what are my chances?

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crash2500

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i am applying to med school and i have a 3.4 gpa from a top twenty school and a 34 mcat. I was one that only "matured" and got myself together after taking an enormous hit to my gpa. I spread myself to thin sophomore year and got a D in bio. I retook in the summer semester and got a B+ so my gpa is both grades averaged in. Since then i have gotten A's in orgo 1 and 2 and physics 2 along with analytical chemistry. Just wondering what my chances were of getting into UAB as i am an alabama resident. I know being of south asian decent will only make it tougher. Should I even apply to any top twenty schools? i figure if i can get 35+ mcat that might help. your responses would greatly relieve my stress levels. thanks
 

BellyDancingDoc

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i am applying to med school and i have a 3.4 gpa from a top twenty school and a 34 mcat. I was one that only "matured" and got myself together after taking an enormous hit to my gpa. I spread myself to thin sophomore year and got a D in bio. I retook in the summer semester and got a B+ so my gpa is both grades averaged in. Since then i have gotten A's in orgo 1 and 2 and physics 2 along with analytical chemistry. Just wondering what my chances were of getting into UAB as i am an alabama resident. I know being of south asian decent will only make it tougher. Should I even apply to any top twenty schools? i figure if i can get 35+ mcat that might help. your responses would greatly relieve my stress levels. thanks

1) Don't retake your MCAT with a 34. You're taking a big risk that your score will go down as opposed to up- and 34 is excellent. Now if you wanted to take a few more science classes to raise the GPA... that might not be a bad idea. But why pour energy into the MCAT, if it's the GPA that's hurting?
2) As an AB resident, you still have a pretty solid shot at UAB.
3) As for applying to top 20 schools, we need more info. It is unlikely that someone with a 3.4 GPA, a 34 MCAT and "standard" ECs (shadowing, camp counselor, worked in lab, etc.) could reasonably expect to get into a top 20 school. Conversely, someone with those stats who founded a successful charity organization and is frst author on a few publications might well make the top 20. So what else have you done?
 

armybound

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crash2500

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no i would have to say i am a standard:( but i do feel like a 35 + mcat would really help or would it not really matter. I am fairly confident I can improve.
 

armybound

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no i would have to say i am a standard:( but i do feel like a 35 + mcat would really help or would it not really matter. I am fairly confident I can improve.
you're set with a 34. don't worry about that.

I'm in an extremely similar situation to you. my freshman year GPA was a 2.6, with a 2.0 in the sciences. I fought all the way back to a 3.3/3.3 before graduation, and got a 31 on my MCAT.

I felt that I needed to get my MCAT up, but I've been told not to retake it. There's a huge risk in getting lower than you did before, and basically anything 30+ is pretty good, but 33+ is really good.

I'd worry more about proving you can handle the coursework than your MCAT, you did well enough the first time. But I think you have a good shot this time around. Apply broadly, you'll get in somewhere
 

Falco2525

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i am applying to med school and i have a 3.4 gpa from a top twenty school and a 34 mcat. I was one that only "matured" and got myself together after taking an enormous hit to my gpa. I spread myself to thin sophomore year and got a D in bio. I retook in the summer semester and got a B+ so my gpa is both grades averaged in. Since then i have gotten A's in orgo 1 and 2 and physics 2 along with analytical chemistry. Just wondering what my chances were of getting into UAB as i am an alabama resident. I know being of south asian decent will only make it tougher. Should I even apply to any top twenty schools? i figure if i can get 35+ mcat that might help. your responses would greatly relieve my stress levels. thanks

You should be okay just apply broadly
 

crimsonkid85

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if you're really committed to mastering the material on the MCAT, there is nothing wrong with retaking it. if you put in the time, you'll do better, and that'll help you. of course, if you half-ass it, then you may very well score lower.
 

notdeadyet

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but i do feel like a 35 + mcat would really help or would it not really matter. I am fairly confident I can improve.
People in your position always feel they can do better, but rarely do.

AAMC data shows that for folks who retake the MCAT who have a 10 in a specific subject, more get a lower score than a higher score. If you have an 11 or 12, that figure jumps up dramatically.

Statistically, if you retake with a score like a 34, you're much more likely to do worse than better.

and for what it's worth, the difference between a 34 and a 36 isn't as big as you'd think in terms of kicking open med school doors. Focus your time on improving your GPA instead.

Best of luck....
 

crash2500

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should i apply this year or wait till after i graduate? i will be graduating in the fall and will be taking biochem, pchem, calc 2. i dont really want to take a year off.
 

BellyDancingDoc

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no i would have to say i am a standard:( but i do feel like a 35 + mcat would really help or would it not really matter. I am fairly confident I can improve.

No offense, but you're not seeing the forest for the trees.

Remember that many schools are using computers to cull through applications with pre-determined cut-offs. No school is going to have an MCAT cut-off of 35. However, many schools seem to have GPA cut-offs below 3.6 or 3.5.

What you want to do is pass as many cut-offs as you can. Raising your MCAT won't do that for you. Raising your GPA, however, would.
 

armybound

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should i apply this year or wait till after i graduate? i will be graduating in the fall and will be taking biochem, pchem, calc 2. i dont really want to take a year off.
I think you should apply this year and also apply to a couple of masters or SMP programs for backup. your weakness (if you want to call it that) is your GPA, so a little extra coursework would help if you don't get in this time.

But I really don't think you'll have a problem, as long as you don't shoot for just top-tier schools
 

SomeSurgeryDoc

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even though i didnt do too hot in orgo, my grades in biochem have come up a lot during my interview in a positive light. did you ever take biochem yet?
 

Droopy Snoopy

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Apply after taking more courses to boost your gpa into the A range, don't retake the MCAT, apply within your means (UAB and USA for sure, Temple, Drexel the usual suspects). If you're unable to get your numbers up consider DO schools. You're wasting your time applying to anything Ivy, Duke, Stanford, etc. But demonstrating good grade progression and a solid app otherwise should be good enough for getting you a spot somewhere.
 

NervousNed

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the top 20 schools will most likely be out of your reach because your GPA, but schools outside that range you can get in...3.6 34 MCAT here - 0 interviews at top 20 schools
 
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