I am in a quandery and was hoping tha some folks out there will have some advice or experiences to share with me.
I was just verified by AMCAS and looked up my calculated GPA. It is a bit scary and I am afraid that no schools will even look twice at my application. Here are the numbers (as ashamed as I am of them )
For my CUG: BCPM 2.4 and Total at 2.55. Just for background these grades are from the years 92 to 98 when I graduated. So they are all at least 6 years old.
For my PBU: BCPM 3.63 and Total at 3.72. Representing 18 science hours and 6 non science hours.
So, the questions are: 1) Will they weight the more recent grades more heavily? Or are they going to see the 2.55 and just cut me out of the loop? 2)Do the schools actually see the classes or just the overall averages? I took O-chem and did horribly when I was younger (repeating it even back then) then retook again last year and got the A on the first shot. Will they see that?
I did do some explaining of my younger years and GPA in my personal statement.
So please be honest, how much trouble am I in???
Your situation brings to mind somethign Judy Colwell said at the Denver conference–that rejection is of your application, not you, and that if you do get rejected, you can write a polite letter asking to be reconsidered. This may get someone to look beyond the old grades and look at your whole application and your recent grades and give you another chance. So even if you’re below some schools’ formal cutoffs, you may be okay.
Did you check the minimum scores for the schools you applied to? If you’re below the stated minimums and you can identify schools with lower cutoffs, maybe you can add them.
You may have to do a little extra work to get full consideration of the merits of your application, but it doesn’t look impossible from here.
The good news is that old grades can be moderated by great new grades! So, if you majored in beer the first time around but got down and dirty serious A’s recently, you might be good to go. Are your MCAT scores competitive?
I will be in the same boat with my BA grades from 20 years ago when I graduated “magna cum barely.” And As Denise noted previously, asking for reconsideration upon an initial rejection sounds like a plan. I am pondering something with a phrase like below:
I believe that my recent Post-Bacc GPA of 3.7, with 50 credit hours in science and my Masters of Arts in Sociology with a GPA of 3.77 more accurately reflect my intellecutal and academic ability than my overall GPA that is from my original BA of 20 years ago
Forgive the incomplete above thought but you get the idea. I would lead into a few lines on growth, maturity, responsibility, sort of short personal paragraph. Its gotta be enough for them to say "Hmm, let me take another look at that application."
Oh, and Marcia I promise you my grade “baggage” is much worse than yours and I’m still trying. These are Challenges to think about and prepare for, not to despair upon. Never give up the ship! Full steam Ahead! Hoist the Main Sail! I am beginning to sound like Captain Ahab
Thanks for the encouragement!
I was also at the Denver conference and now that Denise has mentioned it, I do remember that advice given out. So thank you for reminding me! My head has been in the books for too long preparing for the MCAT in a few weeks.
To answer the other question, I do not have an official score yet on my MCAT. I am taking it for the first time in August. I am consistantly scoring a 10-11 on the verbal section, but am really struggling with the bio/physical sections. (usually around a 7-8). I have been reviewing material as my main study technique, but this week I am going to switch gears and just do as many practice problems and passages as possible. I am open to any other suggestions.
Thanks to everyone for responding and giving me that vote of confidence!
You definitely have MY vote of onfidence! I can totally relate to how you feel. Some of the grades I got “my first time around” were horrific. The more I allowed fear to get to me the worse those grades seemed to get and the longer I put off everything – MCAT, applications, etc. During the application process to med school I chose to confront my past and HONESTLY represent both the BAD – which is easy enough – and the GOOD, which is oddly enough much more difficult to do!! Be sure to make a list of ACHIEVEMENTS and then – this may sound super-cheesy – carry it with you or post it on the fridge, and have people that know you tell you some positive things about yourself!! I was interviewed at three schools, thanks to what I believe were better grades second time around, volunteer service, and MCAT (29). Only one school chose me (waitlist) and I finally got in. I want to warn you that some schools may not choose to see you as a whole person who has changed – due to competitiveness they may discard your app based on overall GPA (I was told to do a postbacc). But DON’T BE DISCOURAGED!! On the worst evening of my application life --when I felt depressed, ready to give up and everything seemed hopeless – I got “the call”. I was off the wait list!!
Thanks Sara for your story!
Which School did you get into? I applied to 41 MD programs (my wallet certainly felt that submit button!) and have received about 10 secondaries so far (more come each day). I plan on filling them out as soon as I get through the MCAT. How many schools did you apply to? Was your undergrad GPA as bad as mine? I wish I could go back in time and redo college again with the knowledge and maturity I have now! I have always been stronger in person than on paper, and hope that if I can just get into an interview room that I might have a chance.
Thank you for your support!