ChellyBean

7+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2010
84
38
161
Stanton, CA
Status
Pre-Medical
My school runs on the quarter system. To be honest I screwed up during the Fall (3.0) and the Winter (2.8) quarters. I am currently in the beginning of my Spring quarter. I have no volunteering hours in college yet or any form of research or shadowing. I haven't taken the MCATs yet either. Do I still have a shot at going to a medical school in the state of California. If so, what should I start doing?

I've only taken Chemistry (C, C+) Chem Lab (B) Biology (B+, B) Math (B) and Writing (A-)


I am the first one in my family to go to college so I have no one to turn to for advice.

Much Appreciated.
 

bravofleet4

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2009
730
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Medical Student
hello fellow anteater zot zot zot,

typically, the first year should be spent solely on acquiring good grades. I think this is wise advise b/c you're still adjusting to college life and you don't know where you stand with the rest of your classmates. if you're struggling, though, the first thing you should do is recognize what you're doing wrong and make changes to improve your grades. This could mean seeking professional tutoring services or going to office hours. Perhaps though it's just a matter of too much partying in which case you need to force yourself to take the time to sit down and study.

medical school is usually never out of the question. it's just a matter of dedication and commitment. before you can prove to the medical schools that you can handle a rigorous medical education, you must first show them that you can handle college. although your GPA is low, they will appreciate an upward trend in GPA. make this your first priority before you decide to take up any EC's.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Do I still have a shot at going to a medical school in the state of California. If so, what should I start doing?
As a freshman, it would be fairly quick for you to redeem your low GPA, if you can turn things around starting this quarter. You have a ~2.9 GPA after two quarters. With a quarter of 4.0, your GPA would rise to 3.26. With another year of 4.0, you'd be at 3.6, which most would consider competitive for general purposes. To be competitive in California, keep getting As and you'd be at a 3.73 after your junior year. With that and a strong MCAT score, along with good ECs, supportive LORs, you have a shot at California allopathic med schools.

Don't start ECs just yet. Your priority is to prove you can get As. Don't distract yourself right now until you figure out how to accomplish that.
 

ChellyBean

7+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2010
84
38
161
Stanton, CA
Status
Pre-Medical
Do I really have to get a solid 4.0? Or can I recover with 3.5-3.8? Should I start studying for my MCATs yet?
 
Sep 4, 2006
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I used a 4.0 for illustrative purposes as to what you could accomplish in the shortest period of time. The closer you get to that, the better, as lower grades mean possibly spending an extra year in college to complete the redemptive process if you want to be competitive in California, and also may mean applying two years later than I outlined.
 

Cheez

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2009
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0
141
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm a 4th year at UCI and I finished my freshman year with a 3.0 cGPA. Don't worry about it. I'll be finishing this year with a 3.5 cGPA and had I really buckled down second year i probably could have hit a 3.6. Don't sweat it. Start bio199 research next year and look for some volunteering gigs. I would say SOS free clinic is a good option but they went paperless and aren't going to need volunteers for a while. Oh and 3.6-3.8 will be fine.
 
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bravofleet4

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Jan 17, 2009
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sometimes it helps to meet other pre-meds and find out what they're doing. applying to medical school can seem very overwhelming and you need to know what opportunities are out there to improve your application. I agree that bio 199 would be a natural step to take after improving your GPA and knowing people that have already obtained undergrad research positions would make it so much easier for you.

Share Ourselves is definitely a great place to meet other pre-meds but I dont know too much about how hectic they are now that they've switched to digital records. Usually there was enough downtime to just chat about what we were doing and where we were in the process. There's also a support group for pre-meds that meets weekly on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00 PM led by Dr. Sandoval on the second floor of Natural Sciences I(II?). I think it's listed on the anteater e-mail when they list the activities of clubs and meeting times.
 
Dec 18, 2009
641
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0
under the sun :)
Status
Medical Student
I love the Anteater representation in this thread :)

OP, definitely worry about your grades before anything else. I didn't start ANY extra stuff until sophomore year. Find yourself a study habit/spot that works and once your grades are improved then think about the other stuff. Don't worry about the MCAT just yet since you haven't even covered half the material that will be on there. The classes only get more difficult from here on out so make sure that you start mastering some of your classes. LARC (when the teacher is good) works. I didn't find peer tutoring all that helpful but you might...

When the time is right, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities around UCI like Choc, UCIMC, Hoag, SOS etc. And research is also plenty so don't worry. Grades first!