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  1. There was no announcement. If you look at 2014's MCAT percentile rank distribution, you will see that an 11 is at the 95th percentile. In some years it is less.
  2. It's more scary if you think about it as the top 95th percentile; just keep practicing and improving. If it helps, know that in some years an 11 was only at the 87th percentile and non-native speakers have a disadvantage on this section. The fact that people who redo the MCAT tend to do better shows that most people have plenty of room for improvement. Verbal is more difficult in that it's difficult to understand how to improve but if you're able to identify your weaknesses and work on them then you'll be way ahead of the curve already.
  3. Just info for others... no need to worry about taking a summer course or non-degree course to fulfill your credits as long as it's considered part time. Part time course loads are usually not counted towards GPA and don't hurt your application. However, you usually need 3.0 or fewer credits to qualify for a part time course load (any more than that and you are a full time student). OP had 4.0 credits, which is usually counted as a full course load at most universities. Do your research before making big decisions.
  4. If you did well in 2nd year phys you'll probably do well in the 3rd year one. Similar material but harder exams.
  5. My understanding of it is that upper year courses have always been considered 3rd and 4th year courses (I believe I read that a few years ago). 2nd year courses may have been called "senior-level" in the email because it's still above first year and in 2nd year, you need at least 3/5 courses to be at the 2000+ level. It would be unfortunate if you were ineligible so you should probably e-mail Schulich Admissions and call them to explain your situation (as well as what they e-mailed you, since their answer was somewhat ambiguous).
  6. Number of applicants is the reason they change cut offs I believe. It is entirely possible that with the new MCAT they'll be more lax (cut offs have gone down in the past), but not something you should count on happening. I should have said this in the last post but I think it would be worth applying still just in case they do go down. You're not too far from the current cut offs.
  7. It is unlikely they'll lower the cutoff. Last year they still had over 10x more applicants than interview spots; there does not seem to be a need to lower it.There may be a slight chance they lower the composite MCAT cutoff for SWOMEN but that's also quite unlikely. You never know for sure, but I wouldn't bet on it.
  8. Plenty of people do well at UofT (+3.9). Its difficulty is somewhat exaggerated IMO (I've seen the course material and it's about the same as other universities except it's more difficult in first year). If you end with a 3.8 on the dot (3.9 for 3 years) you'll have a decent enough GPA to be considered at every school. And as everyone else said, there are forgiveness policies.
  9. Probably stems from the fact that Irish and American med schools tend to be back ups for Canadian premeds. I've heard of and known several people that had interviews at mid and high tier American med schools but none/only one in Canada (due to hard cutoffs used in many of our schools). http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/stats-of-applicants-to-irish-schools-and-acceptance-waitlist-or-rejection.268232/page-49 There are plenty people in that thread with stats that would have had no chance at Canadian schools because of their GPA. Although UWOpremed worded it arrogantly/badly (I don't think anyone seriously thinks Irish or American mid tier USMD schools are "selling degrees"), I think most people agree that if you're just missing the mark to get into a Canadian med school you have a decent chance outside of Canada (mid tier USMD schools/Ireland).
  10. You're probably better off asking on an American forum. From what I've heard, the disadvantage with doing a DO is that certain programs will prefer MDs over DOs (either that or the education MDs receive make them better candidates). That means matching into certain competitive specialties will be more difficult. If you plan on doing family medicine I doubt it would matter much though. On the upside for DOs, I believe they have a separate pool of residency programs that only they can match to (MDs cannot apply). Another disadvantage I suppose would be that you would have to spend time learning "osteopathic manipulation" and other practices that are not supported by research (at least not currently supported). Lastly I believe a DO degree is not recognized in some countries. But it's not really a disadvantage unless you plan to work outside of North America.
  11. I graduated from Western and this would be my general advice for someone trying to be a great premed: 1st year: Achieve the best GPA and average you can. +3.95 and +92% would be great (you want a high average since it helps you land NSERC and scholarships). This might be hard with an English course but just try your best. With regards to volunteering and clubs, I'd say it's semi-optional. You should try and volunteer early on in the semester when it's not busy but don't go overboard. IMO having a good time and making friends in first year is really important. Aside from the social/relationship aspects, friends can help you out with exec positions, refer you to volunteer/work positions, help out with notes, etc. People are the most social and open during first year as well. Spend your summer volunteering at fun events. If possible apply for work-study to try and land a volunteer research position during the school year. 2nd year: Maintain that GPA and average (for same reasons as before but also because it will allow you to choose any module you want for 3rd year). It's a stressful time for many 2nd years (courses get much harder) so again, try not to go overboard with too many commitments. You should start to talk to profs to land a volunteer or work research position for the summer. Hopefully you are starting long term volunteer commitments/research. The summer of 2nd year is a good time to write the MCAT IMO. 3rd year: Your GPA and average might slide a bit (try to maintain +3.88 this year) but you should have solid EC/research foundations by now (a few long term volunteer commitments, some random volunteer experiences, and basic research). You should roughly know what volunteer/research you'll be doing during the school year and summer. Spend your extra time doing things you haven't done before (e.g. volunteering in a shelter or speaking at high schools), though you may not have much time to do so. 4th year: Same as 3rd year roughly. By the end of it you should have a few long term EC commitments, a bunch of short term volunteering experiences, hopefully a pub, a great GPA, and excellent LORs. Of course you might slip up along the way but don't worry, it's not the end of the world if you get a 70 in a course, miss out on a volunteer opportunity, or have to rewrite. It's more important to be consistent about excelling in your academics and spending time around the community (or lab) throughout your university career. Don't burn yourself out trying to be the ideal premed, few people that get in are ideal premeds in every respect.
  12. Profs usually won't repeat the exact same question but much of the time the questions will be in a very similar format. For certain courses (e.g. maths) this is a huge advantage, while for others (anything that is writing + critical thinking based) the advantage is pretty small. Usually people know friends who have taken the course before and can study from that (there are also test banks from certain clubs/frats/organizations). At my university I believe it is assumed that if a professor lets student keeps the exam, he/she is allowing us to study from previous years. It is professor dependent IMO.
  13. I would say because they are less prestigious they attract mostly local students and students that did not make the cut to a bigger university (not everyone of course but I think that would be true as a general statement for the life sciences/biomed programs). Since the top students are all going to UofT, McGilll, and the other big research universities, it's probably easier to attain a high mark (assuming there is a grade curve or target). GPA wise it would be a good idea but there would also be fewer research & volunteer opportunities. Plus, there are a lot of less tangible benefits of going to a bigger university (e.g. the student environment provides greater and stronger competition that would drive you to work harder than if you were surrounded by less academically excelling individuals). Then again, because there are fewer students and smaller class sizes, it would be easier for individuals to get to know proffs... It swings both ways but personally, I'd choose one of the bigger, more prestigious universities any day over the smaller, more local ones for all the non-GPA reasons (student life, city location, atmosphere, volunteer/work opportunities, research, program funding, etc.) Problem is that suddenly you have a lot more people applying to engineering from university who don't actually plan to do engineering afterwards. Moreover how would you rank a student in music? Sociology? Actuary? What about universities with less competitive engineering programs versus ones with more competitive engineering programs? It just gets overly messy to do it that way. The numbers would be a lot more informative if they also gave the 1st and 4th year life science/biomed program size and the overall university student population.
  14. I agree that aggregate stats can't directly answer questions about individual cases but you can certainly look at the chances of such an applicant getting in. If you look at the GPA section for black versus white then you can see that at 2.20 - 2.39 GPA, black applicants with +21 MCAT have 8/29 (28%) being accepted, whereas white applicants have 8/45 being accepted (18%). The numbers give some context into how impressive it was to be accepted with a ~2.3 GPA. There are fewer black Americans applying because they constitute only 13% of the total population. The number of black applicants is actually fairly normal, not low. Moreover if you look at the numbers carefully, you can see the distribution of MCAT scores and GPA for black applicants fall towards the lower end (most around 3.00 - 3.79 GPA and 18 - 29 MCAT), while white applicants tend to have higher GPA and MCAT scores (most around 3.40 - 4.00 GPA and 24 - 35 MCAT). Despite that, at each GPA & MCAT bracket, proportionally more black Americans get in. You can see clearest the effect of affirmative action if you use the acceptance rates for white applicants at each GPA & MCAT bracket on black applicants: the accepted number of black applicants drops to ~1400 (roughly half of what we have now). I would say then that affirmative action is quite significant overall and does its job of "equalizing" the field since it doubles the number of accepted applicants of that demographic. Going back to the guy who got in with ~2.3: I'm glad that America tries to redress issues of inequality (however poor the implementation may be). But if he were an Asian applicant, it's doubtful he would have made it in with his stats.
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