What are my chances? Serious honesty would be appreciated.

Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi all -

Currently working on my undergrad. Recently decided how I want to pursue a career in Optometry after shadowing an Optometrist. Now I'm determined to do extremely well. That being said, my first two years I did horrible. I was initially a Biology major (not anymore) and messed up really bad on my general Bio pre-reqs as in - got a F, and a D. Currently retaking both. As for chem pre-reqs, I got a D+ on Chem 1 (did not take the following course yet). I'm honestly a little discouraged, however I plan on retaking the classes I've done horrendous in (clearly lol) and getting a B or higher.

I know I've obviously done bad, but I'm ambitious enough to recover. So please, refrain from stating the obvious of how 'I should consider a different profession' and how 'i don't deserve to be an optometrist due to my lack of grades'.

I'm aware, and I want to improve. I would really appreciate some insight and knowledge. Although, I can handle criticism, so go ahead - don't be shy.

What are my chances? ADVICE? SAY ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING.

Thank you. Honestly.
 
May 14, 2013
24
1
Status
if you do well on a higher level Chem and Bio course, schools will overlook a bad grade on the lower level chem and Bio.

dont be discouraged. Also, try to do well on your OAT.
 
Apr 25, 2012
62
1
SoCal
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi. why did you do so poorly in those classes? did you try your best or did other things happen that made it difficult to succeed? if you retake them and get A's and B's then you're set. if your GPA is currently low due to those courses then u have to work on bringing it above a 3.0.
so what's your GPA and did you take the OAT? whats your opt experience? (without those stats its hard to tell u what your chances are)
 
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
if you do well on a higher level Chem and Bio course, schools will overlook a bad grade on the lower level chem and Bio.

dont be discouraged. Also, try to do well on your OAT.

Thank you, I really do appreciate your advice. I plan on working extra hard and doing exceptional on the OAT (hopefully).

Are you currently in Optometry school?
 
Last edited:
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi. why did you do so poorly in those classes? did you try your best or did other things happen that made it difficult to succeed? if you retake them and get A's and B's then you're set. if your GPA is currently low due to those courses then u have to work on bringing it above a 3.0.
so what's your GPA and did you take the OAT? whats your opt experience? (without those stats its hard to tell u what your chances are)
You've brought up some great points. To be honest, there was a lot going on at home (family issues) which reflect my poor grades. With the circumstances at home, I gave it my utmost best. However, personally I feel as though Optometry schools won't see that as a valid excuse as to why my grades were so low. Would they? Question: Would I be able to explain myself during an interview? Or would they automatically not consider me an applicant due to my low GPA?

That leads to my low GPA. Yes, my GPA is unfortunately very low (considering I want to apply to OD schools). What would you recommend to bring up my GPA? I'm practically done with my major, just have the science pre-reqs left (which isn't much).

I haven't taken the OAT yet but I do plan on studying for it after I complete Bio I & II again (so I have more of an idea of how I'm doing).

As for experiences, I've shadowed an Optometrist and he is the one who inspired me to pursue Optometry. I also work at a retail Optometrist office. That is all as for experiences (as of now). Question: Considering I have a low GPA, what should I do in respect to experiences?

Also, are you currently a student in Optometry school? This question is pertaining to you and the other individual who replied to my thread (hopefully the other person reads this part!).

Thank you, I really appreciate the time you're putting in.
 
Jan 3, 2011
114
3
UC Berkeley
Status
Optometry Student
I think you have made an awesome choice of going into optometry. If you retake those classes and do well in them, then I think you still have a good chance. Having family issues can play a huge role in a students success in a classroom, and I believe that is a legitimate excuse. Not all of us are raised equally and some of us go through more hardships than others. But schools want to see how you can overcome adversity. So by retaking those courses and doing well is a huge plus. I am currently an optometry student and in undergrad I did retake 2 courses.
But it can also come down to your OAT score as well. Your OAT score is weighed more than your GPA, so depending how well you do on your OAT can determine your chances of being offered an interview. I was lucky enough to do well on my OAT and that helped me out a lot. Especially since my GPA was not super competitive. As far as your experiences I would try and shadow optometrists in different fields & different settings. You have a good start of experiences but more is better! Try shadowing optometrists that maybe specialize or focus on vision therapy, low vision pediatrics etc. Or try shadowing optometrists in private practice, corporate practice, VA settings, etc. Hope this helps!
 
Jun 5, 2013
33
8
Status
Pre-Optometry
You are going to have to prove to the schools that you have matured since your earlier college years. You need to do extremely well in the classes that you retake. I'd say you would need to get higher than a B to show that you have indeed changed. You also need to score extremely high on your OATs.

A big red flag is why did you switch your major from biology? Was it because you were doing poorly? And what did you switch it to? If I was on the admissions committee, your application would leave many many doubts in my mind over whether you can handle the optometry school curriculum. If you switched to an "easier" major, I would think that you couldn't handle the biology major which resulted in low grades and had to switch majors and that since you couldn't handle biology, how are you going to handle optometry?

Put yourself into an admissions committee member's shoes. You have all these applicants competing for spots. You have one person who consistently did well throughout college and you have another that either failed or nearly failed classes that are considered basic/easy. Yes he retook them but I would rather give the spot to someone who worked their butt off all 4 years of undergraduate and didn't falter under pressure as opposed to someone who couldn't handle pressure/basic science courses.

To be frank, just because you have a dream doesn't mean it is necessarily for you. I want to become a grand champion at chess, but will I? No, I just don't have the right thinking skills to do so. I want to become an Olympic gymnast, but will I? No, I just wasn't cut out for it. No matter how hard I try or practice I will never become either.

That said, good luck if you are able to turn around. You have A LOT to prove yo these schools.
 
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
I think you have made an awesome choice of going into optometry. If you retake those classes and do well in them, then I think you still have a good chance. Having family issues can play a huge role in a students success in a classroom, and I believe that is a legitimate excuse. Not all of us are raised equally and some of us go through more hardships than others. But schools want to see how you can overcome adversity. So by retaking those courses and doing well is a huge plus. I am currently an optometry student and in undergrad I did retake 2 courses.
But it can also come down to your OAT score as well. Your OAT score is weighed more than your GPA, so depending how well you do on your OAT can determine your chances of being offered an interview. I was lucky enough to do well on my OAT and that helped me out a lot. Especially since my GPA was not super competitive. As far as your experiences I would try and shadow optometrists in different fields & different settings. You have a good start of experiences but more is better! Try shadowing optometrists that maybe specialize or focus on vision therapy, low vision pediatrics etc. Or try shadowing optometrists in private practice, corporate practice, VA settings, etc. Hope this helps!

Thank you Paasnaas for your input. It's comforting knowing that there are other people who have also been in our shoes (of having to deal with family issues, etc. at home). It doesn't help that I'm a commuter as well, which means I live at home. It gets overwhelming, but like you said its how one can overcome adversity and prove that one is worthy.

Yes, as I progress and take more science classes, I will really start to focus on striving for the best on my OATs.

As for experiences, wow thank you! Yes, I will most definitely start to volunteer at more different atmospheres and get to know more Optometrists.

To be quite honest, I do feel a little inferior compared to all the other applicants that I would be standing against. However, I'm willing to work my way through and let Optometry schools tell me if I'm worthy or not.

It's refreshing know that you yourself, retook two classes. In fact, its actually inspiring and only makes me want to work harder.

Thank you for your input, I really do appreciate it.
 
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
You are going to have to prove to the schools that you have matured since your earlier college years. You need to do extremely well in the classes that you retake. I'd say you would need to get higher than a B to show that you have indeed changed. You also need to score extremely high on your OATs.

A big red flag is why did you switch your major from biology? Was it because you were doing poorly? And what did you switch it to? If I was on the admissions committee, your application would leave many many doubts in my mind over whether you can handle the optometry school curriculum. If you switched to an "easier" major, I would think that you couldn't handle the biology major which resulted in low grades and had to switch majors and that since you couldn't handle biology, how are you going to handle optometry?

Put yourself into an admissions committee member's shoes. You have all these applicants competing for spots. You have one person who consistently did well throughout college and you have another that either failed or nearly failed classes that are considered basic/easy. Yes he retook them but I would rather give the spot to someone who worked their butt off all 4 years of undergraduate and didn't falter under pressure as opposed to someone who couldn't handle pressure/basic science courses.

To be frank, just because you have a dream doesn't mean it is necessarily for you. I want to become a grand champion at chess, but will I? No, I just don't have the right thinking skills to do so. I want to become an Olympic gymnast, but will I? No, I just wasn't cut out for it. No matter how hard I try or practice I will never become either.

That said, good luck if you are able to turn around. You have A LOT to prove yo these schools.

I admire your honesty and that is exactly how I think. If I were on the admissions committee, I would rather pick the applicant that has worked hard throughout their 4 years and has a clean transcript of straight A's/B's and give or take a few C's. Like in my previous reply to the other individual on this thread, I stated how I do feel a bit inferior mainly because of the other competitive applicants who all have the same goal as myself. Hopefully, I do shoot up from this point and on and the admissions committee will see that.

As for my major, I'm sorry let me rephrase myself. I actually never officially claimed my major to be Biology, it was just a mere thought. More of a personal thing I guess? My major right now is Psychology and will most likely minor in Biology.

I do completely agree, I will have to really do above and beyond and make myself stand out from the rest of the applicants.

Thank you.

Also, are you currently in Optometry school/in the process of applying?
 
Apr 25, 2012
62
1
SoCal
Status
Pre-Optometry
You've brought up some great points. To be honest, there was a lot going on at home (family issues) which reflect my poor grades. With the circumstances at home, I gave it my utmost best. However, personally I feel as though Optometry schools won't see that as a valid excuse as to why my grades were so low. Would they? Question: Would I be able to explain myself during an interview? Or would they automatically not consider me an applicant due to my low GPA?

That leads to my low GPA. Yes, my GPA is unfortunately very low (considering I want to apply to OD schools). What would you recommend to bring up my GPA? I'm practically done with my major, just have the science pre-reqs left (which isn't much).

I haven't taken the OAT yet but I do plan on studying for it after I complete Bio I & II again (so I have more of an idea of how I'm doing).

As for experiences, I've shadowed an Optometrist and he is the one who inspired me to pursue Optometry. I also work at a retail Optometrist office. That is all as for experiences (as of now). Question: Considering I have a low GPA, what should I do in respect to experiences?

Also, are you currently a student in Optometry school? This question is pertaining to you and the other individual who replied to my thread (hopefully the other person reads this part!).

Thank you, I really appreciate the time you're putting in.
Hi, All i can say to bring up your low GPA is work super hard to get A's and B's in those classes you're retaking. Definitely retake any C's, D's and F's. You can't have those on your pre-requisite sheet for optometry school, and lots of schools don't accept anything below a C- in those prerequisites. I know if you start out in undergrad with some low grades, your GPA will consequently start out pretty low and its tough to bring it up, but possible :)
and optometry schools are really understanding (in my experience) to circumstances that might have affected your grades negatively. Most of the schools I interviewed at even specifically ASK you if you'd like to explain any of those circumstances. And family issues is definitely a legit explanation.
Okay make sure u shadow more optometrists in different settings because schools don't want you to just have ONE shadowing experience, they want several different ones so you are well-learned and well-rounded. Working in the optometrist office is great though and is what I am trying to do myself o_O

Applying this cycle, I just got accepted to 3 schools and will start opt school 2014 fall.
 
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi, All i can say to bring up your low GPA is work super hard to get A's and B's in those classes you're retaking. Definitely retake any C's, D's and F's. You can't have those on your pre-requisite sheet for optometry school, and lots of schools don't accept anything below a C- in those prerequisites. I know if you start out in undergrad with some low grades, your GPA will consequently start out pretty low and its tough to bring it up, but possible :)
and optometry schools are really understanding (in my experience) to circumstances that might have affected your grades negatively. Most of the schools I interviewed at even specifically ASK you if you'd like to explain any of those circumstances. And family issues is definitely a legit explanation.
Okay make sure u shadow more optometrists in different settings because schools don't want you to just have ONE shadowing experience, they want several different ones so you are well-learned and well-rounded. Working in the optometrist office is great though and is what I am trying to do myself o_O

Applying this cycle, I just got accepted to 3 schools and will start opt school 2014 fall.
I just have two questions (which you do not have to answer if its too personal). Did you retake the two classes because the admissions committee on the schools you applied to, requested you retake a few classes and then they'll accept you or did you retake them because of personal reasons?

Wow, Congrats on getting accepted to 3 schools and on pursuing your career! Another quick question, which schools did you apply to and where will you be attending?

Once again, Congrats!
 
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
If you are a Native American, person of African descent or Hispanic then play those cards. Affirmative action helps more than you think. There are racial quotas. Some states are banning it slowly so I'd look up the laws per state where the colleges are located.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action_in_the_United_States
To be quite honest, I had no idea about this. Thank you for some solid advice but unfortunately, this does not pertain to me. I'm sure someone will benefit from reading your post. I sure wish I was one of the three you stated, haha.
 
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Apr 25, 2012
62
1
SoCal
Status
Pre-Optometry
I just have two questions (which you do not have to answer if its too personal). Did you retake the two classes because the admissions committee on the schools you applied to, requested you retake a few classes and then they'll accept you or did you retake them because of personal reasons?

Wow, Congrats on getting accepted to 3 schools and on pursuing your career! Another quick question, which schools did you apply to and where will you be attending?

Once again, Congrats!
I actually didn't retake any classes. Where did you read that? lol
i applied to 7 or 8 schools (but that was honestly way too many) and i cancelled most of my interviews. i got into ico, neco, and sco.
 
Jun 5, 2013
33
8
Status
Pre-Optometry
I admire your honesty and that is exactly how I think. If I were on the admissions committee, I would rather pick the applicant that has worked hard throughout their 4 years and has a clean transcript of straight A's/B's and give or take a few C's. Like in my previous reply to the other individual on this thread, I stated how I do feel a bit inferior mainly because of the other competitive applicants who all have the same goal as myself. Hopefully, I do shoot up from this point and on and the admissions committee will see that.

As for my major, I'm sorry let me rephrase myself. I actually never officially claimed my major to be Biology, it was just a mere thought. More of a personal thing I guess? My major right now is Psychology and will most likely minor in Biology.

I do completely agree, I will have to really do above and beyond and make myself stand out from the rest of the applicants.

Thank you.

Also, are you currently in Optometry school/in the process of applying?

Two big questions:
How are you doing now in bio I? You said you are currently retaking it. Hopefully you are retaking it at the original college that you took biology. Retaking biology at a community college will not carry nearly as much weight as taking at the place where you originally did poorly in it.
What year are you in? You still have a ton of pre-reqs to retake and take. You have to retake chem I. Depending on the school, I assume you won't be able to retake it until next fall and then you still have to take organic chemistry. How have you done in calculus and physics?

By the way, if your real name is Jesse Smith, making your user name as 'Jesse Smith' is incredibly dumb. The whole world including schools can see this forum.
 

Loptometriste

5+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2012
298
24
Status
Optometrist
By the way, if your real name is Jesse Smith, making your user name as 'Jesse Smith' is incredibly dumb. The whole world including schools can see this forum.
There is nothing wrong with what Jesse Smith has said. They have been nothing but polite, respectful, and shared information that the admissions committees will already know by taking a look at their transcript. Therefore, if it is their real name, so be it.
 
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Two big questions:
How are you doing now in bio I? You said you are currently retaking it. Hopefully you are retaking it at the original college that you took biology. Retaking biology at a community college will not carry nearly as much weight as taking at the place where you originally did poorly in it.
What year are you in? You still have a ton of pre-reqs to retake and take. You have to retake chem I. Depending on the school, I assume you won't be able to retake it until next fall and then you still have to take organic chemistry. How have you done in calculus and physics?

By the way, if your real name is Jesse Smith, making your user name as 'Jesse Smith' is incredibly dumb. The whole world including schools can see this forum.
I'm doing well in Bio I now, expecting a grade not lower than a B+. Great point to bring up - 'friends' suggested that I retake my classes at a local community college but I rejected that idea instantly. I think its mere common sense to retake a class where it was initially taken so schools will at least see that you're trying and earning a honest grade.

I have not taken Calculus or Physics yet. I have a long way to go. I've looked up the Pre-reqs and many schools require more than the usual basic core such as Microbiology, A & P? I'm currently a Junior.

As for my username, thank you for your input. I may have messed up in school in regards to my grades but that does not define whether or not I have common sense, haha.

Jesse Smith may be my real name, or a simple alias. Although, thank you for your concern.
 
Last edited:
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
I actually didn't retake any classes. Where did you read that? lol
i applied to 7 or 8 schools (but that was honestly way too many) and i cancelled most of my interviews. i got into ico, neco, and sco.
My apologizes, I'm getting different threads confused. I'm actually looking into ICO. Congrats and good luck!
 
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
There is nothing wrong with what Jesse Smith has said. They have been nothing but polite, respectful, and shared information that the admissions committees will already know by taking a look at their transcript. Therefore, if it is their real name, so be it.
Thank you.
 
Sep 29, 2013
57
10
Status
Pre-Optometry
If you are currently a junior, might I suggest that you take some summer classes? You still need to take the whole chem series and if you want to save time, this might be the way to do it. From what I have read in applying, schools want a majority of the pre-req classes taken before you apply. You might have to do a 5th year before you apply.
 
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
If you are currently a junior, might I suggest that you take some summer classes? You still need to take the whole chem series and if you want to save time, this might be the way to do it. From what I have read in applying, schools want a majority of the pre-req classes taken before you apply. You might have to do a 5th year before you apply.
Yes, I'm looking into summer classes. Unfortunately, I have a long way to go. Let's see how this goes.

Thank you.
 
Oct 22, 2013
6
2
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi! Sorry to join this thread so late. But I wanted to let you know there is hope! I got an F and D in two of my classes during undergrad, also due to some family issues. When I retook the courses, I received A's. Don't forget that on your application, there is ALWAYS an optional essay asking you to explain if there are any irregular things you would like to explain. Personally, I did not write in those essays about my family issues because I felt like it would be trying to make an excuse (which, in hindsight, was probably silly of me and I probably should have explained the situation). However, I scored extremely well on the OAT and the rest of my grades were strong. I received interview invites to all 6 schools I applied to, and was accepted to all 6 as well. So as long as you work hard from this point on, have awesome LORs and personal statement, you should be fine! :)
 
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Reactions: Jesse Smith
OP
J
Nov 18, 2013
17
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi! Sorry to join this thread so late. But I wanted to let you know there is hope! I got an F and D in two of my classes during undergrad, also due to some family issues. When I retook the courses, I received A's. Don't forget that on your application, there is ALWAYS an optional essay asking you to explain if there are any irregular things you would like to explain. Personally, I did not write in those essays about my family issues because I felt like it would be trying to make an excuse (which, in hindsight, was probably silly of me and I probably should have explained the situation). However, I scored extremely well on the OAT and the rest of my grades were strong. I received interview invites to all 6 schools I applied to, and was accepted to all 6 as well. So as long as you work hard from this point on, have awesome LORs and personal statement, you should be fine! :)

Wow thank you so much. Hopefully I do well on my OATs and from this point on (in regards to pre-reqs). Yeah, I personally feel as if I write about my family issues that schools wouldn't really let consider it. If you don't mind, what were the six schools that you applied to? If you want, you can personally message me (if you don't feel comfortable replying to this post). Thank you so much. I appreciate it.