Pre-Med with LOW GPA – How to Still Get Into Medical School


You’ve gone through close to 4 years of
college, but your GPA just isn’t where you were planning it to be, and now you’re worried
about your chances of getting into medical school. Or maybe you decided late in your college
career to pursue something as rigorous and competitive as medicine. I have good news – there is still hope. Here’s what you should do. What’s going on guys, Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com. I’ll start by saying your GPA is one of
the most important factors in your application. The importance of learning from your mistakes
and changing systems to produce more desirable results cannot be overstated. This is a skill that will serve you well as
a future medical student, physician, and human being. If you are unwilling to revisit your systems
and optimize your studying, learning, and testing strategies, you will not be successful
in this journey. We provide dozens and dozens of videos and blog posts on how to optimize your GPA and MCAT – if
you haven’t already, these free resources are going to be the best place to start in
improving your study habits and strengthening your numbers. Now in order to strengthen an application with
a weak GPA, we first have to understand why medical schools care so much about your GPA. It comes down to one thing: can you handle
the rigors of medical school? At Med School Insiders, our team’s combined
dozens of years experience on medical school admissions committees and advising students
have made us intimately familiar with the ins and outs of the medical school application
process. Medical schools are particularly interested
in your science GPA and MCAT to judge whether or not you can keep up with the demands of
medical school. The material isn’t particularly challenging,
but the quantity and the rate at which you learn is unprecedented. As they say, learning in medical school is
like drinking from a fire hydrant. Understanding this, it makes sense that the
best thing to do with a low GPA is to perform well on the MCAT. That won’t just happen from
just wishing it into existence though. It’s a matter of restructuring your study
strategies and study habits. We have several videos on this channel and
blog posts on our website outlining how I got a “100th” percentile score (in reality
can’t go higher than 99.9) and we also go into how you can also achieve
a top score by utilizing a series of systems and study strategies. To take your score to the next level, we also
offer tutoring with top MCAT scorers on our website, so you can actually learn from the best. But let’s say you’ve already taken the
MCAT and your score isn’t where you want it to be. Here are the next steps. First, decide if you need to retake the course.
If you have a D or an F in any of your pre-requisite courses, including biology, chemistry, physics,
math, english, biochemistry, psychology and sociology, etc., you need to retake the course. Simple. Learn from your mistakes the first time around
and crush it on the second go. It’s imperative that you master this material,
not only for the MCAT, but schools will also require at minimum a passing grade to count
the pre-requisite as fulfilled. There’s no need to retake a course for a
B or a B-. Retaking a course with a C is generally not
necessary either, unless you are particularly weak on the material and need it for the MCAT. Some suggest retaking or even auditing a course
if you need a refresher prior to taking the MCAT. I would argue against this. Your time is better spent learning from high
yield MCAT resources and doing practice tests. Not sitting in a classroom. Number 2, Bolster Your Transcript.
Let’s be realistic here. Your GPA can only change so much, even if
you were to get straight A’s from here on out. That’s just simple math. With each subsequent semester, your GPA becomes
more and more set in place and harder to change, either up or down. Schools understand this, and if you had a
suboptimal early career in college, they don’t expect you to have a 3.9 by the time you graduate. Rather, demonstrating a consistent upward
trend is essential. This is much more encouraging for a medical school to see – perhaps you
have learned to hone your study strategies and are now ready for the rigors of a medical
school curriculum. For this reason, the second half of your university
transcript is going to be more important than the first half. If you’ve already graduated, consider taking
1-2 years for a post-bacc or special master’s program, preferably one offered at a
medical school. Do not take these programs lightly – solid
performance is warranted. Shoot for at least a 3.5 or higher if you’re
going the D.O. route, and a 3.7 or higher if you are going the M.D. route. Formal post-bacc programs are more targeted to those who are switching careers, and mostly
provide the pre-requisite courses. Certain programs have reputations of graduating
a significant portion of non-traditional students into affiliated medical schools. You could absolutely do the same thing independently
at a nearby college. Of course, a four year program would be stronger
than a community college. But, if costs are a major concern, don’t
rule out the community college option. If you do opt for a do-it-yourself path, take
classes that are similar to what you will be taking in medical school. For example, anatomy, cell biology, histology,
immunology, molecular biology, pathology, physiology, etc. Now SMP’s generally offer classes that are medical school level, or at least cover the same material,
and last either 1 or 2 years. These are generally affiliated with medical
schools and can be promising routes to gaining admission. You’ll be gaining exposure to medical school
faculty in the process, which can be a significant advantage. However, this comes at a significant financial
cost. Additionally, SMP’s are considered high
risk, high reward. If you perform poorly and cannot get into
medical school, then your SMP degree won’t be of much help elsewhere. Ultimately, the post-bacc vs. SMP route is
highly personal and will depend on multiple factors on an individual level. Number 3, Strengthen Your Experiences and Extracurriculars.
While applying to medical school requires you to check certain boxes, we at Med School
Insiders believe in a more individual approach. Many of us were competitive college athletes,
dancers, artists, and musicians. Every applicant will have completed volunteering,
gotten clinical exposure, and done some level of research. Definitely do not overlook these important
aspects of the medical school application. However, I advise you to consider a more holistic
picture to the process rather than just completing a checklist Target research you enjoy – it doesn’t
have to be basic science cancer research. By doing research you are genuinely interest
in, you’ll be more likely to work harder, excel, earn an abstract or publication, and
even get a stronger letter of recommendation. By pursuing extracurriculars that you enjoy and
by working on developing yourself into the type of person that will become an excellent
physician, you will be much more successful in the end. I was fascinated by the brain, and so I volunteered
in the emergency department where I enrolled stroke patients into clinical research protocols. I enjoyed it, I got volunteering experience,
and clinical research on top of that. On the side, I was the Lead Designer in an
organization which allowed me to pursue my artistic interests and hone my leadership
skills. Ultimately, both the stroke research and being
lead designer were beneficial in my path to becoming a doctor. Number 4, Consider D.O. and Caribbean M.D. Schools.
The fact remains that osteopathic D.O. schools and Caribbean M.D. schools are significantly
easier to get into than United States allopathic M.D. schools. In addition, D.O. schools are much more forgiving
for low GPAs with an upward trend. If you haven’t already, be sure you consider
your options and weigh the pros and cons of each path. For most students, I advise going D.O. over
Caribbean M.D., but that may change based on a few variables. Ultimately, each applicant is unique and there
isn’t a single answer that is best suited for everyone. Hopefully you found the advice in this video
helpful and relevant to your situation. If you need additional personalized help,
visit MedSchoolInsiders.com to speak with one of our physician advisors – they have
real medical school admissions committee experience. These are the best people to learn from, because
they’ve been in your shoes, and have actually served on the adcoms at top institutions. Whether you need tutoring in chemistry
or editing your personal statement or even need help planning out the next 2 years so that you optimize your performance on the MCAT, we’ve got you covered. Use the coupon code LOWGPA to receive $20
off your purchase of $100 or more. Coupon is valid for the first 20 customers. Thank you all so much for watching. If you found this video helpful, let me know
with a thumbs up. We release new videos every Saturday at 8AM
pacific time, so make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next upload. If you have any additional questions, let
me know down in the comments. And I will see you guys in that next one.

99 thoughts on “Pre-Med with LOW GPA – How to Still Get Into Medical School

  • @Dr Jubbal, in my case I graduated from nursing school right now I am an RN (BSN). I took all the pre requisite med school courses. Nonetheless, I have a 3.3 avg, science gpa is 3.24ish, and I have yet to take the mcat. What do you recommend for me to do if I want to go the MD route? Thank you!

  • Am I at a disadvantage graduating from a CSU than people graduating from a UC in terms of applying to medical schools?

  • This is a much needed video with good content. Do you have any real life examples of Physicians who did not excel initially in undergrad? And if so do you know what changes they made that produced different results and further what path they took to become a doctor?

  • Great video but I have a comment on the community college thing. I did all my pre reqs at a cc in the San Diego area, besides biochemistry because it’s upper division chemistry not offered there. After this my friend and I have both transferred from there to a near by state school for me and UCSD for him and we both agree that our community college science classes were harder than our upper division chemistry courses. The difficulty of the pre reqs and such depend on the school in my experience just so people know

  • I am a power engneering student is there a channel to help you Ace through that not saying this channel is bad but i want some thing more spicified .

  • What are my chances of getting into a US medical school if I'm an international applicant (particularly Caribbean), and I've completed an undergraduate degree in my respective country?

  • Im not even interested in going to medical school lmao i want to study architecture BUT STILL i find your videos soo interesting and fun to watch and it helped me understand how tough this journey towards medicine can be.
    For all medical students good luck you're aaaall admirable !!

  • Had a 3.1 overall in undergrad. Gained clinical experience as an EMT and made it my mission to destroy the MCAT. Accepted for class of 2023

  • Just to support the D.O. vs. Caribbean with data: in the 2018 Residency Match, 51.2% of US citizen international med students (i.e. Caribbean med schools) matched into their preferred specialty, compared to 82.6% for D.O. students and 91.8% for US M.D. students.

  • I'm Not speaking as a Anti-MedschoolInsiders But by thinking for your fans.
    I say that your video starts excitingly but its content is pretty boring not for this video and not for old videos but the video from which you started subtitles
    they were pretty simple and boring tips so please take care

  • I have a question. So I took an honors course of English last semester, but failed due to some family problems that came up. I plan on retaking English this semester, but the honors course isn’t offered during the spring semester. Would retaking the regular course & getting a good grade in that affect my chances?

    I can’t afford to wait till fall to retake the class, but I feel like that seems to be a down-trend; fail the honors course then pass the regular course. Could you please give me some advice?!?!?!?!

  • I managed a 3.92 my first semester of college, have shadowed an Air Force dermatologist for 100+ hours, have volunteered at a VA clinic for 250 hours since starting high school, and am completing an emt course this summer. My gpa for my second semester just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be as good because of a difficult gen chem 2 and calc 1 instructors and it stresses me out. Videos like these always help know I’ve got options so thanks for that.

  • I’m so nervous! My GPA is right around 3.78, but my teachers said that’s pretty low to want to go to medical school with. I’ve only taken one AP class as of my sophomore year of high school. 😐

  • A postbacc (now a masters) program saved me from my undergrad behaviors, now im my way into a D.O. program. There are side and back doors!!

  • I’m actually studying pharmacy and want to get into medicine cause i’ve fallen in love with the clinical aspects of it. My gpa in the beginning was really bad but ever since my 5th semester its been going up and i was pretty upset that it doesnt change my cGPA buuut your video was very reassuring! I’m also working on some publications/internships. Thanks!

  • I’m in 9th grade and I really want to be a surgeon and these videos always inspire me to work hard 👏👏

  • Someone pleaaaaaase help.
    I'm stuck here in The middle East where the medical rout is completely different from that of Canada or the US and I don't want to go down that rout the reason being that the curriculum here is really outdated and they do not have the intention nor desire to update it. At the same time it's hard to study abroad cause here we go from highschool straight into med school if we achieved the right grades there, so there aren't really a lot of bachelor degree programs here, tho the American University here caught my eye but I don't know if the programs in it are the right ones. These programs are available in 2-4 years format, they are for one thing and one thing only so I have to choose either biology or chemistry or physics etc. (Though I thing biology is the right call)
    Someone please please help me here. I'm really really confused and need answers

  • Me looking at the minimum requirement (They all want A*AA, AAA, AAB, A*A*A, AAAA, A*BB for A levels) , me looking at the tuition fees :'( no scholarships, no bursaries

  • Wish I had seen this video sooner, but it was nice to get some validation that I had been doing all the right things. I'm just about to finish an SMP with a 4.0 (unless I manage to fail my finals), I retook the MCAT last fall (519), and I did about 1500 hours of scribing last year. Now it's time to polish the personal statement and cross my fingers for the upcoming application cycle! I wish everyone else the best of luck as well!

  • This is 100% legit. I graduated with a 3.2 overall and science GPA and ended up studying extremely hard for the MCAT. Ended up with a 521 score and did a year of post bacc at my university and aced 24 credits with a 3.9 GPA. I am currently enrolled in an US MD school. I received 3 MD interviews and 3 DO interviews. I highly recommend choosing a US school over the Caribbean schools.

  • You should NOT be advising students to consider Caribbean MD. It's very well known that these schools are money-grabbers, and are out to fail you. It's also quite possible one is out a couple hundred-thousand as the schools won't even let you sit for Step if you don't pass their preliminary exam.

    Shameful of you to suggest these.

  • Quick question. If my undergrad GPA was 3.8 but my pharmacy school GPA was 3.2-3.4, how bad would that look to medical schools? since it is a downward trend but with much harder courses.

  • Not sure why this is in my feed, but the advice is pretty solid.

    Best wishes to all of you in your pursuit of your dreams. Those of you pursuing this feild for the wrong reasons have a much tougher road ahead of you.

    I am the other end of the spectrum of a path that is probably more competitive than when I went through. I will finish my fellowship in neonatology in 3 months and have a fantastic job all lined up.

  • Graduated undergrad with a GPA of 3.27, no research and just bare bones extracurriculars (I was not president of premed club, I wasn't even in it). I studied for the MCAT and got a 35, applied to the osteopathic schools and got in. Now im finishing up my anesthesiology residency at an MD program at a university hospital. A sub 3.5 GPA is definitely not the end of your road if you work hard.

    Things I had going for me:
    1) Steady GPA improvement in last two years of undergrad.
    2) Obviously solid MCAT.
    3) Interviewed well.
    4) Willing to look outside the MD route.

    Find your strengths. Obviously if you're a good test taker and have the persistence to study hard, then rock the MCAT, that will help a lot. If you have great research and extracurrics that will help, keep it up. Look at DO or even Carib. Pre-meds sometimes scoff but my teaching hospital is full or residents and fellows who are DOs or Carib MDs and now a year or two away from being practicing anesthesiologists, cardiologists, general surgeons, ect.

    Good luck to all!

  • woah woah woah woah at the start of the video that picture showed gpa b/t 2.0 and 2.5? my recommendation dont apply with that type of gpa lol im fairly certain most med schools have a min requirement of a 3.0 at least anyway

  • Here is a quick summary of my path:

    Graduated from college in 2015. Applied to med school Summer 2016 and failed. Re-took my MCAT and re-applied in Summer 2017, got 2 interviews, but got waitlisted in both (failed again). I applied for an SMP in Summer 2018 in one of the schools that waitlisted me because if I was waitlisted, that means that they were interested to some degree. After busting my ass and proving that I got what it takes, they called me in for another interview. I was accepted this March 2019 into that school 🙂

    TL;DR
    2016-2017 cycle: Fail
    2017-2018 cycle: 2 interviews (waitlisted)
    2018-2019: SMP and accepted

  • 3.25GPA, 500 MCAT, got into an SMP and MSU's MD program. Y'all, clam down. Work hard, study hard, live ya life, and gain exprrience. Learn to sell yourself. The end. Breath.

  • 2.3 first degree (life science), 3.6 second degree (nursing) and 95th percentile mcat. is there any chance for me for allopathic medicine?

  • I’ve always been terrible at math what kinds of math do you need to pass on ? so I can start preparing and practice myself ! Please someone reply it’ll help a lot !

  • I’m currently a psychology bs graduate. My first two years my gpa was low due to personal issues but I was able to climb to a 3.58 my last two years. I really would like to become a psychiatrist. I haven’t taken the MCAT yet and I still need to take some prerequisites before I even apply to medical school. I just wanted to know if my changes of getting in are impossible? And if anyone has any advice for someone who isn’t a science major . Thank u

  • Hello everyone. I would appreciate it if anyone can answer this.
    So I did poorly during my undergrad. Well I have been out for over 10 years and have started taking classes trying to get into nursing school. have been doing very well since. Now if I do well in nursing BSN or any other bachelor's which GPA will medical schools look at? The 1st bachelor's or second?

  • Why are you trying to encourage idiots to become doctors? Most of us don't want our health to be in the hands of a person who flunked College Algebra and Organic Chemistry

  • Hello, my final undergrad GPA is 2.75 and sgpa is 2.5 but my senior year I had a 3.67gpa and a 3.67 sgpa. Is there any hope for me? What should I do next?

  • This is making me feel better since I had a not so hot first year but I’m in the process of fixing it. I’m only a sophomore in college

  • Wow this is the video I was looking for. I'm considering going into Psychiatry but I have about a 3.1. I have a few more years of undergrad first and I think I should be able to do much better now that I am more focused on my goals (I actually have clear goals now).

  • My GPA is under 3.0. Will I be able to enter to any medical school in US? Does anyone know any school I could apply to? I would appreciate if anyone can help me, I’m willing to apply to any school here in US.

  • What about doing an masters in public health at a medical school instead of an smp? Will that be seen as a application booster I was told I would be taking some of my classes along with medical students

  • 01:18 Why is GPA important?
    02:46 Decide if you need to retake courses
    03:50 Bolster your transcript
    05:08 Post-bacc programs
    05:54 Special Master's Programs (SMP)
    06:36 Strengthen your Extracurriculars and Experiences
    08:04 Consider Osteopathic DO and Caribbean MD schools
    08:43 But what about ME?

    As always, time stamps in description

  • My science GPA was below a 3.0 for 3/4 years in college, my MCAT score just a point or two above African American average. Didn’t do a post bac and got into 5+ MD schools this cycle. Never give up on yourself.

  • I’m pre-med now & everything is so difficult .. I mean, I felt that last semester I had to compromise a lot ! I run 4 businesses and had over 24 credits with 7 classes .. my business suffered a little bc I wasn’t able to put the time into it as I did before when I was a full time entrepreneur … I somehow managed to get a 4.0 but it was tough ! Time management is everything but sometimes I would fall off track … I really want to become a physician and I’m almost willing to leave everything else behind if that’s what it takes… but I can’t do that right now… lol my business is also what is helping me stay debt free.. and as you can see from my channel one of my business is being a full time fashion designer .. life is tough! 😩😭 .

  • Does it matter if you go to a small state school? Or are they looking to take students from harder schools like Ohio State, UConn or Duke. I go to a small state school in CT and I have a good gpa but I’m wondering if I should transfer but that means restarting my gpa. Please help! ( Also I’m a sophomore, psychology major, writing minor, looking to pursue psychiatry) if that helps.

  • Thanks for covering this! Requesting a video where you more closely discuss post-bacc/SMP/non-traditional student options, especially for people with non-science backgrounds/who are seeking a career change.

  • I am a international student from Bangladesh.i want to admit in canadian medical school, what qualification i have need for this. I have been finished my higher secondary certificate exam in 2019 with 4.17 GPA out of 5. Now i want read in medical school. Is there any medical school who offer bachelor medical Course.

  • Any insights on becoming a MD if you're already a pharmacist? any advantages in the admissions department? FYI: pharmacy school was free for me so spending money on medical school would not be an issue so no need to get into the student loan part of it

  • Why the hell do you bother to do medicine with a bad gpa. You may end up struggling throughout your life. You have to learn every day for the rest of your life to be in the game. Better do something which don't require you to learn a lot.

  • Can i go to med school without 4 years of college? I came to America about two years ago and it doesnt seem I can go to a great college with a good score on the SAT. So Im planning to go to city college first and then transfer to another college such as UCLA, which has a pretty good med school. But If I go this way, Im not gonna fulfill 4 years of "college" because I will only spend about 3 years in actual college after city college..

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