Majors and Grades: 2011

<p>Ok so I heard that now med schools will actually compare the candidate's grades to his/her class performance. Is THIS true? And if so, when does this prosess initiate? Would like to have someone respond back. </p>

<p>Another thing...I'm majoring in chemistry and biostat (which I'm leaning for job). I am really scared of med school acceptance and I'm trying possibly everything, but recently I've come to my senses. My parents have limited cash for college/grad, so I feel like after undergrad, I should ATLEAST major in something that I could depend on as an alternate/temporary career. I'm getting aid from college...but I still can't blow off college thinking I'm going to get into med school someday. I don't think chem would come in handy alone for a good job with a bachelor's and I think biostat will provide me some industrial work where I could be paid between 30-40k, which I don't think is bad. Additionally, if I happen to choose it as a career, I could make around 100,000 after much experience and master's. But the dilemma is the workload. Biostat has sooo much beyond calc math req and science that I really don't know if it will go smoothly with chem. I'm not a dreamer and I'm certainly not trying to impress med school with my heavy load...sometimes things happen and you can't control them. My dad says that I should major in psychology b/c it will be easier and useful in all retrospects. But thinking realistically...what job will I get with a psych major straight from college? And I haven't even taken any psych class...and the subject just doesn't appeal to me b/c almost every single person tries to either major or minor in it. I'm in a tough situation b/c I don't want to screw off my med school chances. Man, med school use to consume my whole college dream...but now I am forced to think like a real career-oriented person. I would love for anyone to give me their advice. And just making sure > I really do care about medicine. Even in the summer, I'm working unimaginably hard for med school.</p>

<p>First of all, you should major in what you want to in college. It's your life and you have to be happy with your major. (Happier student = better grades) It's a lousy idea to major in something because someone tells you that you ought to.</p>

<p>You can certainly double major in chem and math (which is what biostats is in the end) if you want. It's not an impossible or unusual combination. </p>

<p>Both of my Ds (D1 is in med school; D2 will apply after a graduation next summer) have applied math as their second major.</p>

<p>The applied math gave/will give each of the better job prospects than their other major did. (Physics for D1; bio for D2.)</p>

<p>A double major is a lot of work and medical schools won't cut you any slack for choosing a demanding double major. Med schools will still expect an excellent GPA and won't consider any excuses for less than stellar grades. If you don't think you can get good grades with double major, then don't double major.</p>

<p>BTW, you don't have to have a 'medicine-friendly' major to go to medical school. You can just major in biostats and take your pre med classes in addition to your biostat requirements. (D1 did that. She double majored in physics and applied math and took her bio and chem in addition to her major coursework.)</p>

<p>Thanks WayOutWestMom. I don't think that I'm choosing chemistry for 'medicine-friendly', although I certainly implied it mistakenly in my first post by not providing my reason. I have this really strong feeling that chemistry forms the basis of medicine and it is the ONE subject I could make sense of in my high school. But then again, high school is nowhere like college. I think biostat should be my fall back because I do like an office environment and I've taken stat in high school with calc. It's good to hear that other students also opt for math sides. I wonder if med schools will change their grading after doing that open marksheet thing where they get class data and your data. Does anyone has any info on this? I heard that the admissions method will change for my year people...which could be good and bad (due to humanities that give good As).</p>

<p>I'm not sure hat you mean by 'open marksheet' grade adjusting. </p>

<p>AFAIK, med schools do not recalculate your grades or GPA upon receiving your application--mostly because it's way too time-consuming. Med schools receive a huge volume of applications each year and do not have time to recompute anyone's grades. Med school adcoms just use the verified transcript data received from AMCAS (the clearinghouse organization that handles all allopathic med school applications). AMCAS does not recompute anyone's grades either. AMCAS checks your self-reported grades against your official transcripts to make sure that all your grades are honestly and accurately reported.</p>

<p>You seem to be under a misapprehension that your grades will be compared to those of your classmates in each class at your college and standardized somehow. That's not how it works. Your grades are your grades--and no distinction or allowance is made for easy-grading or hard-grading instructors or course curves.</p>

<p>What does happen is that you have two GPAs when applying to medical school: a cumulative GPA (which is your GPA based upon every single class you've ever taken at the college level), and a sGPA (or *science*GPA--which the GPA based upon any BCMP--Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics--class you have ever taken at the college level). Med schools look at both and expect that both GPAs to be in the 3.5+ range.</p>

<p>No change in how GPAs are calculated is under consideration. </p>

<p>What you may be hearing about is that med school admission requirements may be changing. Starting 2015, the content and format of the MCAT will change. There will be greater breadth of material covered in the biology section (adding genetics, cellular and molecular bio, biochem); statistics and research methodology will be added to the physical sciences section and new section that covers human behavior (psychology, sociology, philosophy) will be added. </p>

<p>~~~~~~</p>

<p>One more thing--- if you really want to get a job in biostats, you'll need some pretty good computer programming skills to go with the math. Make sure to take some basic programming courses. I especially recommend learning MatLab plus at least 1-2 semesters of a standard programming language like C++, JAVA or SQL. (You can teach yourself the equivalent, but first employers often prefer to have your knowledge documented by a grade on a transcript.)</p>

<p>As far as I know, a bachelor's in psych is pretty useless on it's own if you wanted to actually do psychology work.</p>

<p>
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AFAIK, med schools do not recalculate your grades or GPA upon receiving your application--mostly because it's way too time-consuming.

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</p>

<p>Actually, TMDAS schools will recalculate your gpa if you go to a school that uses the +/- system because TMDAS doesn't use the +/- system. </p>

<p>+/- system:</p>

<p>A=4.0 = 93+
A- = 3.7 = 90-93
B+ = 3.3 = 87-89
B = 3.0 = 83-87
B- = 2.7 = 80-83
etc, etc</p>

<p>TMDAS uses a system where anything above a 90 is a 4.0, anything from 80-89 is a 3.0.</p>

<p>This is another reason why I am glad to be a Texas resident.</p>

<p>I heard from MD that psychology is not good because there are no jobs out there. I do not know more than that. Double major/ triple major or combo of major(s)/ minor(s) are common among pre-meds (especially in combo of non-medically related, like language, Econ., music, art). Most are taking it because of personal interests. But it seems to be doable. However, if you personally feel that it is too much, just drop one, GPA is by far the most important (along with MCAT score). Having double major will not make any diff. in Med. School acceptance. D. had to drop one of her minors, nobody ever bothered to ask her about reason, irrelevant.</p>

<p>@wayoutwestmom: I realized that my last post got deleted for some reason but the "open marksheet" is where med schools have a report for every single class I took and they have access to the class average and mine (ofcourse). With the new renovations the med ppl are doing, I agree that a lot of parents and grads don't know about this, but I have heard AMCAS shifting to this tactics for my year/class. However, I would like to ask whether all colleges will be able to provide this info or not. It would seem odd that all these requirement changes will be accomodated by all undergrad institutes so quickly (and I believe 4 years is still pretty brief). Any suggestions or knowledge?</p>

<p>I haven't heard anything about marksheets being used at the undergrad level. I know D2's school doesn't report grades that way. (And AFAIK has no plans to.)</p>

<p>I did a quick search of AAMC and AMCAS and didn't find any mention of a using a new system for evaluating grades--either planned or under consideration. (Now, the new MCAT scheduled to go into effect in 2015--there's plenty of info on that.)</p>

<p>Do you have a source?</p>

<p>I know that medical schools use open marksheets when MS4s apply for residency positions because many school don't give grades during the first or first 2 (depending on the school) years. Open marksheets are way of documenting an applicant's relative academic strength without actually assigning a grade.</p>

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the "open marksheet" is where med schools have a report for every single class I took and they have access to the class average and mine (ofcourse).

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</p>

<p>Very few undergraduate colleges list the median grade of individual courses. (Cornell and Dartmouth are two that come to mind.) I can guarantee you that many/most colleges do not even collect such data and have no plans of doing so.</p>