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mehcanadian

Qs to those who got interviews/accepted

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I'm currently in third year and will be applying during the 2019-2020 cycle

I'm planning out my summer right now and just had a few questions about OMSAS and applications

If you were to go back and change one thing about applications what would it be? (whether it be how early you started, or components of it)

In terms of how consuming it is to gather the information, verifiers etc - how long did it take you guys? 

What are things you felt you did right when it came to applications, LORs and the Casper/MCAT

I'll be doing the MCAT, Casper and research as well this summer so it's definitely a lot on the plate and I'd definitely like to plan ahead.

I'll also be applying to OOP schools (Alberta and Calgary) + 5 IP schools (Mac, Western, UofT, Queens and Ottawa) 

All input is greatly appreciated :)) Congrats to those with interviews this cycle and I hope med school is going well for those in med school rn :))

pls dkm for posting so early, but I'm a v organized nerd and this whole summer jus makes me anxious fml

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16 hours ago, mehcanadian said:

I'm currently in third year and will be applying during the 2019-2020 cycle

I'm planning out my summer right now and just had a few questions about OMSAS and applications

If you were to go back and change one thing about applications what would it be? (whether it be how early you started, or components of it)

In terms of how consuming it is to gather the information, verifiers etc - how long did it take you guys? 

What are things you felt you did right when it came to applications, LORs and the Casper/MCAT

I'll be doing the MCAT, Casper and research as well this summer so it's definitely a lot on the plate and I'd definitely like to plan ahead.

I'll also be applying to OOP schools (Alberta and Calgary) + 5 IP schools (Mac, Western, UofT, Queens and Ottawa) 

All input is greatly appreciated :)) Congrats to those with interviews this cycle and I hope med school is going well for those in med school rn :))

pls dkm for posting so early, but I'm a v organized nerd and this whole summer jus makes me anxious fml

I haven't been accepted into med school so take my advice with a grain of salt:

Since this is my first time applying, I'll only know May 14th if my application is successful so I can't really tell you if there's anything I would change. I personally started with my OMSAS application in August after I had written the MCAT. I was also working full-time and studying for the MCAT so I preferred to wait till I was done with the MCAT to tackle applications. Others can handle it all at once so it really depends on you and your time management. 

With the verifier stuff, again, it depends on a number of factors. Some will take a while to answer and others will answer right away. I'd recommend emailing all of your verifiers late August or early September to let them know you're applying and providing them with the information you gave on your application. 

I think it's also really important to contact your references around August. Depending on who your references are, they can be really busy and they could even be writing references for other students. It's always good to give them a lot of time. I gave mine quite a bit of time and I kindly asked them if they could have it done a few days before the actual deadline and they were all super kind about it! 

The thing with OMSAS is you have very limited characters to describe your activities. Also, I didn't apply to any of the schools that require essays or something beyond the ABS. As such, it might take even more time for those schools so you should plan ahead for that if you're already feeling anxious. I hope this helps! 

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Right off the bat, I'll say that the one big thing I'm very glad I did was dedicate a couple months to the MCAT without having a full-time job. I know a lot of people need to hold a full-time job whilst studying for the MCAT, but personally I am so glad that I took a very light work schedule in the summer (less than 20h per week) and then spent most of my days just studying. That way my days weren't too super long. I wrote the MCAT at the start of august and started studying at the start of May, including a whole week of where i didn't look at my books at all and just read the Harry Potter books haha because #mentalbreak. MCAT made my summer kind of sucky because it was like I was just in another semester, but it paid off (I got 130/127/130/128).

The MCAT is an exam where volume really matters. The more questions you do the better prepared you'll be. The more you study the better you'll be. Even when I was at work I had a random MCAT question website on one of the computers, and I'd do questions when I had a spare second.

 

For verifiers/listing experiences/finding references, I would start as early as possible. Make a note on your phone and just list (without details) all the activities you can think of. I found that it seriously helped because at some point I would randomly think of something I'd done when I was 17, so I added it to my list. Then later in the summer I properly compiled it onto OMSAS. 

For LORs, I reached out super early. During winter break I believe. I gave them like 6 months notice KNOWING that they definitely wouldn't start my LOR anytime soon. But I reached out anyways, and then every couple months I sent a friendly reminder email. 

 

Hope this reply helps a bit and is not too confusing, I'm not going to reread what I wrote because I'm too lazy :P 

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On 2/18/2019 at 11:10 PM, mehcanadian said:

I'm currently in third year and will be applying during the 2019-2020 cycle

I'm planning out my summer right now and just had a few questions about OMSAS and applications

If you were to go back and change one thing about applications what would it be? (whether it be how early you started, or components of it)

Would work harder in undergrad and get a higher GPA. Makes life much easier when applying to medicine.

In terms of how consuming it is to gather the information, verifiers etc - how long did it take you guys? 

Depends how many people you have to contact and from how far back. Honestly, this shouldn't take you more than a week at most. The longer process is remembering everything you have done and also getting people to follow through with reference letters. Make sure you give your references at least 4-6 weeks notice.

What are things you felt you did right when it came to applications, LORs and the Casper/MCAT

Spent lots of time writing essays/ABS and answering personal questions. Make sure there are no spelling/grammatical mistakes and that your letters tell a clear story of why you chose to pursue medicine and why you think your experiences make you a strong candidate. Most people write these very quick and while it can work, I find those who take time to have others review it and really think about it do better. I've been on the other side of these letters and you can definitely tell who put time into them. ABS is likely the most time consuming part of the entire process.

I'll be doing the MCAT, Casper and research as well this summer so it's definitely a lot on the plate and I'd definitely like to plan ahead.

Don't forget to plan that you may need to write it more than once, so always plan for a second exam/multiple application cycles. CASPer requires very little to no prep.

I'll also be applying to OOP schools (Alberta and Calgary) + 5 IP schools (Mac, Western, UofT, Queens and Ottawa) 

All input is greatly appreciated :)) Congrats to those with interviews this cycle and I hope med school is going well for those in med school rn :))

pls dkm for posting so early, but I'm a v organized nerd and this whole summer jus makes me anxious fml

see my answers in bold above

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On 2/19/2019 at 12:10 AM, mehcanadian said:

I'm currently in third year and will be applying during the 2019-2020 cycle

I'm planning out my summer right now and just had a few questions about OMSAS and applications

If you were to go back and change one thing about applications what would it be? (whether it be how early you started, or components of it)

In terms of how consuming it is to gather the information, verifiers etc - how long did it take you guys? 

What are things you felt you did right when it came to applications, LORs and the Casper/MCAT

I'll be doing the MCAT, Casper and research as well this summer so it's definitely a lot on the plate and I'd definitely like to plan ahead.

I'll also be applying to OOP schools (Alberta and Calgary) + 5 IP schools (Mac, Western, UofT, Queens and Ottawa) 

All input is greatly appreciated :)) Congrats to those with interviews this cycle and I hope med school is going well for those in med school rn :))

pls dkm for posting so early, but I'm a v organized nerd and this whole summer jus makes me anxious fml

I also have not been accepted but have received out of province interviews in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. I did not apply to Western Canadian schools. 

If I was to do anything differently I think I would let others read over my essays more. I spent a lot of time working on them and they were very personal to the point where I felt a bit awkward giving them to someone I knew. 

To get verifier info, fill everything out, etc took me about 2 months and then I spent a month just picking at things. 

For LOR I asked people who were very supportive of me and knew me on a personal and professional level. For example, I didn't pick a certain professor because I got the highest grade in his class, rather I picked someone who knew me as a person. For Casper, lots of people don't do any prep- I thought to buy a few practice tests were helpful. However, I really think the best way to do Casper is to have real-life experience. So if you have time to get in some volunteer work that you really love, I would encourage that more over anything! I wrote the MCAT while working full time, didn't go so well (127/125/126/127) But, I still have interviews and after that point, it becomes not so important. 

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from a re-applicant: I wish I listened to my gut feelings about not using someone as a reference, regardless of their professional title/how well-known they are. If you don't think your best interest is high on their priority list, then look elsewhere. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if they have a heart of gold but you don't think they 'get' what writing a strong reference letter involves (even after your coaching), politely look elsewhere.

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