Current Students FAQ
Making an appointment with most advisors on campus is through a system called BoilerConnect.
To make an appointment with Pre-Professional Advising on BoilerConnect (PDF instructions)
1. Select a Care Unit: Career/Pre-Professional Advising
2. Location: Pre-Professional Advising
- Health/Law Career Exploration
- Health/Law Personal Statement
- Health/Law Progress Check-in
- Health/Law School Application
4. Advisor Selection: We all advise in every area of health care and law
You can choose Cristy Gosney, Caralynn (Cara) Hines-Pham, or Amy Terstriep
5. Then select your time
6. Review appointment details and add a note in the comments letting us know what you want to discuss at the appointment. Click Schedule.
Note: You will not be able to schedule a same day appointment. Generally you can find an appointment for that week other than during the busiest times of the school year when we might be scheduled a week out. If you are having trouble finding a time, please email email@example.com and we will see what we can do to find a time for you.
No. All of our advisors work with students interested in all professional fields. Each of us (Amy Terstriep, Cristy Gosney & Cara Hines-Pham) can help you whether you are interested in vet school, med school, law school, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, genetic counseling, etc.
Some students meet with one of us for the first time, get to know us and keep meeting with one of us through the years. Other students will just take the first available appointment and see whoever that is. That is completely up to you.
Ideally we recommend that you come in about every semester. We know that you are busy and that this might not happen exactly, but this is what we would like you to try to do.
It is especially important that we see you sophomore year. Typically you are preparing to apply in your junior year. We want to make sure that sophomore year you are getting ready for this so that junior year does not feel so chaotic.
First of all, please know that you are not the only one. It isn't just you.
Now that you have acknowledged that, it is time to make a plan. Your academic advisor can be very helpful here as they know all the resources available on campus. It can also be very useful to talk to the TA and the professor in the course.
Also remember that you shouldn't just give up on the idea of going to professional school just because you struggled with your grades. You have options. Come talk to us. Talk to professional programs as well. Get their advice. For pre-health students our Health Programs Expo in the spring is a great opportunity to do that. For pre-law students, we are going to the Law School Forum in Chicago in November which provides a chance to speak with law school representatives directly.
You also have resources available to you on campus.
Supplemental Instruction is available in some courses
Free Resource Centers and Help Rooms (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc)
More and more often we are seeing students entering college with considerable AP, IB, CLEP and dual credit. Yeah you for being so smart and driven!
When it comes to these credits, you basically have to consider things on several levels
- Level 1: Do you need the course for your major and will they accept it?
- Level 2: Is the course required at professional schools and will they be willing to accept this credit?
- Level 3: Is this material on my aptitude test for professional school and will I remember it by the time I need to take the exam?
So Level 1 is something you work out with your academic advisor. You can look up on Purdue's website what credit you receive at Purdue for your AP test, but then individual departments can determine if they accept that credit or still require that you take the course.
Level 2 is more complex. This is mostly an issue for healthcare programs and AP credits because you will not have a grade. Dual credits are ok, because you will have a college transcript with a grade. AP credit, especially in required science courses, particularly for medical and dental schools, but other programs can have issues with this as well, is generally where problems can arise. They only have a handful of courses with which to compare their applicants. If you have AP credits for some of those, you don't have grades. This is a problem for them.
- Some schools are ok with this.
- Some schools would require that you "replace" those credits with higher level courses in the same areas.
- Some schools are ok with AP in math and English, just not in science.
Some schools say they accept AP credit, but don't really consider it as equally competitive. Would you? If you were on the admissions committee and had 2 applicants who looked otherwise equal and one had all the grades and the other one had this unknown factor--which would you choose? Probably the one with the grades.
Level 3 is something to think about as well. You took these courses in high school. Typically your aptitude test is at the end of your junior year of college. Will you remember all that material by then or should you take the college classes to review the material?
Just things to think about to decide what is right for you. You can read more about it on our AP/IB/CLEP Handout.
Generally, repeating courses is frowned on by professional schools.
There are 2 policies of professional schools that you need to understand.
- Many individual programs have policies that you need at least a C in their required courses. If you have below that, then you would have to repeat the class.(Policies differ, some say C-, some say B)
- Before repeating it, make sure you know what happened the first time. They will expect you to ace it the next time.
- Generally the only way to show you mastered the material is to take the course at the same institution. If you take it at another school, schools might believe it was just an easier course.
- The online common application (called an application service) often includes both grades if you retake a course. This means that while the grade may be replaced here at Purdue, it IS NOT replaced when you apply to professional schools. Both grades are averaged in to your GPA when the application service calculates their GPA.
Our handout on calculating a GPA not only tells you how to calculate your GPA it also tells you how a number of the application services handle repeated courses.
The College of Science also has a great GPA calculator that makes it really easy to plug in different scenarios and see where you are at.
Probably longer than you think. People who study these things at the national level tell us that overall those who tend to do well on these tests have spent an average of about 400 hours preparing.
So whether you choose to take a preparation course (in which case the time in the prep course DOES NOT count toward the 400 hours) or choose to study on your own, you need about 400 hours. You can stretch that out over a longer period of time or condense it, but you still need about that amount.
For most students who are looking at taking a test in April, May or June, this means 3-4 months of 10-15 hours a week. This is the work of a class you are adding to your life. Plan accordingly.
Generally people who do well have studied about 300-400 hours for the LSAT over about 3-6 months. While some people do take a test prep course, the vast majority of students get a set of review books and study on their own.
One of the most important things, however, is to take timed practice tests. The pace of the LSAT is really important. You have to move really quickly through the test so it is important to practice your speed on the test.
You have a few new resources available to you to help you prepare for the new format of the LSAT which will be in place for all test takers starting in September 2019.
The test will be given on a Microsoft Surface Go tablet.
Law School Admission Council offers information on preparing for the digital version. This section includes access to practice tests. These are, however, online and not on a tablet.
These are some of the resources available to you:
Offering apple and google-based format apps, lsatmax is a for-profit test preparation company allowing you to use a tablet you might already own to practice for the LSAT. lsatmax has apps available for practicing the digital LSAT. One free digital test comes with the app.
TestMasters is a for-profit test preparation company that used the previously available paper tests from LSAC and converted those to a digital format that looks identical to the digital format created by LSAC. TestMasters offers a free digital LSAT
Khan Academy offers the official LSAC test preparation online course including 10 free full length practice tests. The tests are different from the new test day format in that you will not have a highlight function. Still, all practice is useful!