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Hi All,

 

Just wanted to get some advice or suggestions regarding my situation.

 

I'm applying this cycle to UBC and just finished my degree. Unfortunately, my aGPA is 76%. The low GPA is due to financial hardship while I was doing my undergrad so I have to work to support myself in order to reduce the burden of my education on my parents. I am writing my MCAT next month and assume that I can get a good score.

 

First- does anyone know if the adjusted GPA is used in assessing the cut-off for a file review (ie. is it used instead of the overall GPA)?

 

Second, I could take a few classes as an unclassified students but the website does say people who do this are rarely offered admission. Does anyone know of people who have done this and gotten in?

 

Not sure if I should apply or any direction I should take from this point onward.

 

Any advice would be great, thanks!!

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Hi welcome to the forum Varon!

 

To answer your first question, I believe your aGPA is used in calculating your AQ. I'm in a similar situation as you...my aGPA is 79.5% at this point and I am also looking into boosting it with full-time unclassified studies.

 

I've e-mailed admissions about unclassified studies and the response I got was that there is no prejudice behind taking classes this way. They said taking unclassified studies is not forbidden, but that it may not necessarily work in our favour to be admitted to medicine.

 

This is the response I got: "This is something that you need to decide and consider based on your GPA and where you stand in terms of our admission statistics. GPA can be difficult to improve and may take more than just an additional few courses to improve. The information that we post with regards to suggesting that you not come back to complete unclassified courses is based on applicants from previous application cycles. What I suggest you do is to attempt to project your GPA based on the addition of taking additional courses to see if it move it any and by how much and if it doesn't what you might need to do to in terms of the number of courses you might need to complete to see a change."

 

I hope this helps!

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Hi Varon,

 

I was recently admitted to UBC med (after my third application cycle) with an aGPA of 83.8%. I finished my first degree in science with an 82%, and recently completed another year at SFU pursing a music degree (near 4.0 GPA) to improve to 83.8%. I went back to school as I realized it was the best and quickest way to improve my chances of admission.

 

Here are my thoughts on your situation:

 

To gain admission, UBC last cycle require an Total file review (TFR) score of 62.xx. This score consists of your Academic component (AQ) and your non-academic (NAQ). No one outside of admissions knows how to calculate your AQ, but it is based solely on your aGPA. Someone on premed101 created a regression line to estimate your AQ based upon submitted scores from users on the forum. It is AQ=3.333(aGPA % - 75). With an aGPA of 76.5, this gives you a score of 3.333. Unfortunately, this means that even with a perfect NAQ score, you will not get past the 62.xx TFR threshold.

 

As stated in your post, you have completed an undergrad already, which unfortunately makes it really difficult to bring up your aGPA. Even with several years of full-time studies at a near perfect GPA, it will be quite difficult to pull up your GPA to a bare minimum 81-82% required to get an interview.

 

Here is my advice. UBC is a med school where poor academic history can be really difficult, if not almost impossible, to overcome. However, many other Canadian schools will not even look at your previous grades so long as you have some stellar recent grades. From my experience, Queens, Western, and Dalhousie are three such schools.

 

These schools require two years (some consecutive, others just your two best) of full-time study in some sort of degree program (Don't do unclassified studies, they won't be considered). If you do very well in these two years, and pull off a stellar MCAT, you will be putting yourself in a good position to interview and possibly get in. Unless things change, your academic profile is really just too low to be competitive at UBC. Don't do a few courses of unclassified studies as it will likely not improve your overall GPA enough to make a difference. Better to do another degree and get consideration from these other schools, while still helping your chances at UBC should things change.

 

Univ of Manitoba med school is another possibility if you really destroy your MCAT as they really weight a high MCAT heavily in your favour. But we are talking 35+ MCAT score, which is certainly a somewhat rare score..

 

Anyways, these are just my thoughts, and they come from someone who really had to work hard to overcome some poor academic years. It can be done, but you have to be smart about it. Start at the source: research the schools admission requirements, set goals, and be realistic. Every school evaluates candidates differently, so it's all about finding the school that gives you the best shot.

 

Best of luck to both of you!

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Hi Varon,

 

I was recently admitted to UBC med (after my third application cycle) with an aGPA of 83.8%. I finished my first degree in science with an 82%, and recently completed another year at SFU pursing a music degree (near 4.0 GPA) to improve to 83.8%. I went back to school as I realized it was the best and quickest way to improve my chances of admission.

 

Here are my thoughts on your situation:

 

To gain admission, UBC last cycle require an Total file review (TFR) score of 62.xx. This score consists of your Academic component (AQ) and your non-academic (NAQ). No one outside of admissions knows how to calculate your AQ, but it is based solely on your aGPA. Someone on premed101 created a regression line to estimate your AQ based upon submitted scores from users on the forum. It is AQ=3.333(aGPA % - 75). With an aGPA of 76.5, this gives you a score of 3.333. Unfortunately, this means that even with a perfect NAQ score, you will not get past the 62.xx TFR threshold.

 

As stated in your post, you have completed an undergrad already, which unfortunately makes it really difficult to bring up your aGPA. Even with several years of full-time studies at a near perfect GPA, it will be quite difficult to pull up your GPA to a bare minimum 81-82% required to get an interview.

 

Here is my advice. UBC is a med school where poor academic history can be really difficult, if not almost impossible, to overcome. However, many other Canadian schools will not even look at your previous grades so long as you have some stellar recent grades. From my experience, Queens, Western, and Dalhousie are three such schools.

 

These schools require two years (some consecutive, others just your two best) of full-time study in some sort of degree program (Don't do unclassified studies, they won't be considered). If you do very well in these two years, and pull off a stellar MCAT, you will be putting yourself in a good position to interview and possibly get in. Unless things change, your academic profile is really just too low to be competitive at UBC. Don't do a few courses of unclassified studies as it will likely not improve your overall GPA enough to make a difference. Better to do another degree and get consideration from these other schools, while still helping your chances at UBC should things change.

 

Univ of Manitoba med school is another possibility if you really destroy your MCAT as they really weight a high MCAT heavily in your favour. But we are talking 35+ MCAT score, which is certainly a somewhat rare score..

 

Anyways, these are just my thoughts, and they come from someone who really had to work hard to overcome some poor academic years. It can be done, but you have to be smart about it. Start at the source: research the schools admission requirements, set goals, and be realistic. Every school evaluates candidates differently, so it's all about finding the school that gives you the best shot.

 

Best of luck to both of you!

 

Great post Quicksilver545! Are you sure about the unclassified classes bit with the Eastern schools? I don't see anything on the Queens site necessitating being in a degree program. Similarly, I believe UWO allows a "special year" to improve academic standing - wouldn't unclassified studies count then?

 

Is there anything specific you can tell us about Dalhousie or Manitoba? I thought both are still extremely tough to get into OOP and don't have many spots to begin with.

 

Thanks for your help! Really appreciate it!

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I received no interview last year, and chose to go back as an unclassified student to improve my AQ. I took 5 credits in the January term and 12 credits in the summer (even though they didn't use the latter in the AQ score). I did extremely well in all my courses, received an interview, and was subsequently offered admission.

 

My advice is this: do not take lower level courses - sticks to 300, 400 level classes. Further, don't just take classes with 95% averages. It's ok to take a couple of easy classes, but the point is to prove to UBC that you are indeed above average and qualified for their program.

 

Hope that helps. Let me know if you had any other questions.

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I received no interview last year, and chose to go back as an unclassified student to improve my AQ. I took 5 credits in the January term and 12 credits in the summer (even though they didn't use the latter in the AQ score). I did extremely well in all my courses, received an interview, and was subsequently offered admission.

 

My advice is this: do not take lower level courses - sticks to 300, 400 level classes. Further, don't just take classes with 95% averages. It's ok to take a couple of easy classes, but the point is to prove to UBC that you are indeed above average and qualified for their program.

 

Hope that helps. Let me know if you had any other questions.

 

Any suggestions? I was taking a quick look at the available courses and it seems as though I'd have to take the introductory variants of the courses I want first (e.g. I'm interested in health psychology - but I need psychology 100 first, which really screws things up). FNH350/355 seems interesting as well.

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Any suggestions? I was taking a quick look at the available courses and it seems as though I'd have to take the introductory variants of the courses I want first (e.g. I'm interested in health psych - but I need psyc100 first). FNH350/355 seems interesting as well.

 

I took FNH 350 in my undergrad - it's basically purely memorization but I enjoyed it. I also took 355 but the prof has changed - it was a fun course though.

 

I took Psych 314 (which yes, requires the 100-levels). There are some Pathology courses that are viable options - Pathology 467, 427, 375...all are the kind that if you work hard, you'll do well.

 

On the easier side of courses, look into IHHS courses, ADHE, CNPS to lesson the load. I'm sure there are also some other options others may be familiar with.

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Great post Quicksilver545! Are you sure about the unclassified classes bit with the Eastern schools? I don't see anything on the Queens site necessitating being in a degree program. Similarly, I believe UWO allows a "special year" to improve academic standing - wouldn't unclassified studies count then?

 

Is there anything specific you can tell us about Dalhousie or Manitoba? I thought both are still extremely tough to get into OOP and don't have many spots to begin with.

 

Thanks for your help! Really appreciate it!

Indeed you are right about Queens - they do not stipulate anything about your courses being completed under a degree program. Western allows you one special year, but I am not sure if that means it should be done before graduation (ie postponing graduation to do your degree in 5 years). You may want to call to find out. If you have one really good year, then this could be an option for you. Otherwise, Western requires you to complete your second degree, and I don't think you can do unclassified studies for both years.

 

As for Dal, their website is really not that clear, so you may also want to call and find out.

 

Manitoba has a really heaving weighting on your extra-cirriculars and your MCAT. I believe your aGPA only counts for 15% of the overall score there. However, this menas that those applying have very high MCAT scores when compared to the other schools. As you said, an out of province applicant is often put at a serious disadvantage to in province candidates.

 

Dalhousie last cycle considered you to be in province if you were a resident of Nova Scotia one year before the start of class. The stats for in province residents are much lower than oop, so if that is still the case, you might consider that as an option.

 

Best of luck!

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Thanks for the info!

 

According to the FAQ I think UWO does take a special year post-graduation if I understand it correctly

 

"Applicants who have earned a degree from a recognized North American university, may elect to continue in full-time undergraduate studies (a so-called special year) so that their academic standing may be improved for application to medical school."

 

I've had a really good year, but it was complicated by having a semester of work/practicum. I verified this with them as well...my program necessitates this clerkship semester, but UWO wont consider it unless it was a co-op program. Its a shame. So in other words it doesn't count haha.

 

Dal and Manitoba might be considerations in the future, although from the research I've been doing it seems as if best shot of getting in there would be to become IP. I'm not sure where exactly I stand for Queens and Mac, but I think I might apply anyways. I guess you never know until you try!

 

If I can pull off a good MCAT this summer, I'll likely be looking into the US next year as well (too late for this year...I wouldn't have my results until September!).

 

EDIT: I will stop hijacking this thread...lol sorry Varon!

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Hello,

I am responding to your question about AQ and a 76% aGPA. One thing to look into is completing a master's degree and then applying to University of Toronto. You only need a 3.0 to apply if you have a master's degree and I am told that they do like applications from graduate students. Graduate students are assessed in a separate process.

 

I would also look into the possibility of completing a second bachelors degree in a subject you know that you will do very well in and perhaps going to an "easier" university. I know that no university is easy, but I have now had the opportunity to study at 4 institutions and I have definitely noticed that bigger universities have more competition to get higher grades and they are often trying to weed students out. I would suggest doing your courses at a smaller university to avoid this. I know my friend did a second bachelors degree and then got into McGill after not getting in with her first degree grades. So perhaps look into McGill.

 

I know this can be very frustrating but don't give up. I am sitting at an 81.46% aGPA and I already have a master's degree and I may have to go back to do some more courses. I am going to give UBC a shot this year and see what happens. It is my first time applying.

 

Another things to do would be to complete another bachelors degree that gives you a career at the end such as nursing or social work or education as then you can start working while you apply. I do know a few nurses that have gotten into UBC medical school. Just an idea

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