Jan 3, 2021
Hello! I am a third-year premedical student, and the reality of my situation has made me realized that I will not be accepted to medical school without addressing and improving major flaws in my academic profile. I have a cumulative GPA of 3.207. I came into my freshman year of college with a strong sense of overconfidence and certainty in my academic skills (given that I was an excelling student in high school). I did very poorly in my first semester (cGPA: 3.406) and earned mainly C's in my science courses. I continued to take major pre-med science courses the next semester without addressing the cause of my academic underperformance in the previous semester; needless to say, I did worse and finished that term with a GPA of 2.8. After this, I lost all confidence in my academic abilities to succeed as a student. In the fall semester of my sophomore year, I received an institutional action for attempting to cheat on a physics exam and received an F in the course. This not only made me question my competency to become a doctor; surprisingly, but I also underwent significant character development and even developed a connection with the physics professor. I realized that I was in a deep "hole" and would need to work twice as hard to "make it out" if I truly desired to become a doctor. I took time to reflect on why I felt the need to cheat on an exam and reflected on the reason why I was consistently underperforming in my science courses. Since then, I have seen an upward trend in my GPA. I finished the fall semester with a 3.778 (I had 2 B+: psychology and Biochemistry I). Overall, I have 5 C+’s (Gen Chem II, Calc I + II, Orgo I + II) and 1 F (Physics I).

I have not taken the MCAT yet, but I hope a good score can help my overall stats and open more doors to potential medical schools. My plan is to keep this upward trend till I graduate, improve my EC’s by working as an EMT while also shadowing and volunteering, and try to get a good MCAT score. I plan on taking a gap year to complete a DIY post-bac program to improve my GPA, but I do not know If there are better options to use this gap year. Given the severity of my situation (a low GPA and institutional action) and substandard EC’s, I feel very defeated and I am not sure if an “upward trend” and improved EC’s is enough to become a successful applicant to medical school. Aside from the plans, I listed above, what can I do (or should do) to improve my chances of getting into medical school?


SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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You are indeed in a deep hole.

1) Read this:

2) A high MCAT doesn't remediate a poor GPA; it only accentuates the discrepancy.

3) Rising GPA trends are always good

4) The more time you put between your IA and applying, the better.

5) To that end, do NOT screw up again, and engage in positions of responsibility.

6) Significant service to others less fortunate than yourself is a must for you

7) OWN your transgression

8) Always have a Plan B
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