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What to Do For Medical School Admissions When Your GPA Is Low

There’s a paradox in premed advising, and frankly it’s pervasive.Here’s the paradox: Early in your academic career, you go to a premed advisor, teacher, professor, or trusted friend, talk about your grades, your background, your volunteering, etc., and then you ask, “How am I doing?” They ask a few questions, pause a moment, and then say, “Don’t worry, you’re doin’ just fine. Keep goin’.” Fast forward a year later, you go back to that same mentor and check-in. “How are your grades?” s/he asks. You tell him that you’re doin OK, but that your science GPA could be a little higher. “Uh oh. You should have studied more. You can’t get into medical school with that low of a GPA.”

You pause, stunned. Then you ask, “What did you say?!”

And that’s when your stomach drops out of you. Feels like you’re on an out-of-control roller coaster, and you’re gonna die. What the heck just happened? Nine months ago everything was great, and now you’re telling me I can’t get in? WTF?! After the dust settles and you regain your composure, you swallow hard. The question that you ask next is the important one: “What can I do now? How can I get in to medical school with a lower GPA?”

I don’t know what your mentor’s going to tell you, but I’ll tell you this: There are absolutely, positively, things that you can do that will definitely improve your chances for admissions to medical school, despite a lower GPA.

Here are the five main ways to solve the problem. Here you go.

What To Do When Your GPA Is Low
Solution #1: Stay in school an extra year and raise your grades
Solution #2: Enroll in a post baccalaureate program specifically focused on raising your grades and improving your chances for acceptance
Solution #3: Set up your own version of a postbacc program, called “the DIY postbacc.”
Solution #4: Enroll in a Special Masters Program
Solution #5: Consider DO, Caribbean or other International Medical Schools

You’ll find more detail about each of these strategies in the medical school admissions advising section of my website.

Don Osborne is a contributing author to Princeton Review’s Hyperlearning MCAT Course. Don created the original Verbal Accelerator program and is a contributor to the latest “Cracking the MCAT” book from Princeton Review. Follow Don on Facebook to read his advice and recommendations to improve your chances of medical school admissions.

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