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sabrina96

Can I Recover From A 3.5?

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Hi! I'm a Canadian citizen, transferring to U of T after 1 year at UCLA. My final grades were just released and my freshman GPA is going to be around 3.5 (all As, with a couple really bad grades). Even if I get a 4.0 the next three years, which I think is going to be close to impossible with everything I've heard about U of T, the absolute highest GPA I could get is a 3.875- and I don't think I can get a 4.0 for the next three years. I'm feeling really hopeless about med school admissions now because I see people regularly getting 3.99, 4.0, 3.98, etc. and it's going to be mathematically impossible for me to get higher than a 3.88. Is there any point killing myself for 3 years only to get a rejection at the end of it? What can I do to recover from my awful freshman GPA?

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Well, you can still qualify for the U of T weighting formula. Also, schools like Western and Queens only look at either your best 2 undergraduate years or 2 most recent undergraduate years, respectively. You certainly aren't the first, nor will you be the last person to have first year grades that are not entirely indicative of your ability. Take a full course load every year, identify how you learn best and remember that it's not just about grades--ECs, research, MCAT, etc. are all important as well. 

 

Not to mention that there is always USMD or USDO.

 

Work hard and do your best to be the most well-rounded and exceptional applicant that you can be and you will get there.

 

Good luck!

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Hi! I'm a Canadian citizen, transferring to U of T after 1 year at UCLA. My final grades were just released and my freshman GPA is going to be around 3.5 (all As, with a couple really bad grades). Even if I get a 4.0 the next three years, which I think is going to be close to impossible with everything I've heard about U of T, the absolute highest GPA I could get is a 3.875- and I don't think I can get a 4.0 for the next three years. I'm feeling really hopeless about med school admissions now because I see people regularly getting 3.99, 4.0, 3.98, etc. and it's going to be mathematically impossible for me to get higher than a 3.88. Is there any point killing myself for 3 years only to get a rejection at the end of it? What can I do to recover from my awful freshman GPA?

 

 

Yes of course. 3.5 for freshman year isn't awful anyway. I have known people who have gotten into med schools with GPA's ranging from 3.3-3.8. There is a lot more that goes into the medical school application besides your GPA anyway. Try to have a strong upwards trend though as it will be looked upon favourably. Doing well on the MCAT will help and having stellar EC's will definitely be a boost.

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A lot of schools have forgiveness policies to help students recover from poor first years (Western, Queens, Toronto, Ottawa, Dalhousie) as mentioned above. Focus on why your grades were not where you wanted them to be (I say that instead of focus on why they weren't good because a 3.5 truly isn't that terrible), and then take action to overcome those obstacles and get the grades you want.

 

You have a long way to go so don't worry. My first two years were 3.55 and 3.65 respectively, so don't worry. You don't have to be perfect from here on out, but definitely need to work much harder. 

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Plenty of people do well at UofT (+3.9). Its difficulty is somewhat exaggerated IMO (I've seen the course material and it's about the same as other universities except it's more difficult in first year). If you end with a 3.8 on the dot (3.9 for 3 years) you'll have a decent enough GPA to be considered at every school. And as everyone else said, there are forgiveness policies.

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What would I have to do to qualify for the weighting formula? At my previous university I was taking 3 classes every quarter, which is a lot less than everyone in semester schools, but that was the normal amount over there, so I don't know how they calculate what a full course load is. And if I don't have a full course load my first year (the one I just finished) but I do for the next three, will I still qualify for the weighting formula?

 

Thanks for all the encouragement everyone!

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What would I have to do to qualify for the weighting formula? At my previous university I was taking 3 classes every quarter, which is a lot less than everyone in semester schools, but that was the normal amount over there, so I don't know how they calculate what a full course load is. And if I don't have a full course load my first year (the one I just finished) but I do for the next three, will I still qualify for the weighting formula?

 

Thanks for all the encouragement everyone!

 

I'm not familiar with the quarter system but you can always call the school and ask. If it was the normal amount everyone else took, it should be fine. I think you need a full course load every year to qualify for the weighting formula. 

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U/T requires a full course load every year, period. They may well make an exception for you in your particular circumstances, you can ask, but don't count on it. However, other med schools use other formulae. Just live with no regrets and aim for top grades from here on in. 

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