Applying to Physician Assistant school with a low grade might seem like a recipe for rejection, but this isn’t necessarily true.
Of course, the best way to maximize your chances of acceptance is to have only outstanding grades, but things happen, and it isn’t always possible. There is nothing about having a low grade (or two) that means you won’t be a great physician assistant. So what do you do?
We consider a “low” grade to be:
Low grades attract unwanted, critical attention to your application. Failing to speak to the circumstances surrounding them is a grave error. Addressing it is usually accomplished by speaking about it in your CASPA narrative/essay/personal statement. This is yet another example of why writing a strong essay is so important.
First, be honest. You don’t have to say “I hated organic chemistry so I had usually with friends instead of cracking the book.” You can present it in a positive (or at least neutral) light. Second, tell them how you know it won’t happen again.
Why did you get that low grade? Here’s a sample list of explanations that (as long as they’re true) can be overcome, along with how you might explain them.
Notice that all of these are chances not only to reduce the impact of that low grade in the minds of your application’s readers, they are chances to explain how that problem has helped you to grow/persist/improve.
If you are applying to physician assistant school with bad grade you received for a reason that isn’t flattering, just explain it in the most positive and accurate light that you can. Ask some friends to read your explanation and tell you which one looks/sounds the best. If you can’t explain it convincingly, consider retaking the class.