PTCAS: Grades

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Today’s topic for #dptwiththecc is GRADES!

PTCAS calculates a standardized set of GPAs, so that every application is evaluated on the same level. The GPAs they calculate are listed below:

  •  Overall Cumulative
  • Undergraduate Cumulative
  • Graduate Cumulative
  • Each Institution Attended
  • Science
  • Combined Science and Math
  • Course Subject

Each program then calculates a Prerequisite GPA on their own, based on their required prerequisite courses.

In general, programs pay the most attention to your Overall Cumulative GPA, your Prerequisite GPA, and your Science GPA. For more information on PTCAS GPAs (i.e. rules, grading scale/scheme, what courses are included, course subject breakdowns, etc.), click here.

Below I have listed my stats, and some general tips that helped me during undergrad!

My Stats

  • PTCAS Overall Cumulative GPA: 3.82
  • Duke Prerequisite GPA: 3.65 (I had all A’s in my prerequisite courses except for Physics I and II, and Physiology (I had B’s in those courses)
  • PTCAS Science GPA: 3.56

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 11.25.25 PM
My GPA breakdown from PTCAS

General Tips

  1. Make sure your GPAs are at or above the program’s minimum requirement (if they have one). This information will be on their PTCAS page, and probably their program website as well. Applying when you do not meet the minimums is not smart (+ a waste of time and money), as most programs will probably disregard your application.
  2. Study in groups periodically. This is a good chance for you to talk through information, and find out what your strengths and weaknesses are within the material. Sometimes you don’t know what you “don’t know”, and this will help you see!
  3. Review upcoming powerpoint slides/lectures before you go to class, so that you can actively participate. Because it won’t be the first time you are seeing the information, you’ll retain more of it. Also, actually read your textbooks!
  4. If you are struggling in a course, visit your professor’s office hours. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that! YouTube and sites like Khan Academy are also great resources if you are having a hard time. It’s always fun to watch videos, because it doesn’t actually feel like studying!
  5. Most programs require you to have at least a C+ in your pre-req courses, but you should aim for A’s of course. Try not to have any grade below a B, and if you do, I would suggest retaking the course. Most programs will take the higher grade and if not, they will at least average the two (and that’s something).
  6. Handwrite your notes if possible (or rewrite them later). You’ll retain more information for sure! Also, this gives you the chance to customize your notes, and make them personal + colorful. Use highlighters, markers, pens…whatever you want! When I had colorful notes, I was more excited to study them. This may sound weird, but I swear it works!
  7. Use flashcards! I personally loved Quizlet, because I could study on the go, and I didn’t have to keep up with a bunch of notecards.
  8. Try not to cram! Spread your studying out, so you can actually sleep the night before an exam/quiz/practical.
  9. Sign up for a tutor! My university offered free tutoring (I’m sure the fee was hidden in our tuition somewhere lol) for most of my pre-req courses, and it was super helpful. Even if I didn’t think I needed one, I still signed up. It was a chance for me to hear the information again from another source other than my professor, and I could help other students in my sessions if I understood a concept they didn’t (a win-win situation for everyone honestly).
  10. And lastly, relax! Grades aren’t everything, and there are so many other aspects of your application that can offset a not-so-stellar GPA. You got this!

And that’s all I have to share about grades! Next week’s post will be all about EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, so don’t forget to check back next Tuesday! Happy Friday!

❤️

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