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itsmemario

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  1. The 2017 admission recap video should answer your question: Like the above poster said, course-based masters provide no significant advantage as you will likely be assessed as an undergrad applicant. Of course, you can take the year to build on other stuff though (improved letters, ECs, etc.).
  2. The UofT application requires the most amount of time due to the essays in addition to the sketch. But if you are preparing an application for UofT, just apply to queens and ottawa as well (assuming you meet the minimum gpa required). For the essays, go through many versions and get a variety of people to edit (not just med related). Also, whenever possible, connect to CANMED roles and try to incorporate personal examples. This can help your essay stand out since most applicants tend to form the same opinions on a particular topic. When presenting a particular point of view, acknowledge that you are aware of the opposing side. You don't have enough space to discuss both sides of an issue but don't come off as too opinionated. Finally, write what you think and not what you think the admissions committee wants to hear (within reason of course).
  3. How close are you with the research supervisor? Will this be some last minute generic letter or do you think he will make an effort to write a good letter? If you think he will write a good letter, I would go with this one. Take a look at the UofT clusters and CANMED roles to see if your 3 letters cover most of these.
  4. For Uoft and Queens, your GPA and MCAT are fine. I got into both this year with very similar stats (slightly higher uoft wgpa). Your ECs seem average and nothing really stands out to be honest. If this cycle doesn't work out, this would be an area to improve. Get more leadership experience and if you like research, keep pursuing that. How you present your ECs on the application also makes a huge difference. For UBC, you might be on the lower end for GPA if you are OOP. Based on their interim statistics for this past year average GPA for OOP interview invite was 92%. With that said, if you are preparing an application for all the Ontario schools, you pretty much have the UBC application done as well. So just apply and see how it goes.
  5. I believe that refers to a personal message that will be sent to the referees with your reference form. You can leave it blank.
  6. I think your EC's are on the weak side but you have lots of time to improve. It's great that you are thinking about this early. You are right about quality over quantity so don't worry too much about doing stuff just to fill more entries. You can show quality but showing progression in the EC's that you are currently doing. For example, the research assistant activity may lead to abstracts/presentation/publications. You can even take on more leadership roles in your current activities (i.e. leadership position in the student groups that organize open house events or a more senior volunteer role at the hospital/retirement home). Being a general volunteer is great but so many premeds tend to do the same things (i.e. being a hospital volunteer - showing up for a 3 hour shift once a week won't make/break your application). You need to find ways to differentiate yourself through unique activities that interest you or by showing true commitment/involvement in the ones you are currently involved with. With all this being said, GPA is king. So don't take on too much at the expense of your grades. In terms of the MCAT, take it when you feel comfortable and in the year you plan on applying. Many take it after 2nd year so they can apply while in 3rd year. I would also recommend that you don't take both orgo and physics while doing full-time research in the summer. Like i said, you need to be more committed in your activities and for research that often requires a lot of work/time commitment. I would suggest you take one course if you must.
  7. Your mac should come pre-installed with textedit. You could try that.
  8. You could send them the CANMED roles (http://www.royalcollege.ca/rcsite/canmeds/canmeds-framework-e) and ask them to speak about specific ones. You can also send them the "clusters" UofT states they use to evaluate applicants. Just try to cover as many CANMED roles/clusters as you can with the 3 letters (of course you won't be able to cover everything like medical expert).
  9. I personally studied for 2 - 2.5 months while holding a full-time job and thought it was sufficient. You have more than enough time between April - September. Make a study solid study schedule and stick to it (schedule in off days and you won't burn out). Your comfort with the material also makes a difference. I did a bio degree and barely had to study for the biological sciences section. I think you will be fine!
  10. I am not sure if you are being sarcastic lol. You have a 3.99 GPA - you do not need to write the essay. The purpose of having a full course load is only to be eligible for the wGPA which you don't need.
  11. I would not bother with the explanation. Your GPA is competitive enough.
  12. Just give it your best and see how it goes. Students with great ECs get rejected all the time because they don't write up a good application. Spend time crafting your EC description and essays. When getting LORs, be clear with your referees in terms what is required. You can even send them a copy of the CANMED competencies and ask them to touch on these when possible. You need to dedicate some serious time to writing up a good app so don't procrastinate on this. There is no standard EC profile that you need to follow. Some people do tons of research and some others do nothing at all. I personally had lots of research/employment but almost nothing for volunteering/extracurriculars.
  13. I agree with the poster above. You need to evaluate your performance by practice scores and not too much by how you feel. I haven't met a single person yet that was super confident going into the test. Everyone is nervous and we all think that we could have prepared more. In my opinion, going into the test with the mindset of voiding is not a good idea.
  14. You only need to know first year level physics for the MCAT and so it will be fine to take only in University. With that being said, I found first year physics to be very similar to what I did in high school in grade 12.
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