UC's -- big on numbers?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by lola, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    I'm curious about how the UC's screen for secondaries and select people to interview. Do you think it's all based on numbers? I know for undergrad they are big on numbers. I'm just curious whether or not you think they take other things into consideration and also if the selection process differs by school. Thanks!
     
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  3. superdood68

    superdood68 Senior Member

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    overall, i think the uc's are based on numbers...
     
  4. well considering how competitive these schools are, they are pretty much biased towards higher gpa's and MCAT scores...ya'll
     
  5. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    I guess what I mean is, do you have any idea if they look at a 3.7 from a great school vs. a 3.7 from a crap school the same way.
     
  6. inanna

    inanna Member

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    I got this directly from a former member of UCLA's adcom...they don't even consider an application for an interview with MCAT scores below 33. (They'll happily send you a secondary--and take your additional $40--to 'confirm' those numbers, however. :rolleyes: )

    He didn't mention the GPA factor, but, obviously, the decision to give an interview or not is all about your numbers, unless you have something else EXTRAORDINARY on your app. I don't have first-hand knowledge about the other UC's, but I'm sure they have a similar M.O.
     
  7. Dr. Will

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by inanna:
    <strong>I got this directly from a former member of UCLA's adcom...they don't even consider an application for an interview with MCAT scores below 33. (They'll happily send you a secondary--and take your additional $40--to 'confirm' those numbers, however. :rolleyes: )

    He didn't mention the GPA factor, but, obviously, the decision to give an interview or not is all about your numbers, unless you have something else EXTRAORDINARY on your app. I don't have first-hand knowledge about the other UC's, but I'm sure they have a similar M.O.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I've heard this for the others UC's also. Need at least a 32-33 MCAT to even be considered.
     
  8. El Jefe

    El Jefe The Jefe

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    The UCs might have some numerical cut-off point for interviews, but I can definitely tell you that you need a lot more than just the numbers to secure one.
     
  9. Cambrian

    Cambrian Colonel/Senior Member

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    Yes, this is generally true. UC's tend to favor applicants with high GPAs and MCATs. But there are exceptions however. The UC's that tend to rely mostly on numbers are UCSF and UCLA (especially with MCAT). The UC's that look beyond the numbers are the rest, even UCSD. This is most evident in their secondaries, especially with UCSD. UCSD asks to elaborate your life with their autobiography, which I think is great. While the UCLA secondary basically repeats the questions that were asked in the primary app. UCSF doesn't even have any questions on their secondary.
     
  10. Dr Happy

    Dr Happy Junior Member

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    I think that the UCs can be selective in terms of numbers because they receive the cream of the crop applicants. However, I know for a fact that 33 is NOT the cutoff. I personally know a lot of people with lower than a 33 who have interviewed at UCs and who have been accepted to UCs. I think if you have high numbers, it can't hurt. But, just because you have high numbers is NOT a guarantee that you will get in. The UC admissions process is extremely random and there is unfortunately no way to predict the decisions that they will make. I encourage everyone to give the UCs your best shot, but don't take it personally if they don't take you. I honestly believe that the UCs take the entire package into consideration. What exactly they are looking for, I don't know. Hope that helps. :) GOOD LUCK!!
     
  11. anteater

    anteater Member

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    I know someone who had a 28 and got an interview at UCLA...I don't think 33 is the cut off...
    However, I do think that once you get past the interviews the numbers really factor in in the final decision (i.e. whether you get an outright acceptances or waitlisted). I think at that point, people w/high numbers go first, even if they had bad interviews. A member of the UCLA adcom has told me that high numbers have outweighed bad interview scores and got people accepted right of the bat
     
  12. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    you guys are full of crap...if you really want to be considered for an interview...be a URM or be friggin amazing in some way. UC's want to be diverse.

    A lot of my friends have high scores, but they didn't get interviews. Of course many of them are white males. Ah well...of course I am not bitter... :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  13. vyc

    vyc Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by inanna:
    <strong>I got this directly from a former member of UCLA's adcom...they don't even consider an application for an interview with MCAT scores below 33. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">again, just to reiterate what others have responded.
    i personally know at least one person at UCLA med school who had an MCAT score of 29.

    i interviewed at UCSD with an MCAT score below 33.

    so that is not a cut off, by any means.
     
  14. California

    California Senior Member

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    I don't fit your MCAT criteria (though, I'm very close) and I received interviews from two of the five UC institituions-UC Irvine and UC San Diego.

    In my opinion, I think to secure an interview at a UC institution you must have good grades (3.5 GPA or above), an MCAT score above a 30 (with no sub-score below a 7), and several extracurricular activities in which your immersed your heart and soul. (As a side note, I think the only way an extracurricular activity can be relevant is if you write about it in your essay and show the growth and maturity it helped you achieve. YOU HAVE TO SHOW THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE WHAT THE ACTIVITY MEANT TO YOU. If you do so, I guarantee it is a recipe for success. Those who don't are often times those with a high GPA and MCAT score.) However, there will always be exceptions to one of the three criteria I have listed for whatever reason.

    One last thing, I declined to specifiy my race on my AMCAS application. So, IN MY OPINION, those who use race as the only excuse for not receiving an interview are kidding themselves. UC institutions want a diverse class, but they also want the best and the brightest (REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOR, OR ETHNICITY). I, myself, am not a URM and I certainly was not disadvantaged!
     
  15. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    For those people who are exceptions and have been interviewed without stellar MCATs... were they all URMs or disadvantaged? Just wondering... I'm beginning to think it'll be pretty much impossible for me to get an interview without doing really really well on the August MCAT.
     
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  17. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Scooby Doo:
    <strong>you guys are full of crap...if you really want to be considered for an interview...be a URM or be friggin amazing in some way. UC's want to be diverse. Ah well...of course I am not bitter... :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">It's sad that many really believe that being a URM will open the gates to heaven. I'm a URM and I got accepted and rejected like everyone else and UCI didn't even offer me an interview. The success I personally had with the rest of the UCs was a combo of both good stats and work experience outside the typical medical, research and tutoring stuff, and I second that the UCs in fact seek out high numbers. However, high numbers and generic ECs will not get u far within the California schools.

    In short, the UCs can afford to pick students with high stats and that also have interesting ECs. In short, you need both to be successful.
     
  18. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    I don't think that being a URM will open the gates to heaven, but I do think that it gives you an edge when there are hundreds of qualified applicants. If someone is going over a stack of applications that are all pretty equal, the URM, the olympic athlete, and the class president are going to stand out.
     
  19. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by lola:
    <strong>I don't think that being a URM will open the gates to heaven, but I do think that it gives you an edge when there are hundreds of qualified applicants. If someone is going over a stack of applications that are all pretty equal, the URM, the olympic athlete, and the class president are going to stand out.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">exactly! That's what I am saying.

    Diversity in California means this:

    WE are all in state residents. To distinguish ourselves, you have to have a lot of extra stuff. Either be a URM...or be disadvantaged....or have something great that separates you from all the other nonURM applicants.

    This does not apply as much to east coast schools. For them, diversity includes anyone from the west coast, skin color comes in as an extra piece of diversity...but saying someone came from a UC and is now going to XXX med school on east coast represents diversity to them!
     
  20. bomback

    bomback Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by inanna:
    <strong>I got this directly from a former member of UCLA's adcom...they don't even consider an application for an interview with MCAT scores below 33.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Umm, anyone who told you such a thing is flat out lieing because the average MCAT for accepted students for most UC schools is below 33. Plus I know many people who have gotten in and been interviewed with MCATS below 30.
     
  21. Forensic Chick

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    Okay -- question for those experienced with the UC's... I'm a Cali resident with some interesting extra curriculars (3000+ hrs during college) with no research experience. I go to a CSU and will be graduating in June. My GPA is low (3.4) and I just took the MCAT. But - I took ~30 units/quarter (going to multiple schools) and will be graduating in 3 years. Do that ADCOM's care about that?? I know that my GPA would be higher if I would have only taken 12 units/quarter - but do they have understanding when a large amount of units are taken? I'd love to go to any UC - but do I even have a chance??

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  22. HanSolo

    HanSolo Member

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    Hi Forensic Chick,
    I think when it comes to UC med schools admission, nobody knows for certain, except sitting adcom members themselves. Sure, you get a chance... now whether that is a big fat chance depends on how well you do on your MCAT, and how good in a mood the adcom members, who review your file, feel on that particular day, seriously. One UC interviewer told me that he picked me out for interview because he felt piqued by 1 my totally unrelated, rather embarrassing work experience :)
     
  23. Cambrian

    Cambrian Colonel/Senior Member

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    Wow Cong, that's totally how I think the UC adcom people pick applicants for interview somtimes. That is completely random and kind of unfair for other people actually. Just because one guy likes some gritty tiny detail about you and he picks you for an interview. Can you elaborate on what UC this was?
     
  24. Kazzar

    Kazzar Psychiatrist

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    I think its all relative.... some of the UCs might use numbers for cutoffs at the secondary phase. They also might count the number of experiences. Nobody knows for sure, but you can't take advice from one admission staffer. I have heard a lot of bullsh*te on this board, and the only book you can trust is the MSAR. Look at the stats of the average accepted applicant and account for a standard deviation below and above.

    However, if you get to at least the interview phase, they look at the applicant as a whole. I am sure UCLA and UCSF have so many outstanding students who have all some fascinating tidbit about their personality, great recs, and stellar hospital experience, so sometimes they might go by numbers (high ones at that) to make life easier for them.

    I heard UCI has a 3 tier scoring system (once you get past the interview): The three sides are your grades/MCAT, extracurricular activities, and then personality/uniqueness/interview. So its all not grades, but I would think strong grades and weak extracurriculars are weighed better than weak grades and many extracurriculars. They have to think you'll make it past all the boards and get good residency matches.
     
  25. Joe Joe on da Radio

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    i know for a fact at ucla that if you make it past the secondary phase, only 1 person decides whether or not you will get an interview! 1 PERSON! he/she gets a stack of applications, say 5-10 and picks 1 to interview. it all depends on who you're grouped with and whether you're the most outstanding or interesting applicant in the bunch. they think it's "fair." hmph.
     
  26. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending

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    This is from a good source from ucsf.

    In order to get a secondary, your gpa (science and nonscience), school competitiveness, instate residency, mcat, and personal statement are numerically ranked. If it passes their pre-assigned cutoff you get a secondary.

    In order to get an interview your LOR's and 'maturity' are numerically evaluated. They add this to the previous number and if it passes their cutoff, you get an interview.

    UCSF has two interviews. Each interviewer writes and evaluation, after which a numerical value is determined (1 to 4) for both interviewers. You need to average a 3.5, in other words. Both numbers must add up to 7 or above if you are to be considered for an outright acceptance.

    Then, it becomes the whole application again. 1/3numbers, 1/3 LOR's and statement, and 1/3 interview (or something like that...this is where it gets mysterious).

    Anyway..I know plenty of people at UCSF who got under a 33 on the mcat and are white. I don't think it is as black and white as some people make it seem. Each UC does their system a bit differently. I got rejected presecondary from Davis and preinterview from ucsd (hold) and ucla, but got interviews at UCSF and UCI. When I try to rationalize it, I get really confused...They do look for diversity (which takes into consideration your ethnicity) but I don't think that means that caucasians and asians need a 35 or greater to have a shot. If so, I am screwed :) By the way, I'm waitlisted at UCI and awaiting a postinterview response from UCSF. I got a 32R on the mcat, and am a nontrad applicant (with no gold medals, no 4.0, i wasn't in a rock band, and i didn't start my own dotcom).
     
  27. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    nice big fat thread...

    i think the most important thing is to be really dedicated to volunteer work and helping out your community -- and taking on a leadership role in those positions. add research for ucsd, ucla, ucsf.

    my friends that didn't get interviews at most of the uc's didn't do significant volunteer work. so that's my 2cents.

    goodluck
     
  28. Raist

    Raist Member

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    Souljah1, is your source reliable? Are you saying that they only examine gpa, mcat scores, school rank, personal statement, lotr's, and "maturity" when decided to give interviews? Where do research and extracurricular activities fall into (are they just thrown into the 'maturity' factor?) and how important are they? Thanks so much.
     
  29. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Raist:
    <strong>Souljah1, is your source reliable? Are you saying that they only examine gpa, mcat scores, school rank, personal statement, lotr's, and "maturity" when decided to give interviews? Where do research and extracurricular activities fall into (are they just thrown into the 'maturity' factor?) and how important are they? Thanks so much.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'm pretty sure EC's and research would factor into maturity (though they may take that into consideration pre-secondary, but most likely they factor in more for who gets an interview). The source is a student in the Berkeley/UCSF program who has a 'friend' who supposedly had some experience on the adcom. Who knows the real deal? I'm just stating what i've heard.
     
  30. buglady

    buglady We need more cowbell

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    I just wanted to add a few things...

    The 33 cut-off is a bit on the high side. I was just chatting with someone I knew from high school that is a MS-3 at UCSD. He informed me that he was worried that his 29 on the MCAT would hold him back from getting into any of the UC's. He got 3 secondaries back, UCD, UCI and UCSD. He was a college athlete, though, and stressed that if you have one activity that really sets you apart from the rest of the applicant pool, then talk about it in your personal statement. He also mentioned something about UCSD really paying attention to your verbal score.

    Also, a good friend of mine has known several people who have sat on the UCD ad-com and said that getting a 7 on one of the sections of the MCAT doesn't disqualify you from an interview. It's kind of the cut-off. If you have a 6, well, then, you have a problem. There are med students that sit on the ad-com and they usually fight for the people that might not have the highest scores. Just remember that there are people out there who are fighting for a spot for you! :cool:
     
  31. Forensic Chick

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    Hey guys,

    I really want to thank you for all of the info you've provided. I hope I still have a chance -- you can't beat the tuition of the UC's and they're all great schools. It is great to know that there are people fighting for those of us who haven't immunized every member of a third world country or have been published multiple times in Nature.

    Many thanks! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     

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