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FAQ: What are my chances?

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Hi guys, I’ve been a long time lurker and I was hoping to receive some valuable feedback on my own chances of medical school admissions. I would be tremendously appreciative of as much opinions and suggestions from you guys as possible. My application is bit more unconventional than most applicants so I was also hoping to ask some questions. Here is a breakdown:

First Year: 3.27

Second Year: 3.47

Third Year (Fall Semester) = 3.78

Third Year (Overseas Exchange)

Fourth Year: 3.71

Fifth Year: 3.90

cGPA is about 3.6 (possibly a tad bit lower)

MCAT: 12/12/12/ with an R for the WS.

 

For more background information, I have already graduated from undergrad and as indicated above I delayed my graduation to do a fifth year (therefore, for Western’s case it is not considered by them as a “special year” but a normal year for undergrad). Every year was a full course load. I have quite a few summer courses I took for extra credit, but I haven’t listed them as I do not think they’re factored into the GPA calculations. Born and raised in Toronto (so sadly no geographical benefits)!

 

For Queen’s and Western the two year/best two year GPA is 3.81 (once again disregarding summer courses). This aforementioned GPA is using my 5th and 4th year as I am unsure how the exchange semester in my 3rd year affects whether or not it is counted. I remember Ottawa stating that the 3rd year exchange renders the 3rd year marks void a couple of years back.

For U of T’s wGPA it is 3.78 (not counting exchange marks or summer school marks). I actually have a question regarding the wGPA for my situation. Since I took a 5th year, does that mean I take out the FIVE lowest credits from my GPA calculation and not the regular FOUR that most undergraduates deduct due to my extra year of undergrad? I assume that is correct, so my wGPA reflects me taking off 5 lowest full credits rather than the regular 4.

Quick rundown of EC’s:

-1 publication

- Research assistant for health care policy at my undergrad university (1 semester)

- 3 different paid lab assistant research positions in countries outside of Canada (I wanted to travel but also do productive research so I managed to get a little creative and found some international internships/scholarships to fund my travels there). Duration of internships lasted from 2 months to as long as 4 months.

- Couple of summers volunteering at Hospitals and Rehab clinics in Ontario

- Three years volunteering in rehab clinic

- ~100+ hours volunteering at another hospital near university

- Orientation leader, taught math to a group of 3rd graders for a year, part of a few campus organizations (but NO leadership experience such as being an executive or chair)

- Volunteered in South America for rainforest conservation

- Volunteered while on exchange in 3rd year with the mentally disabled, deaf, and blind

- Worked at family business during summer times (waiter, cashier, etc.)

- some sports (intramurals, no varisty)

- Some more relatively minor extracurriculars…

 

My main weaknesses I can see (asides from my GPA) are the EC’s. No real leadership experience in form of being a president/chair/exec of some sort of student body or organization. Also, my longest commitment was only 3 years whereas I’ve seen some people on this thread with 10+ years. Pretty astounding in my opinion!

 

I have a few scholarships and awards but nothing major. Most are tied in with my international experience (school/government scholarships to fund my exchange) as well as the awards tied to my overseas research experiences. I was always told that because med applicants can become somewhat homogenous in the sense that they all have stellar marks, similar educational backgrounds, etc. it was important for me to try and distinguish myself and “forge my own path”, so I thought I would try and capitalize my own desire to travel with also being productive and obtaining valuable experiences related to my own schooling.

 

I actually have not applied this cycle as I am currently committed to more volunteer and paid work overseas this year, but I am considering applying next year and was just curious to see what my actual chances are.

Again, I could really appreciate receiving as much feedback as possible. I apologize for how long this post was, but I thought it was necessary to provide what I thought to be required information. Any critics are more than welcome as I’m just trying to get an idea of where I stand atm.

 

your ec's are actually pretty good. The only thing is that, like you said, they are not very long term. MCAT is great, the real weakness in your application is GPA.

 

with 12 verbal and 3.6cGPA you would have a shot at Mac if you do very well on CASPER. it's a bit of a longshot though. Your GPA isn't good enough for Ottawa unfortunately. I think you would get an interview at Western, can't say for sure because your GPA situation is unique. I would apply to Queens because you definitely meet their MCAT cutoffs, although your GPA could be borderline (but queen's is a wildcard). I think you would have a reasonably good shot at u of t, but it depends a lot on how/if they apply the weighting formula to you. If it is <3.8, as you suggested in your post, I think you would have a tough time at U of T because there are so many people with 3.9+ after the weighting formula.

 

You should consider applying to American schools too. My GPA for AMCAS was significantly higher than for OMSAS, so it could be for you too. With your MCAT, EC's and the fact that American schools are generally more holistic, I think you would stand a very good chance if you applied there. It will be 2-3x more expensive than Canada though. If you do apply to the states, apply early (May or June) because they have rolling admissions.

 

hope this helps

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your ec's are actually pretty good. The only thing is that, like you said, they are not very long term. MCAT is great, the real weakness in your application is GPA.

 

with 12 verbal and 3.6cGPA you would have a shot at Mac if you do very well on CASPER. it's a bit of a longshot though. Your GPA isn't good enough for Ottawa unfortunately. I think you would get an interview at Western, can't say for sure because your GPA situation is unique. I would apply to Queens because you definitely meet their MCAT cutoffs, although your GPA could be borderline (but queen's is a wildcard). I think you would have a reasonably good shot at u of t, but it depends a lot on how/if they apply the weighting formula to you. If it is <3.8, as you suggested in your post, I think you would have a tough time at U of T because there are so many people with 3.9+ after the weighting formula.

 

You should consider applying to American schools too. My GPA for AMCAS was significantly higher than for OMSAS, so it could be for you too. With your MCAT, EC's and the fact that American schools are generally more holistic, I think you would stand a very good chance if you applied there. It will be 2-3x more expensive than Canada though. If you do apply to the states, apply early (May or June) because they have rolling admissions.

 

hope this helps

 

Hey, thank you for your response! Definitely helped give me an idea of my odds. Just out of curiosity, what did you mean when you said you weren't sure about me getting an interview at Western due to my unique GPA situation? Wouldn't they just calculate the best two years (4th and 5th) under the assumption that the 3rd year is ineligible?

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you should get an interview at ottawa for sure...did you apply this year? people with lower gpa got interviews at ottawa but ottawa only takes 1/5 of the people they interview. if i were you, i wouldnt rewrite just yet. youre guaranteed interviews at good american schools and ottawa. mac and western probably not. you could get a shot at uoft also in 4th year. dont rewrite mcat this year. getting good verbal takes a lot of luck anyways and writing the mcat would just give you less time in the summer for other stuff.

 

 

Thanks for the response! I applied to Ottawa this year but didn't get an interview. I think it's because my GPA wasn't competitive enough, especially for applying after 3rd year. I also wasn't able to have a really strong supplementary app because they only look at ECs during university, so a lot of the things I did in high school didn't make the cut. I already registered for an MCAT in the summer, so I won't be able to take on a lot of ECs at the side, which is the one thing that really worries me. I didn't have any leadership roles in university, because I already had experience in high school - instead I stuck to local community one-on-one volunteering; I feel like this lack of leadership will hold me back (e.g. at Ottawa where they don't consider high school ECs). What do you think?

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Hey, thank you for your response! Definitely helped give me an idea of my odds. Just out of curiosity, what did you mean when you said you weren't sure about me getting an interview at Western due to my unique GPA situation? Wouldn't they just calculate the best two years (4th and 5th) under the assumption that the 3rd year is ineligible?

 

I meant in the sense that I can't know for sure that they will use your 4th and 5th years. If you know you meet all their requirements, then you would most likely get an interview there. sorry for the confusion!

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I meant in the sense that I can't know for sure that they will use your 4th and 5th years. If you know you meet all their requirements, then you would most likely get an interview there. sorry for the confusion!

 

Ah I see, yes I understand what you mean. No worries! Thank you for your feedback!:)

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I'm currently in second year, second semester undergrad in Ontario.

 

First year GPA: 3.50

Second year grades so far: 78,78,74,80....

 

 

Am I totally screwed? I don't think my second semester of this year will be good either. I feel so discouraged...:(

 

Not totally screwed, but the margin for error starts getting smaller. You've got at least two years left in your undergrad, which is enough for some schools if you do well in those (3.70 minimum - the higher, the better). You'll need a good MCAT for sure, and likely some strong ECs too, but the door to medicine certainly isn't shut yet - it just might need some prying open.

 

Now would be a good time to tap into whatever resources you can to help pick those grades up. Most universities have some form of academic counselling, which can be a good place to start. Good luck!

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I'm currently in second year, second semester undergrad in Ontario.

 

First year GPA: 3.50

Second year grades so far: 78,78,74,80....

 

 

Am I totally screwed? I don't think my second semester of this year will be good either. I feel so discouraged...:(

 

Not totally screwed but time to really reflect on why your marks are so poor. >3.7 in the next two years taken full time with appropriate course load and a stellar MCAT will put you in the running potentially for Western & Queens (SWOMEN considerations apply) and McMaster is never really out with a good VR (>11) but is still very unlikely with that GPA. Realistically you need >3.9 (85s and higher) to be competitive, and you seem to consistently be in the 75-80 range. Figure out why that is, change it, and you'll be in the running.

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So I haven't applied to medical school yet because of my low MCAT score in VR but I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my GPA and ECs?

 

GPA: 3.91-3.94 (depending on which school I'm applying to)

MCAT: need to rewrite this summer but had 12BS 12PS and 6VR (ah embarrassing! :( )

EC's: volunteering at the hospital for almost 2 years (likely around 500+ hours, three different departments), summer research student (not clinical research but molecular biology/genetics and evolution) (1 summer), Honours project (8 months, same lab), part-time research assistant (same lab, 10 months and soon will have publication), working at minimum wage jobs for many years part-time (eg. bakery), intramural volleyball (1 year), pilates (3 months), treasurer of university book club (1 year; member for 1 year 4 months), volunteering at food bank (1 1/2 years), peer mentoring for high school student (8 months), polefitness dance class (5 months), going to the gym 5 days/week, and one-day volunteer events (e.g. dragon boat festival, walk to fight arthritis)...

 

If I can increase my VR score do you think I'd have a chance at the Ontario med schools? Or do I need some more/better EC's as well?

 

Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks :)

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So I haven't applied to medical school yet because of my low MCAT score in VR but I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my GPA and ECs?

 

GPA: 3.91-3.94 (depending on which school I'm applying to)

MCAT: need to rewrite this summer but had 12BS 12PS and 6VR (ah embarrassing! :( )

EC's: volunteering at the hospital for almost 2 years (likely around 500+ hours, three different departments), summer research student (1 summer), part-time research assistant (10 months and soon will have publication), working at minimum wage jobs for many years part-time (eg. bakery), intramural volleyball (1 year), pilates (3 months), treasurer of university book club (1 year; member for 1 year 4 months), volunteering at food bank (1 1/2 years), peer mentoring for high school student (8 months), polefitness dance class (5 months), gym and other one day volunteer events...

 

If I can increase my VR score do you think I'd have a chance at the Ontario med schools? Or do I need some more EC's as well?

 

If you fix your verbal you'll have a decent shot at most schools. Your ECs are good and you should always continue to build them up as much as possible but I would say they look strong and on par with what people get accepted with currently.

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So I haven't applied to medical school yet because of my low MCAT score in VR but I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my GPA and ECs?

 

GPA: 3.91-3.94 (depending on which school I'm applying to)

MCAT: need to rewrite this summer but had 12BS 12PS and 6VR (ah embarrassing! :( )

EC's: volunteering at the hospital for almost 2 years (likely around 500+ hours, three different departments), summer research student (not clinical research but molecular biology/genetics and evolution) (1 summer), Honours project (8 months, same lab), part-time research assistant (same lab, 10 months and soon will have publication), working at minimum wage jobs for many years part-time (eg. bakery), intramural volleyball (1 year), pilates (3 months), treasurer of university book club (1 year; member for 1 year 4 months), volunteering at food bank (1 1/2 years), peer mentoring for high school student (8 months), polefitness dance class (5 months), going to the gym 5 days/week, and one-day volunteer events (e.g. dragon boat festival, walk to fight arthritis)...

 

If I can increase my VR score do you think I'd have a chance at the Ontario med schools? Or do I need some more/better EC's as well?

 

Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks :)

 

sure - GPA wise you are in the running - some of your ECs are pretty short term and you need to expand on what you were doing in the hospital to get a better assessment.

 

Of course work on that verbal - and I assume you will be applying to Ottawa regardless?

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sure - GPA wise you are in the running - some of your ECs are pretty short term and you need to expand on what you were doing in the hospital to get a better assessment.

 

Of course work on that verbal - and I assume you will be applying to Ottawa regardless?

 

I was just doing the usual volunteering at the hospital (interacting with patients, nurses, family). I've been in the Surgical daycare unit for almost 2 years and I help out the orderlies by getting things for post-op patients, cleaning, etc. I also did ICU (family lounge receptionist type deal) and I volunteered in adult medicine where I visited patients in their rooms and kept them company, but I only did these two for a few months...I haven't done any shadowing or have any experience with clinical stuff...

 

And I don't know if I should apply to uOttawa because I feel that my EC's are too weak without a 4.0GPA behind them...my biggest problem is that I have no financial support and it's hard for me to afford the fee for the applications when I don't feel super confident about my application...

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Hey guys this is my first post because i really would like to hear your opinions on my chances of getting into UofA or UofC applying in my 4th year Im a resident of Edmonton, Alberta

 

GPA:

1st year (8 courses): 3.63

2nd year (11 courses): 3.91

3rd year, current year, (10 courses): 3.84 worst case/3.90 best case

 

(during my 4th applying they eliminate the worst year at UofA)

 

 

MCAT: 8 practice AAMC exams average 13PS/8.5VR/12BS, but got 9PS/3VR/9BS on my first try after my second year of university. During that time there was some major family issue and i think thats what happened there. I planned to write a month later, but my dearest cousin/best friend since childhood passed away that same week.

 

EC:

1) I went to South Africa with Reach Out Volunteers for two weeks to help build an orphanage and facilities associated with it, and wild life conservation

 

2) Lead organizer of two summer fundraiser dinners that fundraised $200,000+ to sponsor over 180 orphans and $100,000+ to help sponsor over 100 orphans. These dinners seated 400 people and took over two months of planning, i will be the lead organizer of the 3rd annual as well (while studying for MCAT)

 

3) In fist year active as general member of an orphan sponsorship organization, held TWO executive positions in my second year, and became President in my current third year of university

 

4) Have part time tutored High School Science courses for almost 2 years

 

5) Have been part of a team that organized a homeless (roast beef etc.) dinner, and got to interact with the less fortunate, great experience.

 

6) Volunteer at a preschool for about a year

 

7) Shadowing an ER doc about 6mo

 

8) May sound weird, but i am a parrot trainer. My parrot can do tricks like wave and roll over.

 

9) Held a two week youth 'building brotherhood program' help eliminate racism, prejudices, and promote peace to children with somewhat troubled pasts, and be a role model for them to perdure their dreams etc. (i was very unintelligent in high school, my GPA is still a shock to me)

 

10) Note taking for a disabled class member

 

RESEARCH:

 

1) Have done an intro research course 200 level, great exposure and worked in the department of ophthalmology

 

2) currently doing a different 300 level research course with good chance of publication(s)

 

3) I am continuing with this same research as a summer studentship in the faculty of Public Health as a job

 

4) Guaranteed NSERC URSA grant award (only undergrad doing summer research in the faculty of public health, and with 3 grant holders i get the one reserved award)

 

5) will 100% be continuing this same research from 3rd year over summer to 4th as a 400 level research project

 

i should have between 1-3 publication before my med application is submitted

 

WORK:

 

1) Work in a restaurant as a cook/assistant manager for 6 years, part time since 1st year

 

2) Currently working with helping provide low income senior citizens with govt funded products to assist them with mobility and more, i represent a company.

 

REFERNCE LETTERS:

 

1 ER MD

1 PhD Research prof

1 PhD Math prof

 

 

Im a little worried my EC is not diverse/enough, i NEED to hear from you guys i really do. Please help me re-evaluate myself.

 

The on going struggle to be the top is a struggle indeed, but have i fooled myself into thinking i was on top is the question....

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I don't mean to discourage anyone, but this is downright terrifying to me:

 

Instances like that, combined with the people with decidedly worse stats getting in, really just mean that schools are moving beyond simple stats in their evaluation of applicants. That's a good thing.

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Would have assumed my name was enough but I guess that's just me haha

 

Haha women enjoy hockey. Unless you're referring to the 'nut' portion, in which case I'm wondering how exactly hockey might describe that anatomy.

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Haha women enjoy hockey. Unless you're referring to the 'nut' portion, in which case I'm wondering how exactly hockey might describe that anatomy.

 

very true and you made me laugh out loud with that comment, which is nice after being rejected from UofT today.

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Hey guys this is my first post because i really would like to hear your opinions on my chances of getting into UofA or UofC applying in my 4th year Im a resident of Edmonton, Alberta

 

GPA:

1st year (8 courses): 3.63

2nd year (11 courses): 3.91

3rd year, current year, (10 courses): 3.84 worst case/3.90 best case

 

(during my 4th applying they eliminate the worst year at UofA)

 

 

MCAT: 8 practice AAMC exams average 13PS/8.5VR/12BS, but got 9PS/3VR/9BS on my first try after my second year of university. During that time there was some major family issue and i think thats what happened there. I planned to write a month later, but my dearest cousin/best friend since childhood passed away that same week.

 

EC:

1) I went to South Africa with Reach Out Volunteers for two weeks to help build an orphanage and facilities associated with it, and wild life conservation

 

2) Lead organizer of two summer fundraiser dinners that fundraised $200,000+ to sponsor over 180 orphans and $100,000+ to help sponsor over 100 orphans. These dinners seated 400 people and took over two months of planning, i will be the lead organizer of the 3rd annual as well (while studying for MCAT)

 

3) In fist year active as general member of an orphan sponsorship organization, held TWO executive positions in my second year, and became President in my current third year of university

 

4) Have part time tutored High School Science courses for almost 2 years

 

5) Have been part of a team that organized a homeless (roast beef etc.) dinner, and got to interact with the less fortunate, great experience.

 

6) Volunteer at a preschool for about a year

 

7) Shadowing an ER doc about 6mo

 

8) May sound weird, but i am a parrot trainer. My parrot can do tricks like wave and roll over.

 

9) Held a two week youth 'building brotherhood program' help eliminate racism, prejudices, and promote peace to children with somewhat troubled pasts, and be a role model for them to perdure their dreams etc. (i was very unintelligent in high school, my GPA is still a shock to me)

 

10) Note taking for a disabled class member

 

RESEARCH:

 

1) Have done an intro research course 200 level, great exposure and worked in the department of ophthalmology

 

2) currently doing a different 300 level research course with good chance of publication(s)

 

3) I am continuing with this same research as a summer studentship in the faculty of Public Health as a job

 

4) Guaranteed NSERC URSA grant award (only undergrad doing summer research in the faculty of public health, and with 3 grant holders i get the one reserved award)

 

5) will 100% be continuing this same research from 3rd year over summer to 4th as a 400 level research project

 

i should have between 1-3 publication before my med application is submitted

 

WORK:

 

1) Work in a restaurant as a cook/assistant manager for 6 years, part time since 1st year

 

2) Currently working with helping provide low income senior citizens with govt funded products to assist them with mobility and more, i represent a company.

 

REFERNCE LETTERS:

 

1 ER MD

1 PhD Research prof

1 PhD Math prof

 

 

Im a little worried my EC is not diverse/enough, i NEED to hear from you guys i really do. Please help me re-evaluate myself.

 

The on going struggle to be the top is a struggle indeed, but have i fooled myself into thinking i was on top is the question....

 

first off, I chuckled at 8 on your EC list...is it just your parrot that you train, or do you charge to train people's parrots lol?

 

everything seems good except your MCAT, obviously. That will disqualify you from everywhere that looks at MCAT. Retake, and try to improve your verbal from your practice test average. 11 is the score to shoot for these days, 10 is risky and 9 won't cut it at a lot of schools.

 

if you're not bs-ing/exaggerating about 1-3 guranteed publications as an undergrad, that's a huge asset, especially if they're in decent journals.

 

the only other thing I would say you can improve on is that a lot of your EC's seem short term or temporary. Try to keep volunteering with some places you've volunteered before over the next year.

 

If you boost MCAT to around 12/11/12 and keep up the 3.9s, you should get a lot of interviews. MCAT is the biggest thing to work on. That low of a score could be a bit of a red flag to the schools, so you have to kill it this time to show them that was just due to circumstances.

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