Many pre-medical students can be overwhelmed when they first come to college. The classes are many times more difficult than those from high school and the grading curves are much less generous. In addition, pre-medical students find themselves busy all the time with extracurricular activities. They frequently became so focused with obtaining clinical, volunteer, and research experience that they sacrifice their study time. Their grades suffer as a result. Near the end of college, these students begin to think more about their GPA and the MCAT. The question they ask is: can a low GPA high MCAT student get into medical school? The answer is it depends. What exactly do you mean by a low GPA and high MCAT?
(Check out our interactive graph of MCAT scores and GPAs for the top 100 medical schools.)
Low GPA High MCAT Chances
Table from AAMC, 2015
The Association of American Medical Colleges has released acceptance rate statistics on all the medical schools in the nation (table below). This table shows the acceptance rate of all students that fall within a certain GPA and MCAT score range. For example, 73.9% of all the students that applied with a GPA between 3.60-3.79 and an MCAT score between 33-35 were accepted to medical school. As a general trend, students with higher GPA and MCAT scores have a higher acceptance rate. Students don’t have to have extremely high numbers to get accepted though.
When you look at the acceptance rate for students with lower GPAs, you can see that the numbers can be low. However, there are students that are still getting accepted. Take a look at the acceptance rate for your GPA and MCAT. If you are comfortable with that acceptance rate, then your chances may be fine. If your GPA is just too low, you may need to consider doing a postbaccalaureate premedical program or taking additional classes.
More Than Numbers
If you are still in a position to improve your GPA, go for it! Our video below has tips to help you get started.
But remember, getting an admissions offer from a medical school requires more than just numbers. The medical school admissions committee will read your entire application, including your personal statement, description of activities and awards, letters of recommendation, and any additional essays required by the school. You will be evaluated based on your reasons for pursuing medicine as well as the quality and depth of your clinical, volunteer, research, and other extracurricular experiences. A good GPA and MCAT score will definitely help but they are also not everything! If you are looking for tips to get a high MCAT score, we recommend that you read the top five strategies for MCAT success the biggest study mistakes on the MCAT.