Do I Need a Postbac with a Low 3s GPA Without a Trend?

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ADG 185: Do I Need a Postbac with a Low 3s GPA Without a Trend?

Session 185

What is the right decision when a student has a lower GPA without a great (close to 4.0) trend in their GPA. Remember, the goal is to prove academic capability.

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[00:21] Question of the Day

“Do I really need to do a master’s or a postbac if my science GPA is 3.11 and my cumulative GPA is 3.25?

I used Mappd and when I entered all my stats and grades from freshman year to senior, it looked a little messy, but it’s not like anything below or nothing too crazy. I do have a significant trend.

[01:56] The Trend is Important

Based on Mappd, if you’re closer to a 3.5, and based on that alone, try to look into a postbac program.

If a student has a 3.0, 3.0, 4.0, 4.0, their final number is 3.5 and that’s good. It’s not amazing. But that 3.5 is different from someone who has a 4.0, 4.0, 3.0, 3.0.

The number tells a story. And so, you may have a 3.11 with a 4.0 in your last 40 or 50 credit hours. It just shows that you struggled early on, but you’ve turned it around.

“Those students with a low GPA can get into medical school. But typically they're getting in because they have an upward trend.”Click To Tweet

The goal is to prove that you are academically capable of doing well in medical school. It means you’re going to pass medical school in four years. You’re going to pass the board exams the first time you take them. That’s the standard that medical schools are looking for as a baseline. Then they look at who you are as a person and all that other stuff.

That being said, if you do the math, you may take 20-40 credits and get a 4.0 in those credits, but your numbers aren’t going to move much. And based on what your Mappd dashboard looks like, there’s no improvement to show that you can get A’s as much as possible.

[06:35] Self-Reflection is Important

In this case, you need to do some self-reflection on why you got that and then how you can improve on those.

Before you jump into a postbac, you have to do this self-reflection first so you don’t do the same thing over again.

You don’t need to be studying for the MCAT. You need to work on your classes. Don’t worry about the MCAT right now.

[08:04] Ways to Do a Postbac Program

There are different ways to get yourself into a postbac program. You can find an official postbac program. Apply to the program, they accept you, and then you’re in that program.

You can do a do-it-yourself postbac program where you just go to your local community college or four-year university, and take classes as a non degree-seeking student.

Sometimes, you’ll have to say you’re going to go get a second bachelor’s degree, whether for financial aid purposes or not. Then just keep taking classes, even if you’ve already graduated. It’s not about getting another degree. It’s all about getting more science classes. 

If you’re taking 12 or 15 credits a semester, then that’s probably equal to a year and a half of grades.

Here’s an example of a timeline to give you a better idea of what this looks like.

For example, you’re looking at classes in the fall of 2022 for the 2022-2023 academic year. By fall of 2023, you will be done, and say you have 30-40 credits after those three semesters. And so, you may need three semesters of classes, doing 10-12 credits a semester. Then by winter time 2023, you can then focus on your MCAT and your application in the spring of 2024.

'At the end of the day, medical schools need to make sure that you're academically capable.'Click To Tweet


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