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I wouldn’t retake to turn a B into an A; CASPA just averages the two.

Get patient care hours, whether the school requires them or not. Be sure you want to take of patients when they’re anything but at their best. You will learn about yourself and be more qualified.

Not everyone who gets in has spectacular grades.


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Do not stress! It sounds like you are doing the right things to becoming a solid applicant. James King, a current 2nd year PA student, has a Youtube channel where he details how to get into PA school with a low GPA. thepalife is another website that describes how to get into PA school with a low GPA. The link for those things are here;

https://www.thepalife.com/applying-to-pa-school-with-a-low-gpa-admissions-directors-answer-your-questions/

https://beaphysicianassistant.com/blog/how-to-get-into-pa-school-with-low-gpa

The average GPA for a PA school applicant is a 3.5, but many schools only require you to have a 3.0. I know a few people that even got in with a GPA under a 3.0! How to remedy a low GPA is to either A) Study more and harder; maybe improve your studying techniques in general  B) Attend a post-back program after undergrad (I was recently at an interview where 6-7 of the applicants had done some sort of post-back/MS program to improve their GPA/get more familiar with the material for the MSPAs degree) or C) be great at everything else.

In my opinion, option A and C is what you should go with. Post-bacc programs can be hard and if you don't earn a higher GPA than you got in your undergrad, adcoms don't look at that experience favorably (which I think is dumb because you may have yourself earned a MS degree, showing that you can handle graduate level work even if you got some B's). Let me also say this, a 3.5 is not bad, it is just average right now. You will be better than some applicants in the GPA department, but that certainly is not a super competitive GPA. I graduated with a 3.6 so I am in a very similar boat. Get to studying and do the best you can do to try and get that GPA to a 3.7 and then you will be in the clear for having a solid GPA:)

OR, if can't seem to get your GPA that high, never fear! You can always enhance the quality of your application by obtaining quality PCE hours (2k would be great for you) and some good volunteering and shadowing experience. If you have some good records of rec from a PA, a doctor and one of your professors and you write a super solid personal statement, you will be a great applicant:) I hope this helps!

Side note: for PCE hours, I recommend taking a EMT-B course and becoming a either a EMT or a ER tech. ER tech positions are looked at as the most quality PCE hours one can have. Scribing is kind of iffy, but a lot of schools like seeing scribing experience because it shows that you are familiar with EMRs and how to document a patient encounter (writing an HPI, putting in results for the physical examination, identifying the chief complaint, writing out the assessment and plan etc.) CNA is also a great experience, but EMT is better in my opinion. Phlebotomy is ok, but is definitely 2nd to 3rd tier as far as PCE.

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I have patient care hours as an EMT, paramedic, and non-certified medical assistant in a rural area. Try to diversify your patient care experiences if you can and if you decide to take a gap year. I agree with TMayne2 that EMT is probably your best bet. It's direct patient care and you learn how to approach patients. It also enforces decision-making and team work skills including being a team player and team leader, which are also qualities of a PA. Most EMT programs are 4-5 months and maybe your school offers an EMT course so you may want to look into that. 

Your GPA is better than mine and I got accepted on my first round of applying. I know you are looking at programs that emphasize GPA rather than hours, but you should look into programs that evaluate on a holistic process, too. Good luck!

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