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csms

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  1. Does anyone know if UofT will consider explanations for the MCAT on the academic explanations essay or is it only for GPA? I have had a formal flare-up in my chronic condition which was diagnosed this summer. A great deal of time has been spent at various medical appointments, medical tests etc... Beyond that, the condition has been very debilitating. Both circumstances made my preparation for the MCAT very challenging and ineffective. As soon as I was diagnosed, I tried to qualify for accommodations to take into account the physiological challenges I have been facing and how they would impede my performance, but, the deadline for applying for accommodations had just passed the week before. They would not consider an exception even though this was still two months before I wrote it and the diagnosis occurred after the deadline (not like it was diagnosed before and I neglected to apply on time). I do not think I made the minimum required scores and cannot wait until I get them to write the letter as that will leave it too close to the October 1 deadline. That being said, I am wondering if anyone (perhaps a UofT student who had helped on the admissions committee) knows if this unique circumstance would be taken into account and if so, how I should go about phrasing it in my letter. I really do not know what to do. Thank you.
  2. Hello! Good luck on your way! One word of caution: some schools might look at your GPA from the other school. Med schools don't look at grades that were advanced standing, but do look at multiple transcripts. As long as there is a mark associated w the course, they will look. The reason being is, a student might do three really crappy years at one spot and then transfer to an easier uni and try to sell that as their cGPA. Some schools might have exceptions, but I would just be careful about that part! I know bc I too am a transfer student! Good luck to you!
  3. Hey, thanks. I meet all the cutoffs (bc wGPA at UofT etc). It is more a ques if I have a shot since meeting the cut offs is never enough. I am wondering more if I have shot given that I meet the cut offs (though not competitive) and my application's other factors. I am from Toronto so no geographic benefit for the schools excpet maybe a little bit McMaster.
  4. Hey There! Thanks for looking into this. Basically, my biggest flaw is my GPA. Do I have a chance given my GPA and the other factors of my application? Is it better for me to just do an extra year/Master's or is there is a chance? I am also more than willing to take the MCAT again if it would help at certain schools. If I get high enough scores on EC and essays, is the GPA less of a deal? Thanks so much. GPA 1st Year: 3.41 2nd Year: 3.47 3rd Year: 3.82 I qualify for wGPA. I will also write an academic explanations essay as I had health issues towards the end of 2nd year which made my courses drop drastically (was standing at an A and went to a B+ during final exam due to sickness). As for personal statements and supplementary applications, obviously I cannot say yet as they are not written, but I feel as though these will be strong. I have a lot of experience in essay writing, and am very familiar with the CanMEDS and have a unique [enough] story to write a memorable essay about my journey to medicine. MCAT C/P: 127 CARS: 129 Bio: 128 S/P: 130 EC (since high school) - Volunteered 2 March Breaks at a camp for non-verbal children - Received a community service award for helping a student reintegrate into school after having to stay behind a year due to a serious surgery - Gold Duke of Edinburgh - Peer Supporter - Several other character awards - Enthusiasm, Citizenship, Music, most well-rounded extra curriculars (awarded by the International Baccalaureate), over coming greatest adversity etc. - Head of several clubs - 3 years of sitting as a mock patient for UofT med school students' exam on doing a physical/history - Appointed the Alumnae and Parent Association Representative by the Principal UNIVERSITY STUFF STARTS HERE - Over 400 hours (and counting) volunteer hours at a single hospital (6 different units, including units where only one volunteer is selected) - Registered Note-Taker for students with disabilities - PhD student research assistant - One summer at a dry-lab at University Health Network (same person as PhD student, so ongoing relationship) - 3 summers teaching students about Model UN (their final culminate task). This position was usually reserved for those with a teaching degree. - 3 time peer editor of undergraduate health journal - Ongoing dry-lab research at hospital on a project in collaboration w the Red Cross for an annual publication - Clinical Research this summer at another hospital - 3 years on my Program's Student Union (Member at Large, Treasurer/Chief Returning Officer and incoming President) - Appointed to several committees by the Principal of University College, UofT where I represent the health program (UC Council, VP Advisory Committee and Health Studies Program Director Advisory Committee - two students on each, but only on all three) - 5 Poster Fairs (2 at the National Level) - Won the Dean's Award for Research - Hosted three health-centered conferences with various speakers - Will spend next year as a research student at the SickKids Learning Institute - "Well-roundedness" activities unrelated to healthcare (these have been on-going in various forms for the last decade, but I will focus on those I have done consistently throughout university): Audition-based church choir (served as librarian this year and will again next year), and community based choir (served as social convener and incoming President), some theatre.
  5. I have called all the medical schools in Canada and most do not show a concern about taking the MCAT multiple times, as long as you make the cut off eventually (on your best, or most recent MCAT, depending on the school). I worry that they might be downplaying the exam's significance. Does anyone have experience where they did not make cutoffs (not getting a self-perceived bad score, but actually not hitting the requirements) their first time and have still gotten in after another try? Also, I know in there is such a rule for US schools, but does anyone know if Canadian schools put any limit onto how many times you can take the MCAT? I am non-traditional applicant who has been trying to study for the MCAT this term with a full-course load of unrelated subjects. I have every intention of taking it again over the summer when I can do better studying, but I am wondering if I should void my score, or of it is worth the risk. If the medical schools truly do not care about previous MCAT scores, I guess it is worth it. If they do consider that though, should I void?
  6. First thing's first: CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, is this only one course? Is it 0.5 or 1.0? (term, or full year?) I think that there would be a little wiggle room with this because, if they really thought you were not worthy, they would not have accepted you. I think they just want to ensure that you didn't drop the ball after applying and got lazy. Is this your lowest mark ever? Or just lower that your average and most recent? Finally, it may be way to late, but sometimes, in extreme cases, universities will let you P/F (CR/NCR) later in the term as long as you have not seen your final mark yet. I know it is a long shot, but if you have the room for a P/F (I know school have strict rules about how many are allowed), I would try. Lastly, I know it is not what you want to hear, but I would contact them and ask. Say "Thank you so much! I really want to fulfill the conditions, so here is where I am at with this course. Could you please let me know how flexible you are when using the term "comparable." Thank you again." Quick, to the point and TOTALLY reasonable. My gut is that if it is the only one course, they will not give you big problems (as I said, if they really were skeptical about your abilities, they wouldn't have admitted you, even if with conditions! That is a great accomplishment!) But, to be sure, talk to your university if anything can be done about covering it to P/F, and email the admissions office and ask them to clearly define their terms. Good luck and congrats!!
  7. Thanks a lot. One further question: UofT's wGPA information page says that it will remove "your lowest FCE for each year", but then later says on the page that it will remove "your lowest 3 FCE". So, is it your lowest mark from year 1, your lowest mark from year 2 and your lowest mark from year 3 OR is it lowest 3 marks regardless of year? I ask because my lowest mark from this year would not be one of my lowest marks overall. The description on the website it a little misleading. Thanks so much again!
  8. Hello, I will be applying to medical school next session, 2017-2018. First year, I was recovering from a very serious illness and thus, for one term I was taking four courses, not five. I was registered with Disability Services at the time due to my health circumstances. Disability Services at this university considers 3.0 FCE a "full course load." The illness is medically documented along with medical advice to not exceed that course load. I have proof that I was registered with Disability Services, that I completed more than 3.0 FCE that year and the necessary medical documentation. Ever since, I have taken a real full course load (5 FCE) AND multiple summer courses which would indicate my commitment to, and ability to work in, a rigorous workload (the point of the wGPA). Given the circumstances I was in first year, all the supporting documentation and my workload following the illness, what is the likelihood they will approve my Academic Explanations Essay allowing me to qualify for wGPA? This is very important because the worst mark I have even gotten was B+, but there were a couple of them in full-year course, thus contributing significantly to my GPA. I fear my file will not be reviewed if I do not qualify for wGPA. If I were to qualify, my wGPA would well surpass the 3.6 requirement for review. My application also will be more centred around the ABS, essays etc..., but obviously, I must have the GPA piece. I was told that if I were to write an Academic Explanations Essay, they will never tell me whether or not I qualified for wGPA, so I wanted to get a sense from here. What do you think? A part of me feels like they would have to approve it because it is for medically documented reasons and I was ​technically a "full time student." Then again, I doubt I would qualify because UofT is pretty "all or nothing" kind of place. I really appreciate honest opinions and potential suggestions in addressing this problem as UofT Med is my absolute dream. Thanks!
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