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GPA vs. Experience-Which to focus on more?

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Hey Guys! to start off with let me share my stats!

29 y/o 

Completed Bachelors degree in Biology May 2015 

Overall GPA: 3.7, Science GPA 3.5 ( lowest science grades: O Chem-C, Biochem- C, Micro-B+)

HCE: Volunteer EMT for 2.5 years ( ~ 2300 hours), ER scribe for 2.5 years, Personal Care Assistant: currently 30 hrs/week 

I've applied twice to PA school and the first time I applied very late in the cycle and was offered 2 interviews, went to one and was wait-listed and never got in. The second time around I was offered 3 interviews, went to 2 of them and was rejected and wait-listed at another. I ultimately did not get in. 

I've heard a ton of conflicting information about what my next step should be. I'm torn between trying to go back to school to repeat Ochem/biochem to improve my lower GPA or to take a phlebotomy or other health care related exp. course. 


What you would all recommend?





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Guest kennypowers

Your next step should be working on your interview skills because your app is not the problem. If you are landing invites, but are not being extended offers, the problem isn't on paper. I suggest doing as many mock interviews as possible (with PAs, preferably)!

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Thank you for your feedback guys! 

1. I've looked into re-taking Ochem/Biochem but the area I live in has one major university and the class sections are during the day and I currently work FT and would have to attend night classes. In, addition, it is pretty expensive to pay out of pocket for 2-3 classes. SO, difficult to say, I am not in a great position to re-take any of my pre-req. classes.


2. KennyPowers--I've been told by a few PA/MD's I've worked with the exact same thing. They told me to save up and apply to a larger number of schools next cycle. 

So I guess I'm  just on the fence about where to put my energy. I think I should take some of the advice I've already been given and re-apply next year to a bunch of schools I know I meet the requirements for. 


thank you guys!

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Totally agree with kennypowers...when you are getting multiple interview invites, but are either wait-listed or rejected, it is because of your interview. I loved the book "How to Ace the PA School Interview." What I really enjoyed was how they went over the differences between great, okay, and bad responses to typical questions asked in interviews. Here is the Amazon link to purchase/check it out!:


However what truly helped the most was doing mock interviews with friends who were already in PA school/just graduated and of course actual practicing PA's. I was an ER scribe myself so you should have at least a couple PA's you work with that would be willing to interview prep with you :)

And lastly...typical, but incredibly important is to BE CONFIDENT. You need to exude a presence to the interviewer that shows them they can see you being a PA and succeeding in their program.

Good luck!

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Look around for schools that match your stats! Also, consider looking at schools that are creative with their GPA. The school I got accepted to does not use any of the CASPA GPA's but instead calculates there own based just on their prerequisites, neither of which were o chem or biochem

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thank you all again for your responses!  I am gaining momentum and optimism in preparing to apply again next cycle. 

PACiswhatiwillbe, I do have that book and read through it about a month before my second interview and still felt fairly nervous. However, I have since had multiple mock interviews that I think have helped tremendously. I will continue to set up mock-interviews as I know one of my issues is showing confidence in the interviews!


Thank you all again for your help :)

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