So my MCAT scores and everything are finally in. I’ve turned in my AACOMAS apps and am working on my AMCAS, but I don’t have a clear bearing on how competitive my app is. My MCAT scores are pretty good – 13 VR / 13 PS / 12 BS / Q WS = 38Q, but my grades are mediocre because of my time at engineering school. Leave those out, and I feel like I’m almost a shoo-in – my grades and reputation at EWU are very good.
My question, then, is this: will my evaluators be likely to look through my entire application, or will they automatically rule me out due to my lackluster cumulative GPA?
First - that is one awesome MCAT score! CONGRATS!!!
I’ve definitely gotten the impression that either GPA or MCAT can make up for the other being weak. Since you didn’t post your GPA I’m not sure how “mediocre” it is, so… details? We can help better with a clear definition.
More details? Sure! My cumulative GPA at Rose-Hulman was a 2.6, and since I took all my prereqs in Running Start at EWU, all of the RH courses were sciences (mostly physics). Virtually none of my medical prereqs are from Rose, though, and my grades in all of those are good. All of my RH biology electives got me a 3.0 or better, too, so I want to be hopeful . . .
And thanks for the pat on the back! If you were in the area, I’d invite you out for cake and champagne tonight, too, but it seems everyone is out of town
- Anemos Said:
Careful there...no such thing as a shoo-in.
First, there is always going to be some one smarter than you in the line to get in to med school.
Second, 100% of the incoming class at med schools think they are the shit on day1. Ask them the same question after a month or two and you'll get a very different i.e. humbled answer!
Third, more on this later but I have learned that it's not just smarts that make you succeed in med school. It's other qualities like time management, focus, work ethic. AdComs know this and that's why the MCAT is just one metric in your app.
- Dazed Said:
Very true -- I don't expect to be the brightest bulb in the bunch. The reason I think I'm competitive is because the school I'm looking at accepted entrants last year with an average MCAT of 29, and several of them are going to be coming straight out of their first undergrad degree in biology (which has its own strengths and weaknesses). If I learned anything in engineering school, it was time management and analysis / troubleshooting of integrated systems, both of which will be invaluable to me. However, a lot of them are probably going to have more extracurricular activities during their undergrad.
- Dazed Said:
I'm hoping that will be my saving grace. I had to learn time management the hard way at Rose, and the program was probably the most difficult one I could have chosen, so my "smarts" might be in question if numbers call the shots.
I think the med schools are very likely to look at the whole picture. Probably a 38 MCAT would get a closer look at your whole application (congrats on that!!).
Looking at the aggregate spreadsheet it looks like there is an under 20% chance of acceptance at a US MD school.
although for the particular mcat/gpa combination the sample amount is not large so it’s hard to say.
Congrats on your MCAT victory.
I would say your MCAT will get you some nibbles in MD, but I bet you will get plenty in DO. Obviously I am not on an ADCOM, but from what I have read DO schools eat that high MCAT mediocre GPA stuff up. Is your GPA higher than most DO cut lines and is there an upward trend? If those are yes I have a feeling you will be doing some traveling this fall. The only thing that could help is if you had submitted in June, but you can only do what you can. Good Luck
- when did you do your work at RH?
- were you in a formal program at EWU?
- what is your cGPA including the EWU grades?
- what is your EWU grades only?
- did you do a graduate program?
Med schools appear to look at an undergraduate cGPA that includes post-bacc work but not graduate school work for their first pass.
- dnelsen Said:
Yikes! That's dismal. Frustrating, since my PB GPA would land me in the 89.7% range . . .
@ mesclun: I was at RH from 2006-2010, and I went from a formal prog. at EWU in high school (running start, 2004-2006) to a post-bacc BS prog in pre-med biology (2010 - June 2012). cGPA I'm not sure -- I can't check it on the completed AACOMAS app -- but I think it's around a 2.8. EWU only is 3.80 for post-bacc, but higher for running start.
Haven't done a graduate program, sadly, unless the PB counts.
I believe your post-bacc is examined separate from your undergrad GPA and therefore you are good on paper.
But why not just call a couple schools and ask them? It’s not like you have to give them your name, just say you have a 35+ MCAT and give them your undergrad and post-bac GPAs and see what they say.
- PixieSanders Said:
That's not a bad idea. It's worth a try, I suppose, but I do suspect that I'll get the general "go ahead and apply" runaround. I'll call a few random schools I've applied to and let you know how it goes.
No harm in calling and asking (unless you’re in this application cycle, then it may be a bit dicier). My story is posted around here somewhere, but I had a cumulative 3.0 GPA when I applied (2.5 undergrad, 4.0 postbacc) with a 36 MCAT and am now in my 4th year at OSU.
There are things you can change and things you can’t. Don’t worry too much about the latter.
Or, as George Carlin said, “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.”
- pi1304 Said:
There are things you can change and things you can't. Don't worry too much about the latter.
Or, as George Carlin said, "Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things."
Thanks for the encouragement! I gave calls to a randomly selected handful of schools I was applying to. All of the DO schools were interested, and one put me on a watch list! One of the MD schools gave me the typical "go ahead and apply, watch the webinar, etc." answer (and nothing there pertains much to postbacc students, but I might as well just apply anyway). The East Coast and Midwest schools were too close to closing to be able to answer any questions . . . gotta love the three hour time difference. I'll call tomorrow and let you know if they have anything to add.
At this point, I have some hope. There's still some cognitive dissonance about going to med school, but I'm hoping that will clear when the excitement really sets in!
That’s great you called. I did that too and felt much better afterward.
Per AMCAS, post-bacc grades are folded into uGPA, so they would raise your uGPA for any initial cut-offs or screening. Then (according to the people with whom I spoke) the adcom would look more closely at your transcript and hopefully give greater weight to your post-bacc grades and clear upward trend. I believe graduate grades are not counted, so don’t worry Anemos, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t do one.
Also, if you want a spreadsheet that will calculate all your numbers for you (AMCAS style not AACOMAS), search Google for “mcat grade spreadsheet eguizabal.”