gogoplata

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Hey everyone. I searched the threads and saw that some people say that AO GPA is important, and others say that it isn't.

I'm a student at an Ivy and my science GPA is around 3.85 and my cumulative GPA is 3.8. The problem is that my non-science GPA is around 3.5. I'm graduating early (in 3 years), so I only have 2 years of classes before applying. Most of my classes have been BCPM, and I wonder if med schools will see my AO GPA and question why my non-science GPA is so much lower than my cumulative/science one. Thoughts? Comments?

Has anyone been in a similar situation or had experience with this?
 

gogoplata

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That's pretty interesting. I always thought that BCPM was more important than cumulative.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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That's pretty interesting. I always thought that BCPM was more important than cumulative.
It's pretty important, because it shows your capacity in sciences. However cgpa being high means your probably good at humanities/social sciences which makes you slightly more interesting then a the reverse who stinks at humanities and good at science.
 

gogoplata

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That's one of the reasons I was worried about my low AO GPA. My cumulative GPA is ok, and it somewhat hides my low AO GPA because it's being pulled up by my BCPM GPA. I saw on the AMCAS application there's a separate slot for AO GPA, which might be a red flag when schools see that the AO GPA is much lower than everything else.
 
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You better just quit now. It's obvious you're not cut out for med school with that 3.8 cumulative.

Seriously? You're fine.
 

Ischemic

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because even if they were aiming for a top medical school, they would still be fine.
Or not. You know how many 4.0/37+ MCAT kids there are out there?? Enough that they could fill all the top 10-15 classes. Fortunately, that's not the only thing that matters. Yes, OP has a pretty good chance at the top schools but most of those top schools are research heavy. Not having good research could hurt her/him as would lacking volunteer/shadowing etc. OP should be worried cause nothing's guaranteed in this process.
 

BlueElmo

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AO is not that important compared to other GPAs, in my experience, like others said.
 

MossPoh

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He/She might be aiming for top medical schools - what's wrong with that?
One should aim for medical school first and worry about the perceived prestige second. So, from a competitive gpa to get in perspective, OP is beyond fine. If they only want top 5 or 10 then it becomes a reach for everyone regardless of scores. There is a point where gpa and mcat scores have less influence though. Despite what people on SDN think, the difference between a 3.8 and 3.9 and a 3.9 to 4.0 really isn't that great. The difference in a person have a 35 MCAT and a 38 MCAT really doesn't change much. It is all the other stuff that separates applicants out. The goal of those basic criteria is to make sure one can handle the rigors of medical school.

I'd even venture to say that once you get above a 3.3 and a 25 MCAT then you could throw most anyone of those people into near any medical school and they'd have an equal chance of succeeding. We have more than our fair share of kids with a 3.8+ and 35+ at my school who are below in class rank to people who entered in the 3.2-3.4 range with a 25ish MCAT. The top two people in our class had to do a special program since their stats weren't good enough to be accepted straight out of undergrad...
 

randombetch

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One should aim for medical school first and worry about the perceived prestige second. So, from a competitive gpa to get in perspective, OP is beyond fine. If they only want top 5 or 10 then it becomes a reach for everyone regardless of scores. There is a point where gpa and mcat scores have less influence though. Despite what people on SDN think, the difference between a 3.8 and 3.9 and a 3.9 to 4.0 really isn't that great. The difference in a person have a 35 MCAT and a 38 MCAT really doesn't change much. It is all the other stuff that separates applicants out. The goal of those basic criteria is to make sure one can handle the rigors of medical school.

I'd even venture to say that once you get above a 3.3 and a 25 MCAT then you could throw most anyone of those people into near any medical school and they'd have an equal chance of succeeding. We have more than our fair share of kids with a 3.8+ and 35+ at my school who are below in class rank to people who entered in the 3.2-3.4 range with a 25ish MCAT. The top two people in our class had to do a special program since their stats weren't good enough to be accepted straight out of undergrad...
Statistical regression studies seem to prove the bolded hypothesis quite incorrect. And anecdotal evidence isn't very convincing either.

To you, maybe a top 10 med school may seem like it'd be a reach for everyone, but I know many, many students who are a sure in at a top 10 med school. If you have >3.8 and >38 MCAT from my undergrad, you're almost guaranteed into a top 10 med school as long as you have decent clinical, volunteering, research, etc. Over 25% of the pre-meds from my Ivy get into a top 10 med school every year. And when >90% of your classmates are getting into medical school, the question of whether or not you'll even get in becomes pretty trivial if you have stats above average for pre-meds at your school.

The difference between a 3.8 and a 3.9 isn't that great, but the OP was asking about his/her 3.5 AO GPA. If he/she had a 3.5 BCMP GPA, that would significantly affect his/her chances at a top 10 med school.

...

his GPA is nothing to worry about. yes, there are plenty of top candidates competing for few spots. but the aspects of his application he is fretting over are not the ones that are going to be holding him back.

hence, worrying for nothing.

EDIT: MossPoh explained it better than I did
If he had known that the aspect of his application he's fretting over isn't going to hold him back, then he wouldn't have made this thread now, would he?
 
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gogoplata

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Again, I just made this thread to get some opinions or to see if anyone else had a similar situation with grades. I'm just concerned about something that might be a red flag on my application.

On a side note, randombetch, do you happen to go to Princeton?
 

bobsmith

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Again, I just made this thread to get some opinions or to see if anyone else had a similar situation with grades. I'm just concerned about something that might be a red flag on my application.

On a side note, randombetch, do you happen to go to Princeton?
In my opinion, a lower AO GPA probably only matters to the extent that it mars your cumulative GPA (which, as others have noted, is fine).

If anything, just based on what you've posted here (since I obviously don't know your personal situation), I'd be more concerned about the 3 years thing moreso than your GPA.
 

gogoplata

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That's another thing I've heard mixed things about. There was a graduate school fair at our school and I talked to some adcoms who were there. Most of them said it was a good thing. When I talked to the dean of admissions at UPenn, he said that if I spent all day in my room studying it's not a benefit, but if I was able to get decent ECs, it should be ok.

The odd thing is that most people outside my school say it's a good thing, but the premed advisers at my school say it's not. From what I've read on SDN it shouldn't be a problem as long as I show that I'm mature and have been able to still be active during college.

In my case, I have some research experience and some decent ECs (EMT, clubs, etc), so I'm hoping it's not a negative aspect of my app.
 

bobsmith

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I only brought up the 3 years thing because I feel like you'll get more questions about that than about the 3.5 AO GPA.

And regarding how graduating in 3 years is sometimes perceived: I saw a post about graduating in 3 years that basically sums up a lot about how I feel about people who speed through college

I also hope LET doesn't mind that I'm copying this:
The fact that you rushed through college by graduating in 3 years indicates that a) you're probably very young, and that generally works to your disadvantage in admissions (medicine is a grown-up job), and b) you kinda missed the point of college in the first place. Unless you had economic reasons or very good other reasons to graduate so soon, it can indicate that you didn't really care enough to take classes that were more advanced than your major required, or stuff that was a little outside the box, that may have not been your cup of tea but could have enriched your learning. Again, this points to lack of curiosity, a sort of apathy toward education. It can sound as if you were like "ok, my parents are doctors, I want to be a doctor, so I'm going to get this college thing done as quickly as I can, get a 3.7, then I guess I should do research/volunteering/shadowing, and take the MCAT, and ok, I'm done".
In that thread, LET was responding to a person who didn't have as much success as he/she would have liked in the application cycle, but that person did get into medical school.

Anyway, you can obviously be successful applying after 2 years, but I also think you have to prove to people not only that you're mature enough to handle medicine (like all applicants), but also that you were mature enough to make this decision and speed through it for good reasons, not just because you felt like you could and you thought it would be "impressive."