Students often wonder how to get into medical school with a low GPA. Well, buckle up, because you are about to get some very honest advice from BeMo students who experienced the same obstacle and we’re able to meet their medical school GPA requirements!  Continue reading our blog to find out how to get into medical school with a low GPA with proven strategies from BeMo experts!

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How to Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA Why is GPA Important for Medical School? And Is It Really? How to Get into Medical School with a Low GPA: Yearly Calendar FAQs

How to Get into Medical School With a Low GPA

If you’re worried about how to deal with a low GPA in your med school applications or interviews, look at these five application components you can use to address a low GPA or balance out a low GPA.

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Why is GPA Important for Medical School? And is it Really?

Do we think that GPA is the be-all, end-all of your academic abilities? No, certainly not. Even our own experts are not entirely convinced that your GPA is the most important aspect of how to get into medical school.

“MCAT and GPA are important as screening tools. They won’t be the end all for you to get in or be rejected from a school, but they are often that first look. Doing well in undergrad, maintaining a solid academic record...shows schools that you can handle rigorous academics.” - Dr. Monica Taneja, MD, graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine

In fact, we at BeMo believe that GPA and MCAT should not be used at any stage of the admissions process, let alone to weed out applicants in the initial stages of the selection process. If we could, we would abolish every kind of standardized test and situational judgement test out there. But the current medical school admissions practitioners think differently.

“There is no set formula or algorithm for what makes a successful medical school applicant, certain factors play a bigger role than others … In addition, the way your GPA is calculated differs between schools as some schools put more emphasis on the last two years of undergraduate studies while others have a weight-based calculation. All this to say, to optimize your chance of getting into medical school, you want to have a solid application.” - Dr. Neel Mistry, MD, graduate of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine

So why is GPA really important for medical schools? Simply because that’s the current measurement of our academic abilities – or in others, because we are told so.

The situation is so absurd that having a couple of B’s can really hurt your chances of medical school acceptance. Current medical school acceptance rates demonstrate that it’s nearly impossible to get in, so if you're wondering "how hard is medical school?" The answer is that while studying in medical school may be challenging, it’s much more of a hurdle to simply get in.

“If you have a more difficult to address area, such as a lower GPA, lower MCAT score or deficit in one area of your application that cannot be easily addressed, take a gap year and focus on that/those area(s). Focusing on those areas for the year allow you to fully engage in that concern and improve your chances of success especially when it comes to a low GPA!” - Dr. Jacquelyn Paquet, MD, graduate of the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine 

How to Get into Medical School with a Low GPA: Yearly Calendar

What To Do After Freshman Year

It’s still early in your academic career, so you still have plenty of time to make the right changes. If you rolled out of first year with a 3.5 or below, review and implement the following items on this list:

What To Do After Sophomore Year

If your cumulative GPA is around 3.5 to 3.6, there is even more pressure for you to do well on your MCAT. And I would like to reiterate the importance of the time diary, the tutor, and improving your efficiency. Changing majors is less appealing at this juncture. Here are a few general tips for how to navigate GPA in your sophomore year:

What To Do After Junior Year

Imagine you’re applying to medical school this summer/fall and regardless of whether you are in the US or Canada, and your GPA is 3.5 or lower. You must prepare yourself and make sure that you have fantastic applications so you are not giving the admissions committees a single reason to reject you.


1. Why is GPA important?

GPA is important because alongside the MCAT, it is an indicator of your academic readiness. Most med schools will also weed out applicants with low GPA and MCAT scores at the very beginning to make the applicant pool more manageable.

2. What is a low GPA for medical school?

Different medical schools have different GPA targets for applicants, but anything below 3.5 is usually considered low.

3. Can I apply to schools with GPA thresholds higher than my results?

Most schools weed out applicants with lower GPA and MCAT scores at the initial stages of the admissions process. You need to meet the minimum thresholds to be a competitive applicant.

4. Which medical schools should I apply to with my GPA?

Apply to medical schools where you meet the minimum GPA requirements. Check out the MSAR database to see how your GPA compares with the average entering GPA of the schools you’re interested in. This should give you a good indication as to which schools are suitable for you.

5. Will medical schools still accept me with a low GPA?

While your GPA is an important factor, it is not the only factor. To improve your application overall, you need to score well on the MCAT (if required by your school of choice), and to continue doing well in your extra-curricular activities to boost your profile.

6. What can I do to raise my GPA?

You can raise your GPA using a variety of strategies, such as developing better time management and study habits, seeking extra help with challenging coursework, and choosing your courses with care. 

7. How do I address a low GPA in applications/interviews?

It is important to assure the admissions committee or interviewer that you have learned from your experiences and have addressed the challenges of your low GPA. Emphasize how you have developed better habits, or how you committed yourself to self-improvement and solved the issues that were holding you back.

8. I have no time to improve my GPA before applying. What should I do?

Firstly, you can check out the easiest medical schools to get into. These schools tend to have lower GPA and MCAT thresholds, so you can see if your GPA matches those cut-offs. Otherwise, consider taking a gap year before medical school to improve your grades. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting 

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