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Looking for some advice- I plan on applying the 2021 cycle but I’m a bit neurotic and really just need to plan out everything ahead of time.

My cgpa and sgpa will both be around a 3.25 (currently taking post bacc classes) if I continue with an upwards trend. I should have around 2000-3000 PCE by the time I apply, I’m currently an ER scribe, volunteer EMT.

I have about 30 PA shadowing hours but I work with a lot more pa’s in the ER now so I’ll be shadowing them; I've done some other pce work like PT aid, I also went on a medical mission trip to Nicaragua through Global Medical Brigades and worked in a community health clinic. 

Will also be taking the GRE soon.

I guess I’m just very afraid of getting denied, idk if I should continue to take classes at cc and boost my gpa even more (super hard bc I messed up my first two years of college) or should I do a masters? My gpa is holding me back a lot, I am trying to shine in other aspects of my app but I’m a bit lost and I just know that I want to be a PA more than anything. Are there any specific schools any of you would recommend looking more into? Anything else I can do to better my chances/ app? If you have any insight please lmk!!

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Lol I laugh because you sound like me. My advice is this, do everything that you can. You want to know that you gave it 1000% when you apply. If you have the time to volunteer more, then volunteer more. If you can shadow the recommended 3 PAs in 3 different specialties, then do that. Or go for more! Give it all that you can. Go really hard for this application if you want to get accepted. 

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22 minutes ago, MedIsLifePA said:

Lol I laugh because you sound like me. My advice is this, do everything that you can. You want to know that you gave it 1000% when you apply. If you have the time to volunteer more, then volunteer more. If you can shadow the recommended 3 PAs in 3 different specialties, then do that. Or go for more! Give it all that you can. Go really hard for this application if you want to get accepted. 

haha, I will definitely give it my all; I do plan on committing to a lot more pce and hce, Thanks for your input!!

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First off If you want this, don't be afraid to get a rejection - its part of the process.

Next - its hard to advise what to do different now knowing ALL the CASPA application so I hit some points to consider.

1 - Look at the schools PRE REQs and calculate your GPA vs that.  I had an overall just under 3.5, however for most of the schools I applied, I had a 3.6 - 3.8 for Prereq's.  I had one C my entire college career, however it was a pre req for a few schools, not all.  Schools rank usually by Prereq GPA first, Cum GPA second.  That way they can compare 1:1 not a Pre Med student to a Basket Weaver (no offense anyone) degree who took the min pre reqs.

2 - Look at your overall CAPSA application and make sure EVERYTHING is in prior to verification.  Long story short 2 yrs ago I thought CASPA would update items sent once verified (one example - Degree was conferred on Aug 3rd, application was verified prior for Aug 1 deadlines, CAPSA stated application would be updated - however sent OLDER version to schools)  I had 11 applications and only 2 interviews.  This cycle everything was completed prior to verification.  11 applications, 8 interviews.  Did I add classes or change GPA, no.  Did I complete a lot more PCE hours, not really.  Did I change my essay, only very minor.   What was the main difference - I had everything in so that the schools got the full completed package.  You mentioned you are taking the GRE.  Get that done and submitted prior to verification

3 - Rejections and what schools to apply to.  What is funny is I applied to schools I figured I'd have a great shot with (compare stats) that I was rejected at.  I had schools I know were a Long Shot with my Pre Req GPA and Cum GPA that I was accepted at.  It didn't make sense why I was rejected when my stats were well above average and accepted where I didn't think I had a shot - why some evaluator saw something that they either liked or disliked and that made a difference.  You cannot predict who will see your application.  So I will use a quote by the Great One Wayne Gretzky "You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take".  If you don't apply cause you think you may get a rejection, then you will never get in.  Would you not apply for a job you wanted for fear of being rejected?   This is a business, don't take things personal and don't be afraid to hear no. 

3 - If this is what you want keep at it.  This was my third cycle.  My first was 3 schools while I was still in school.  Second was right at the completion of my clinicals.  I will be a PA as I was accepted at several schools and just got another interview.  I'm not trying to brag, I want to show people that you can do this if you stay with it.

Hopefully that helps, expect to get a few rejections going after that one acceptance.

Good luck and stay positive.


Edited by PA-Candidate
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