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UofT- Changes to the Admissions Process

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17 hours ago, waifu4laifu said:

We need to stop with the “those students would be successful anyways”. They’re enabled to be successful because of them being in Mac Health Science. The program grooms them. In no way can you compare high school performance with university performance because the two are leaps and bounds different. 

Particular examples: they get to take courses enabling them to explore something they like, where they are aligned with the community, faculty for research, etc. All things that can be added to their ECs when applying. No such courses exist for those pursuing other science-based degrees and thus their volunteering and other ECs are on top of coursework. 

Health Sci students get to take a situational ethics course structured similarly to a MMI interview.  They are evaluated and given feedback on how to improve over the duration of an entire semester with different scenarios. McMaster is also the school that designed the MMI, and the MMI is being integrated into many med school interviews. Seems like an awfully huge conflict of interest. 

The average of a health science student basically needs to be high because the program needs to boast academic excellence. Behind closed doors, when health sci students do poorly as a collective on tests/assignments, they are curved to make their grades meet what it needs to be. They can do well in other courses outside of their core health sci courses because they don’t have nearly as much of a workload compared to other science-based degrees. 

These boosts in all areas of the med school application that are not available to other students are what are ensuring their high prevalence in medical school. 

I just want to say: 100% agreed. I can back up these examples with Health Sci kids I know.

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35 minutes ago, RiderSx said:

MCAT Cut-Off has officially been lowered to a minimum of 499 where any one section could be 124 and all other sections must be 125 or higher.

I find it interesting that they lowered the MCAT cut-off. I didn't think it was a major barrier for most applicants. 

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1 minute ago, obiwankenobi said:

I find it interesting that they lowered the MCAT cut-off. I didn't think it was a major barrier for most applicants. 

I wonder if it's a transition stage where they'll end up removing it completely. See how it affects the applicant group first

I imagine more applicants who can only afford to take the MCAT once for financial/personal reasons will be more likely to apply and get interviewed. Though this effect may be be mitigated by the MCAT fee assistance program, though obviously not everyone's eligible for that either

The real question is, what about GPA? That's also susceptible to financial/personal difficulties. Anyway, assuming that's why they did it anyway as opposed to some other reason

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5 minutes ago, obiwankenobi said:

I find it interesting that they lowered the MCAT cut-off. I didn't think it was a major barrier for most applicants. 

It makes a huge difference for applicants such as myself. I am a graduate student who will soon publish a big first author paper but have re- written the MCAT multiple times due to 124 in CARS Every. Single. Time... Likely my crappy CARS score is due to the fact that I live at my lab and for my cells for the past 4 years. So this completely changes things for people like me. I am truly thankful for a chance today. Best of luck to everyone!

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Dang, I actually love the MCAT. It is unfortunate for applicants who simply are good at standardized tests (among many other things of course). Oh well.

They also say no changes to GPA reqs and no changes for MD/PhD applicants in terms of references and CV requirements. 

They said there will be changes to the OMSAS referee system and to the graduate applicants stream as well... No specifics though.

Overall does not seem like any major changes tbh...?

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Going to put my tinfoil hat on and say the reason they are doing this new requirement is to increase the number of applications. UofT typically recieves 3000 applications for 260 spots which is one of the highest acceptance ratios. I think this a move to make more people apply and to make UofT look like a more competitive school because they are big into the branding of being #1. I have also heard murmurs of the actual UofT class being relatively poor clerks compared to other schools, and think that this would hopefully increase the selection that occurs for their seats.

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8 minutes ago, AvgApplicant said:

Going to put my tinfoil hat on and say the reason they are doing this new requirement is to increase the number of applications. UofT typically recieves 3000 applications for 260 spots which is one of the highest acceptance ratios. I think this a move to make more people apply and to make UofT look like a more competitive school because they are big into the branding of being #1. I have also heard murmurs of the actual UofT class being relatively poor clerks compared to other schools, and think that this would hopefully increase the selection that occurs for their seats.

Their GPA (and transparency about it) is the limiting factor, which did not change. So I don't agree with your logic here of increasing # of applicants. 

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1 minute ago, swoman said:

Their GPA (and transparency about it) is the limiting factor, which did not change. So I don't agree with your logic here of increasing # of applicants. 

I don't think that's the real reason people don't apply either. 

Ottawa needs a high wGPA (typically >3.9 for English stream) to even be considered and they still receive ~5000 applications. Sure they don't have the MCAT, however, 125 in each section is 50th percentile, so it's not the most competitive MCAT score compared to schools like Western. 

I really think the reason why people don't apply to UoT is truly because they don't want to write essays lol. I'm interested in finding out the difference in applications received to Western this year vs. last year because of the addition of the aABS.

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Number of applications to a medical school is most often reflective of the minimum competitive metrics required for eligibility.

McMaster gets the most applications (~5000) every year because they have a very low GPA and MCAT Cut-off and very easy course-load requirements (many nursing students who have multiple pass/fail courses, and those who had nontraditional undergrad courseloads are able to apply). Although the average CARS is 129 it hasn't stopped the flood of applications to their program. Queens has the second highest number of applications (~4500)  because they do not post their GPA and MCAT cut-offs. Over 2000 applicants apply to Queens EVERY year who do not even meet their GPA or MCAT cut-off (This is posted on their website).  Ottawa gets about 4000 applicants because they do not require the MCAT and their GPA minimum is 3.5. They do not post their GPA cut-offs online and they do not share stats of accepted applicants online, so the 3.9+ GPA Averages are not known to many applicants who don't investigate these schools thoroughly. Western only gets about 2500 applications mainly because of their strict course-load requirements and very high CARS cut-offs which is clearly published on their website. Toronto gets around 3000 applications and it is a little lower than the others mostly because of their insanely high GPA averages that's clearly posted on their website. 

If UofT really wants more applicants and is in any way concerned about the caliber of the students they accept, they should reduce the emphasis on GPA. A 1 point drop in the MCAT requirement is very trivial in making an actual impact in the number and quality of applicants they are going to get.

 

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4 hours ago, AvgApplicant said:

Going to put my tinfoil hat on and say the reason they are doing this new requirement is to increase the number of applications. UofT typically recieves 3000 applications for 260 spots which is one of the highest acceptance ratios. I think this a move to make more people apply and to make UofT look like a more competitive school because they are big into the branding of being #1. I have also heard murmurs of the actual UofT class being relatively poor clerks compared to other schools, and think that this would hopefully increase the selection that occurs for their seats.

I think you should not listen to things like that. Our class was extremely strong as clerks and I think that in general medical schools produce strong clinicians. There is obviously variation between person to person. But to say that our class was not strong clinically because of admission requirements is a pretty large assumption. 

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Update regarding the changes as of June 25. More to come on June 27 from the UofT Facebook live stream.

Apparently... "There is no longer a narrative letter required. It is an evaluation form." Source: from the admissions Facebook page's recent video stream.

I do not understand why they would do this... Smh.

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16 hours ago, VladTheLad said:

Update regarding the changes as of June 25. More to come on June 27 from the UofT Facebook live stream.

Apparently... "There is no longer a narrative letter required. It is an evaluation form." Source: from the admissions Facebook page's recent video stream.

I do not understand why they would do this... Smh.

Do you mean for referees? Didn't they say that's just Ontario-wide changes on OMSAS, but that they are still going to be requiring a letter, just through a different submission form? Or are you talking about something else I missed...

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23 minutes ago, RiderSx said:

UPDATE for Graduate Applicants:

1. An Academic CV is no longer required.

2. A Graduate letter is no longer required.

Just watched that live stream. I do not understand why they would do this, it makes no sense for graduate students to be looked at the exact same way as undergrads...

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5 minutes ago, VladTheLad said:

Just watched that live stream. I do not understand why they would do this, it makes no sense for graduate students to be looked at the exact same way as undergrads...

Website says this so they get some points it seems:

Our MD Program values a diverse applicant pool with students from all academic backgrounds. To acknowledge the academic challenge of undertaking graduate work, applicants pursuing graduate degrees will receive credit for their accomplishments during the file review process, considering:

  • Degree level – master’s or doctoral
  • Degree type - research or course-based
  • Degree completion - in progress or conferred

Very interesting change. They love to crunch numbers on things (UGME) so I’m sure there is reasoning for the change we just are not privy to that information. 

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Are they also getting rid of all reference letters and replacing it with assessment forms via OMSAS? This was unclear from the live streams.

But in the comments they did write: "There is no longer a narrative letter required. It is an evaluation form."

Tfw they are trying to make it less complicated and end up making it MORE confusing LOL

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Seems OMSAS in general is doing just an eval form so hence all schools in Ontario will be doing that. OMSAS opens up in a few weeks so everything should be laid out then on what is needed exactly so guess we’ll see soon enough.

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So for a course-based masters student:

In the old system, they wouldn't be considered in the "graduate pool" because they didn't have enough research productivity?

But in the new system, they would be considered in the "graduate pool" regardless of research productivity? 

If that's the case, seems like a disadvantage to those who are really productive in their Masters, and an advantage to those who aren't because they still get streamed in the graduate pool (i.e. lower GPA requirements)

 

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