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Need GPA advice- Is this competitive?


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So I just calculated my CASPA gpa which is completely different than my institutional GPA. My institutional GPA was much higher at 3.54 compared to the CASPA GPA which is a 3.38 overall and 3.18 science.

One of the main reasons is due to my school being on a A+ system whereas CASPA does not accept A+

I still have not taken anatomy and physiology and med terminology which is I do, my GPA would be 3.42 and 3.20 assuming I make an A in both.

My C's are as below

Intro to Gen Psych- C, But I made an A(A+) in Abnormal Psych

Principles of Bio- C+

Organic Chem 1 and 2- C

Biochem- D, retook it and made a C (This class was also 5 credits at my school)

All my other classes are A's and B's

I have been working since my sophmore year, I was in retail for 2, medical scribe for 2 

I have also taken a medical mission trip and shadowed. I'm also volunteering at a free clinic.

What would you guys recommend? Should I retake all of these classes or some of them? The biochem grade really doesn't look well, but I actually know the material even though the grade does not show it, I'm just afraid to retake it a 3rd time since it may not look good as it is. Is there anything else that you guys recommend? 

Edited by Krissyd
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It will depend on where you're applying. My first-choice school does not accept any prerequisites with a grade lower than a B-. And, one semester of organic chem is a prereq. So, you would need to repeat that course if you were applying there, for example. I am not sure that repeating those courses alone would bring up your GPA much at all. But, it could contribute to an alternate GPA that some schools use, such as the last 40 credit hours, for example.

 

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To answer your question, I would just take the prerequisites needed for whatever school you are applying to and make sure you fulfill their minimum GPA. Some are 3.0 and others 3.2. Work your hardest to get A's in the classes you have left. 

Keep in mind GPA is only ONE piece of the pie of the application process. Most schools are very HOLISTIC in their review. Even though your GPA might not blow someone away you can become a well rounded competitive applicant by having an excellent essay, letters of recommendation, volunteering, GRE, shadowing, quality patient care hours, etc.

Since it is so holistic, someone could have a 4.0 and not get an interview while someone with a 3.2 gets invited if they are strong in other areas.

Good luck!

 

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11 minutes ago, PA2020Candidate said:

There's plenty.  I asked the same question and my GPA is much worse and I'm still staying positive.  Just make sure to call each school.  I learned a lot of things about individual programs by calling the school.

yeah! I've called a couple schools but this was when I thought my gpa was a 3.54 when now it's not. I'm also mainly worried about how I took biochem twice and still didn't make an A and the fact that it was 5 credits just tanked my GPA

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23 minutes ago, Krissyd said:

yeah! I've called a couple schools but this was when I thought my gpa was a 3.54 when now it's not. I'm also mainly worried about how I took biochem twice and still didn't make an A and the fact that it was 5 credits just tanked my GPA

I'd actually recommend retaking biochem and trying to get an A.  Going from a D to a C does still says a lot about your understanding of the material but getting the A shows that your knowledge has definitely improved...even if you took it for the third time.  Not saying you need to retake a C but going from a D to a C is not just about passing. Also you may think you know the material more than the C grade would suggest but I guarantee you that you would not be able to convince an adcom until you got the A.

Forget about Orgo.  You passed it now move on.  I would focus on the biochem and then upper level science courses like cell and molecular bio.  How's your A&P?

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I made an A in molec cell bio and I'm taking A&P over summer and fall along with micro lab and medical terminology. Trying to make my GPA as high as possible at this point by post bacc classes

2 minutes ago, PA2020Candidate said:

I'd actually recommend retaking biochem and trying to get an A.  Going from a D to a C does still says a lot about your understanding of the material but getting the A shows that your knowledge has definitely improved...even if you took it for the third time.  Not saying you need to retake a C but going from a D to a C is not just about passing. Also you may think you know the material more than the C grade would suggest but I guarantee you that you would not be able to convince an adcom until you got the A.

Forget about Orgo.  You passed it now move on.  I would focus on the biochem and then upper level science courses like cell and molecular bio.  How's your A&P?

 

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On 2/9/2018 at 6:54 PM, Krissyd said:

What would you guys recommend? Should I retake all of these classes or some of them? The biochem (1) grade really doesn't look well, but I actually know the material (2) even though the grade does not show it, I'm just afraid to retake it a 3rd time since it may not look good as it is. Is there anything else that you guys recommend (3) (4)

1.)  That's a tough call.  On one hand you want to get an A in Biochemistry on the other hand you will be taking it for a third time.  The thing I am wondering about is where you average out between the two?  What is the average between a D and a C, a C- or a D+?  When I was applied to PA school the past two cycles I never saw a school with a Biochemistry prerequisite that allowed less than a C.  I suppose you would have to find a school that would take the better of your Biochemistry courses if you did not want to take it a third time.

2.) You may know the material, but the grade that the admissions people look at is no different.  This is the unfortunate reality that may applicants face, including myself.  I had a similar feeling with my Microbiology course (300 level), I knew the material very well but got a B, did not answer the questions the right way I suppose.  However, I made it up by taking Bioinformatics (400 level microbiology based) and smashed that course.  I suppose doing something similar with a course of equivalent difficulty etc may be the way to go.

3.) Taking higher level Biology courses or some other science based courses and getting As.  This would help make that Principles of Biology C+ look like less of an issue.  

4.) My personal experience with Organic Chemistry I and II.  I retook both of them and got A's, however I was accepted before I even finished Organic Chemistry II and I hadn't turned in my updates to CAPSA for Organic Chemistry I.  So I don't know if these programs really care or not.  I supposed that is program based as I have seen some programs requiring at least Organic Chemistry I as a prerequisite.  I personally think it is worth it.  

On 2/9/2018 at 6:54 PM, Krissyd said:

So I just calculated my CASPA gpa which is completely different than my institutional GPA. My institutional GPA was much higher at 3.54 compared to the CASPA GPA which is a 3.38 overall and 3.18 science.

I suspect many on here and many that apply to PA school in general score in the high 90's and received "only" As.  It makes it show what your GPA would be if you went to an institution where (+,-) is not used.  It may seem weird, but it makes sense.

I was accepted with VERY similar stats as you, so just keep plugging away.  

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