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Will my life post-college make up for a bad GPA?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by jjjordy, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. jjjordy

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    Well how about if you have a credible reason for having a low GPA? My GPA sucks big time, but during college I was dealing with an undiagnosed illness and caring for a sick parent (who has since passed away). I worked full time while going to school. None of this is something we've never heard before, but I need the ADCOM to see that I didn't do a bad job in college because I was partying or something.

    The point is, I have a 2.6 GPA to show for my "performance" in college, but having graduated in 2004 (seven years ago!) I want very much to believe that my grades will not be considered as relevent to my application as they would if I was still 23 years old. I've had steady employment working as a chemist for the last six years and I imagine that this, more than what I did ten years ago, will demonstrate my work ethic. I'm not averse to retaking some courses, but again, is it reasonable to think it would help a whole lot, compared to what I've accomplished since then?
    (Just took the MCAT, waiting on my scores now...)

    Any reason to think I might be on to something??
    Thanks!
     
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  3. postbacpremed87

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    If you do post-bacc and maintain a great GPA (3.8+) then they will forgive your past gpa due to the circumstances you have. Regardless of any circumstance, you have to get your GPA to a respectable level. Once you do that, then forgiveness will ensue. Sorry to hear about your parent...my father passed away too and I took care of him.

     
  4. postbacpremed87

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    One more thing...if your courses are from 7 years ago then you need to do post-bacc any way because they are too old.

     
  5. lkthlttr

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    According to whom?
     
  6. FrkyBgStok

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    you can believe whatever you want. doesn't make it true. no amount of work will make up for a 2.6. And the second sentence means nothing. steady work? i work with a guy who has been on time every day that he has worked for the last year and he is the laziest, most worthless person i know, but he stays out of trouble. working a job does nothing to demonstrate work ethic. and even if it did, it doesn't demonstrate that you can handle med school. neither does your GPA. so those together leave you with no chance. you need a few years of relevant schooling (with a way good GPA) to raise your already way bad GPA to a level that won't get you immediately rejected.

    all in all, working will not make up for a GPA. it can add to a good one, but it won't save.
     
  7. sector9

    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    You will need to take some science classes. Your classes from 7 years ago are too old. Even if your GPA was really good, it was still 7 years ago. The fact that your GPA was poor compounds the problem.

    It is recommended that you do everything possible to raise your cumulative undergraduate GPA to 3.0 at the very minimum. Your options are 1. an informal postbacc 2. a formal postbacc 3. a SMP

    Keep in mind that D.O. schools do grade replacement, so if you can find a class at a local school that is substantially the same with the same or greater credit hours, then the new grade will replace the old one.

    MD schools don't do grade replacement so it's harder to raise your GPA.

    Also, just working for 7 years and applying to med school won't work. Besides taking classes, you need to get involved in some of the other traditional premed activities (if you haven't already)-- things like volunteering at a clinic/hospital, shadowing doctors, hopefully some nonmedical community service, etc.

    You put down only MD for your thread title-- why?

    Any guesses about your MCAT score based on practice tests?
     
  8. lkthlttr

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    Sorry, is this a rule that I am woefully ignorant of? Is having taken your undergrad classes more than 7 years ago a deal-breaker?
     
  9. music2doc

    music2doc Student of Mad Doctoring
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    Many schools will not take old credits for pre-reqs. It's a school by school issue. That said, it's also been 7 yrs, so much of that knowledge will be deficient for the MCAT as well. You need to retake courses. This may also give you the opportunity to replace some poor grades and go DO. (DO will always be your best bet considering your background and very low GPA. It would take you another 2 degrees' worth of straight As to bring your GPA up to the average applicant's GPA for MD admissions. A 3rd degree of straight As on top of your current one -- or another ~360 units -- would still land you slightly below the average for an applicant accepted to an MD program. If you're dead-set on MD, you could try for an SMP, but most would auto-reject you based on your GPA alone and repairing your GPA to a level marginally acceptable to them (a 3.0) would require about 60 units of straight As or 2 years of full-time coursework.)
     
  10. lkthlttr

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    Sorry, I didn't mean to cause confusion, but I am not the OP. I just have heard a couple people make the assertion that undergraduate grades of greater than 7 years are ineligible. I know of Cornell and Duke having such policies, but how prevalent is this?
     
  11. music2doc

    music2doc Student of Mad Doctoring
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    You need to contact your schools of interest and find out from each.
     
  12. sector9

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    Why don't schools accept an MCAT from >3 years ago?

    Now replace 'MCAT' with 'GPA' in your answer and you can see why adcoms don't like super old classes.

    Few schools state such a policy though
     
  13. lkthlttr

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    Ok. But the schools explicitly state that they won't accept an MCAT from >3 years ago, but the majority of schools (at least from what I've read... if others know differently I'd love to know about it) do not state this for undergraduate coursework. So I guess I'm trying to find out whether this is an unwritten rule or not. I have seen some schools state that they prefer students to remain engaged in scholarly endeavors, so would doing research count in that regard? Sorry to hijack your thread OP, I just got a little nervous when I saw the "coursework older than 7 years will have to be redone" talk.
     
  14. kautionwirez

    kautionwirez Hadoken!
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    I had a similar tragedy while in college and was taking care of this person. I think if you do a Postbacc, do well, and beat up the MCAT, I don't think you have to worry about anything. Just explain it in your PS/activities.

    Good luck!
     
  15. jjjordy

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    Thanks!!!
     
  16. music2doc

    music2doc Student of Mad Doctoring
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    Why do I get the feeling you were really just waiting for someone to confirm your opinion, OP?

    With a 2.6 GPA, about 1 in 10 people are accepted. Your chances may not be 0, per say, but they are about as close to 0 as they can get without being 0 considering the sample size...
     
  17. CopaceticOne

    CopaceticOne Stayin' outta trouble
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    The 7 year thing is a Duke rule. Many other schools would like to have more recent course work, but it isn't a set in stone.
     
  18. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
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    I've seen some med schools get nervous when an applicant hasn't had any coursework in the last two years. This is one extreme, and every school is different, but logically, schools would want reassurance that an applicant is still capable of academic excellence considering the difficulty and rapid pace of med school classes.

    Interestingly, while most schools expire the MCAT score in 2-3 years, a few expire it in 4-10 years.

    Some other schools that expire undergrad coursework are Temple, Drexel, NYU, Columbia, Cornell, and Einstein.
     

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