If you’ve taken classes previously and you’ve done poorly, some schools will give you options. They might get rid of your old courses if you take a new set of classes. They might remove them from your transcript and expunge them.
It sounds great, and it looks great. It increases your GPA on that transcript. But there’s something you’re failing to recognize, which is very important to know.
[01:25] You Still Have to Enter the Courses in Your Application
When you are applying to medical school, you need to put in every single course that you’ve attempted. So if it’s not in your official transcript, you need to put it into AMCAS anyway. Those failed classes from community college or whenever that got expunged, you still need to put them in your AMCAS application. I’m pretty sure it’s the same for AACOMAS.
This means that those grades still get counted towards your AMCAS GPA. This is the GPA that medical schools are using to evaluate your ability to complete medical school. This is what they’re using to evaluate you to see if they want to interview you.When you're applying to medical school, you need to put in every single course that you've attempted, whether it's visible on your transcript or not.Click To Tweet
[02:41] Texas Fresh Start Program
Texas has the Fresh Start Program where, if you’ve taken classes more than ten years ago and did poorly in them, you get a do-over. And the Texas Medical and Dental Application Service recognizes that. It allows you to ignore those old grades.
So when you apply for the Fresh Start Program through TMDSAS, your GPA is going to be higher because those initial grades are gone. But if you are also applying to AMCAS and AACOMAS outside of Texas, all of those Fresh Start classes that were removed need to go into the AMCAS and AACOMAS applications.If you've taken classes more than ten years ago and did poorly in them, Texas has the Fresh Start Program where you get a do-over.Click To Tweet
If you’re a Texas resident and you applied for Fresh Start and you’re applying broadly outside of Texas, your GPA on the TMDSAS is going to be much higher than it is on the AACOMAS or AMCAS application.
[Related episode: Why Does Texas Have Its Own App? And More TMDSAS Questions]
[04:10] AACOMAS Grade Replacement
This is very similar to prior years when AACOMAS had grade replacement. With grade replacement, if you took a class twice, the newer score was counted and the older score was not. So for students applying to both MD and DO schools, their AMCAS and AACOMAS GPAs were significantly different due to the grade replacement on the DO applications.
But now, that’s gone away! The only significant difference now is between Fresh Start versus AMCAS/AACOMAS.
[04:50] Final Thoughts
What you need to keep in mind at the end of the day is that, if you’re applying to medical school outside of Texas’ Fresh Start Program, every class that you’ve taken needs to go in your application. That includes:
- classes you’ve been incomplete on
- classes you took at an American university overseas
- college-level classes you took in high school.
- classes where you withdrew
- classes that have been expunged and removed from your transcript
Again, you have to put it on all there!
So don’t go through the process of spending however much money it costs to redo all the classes to expunge your records when at the end of the day, they’re all going to be counted anyway.
Links and Other Resources:
- AMCAS / AACOMAS
- Texas Medical School Application – Fresh Start
- Related episode: Should I Move to Texas to Increase My Chances for Med School?
- Related episode: From 2.7 Undergrad GPA to First Year Medical Student
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