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About how many applications (%) does a medical school receive that are just a waste?

Edit: Some people are misinterpreting my definition of "junk". I am referring to those applicants who have no business applying to medical school at all. I mean people with a super low GPA, low MCAT and poor ECs!
 
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For starters I believe that junk GPA is <3.0....

But MSAR can tell you a bit of this information for each school.

Case study: Tufts gets a TON of applicants (last year they got 10,921). Their matriculant median is 33/3.7. Last year's cycle 50% of the applicants to this school had <508 (30 old test conversion). Their accepted students 10 to 90th percentile MCAT scores was a 30 to 37. So that means 50% of students who applied to this school were below the 10th percentile!
 

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https://www.aamc.org/download/321508/data/factstablea23.pdf
I had to look at this earlier today for similar question. I estimated that 7000 a cycle are below par. At most it would be 10,000. Less that 20%, closer to 10%-15% are "junk". On the other hand 400 or 500 in that category get accepted

How does interview invite order work

And from my very, very quick eyeballing of the below AAMC chart (which covers 3 cycles), there are roughly 400 acceptees per year out of 7,000 applicants per year with GPA 3.2 and lower and MCAT 26 or lower.
https://www.aamc.org/download/321508/data/factstablea23.pdf

Making a very rough recalculation of the original below then

100% 45,536 applicants (minus 7,000 from original)
46% 21,243 acceptees (minus 400 from original)

Only about 44% likely to matriculate
***********************************
Actual over all data
2015-2016 cycle
100% 52536 Applicants
41.2 % 21643 Acceptees
39.3% 20627 Matriculants
 

Goro

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I've estimated 50%. At least at my school.

Oddly, we see the same percentage in Faculty job apps.


About how many applications (%) does a medical school receive that are just a waste?

(ex: GPA <3.4-3.5 and MCAT <507)
 

lexswift

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There are several mission-based schools and public schools with relatively few applicants.
I feel like that still doesn't make either one of those metrics "junk." Even more commonly people will get into a medical school if they have that GPA and a strong MCAT or if they have a strong GPA with a <507 MCAT.
 

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I feel like that still doesn't make either one of those metrics "junk." Even more commonly people will get into a medical school if they have that GPA and a strong MCAT or if they have a strong GPA with a <507 MCAT.
They aren't junk.
My response was to what I interpreted as surprise that these stats are found at MD schools.
Did I misinterpret?
 
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That feeling when your 3.49 gpa is a waste =(
Didn't intend to offend anyone... There are plenty of great people who have other qualities that offset a low GPA.

I was referring to low stats, no ECs people who have no business applying to medical school
 
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Goro

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Only for DO schoolS, and even then there are some nuances.

It's a seller's market and MD schools have their pick of people with high GPAs and high MCATs. The median acceptee has a 3.7 and a 31 MCAT.



I feel like that still doesn't make either one of those metrics "junk." Even more commonly people will get into a medical school if they have that GPA and a strong MCAT or if they have a strong GPA with a <507 MCAT.
 

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A 3.49 is still in striking distance for a decent number of MD schools.
Good to hear lol! I've actually taken a handful of post bacc classes so I already crossed the 3.5 threshold.
 

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There are several mission-based schools and public schools with relatively few applicants.
This isn't the case for all students who attend mission-based and/or public schools with few applicants. There are plenty of students who go to well-known and respected institutions that have those stats as well.
 

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This isn't the case for all students who attend mission-based and/or public schools with few applicants. There are plenty of students who go to well-known and respected institutions that have those stats as well.
Yes, I know.
Ours is one of them.

Many public schools are mission-based to a large degree.
 
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LizzyM

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The hardest part is defining "junk". One man's trash is another man's treasure. The whole point of developing the LizzyM score was to help applicants target their applications so they wouldn't be part of the junk pile at a particular school. And stats aren't everything and some schools will take a chance on a few applicants with lower stats where there is good reason to believe that the applicant brings something to the table that would otherwise be missing.
 

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Okay, there are two different conversations going on here and I think for the most part the point is being missed in both of them.

Yes, people get into schools with a 3.5 GPA and 28 MCAT (AND is a key word here, italicized in the OP, meaning both those things at the same time. Those 3.4s that make the avg 3.6 also likely have a stellar MCAT score.). They do get in, but at a rate of only 29% of white applicants, slightly higher for URMs. AAMC table 24, folks.

What this means for OP's question, is that, in all likelihood, applicants in that range and below are also applying to schools they have ~0% chance of getting into. Hence, 3.5/28 is in fact a "junk application" at those schools. Not at all schools, but at many. Those falling within those stats shouldn't be offended or upset by this fact, just let it guide you to not throw your money away applying to schools which will not accept you.

So, at these schools with 10,000+ applicants, according to the adcom members here, the generally strong applicant is really only competing against ~5,000 people. That's...ummm... a relief, I guess? ;) It's actually about what I was guessing based solely on my understanding of people in general (see goro's point about faculty job applicants).
 

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About how many applications (%) does a medical school receive that are just a waste?

(ex: GPA <3.4-3.5 and MCAT <507)
It's posts like these that remind me why Pre-Allo can sometimes be garbage and cause premeds reading here unnecessary stress. A "junk" app (which is **** name) is someone with <3.0 AND an MCAT hovering in low 20s-teens (idk the new score translation). There are people who get in with a high GPA or high MCAT though rare to have both and be accepted and usually have unique circumstances or a story.
For me personally, a junk application is someone who doesn't fill out AMCAS and/or their secondaries properly and doesn't meet the pre-requisites of the school like the minimum MCAT/GPA (which are usually a lot lower than what you put) or correct LoRs. Schools do get a surprising number of these though.
 
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Unless you have something heinous in your application (ex. criminal history for murder), I find it hard to consider any application "junk" based solely on numbers. Applications represent a partial snapshot of a person's life, including unique experiences and insights that extend beyond a GPA and MCAT score. Granted, I have a non-expert opinion, but I have a hard time calling "junk" what are often sincere expressions of others' ambitions and backgrounds.
 
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gyngyn

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Unless you have something heinous in your application (ex. criminal history for murder), I find it hard to consider any application "junk" based solely on numbers. Applications represent a partial snapshot of a person's life, including unique experiences and insights that extend beyond a GPA and MCAT score. Granted, I have a non-expert opinion, but I have a hard time calling "junk" what are often sincere expressions of others' ambitions and backgrounds.
Actually, though the person is not "junk" there are junk applications.
We've already seen MCAT scores in the bottom 1% with gpa's indicative of a lack of competency.
The individuals appear to be quite sincere and have gotten strong letters!
 

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The hardest part is defining "junk". One man's trash is another man's treasure. The whole point of developing the LizzyM score was to help applicants target their applications so they wouldn't be part of the junk pile at a particular school. And stats aren't everything and some schools will take a chance on a few applicants with lower stats where there is good reason to believe that the applicant brings something to the table that would otherwise be missing.
@LizzyM just casually name dropping her score.... :)
 
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Actually, though the person is not "junk" there are junk applications.
We've already seen MCAT scores in the bottom 1% with gpa's indicative of a lack of competency.
The individuals appear to be quite sincere and have gotten strong letters!
Valid. I think that referring to them as "junk" or "waste" when many are expressions of sincere effort just rubbed me the wrong way. The fact that such applications do exist due to lack of information or obstinacy makes me feel for those investing their money, emotional reserves. and time with unreasonable expectations. However, such applications don't exist in large enough numbers to significantly skew that applicant:matriculant ratios in the MSAR, right?
 
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Well if you say a "junk app" at a school is something like an app with a 2% chance of getting in, that same app may have a 40% chance over applications to 40 schools because of the inherent randomness of the process so it may not be a "junk application cycle" even if it's a "junk app" at every single school to which it is sent.
 

gyngyn

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Well if you say a "junk app" at a school is something like an app with a 2% chance of getting in, that same app may have a 40% chance over applications to 40 schools because of the inherent randomness of the process so it may not be a "junk application cycle" even if it's a "junk app" at every single school to which it is sent.
The odds of a very weak application resulting in an acceptance does not improve by increasing the number of applications. This is not a random process.
I have seen an applicant apply to 110 schools without a single interview.
 

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Another way to approach this question is presented in the current MSAR. As always, the 10th-90th percentile of MCAT scores for matriculants is given. This year, however, they also give the same, along with the quartiles, for last year's applicants. For most of the schools I'm applying to, I am right around the median for matriculants, but I'm around the 85th percentile for applicants. The key thing to notice is that the 50th percentile score for applicants is below the 10th percentile score of matriculants. I'm sure this doesn't hold for every school, but for some schools on my list it's a multiple point spread.

So, 9% of the class is made up of that bottom 50% of applicants. How quickly do you think that drops off? You're talking about ~15 seats; how far down do you think you need to go for that last one? I'm guessing not far at all. Let's just say, for the sake of good feelings, it's all the way down to the 30th percentile. That's still 30% of applicants that completely wasted their time and money. And that's only off MCAT scores. I would wager there is a somewhat similar breakdown for GPAs, with some crossover, bringing us back up near the 50% mark.

If you don't like the word "junk" then replace it with "utterly non-competitive," or whatever phase you like. Regardless, the competitive pool of applicants, which is what the OP was after, is really closer to half of what we see in the quick statistics listed.
 

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lexswift

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Only for DO schoolS, and even then there are some nuances.

It's a seller's market and MD schools have their pick of people with high GPAs and high MCATs. The median acceptee has a 3.7 and a 31 MCAT.
What do you mean? People get into md with high mcat and low gpa and vice versa...
 

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The people who are getting into MD schools with low GPAs and high MCATs are usually reinventors.
What do you mean? People get into md with high mcat and low gpa and vice versa...
 
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gonnif

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The people who are getting into MD schools with low GPAs and high MCATs are usually reinventors.
To expand on that, these are also those with previous grade baggage and terrible early GPAs followed by good postbacc work. So if someone had a 2.7 from undergrad degree, then a few later does 60 credits in postbacc at 3.8, their overall GPA would be 3.1 and that is what would show up on the MSAR and AAMC reports. Additionally, those who had a 3.1 UG but then went into an SMP and got accepted, their 3.1 is what would be reported. So a single aggregate number may not tell the the whole story.
 
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The odds of a very weak application resulting in an acceptance does not improve by increasing the number of applications. This is not a random process.
I have seen an applicant apply to 110 schools without a single interview.
The "interviews 3 a doctor you'll be" rule suggests that the interview process is nearly completely random since roughly 1/3 of interviews result in offers (per US News statistics) at most schools.
 

Goro

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The interview process is different from the application process. Bad app = no II. You don't get an II simply by applying to many med schools; it's not like buying a Lotto ticket.

The "interviews 3 a doctor you'll be" rule suggests that the interview process is nearly completely random since roughly 1/3 of interviews result in offers (per US News statistics) at most schools.
 
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The interview process is different from the application process. Bad app = no II. You don't get an II simply by applying to many med schools; it's not like buying a Lotto ticket.
In your analogy, getting an II is like handing out a lotto ticket on merit. The application process is still a lottery if the interview process is a lottery, which is what I stated and supported with numerical data.
 

Goro

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The process only seems random when one has no experience on the other side of the table.


In your analogy, getting an II is like handing out a lotto ticket on merit. The application process is still a lottery if the interview process is a lottery, which is what I stated and supported with numerical data.
 

gonnif

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The "interviews 3 a doctor you'll be" rule suggests that the interview process is nearly completely random since roughly 1/3 of interviews result in offers (per US News statistics) at most schools.
That is misleading enough to be a Trump statistic. Simply because you have numbers that can be seen as random, it does not mean chance was the cause

With about 40% of all applicants getting a seat in medical school, from a purely probability perspective, better that 1 in 3 odds exist. Yet the selection method is not random as then the GPA/MCAT grid of the applicant pool would closely resemble the matriculant pool , which is does not. Even so there are outliers. I said previously in this thread, even the roughly 7,000 lowest (<3.2 GPA <26 MCAT) applications still had 400 acceptances among them
 
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The process only seems random when one has no experience on the other side of the table.
Aggregated ordered processes can still follow normal distributions, implying randomness: see MCAT bell curve, quantum mechanics, most of life.

That is misleading enough to be a Trump statistic. Simply because you have numbers that can be seen as random, it does not mean chance was the cause

With about 40% of all applicants getting a seat in medical school, from a purely probability perspective, better that 1 in 3 odds exist. Yet the selection method is not random as then the GPA/MCAT grid of the applicant pool would closely resemble the matriculant pool , which is does not. Even so there are outliers. I said previously in this thread, even the roughly 7,000 lowest (<3.2 GPA <26 MCAT) applications still had 400 acceptances among them
I stated the random process was in the interviews, number of interviews increases with the grid lending the nonrandom element. Even if I said 1/3 odds per applicant interview (which I didn't), the 1/3 odds for an applicant to gain acceptance you are arguing against corresponds to each applicant getting exactly one interview, which again is not what I said.
 

gyngyn

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The "interviews 3 a doctor you'll be" rule suggests that the interview process is nearly completely random since roughly 1/3 of interviews result in offers (per US News statistics) at most schools.
Neither the process that results in an interview nor the subsequent decision is random.
 
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Neither the process that results in an interview nor the subsequent decision is random.
Well independent of whether or not it is or is not random, most people think it is random, which is why most people apply to large numbers of schools. Contrast this to law where people apply to six schools on average because the process is fairly predictable (http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/three-year-volume, divide number of applications by number of applicants).
 

gyngyn

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Well independent of whether or not it is or is not random, most people think it is random, which is why most people apply to large numbers of schools. Contrast this to law where people apply to six schools on average because the process is fairly predictable (http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/three-year-volume, divide number of applications by number of applicants).
This is one of the great inefficiencies of our "system." It encourages wasteful expense because of the very assumptions that you have noted.
The highest odds of success are at one's state public schools (except in certain states). A careful review of the available data will lead any serious candidate to an appropriate list of schools where they have a good chance of an interview. A random list of schools (however lengthy) is much less likely to be associated with success than a well considered one.
 
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libertyyne

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OP has a perverse definition of junk.

https://www.aamc.org/download/321508/data/factstablea23.pdf

View attachment 208440
upload_2016-8-27_5-32-6.png
What does this mean?

Roughly 10% of junk applications, constituting 21 % of total applications, get seats and constitute 5% of medical school classes.

1 out of every 10 junk applications gets an acceptance! Those are odds worth gambling over.

On the flip side
1 out of every 4 apps in >3.6 & >30 does not get an acceptance.

Interesting thing about the data
Higher GPA's are preferred over higher mcats when taken in a vacuum.

Disclaimer: the past does not predict the future.
YMMV

OP: congrats into trolling me into doing this by defining junk poorly.
 
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libertyyne

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This is one of the great inefficiencies of our "system." It encourages wasteful expense because of the very assumptions that you have noted.
The highest odds of success are at one's state public schools (except in certain states). A careful review of the available data will lead any serious candidate to an appropriate list of schools where they have a good chance of an interview. A random list of schools (however lengthy) is much less likely to be associated with success than a well considered one.
The problem is the lack of transparency. Publish cut off's. Publish the raw data. Publish averages by SES and URM and ORM. Purported Holism in evaluation coupled with vague purposely obscured data creates the "system" we have now. So we get the results the "system" is designed to provide.
 

gyngyn

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The problem is the lack of transparency. Publish cut off's. Publish the raw data. Publish averages by SES and URM and ORM. Purported Holism in evaluation coupled with vague purposely obscured data creates the "system" we have now. So we get the results the "system" is designed to provide.
The MSAR already provides medians as well as 10th and 90th percentiles. This data is used so infrequently that I doubt that more granularity would improve poor choices.
One could reasonably assume that falling outside these norms without a strong reason is a fool's errand and yet, half of our applications come from those that would reasonably be self- identified as "low yield."
 
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The MSAR already provides medians as well as 10th and 90th percentiles. This data is used so infrequently that I doubt that more granularity would improve poor choices.
But what about the other strata? It says what % have research, but what are the 90/75/25/10 on hours of research, hours of volunteering, hours of clinical experience, etc. This seems to be relevant to over a quarter of the pool who meet the academic qualifications and don't get in anywhere but applied probably because they aren't clear on the other "holistic" qualifications.

Maybe the junk applications are the ones without some hidden "holistic" criteria that we aren't able to divine from what we're given?