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Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by kashkow, May 17, 2007.
i had a friend that was in a similar situation to yours. she was advised to take some classes to bring her gpa up, some pre-reqs that you kno u can get a's in. it would also probably be a good experience for you and your application to work/shadow in various optometric settings. my friend's gpa had also been due to certain family situations that were beyond her control and i'm sure if you told them that, it definitely wouldn't hurt, especially if you were on the dean's list after the situation passed. other than that, study your butt off for the OAT and i think you should be fine.
you should, however, definitely get some input from advisors from the schools themselves, esp if there are any schools in particular that you're interested in. asking them will not only get you the specific information you need, but will also show them that you have a vested interest in their school.
good luck with all =)
My stats were virtually identical and I was accepted with outstanding OAT scores. Advice: APPLY EARLY!!! You have no idea how much this will help. You should definitely work to wipe out as much SL debt as possible, but devote a solid 4+ hours per day to studying (don't waste money on Kaplan, find a copy of Kaplan Review Notes for DAT/MCAT + Kaplan OAT Practice Tests, go over it thoroughly and keep the 1K). Apply mid-summer and then relax for a year.
This seems to be a back up plan to your Pre-Med route.. which is okay.
But, during your phase of "I want to be an Optometrist" and you worked at an optical clinic, what did you do? Did you enjoy it? Did you get to shadow an optometrist and could you honestly picture yourself on that doctor's chair doing what the Dr. was doing?
This may not help with your chances of getting in (hell, I have doubts about my chances), but it should help to see whether or not Opt. is the way to go for you.
Thanks to those that replied. Well, I was always interested in optometry since I first got my eye glasses when I was in the 5th grade. As I help assist my mother and grandmother to the optical clinics, I realize that there aren't many optometrist that spoke my native language. Why do I care? Well, cause a lot of the older generations like my grandparents and parents are not fluent in English so then it makes it harder for the optometrist to diagnose them.........same thing in the medical field. This made me more passionate about becoming an optometrist. I did considered the medical field because the undergrad university I went to had a medical school so I was able to talk to people in the med school and medical students.
Oh, which school do you think will be easier in terms of lower GPA to get accepted into? What kind of OAT score should I aim for because of my GPA? I'm thinking of applying this fall but I'm not sure yet.
AND.......when I was working for the optical clinic, my job was kind of like an optician where I take orders, fix glasses, check them as they come in and stuffs. I was able to talk to two different optometrists because the store I worked at employed two different optometrists. With the conversations from them and the little experience I had in an optical setting, I was set on being an optometrist until I went to college and started thinking med school................
Sorry it was pretty long......
My two cents...
Make sure that optometry is what you really want to do. I know that you said you were interested in it, but you also mention that you wanted to go to medical school but can't because of your grades. Having a true passion for the profession will go a long ways towards getting you admitted, and the admissions committee might see through it if you are using optometry as your back up plan.
Next, the best advice on your situation is to get a hold of the admissions counselor at the school(s) that you are interested in applying to. Let them know your situation, and ask what you can do to improve your chances. While all of us here on SDN can guess at what your chances are... we don't know, and you should use your time and energy acting on the suggestions of the admissions counselors themselves.
Finally... work on your mindset. If you want to do optometry, do it! Don't say that you don't want to waste your time studying for the OAT this summer if you can't get in. The OAT scores are a very important part of your application, and are a chance to redeem yourself, academically speaking. Don't go searching for the "easiest" school to get in to. If this is something you want to do, you need to put in the time and effort so you can go to the school you WANT to go to, not the school that will accept your low grades.
Think positive and get to work!
Thanks again for the replies.
I have another question regarding letter of recommendations. From researching on the optometry schools, I will have to take Human Anatomy, Microbiol, and Statistic for prereq. I will be taking all of these this fall and anticipating to apply for the 2009 entering class. So, my question is should I ask my undergrad science professors to start writing my LOR now or should I wait until I'm ready to apply? I'm just worry that my professors will not remember who I am by the time I apply. Do you think getting LOR from science professors are more important than from optometrist or other non science academic professors/advisors?
This is ridiculous. If you are choosing optometry or pharmacy because of GPA you should go elsewhere. These are exactly the students our profession does not need. If you want to go to Med School, go to med school. Look around and its not that hard to find a MD or DO school that will accept someone with a low GPA. Heck try one of the caribbean schools. I know 2 people who went that route and are happily practicing family medicine as we speak.
First of all, you need to decide what you WANT to do with your life, not what you think you'll get into based on the gpa. In order to figure that out you need to observe the professionals. You need exposure to the fields of optometry and pharmacy (and maybe even public health). Based on your personality and satisfactions, you'll be able to assess which career will leave you satisfied and happy.
So let's say you do this and figure out that optometry is your dream career. You will have already had exposure to the field, a key component of your application. This tells the schools that you are serious about the profession as your first choice (not a back-up). You said you would be taking some more courses, that might raise your gpa a little. Study hard for the OATs, and if you're going to apply a year from now you don't have to take them this summer. Make sure you have some extracurricular activities to discuss during your interviews...and I think that's all I've got.
So..#1 Research the professions, #2 Make a decision, #3 Rock the OATs
Good luck with your decision making!
Ask for the letters now if you think they won't remember you. Some schools will require a science prof's LOR AND an optometrist's, so you might end up needing both.
If you really want to do medical school, have you thought about an offshore school? SGU is probably too competitive for you but you may have a shot at Ross or AUC. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
I am attending CC right not, going on my second year. I was planning on majoring in Psychology, but then I switched to Accouting. I've recently researched about optometry; the more I've searched about it, the more interested I've become.
Now here are my questions.
1. Because I am attending CC college now for GE, will it effect my chances in any way when I apply for Opt. school? I had a family problems, so I have a GPA of 2.7 as of now that I hope to bring up drastically.
2. Does it matter what major you major in? Would psychology be okay, and then minor in biology, and then I could take the other pre reqs as electives? I've always been a little weak in sciences, but I think it being in my likings..then I can endure.
3. Does it matter what university I get a BA from? I was planning on transferring to SDSU in the first place, but now that I'm considering preopt.... I know UCSD be a better choice.. but being that the school is extremely competitive, it's intimidating.
4. How difficult is it to get into SCCO?
5. Do you guys have any other suggestions for me?
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THANKING THE TIME !!!
My two cents..
If you bring your GPA to at least a 3.2, I think that you may still have a shot at Opt. school. http://www.opted.org/profiles.pdf has a pdf file of the entering class. I refer to it whenever I feel the need to.. just to make sure that I'm up to par with which school I'd like to go to. It's to see whether or not you still have a chance. With a 3.2.. you may have a shot at Puerto Rico or Mass.'s Opt. school. (with good OAT scores, of course!) Bringing up a GPA is tough, so be sure that you are ready to handle the pressure from yourself!
I used to think I was weak in the sciences, but it turns out that I developed an interest in it and am doing well! Opt. schools don't require a bachelor's in Bio, .. you could major in anything you'd like.. as long as you fulfill the pre-reqs. Majoring in Psych. is fine.
I don't have an answer to this.. bc I wonder this myself.
To me, SCCO is just as competitive as any other Opt. school, but others will probably disagree.
I've gone through the "career crisis" of my own.. and seeing that you just changed your major to accounting and are just discovering optometry as a profession, a good idea is to shadow an optometrist just so that you know what optometry is all about. Can you really imagine yourself doing such a thing? If you're good at crunching numbers and things like that, then accounting will be a breeze for you. Whichever route you take, salary will be good.
After reading your posts I have a few things to say:
Firstly, you probably need to decide what you want to do (as others have mentioned). If you simply apply to Optometry school because you feel you can't get in to any other health profession, the admissions committee will see right through that, especially in your interview. While I don't believe you have to be 110% passionate to study any health career, you at least need to have a strong interest and motivation in the career of your choice, ultimately it's something you will live with day in-day out!!
Secondly, if optometry is your choice, I believe there shouldn't be a minimum 'aim' for your OAT score. Regardless of GPA, you should aim to do the best you can. I wouldn't pay Kaplan or anyone else to teach you the OAT material, a bit of individual work and you'll have the extra money in your pocket! (which you will need for optometry school!)
Lastly, it should almost be time for optometry school applications to open up again for 2008 (don't quote me on this, but I think they open up in July). You should talk to your professors for letter of recommendations from now. You may even be able to download some of the template forms from the university websites and give them to your professors to fill out. I think recommendations from science professors might carry more weight than others, but ultimately the best and most effective recommendations will come from professors who know you better. Some schools require a letter of recommendation from an Optometrist. The earlier you apply, the higher your chance of getting in. You should at least have your application in early, even if you haven't taken the OAT yet.
Hope this helps, good luck!
I'm also an undergrad (going into my junior year) who wants to go into optometry. I just switched my major to biology and my cumulative gpa is 3.74 and science is 3.67. I don't have too many extracurriculars but I work about 20 hours/week at school and am spending this summer shadowing at an optometrist office specializing in ocular disease (going to have about 50 hours by the end) and volunteering at a hospital, on top of working about 20 hours/week. Granted I havn't taken the OATs yet, but I'd most likely want to attend PCO or SUNY and wanted to know my chances, as well as any tips you can give me for the OATs (I have an MCAT book my friend let me borrow but I don't know how similar the material is). Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!
Are you serious? Unless you somehow completely tank the OAT or you're incapable of carrying on a conversation in an interview, it will be a cakewalk to get into optometry school.
Sorry, I don't know how competetive optometry schools are to get into. I have a few friends applying to med school and have intense ECs so I didn't know if my lack of clubs was anything to worry about. Thanks for replying so quickly
Basically my only ECs were intramural sports, intramural sports and more intramural sports. It was good enough to get me in.
o.d school is not worth it. the return on the dollar is crap. unless you go to state, like u of h, and r in state then go for it. many are struggling. i dont see opthamologists struggling, however.
your stats are ok. try to go for d.o. school. get an m.s. if needed.
to indianaod--its not pathetic that the reason for choosing pharm or od school based on gpa.
awful post. if you need someone to tell you your chances, esp with your marks, you have a confidence issue.