Health care careers have become popular and are swelling the pool of applicants for medical college admission. This has made it easier for medical schools to pluck applicants for entry based on numbers, such as a high GPA or standardized test scores, such as the MCAT. A low GPA and high MCAT can help a pre-med student gain entrance to a number of medical schools around the world.

When faced with a 2.0 GPA at the end of a school career, a student can feel panicked about what type of school and the quality of education that may be available. Actually, there are a few well-respected medical schools around the world that will accept a student with a low GPA.

Low GPA and High MCAT

There are many reasons for a student’s low GPA. If you had a relatively high and stable GPA over the course of your school career, then you may be able to offer an explanation to admissions officials that will positively sway your application. Pair that with a high MCAT score, and you can feel confident in applying to a wide range of medical schools.

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The MCAT is important because it is the only standardized test students can take to get into medical school. It helps the school to narrow down its pool of applicants. If you have a low GPA, a high MCAT score can considerably increase your chances of gaining acceptance to a medical school in the United States, Philippines or other accredited school in countries around the world.

How to Improve Your GPA

While the admissions officials will take a long look at the numbers you present, from your GPA to your MCAT score, they also consider a number of other factors for medical college applicants. If you have a GPA that is less than 2.0 or simply not what you had hoped, there are a few ways to improve your GPA before entering the medical program of your choice.

To pull up a GPA that is 2.0 or below, ask a guidance counselor for help. Extra credit in key classes and/or real-world experience can sometimes increase your GPA. If you have contributed your time to businesses in your field or otherwise volunteered your time you may be able to claim some of it for college credit to boost your GPA. Reach out to professors and admission officials who can help in your mission to gain entry to a medical school.

College Grading Scale

The college grading scale shows a 1.7 GPA as less than 72 percent, or a D. If you are still enrolled in school and have a class or at least a semester left, you can pull your GPA up above a 2.0 with a bit of hard work and determination.

Discuss what caused your low GPA. Even if the reasons for your less-than average GPA are based on poor decisions you may have made earlier in your schooling, take responsibility. Write a letter or essay that focuses on the ways that you have matured. Your job is to present the whole person beyond the numbers that the admissions officers first encounter when they meet you on paper with your application.

Schools That Accept MCAT Over GPA

Howard University College of Medicine

This esteemed college requires a 3.42 GPA with minimum MCAT scores of 494. Howard University focuses on the principles of modern medicine and critical thinking in the demanding decision-making process that comes with practicing medicine.

Meharry Medical College

The Meharry Medical College average MCAT score is 504. The admittance for the Meharry Medical College GPA is 3.5 on average. The admissions office requires minimum MCAT scores of 498. Old MCAT scores of 26 or above are also acceptable. However, Meharry will only honor former MCAT scores going back three years.

About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.