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renab

has anyone been accepted after being rejected and taking a year off school?

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i was planning to apply to PT and OT programs this year but my sub-GPA is terrible. so, i might apply only to OT programs but i'm expecting the worst outcome. since taking another year of undergrad is not financially viable for me, i plan to work, volunteer and apply again the following year. at least then they would consider my last quarter grades and my sub-GPA would (hopefully) be better. 

if you've been accepted to either PT or OT after taking a year off school i'd love to hear what you did during that year! in other words, how did you improve your application without changing your GPA?

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I would say it depends how low your sub-gpa is. Does it meet the average minimum sub-gpa they typically accept (ex: UofT allows as low as 3.5-3.7)? I personally took upgrading online courses as I worked and volunteered but I recommend showing schools that you have experience in an OT-related setting. This could be volunteering in a rehab role, job shadowing, or working with vulnerable populations. PM if you want more help on the work/volunteer experience side, though GPA definitely matters! 

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I took a year off after I graduated during which I worked and applied for PT at Queen's and UofT. I was rejected that year and spent another year working and building up my experiences to boost my application. I applied again the next year to the same two schools and was accepted at Queen's. As my undergrad sub-GPA was on the lower end (3.78), I was anticipating another rejection and would have taken upgrade courses online to boost the GPA but fortunately I did not need to do that. 

During my year off I volunteered at a cardiac clinic in a hospital, and then worked for a research program at another hospital. I also shadowed a PT for a few months. 

Any little bit of volunteering or work experience related to PT, OT, or healthcare in general certainly helps. Definitely also try to add experiences that would make you unique from other applicants, I think that is the key to being accepted. They're not looking for 70 students with 3.9+ GPAs and 2000 hours of shadowing a PT. They accept a few of those students, but also accept students with a wide range of academic backgrounds, experiences, lower GPAs, etc., in order to better serve a diverse Canadian population. 

I also spent A LOT of time on my personal statement, as I believe that is one of the most critical components of your application that can make up for a lower-end GPA. In your time during your year off, spend time reading about the diversity of PT or OT as a profession, looking into the core values of these professions, and framing a personal statement and highlighting your experiences based on these core values. Many universities offer free resume or writing reviews via a student careers centre or writing centre for recent graduates, I took advantage of this and had an expert read over my personal statement and provide critical feedback to restructure my sentences and paragraphs. 

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On 6/11/2020 at 5:51 PM, Othopeful13 said:

I would say it depends how low your sub-gpa is. Does it meet the average minimum sub-gpa they typically accept (ex: UofT allows as low as 3.5-3.7)? I personally took upgrading online courses as I worked and volunteered but I recommend showing schools that you have experience in an OT-related setting. This could be volunteering in a rehab role, job shadowing, or working with vulnerable populations. PM if you want more help on the work/volunteer experience side, though GPA definitely matters! 

My sub-GPA is expected to be ~3.5. I've done some job shadowing (only ~10 hrs, split between 3 places). I was planning on shadowing a lot more this summer but it's difficult with the pandemic and all. Thank you for your help! 

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On 6/12/2020 at 1:42 PM, GenericPTUsername2019 said:

I took a year off after I graduated during which I worked and applied for PT at Queen's and UofT. I was rejected that year and spent another year working and building up my experiences to boost my application. I applied again the next year to the same two schools and was accepted at Queen's. As my undergrad sub-GPA was on the lower end (3.78), I was anticipating another rejection and would have taken upgrade courses online to boost the GPA but fortunately I did not need to do that. 

During my year off I volunteered at a cardiac clinic in a hospital, and then worked for a research program at another hospital. I also shadowed a PT for a few months. 

Any little bit of volunteering or work experience related to PT, OT, or healthcare in general certainly helps. Definitely also try to add experiences that would make you unique from other applicants, I think that is the key to being accepted. They're not looking for 70 students with 3.9+ GPAs and 2000 hours of shadowing a PT. They accept a few of those students, but also accept students with a wide range of academic backgrounds, experiences, lower GPAs, etc., in order to better serve a diverse Canadian population. 

I also spent A LOT of time on my personal statement, as I believe that is one of the most critical components of your application that can make up for a lower-end GPA. In your time during your year off, spend time reading about the diversity of PT or OT as a profession, looking into the core values of these professions, and framing a personal statement and highlighting your experiences based on these core values. Many universities offer free resume or writing reviews via a student careers centre or writing centre for recent graduates, I took advantage of this and had an expert read over my personal statement and provide critical feedback to restructure my sentences and paragraphs. 

Thank you SO much for sharing! This was really helpful!! :)

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On 6/11/2020 at 3:37 PM, renab said:

i was planning to apply to PT and OT programs this year but my sub-GPA is terrible. so, i might apply only to OT programs but i'm expecting the worst outcome. since taking another year of undergrad is not financially viable for me, i plan to work, volunteer and apply again the following year. at least then they would consider my last quarter grades and my sub-GPA would (hopefully) be better. 

if you've been accepted to either PT or OT after taking a year off school i'd love to hear what you did during that year! in other words, how did you improve your application without changing your GPA?

Happened to me, related experience helps, but depending on how low the sub-gpa is, you may be forced to take more courses to boost that.

Took a year off my undergrad and still didnt get in the second time. Did a course-based masters and got accepted into alberta and western this year for OT. If your sub-gpa could use some work (like mine did, went from 3.68, to 3.71 with just my first semester of my masters, to 3.77 after my masters), i would recommend that or taking extra courses post-degree. That being said, i guess it depends where your sub-gpa is at for now, assess what would need to be done to get to the cutoffs for school, if its attainable and its what you want to do, then I would 100% recommend going for it. It can be tough financially, but if you're close, be a student part-time and also work. 

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