Washington ranks #1 in primary care and #6 in research. Of course, these rankings are assessed using controversial methods, but it's simply not true Penn is the only one in the top 10 for both categories.
 

camaras2480

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Not that Penn isn't a fantastic school, but this claim is simply not true. The University of Washington ranks #1 in primary care and #6 in research. Of course, these rankings are assessed using controversial methods, but it's simply not true Penn is the only one in the top 10 for both categories.
Oh cool thanks! Totally missed that, since I only checked Ivy schools lol. Anyway, just wanted to make the point that Penn is a top tier school, which OP seemed to be unsure of.