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Transcript Question.. Plz Help

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by chaldobruin, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. chaldobruin

    chaldobruin Member
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    Hey guys, I have a small dilemma that I have to solve by application time in June. Hopefully some of you experienced people can help me out...

    Heres my situation:

    I'm a senior at UCLA, and my GPA after my first two years was ~3.3. Definitely not competitive for medical school. At that point I wasn't even considering medical school. However, I shadowed the ophthalmologist whom I do research with around the beginning of my junior year. The experiences I had made me really want to do medicine, and this was a turning point in my life. At that point I told myself that nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goal.

    I settled down, finally moved out of the dorms, and improved study habits/started going to office hours/started attending every class. I have received perfect 4.0's ever since then (with the exception of one A- in spanish). The A's have been in classes ranging from evolutionary biology, to psychology, english, neuroscience, biochemistry, and even GE's like linguistics. I just got my grades in fall quarter, 4.0 again, this puts my GPA at a 3.55. At this point I'm just excited to even have a shot at medical school considering I didn't have a chance in hell a year and a half ago.

    Now to my dilemma. I am confident that I will get 4.0's my next two quarters (winter and spring) and this should put me at a 3.62, in the range of some great schools! (I have a 30Q on the MCAT in case you were wondering, 10 10 10). The thing is, I want to apply June 1st. Everyone always underscores the importance of applying early, and of course I want every advantage. Unfortunately at UCLA the spring quarter ends mid june (~15th or so), and by the time I wait for my grades to be updated into the system and send my transcript it will be July.

    Do you guys think I should apply June 1st with a ~3.59 (this is all assuming I get all A's that is), or should I wait until July so I can show the 3.62? Will it make much of a difference? Can I just apply, and later on send an transcript update to schools with the secondary? I've heard stories of people sending update transcripts but the schools never get them. What are your experiences with this?

    I really appreciate any help or valuable advice you guys have for me. Thanks in advance,

    Andrew S.
     
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  3. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    if i were you i would apply june 1st. the difference between a 3.59 and 3.62 is really not that large (the ONLY school i can see it mattering for is U of Miami, which requires you to have a 3.6 before applying). either way you're gonna get people arguing both sides of this debate but its honestly quite arbitrary because none of us are really sure. but i am often surprised by the number of interviews/acceptances mediocre applicants get by applying very early (i'm not calling you mediocre). so if i were you i would go ahead and apply and then after several months of having sent your secondaries in, go ahead and send in an updated transcript (many schools will not care to look at these until after you interview). so, ya thats my advice. and by the way, good **** on getting your act together and pulling through. you sound a lot like me (i got straight As 3 of my last 4 semesters and landed a 3.54). and your mcat scores are money, very nice breakdown. good luck.
    -mota
     
  4. Non-TradTulsa

    Non-TradTulsa Senior Member - Resident
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    Either June 1 or July 1 is fine, of course - either date puts you in the "very early" crowd. The difference in GPA is very minor, but I can see wanting the psychological effect of having a 3.6X rather than a 3.5X. Actually, the schools you apply to will expect to see your Spring grades if at all possible anyway.

    So... since your "stats" are very good but not far ahead of the pack of competitive applicants (your nice balanced 30 is good!), the strategy I would use would be: make sure you "submit" your AMCAS application before the night Spring MCAT scores come out - probably somewhere around April 16. If your UCLA transcript isn't finalized before April 16, send it ASAP after it's available (I used 2-day express mail for my transcripts, and got 'em acknowledged much earlier than some of my friends who used plain US mail). Then, as soon as AMCAS has your transcript, you'll be "queued" for review.

    The game here is trying to be ahead of everyone who submits the night scores come out - and they may already have transcripts in. Don't worry about other people who submit prior to scores coming out - there aren't enough of 'em to worry about much. The advantage will be very small, but if you can submit before scores come out, your application may well be the very first one the schools receive. Being on top of the stack is nice. Don't expect early replies, though - many schools won't even look at apps until July. But, again, if you want to go for the tiny advantage, it's nice to be on the top of the stack. Good luck... I'm sure you'll get admitted no problem if you apply broadly.
     
  5. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Don't sweat it. Being early is important but it is more important that every bit of good information you can muster be in your application at the outset. Also, keep in mind that one med school dean told me that 25% of all the applications arrive the first day! (Meaning the first day that AMCAS sends appies to the med school). So, you are still in a stack of 1,000, even if you are in the very first wave. And believe me, that first wave is going to include people who took the April MCAT. And that first wave will take weeks to wade through before interviews invitations start going out. And applications are still being read and applicaitons invitations are still being issued, now, for Fall 2006.

    Your gpa & MCAT are good and what is even better is that you have a phenomenal improvement that says something about maturity, determination and talent.
     
  6. UCLA2000

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    Get your application in early. That's the most important step! There is no difference between a 3.59, 3.62, or even a 3.55! If you get the application in early you have a much better chance of getting into med school.

    The problem with waiting until July 1st is that you don't know for sure that your prof will get the grade in early. What if he's another week or two late? No biggie for him, but it puts you in a precarious position. Especially since UCLA takes FOREVER to actually send out transcripts once they're formally requested.
     
  7. chaldobruin

    chaldobruin Member
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    I think that I'm just going to apply June 1st, since I was leaning that way anways. I'll try to send a transcript update with my secondaries, so that way the schools will get the new grades even before they consider me for interviews. I'm taking the advice to "apply early" pretty seriously. My numbers are pretty decent but don't make me stand out at all, as someone mentioned.

    Thanks everyone for your help. I wish you all the best of luck in the application process.
     
  8. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    One thing to remember. This year, I don't think a single med school got a single AMCAS application prior to July 7th (only exceptions might be early decision and the Texas system). The first secondary I got was on July 8th. So, submitting your AMCAS on June 1st at midnight isn't much different than submitting it a week later. I know they say that it can take weeks to verify, but most of my friends were verified in a few days. I wish I'd waited for my spring grades - I had great grades (and the semester before was meh at best).
     
  9. Zymogen

    Zymogen Sweet Like Bear Meat
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    While your overall gpa may only rise a little, the extra semester of As on your transcript speaks much louder :thumbup: . I'm actually in the exact same position as you (except for the whole UCLA problem with timelines). I think it's important that we show adcoms that we are currently highly motivated, which means another semester of As (even if we've done it recently).

    I would talk to your pre-health advisor about when to send in your application.

    -RR
     
  10. chaldobruin

    chaldobruin Member
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    Thanks for your reply. When you said "This year, I don't think a single med school got a single AMCAS application prior to July 7th", did you mean a secondary?

    In all honesty I'm not even sure how AMCAS works. Do you fill out all the info, submit your PS, then send your transcript to verify?... then after they verify, they send to all the schools?

    Is it possible that once my grades are in, I can use 1-day express mail to send my transcript to AMCAS and they can verify it within a week?
     
  11. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    As I understand it, the applicant completes the AMCAS application online which includes identifying information, descriptions of Extracurriculars, & the personal statement. One's transcripts are sent to AMCAS for verification. The earliest that this online application can be submitted by the applicant is June 1. As the previous poster noted, it is ~5 weeks before any information is sent electronically to the medical schools. As I mentioned earlier, the first batch of electronic files might number over 1,000. The schools then screen them and send out secondaries or permit applicants to self-screen. I would imagine that those schools that let applicants "self screen" can turn around & get supplementals out rather quickly. The supplementals begin flowing in from applicants a few weeks later along with LORs.

    I began reading applications in early August and I'm almost finished for this season. Most of these last few were August MCAT applicants and those with institutional action (mostly campus drinking) that needed an additional layer of review before they reached me.

    It is a long and exhausting process - for all of us. Is it really that much different than college applications? (with the exception that many colleges don't require interviews)
     

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