How Do Admissions Committees View Audited Courses

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Session 174

Our questions here are taken directly from the Nontrad Premed Forum. If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for free so you can begin to ask away and hopefully, we can answer them here on the podcast.

Meanwhile, check out all our other podcast on MedEd Media Network where you can find some resources that you need as you go through this path of applying to medical school and beyond.

[00:55] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:

“I’m currently doing a Do-It-YOurself postbac through UCLA Extension and have completed the Chem & Bio series with good grades. I’m now onto Physics and I’m nervous it will decrease my currently decent GPA (3.85) and my small budget. I’m thinking of auditing the series instead of taking the courses for a grade since I intend on only applying to schools that don’t specifically require the prereqs.

Auditing wouldn’t show on my official transcript. From AMCAS: “Audit refers to any course you attended without attempting to earn credit, either formally or informally.” So I’m guessing I can report that I audited the course, but not sure how receptive schools are to auditing and if taking it for a letter grade is worth the risk of lowering my GPA. I want to learn the content to prep for the MCAT, but I would love to preserve my GPA & save money ($3000+ if I don’t officially take the series for a grade). I’ve considered trying to teach the necessary concepts to myself, but I’ve heard mixed reviews about this approach.

Does anyone have experience in auditing a course / putting it on their application? Or teaching physics to themselves?”

[02:12] Should You Take the Classes or Audit Them?

As the poster says, auditing is not on the transcript. And for her institution, sometimes auditing is on a transcript. Be sure to read the 2018 AMCAS Applicant Guide for MD schools as well as the AACOMAS Applicant Guide if you’re going to apply to DO schools. Read it cover to cover to see if there are stuff there that may hurt your application.

According to the AMCAS Applicant Guide, auditing a course does not count for any sort of credit. This student is saying they’re planning on applying to schools that don’t have prereqs. But you can’t rest your laurels on this one.

If you say only go to schools with no prereqs, this is a risky proposition. You’re betting on the fact that even though they don’t have required courses, they’re not going to wade those courses any more heavily than other courses.

'Historically, doing well on science courses has been very very important to medical school admissions committees.'Click To Tweet

The idea of getting rid of prereqs isn’t so that you can avoid taking sciences altogether. You need those prereqs for the MCAT, meaning you need that foundation to take the MCAT. And trying to limit your school list to schools that don’t have preset prereqs is risky. You are basically limiting your options to where you’re applying to medical school.

[05:15] Self-Teaching for the MCAT vs. Auditing

You can self-teach for the MCAT. It’s hard, but you can. You can do whatever you want and gather all the resources you need to help teach yourself. But if you’re going to audit a class, why waste the time going to the class when you can just teach yourself? Since you can’t put it on your application when you’re auditing. It’s not going to be on your transcript, so there’s no point putting it in your application.

[05:58] Are You Willing to Take the Risk?

All this being said, I will have to double check on this as this is a unique question. Maybe they will put this in your application as an audit. Maybe you can ask them if you can do that and so you can put it in your application to show it on there. Still, it still doesn’t count. So maybe you can, but that’s a risk you’re going to have to take.

At the end of the day, it’s your choice But it’s going to be limiting your school choices. Know that there are risks involved versus just taking it. It may lower your GPA but why assume that when you actually have a great GPA now?

'You can't just run away and hide because you don't want your GPA to go down.'Click To Tweet


Nontrad Premed Forum

MedEd Media Network

2018 AMCAS Applicant Guide

AACOMAS Applicant Guide