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tavenan

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  1. Western is (was?) a MCAT-centric school (main barrier for most applicants, non-SWOMEN atleast). Such schools will never get any more or less competitive since the MCAT is a standardized exam. This reflects a shift in their ideology / what they're looking for, not the applicant pool getting more competitive for this school specifically. It's one of the reasons I thought the system Western used was uniquely fair in Canada. I would be very surprised if the CARs cutoff was a 129 next year. Heck, we might not even have a hard cutoff any more, just a soft one. We don't know how they'll be approaching this whole thing, maybe this year will be a test year and they're doing everything exactly the same way. But most likely they'll give you a score based on your MCAT/GPA/AB and pick the top 400, so there might not be a hard "cutoff" for MCAT but it'll be harder the lower you score is.
  2. They still looked at your overall experiences in the interview. This just introduces another element of uncertainty into a process that was already uncertain. The whole holistic meme is one of my least favourite aspects of the journey from undergrad to medicine, and I thought it was really nice how Western told you exactly what you needed to do to get an interview and gave hard working students from every background a realistic chance. Some poor kid with a really high percentile MCAT is going to get rejected from an interview in favour of a kid with a much lower MCAT, all because he wasn't "holistic" enough. This is something that routinely happens in systems such as this one (just look at Queens), so this is in no ways hyperbole. Medicine has been a rich boys club for centuries and taking away quantitative review processes in favour of qualitative ones gives even more advantages to wealthier students. They already have an advantage in studying for the MCAT and achieving higher GPA's, but EC's is truly where rich applicants get to shine. I find it troubling and an unwelcome change.
  3. Imagine re-writing a 97th percentile MCAT to reach Western's MCAT CARS cutoffs and then not getting an interview because "holistic". This might have happened to me if I was unlucky enough to be applying this year. wow. The objectivity of Western was unique in Canada and it looks like they're throwing it away. Maybe their GPA and MCAT pool was getting too insane and they needed to do something. I still would have preferred introducing CASPer before doing this.
  4. Ah, given the advantages SWOMEN get it's a surprise that the majority of the class aren't SWOMEN
  5. So it's reasonable to suggest that SWOMEN are also given an advantage post-interview, not just pre-interview?
  6. This is false. If you meet the cutoffs you get an interview, barring extremely rare situations that have to do with obvious red flags or something troubling in an applicant's past. The school changes the cutoffs every year precisely to only interview about 400 people, based on the applicant pool for that year. So by definition the top 400 MCAT scores dictate what the cutoff will be, with some wiggle room given to SWOMEN in section breakdowns but not total score cutoffs.
  7. If they add psych/Soc it's very unlikely that the cutoff for it will be above 127. Overall you're on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of the overall interviewee pool. If we assume that GPA/MCAT play a role in post-interview acceptances, which I think is a fair assumption, then you're going to have to compensate for that with an above average interview (compared to the average pool). 129/126/128 is the lowest combined score you can get for those 3 sections and still receive an interview, so even if they don't look at Psych next year, you can improve those scores somewhat to give yourself a better chance. Or you might get accepted off the normal waitlist in which case none of this is relevant. But I'm confident with a slightly higher MCAT score you'll have no problem getting accepted next year, in the worse case scenario.
  8. I'm not aware of such a thing for Western. Western is very transparent in that you know exactly what you need to get an interview, but the downside of that is the inevitable inflexibility that comes with a hard cutoff system. if you miss a MCAT section by a point, or your GPA is below cutoffs by one tenth of a point, well then you missed it, better luck next year. If you want a final answer I would contact them directly, but I'm fairly sure something like this doesn't exist at Western.
  9. As long as you satisfy course load requirements (3/5 rule, 10 courses from September-April), you're guaranteed an interview, and unless you bomb your interview, pretty much guaranteed a spot.
  10. Not necessarily. This would be true if the only advantage SWOMEN get is in the pre-interview stage. They might apply some post-interview weighting to SWOMEN that shifts the odds. Even if that's the case, you still have great odds as Non-SWOMEN if you get an interview, and as a SWOMEN, you'd have to have an extremely poor interview to not be accepted at some point.
  11. You have a 38% chance of getting accepted after the interview based on the raw numbers. If they send out 263 and 255 invites after interview in the past years, that means you have a 58% chance of getting accepted after the interview. That's very solid, since you pretty much know whether or not you'll be getting an interview beforehand for Western. From there, you can further improve your chances based on the relative amount of preparation you put into your interview compared to other applicants. I wish other Ontario schools were as transparent about the admission process as Western is, though the transparency can lead to frustration too for people who barely fail to meet cutoffs.
  12. Honestly I think it's straight up bullshit. I know people who re-wrote the exam just to get a higher score in Psych/Soc since Western tends to have such high cutoffs. I don't know if they're deliberately trying to piss off the maximum number of people every year, or if it's just an accident.
  13. Yes people get accepted through this route all the time. We don't know how they treat the second year mark, they might be attributing a 3.7 to it and adding it to your 1 year GPA and dividing by 2, in which case you're looking at an uphill battle regardless, but especially with a 3.82. But yes it is do-able.
  14. There are like 16 different cutoff combinations that they could do to narrow down the top 400 applicants. They absolutely need to have internal priorities for the sections of the MCAT before they even begin looking at the applicant pool. If they prioritize the Psych/Soc section poorly, as I suspect they will, don't expect the cutoffs to change significantly from last year. It will be something boring like 126/129/128/127.
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