...Played professional poker for a year and am now back in school at my local university...
Sweet! I was a bouncer & bartender for several years. I was unsure of whether or not to include this part of my background. Anecdotally, I only got interviews at programs where I revealed this info & it was regarded a positive people-skills building thing versus something sordid tantamount to prostitution. I am not deluded into thinking that info landed me interviews, but it did appear to inspire some interest by AdComs in my application...maybe just for being ballsy enough to put it there?
1. I am only taking two courses, Biology and Physics since I dont have any prerequisites for the other science courses such as Anatomy, Microbiology, etc. How bad does this look? Should I have taken non-science courses to increase my courseload?
My overarching thought is why fret over what you cannot change - it is what it is & no one presents a perfect application to medical school. Now, if you can facilitate it, it is certainly "best" to provide indisputable proof of you ability to handle a FT, science-heavy academic load, but many non-trads simply cannot pull that off due to an infinite palate of reasons: kids, jobs, bills, mortgage, family...In essence, you must orchestrate your life such that you maximize your academic & MCAT performances. If that menas 2 courses at a pop, then so be it. If it means a FT load, then great. The main point is do your best at all times & do not fret over what you cannot change.
2. I'm aceing biology but not doing too well in my calculus-based physics class, which I had to take because trig-based physics was not available this semester. The professor is terrible at teaching the material and his tests are ridiculously hard with the class average usually at 55-60 range. I'll most likely get a 'C' in the course if I stick it through but am thinking about withdrawing from the course. How bad would a 'W' look on my transcript?
My first question is: why in the hell are you taking calc-based physics? So what if you had to delay things a term or two! Don't be a masochist - withdraw from the torture chamber & take trig-based physics. As a practicing physician, I can do ALL of the math I need on a 4-function calculator...don't even need the stinking memory. So, unless you intend to be a bench-researcher, are a physics/calculus whiz or just enjoy self-mutilation - avoid calc-based physics & do the trig-based.
Regarding the 'W': read my advice above - DO NOT FRET OVER WHAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE. FOCUS YOUR EFFORTS ON MAXIMIZING YOUR ACADEMIC & MCAT PERFORMANCES INSTEAD OF LAMENTING THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE. And, what look worse, a really shitty grade in physics + a retake with probably not too much better performance OR a 'W' + stellar grade from taking the appropriate level of physics?
3. I graduated Tech with a 3.48 GPA. Assuming I do well in my post-bacc science courses, will this increase my GPA?
As best I recall - check with AMCAS & AACOMAS for the most up-to-date info - all work taken as an undergrad (degree-related work & all post-bacc work) are lumped together in the Ugrad GPA. All grad-level work will fall into a gradGPA.