How to get into medical school with a low gpa (step by step)

How To Get Into Medical School With A Low GPA [Step-by-Step]

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Do you know how to get into medical school with a low GPA? In this post, I’ll show you the step-by-step process of how to do just that.

Many medical schools require a high GPA because this is how they know how good a student you were during your undergraduate studies. They want excellent and hardworking students that can handle the pressure of being a medical student. 

Just because you have a low GPA doesn’t automatically mean you’re not qualified for admission to a medical school. Although you’ll take a slightly different route, it’s certainly possible.

Grades are indeed a crucial aspect of your medical school admission. However, it’s not everything.

I’m sure you’ll agree when I say that even though you may have some sub-average grades, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re not intelligent or hardworking enough. A low GPA means you’re going to take a few more classes and exert extra effort to compensate for it. 

As long as you have dedication and great experiences, it is still possible for you to get into medical school. Without further ado, here’s your ultimate guide on how to enter medical school even with a low GPA.

Bonus: Want a full library of free medical school eBooks, video courses, and training? Click here to get access to your free med school advice library!

Why Is GPA Important?

how to get into medical school with a low gpa

Evidence Of Academic Achievement

Your GPA will show what kind of a student you were during your undergrad program. If the medical school you’re eyeing is different from where you studied for your bachelor’s degree, your GPA can be the only thing they can rely on to see whether you’ll be capable enough to reach their expectations

Basis Of Your Intellectual Ability 

I will not sugarcoat it for you, but medical studies can be difficult. It’s only understandable that universities would want students equipped with high intellectual ability to keep up with the demands of their subjects. 

Your GPA is the basis of your intellectual ability that sees whether you have what it takes in the medical industry. 

Chance To Enter A Good School

One of the several benefits of having a high GPA is having a high chance of getting into your dream school. You will also have a wider selection of medical schools that you can choose from. 

When you have excellent grades and relevant experiences, getting into medical school can be a bit easier.

GPA Is A Requirement For Scholarship Grants

Medical school is expensive. If you’re not that well off in life, you may want to consider getting into scholarship grants

Many schools offer scholarship programs with several benefits such as free or discounted tuition fees and allowances. However, these grants require a high GPA

They will only consider students who are academically talented and hardworking. The sponsor for these scholarship programs will look into your GPA and see whether you fit their criteria.

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What Is Considered A Low GPA?

Before we talk about what is considered a low GPA, let’s discuss first what GPA is in the first place. This term stands for Grade Point Average and it measures your overall academic achievement

Just like how your professors grade you for specific subjects, GPA evaluates your performance throughout the whole degree program. It can range from anywhere from 1.00 up to 4.00

What’s considered a low GPA depends on each university. Some may accept no lower than 3.00, while other institutions take students with an average as low as 2.00

However, if you plan to get into top-performing schools, you may want to study hard because they only consider students with a GPA between 3.50 or A-,  to a solid 4.00, equivalent to an A+

The lowest, but still a passing grade you can get is between 1.00 to 1.9 or a D. Anything lower than that is a failing grade. 

Bonus: Want a full library of free medical school eBooks, video courses, and training? Click here to get access to your free med school advice library!

How To Get Into Medical School With A Low GPA 

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Step #1. Figure Out Why You Have A Low GPA

Before you get ready to get into your prospective school, you should first determine why your GPA is low in the first place. Once you understand how they get so low, you will know how to make your application impressive to the school admission. 

Take a trip down memory lane and try to remember the subjects you found difficult and why they were challenging for you. It will help if you answer some of the questions below:

  • Did I have some personal or family issues back then that weighed me down?
  • Is this subject too difficult for me to keep up with?
  • Did my extracurricular activities affect my studying?

There can be a bunch of reasons why you might have a low GPA. It doesn’t automatically mean that you’re not smart. 

Maybe you had mental health issues, physical illness, or family problems that made you distracted from your studies. The extracurricular events or organizations you joined might have also affected your time management. 

Whatever the reason for your low GPA, you need to learn how to address it. This is not to play the blaming game but to take responsibility for your actions. 

Step #2. Get Ready To Explain Your Low GPA

Once you understand why your GPA is low, the next step is to plan how you will explain that to the admission officers of the medical school you’re interested in, because they are going to ask about it. This is a chance to prove to them that they should accept you regardless of your low GPA. 

It would be best to convince them that your GPA doesn’t define who you are, and there are a lot more that you can offer Although this might be challenging, being careful about your words can do the trick. 

Most medical schools won’t tell applicants this, but personal growth is appreciated. If they realize that you’re willing to chase after your dream and determined to work hard for it, they will accept you. That’s why it’s essential to address the problem with your GPA so that you’ll know how to make a pleasing application that schools will consider despite your grades.

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Step #3. Find Ways To Make Up For It

Now that you know how to explain your GPA, it’s time that you do some action to make up for it. You have to do something more to convince them to accept you.

Just addressing the issue with your grades is not enough. It would be best to show the school how you can still excel in med school regardless of your GPA.

You can do this by retaking the classes you scored poorly in. However, take note that your previous school wouldn’t include the results of your second try on your final average.

Although it’s true that you might not have enough time to retake the whole term, knowing that you tried to understand the lesson one more time will show that you’re capable of conquering the challenges. 

Another sure way to make up for a low GPA is getting a good score on the MCAT. Most schools require the MCAT, and this examination tests whether a student has enough knowledge and skills needed in medical school

According to the American University of the Caribbean, you must start prepping for MCAT early on. Doing this will ensure you will have enough time to master the core subjects in the exam. 

There are also medical schools that don’t require the MCAT. Find the full list here.

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Step #4. Consider Applying For DO Programs

What if you did your best on the first three steps and still didn’t make it? 

Don’t worry! Even though you didn’t get into your preferred medical school, you can still be a licensed doctor

You can do this by going for a DO degree program. Once you graduate from this program, you’ll be considered as a doctor of osteopathic medicine

Here are the best DO schools in the US.

Instead of struggling to get into medical school, DO programs are worth considering as they are more forgiving towards individuals with low GPAs. This could be your closest option to becoming a doctor if the previous steps didn’t work out for you. 

However, even though DO schools are more lenient in their admission requirements, studying for this degree will still require a lot of work and effort

Sign up for the Med Vault to access The MDJourney’s collection of study guides, video courses, and a lot more that can surely help you during this time.

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Step #5. Go To A Graduate School For A Second Chance

If you’re not in a rush to become a doctor just yet, you may want to consider signing up for graduate school. Aside from the fact that admissions will not take a closer look at your undergraduate GPA, the more complicated the course you took means plus points for you! 

It shows that you are capable of the pressures and challenges in medical school. As we all know, the academic workload an individual will experience in med school is no joke. 

Universities will want to make sure that they only take students who are willing and capable enough to handle it. It also displays your eagerness to make up for your undergraduate GPA by diving into a more complex workload. 

However, there’s a catch for this one. Even though you’ll have a significant chance to get into your dream school, graduate studies are far from cheap.

Bonus: Want a full library of free medical school eBooks, video courses, and training? Click here to get access to your free med school advice library!

Frequently Asked Questions

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How Do I Calculate My GPA?

Since we are talking about GPA, it’s understandable that you may want to calculate yours. However, note that GPA computations vary for each school, and it will be best to discuss this matter with your institution’s office for a more accurate answer. 

Back then, GPA calculations were quite simple. It is so straightforward that anyone with an average IQ can calculate it.

However, those days are gone because GPA became a bit trickier to measure. If you’re looking for your GPA for one semester, all you have to do is add your grade points for each subject and divide it by the total credit hours

For cumulative GPA, calculate your GPA per term, then divide the total of grade points by the sum of your credit hours

What Can I Do To Raise My GPA?

If you think you need to improve your GPA, there are ways to do this. The first and simplest one is to do your best not to miss out on any classes and activities

Just by the fact that you attend all your classes, you’ll most likely retain your professor’s lessons and teachings. It will help you ace your examinations and get higher grades. 

You should also avoid procrastinating as much as possible. It would be smart to keep track of all you need to do by making a personal schedule

Doing this strategy will help you to get everything done. Now that we’re talking about time management, try the Rapid Study Accelerator to help you get better grades without working ’till you’re empty. 

Lastly, remember that while you’re working your way to increasing your GPA, it’s also essential to get as much rest as you can. Doing this will give your brain a chance to recover so you’ll have enough energy to take on the next day

Which Medical Schools Don’t Require A High GPA?

Unlike what other people think, there are still medical schools that don’t require a high GPA. As long as you meet the requirements and aced the interviews, you’ll be a medical student in no time. 

The first school on our list is the American University School of Medicine in Aruba (AUSOMA). They accept prospective medical students with a GPA of 3.00 and higher

They also offer a flexible admission policy for students from all over the world. Did I also mention that they are one of the top-performing medical schools in the Caribbean? 

Another school you should consider is the Meharry Medical College, located in Tennessee. Historically, it was a black university, but nowadays, they accept individuals regardless of their ethnicity or race.

They accept students with a cumulative GPA of 3.42. That may be a big stretch compared to AUSOMA, but the more options, the better. 

Lastly, Howard University College of Medicine in Columbia offers opportunities for students with as low as 3.47 GPA. They aim to provide education for underserved minorities

Bonus: Want a full library of free medical school eBooks, video courses, and training? Click here to get access to your free med school advice library!

Some may think that getting into med school with a low GPA may be impossible. However, it’s quite the opposite! Although grades are indeed important for medical school admission, what others might not know is that schools also consider experience, extracurriculars, and personality

Remember that having a low GPA is not the end of your dreams to become a doctor. The competition may be tough, but you will need confidence and hard work to get through this. 

Thank you for reading until the end and good luck with your medical college admissions.

FYI. If you’re on your pre-med journey and you would like for me to basically tell you what I would have done if I was in your shoes, then go ahead and check out The Pre-med Journey, which is a book that I wrote when I was in medical school.

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You can find that book on Amazon for just 99 cents. So if you’re trying to increase your chances of getting into medical school, check it out!

Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Med School Handbook:  Join thousands of other students who have taken advantage of the hundreds of FREE tips & strategies I wish I were given on the first day of medical school to crush it with less stress. 

2. The Med School BlueprintJoin the hundreds of students who have used our A-Z blueprint and playbook for EVERY phase of the medical journey so you can start to see grades like these. 

3. Med Ignite Study ProgramGet personalized help to create the perfect study system for yourself so you can see better grades ASAP on your medical journey & see results like these. 

4. Learn the one study strategy that saved my grades in medical school here (viewed by more than a million students like you). 

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Until the next one, my friend…

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