profstudent

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
May 29, 2005
67
0
Status
After reading these forums for a while now, it seems that people often say to "get A's" in your prereqs in order to be competitive. Now, I don't mean to sound like an anal premed here, but how does the "A-" come into play? Is this still considered getting an "A"? Is it OK to get mostly A minuses and A's on the prereqs? Will I still be competitive to med schools with them?

The reason I ask is b/c I got an A- in Gen Chem I this first summer session and am on the cusp of an A/A- for Gen Chem II this session. Am I being ridiculous here? To me, getting a 90% or above in a course should be an A, but unfortunately most profs make the cut-off at a 92%. Does anybody else get annoyed by that little minus sign?
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
Moderator
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
11,737
1,901
Status
Attending Physician
Yes, an A- is still considered "getting an A".
Yes, it's okay to get A-'s and A's on your prereqs.
Yes, you'll still be competitive to med schools.
Yes, you are being ridiculous here.
No, an A- does not annoy many of us. Many of us aspire to an A-.

And lastly, yes you do sound like an anal premed.
 

Bubblehead-to-MD

Emergency Blow!
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2006
2,034
0
Baltimore, MD
Status
Medical Student
notdeadyet said:
Yes, an A- is still considered "getting an A".
Yes, it's okay to get A-'s and A's on your prereqs.
Yes, you'll still be competitive to med schools.
Yes, you are being ridiculous here.
No, an A- does not annoy many of us. Many of us aspire to an A-.

And lastly, yes you do sound like an anal premed.
Crikey!
 
About the Ads

relentless11

Going broke and loving it
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2001
1,584
9
Visit site
Status
Pre-Medical
An A- is still great, and I would consider it as "getting an A". On a side note though, in terms of GPA, its a lousy 3.7! :mad:

If only an A+ was a 4.3 :p
 

njbmd

Guest
Moderator Emeritus
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 30, 2001
9,050
146
Gone Walkabout!
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
profstudent said:
After reading these forums for a while now, it seems that people often say to "get A's" in your prereqs in order to be competitive. Now, I don't mean to sound like an anal premed here, but how does the "A-" come into play? Is this still considered getting an "A"? Is it OK to get mostly A minuses and A's on the prereqs? Will I still be competitive to med schools with them?

The reason I ask is b/c I got an A- in Gen Chem I this first summer session and am on the cusp of an A/A- for Gen Chem II this session. Am I being ridiculous here? To me, getting a 90% or above in a course should be an A, but unfortunately most profs make the cut-off at a 92%. Does anybody else get annoyed by that little minus sign?
Hi there,
It's not the letter grade but the representation of that letter grade. A - does not equal A in terms of your GPA. Still an A- is not a bad grade so put it behind you and strive to do better i.e. the A.

At my medical school grades went like this: 70 and below was Failure; 71 to 85 was Pass and 86 and above was Honors. This was a scaled score normalized and not raw scores at all. Many of the folks that were in the 85 range complined that by raw score, they should have had honors but they were "curved out of their Honors" and those at the bottom of the rung were happy because they could get to 71 (depending on where the mean was set) and Pass. In the end, you just do your best.

njbmd :)
 

Skaterbabe74

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2003
688
1
Colorado Springs, CO
Visit site
Status
Definitely don't worry about the A-. It's still a 3.7 which is very very good (despite what reading all the 4.0 stats on here makes you think). The one I hate is getting an 89.25 in a class and getting stuck with a B or B+ lol. I've had that happen twice now. (The school I'm currently at doesn't use +/- but the one I normally go to does.)
 
OP
P

profstudent

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
May 29, 2005
67
0
Status
Thanks for the replies everyone. Thinking of it as a 3.7 helps to put it into perspective. I guess it just gets a little intimidating sometimes reading all the A's people are getting during their post-bac year(s). Anyway, thanks again and now it's back to studying...
 

MedSchoolFool

Shake Zula
15+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2004
250
5
Virginia
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Sometimes it's harder to let go of those times when you just barely missed your goal than it is to let go of those times when you missed your goal by a large margin. I have a few classes over the years that I just can't stop thinking...what if?

I'm also having this problem with the academic honors I graduated with this year. In order to be magna cum laude my college required a minimum GPA of 3.821 at graduation. I graduated with a 3.816. I mean....I am only .005 points away. UUGGGHHHHH!!!!!

I recieved my degree last week in the mail. At least it has Cum Laude on it, but I will always ache for how close I came to having a Magna in front of that. So close...and so far away. I'm not complaining, just saying I understand where the OP is coming from, and that it's a pretty valid feeling, although probably not worth losing sleep over.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,895
Status
Attending Physician
notdeadyet said:
Yes, an A- is still considered "getting an A".
Yes, it's okay to get A-'s and A's on your prereqs.
Yes, you'll still be competitive to med schools.
Yes, you are being ridiculous here.
No, an A- does not annoy many of us. Many of us aspire to an A-.

And lastly, yes you do sound like an anal premed.
Agree completely. If you can pull a slate of A minuses in the prereqs you won't be closing too many doors. But still shoot for the A in every subsequent class because every little bit helps in the numbers game portion of the application process.
 

youthman

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2005
215
1
Status
You're not being anal. A 3.7 is not the same as a 4.0!
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,895
Status
Attending Physician
youthman said:
You're not being anal. A 3.7 is not the same as a 4.0!
If your app gets put in the same consideration pile, it's the same. :)
 

youthman

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2005
215
1
Status
Are you saying an applicant with a 3.7 gpa is just as competitive as an applicant with a 4.0 gpa? If the competition is fierce, one definitely has an advantage over the other. Maybe I just see things differently because vet school adcoms can be a lot more picky :0
 

Olddodger

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2005
111
0
Status
youthman said:
Are you saying an applicant with a 3.7 gpa is just as competitive as an applicant with a 4.0 gpa? If the competition is fierce, one definitely has an advantage over the other. Maybe I just see things differently because vet school adcoms can be a lot more picky :0
Hi Youthman,

I agree. In a game of inches, every one counts. Let's face it, a lot non-trads have to do some kind of damage control, and if you had a C- the first time around, you definately want to show that you can demonstrate a command of the material to the extent that can be measured (hey, I did MUCH better than a 93, but the scale only goes to 'A' ;) ).

Best,
Oldie
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,895
Status
Attending Physician
youthman said:
Are you saying an applicant with a 3.7 gpa is just as competitive as an applicant with a 4.0 gpa? If the competition is fierce, one definitely has an advantage over the other. Maybe I just see things differently because vet school adcoms can be a lot more picky :0
I'm saying once you break a 3.7 or so, each increment in GPA is not going to carry all that much weight -- you get far more bang for your buck in other parts of your application. Someone with a 3.7 and objectively stronger ECs or a better interviewee will beat a 4.0 pretty much every time, and at every school. So yes, I'm basically saying if you have a 3.7, any problem you may have in not getting into a top school will have nothing to do with any shortcomings in your GPA.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,895
Status
Attending Physician
Olddodger said:
Hi Youthman,

I agree. In a game of inches, every one counts. Let's face it, a lot non-trads have to do some kind of damage control, and if you had a C- the first time around, you definately want to show that you can demonstrate a command of the material to the extent that can be measured (hey, I did MUCH better than a 93, but the scale only goes to 'A' ;) ).

Best,
Oldie
It's not a game of inches, it's a freaking marathon.
 

relentless11

Going broke and loving it
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2001
1,584
9
Visit site
Status
Pre-Medical
Law2Doc said:
It's not a game of inches, it's a freaking marathon.
As much as it pains me that an A- is a 3.7, I have to add that some schools, may cap GPA's, where you get an extra "point" on your application if you are 3.7 or above. Therefore just to support Law2Doc's statement that
each increment in GPA is not going to carry all that much weight.

Personally, I think anyone who is at a 3.5-3.6 and above are pretty on the same level. There are so many factors to consider beyond GPA that the A-'s become moot. From a competition point of view, if one only had A-'s from UC Berkeley, I would consider a 3.7 to be a GOOD THING;).

youthman said:
Are you saying an applicant with a 3.7 gpa is just as competitive as an applicant with a 4.0 gpa? If the competition is fierce, one definitely has an advantage over the other. Maybe I just see things differently because vet school adcoms can be a lot more picky :0
Yea from a vet school perspective, the numbers are VERY important. Here at UCD, 50% of what gets you into vet school IS GPA + GRE. Since the GRE is pretty easy, the GPA will be a huge factor. This is for good reason too, since our vet program gives out letter grades rather than pass/no pass. I had the opportunity to sit in 2 vet school courses, and I have to say that the vet students were cutthroat. The mean was about 84-87%, and there was no curve. The classes weren't easy...I wouldn't call pathology and oncology for the 2nd years as being easy;). On a side note I did get an A though..haha :D
 

DrWanahbe

Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2006
57
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Trust me, I know just how you feel. I too, understand and KNOW that EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS.

I HATE that ONE question can totally "blow" an exam grade. One. Bomb one, and that's it.

I just finished up my first pre req - Gen Chem I. I will be getting no lower than B, but the fact that I don't think it's an A is KILLING ME.

In fact a non-trad 3rd year med student pretty much said "Yep, that might hurt you." Just what I needed to hear. And I'm not a person who needs to do damage control - the only C I've ever gotten was in Bowling! I guess I feel I need to do whatever it takes - I'm profoundly hearing impaired and I'm sure med schools are just going to LOVE that!

So, what am I doing? I'm looking for chemistry tests, quizzes and exams to work on. I'm trying get my foundation rock solid before I start Chem 104 in the fall. Am I insane? Probably. But this means so much to me that it will be worth it!
 

poly800rock

Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2006
189
1
Status
DrWanahbe said:
Trust me, I know just how you feel. I too, understand and KNOW that EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS.

I HATE that ONE question can totally "blow" an exam grade. One. Bomb one, and that's it.

I just finished up my first pre req - Gen Chem I. I will be getting no lower than B, but the fact that I don't think it's an A is KILLING ME.

In fact a non-trad 3rd year med student pretty much said "Yep, that might hurt you." Just what I needed to hear. And I'm not a person who needs to do damage control - the only C I've ever gotten was in Bowling! I guess I feel I need to do whatever it takes - I'm profoundly hearing impaired and I'm sure med schools are just going to LOVE that!

So, what am I doing? I'm looking for chemistry tests, quizzes and exams to work on. I'm trying get my foundation rock solid before I start Chem 104 in the fall. Am I insane? Probably. But this means so much to me that it will be worth it!
yeah, post bac hell, where a B+ is the end of the world..
 

Olddodger

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2005
111
0
Status
DrWanahbe said:
So, what am I doing? I'm looking for chemistry tests, quizzes and exams to work on. I'm trying get my foundation rock solid before I start Chem 104 in the fall. Am I insane? Probably. But this means so much to me that it will be worth it!
Check out Purdue's Department of Chemistry website. They have a ton of good stuff, and LOTS of old test questions online with answers (they call it Chem 115/116).

Best,
Oldie
 

DrWanahbe

Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2006
57
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks Oldie! I'm on the site right now, but I'm not seeing where specifically I should go (I just goggled Purdue Chemistry and it popped right up)

Any advice from here?

ETA - Nevermind I think I found it! Thanks again.
 

thoffen

Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 14, 2006
1,326
655
Status
Attending Physician
MedSchoolFool said:
Sometimes it's harder to let go of those times when you just barely missed your goal than it is to let go of those times when you missed your goal by a large margin. I have a few classes over the years that I just can't stop thinking...what if?

I'm also having this problem with the academic honors I graduated with this year. In order to be magna cum laude my college required a minimum GPA of 3.821 at graduation. I graduated with a 3.816. I mean....I am only .005 points away. UUGGGHHHHH!!!!!
Really puts things into perspective. The school I went to assigns magna cum laude at 3.35 GPA. And it's not just being generous...it's just extremely rigorous. GPA can be a very subjective measure.

And I second your comment about the times barely coming up short. In DiffEq, my last of 6 finals, I gave up studying because I needed a 54 to keep my A....what did I get on the final? A 52. Lesson learned. Never be satisfied.
 
About the Ads