Low GPA, haven't taken the MCAT yet. Still try for this cycle or hold off?


I am posting here to ask for some advice. My undergraduate degree was in Medical Biology. I have a 3.19 Cumulative GPA and a 2.96 Science GPA with a squiggle trend (down up down). This is due to putting studies on the back burner while I helped my parents with finances during my father’s cancer treatments. I have submitted my application to both MD and DO schools for this cycle but still need to take the MCAT. My test date is on 9/10/21. My most recent test score on an AAMC exam was a 489 which I believe means I have major content gaps. If I do take the MCAT on 9/10, I honestly do not believe I will be able to obtain a 500 (school’s cut off is 496).

I am wondering a few things. 1. Should I postpone my MCAT unit I get better scores with my practice exams (AAMC + Blueprint)? 2. How would I go about increasing my GPA without doing a MP? 3. Should I just take the MCAT and pray that I get at least a 496 so the school will look at my application? 4. If I do decide to wait until next cycle, how do I “withdraw” my application for this cycle if it says I cannot withdraw any longer (due to it already being processed)?

Edit: I just wanted to add that I feel as though I do have pretty good ECs. I know that does not make up for low GPA.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you all so much!

In my experience applying in the 2020 cycle, DO schools are less forgiving for a lower GPA but require a lower MCAT. MD schools are more forgiving of a lower GPA if there is a gap between low grades and a new trend of higher grades, but require a higher MCAT.

The AAMC practice exams are the closest to the actual MCAT and give the best indications of where you’ll score. If I were you I would not take the MCAT until you are scoring at least in the 505-510 range on practice exams if you are trying for an MD program. If you are trying for a DO program I would recommend you break 500 before taking the MCAT exam. You can’t erase an MCAT score and it will always show up on your future applications. A 496 will absolutely hurt your chances of admission to either type of program if it was taken in the same cycle you are applying. You can always retake it, but it won’t go away.

I would setup a meeting with an advisor who can guide you through what to do specifically. It would be better to pay someone for advice in this situation than spend all the money applying and not be competitive.

I really appreciate your insight @dosage0 . I have spoken to multiple people regarding this situation and thought long and hard about what is in my best interest at this time. Thank you for everything.

You need to do a diy post-bac (take more undergrad science classes to establish an upward trend).