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Changes to Admission Requirements 2020-2021

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https://applymd.utoronto.ca/admission-requirement-changes-20202021-application-cycle

That wGPA change seems more punishing than helpful, especially for those who do a 5 or even 6 years of undergraduate years to rely on it. 

 

 

"During this past Winter 2020 term, you may have performed at your best, norm, or worst while managing unexpected academic, personal, and/or health-related circumstances. Recognizing that our applicants confronted this extraordinary term with varying levels of support and resources, we would like to implement the following COVID-19 related admission requirement change effective July 1, 2020:

Grades obtained during the Winter 2020 Term:

  • All grades obtained during the Winter 2020 term will be reviewed on a credit (CR)/no credit (NCR) basis; these grades will not count toward the overall admissions GPA calculation.
  • All credits obtained during the Winter 2020 term will count toward the course-load, credit, and prerequisite course assessments.

Admissions Renewal – Phase 2 Changes

In addition to how we count the Winter 2020 grades, we would like to introduce the following changes in how we calculate the admissions GPA effective July 1, 2020 to ensure that we can further level the playing field for all applicants.

Admissions GPA Calculation:

  • Existing: All undergraduate course grades obtained during the regular academic year on a full-time basis (3.0 or more full-course equivalents (FCE)) will count toward the admissions GPA calculation. Summer courses will be excluded from the admissions GPA calculation.
  • New: With the exception of the Winter 2020 term, all undergraduate course grades obtained during the fall, winter, and summer terms on a full-time basis (3.0 or more FCEs during the fall/winter and 1.5 or more FCEs during the summer terms) will count toward the admissions GPA calculation.

Weighted GPA Calculation (for applicants enrolled in fourth year of undergraduate studies or higher):

  • Existing: Eligible to drop 3.0 or more FCEs of lowest grades if they have taken a full course load during the regular academic year (September to April for most programs) in each year of their undergraduate studies. The number of dropped FCEs is equivalent to the number of undergraduate years completed.
  • New: Eligible to drop 2.0 FCEs of lowest grades if they have taken a full course load during the regular academic year (September to April of most programs) in each year of their undergraduate studies.

Many students are now taking courses over the fall, winter and summer terms to better manage their academics and finances. UofT’s MD Program welcomes students from diverse backgrounds, and strongly believes that this is an important change to ensure that the Program’s admission requirements are in line with the changing student experiences and needs."

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This is pretty drastic compared to their previous wGPA for sure. But if you think about it, this really might just serve to de-emphasize the weight of GPA in the application process and the admission average will probs no longer be 3.96.

But it's so hard to judge the impact of this without knowing the entire applicant pool though. :mellow:

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Is it certain that it's now a hard cap on the number of FCE you can drop?  I thought it could be interpreted in another way that you can drop 2.0 FCE per year if you are eligible, which goes more along their stated goal of welcoming students from diverse backgrounds.  While from their sentence structure this seems unlikely, I don't see how making a more strict wGPA calculation formula would increase diversity.  

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1 minute ago, Apex said:

Is it certain that it's now a hard cap on the number of FCE you can drop?  I thought it could be interpreted in another way that you can drop 2.0 FCE per year if you are eligible, which goes more along their stated goal of welcoming students from diverse backgrounds.  While from their sentence structure this seems unlikely, I don't see how making a more strict wGPA calculation formula would increase diversity.  

Interesting point, but I think considering that the sentence structure for the old and new policies are quite similar, and we know how the old policy works, it seems quite likely to be a tightening of the wGPA benefit. In exchange, it looks like summer courses taken on a full time basis are now included in the GPA calculation (though not eligible for wGPA), which I'm assuming is where the diversity point comes from, but for the majority I'm sure this will make things harder, not easier given that there's now less room for error in maintaining a near-perfect GPA.

I don't really see this diminishing the importance of GPA though... if anything I feel like this gives them better resolution in distinguishing the very top of the applicant pool from each other by making it harder to approach that 4.0 wGPA. Guess only time will tell, but it seems like getting in just keeps getting harder and harder

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2 minutes ago, AgentMichaelScarn said:

I am so so so disappointed by this. I finished UG a few years ago so my grades are all finalized.

This drops me from the 3.8's to the 3.7's which basically guarantees I won't be invited for an interview. How does this level the playing field for applicants AT ALL?

This is exactly what I'm thinking, since I'm in the same situation. 

There is definitely some ambiguity with their statement, but I'm hoping this only applies to applicants who are applying in their 4th year (aka those with Winter 2020 grades). I'm just hoping. 

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11 minutes ago, AgentMichaelScarn said:

I am so so so disappointed by this. I finished UG a few years ago so my grades are all finalized.

This drops me from the 3.8's to the 3.7's which basically guarantees I won't be invited for an interview. How does this level the playing field for applicants AT ALL?

6 minutes ago, scoobydoo1623 said:

This is exactly what I'm thinking, since I'm in the same situation. 

There is definitely some ambiguity with their statement, but I'm hoping this only applies to applicants who are applying in their 4th year (aka those with Winter 2020 grades). I'm just hoping. 

Same here! Very disappointing.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, scoobydoo1623 said:

There is definitely some ambiguity with their statement, but I'm hoping this only applies to applicants who are applying in their 4th year (aka those with Winter 2020 grades). I'm just hoping. 

I believe it's for everyone since they said "In addition to how we count the Winter 2020 grades, we would like to introduce the following changes"

Honestly, I feel so gutted because these are so arbitrary. I was waitlisted this year so I was looking forward to reapplying and improving. 

I will try to send the office an email highlighting the situation. Hopefully they can take some of our stories into account

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1 minute ago, AgentMichaelScarn said:

I believe it's for everyone since they said "In addition to how we count the Winter 2020 grades, we would like to introduce the following changes"

Honestly, I feel so gutted because these are so arbitrary. I was waitlisted this year so I was looking forward to reapplying and improving. 

Are you in the graduate pool?

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56 minutes ago, TheFlyGuy said:

Interesting point, but I think considering that the sentence structure for the old and new policies are quite similar, and we know how the old policy works, it seems quite likely to be a tightening of the wGPA benefit. In exchange, it looks like summer courses taken on a full time basis are now included in the GPA calculation (though not eligible for wGPA), which I'm assuming is where the diversity point comes from, but for the majority I'm sure this will make things harder, not easier given that there's now less room for error in maintaining a near-perfect GPA.

I don't really see this diminishing the importance of GPA though... if anything I feel like this gives them better resolution in distinguishing the very top of the applicant pool from each other by making it harder to approach that 4.0 wGPA. Guess only time will tell, but it seems like getting in just keeps getting harder and harder

To be honest, I don't think it keeps getting harder and harder.  UofT will still take 259 students under either policy.  For some people it might be harder, for some people it might be easier. On balance, it might be about the same!

If anything, this may actually hurt some of the BSAP candidates that likely would have their wGPAs lowered.  Somewhat interesting after the discussion I was having in another thread.

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6 minutes ago, AgentMichaelScarn said:

I believe it's for everyone since they said "In addition to how we count the Winter 2020 grades, we would like to introduce the following changes"

Honestly, I feel so gutted because these are so arbitrary. I was waitlisted this year so I was looking forward to reapplying and improving. 

I will try to send the office an email highlighting the situation. Hopefully they can take some of our stories into account

But before the wGPA explanation, it had "for applicants enrolled in fourth year of undergraduate studies or higher" in brackets. What if you're not enrolled in undergraduate studies? I don't think this particular wGPA would apply and perhaps, the existing weighting formula still stands for other applicants (non-undergrads). I hope this is true. 

 

 

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This sucks for people who planned based on the wGPA but tbh dropping 6 half year courses was pretty generous, with the high averages year after year this was kinda bound to happen. If anything this makes a higher gpa actually mean something while still allowing some leeway for a few mistakes

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4 minutes ago, scoobydoo1623 said:

But before the wGPA explanation, it had "for applicants enrolled in fourth year of undergraduate studies or higher" in brackets. What if you're not enrolled in undergraduate studies? I don't think this particular wGPA would apply and perhaps, the existing weighting formula still stands for other applicants (non-undergrads). I hope this is true. 

I hope so, but I have my doubts. I'm not sure that they would create two separate categories? The only way to know is to ask them

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22 minutes ago, uwopremed said:

To be honest, I don't think it keeps getting harder and harder.  UofT will still take 259 students under either policy.  For some people it might be harder, for some people it might be easier. On balance, it might be about the same!

If anything, this may actually hurt some of the BSAP candidates that likely would have their wGPAs lowered.  Somewhat interesting after the discussion I was having in another thread.

A fair point! It’s all relative, in a sense. As someone who (likely) benefitted from the old weighting formula (and all of the 2yr gpa calculations at other schools), I think I just feel for people who have a few bad credits (or perhaps a bed semester, or a weak area of their degree, etc), and need these measures to remain competitive. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, sometimes we all make mistakes, and sometimes things in life just don’t go our way, and these things don’t make you a worse candidate or a worse doctor, but they do make the very small room for error intimidating in admissions.

That said I understand why admissions needs to do it, with a average of 3.96 it’s so hard to tease apart the top tier of applicants. Canada (particularly Ontario) is a tough place to be a premed student

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14 minutes ago, AB27 said:

This sucks for people who planned based on the wGPA but tbh dropping 6 half year courses was pretty generous, with the high averages year after year this was kinda bound to happen. If anything this makes a higher gpa actually mean something while still allowing some leeway for a few mistakes

Actually, in my case under the new guidelines, the lowest 2.0 FCEs that are dropped would be CR/NCR courses. This was due to the 2015 TA strike at my school and we had no choice but to be on a pass/fail. So I really needed those few extra FCEs to drop my lowest marks.

I guess what I'm saying is that, depending on your situation, it can really disproportionately affect some people. 

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17 minutes ago, AgentMichaelScarn said:

Actually, in my case under the new guidelines, the lowest 2.0 FCEs that are dropped would be CR/NCR courses. This was due to the 2015 TA strike at my school and we had no choice but to be on a pass/fail. So I really needed those few extra FCEs to drop my lowest marks.

I guess what I'm saying is that, depending on your situation, it can really disproportionately affect some people. 

I agree thats rather unfair, this seems like something you could submit an explanation essay for. If the CR/NCR was imposed on you they should ideally do something similar to what their doing with the covid situation.

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I really do not understand why they are completely ignoring W20 grades. That was my last semester of my undergrad and was going to be my best (even before COVID). Now that will never count and will continuously make me disadvantaged in all future application cycles. Why wouldn't they just discount the semester if it lowered your GPA and keep it if it raised it/kept it the same? 

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So with the new change for WGPA, its just the lowest 2.0 FCE taken off from all of your courses in undergrad as long as you have taken a full course load every year?..... if so thats a bummer!

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Just now, kd008 said:

So with the new change for WGPA, its just the lowest 2.0 FCE taken off from all of your courses in undergrad as long as you have taken a full course load every year?..... if so thats a bummer!

Yea it used to be you could drop 3.0 FCEs when you applied in 4th year and 4.0 FCEs when you apply after you graduate in 4 years or during a 5th year

No its 2.0 FCE no matter what so its a pretty big cut esp when you took a 5th year just to improve GPA and got 4.0s (plus most schools wiping out w2020 grades)

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4 minutes ago, William Osler said:

Yea it used to be you could drop 3.0 FCEs when you applied in 4th year and 4.0 FCEs when you apply after you graduate in 4 years or during a 5th year

No its 2.0 FCE no matter what so its a pretty big cut esp when you took a 5th year just to improve GPA and got 4.0s (plus most schools wiping out w2020 grades)

Omg this is shocking (and so bad for me, lol). I literally just emailed adcom a few days ago to clarify the wGPA formula. Who knew there would be such a huge change...

Also, I'm really confused as to how this is supposed to help applicants??? Dropping only 2 FCEs instead of 1 every year seems like they're giving way less room for error 

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UofT: Hey, we're decreasing MCAT threshold. Stay tuned for Phase 2.

Me: Sweeeeet, thanks for leveling the playing field bro! I won't have to retake and struggle financially to improve that one section.

UofT: Hey uhh...we know it's late for Phase 2 changes...but we're lowering the benefits from the wGPA as of July 1. We ASSURE you that this is in line with your changing student experiences and needs during the pandemic. 

Me: ???? WTF? How did you come to this conclusion? I graduated LAST year! I'm no longer competitive thanks to this change.

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6 minutes ago, kiara said:

Also, I'm really confused as to how this is supposed to help applicants??? Dropping only 2 FCEs instead of 1 every year seems like they're giving way less room for error 

Yea that's the biggest slap in the face, if youre making it harder to get a high wGPA, dont frame it like youre doing us a favour!

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