Chances of Medical Entry vs. GPA and Interview

Safe GPA for medical entry?
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How likely are you to enter medical school based on your GPA and Interview scores?

For the past 5 years, we have monitored the GPA and interview scores (when available) of approximately 550 students who were successful and unsuccessful in entering medical school. It may not represent the true chances in reality and should only be used as a general guide.

Updated January 29 2020 to reflect changes in GPA trends and UCAT importance. Second update after evaluating 86 students from 2019.

💡 Important disclaimers

1. This represents only the University of Auckland.
2. The first table does not include UCAT, as UCAT was introduced in Australasia only in 2019.
3. UMAT at Auckland was ridiculously unimportant, the UCAT is significantly more important.

Table of grades from 2013 – 2018

Chances of medical entry based on independent observation of approximately 550 students over 5 years.

Updated table from 2019

Safe Grades vs UCAT and Interview for Medical Entry in Auckland

Important notes and differences in recent years

  • Safe GPA’s used to be 8.5 or above. At these GPA’s, you only needed to do average in your interview to be generally accepted. Recently, the safe GPA is still closer to 8.75.
  • Unsafe GPA’s tended to be at 8.0 or below. Now it is at 8.5 or below. At these GPA’s, you need an excellent/perfect interview to be accepted and, regardless of the interview score, it is nearly guaranteed that you will be on the waiting list.
  • Rural entry tends to adjust the safe and unsafe boundaries by a variable amount, but it can be up to 0.75 GPA lower.
  • GPA’s below 7.5 are rarely (if ever) accepted. We do not know of any general entry cases where GPA less than 8.0 has been accepted since 2017.
  • There are always exceptions to the rule, but they are certainly rare.
  • UCAT is significantly more important than the UMAT used to be. It can now be called as important as a core paper.

💡 Interview scores for successful applicants are typically not released. Some companies claim to have interview coaches from perfect interview scorers who are also medical students. This is false.

Common myths

1. Perfect interviews mean instant entry, regardless of GPA (and vice versa)

Fact: For years, the instant entry and rejection policy has been out of use at the University of Auckland. There is no such thing at present as instant access or rejection.

2. You can’t prepare for the interview/MMI

Fact: While there are certainly better and worse ways to prepare (including some preparation methods which are worse than doing nothing), there is almost always a benefit to some level of preparation. This is particularly true for students without experience in interviews, find it difficult to communicate professionally, concisely, and comprehensively, or students who lack insight into the interview process.

We routinely see much higher scores in our end of year MMI simulations, among our course students, when they have practised and prepared as per our guidelines, compared to students who “crammed” their preparation or did not prepare at all.

If you’re interested in our MMI preparation course, you can read more here.

3. The interview is not as important

Fact: The interview is extremely important. Students with lower GPA’s will regularly enter over students with higher GPA’s, based on their interview scores.

About the author
Justin Sung
Justin Sung
Justin is a medical doctor, University of Auckland graduate, published research author, certified teacher, and founder of JTT. He has assisted thousands of students into healthcare careers since 2011, making him New Zealand's individually most experienced medical entry expert. He regularly works with schools and organisations to help students and professionals learn more effectively.

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