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sb88

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  1. I am definitely putting a lot of my time to ensure I can do well this year and balance everything. I am currently leaning towards working right now and I think that a Masters is not something I'd like to do (it also doesn't fit me very well financially), so your advice is very reaffirming! I've also heard a Masters doesn't really help in one's application to some other schools (from my knowledge it only helps for Toronto if there's a publication & Mac?). Thank you for your advice and reply!!
  2. Heya! Thanks for your reply. I definitely think I can improve my CARS score on my third try. The first time I took the MCAT, I also did not give much attention to reviewing and simply focused on the volume of passages I did. I would continuously make the same mistakes and on test-day hoped for the best which turned out to be a 125. I was also scoring in the 125-126 range the first time around. The second time around I made some changes like reading passages in a more "active" voice, and a big mistake I think I made, was increasing my pace (because on the first MCAT I was running out of time and had to guess some questions), instead of slowing down when approaching passages. This year when I prepared, I did start to review and look after the type of mistakes I was making and tried to reason why I got certain questions wrong. I think I was more or less on track with this approach and it did work well because after re-taking the FLs, I was scoring in the 127-128 range. I definitely thought I would do the same on the second attempt, but I got two extremely convoluted passages, read them too quickly and did not capture the main idea or key supporting details, leaving me to guess a majority of the questions (which were probably all incorrect). I finished this year with a few minutes remaining which I ended up spending finalizing the last passage. This time around I'm looking to slow down my pace and be more decisive when I answer questions, because this is a problem I ran into on test-day. I was able to control my emotions well and was quite confident in both situations so it's not so much my nerves either. Whether or not I can get up-to a 128 is going to be up to me. My only issue is the lack of practice available (I have re-done qpacks over 3 times, so I know a lot of the answers now). I will be focusing much more on CARS this time around, but I'll have to settle for 3rd party resources (TPR, EK, JW, Khan) for my primary practice.
  3. Hey everyone! I'm currently debating whether or not to apply for a Masters program (leaning towards one year, but could be swayed to apply to a two year program) or do a 5th year (as a continuing student) to increase my GPA (minimally). I am in my 4th and final year of my degree. I am also looking to rewrite my MCAT (3rd time unfortunately) next year to improve my CARS score (124, downgrade from my first time writing which was a 125.. bit of a shock to me). I would say my EC's are above average. If I had to improve my application it would be being more involved in research (have held research assistant positions w/o publications for long durations before). Assuming I provost (4.0) the entire year (2019/20), the following would be my GPA for specific Ontario med schools (for next years application, 2020/21): UoT w/ drops - 3.96 Ottawa wGPA - 3.925 Western/Queens - 3.975 cGPA - ~3.8 If I do a 5th year and do well, my wGPA for Ottawa would be much better. On the other hand if I do a 5th year and it doesn't go as planned, it could hurt my GPA for other schools. I'm a bit on edge with my wGPA for Ottawa because a 3.92 isn't very competitive nowadays (IIRC I did not see one person lower than a 3.93 wGPA get accepted outright or off the waitlist this year for Ottawa!). A lot of my friends are advocating that I go for a Masters and secure a potential back-up, while others suggest I work instead. I'm very reluctant to do a 5th year overall and more-so need to focus on securing a solid CARS score. I appreciate any and all advice!
  4. I think any statistic course but I am just making an assumption. For example, I asked if they would take cell biology for the 6 units of physiology/biology requirement and they said yes, so I think this would also apply to any statistic course in general
  5. Yup that's what I assumed. I emailed them just to re-confirm and they basically just told me that whatever the website says will reflect what is required for the upcoming cycle. So it does look like Orgo will now be required and that the previous two biochem rule no longer exists. Hope this helps everyone
  6. Do you guys think this will be set in stone (the organic chemistry requirement)? I know this cycle people were concerned about the same thing because Ottawa had a page saying you needed organic chemistry and another page saying two biochemistry courses would be sufficient for pre-requisites.
  7. Thank you for letting me know this! For sure! Some of the student leaders do get paid, but I don't think they have observed me enough to give me a good reference. It's good reassurance to see that 1 and 3 are good choices. I think I can agree with everything you said. I have not been involved in any volunteering (hospital, non-profit) since high-school either, but I find it hard to believe that this could give me a great non-academic letter considering the volunteer supervisors often have usually very small hours and don't really come into check on you or ask how everything is going (at least from my experience volunteering at the hospital in high school). I hope I can get closer to my other supervisor this year, and if this does happen, would it still be a decent option to choose from? He has written many LOR before and is friendly. I just don't know what schools would think if I gave them 2 LOR from research supervisors. Also Luffy season is approaching haha! Thanks again for all the help.
  8. Hey everyone, I've always been quite stressed out about getting references. I've never been the type of person to pursue an extracurricular or activity just to benefit from it, but it seems like no matter how involved I think I am, all the current extracurriculars I am in, seem to give me no options in terms of references. A lot of these come from my involvement in university-supported clubs that are made up of exec and members in undergrad. Anyways, I just wanted to see whether or not any of you could let me know which options I should choose for references in the next admission cycle for next year. 1) Worked as a research assistant for 2.5 years, will be 3.5 next year with my supervisor (Dr.). She knows me very well and I work weekly for a random amount of hours (usually 4-6). -Also worked with another assistant (not an accredited physician in Canada) and he knows me well too. 2) More work with another research assistant, this one I've only just recently gotten however, and it's at a different location and different department. Not a lot of engagement with my supervisor in person but we keep in contact via email as I get a lot of work done in person. Both positions entail different work. I am usually in contact with both my supervisor's research coordinator/assistants - I would say for #2 the assistant knows me a lot better, but I'm not sure if either has ever written a LOR for med students. 3) Worked full-time at Walmart in the summer last year, was in decent contact with supervisor, and department head gave feedback to her routinely so I think it would be okay, but again, I don't know if this is considered a great one since it'll be a full year of me being gone and I'm not sure if she'll remember me or the work/skills that I had? But she was quite young and very friendly. Aside from these options, I honestly can't think of any places I could get a good reference from considering most of the EC's I've been a part had student leaders and I don't think that's allowed. I can name some of the positions I took on but I don't see myself getting LOR from these EC's. I did volunteer a lot in HS and did a co-op in HS, but these seem super outdated. I also participated in a case-competition, but again I don't think anyone could speak about me personally or about my skills. I don't really have the opportunity to engage super well with instructors of classes, but I may be able to get one if I engage with one of my facilitators this semester or possibly in 3rd year (but that would only help for 4th yr applications). Kind of stressed because I was planning on doing the MCAT this summer, and I probably have no other options which would not allow me to apply to med this year. What do you guys think? Again, I'm not looking to seek an opportunity just for the sake of a reference but I did find some things I'd be interested in, but they'd be during the school year. Still looking to see if I can find anything to do in the summer that won't kill my time. Other then that, I feel like having two references from research supervisors doesn't seem the best, but I also heard only UOFT looks at each reference carefully. In that case, maybe the references I choose wouldn't matter as much? What do you guys think I should do? Any help would be appreciated!
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