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When applying for Medical School

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by RSX JDM Integra, May 3, 2007.

  1. RSX JDM Integra

    RSX JDM Integra DMD c/o 2019 7+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    I was wondering, when applying for Medical school, how do they calculate your GPA with the +/- grades? For example, I know some schools don't issue B+ or B-. Some schools just use standard grading of solid grades. My school however, uses +/- grades and its unfair to me at times because the - grades hurt the GPA. B- for instance is worth 2.67 and 80-82% will award you this grade. A- is worth 3.67 and is earned at 90-92%.

    So with that being said, when AAMCAS calculates your GPA, does it recalculate your school GPA? Because I know as another example, some schools use forgiveness policies and when applying to med schools, they average in the class twice instead. So the GPA you have at school is different than the one calculated when applying.

    Thanks for the help
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  3. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
    If memory serves, AMCAS takes all of your grades at face value and recalculates the GPA's as composites while disregarding retakes, etc.

    I doubt that any discrepancy is going to be significant, especially if you smoke the MCAT.

    pre-allo, you lost one of your sheep
  4. Dakota

    Dakota Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Sep 5, 2005
    AMCAS does recalculate grades and uses + and - (if memory serves a + is a .33 and a - is a .66 but that could be wrong, might have changed). It's not unfair, it's how everyone's grades are calculated.

    There is no forgiveness on AMCAS, even if your school takes away the low grade you have to report both and AMCAS will count both just as if they were separate courses. This again is fair because it levels the grading standards so students at schools without such policies are not unfairly compared to students who have benefitted from such forgiveness.

    This will be turfed back to pre-allo shortly . . .
  5. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Wild west of Mistytown
    Moving to pre-allo ...
  6. Trismegistus4

    Trismegistus4 Worried Wellologist Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    Location: Location
    I think by unfair, the OP meant that if you have an 81 average in some class and get a B-, and someone else at a university that doesn't give pluses and minuses also gets an 81 but receives a straight B, that person has an advantage over you.

    To make matters worse, AMCAS doesn't give any extra value to A+'s; they're still just worth 4.0. So you could theoretically wind up with your GPA adversely affected by a few minuses, but your A+'s won't counteract it.
  7. alwaysaangel

    alwaysaangel 5+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Orange, CA
    Yeah but most schools don't give 4.3 for A+ anyway. In fact, most teachers don't even give them out.

    The +/- system isn't really unfair because sure you get docked .3 for your A- but you get up .3 for your B+. And yes, they will convert it to what they value it:

    A/"A+" - 4.0
    A- - 3.7
    B+ - 3.3
    B - 3.0
    B- - 2.7
  8. WhoisJohnGalt

    WhoisJohnGalt NYC Psychiatrist Physician 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2005
    I agree. My school also used +/-, but A was as high a grade as you could get; there was no such thing as A+ (because they wanted to keep 4.0 as a perfect GPA). In my case (and most of my classmates), the system helped more than hurt.

    You know how much it hurts deep down in your soul when you get an 89 in a class? (Well, I didn't until med school... now that I'm on traditional A/B/C grading, I know the feeling well.) Anyway, you don't get that with +/- grading. Sure, a 3.33 isn't as cool as a 3.67, but there's not the same huge nosedive to your grade when comparing a 3.0 to a 4.0.

    I ended up with more B+'s than A-'s, so it definitely helped to alleviate some anxiety on my part. I'm not sure if it does actually make any difference in terms of GPA though... at schools that don't have +/-, professors are often more willing to push you over if you're close to the threshold.

    Basically, stop whining and suck it up. This will be the least of your injustices throughout your medical training :laugh:
  9. Dakota

    Dakota Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Sep 5, 2005
    But when that person got an 89 and a 3.0 and you got an 87 and a 3.7 you had an advantage, in the end it is a wash. The system is as standardized as they can make it, everyone is in the same boat.

    Besides, how many "real" schools don't assign +/- grades? I don't have an empirical data, but my guess is very very few (because I haven't heard of any).
  10. RSX JDM Integra

    RSX JDM Integra DMD c/o 2019 7+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    University of Florida uses + only and no -

    That is so unfair. I wish I had gone there. I have more -'s than +'s now because of the heavily load I took this semester. I was so close to a B status in Micro and O-Chem 2 and I got a B- :mad:

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