162554

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Hey Guys,

Just looking for an outside opinion on this,

I have a low BCPM, 2.9, probably 3.1 once grades are in. Its largely due to weaknesses in freshman year (took both physics and bio).

On the other hand i got a 36 on the MCATs (13p 12b 11v) and my overall GPA has a strong upward trend (3's freshman year to 3.5+ last few semesters, 3.4 cumulative)

I wanted to get someone's opinions on whether or not i should bother applying to MD and/or DO?

I have fairly strong ECs and LORs, if it makes any difference...


Thoughts? (Thanks in advance)
 

TheRealMD

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Depending on how your grades look for other years, I'd think about waiting until after you finish your senior year (assuming you are applying during your senior year) before you apply. Also consider a post-bacc if necessary. Unfortunately, taking 1-2 semesters to adapt to the difficultly of college sometimes means taking more classes to prove that you can handle the work in med school.
 

MilkmanAl

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I got in with a 2.9 BCMP/35 MCAT, but I'm definitely an exception to the rule. I also suggest finishing your senior year to boost your GPA before applying. Apply DO and MD, and as long as you can break that 3.0 barrier on your BCMP and can interview well, I'd imagine you'll get in somewhere if you apply broadly enough.
 

vicinihil

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I hope you can get in...However, I think your grades are a bit too low without a post-bacc/SMP or at least a full year of senior grades to boost it. As a doctor on the admissions committee told me once, he sees a fair share of people applying with high 2.x and 40mcats which just goes to show they are smart but lazy and it doesn't cut it for med school. I think you need to prove yourself on the hard working part because only you know how difficult your class/situation was, not the adcom.

I wouldn't apply DO and use it as a backup unless you are passionate about the DO philosophy. Otherwise you'll be frustrated with your degree later on.
 

flip26

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Hey Guys,

Just looking for an outside opinion on this,

I have a low BCPM, 2.9, probably 3.1 once grades are in. Its largely due to weaknesses in freshman year (took both physics and bio).

On the other hand i got a 36 on the MCATs (13p 12b 11v) and my overall GPA has a strong upward trend (3's freshman year to 3.5+ last few semesters, 3.4 cumulative)

I wanted to get someone's opinions on whether or not i should bother applying to MD and/or DO?

I have fairly strong ECs and LORs, if it makes any difference...


Thoughts? (Thanks in advance)
Any pre req below a C or C+? May need to retake.

You need to continue the upward GPA trend. At the same time, since you already have a great MCAT, you do not want to "lose" it to the calendar.

You really need to be hitting on all cylinders your senior year. You say you have been getting 3.5+, but your goal should be 4.0 for your senior year.

I say do that, and apply next year.
 

vicinihil

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However, give it a shot at your state school. Apply to a few schools if you want. Only cost you upwards of $300 or so if you have that change to spare?
 
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162554

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Thanks for the opinions guys,
to answer some of your questions:

-No pre-reqs below a C, 4 are B-, the rest are B to A-

-Also since freshman year ive gotten 3.8, 3.6, 3.5, and 3.8, so i have been trying to get well above a 3.5 for the most part

Another concern of mine, besides my MCAT being timed out, is that I could graduate if i take a course or two during the summer.

Should i be trying to stay in school to take some more science courses in case i don't get in this admissions cycle (i will probably try and apply broadly this round, but i do realize its a 1 in a million chance).

Furthermore, the two courses id be taking this summer are science courses Would AdComms see them if the would be done by August?
 

redlight

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actually, a 3.4 cum is on the low side, but i dont think it's low enough to get you automatically screened out at most places. id most def wait until the end of senior year to get it up a bit. if adcoms get to see your grades, the upward trend will be looked upon favorably. however, with that said, it seems as though you really need to bump up your bcmp. given your high scores on the science sections of the mcat, this should be feasible.

i hate asking this, but what kind of school do you go to? im starting to realize that this can make a reasonable impact on how your grades are viewed.
 
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162554

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I go to a school thats in teh top 30, but not ivy?

After hearing from you guys, i think ill probably stay the next year or start an informal post bac, and try next year.
 

redlight

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my school question was a little too vague. what i was trying to say is that applicants from schools with well-known tough programs/considered academic powerhouses or schools with a higher than average quality student body (in terms of academic performance of student body as a whole, which generally means the more selective the school is the 'better' the student body) seem to get a little more slack than applicants from lesser known or presumably less rigorous/competitive schools. when it comes to gpa. mcats, however, are more or less viewed as an equalizer so your high score places you among the best applicants in the country...

so the upward trend, rigor of institution, high mcat, decent ec's and lors may be enough to get in somewhere, but id delay application to boost your gpa so you wont have to avoid schools that screen

:luck:
 
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162554

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Just a little update, i dont know how much this changes anything, but....

i completely forgot about this one six credit math course i took so as it stands right now i have a 3.1 BCPM, and once grades are in it will be 3.2

Does this significantly change whether or not i should apply?

Btw, Redlight my school is pretty highly ranked for premed studies. I spoke to a mt. sinai admissions officer who said that they consider our reported GPAs deflated by about .2 (considering competition and course difficulty)

i dont know how true that actually is, but thats what ive been told by fairly authoritarian sources
 

flip26

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Just a little update, i dont know how much this changes anything, but....

i completely forgot about this one six credit math course i took so as it stands right now i have a 3.1 BCPM, and once grades are in it will be 3.2

Does this significantly change whether or not i should apply?

Btw, Redlight my school is pretty highly ranked for premed studies. I spoke to a mt. sinai admissions officer who said that they consider our reported GPAs deflated by about .2 (considering competition and course difficulty)

i dont know how true that actually is, but thats what ive been told by fairly authoritarian sources
Well, assuming they spot you the .2, that puts your BCMP at 3.4, and your overall at 3.6? That is still well below their GPA numbers...FWIW I have a friend you got in and is going, and he has 3.85/36...MSSM seems a bit number whorish if you ask me...

I think that .2 only really matters if it will push you up to or over their median numbers...sounds like somebody was trying to be nice to you because I really doubt if they do that kind of literal calculation...
 

scarletgirl777

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Well, assuming they spot you the .2, that puts your BCMP at 3.4, and your overall at 3.6? That is still well below their GPA numbers...FWIW I have a friend you got in and is going, and he has 3.85/36...MSSM seems a bit number whorish if you ask me...

I think that .2 only really matters if it will push you up to or over their median numbers...sounds like somebody was trying to be nice to you because I really doubt if they do that kind of literal calculation...
Schools really do these type of calculations (and I've heard that MSSM is very Ivy-friendly so this makes sense). Anyway, UCSF up till this cycle had some kind of point system where they'd multiply your GPA by 3, 2, or 1 depending on where you went to school...but this was the last cycle they did this system because they thought it kind of went against their open state school philosophy.

It's your call, but obviously better grades are always better.
 

BigRedder

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I had a little over a 3.3 in both BCPM and Cum plus a 35 MCAT, and I got into one of my state schools and got a couple of other interviews which i declined. I would recommend taking a year "off" to work and maybe take a couple classes, it worked for me.
 

flip26

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Schools really do these type of calculations (and I've heard that MSSM is very Ivy-friendly so this makes sense). Anyway, UCSF up till this cycle had some kind of point system where they'd multiply your GPA by 3, 2, or 1 depending on where you went to school...but this was the last cycle they did this system because they thought it kind of went against their open state school philosophy.

It's your call, but obviously better grades are always better.
Ivy schools are not generally noted for grade deflation, if that was your point. Ivy schools are noted for having very bright and accomplished students, including premeds, hence the reason that many NE med schools are "ivy friendly."
 
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162554

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Yeah, my big motivation for applying this cycle (and most likely again next cycle) is because i dont want my MCAT to be timed out, so ill take all the shots i can, espcially because im not picky at all as to where i would be willing to go (as long as its a US school, preferably MD)

and once again, i dont know how much they actually have a formula for inflating or deflating grades based on thier reputation, but i do think that they account for the difference

Consider the difference between a 4.0 in pre-med courses taken at a community college and a 4.0 for those taken at harvard?
 

scarletgirl777

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Ivy schools are not generally noted for grade deflation, if that was your point. Ivy schools are noted for having very bright and accomplished students, including premeds, hence the reason that many NE med schools are "ivy friendly."
I go to an Ivy, and we have a special list of schools that tend to take us with lower GPAs. MSSM is on it. This was the opinion of the career office, not some inside info of MSSM, i.e. they look at GPAs of those of us that got in and compare them to average GPA of MSSM acceptees. I can only assume that they consider ranking of school or difficulty of program.
 

flip26

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I go to an Ivy, and we have a special list of schools that tend to take us with lower GPAs. MSSM is on it. This was the opinion of the career office, not some inside info of MSSM, i.e. they look at GPAs of those of us that got in and compare them to average GPA of MSSM acceptees. I can only assume that they consider ranking of school or difficulty of program.

Give us a link, or please post a scan of this list.

I have to see such a list to believe it...
 

scarletgirl777

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Give us a link, or please post a scan of this list.

I have to see such a list to believe it...
This list is copyrighted and I haven't seen it on the website so I'd have to go to the office during business hours and scan it...moreover, once you've seen it, you'll know where I go to school :D Believe it or not, I don't really care. For what it's worth, the list is not very long (although, who knows how many tenths of a point away from the average we had to be before a school made it to the list) and I don't know if that includes people who apply through the special early acceptance program they have for the humanities majors at Mt. Sinai. I just put it out there to show that Mt. Sinai may indeed care about where the OP went to school.

Regardless, OP, the most important information you should be listening to is that of the actual admissions officers (who have no reason to lie..). But again, NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO a better GPA is a better GPA. Consider taking a year off and getting a kick @$$ experience for the gap year--it's really not that bad ;)

Wait, OP, when will your MCAT time out?
 

flip26

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This list is copyrighted and I haven't seen it on the website so I'd have to go to the office during business hours and scan it...moreover, once you've seen it, you'll know where I go to school :D Believe it or not, I don't really care. For what it's worth, the list is not very long (although, who knows how many tenths of a point away from the average we had to be before a school made it to the list) and I don't know if that includes people who apply through the special early acceptance program they have for the humanities majors at Mt. Sinai. I just put it out there to show that Mt. Sinai may indeed care about where the OP went to school.

Regardless, OP, the most important information you should be listening to is that of the actual admissions officers (who have no reason to lie..). But again, NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO a better GPA is a better GPA. Consider taking a year off and getting a kick @$$ experience for the gap year--it's really not that bad ;)

Wait, OP, when will your MCAT time out?
Ivy league schools are not noted for grade deflation. If anything, some of them are notorious for grade inflation.

Check this article on Harvard - half of all students receive As, and 80 percent get honors...

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2002/02/08/edtwof2.htm

I don't know the reputation for each Ivy, but I have never heard of any one of them being notoriously tough on grading...
 

scarletgirl777

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Ivy league schools are not noted for grade deflation. If anything, some of them are notorious for grade inflation.

Check this article on Harvard - half of all students receive As, and 80 percent get honors...

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2002/02/08/edtwof2.htm

I don't know the reputation for each Ivy, but I have never heard of any one of them being notoriously tough on grading...
This article is 6 years old, and the information is no longer accurate. Ivies are cutting back on their honors.

EDIT: So I guess I need to back this up with links: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-03-27-princeton-grades_N.htm

http://www.college.harvard.edu/academics/resources/honors_faqs.html (Still pretty high, but not that high)

http://www.yale.edu/yalecollege/publications/ycps/chapter_i/honors/general.html

Also note that science classes at these schools are still curved (whereas many of the humanities are not). At these schools, curves usually result in lower grades because the teachers create really hard exams to create a curve, whereas in the noncurved humanities classes everyone tends to work hard and do fairly well. So premeds from these schools may have more "deflated" grades particularly from the basic prerequisites than humanities majors who aren't premed. The recent exception is Princeton, which is now curving everything.

Also, note that in general, I would say that grade inflation is pretty prevalent at private schools...you are often admitting students from a narrow range of abilities and there's only so much of a bell curve that you can make.

Again, this is besides the point. The point is that the Mt. Sinai adcom takes where you go to school into account, at least according to what the OP says. I was just trying to point out that we maybe should not dismiss the info that the OP was getting from the Mt. Sinai admissions office.
 

drizzt3117

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Penn, Columbia, and Cornell are a bit more rigorous gradewise than the others in the sciences. Princeton isn't a walk in the park either.
 

flip26

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This article is 6 years old, and the information is no longer accurate. Ivies are cutting back on their honors.

EDIT: So I guess I need to back this up with links: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-03-27-princeton-grades_N.htm

http://www.college.harvard.edu/academics/resources/honors_faqs.html (Still pretty high, but not that high)

http://www.yale.edu/yalecollege/publications/ycps/chapter_i/honors/general.html

Also note that science classes at these schools are still curved (whereas many of the humanities are not). At these schools, curves usually result in lower grades because the teachers create really hard exams to create a curve, whereas in the noncurved humanities classes everyone tends to work hard and do fairly well. So premeds from these schools may have more "deflated" grades particularly from the basic prerequisites than humanities majors who aren't premed. The recent exception is Princeton, which is now curving everything.

Also, note that in general, I would say that grade inflation is pretty prevalent at private schools...you are often admitting students from a narrow range of abilities and there's only so much of a bell curve that you can make.

Again, this is besides the point. The point is that the Mt. Sinai adcom takes where you go to school into account, at least according to what the OP says. I was just trying to point out that we maybe should not dismiss the info that the OP was getting from the Mt. Sinai admissions office.
Umm, your first link MAKES MY POINT about Ivy grade inflation - you were trying to make a point about there being grade "deflation" at Ivy schools - so per your link, Princeton has made moves to limit As to 35 percent (wow - what a burden on the poor students! - at my school, some of my classes have fewer than 10 percent As, and in most of them, As are no more than about 20 percent of the grades - I don't know of a single class I have taken where 35+% received a freaking A; and I go to a top ranked research university, too, not some backwater 4th tier).

And the article goes on to give examples of the widespread grade inflation at Ivy league schools...and how absolutely nothing is being done about it.

And for all I know med school applicants from my school get a .2 or .3 added to their GPAs, too, but I have never heard anybody at my school say such a thing, nor have I ever seen a "list" produced by my school advising students of med schools that do such a thing...

If med schools favor Ivy applicants, and I think there is plenty of evidence that some of them do, then that is none of my concern (i.e., nothing I can do about it). But I think it is ludicrous to claim that med schools add .2 or .3 to the already inflated grades of students from Ivy league schools to justify admitting them...
 

surfstarj

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So...

PUT THE CLASS MEDIAN GRADE ON THE TRANSCRIPT.

If we look at Student X who got a a B in orgo with a median of C+ vs. Student Y who got an A- in orgo but the median was also an A-...who wins?

Obviously Y gets the 3.7 but X outperformed the people in their class and was probably operating under stricter grading.

Grades mean nothing unless you have a standard and there just isn't one. Almost every single school in the country inflates grades in one or another department. Everyone knows the easy classes to take at their colleges if they choose to. This "grade inflation" discussion is getting really old. It's practically universal.
 

scarletgirl777

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Umm, your first link MAKES MY POINT about Ivy grade inflation - you were trying to make a point about there being grade "deflation" at Ivy schools - so per your link, Princeton has made moves to limit As to 35 percent (wow - what a burden on the poor students! - at my school, some of my classes have fewer than 10 percent As, and in most of them, As are no more than about 20 percent of the grades - I don't know of a single class I have taken where 35+% received a freaking A; and I go to a top ranked research university, too, not some backwater 4th tier).

And the article goes on to give examples of the widespread grade inflation at Ivy league schools...and how absolutely nothing is being done about it.

And for all I know med school applicants from my school get a .2 or .3 added to their GPAs, too, but I have never heard anybody at my school say such a thing, nor have I ever seen a "list" produced by my school advising students of med schools that do such a thing...

If med schools favor Ivy applicants, and I think there is plenty of evidence that some of them do, then that is none of my concern (i.e., nothing I can do about it). But I think it is ludicrous to claim that med schools add .2 or .3 to the already inflated grades of students from Ivy league schools to justify admitting them...
I was only trying to make 2 points:

1. Some schools care about where you went to school (regardless of whether or not it's an "Ivy"). For some people, this is good news. For other people, it is useless news and they should keep on doing what they're doing. I only started this back and forth because you went so far as to tell the OP to disregard something that an admissions officer told him :rolleyes:

2. Grades are treated differently at different Ivy League schools and at different departments at these schools, and gross generalizations are being made. And nowhere are "half" of people getting As as you so misstated. Would I say there is grade deflation as compared to other schools? No, but I would say within a school some majors are "deflated" in comparison to others. Also, you were making some outdated claims and I corrected them.
 

flip26

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I was only trying to make 2 points:

1. Some schools care about where you went to school (regardless of whether or not it's an "Ivy"). For some people, this is good news. For other people, it is useless news and they should keep on doing what they're doing. I only started this back and forth because you went so far as to tell the OP to disregard something that an admissions officer told him :rolleyes:

2. Grades are treated differently at different Ivy League schools and at different departments at these schools, and gross generalizations are being made. And nowhere are "half" of people getting As as you so misstated. Would I say there is grade deflation as compared to other schools? No, but I would say within a school some majors are "deflated" in comparison to others. Also, you were making some outdated claims and I corrected them.
You are really hanging your hat on that "outdated" claim regarding 80 percent honors at Harvard that has now been reduced, but the fact remains that nearly half the grades awarded at Harvard are As...and that was the real point.

So maybe "half the people" aren't getting As, but around "half the grades" are As, and compared to my top 25 research university, that is anywhere from 3 to 5 times as many As as are awarded, so excuse me if I think that Harvard has grade inflation relative to my school, and I am not alone in making this "claim" - even Harvard acknowledges it has a grade inflation problem.
 

scarletgirl777

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You are really hanging your hat on that "outdated" claim regarding 80 percent honors at Harvard that has now been reduced, but the fact remains that nearly half the grades awarded at Harvard are As...and that was the real point.

So maybe "half the people" aren't getting As, but around "half the grades" are As, and compared to my top 25 research university, that is anywhere from 3 to 5 times as many As as are awarded, so excuse me if I think that Harvard has grade inflation relative to my school, and I am not alone in making this "claim" - even Harvard acknowledges it has a grade inflation problem.
Well, I just didn't like the generalization. One school does one thing at some prior time, and it's exaggerated and extrapolated to everyone.

But whatever, the bolded sentence in my last post was the main point. You're right, it was pointless to get into this argument, I should have focused on the point of the bolded sentence.