Fakesmile

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I'm having my worst semester ever right now. I got much below average for three courses that are curved. Even if I ace my finals (which is not very likely) I might end up with 2 B's, and possibly only 1 A out of 5 courses. My GPA is 3.7 but this semester might seriously hurt my GPA as well as the upward trend I've been having (four consecutive semesters of 3.8+). I'm so depressed and I'm wondering if I should take Ws for the one or two worst courses so that I can at least spend more time on the other courses for which I have a greater chance of getting A's. I'd appreciate some advice.

Btw, if I drop any course at this point, my school won't give me back any tuition refund for the dropped courses. I'm just curious if other schools are like this, too.
 

blackarrowmoose

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you gotta remember the school you actually attend makes a big difference. I goto a school that is notorious for grade deflation (its like impossible to get above an A-). So med schools do take that into consideration. Plus as long as you don't get any C's you shouldn't worry too much
 

Hoody

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I'm having my worst semester ever right now. I got much below average for three courses that are curved. Even if I ace my finals (which is not very likely) I might end up with 2 B's, and possibly only 1 A out of 5 courses. My GPA is 3.7 but this semester might seriously hurt my GPA as well as the upward trend I've been having (four consecutive semesters of 3.8+). I'm so depressed and I'm wondering if I should take Ws for the one or two worst courses so that I can at least spend more time on the other courses for which I have a greater chance of getting A's. I'd appreciate some advice.

Btw, if I drop any course at this point, my school won't give me back any tuition refund for the dropped courses. I'm just curious if other schools are like this, too.
Regarding refunds - at this point in the semester, my school is the same....basically a W on the transcript and no refund.

As far as the rest, it depends what classes you are taking. I would drop non pre req classes first, but only if that mean I could improve grades in other courses (notably the pre req courses). One or two W's wont be a big deal....nor would one or two C's. At some point, I'd take a C or B over having to repeat the whole course, or not getting credit at all for the course.

What will your grades be if you bomb the finals?
 
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Fakesmile

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As far as the rest, it depends what classes you are taking. I would drop non pre req classes first, but only if that mean I could improve grades in other courses (notably the pre req courses).
What will your grades be if you bomb the finals?
All the courses I'm taking are non pre reqs; they are all for my biochem major (I'm a senior so the courses I'm taking are all 400-level biochem/bio.. I've finished my pre req courses a long time ago).


What will your grades be if you bomb the finals?
If I do that, then I'll definitely get a C.
 

BeachBlondie

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What you simply must understand is that admissions committees are well aware of one simple fact in life:

**** happens.

Would you like to know the reason med school hopefuls are required to take ALL of these sciences, AND the daunting MCAT, AND somehow find time in between to have patient contact/research/volunteering?? It's so they can shape a solid picture of who their applicants are without having to rely solely on how academics paints the individual.

I understand that most premeds are under the impression that life revolves around their applications. But, much to their utter shock, it does not. People get sick, family members die, relationships fade, semesters suck. What you have to do is make those semesters work FOR you; not as your antitheses.

You have SO many other opportunities to come across as a shining example of a future physician. And, if you're worried that ONE semester of sub-par grades is going to kill you, then you have MUCH more to worry about than a couple of Bs.

Look at your overall self. If you were an admissions member, what would YOU see in your applications? Would you be fixated on one bad semester (out of the COUNTLESS semesters we all endure) and discount all of the amazing EC's, the strong MCAT, and the upwards trend? No. That would be absurd.

Let me tell you something: my transcript boasts about 4 Cs that are sprinkled intermittently throughout the A's and B's during my undergraduate career. Currently (being late in the decision to go to medical school), I'm in a post-baccalaureate program to complete the pre-reqs. And, the last few weeks of this semester, I have to work my ASS off to get A's. Right now? B City.

So, if an admissions member asks me about certain grades here or there, I'm going to look them right in the face and tell them the truth: I did my best in class, and I am fully aware that my grades do NOT define my intellectual capabilities. I would then advise them to look at my over all application and see that I was also an athlete, a researcher, a volunteer, and a student leader.

Don't get so hung up in grades. Sometimes, you falter. You're going to. You're human. And guess what? Doctors falter to. What separates those who get accepted from those who don't is the confidence to tell medical schools that you're more than a number, and to PROVE to them by any means necessary that's the case.
 
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Fakesmile

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You have SO many other opportunities to come across as a shining example of a future physician. And, if you're worried that ONE semester of sub-par grades is going to kill you, then you have MUCH more to worry about than a couple of Bs.

Look at your overall self. If you were an admissions member, what would YOU see in your applications? Would you be fixated on one bad semester (out of the COUNTLESS semesters we all endure) and discount all of the amazing EC's, the strong MCAT, and the upwards trend? No. That would be absurd.
I'm not one of those people who have only one or two horrible semesters. In fact, my entire first two years were absolutely horrible (1st year with a GPA of 2.9, 2nd year with 3.3) because I didn't have medicine in mind and I didn't care about my GPA. Beginning 3rd year until now, I had to work so hard to raise my GPA to 3.7. This is why I'm so concerned... I just have to make sure I get a 3.7+ in every semester until I graduate.

So, if an admissions member asks me about certain grades here or there, I'm going to look them right in the face and tell them the truth: I did my best in class, and I am fully aware that my grades do NOT define my intellectual capabilities. I would then advise them to look at my over all application and see that I was also an athlete, a researcher, a volunteer, and a student leader.

Don't get so hung up in grades. Sometimes, you falter. You're going to. You're human. And guess what? Doctors falter to. What separates those who get accepted from those who don't is the confidence to tell medical schools that you're more than a number, and to PROVE to them by any means necessary that's the case.
I appreciate your message, but the thing is that my ECs aren't spectacular enough either to make up for my low GPA. Also, though I agree with you that the total package is important (not just the GPA), it's a great uphill battle when your overall and BCPM GPA aren't above 3.7.

I just want to cry...
 

ktruon2

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What you simply must understand is that admissions committees are well aware of one simple fact in life:

**** happens.

Would you like to know the reason med school hopefuls are required to take ALL of these sciences, AND the daunting MCAT, AND somehow find time in between to have patient contact/research/volunteering?? It's so they can shape a solid picture of who their applicants are without having to rely solely on how academics paints the individual.

I understand that most premeds are under the impression that life revolves around their applications. But, much to their utter shock, it does not. People get sick, family members die, relationships fade, semesters suck. What you have to do is make those semesters work FOR you; not as your antitheses.

You have SO many other opportunities to come across as a shining example of a future physician. And, if you're worried that ONE semester of sub-par grades is going to kill you, then you have MUCH more to worry about than a couple of Bs.

Look at your overall self. If you were an admissions member, what would YOU see in your applications? Would you be fixated on one bad semester (out of the COUNTLESS semesters we all endure) and discount all of the amazing EC's, the strong MCAT, and the upwards trend? No. That would be absurd.

Let me tell you something: my transcript boasts about 4 Cs that are sprinkled intermittently throughout the A's and B's during my undergraduate career. Currently (being late in the decision to go to medical school), I'm in a post-baccalaureate program to complete the pre-reqs. And, the last few weeks of this semester, I have to work my ASS off to get A's. Right now? B City.

So, if an admissions member asks me about certain grades here or there, I'm going to look them right in the face and tell them the truth: I did my best in class, and I am fully aware that my grades do NOT define my intellectual capabilities. I would then advise them to look at my over all application and see that I was also an athlete, a researcher, a volunteer, and a student leader.

Don't get so hung up in grades. Sometimes, you falter. You're going to. You're human. And guess what? Doctors falter to. What separates those who get accepted from those who don't is the confidence to tell medical schools that you're more than a number, and to PROVE to them by any means necessary that's the case.
Bravo.
 

BeachBlondie

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I'm not one of those people who have only one or two horrible semesters. In fact, my entire first two years were absolutely horrible (1st year with a GPA of 2.9, 2nd year with 3.3) because I didn't have medicine in mind and I didn't care about my GPA. Beginning 3rd year until now, I had to work so hard to raise my GPA to 3.7. This is why I'm so concerned... I just have to make sure I get a 3.7+ in every semester until I graduate.

I appreciate your message, but the thing is that my ECs aren't spectacular enough either to make up for my low GPA. Also, though I agree with you that the total package is important (not just the GPA), it's a great uphill battle when your overall and BCPM GPA aren't above 3.7.

I just want to cry...
Now, correct me if I'm wrong....but you're sounding a HELL of a lot like a gunner.

Above a 3.7?? HA! While I commend your dedication, I think you're under the grim impression that only people with successive 4.0s and 19 research publications are competitive. Save your waterworks for something important. Like your first-born child or something.

How about this: Take a few minutes and leave the pre-allo thread. I want you to visit the post-baccalaureate realm for a while and scan through THEIR numbers. If you think you have slim chances without a 3.7, you're going to be appalled (and pleasantly surprised) at some of the numbers accepted every year.

The best I can hope for is a 3.5-3.6. And you know what? I'm stoked to have it.
 
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Fakesmile

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Now, correct me if I'm wrong....but you're sounding a HELL of a lot like a gunner.
I'm not a gunner, I'm just being realistic!

Above a 3.7?? HA! While I commend your dedication, I think you're under the grim impression that only people with successive 4.0s and 19 research publications are competitive. Save your waterworks for something important. Like your first-born child or something.
No. I've already heard of and seen people with GPA below 3.7 or even 3.0 getting in, and I understand that many other things matter beside GPA. What I'm saying is that, based on statistics posted by the AMCAS, getting in with a GPA below 3.7 is much less likely, regardless of what your other ECs, publications, etc. might be like.

The best I can hope for is a 3.5-3.6. And you know what? I'm stoked to have it.
You'll probably get in somewhere with that GPA, because you seem to have strong ECs. Why I'm so concerned is because my ECs AND my GPA are both mediocre, as I said already.
 

orthomyxo

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I think we need some med students to chime in on this thread. Sounds a lot like a bunch of pre-meds rationalizing to me.
 

BeachBlondie

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I'm not a gunner, I'm just being realistic!

No. I've already heard of and seen people with GPA below 3.7 or even 3.0 getting in, and I understand that many other things matter beside GPA. What I'm saying is that, based on statistics posted by the AMCAS, getting in with a GPA below 3.7 is much less likely, regardless of what your other ECs, publications, etc. might be like.

You'll probably get in somewhere with that GPA, because you seem to have strong ECs. Why I'm so concerned is because my ECs AND my GPA are both mediocre, as I said already.
Someone chime in for me, please!

I can't find the thread, but it outlines the acceptance rates based on undergraduate GPA and if you said yours was a little under a 3.7, you'll be fine. Christ, STANFORD's average is a 3.76. I mean, are you trying to GET IN or are you trying to go to a Top 5?
 

Avoidthetiger

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No. I've already heard of and seen people with GPA below 3.7 or even 3.0 getting in, and I understand that many other things matter beside GPA. What I'm saying is that, based on statistics posted by the AMCAS, getting in with a GPA below 3.7 is much less likely, regardless of what your other ECs, publications, etc. might be like.

You'll probably get in somewhere with that GPA, because you seem to have strong ECs. Why I'm so concerned is because my ECs AND my GPA are both mediocre, as I said already.
Fakesmile -- don't stress out to much. Aim to get your sGPA and cGPA above a 3.5. I would be more worried that you are thinking your ECs are lacking, because really, even with a 3.7 and 30+ MCAT, you want something that will make you if not stand out, atleast show that you really want to be a physician. Are you volunteering? in an interesting research lab (really, at every interview I get asked about my research work)? Do you have leadership experience with an EC?

If not, I would make sure next semester to get more involved. Worry about your grades but also your application. I know a few students who interviewed at top 30 schools a year or two ago, but who are reapplying because they really lacked in their application outside of academics.

Also -- withdraw from one of the courses that you think you will get a C in, and just focus on improving your in your other courses. Don't stress too much.
 

OrangeandMaroon

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Someone chime in for me, please!

I can't find the thread, but it outlines the acceptance rates based on undergraduate GPA and if you said yours was a little under a 3.7, you'll be fine. Christ, STANFORD's average is a 3.76. I mean, are you trying to GET IN or are you trying to go to a Top 5?
Is this what you are looking for?

MCAT and GPA grid (PDF)

OP, I personally would NOT take a W in place of a C for a 400 level BCHEM class. I also had a rough semester during my senior year and earned a C- in PCHEM. Granted I wasn't working to keep up an 'upward trend', I took it for what it was and moved on. In reality their are a lot bigger things in life than earning a C. Don't lose your shorts over it.

I would make sure next semester to get more involved.
^^Second. :thumbup:
 

gravitywave

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your GPA isn't low, 3.7 is above the average for matriculants. It sounds as if you have so many credits at this point that one mediocre semester isn't going to hurt you that much. you should be able to hold the line at 3.2 or so for this semester, right? remember too that honestly, even a 3.4 cGPA can be compensated for with a strong MCAT. and then there's always DO.

this is unfortunate, but you should push through it and take your lumps. dropping courses just wastes money, since the credits to graduate have to come from somewhere.

you gotta remember the school you actually attend makes a big difference. I goto a school that is notorious for grade deflation (its like impossible to get above an A-). So med schools do take that into consideration. Plus as long as you don't get any C's you shouldn't worry too much
even if this were true, which it only is at the periphery, it's only relevant if OP attends such a school. for all we know, s/he is majoring in C**p at S**t State U.
 

BeachBlondie

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Is this what you are looking for?

MCAT and GPA grid (PDF)

OP, I personally would NOT take a W in place of a C for a 400 level BCHEM class. I also had a rough semester during my senior year and earned a C- in PCHEM. Granted I wasn't working to keep up an 'upward trend', I took it for what it was and moved on. In reality their are a lot bigger things in life than earning a C. Don't lose your shorts over it.



^^Second. :thumbup:
Thank you, my big wheeled friend.
 

Isoprop

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