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what are my chances? low GPA good MCAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ayj, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. ayj

    ayj Member
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    hey guys,

    I'm sorry if you've all seen too many 'what are my chances' posts but I'm seriously concerned about my applications and trying to decide if I should make plans to reapply next year and would greatly appreciate any input.

    The capsule summary is 3.1 GPA at the University of Maryland and MCAT of 11 VR 13 PS 12 BS Q WS.

    More details are I have a bachelor's in aerospace engineering. I took 4 courses post-bacc. They were Orgo I,II and Biology I,II. I took them in that order and my grades were C, B, A, A. I totally screwed up first semester of orgo, but that was because I wasn't prepared for a class that has so much memorization and because I'd forgotten all my general chemistry that I'd taken 6 years before that class. I also volunteer once a week at Children's National Medical Center and have for the last two years.

    My pre-med advisor said he doesn't think MCAT scores can compensate for a low GPA and basically does not think my chances are that great. Some of the schools I'm interested in are George Washington, Georgetown, Univ of Maryland, MCP/Drexel, NYMC, Penn State, Temple, USC. What do you guys think? Should I start putting in apps for a post-baccalaureat program instead of med school?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Anton
     
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  3. Woots32

    Woots32 kinda funky, kinda fine
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    Welcome to SDN ayj! :clap:

    I think you should go for it! Those are great MCAT scores :D , and hopefully adcomms will realize that aerospace engineering may be harder than your average bio major. But if you're worried, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to apply to a few postbacc programs as a backup.

    Good luck! :)
     
  4. opus

    opus Member
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    If you get interviews, then your stats are OK. I had a 3.2 from Notre Dame and 35 MCAT. Got 3 interviews last year but they all thought I needed more ECs. Have 3 interviews this year so far and improved ECs. I would not listen to anyone and apply. You look good.
     
  5. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    The answer to your question will depend on the rest of your application. If you have made yourself stand out via EC, research, and community service, then a 3.1 GPA is no big deal.

    Don't focus too much on raw numbers.
     
  6. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    HELLO AYJ!!! And welcome to SDN!!

    I'm very excited to see your post b/c I graduated in 2001 with a 3.1 GPA. I did some post-bacc stuff last year while working full-time, got a solid MCAT (your's is better), and guess what-- I've already had an interview at one of my top (possible THE top) choice schools. Don't let that low GPA get you down! One of the people that I interviewed with told me that my MCAT score combined with my post-bacc work would compensate for the low GPA. I don't know if every school will do this, but I'm hoping that it works for that school! haha! It's quite possible that you'll have similar luck.

    You can overcome the GPA, but you're going to have to work. I feel one of my strongest parts of my app are my ECs-- I have 3 different types of clinical care experience (all actually doing something for patients), research (published an abstract), and long-term involvement in my some student groups. Fortunately, I've managed to get some great LORs out of these experiences.

    I think you've picked some good schools to apply to, just apply to A LOT and apply EARLY. If you haven't applied yet, I would wait another year. Yes, I know it's frustrating, but I think you'll increase your chances by getting your app in super early next year instead of sending it in now.

    Sorry this is rather long. Best of luck, ayj, and feel free to PM me with questions!! :D
     
  7. ttac

    ttac Trust me, it's still fun.
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    Hi Ayj,
    I graduated from MIT with a 2.5 GPA, and although I?m not religious, I probably should have prayed to St. Jude the day I sent my AMCAS application off. I had been rejected the previous two years, despite taking 7 postbac classes at UCSD (3.7 at UCSD, which brought my cum AMCAS GPA up to a whopping <?drumroll please?> 2.78 :eek: ) and getting a 37 (10V, 13P, 14B, R) on the MCAT.

    I ended up getting accepted to Drexel and USUHS (interviewed at Creighton and UC Davis) and love it at Drexel (although I admit that I?m only about 2 med-school-months removed from being a total layperson).

    I think the hardest thing is convincing adcoms that you have reformed. If you score well on the MCAT, they know that you can handle the material, at least intellectually, but when it comes down to it, med school requires at least as much dedication and commitment as it does intellectual firepower (probably more of the former). My interviewers absolutely _grilled_ me about my position that I was a changed man (then they flipped me over and grilled the other side). I left my future alma mater thinking that I had just wasted 400$ and 2 days of precious vacation.

    I think you have a good shot at getting a few interviews, and possibly getting in somewhere. IMHO, it may take a few more than 4 postbac classes to convince adcoms that you are a different person now. One thing that I really regret is not getting a 4.0 in my postbac classes. Yes, I was working fulltime at the same time, but I have this nagging feeling that if I could have walked into the UC Davis interview with 7 A?s, I might have saved 80,000$.

    If you have any further questions, please post or pm me. I promise to get back to you just as soon as I finish memorizing the brachial plexus ;)

    -ttac
    p.s. I posted my complete story when I first got in.
     
  8. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member
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    Very true. I think your numbers are high enough to get over most initial numbers screens, so your application will be looked at. Thus, impressive ECs will make a difference.

    I had a GPA slightly lower and an MCAT a bit higher than yours last year when I applied. I ended up with 2 acceptances and a waitlist, so go ahead and apply!
     
  9. ayj

    ayj Member
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    I just wanted to express my thanks to everyone who has posted their experiences and advice. I totally appreciate it and I'm really glad I found an awesome forum with cool members like SDN!

    Anton
     
  10. chapinsita

    chapinsita from premed to med!
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    Hey Ajy!
    I feel you on this one. I did so horrible my first two years at school, about a 3.0, but then I went abroad my third year, got a 3.8 for the year, bringing me up to a 3.2 cum, science still a low 2.8 though. I decided to stay in school for an additional 2 years and I plan on getting all A's and I'm super studying for the MCAT in April. Just worry about your ECs, I have good ones and they are now becoming my one advantage. So find your advantage and work it! If we really want to, we will be there one day! Good Luck with the apps, keep us posted!
     

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