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What are my chances/what and how much extracirricular do I need?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by ProteinChemist, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. ProteinChemist

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    BA Biological Sciences, USC, 2007

    I'll be applying for '10. I'd liek to apply for '09 but I hear it's bad to start extracirricular/volunteer work just a few months (6) before applying.

    Overall GPA: 3.1
    Science GPA: 3.0 or 3.1
    Biology GPA: 3.6

    I'm Native American and come from a disadvantaged background.

    No MCAT yet but hope to do well. Any range I need w/ poor gpa?

    Main question: How much volunteer work and what kinds do I need to put on my app? I saw a guy on this board who had like 15 volunteer/extracirriculars listed. I do not have close to that. All throughout undergrad, all I did was research (because I was thinking grad school). So I've worked in like 6 labs but no volunteering at a hospital or in a foreign country (I'm poor).

    I have one publication as well.

    Oh yeah, and I am good at writing and have a lot of references.
     
  2. Mobius1985

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    Looking at AMCAS data for Native Americans, the average matriculant's MCAT is 27 and the average GPA is 3.55. See reference at: http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/mcatgparaceeth08.htm

    Keep in mind this is the average, so half the matriculants are below these numbers. With a cGPA of 3.1, you should compensate nicely with an MCAT score of 32, but higher is always better, of course. And considering your outstanding experience in research, you might be fine with less. If there's any chance you could take additional upper-level science classes to raise your BCPM GPA further, that would help you.

    Typical extracurriculars would include 1.5 years of clinical experience. Gaining this at a rate of 3-4 hours/week is fine in a clinic, hospice, hospital, residential home, nursing home, etc. If you have the time, a broader experience gained in more than one venue would be desirable. During your clinical experience you will meet doctors. These are the folks you hit on for a shadowing experience. Typically, one shadows 2-3 types of specialties, for 8-40 hours each, depending on your interest.

    Altruistic service is also desirable. If you gain your clinical experience through volunteerism, you have this covered. If your clinical exposure is via the workplace, you'd need an additional experience to show your service-minded mentality, consider Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchen, homeless shelter.

    Additionally, you'll need a leadership experience. This could be teaching, mentoring, officership in an organization, starting a business, directing a show, leading a successful charitable fund drive, among many others.

    Research: you have more than enough. Having a publication is great!

    Don't worry about not filling in all 15 spaces on the AMCAS form. Most normal mortals don't come close. Other things to list there are employment, hobbies and avocations, honors and awards.

    This is my impression of what is usual and cutomary from reading this forum for awhile. Opinions may vary.
     
    #2 Mobius1985, Dec 30, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  3. ProteinChemist

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    I definitely plan on getting above a 32 on my MCAT. More hoping for a 35 or 36.

    As far as classes, I don't want to take anymore upper division. I got A's or B+s in my upper division bio. Maybe I'll take some more math at a city college.

    So 1.5 yrs of clinical exp huh? That's quite a bit but obviously doable. I shouldn't have to hard a time finding docs to shadow.

    I guess everything seems in order. You sound positive but it's nice to hear.
     
  4. Rzarecta

    Rzarecta Premed 2: Electric Bugalo
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    Not asking to be a jerk, but why do you think you will be getting a 32+? Is your GPA more the result of a poor initial performance (bad freshman year) which improved over time? Usually those who score well on the exam are those students who excelled in the classroom.
     
  5. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
    Rocket Scientist Physician Pharmacist Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    My sentiments exactly. Follow this!
     
  6. ProteinChemist

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    Yeah my gpa doesn't reflect my intelligence. There are plenty of people like that. Plus I went to USC. It's a competitive school and they aren't into grade inflation.

    By the way, your comment makes you sound like a typical premed/med student.
     
  7. Rzarecta

    Rzarecta Premed 2: Electric Bugalo
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    Yo dude, get over yourself. And BTW, everyone goes to a "competitive school" that doesn't have grade inflation. :rolleyes:

    I was just trying to ask if you had better GPA performance in the latter part of your undergrad studies because then it would support your idea of potentially doing well on the MCAT.

    As a med student, I see many posts on this site from premeds who think that "because I really know what I want now I can kick ass on the MCAT." If you have had 4 years of that GPA this isn't a realistic goal unless something has significantly changed in your life in terms of study skills/habits.


    If my previous comment came off as implying you weren't a smart person, it wasn't my intent. I just wanted to know if your crappy GPA reflects a bad freshman year which you are improving on. Good luck.
     
  8. ProteinChemist

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    Why do you care so much about my gpa?

    Your comments don't seem helpful. I was talking to someone else who was giving me advice.

    Why do you have so much anxiety when I say I'm going to get a high mcat score? Are you worried that despite your higher gpa, you won't do well?

    And don't make me out to be a douche when you brought the negativity.

    To answer your question, my gpa is a beautiful quilt of varying symbols of success that tend in a exponential growth curve minus a couple random slips of commitment.
     
  9. halekulani

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    lol
    uh, 1. gpa is important, even if you are URM/disadvantaged.
    2. lots of pre-meds assume they will do well on the mcat but never follow through (myself included). it comes off as arrogant to say you will get X score with zero experience or without having taken any practice tests.
    3. eh, the fact that you went to usc does not make up for a sub-par gpa.
    4. you need clinical experience and it doesn't have to be shadowing. usc county has their own pre-health volunteering program so there's no reason for you to not be a part of it. it's what, 4 hours/week? adcoms do want you to have some clinical experience so that they understand that you know exactly what you're getting yourself into.
    5. you don't need 15 EC's. there's no number you need. if you excel particularly in one area, that is fine. as long as you're passionate and committed to something, that's what adcoms want to see.
     
  10. shaggybill

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    You came here asking about your chances, and GPA happens to be a significant factor when figuring out what your chances are. That's why he asked about it. When your GPA is low (by pre-med standards) and you say you expect a really good MCAT score, naturally that will raise a few eyebrows. Your response was a little strong considering that there was nothing derogatory in either of Rzarecta's posts.
     
  11. lase42

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    "
     
    #11 lase42, Jan 2, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  12. Rzarecta

    Rzarecta Premed 2: Electric Bugalo
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    My anxiety is reserved for you, and that hopefully you are doing better in school to support you getting a good MCAT score. As I have said before, I am already in med school and have thus taken the MCAT; I guess you are confused and think that I may be deflecting my own insecurities onto you?

    That's all I wanted to know. Study hard and rock the MCAT. Good luck.

    ps. Take a chill pill.
     
  13. Organic20

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    I agree with Rzarecta. Why you are so defensive if you original posted in this forum to know your chances. GPA definitely matters in the admission process and the MCAT as well. None one here is in distress because you can get a 35 so don’t worry too much and just relax and start studying to get the score that you want achieve in the MCAT
     

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