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Hi everyone, I'm really sorry if this doesn't belong here but I could really use some advice. Very conflicted about rewriting a 515 (130/127/128/130) when I felt like I could've score 520+ but I'm terrified of doing worse. I'm applying next year so this summer section is do or die.

I think my ECs are very strong (research/volunteering/etc) and my reference letters will be as well, but my GPA isn't as good as I would've hoped (probably 3.7+ weighted) due to health problems in 1st/2nd year. I know GPA is #1 consideration so I don't know what to do or if MCAT will compensate. I know many schools just have a cutoff but I'm not sure how much I believe them.

I'm constantly freaking out and really need to decide soon, would appreciate any advice I can get. I'm an OP student in Ontario going to UofT right now, from Alberta.

Thank you so much!!

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2 hours ago, LastStar said:

where are you trying to go? 2-yr gpa schools or like UofT?

I'm in my third year right now and will be applying to almost all Canadian schools in the fall. UofT is my dream school. At this point though I don't think I'll get in, particularly with an MCAT score like this, but that's because I don't know if they actually care about it or if they genuinely only look at the cutoff.

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13 minutes ago, aeitoque said:

I'm in my third year right now and will be applying to almost all Canadian schools in the fall. UofT is my dream school. At this point though I don't think I'll get in, particularly with an MCAT score like this, but that's because I don't know if they actually care about it or if they genuinely only look at the cutoff.

They only look at cut off lol, I and others will tell you that with 100% certainty. At UofT, 125 across the board = 132 across the board

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38 minutes ago, LloydRedStan said:

They only look at cut off lol, I and others will tell you that with 100% certainty. At UofT, 125 across the board = 132 across the board

Do you think that a boost in CARS would be a beneficial compensation for GPA? To be completely honest, i don't really care about applying to Mac or schools that close me off because of my CARS score, but I'm just concerned about how that plays out with my GPA.

Thanks for your input btw!

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Schools all have different GPA and MCAT requirements.  You need to look at each schools weight wGPA approach and see how your GPA (for each year) factors into that.     (Best 2 years - UWO , Last 2 years - Queens ,  Drop 6 half credits - U of T etc)

Your MCAT is already excellent.  The only reason to re-write is if you were specifically aiming at UWO  (higher CARS cut off) or wanted to improve your interview calculation for a MAC interview.  

Depending on what your GPA is for each year - It may be your GPA that you need to improve as first priority.

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2 hours ago, aeitoque said:

Do you think that a boost in CARS would be a beneficial compensation for GPA? To be completely honest, i don't really care about applying to Mac or schools that close me off because of my CARS score, but I'm just concerned about how that plays out with my GPA.

Thanks for your input btw!

if you're not applying to Mac, Western, Alberta or Calgary, your MCAT is more than adequate for every other school. i recommend against rewriting. spend your summer doing something fun or meaningful.

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I will just tell you a fact about the two schools I applied to this year that shocked me, but you better believe it to not get the same result as I did! Queen's and Western do not care at all if your stats are a little or a lot above their cutoffs! Queens doesn't publish cutoffs but this year it seemed to be around 509 for MCAT ( and I definitely saw some 127 CARS get invites but you can double check here) and the GPA no more than 3.7. Western did release their cutoffs and this year it was Minimum GPA - 3.7 --- MCAT: BBFLS 126; CPBS 126; CARS 128; Total Score 380. So if you believe in your ECs it is certain that you don't need to retake the MCAT for Queens and you'd have a good shot (and even if you do retake, you would have a lot of room to wiggle!). For Western, you need to improve the CARS by one mark which shouldn't be too hard for you, but again, if your other marks fall a little below it won't disqualify you. It depends on you though whether you want to redo the whole test just for Western's CARS cutoff. I'd say evaluate other schools' policies and if you have a good chance for a few more don't bother with retaking or at least don't torture yourself doing it!

This was just my two cents on the schools I had experience on. Good luck in your final decision

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9 hours ago, aeitoque said:

Do you think that a boost in CARS would be a beneficial compensation for GPA? To be completely honest, i don't really care about applying to Mac or schools that close me off because of my CARS score, but I'm just concerned about how that plays out with my GPA.

Thanks for your input btw!

Better CARS will not compensate for a lower GPA for Toronto. They are evaluated independently, and as mentioned before, once above the cutoff it makes absolutely 0 difference.

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Thanks all for your input, really REALLY appreciate this as the stress has been killing me. I think I'll probably just focus on a good research experience this summer instead of the MCAT. THANK YOU!

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22 hours ago, Moonlight2 said:

I will just tell you a fact about the two schools I applied to this year that shocked me, but you better believe it to not get the same result as I did! Queen's and Western do not care at all if your stats are a little or a lot above their cutoffs! Queens doesn't publish cutoffs but this year it seemed to be around 509 for MCAT ( and I definitely saw some 127 CARS get invites but you can double check here) and the GPA no more than 3.7. Western did release their cutoffs and this year it was Minimum GPA - 3.7 --- MCAT: BBFLS 126; CPBS 126; CARS 128; Total Score 380. So if you believe in your ECs it is certain that you don't need to retake the MCAT for Queens and you'd have a good shot (and even if you do retake, you would have a lot of room to wiggle!). For Western, you need to improve the CARS by one mark which shouldn't be too hard for you, but again, if your other marks fall a little below it won't disqualify you. It depends on you though whether you want to redo the whole test just for Western's CARS cutoff. I'd say evaluate other schools' policies and if you have a good chance for a few more don't bother with retaking or at least don't torture yourself doing it!

This was just my two cents on the schools I had experience on. Good luck in your final decision

did u get in to any school/ interview? 

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22 hours ago, LastStar said:

did u get in to any school/ interview? 

No. But I didn't expect much because I thought my MCAT was not competitive and hence, if I improved it I would get a good chance. But turned out for those two schools that I mentioned, I was above the cutoff (or it appears so from others' stats) so the problem must've been my ECs...

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On 2/12/2019 at 6:35 AM, robclem21 said:

Better CARS will not compensate for a lower GPA for Toronto. They are evaluated independently, and as mentioned before, once above the cutoff it makes absolutely 0 difference.

Do you have an idea what the GPA cutoff might be for UofT?

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13 hours ago, Moonlight2 said:

Do you have an idea what the GPA cutoff might be for UofT?

No idea. Whatever they communicate with you and on their website is truthful. There is no "hidden" cutoff. As to what is competitive and exactly how it's scored, I'm sure it varies by year and they don't share that information with us.

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13 hours ago, robclem21 said:

No idea. Whatever they communicate with you and on their website is truthful. There is no "hidden" cutoff. As to what is competitive and exactly how it's scored, I'm sure it varies by year and they don't share that information with us.

That's right, but if it is actually the case that they don't care how far above the cut off one is, we have to kind of guess what it is around for each year or each few years... Because they have this on their website about the GPA cutoff which is inconsistent with the assumption I just mentioned:

"You must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.6 / 4.0 on the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) scale. The possession of the minimum GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance. Based on statistics from recent admissions cycles, a minimum GPA of 3.8 is considered competitive" (i.e. if there is an actual cutoff then a competitive cutoff makes no sense)

Do you mind me asking what has been the lowest GPA you've seen who got accepted?

Also, if they stick to the cutoffs for MCAT too, why did you have to write the MCAT 3 times? I doubt it was to achieve the 125 section cutoff.  Do you think it was the better MCAT that got you accepted or a better resume throughout the 3 years? Sorry if I'm prying!

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On 2/15/2019 at 8:27 PM, Moonlight2 said:

That's right, but if it is actually the case that they don't care how far above the cut off one is, we have to kind of guess what it is around for each year or each few years... Because they have this on their website about the GPA cutoff which is inconsistent with the assumption I just mentioned:

"You must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.6 / 4.0 on the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) scale. The possession of the minimum GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance. Based on statistics from recent admissions cycles, a minimum GPA of 3.8 is considered competitive" (i.e. if there is an actual cutoff then a competitive cutoff makes no sense)

Do you mind me asking what has been the lowest GPA you've seen who got accepted?

Also, if they stick to the cutoffs for MCAT too, why did you have to write the MCAT 3 times? I doubt it was to achieve the 125 section cutoff.  Do you think it was the better MCAT that got you accepted or a better resume throughout the 3 years? Sorry if I'm prying!

There is one cutoff for your application to be considered (i.e if you are below it, they will not read the rest of your application). Then there is a competitive GPA, which means you will have obtained a high enough score on the GPA component so that you are able to realistically be considered for an interview.

They have clearly stated that GPA is scored competitively (as you quote from the website above), so the higher your GPA the more points you get. 

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14 hours ago, robclem21 said:

There is one cutoff for your application to be considered (i.e if you are below it, they will not read the rest of your application). Then there is a competitive GPA, which means you will have obtained a high enough score on the GPA component so that you are able to realistically be considered for an interview.

They have clearly stated that GPA is scored competitively (as you quote from the website above), so the higher your GPA the more points you get. 

Well then this is in contrast with what you said before: "once above the cutoff it makes 0 difference"

 

On 2/12/2019 at 6:35 AM, robclem21 said:

Better CARS will not compensate for a lower GPA for Toronto. They are evaluated independently, and as mentioned before, once above the cutoff it makes absolutely 0 difference.

 

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