How to Get Into Medical School With Bad Grades

Written by melly parker
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How to Get Into Medical School With Bad Grades
You may be able to attend medical school even if you do not have the best grades. (human body image by Alhazm Salemi from

When the admissions staff at a medical school reviews an applicant's file, they're looking for more than just grades. They want to see internships, community service, a certain type of class schedule, and other evidence that the candidate is a committed, dedicated individual who can excel in the fast-paced, high-stress world of medical school. If your grades aren't up to the standards of the medical school you're applying for, there are ways to make your acceptance more likely in spite of poor academic performance.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Apply to several schools, especially those outside of the United States. Many schools that aren't in the continental United States have standards that are slightly more lax, so you may have better luck being accepted by one of them.

  2. 2

    Participate in a community service project that is focused on health and human services for at least two years. Medical schools want to see a record of active involvement. Staying with one organisation for several years proves that you are able to commit and see your endeavours through.

  3. 3

    Find a summer internship during college that is focused on health and human services. You can even do volunteer work overseas. The federal government offers a plethora of internships, while the career services department at your university can also offer valuable assistance in this area.

  4. 4

    Keeping a steady job will also show that you're able to commit. Focusing on positions related to health and human services will show your passion for the health-care industry.

  5. 5

    Get an above-average score on the Medical College Admission test. The MCAT is given about the same weight as your GPA, according to the Princeton Review. An average score is an 8, but it's possible to score as high as a 15. Study hard, take a preparation class, and score as high as you possibly can. The best medical schools accept applicants that score, on average, between 10 and 12 on the MCAT, so if you want to compensate for bad grades, you should aim to score a 14 or a 15.

  6. 6

    Request recommendations from employers, professors, and mentors who will give you a glowing review. Have them focus on your hard work, dedication, and success at overcoming obstacles. These are qualities that review boards want to see in a medical student.

  7. 7

    Address the issue in your essay. If your grades aren't good and you have a reason, explain it in your essay without sounding self-pitying. If you had trouble with the subject material in college, explain why the same problems won't plague you in medical school.

  8. 8

    Submit your application, along with all documents and references, well before the deadline.

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