joshmell

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So, I was dinking around with the AMCAS website and the application, just to see what it looks like. I got to the enter schools part, and they wanted all schools I've attended and done some kind of coursework, even I failed. Right after high-school I went to a university for a semester and did horribly, dropped out for about a year and a half, then started somewhere else. At the new university I was working 40 hours a week and did poorly *again* only this time for a year (and I mean very poor :eek:). The next semester I got fired up about the possibility of med-school after doing some volunteer work at a local hospital, applied for some financial aid and was able to work less resulting in straight A's my freshman year, and probably straight A's this first semester of sophomore year too (so to sum up, 3 bad semesters, 3 straight A semesters).

I was fine with this, as my current university has a "Last Grade Stands" policy, so the poor year has almost been erased with NC (no-credits) and my displayed GPA is shaping up nicely. However, as I progressed through the AMCAS application I noticed that they want me to list the grades I had BEFORE the NC's replaced them.

My question is, what GPA are med-schools going to see when I apply? The GPA my official transcript will show from my undergrad school, or the GPA AMCAS calculates based on ALL coursework ever taken? If it is the GPA AMCAS calculates, how poorly will that look to schools I apply to?
 

Excelsius

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So, I was dinking around with the AMCAS website and the application, just to see what it looks like. I got to the enter schools part, and they wanted all schools I've attended and done some kind of coursework, even I failed. Right after high-school I went to a university for a semester and did horribly, dropped out for about a year and a half, then started somewhere else. At the new university I was working 40 hours a week and did poorly *again* only this time for a year (and I mean very poor :eek:). The next semester I got fired up about the possibility of med-school after doing some volunteer work at a local hospital, applied for some financial aid and was able to work less resulting in straight A's my freshman year, and probably straight A's this first semester of sophomore year too (so to sum up, 3 bad semesters, 3 straight A semesters).

I was fine with this, as my current university has a "Last Grade Stands" policy, so the poor year has almost been erased with NC (no-credits) and my displayed GPA is shaping up nicely. However, as I progressed through the AMCAS application I noticed that they want me to list the grades I had BEFORE the NC's replaced them.

My question is, what GPA are med-schools going to see when I apply? The GPA my official transcript will show from my undergrad school, or the GPA AMCAS calculates based on ALL coursework ever taken? If it is the GPA AMCAS calculates, how poorly will that look to schools I apply to?

Welcome to SDN. Unfortunately, all coursework that appears on any transcript from any school is going to be calculated for your AMCAS GPA (for medical school). I made the same mistake you did in assuming that those courses won't matter, as a result, my school GPA is .5 higher than what AMCAS will see. This should motivate you to do especially well from now on to counter all the bad grades. Good luck.
 

joshmell

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Welcome to SDN. Unfortunately, all coursework that appears on any transcript from any school is going to be calculated for your AMCAS GPA (for medical school). I made the same mistake you did in assuming that those courses won't matter, as a result, my school GPA is .5 higher than what AMCAS will see. This should motivate you to do especially well from now on to counter all the bad grades. Good luck.

Thanks for the welcome, as well as the answer to my question, which is unfortunate because it'll end up dropping my GPA to 3.5~ if I continue to get straight A's. However, there's no distinction between a class I dropped and a class I retook, they both show up as NC on my transcript. What would be reported then, as I never actually received a grade for the class I dropped.
 
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Yeah, unfortunately that's the reality of AMCAS grading calculations. AACOMAS though has grade forgiveness, so even though you're required to list every class and every time your took a class, they only calculate in the grade from the most recent time you took it.

But remember, upward trends matter to medical schools. And since it looks like you've mended your academic ways, schools will take that into account.
 

pianola

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Thanks for the welcome, as well as the answer to my question, which is unfortunate because it'll end up dropping my GPA to 3.5~ if I continue to get straight A's. However, there's no distinction between a class I dropped and a class I retook, they both show up as NC on my transcript. What would be reported then, as I never actually received a grade for the class I dropped.

Could you rephrase the question? I'm not quite sure what you're asking...

It seems like there'd be one "NC" reported and one "A" reported...but I'm not convinced I understand the question.
 

joshmell

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Could you rephrase the question? I'm not quite sure what you're asking...

It seems like there'd be one "NC" reported and one "A" reported...but I'm not convinced I understand the question.

Yah, as an example, here is what one bad semester looks like, compared to a good one.


---------------------------

Bad:
Freshman Composition: NC (retook, F erased)
Oceanography: NC (dropped early in semester, didn't like the class)
Intro to Psychology: C

Good:
Freshman Composition: A (retook, only the A is shown in my GPA)
Other assorted courses: A

---------------------------

So, despite them being two categories, both courses show up the same on my transcript (as an NC). How would the NC Oceanography affect the AMCAS app, when there's really no grade to report. I just didn't like the class (I was expecting sharks and corals and got deep ocean fissures -_-)

In other news, I've been scouring countless mdapps and have calmed down slightly, seeing people getting accepted with less than 3.8+ GPAs. But only slightly. :laugh:
 

pianola

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I just didn't like the class (I was expecting sharks and corals and got deep ocean fissures -_-)

Heh, that made me grin.

I wouldn't worry about it, too much, Josh. Just make sure you keep up the trend of As that you've started. A 3.5 is completely doable for medical school so long as everything else is very, very strong. Make sure you take adequate time to prepare for your MCAT so that you get the most milage possible out of that exam. Again, an upward trend is always good.

AMCAS will ask you to enter in every grade as it appears on your transcript: So you will enter in both the NC and the A. How AMCAS chooses to ultimately weight your NC is up to them...(AMCAS may give you a 0.0 for the class and factor it into your GPA or AMCAS may choose to simply put the class as a P/NC grade in which case it would not be weighted in your GPA). The only thing you can really do is enter in the grade as it appears on your transcript and hope for the best. (AMCAS will have a copy of your transcript, anyway).

It sounds like what AMCAS is supposed to do is to give you a 0.0 for the course you failed and a 4.0 for the course you got an A in. These two grades will be averaged in with all your other grades. But since you technically don't have an "F" in the class the first time, you might not have the 0.0 factored into your overall GPA...so, the bottom line is, I have no idea what they'll do with your NC grades and there's no way to find out until you actually submit your application.

Unless someone else here has a better idea...

Best of luck. :luck::luck::luck:
 

Excelsius

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...

It sounds like what AMCAS is supposed to do is to give you a 0.0 for the course you failed and a 4.0 for the course you got an A in. These two grades will be averaged in with all your other grades. But since you technically don't have an "F" in the class the first time, you might not have the 0.0 factored into your overall GPA...so, the bottom line is, I have no idea what they'll do with your NC grades and there's no way to find out until you actually submit your application.

Unless someone else here has a better idea...

Best of luck. :luck::luck::luck:

It actually seems that NC doesn't necessarily mean 0.0. If I understand correctly, NC=0.0 only if your school has no F grades, i.e., A,B,C,D,NC. In that case NC=0.0. But if your school has A,B,C,D,F, and then NC for special courses (such as physical education), then it doesn't seem NC=0.0. I couldn't find anything quickly, but I found this: http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/2007amcasgradeconversionguide2.pdf
 

pianola

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It actually seems that NC doesn't necessarily mean 0.0. If I understand correctly, NC=0.0 only if your school has no F grades, i.e., A,B,C,D,NC. In that case NC=0.0. But if your school has A,B,C,D,F, and then NC for special courses (such as physical education), then it doesn't seem NC=0.0. I couldn't find anything quickly, but I found this: http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/2007amcasgradeconversionguide2.pdf

Yeah, it just kind of depends on what your school's policy is AND what AMCAS knows about your school...

OP, does your transcript explain the meaning of your "NC"? (i.e. Does it specifically state anywhere that "a grade of NC is a result of having failed a course that would normally receive a letter grade" or something to that effect?) Might be worth it to get a copy of your transcript and find out. I would say, if your transcript explains the situation, then I would count on factoring in a 0.0.

But yeah, if AMCAS believes that the NC is a result of a binary pass-no credit system and doesn't bother to call your school about the matter, then it might not get factored into your GPA.

Good luck either way :luck::luck::luck:.

The only way to know for sure is to submit an application (or to wait for someone with first-hand experience to respond).
 

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AACOMAS though has grade forgiveness, so even though you're required to list every class and every time your took a class, they only calculate in the grade from the most recent time you took it.

Unfortunately, this is not true. The AMCAS calculation includes all attempted courses, regardless of the outcome and there is no "forgiveness" policy. For example, if you failed a three credit course the first time you took it, and then earned an "A" the second time. Many schools with a forgiveness policy would place your GPA at 4.0 for the class, but your AMCAS GPA will be 2.0.
 

pianola

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unfortunately, this is not true. The amcas calculation includes all attempted courses, regardless of the outcome and there is no "forgiveness" policy. For example, if you failed a three credit course the first time you took it, and then earned an "a" the second time. Many schools with a forgiveness policy would place your gpa at 4.0 for the class, but your amcas gpa will be 2.0.

AACOMAS =/= AMCAS

(Apparently it's not possible to write a post with only capital letters?)
 

joshmell

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Yeah, it just kind of depends on what your school's policy is AND what AMCAS knows about your school...

OP, does your transcript explain the meaning of your "NC"? (i.e. Does it specifically state anywhere that "a grade of NC is a result of having failed a course that would normally receive a letter grade" or something to that effect?) Might be worth it to get a copy of your transcript and find out. I would say, if your transcript explains the situation, then I would count on factoring in a 0.0.

But yeah, if AMCAS believes that the NC is a result of a binary pass-no credit system and doesn't bother to call your school about the matter, then it might not get factored into your GPA.

Good luck either way :luck::luck::luck:.

The only way to know for sure is to submit an application (or to wait for someone with first-hand experience to respond).

The transcripts simply say "NC = result of a dropped or retaken class. Grade is not counted in GPA calculation."

I talked to my pre-health advisor today and he said AMCAS will usually verify NC's that are reported on transcripts through email or a phone call. So the retaken classes will weigh out to 2.0s with the A, and the NC Oceanography class will just not be factored in because they don't have a grade to give. He also confirmed that the upward trend will look good, and since all of my failed classes were not science, that my BCPM GPA will be super-high if I keep up the As...sooo...not so worried anymore =D

Thanks for all the replies. I'm pretty set on an allopathic course, so while the AAMCOMAS would probably be a better situation to apply to with the grade forgiveness, I'm just going to have keep up the intense studies and hope med-schools I apply to like the BCPM compared to the overall or AO.:D
 
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