Aug 26, 2015
Hello, I just started my junior year of college and am hoping to directly go to medical school after I graduate. My GPA suffered a bit during my sophomore year and I am now improving it. Currently it is a 3.5 and I hope to apply with a cumulative 3.6. I also started studying for the MCAT and will be taking the Kaplan classes. I have 3 summers of research experience and I plan on continuing at the same lab the subsequent summers because I really like the work that they do and I hope to be able to publish an abstract and eventually be a co-author for a paper once I gather more data. I also plan on pursing an honors thesis during. I am a biochemistry major and a math minor. I have volunteer experience at a hospital and I will continue to do this throughout the year and probably though my senior year also. I have shadowed a variety of physicians. I run a lot of 5k races, and half marathons and I am training to run my first full marathon. I hike a lot and I have volunteered at a few river clean up events mostly because I cared about the environment and I wanted to at least make some effort to preserve it. Its just something I do on the side. I went on a medical brigade trip to Nicaragua and found that this was a fascinating experience seeing the discrepancy in healthcare in that region of the world. I was wondering what I could do to improve my application? I know my GPA isn't the highest GPA out there so would it be wiser to apply after my senior year?

Thanks for any advice.


2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
1) Ace this year(3.75+)
2) Build up volunteering experience. Hospital volunteering, hospice volunteering, volunteering with organizations etc. All of it
3) Clinical exposure: Keep doing the hospital volunteering. Consider doing some in a hospice and other clinical settings if possible.
4) Get your MCAT score in time that also provides a chance for you to re-take if you need to.

You don't need to take a year off if you ace this year and apply with around a 3.6. It can definitely help your application if you take a year off; both by counting your senior grades and by building up your ECs. It's your call. But first ace this year.


7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
So far you're doing fine and what I recommend is more non-clinical service to others less fortunate than yourself. Check out your local houses of worship; they'll have plenty for things for you to do.