I started taking my pre-med requirements this semester. I’m 36 and have a 3.7 or so GPA from undergrad. I was successful in business and hope that my experience will help me to really focus and apply my best effort in classes. I feel tremendous pressure to get a 4.0 for 2 reasons: of course, my age; but also because I can not ask my family to relocate so I have 1 Med School Application ahead of me. Any feedback from those who have already applied… did you get into your “choice” school and what did it take? I appreciate the feedback.
Just my own opinion, but if you set your expectations too high, or if you respond to the high expectations of others, you may be setting yourself up for undue pressure and possibly a sense of failure should you not make that 4.0.
If you go to the aamc.org website, you will find somewhere the statistics about people who got in; most people don’t need 4.0 to get in but make it in with more like 3.5 or 3.7, plus good MCAT score (30ish). Interestingly, northeast students tend to have lower GPA and higher MCATs, while southern students tend to be the opposite, perhaps reflecting the concentration of ivy league schools in the northeast where it’s harder to get straight A’s. (Notice I say “tend to” and “perhaps”–I’m not sure about these trends!)
Maybe you should call your local medical school and inquire as to the average qualifications of successful applicants, and set your sights on that rather than on an impossibly high gpa or other challenge. The courses will be plenty difficult without beating yourself up every week when your quiz comes back with a point or two marked off. Believe me I’ve been through it.
DMC, I was pretty much in your boat - unwilling to relocate, felt that I needed to set my own personal bar really high so that I’d have a good chance. I did get the 4.0 when I went back to school, to my pleasure and relief. There were some dicey moments along the way but all in all, once I got into the groove of being a student again, I did find it do-able. Tough, mind you, but do-able. I also did above-average on the MCAT.
I know that the averages don’t demand a 4.0 or a 32 MCAT but, like you, I felt my age was against me and my inability to apply to twenty schools worried me a lot. I applied to only two schools, got waitlisted at them both, got into one (and that’s all you need!). Good luck, demanding “perfection” of yourself is fine IMHO as long as you don’t get all neurotic about it.