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  • Arkaine

  • Application cycles: 07/21/2012
  • Demographics: Male, 32, Caucasian
  • Home state: Ohio
  • Last Active: 02/10/2014
  • Brief Profile: Applied to 14 allopathic medical schools for the 2012-2013 cycle. I wanted to provide other applicants, who like myself may not have had the strongest GPA, with some hope that they can be accepted and have a successful cycle.

    Application Overview:

    *Honors Student
    *Clinical Volunteer (100 hrs)
    *Fraternity Vice President
    *Undergraduate Research (3 yrs)
    *Research Scholarships and Awards (~$10,000)
    *Third author publication
    *Paid Clinical Position as a Perioperative Technician
    *Letters of recommendation (science prof, non-science prof, research PI, and academic mentor)

    MCAT Prep:

    *Took free Kaplan and Princeton Review diagnostic tests before review (scored 28-30)
    *Used The Berkeley Review (TBR) for all content review
    *Took ~7 Gold Standard (GS) online full-length tests
    *Completed TBR passages as needed to reinforce missed concepts from GS
    *Reviewed content in TBR and ExamKrackers physical and biological science books
    *Worked through Kaplan's MCAT 45 Advanced Prep book (highly recommend some kind of advanced prep)
    *Took ~5 full-length AAMC practice tests (range: 32-35)
    *Test Date: June 21, 2012

    I was incredibly happy with my performance on the MCAT. If I received an average score (30-34) for matriculating students, I don't think I would have been accepted anywhere, so it was a very important aspect of my application and key to success this cycle. If I were to split hairs however, I felt I underperformed on the physical sciences section and could have received a 13 if I had not missed several questions (that I was kicking myself over missing immediately after the test). Overall, I took about 5 months to prepare for the test but with the majority of working coming in the last month or two.

    Accepted at The Ohio State University (matriculated) and The University of Toledo (withdrew). Other interview invites from Northeast Ohio Medical University (i.e. NEOMED) and New York Medical College.
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 07/21/2012

    • Undergraduate college: The Ohio State University
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 519
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 130, C/P 128, CARS 130  
    • Overall GPA: 3.48
    • Science GPA: 3.37

    Summary of Application Experience

    Overall, I am very pleased with my performance in the academic free for all of medical school admissions. There is old adage in medicine (and life) that really applies to me this cycle, "better lucky than good." I applied late because I took the MCAT late. I would have been far more competitive across the board, especially at Ohio schools, but I was making due with the situation I placed myself into. Also I should have pre-written my secondaries while I was waiting for my primary application to be verified so I could just submit those as I received them. Unfortunately, I was busy with other schoolwork and responsibilities and found it difficult to motivate myself to complete them.

    I took the MCAT late because I was too focused on difficult coursework that ruined by GPA. I took difficult coursework because I believed I need to succeed in upper-level courses to make up for some of my difficulties freshman and sophomore year. I also had a disastrous quarter that tanked my cumulative and science GPAs in my junior year. My quarter consisted of 20 credit hours of science courses and I ultimately earned a sub-3.0, which just completely wrecked my science GPA. Regardless, my application was very top heavy (based on my stats) and I should have applied to at least five more schools. Furthermore, I lacked shadowing and more importantly, a recommendation letter from some kind of clinician. I also lacked significant volunteer experience, relative to many of my peers, in either a clinical or non-clinical setting.

    I heard it all the time, but your GPA and MCAT are part of a numbers game. Obviously your extracurricular activities, research experience, clinical shadowing, and letters of recommendation have tremendous intangible value but they are still riding on the back of your GPA and MCAT values. As anti-intellectual as it sounds, I should have focused on maintaining or boosting my GPA rather than building a cohesive undergraduate education based on my primary academic interests: neuroscience and immunology. Academic rigor is not as highly touted as it should be. I am much more forgiving of the chemical engineer with average grades over the creative writer with stellar grades (and equivalent pre req grades). Regardless, I am pleased with my education and I hope I can take this knowledge to medical school with great effect.

    As a final note, I graduated with a science GPA of 3.45 and an overall GPA of 3.52. The stats above reflect my application when I submitted.

    Overall Recommendations:

    *Apply EARLY and BROADLY (do not forget to apply DO if interested)

    *Take time to formulate your essays, personal statement, and experience descriptions so they fit the narrative of your application and life (explore why you did things the way you did, why you took one class over another or had a minor, etc). I attempted to write my application such that each of my work experiences flowed into the next, I left club A to join club B because...

    *And most importantly..."Find the breath, kid. Don't forget to breathe." This is a long, arduous process--learn to appreciate it and you will be a really rewarding experience.

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of Cincinnati
    Wright State University
    Boston University
    Georgetown University
    Cleveland Clinic Medical School
    Brown University
    Virginia Tech Carilion
    Loyola University Chicago
    University of Miami
    Wake Forest University

    Invited for Interview, Withdrew

    New York Medical College
    Northeastern Ohio Universities

    Accepted off Waitlist

    Ohio State University


    University of Toledo

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