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narcolepticpanda

Should I be applying to more schools or is it too late now?

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3 hours ago, narcolepticpanda said:

I decided to mainly apply to American and Australian schools because due to personal problems in my family, my ECs are too light for Canadian schools. Unlike Canadian schools, because American schools require things like the personal statement and secondary essays, it would allow me to tell my story and explain my lack of ECs. After browsing MSAR for Canadian-friendly schools that don't require any English credits, I came up with a relatively small list. I finished all of my secondaries for these schools and after seeing other people's extensive school lists, I feel like I should be applying to more.

Background: 3.92 cGPA, 526 MCAT (132/131/131/132), 2 years of research with 1 publication (2nd author), a summer of clinical volunteering, a summer of shadowing, and a couple of non-clinical volunteering experiences but not for extended periods of time.

The schools I applied to so far are: Albert Einstein, Geisel, Harvard, Melbourne, NYU, Perelman, Thomas Jefferson, Washington St. Louis, Yale

Should I be applying to any other schools? Is it too late now?

 

 

 

 

You’re GPA/MCAT are competitive for western in Ontario, just saying. They also use a very short (8 item?) abs instead of the full 32. Worth investing your time to applying to thay one at least.

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You should apply to McMaster, you are very competitive and Mac does not look at ECs..... You will ruin your future if you go to Australia with those stats, it would be such a shame. Spend some time looking at Canadian schools, you can easily apply to Mac and Western. The amount of money you'd save alone is worth it. My analogy for you is, not doing your research on med school apps is like running a marathon, getting near the finish line and then deciding to chat with a friend for 10 minutes 10 meters before the finish line. 

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Yeah - going to Australia with those stats would be underselling yourself - it would just limit your future options substantially..

It's not at all too late for Canadian schools - US schools I think it's a little late as an international...

 Within Canada, you'd also have a great shot at Manitoba and Saskatchewan (both go very heavily by MCAT for interviews), even as OOP.  I also think within Ontario both UofT and Ottawa would be worth considering - since you do have some ECs along with an excellent GPA.

 In fact, within Canada, the schools I'd really think twice about applying to are (especially since OOP): Calgary, Dal, Queen's and UBC, since these all look for very substantial ECs (Queen's is "black box" though).   

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honestly I am also a bit confused why you think those ECs are so weak

I have seen a lot worse get into medical school in Ontario  - at any of the schools for that matter and your stats look pretty good. 

Don't sell yourself short here - even if you thought you chances weren't perfect you should apply. 

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Thank you for the responses guys! I really appreciate the advice. I was still planning on applying to schools in Ontario that don't require CASPER. I just don't like my chances of getting in Canada, considering my only advantage is my MCAT. I feel that my ECs are definitely weak in areas like leadership and community service. Without being able to explain my story, my application doesn't really stand out. 

 

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6 minutes ago, narcolepticpanda said:

Thank you for the responses guys! I really appreciate the advice. I was still planning on applying to schools in Ontario that don't require CASPER. I just don't like my chances of getting in Canada, considering my only advantage is my MCAT. I feel that my ECs are definitely weak in areas like leadership and community service. Without being able to explain my story, my application doesn't really stand out. 

 

yeah but a lot of people's applicants don't stand out. They just have strong fundamentals, get an interview and get in. ECs are important no question but the rest of the apply is more important. 

Your GPA is also not a weakness so I wouldn't put the MCAT as your only strength. Why are you not applying to the schools that use CASPER out of curiosity? 

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1 minute ago, rmorelan said:

yeah but a lot of people's applicants don't stand out. They just have strong fundamentals, get an interview and get in. ECs are important no question but the rest of the apply is more important. 

 Your GPA is also not a weakness so I wouldn't put the MCAT as your only strength. Why are you not applying to the schools that use CASPER out of curiosity? 

You're right. It's definitely worth a shot. Regarding CASPER... Its mainly out of principle. Sounds petty, but I don't like that they don't show you your score. It's a bit shady in my opinion. 

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1 minute ago, narcolepticpanda said:

You're right. It's definitely worth a shot. Regarding CASPER... Its mainly out of principle. Sounds petty, but I don't like that they don't show you your score. It's a bit shady in my opinion. 

sure but you just knocked out a couple of schools :) 

your choice of course! Just that as in any competitive field you have to really think before close any doors. The cost of doing it is low, and the potential reward is high. 

the reason they don't show a score is because you could use that information to learn how the test works and then game it (you can easily record your answers, and the questions - have that for enough people and well there you go). It is the same reason Ottawa, Queens, Toronto all don't actually show you how any of the ECs are scored. Or for that matter how any of the interviews actually work. 

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26 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

the reason they don't show a score is because you could use that information to learn how the test works and then game it (you can easily record your answers, and the questions - have that for enough people and well there you go). It is the same reason Ottawa, Queens, Toronto all don't actually show you how any of the ECs are scored. Or for that matter how any of the interviews actually work. 

It wouldn't be that easy to game CASPer.. there's already prep companies that do that sort of stuff, and some schools do actually provide a general score for application feedback.  I don't think it would do anything except help applicants assess their strengths/weakness - was it my CASPer? ECs? etc..  

Also, in terms of ECs, some schools like UBC do provide general feedback, but people aren't that much closer to gaming the admissions - it just provides a snapshot of how they were evaluated and where they stood (vs say GPA).  Judging by the posts on the forum, the transparency can also lead people to feeling more frustrated, but can help focus on improving and better presenting their accomplishments.

For the OP though, given a strong GPA and CARS, there may be a little breathing room for CASPer at McMaster - which mean it would come down to MMI performance.  The schools I mentioned above also do MMIs and could be great opportunities, since the OP is essentially 'guaranteed' an interview, which may be rarer after Western's recent admission change.

 

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34 minutes ago, narcolepticpanda said:

You're right. It's definitely worth a shot. Regarding CASPER... Its mainly out of principle. Sounds petty, but I don't like that they don't show you your score. It's a bit shady in my opinion. 

This explains a lot...

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29 minutes ago, tere said:

It wouldn't be that easy to game CASPer.. there's already prep companies that do that sort of stuff, and I some schools do actually provide a general score for application feedback.  I don't think it would do anything except help applicants assess their strengths/weakness - was it my CASPer? ECs? etc..  

Also, in terms of ECs, some schools like UBC do provide general feedback, but people aren't that much closer to gaming the admissions - it just provides a snapshot of how they were evaluated and where they stood (vs say GPA).  Judging by the posts on the forum, the transparency can also lead people to feeling more frustrated though, but can help focus on improving and better presenting their accomplishments.

For the OP though, given a strong GPA and CARS, there may be a little breathing room for CASPer at McMaster - which mean it would come down to MMI performance.  The schools I mentioned above also do MMIs and could be great opportunities, since the OP is essentially 'guaranteed' an interview, which may be rarer after Western's recent move.

 

sure - but if you had the exact score matching the exact scenes and the exact responses you just make it easier - you could even use that to create highly realistic prep materials and scoring schemes. All of that would be unfair as you have a resource not everyone could get. There is just no reason for them to provide that- particularly if they believe the test is basically a personality test. 

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9 hours ago, rmorelan said:

sure - but if you had the exact score matching the exact scenes and the exact responses you just make it easier - you could even use that to create highly realistic prep materials and scoring schemes. All of that would be unfair as you have a resource not everyone could get. There is just no reason for them to provide that- particularly if they believe the test is basically a personality test. 

Sure - but this wouldn't be that feasible anyways, since nothing could be graded immediately.  But prep companies already try to do this I believe often employing MD students who are familiar with the test - at a certain level, preparation doesn't help as much.  This gets at what you're saying - if it's measuring personality, then it's hard to change that readily to suit a test.  

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One one hand you say your ECs are weak and think that limits you in Canada, but on the other hand you only applied to very selective US schools where ECs are typically the differentiating factor...? 

Unsolicited advice: suck it up and take the Casper and apply broadly in Canada, whatever feelings of principle you have at this stage for such a basic thing will only be amplified x100 once actually in medicine, where you'll come across way more severe dilemmas of principle. 

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30 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

One one hand you say your ECs are weak and think that limits you in Canada, but on the other hand you only applied to very selective US schools where ECs are typically the differentiating factor...? 

Unsolicited advice: suck it up and take the Casper and apply broadly in Canada, whatever feelings of principle you have at this stage for such a basic thing will only be amplified x100 once actually in medicine, where you'll come across way more severe dilemmas of principle. 

Right, but there's a reason that my ECs are weak, and US schools give you opportunities to explain this (PS and Secondary Essays). On the other hand, for Canadian schools, I would only be able to explain myself during an interview, which I may not get because of my ECs. Anyway, I will strongly consider writing the CASPER and applying if I don't get any interview invites this month. Thanks for the advice. 

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Why not try to apply this year and improve your ECs during a gap year on the chance you don't get in this cycle? I think going to school in Canada is well worth the wait.

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12 hours ago, narcolepticpanda said:

Right, but there's a reason that my ECs are weak, and US schools give you opportunities to explain this (PS and Secondary Essays). On the other hand, for Canadian schools, I would only be able to explain myself during an interview, which I may not get because of my ECs. Anyway, I will strongly consider writing the CASPER and applying if I don't get any interview invites this month. Thanks for the advice. 

@narcolepticpanda I see where you're coming from, but I think you might be overestimating CASPer. I had a worse GPA than you, a 129 CARS, and I got into Mac. CASPer doesn't ask too much about extracurriculars, and even then, you can find ways to utilize the ECs you've listed to do well. Hit me up if you want advice! Writing the CASPer is 100% easier than writing secondaries, or getting that amazing 526 MCAT.

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Why is everyone still giving this person the time of the day? They are 99% a troll and assuming they aren't a troll the level of immaturity and short-sightedness they are showing regarding Casper is comical and shouldn't be entertained. 

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17 hours ago, tere said:

Sure - but this wouldn't be that feasible anyways, since nothing could be graded immediately.  But prep companies already try to do this I believe often employing MD students who are familiar with the test - at a certain level, preparation doesn't help as much.  This gets at what you're saying - if it's measuring personality, then it's hard to change that readily to suit a test.  

They would just wait until the score came out and cross referenced it back. They have time/money and a lot of people in the system. 

if you believe the test is pure personality then all the testing companies are beyond a small point simply useless - things like presentation, thinking under pressure and style perhaps but not content.  A lot of people have a hard time believing in a test that you cannot improve your performance on ha which is the selling point of all these companies. 

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