Do you wonder if you can get into med school with a low GPA?

So you feel like you messed up in undergrad and got a low GPA, maybe around 2.8 or even lower. Does that mean that your dreams of being a doctor are gone forever?

Watch this video now where I break it down for you:

As you’ll see, your doctor's dreams are still perfectly intact if you want them to be - even with a low GPA - but you’re going to have to work your tail off to raise your GPA.

A better question is - are you willing to put in up to 4 years of work to fix that low GPA to get into med school? If you’re willing to do that, then you should continue.

It may take up to 4 years, it may take even longer, but by taking as many courses as you need to raise your GPA, and taking other steps to strengthen your application and score competitively on the MCAT, you’ll eventually get to med school.

Be ready to put the work in - but more importantly, you’re going to have to learn the right study habits and skills that are going to ensure you don’t mess...

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What do you think it takes to meet Med School standard MCAT scores?

If you plan on taking the MCAT in the future, you’re probably concerned about what you need to score at minimum to ensure that you’ll be considered by your favorite medical schools. 

I covered that in a recent video:

First, you need to understand what medical schools are doing with your MCAT scores. Med schools have minimum mandatory cutoffs - you need to meet this cutoff score to even be looked at.

For most schools, the MCAT cutoff is in the 504-505 range - that is what you need to score at minimum to ensure that your awesomeness will be considered (extracurriculars, personal statement, GPA, etc.) Lower tier schools might be slightly below this for their cutoff, say around 502-504.

You shouldn’t shoot for this score however, you’ll want to aim to score at least in the 80th percentile which is around 510 to have plenty of space between your score and the cutoff, and also to show schools that you are an elite test-taker. Test-taking skills matter to...

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Can you get into medical school with a 'D' or an 'F' on your transcript?

I’ve had a few questions from some students who have been concerned that their med school dreams are hopeless now because they got an “F” or “D” early on in their pre-med careers.

A lot of them feel like there’s literally nothing they can do to overcome it, but in this video, I explain that you absolutely can! Because I did it - I overcame an “F” that I got freshman year because I didn’t take my calculus course seriously.


If you did a similar thing - you still have a chance to make it - but you’ll need to start making some drastic changes in how you do things.

Mainly, you need to recognize that it is your fault that you got a bad grade. If you blame the teacher, or a hard test or anything else that you can’t control, then you won’t be able to TAKE CONTROL. Acknowledge that your current approach to studying just isn’t working - you’re still not getting the consistent As that you need to pull...

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5+ Lessons About Pre-med and Getting into Medical School: Part 5- It’s easy to rationalize

People sometimes feel that I’m abrasive, harsh and that I’m one-sided about things.

We rationalize what we do when we don’t invest.

It’s not about buying a course. How many of you don’t spend on time working on yourself? How many of you know that you have glaring weakness but don’t put in any time to work on it because you rationalize?

It’s super easy to justify and rationalize your inability to do what’s required of you - whether it’s in investing in yourself monetarily or in terms of time or in the analytics.

I have a student who told me that he takes the time to analyze what he does every semester - and that was how he got better at studying.

He’s investing in himself by analyzing himself and being critical at himself. He smiles in his face, wait until he turns around and laugh at how stupid he’s been.

How do you give a hundred percent?

I had someone ask me how do you give a hundred percent - because he was...

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5+ Lessons About Pre-med and Getting into Medical School: Part 4- We’re eager to learn but we don’t know who to trust

How many of you are eager to learn how to be better, in whatever way it is?

You’re eager to learn how to get into medical school.

You’re eager to learn about the MCAT

You’re eager to learn all these things in your life but you don’t know who and what to trust when it comes to information. Who feels that way?

It’s hard to know who to trust in this day and age because it’s so easy to play the role. It’s so easy for people to say, “Hey, trust me” and throw up a fancy website and video like they’re legitimate.

It’s so easy for someone to tell you, “Hey, I’m a dean, listen to me”, “Hey, I’m a learning specialist, listen to me”, “Hey, I’m your paid counselor for the university for 25 years advising students, trust me.” It’s hard to turn away from them.

Because you think that they’re the people that should be bringing you the expert advice that you can trust.

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5+ Lessons About Pre-med and Getting into Medical School: Part 3-We always think we have a unique problem

Have you ever felt like you’re all alone with the struggles you’re going through - that no one else has ever experienced the challenges you have faced as a premed?

Although that feeling is perfectly normal, it can make it harder to find the help that you need to overcome your problems and reach out for guidance.

People are scared of letting the whole world know their problems because:
They fear other people judging them and seeing that they have some weakness,
Everyone thinks that their problem is unique, that their situation is something that no one else has been through or it is something that nobody has ever encountered before.

We’re scared to ask out loud.

But, guess what: your problems are not unique.

Do you have money problems? I did too - my financial problems were always on my mind as a premed, I was broke most of my undergrad and didn’t have the money for basic things sometimes like books.

Do you come from a family or go to a high school that...

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5+ Lessons About Pre-med and Getting into Medical School: Part 2- We allow what other people say about us to deeply impact us

So, lesson 2 of 5 about premed and getting into medical school is here, and it’s an important one that will serve you well. It’s about not letting others get to you, and although it seems simple, it’s challenging because we are all human.

As I’ve discussed so many times before, on the path of greatness you are going to encounter resistance, haters, naysayers, and others who will try to thwart your efforts with their negative energy or insults.

Perhaps they’re bitter as a result of their own failures, perhaps they just don’t want to see you succeed and are hoping their words discourage you.

How do we respond?

When other people say to you that you can’t do something or when people are criticizing and looking at you and judging you - do you let that affect you? Or let that bring you down? Or let that stop you from getting where you need to go?

How many of you listen to people whom you shouldn’t? For example, you tell your friends that...

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5+ Lessons About Pre-med and Getting into Medical School: Part 1- You are responsible for You

This weekend was absolutely nuts!!!

I was on-call Thursday and Friday and flew to Maryland, put on a 7-hour event on Saturday, then went out for a 5-hour dinner with my students. On Sunday, I went for another 3-hour event in New Jersey and had a 2-hour dinner with my students (apparently the #COGG likes to eat lol).

But, I spent too much time hanging out with my students and missed my return flight. I had to get back first thing Monday morning for my hospital shift, so I ended up having to detour through four different airports just to get back to California. But, it didn’t end there, I ended up flying to Los Angeles. So, then I had to rent a car, and drive almost 2 hours to get to work 30 minutes late.

With all this travel time, I had plenty of time to reflect on the weekend and think about some of the key takeaways from the weekend road trip, and I thought I would share them with you in this 5-part series.

And yes, many of these lessons I got from interacting with you...

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Don't Worry: Learn how to Handle Medical School Rejection

As the winter rolls on, many premeds are rolling into their final semester. But their final exams are the least of their worries. At the top of their mind instead, are their med school applications. While many med schools send out their decisions before the holiday break, others wait until January, February, or even March. Depending on where you’ve applied, you might not hear a peep from admissions offices until well into the spring semester.


A large portion—somewhere around 40%—of med school applicants will be accepted into at least one of the schools they applied to. But most will be rejected. Rejection in the highly competitive Type A environment of premed can feel like pit viper poison. But it’s not lethal, and it might actually work out better for you in the long run.


If you wind up with only rejections at the end of this application cycle, don’t worry, you’re in good company. One Redditor on R/Premed recently described a...

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Should You Use Anki or Flashcards For MCAT Prep?

I’ve received a bunch of questions about Anki, the popular flashcard app that a lot of students use for studying for exams and for the MCAT.

Last weekend, I actually had a long discussion with one of my students about flashcards and the merits of Anki for MCAT prep. I covered this in my email newsletter last weekend, but I’ll recap it for you here on the blog:

For those of you who are in my course The 5 Pillars of Studying Less & Getting Better Grades, you know how I feel about Anki. For those of you not enrolled, let me fill you in real quick:
  • Anki is an online flashcard software that has some nice little features
  • However, I DO NOT recommend you use them, ESPECIALLY for the MCAT because the temptation to use someone else’s flashcard deck is way too strong
  • 99% of people do not know how to effectively flashcard and think that having 5 million flashcards is something to brag about

In our discussion last weekend, my student and I were laughing as he showed me...

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