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Dr. Octavius

High School Achievements - Worth Mentioning?

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Hi all,

 

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on what high school achievements you think, if any, are worth including on apps. The feedback I've been getting from people in person has been mixed (albeit a small sample size - that's why I am asking here as well).

 

From the list below, what would you include (if any)? I provided possible rationales in parentheses.

 

-Governor General Medal (Obviously adcoms will be able to look at your GPA and tell if your academic abilities are satisfactory, but perhaps this can be a testament to one's consistent track record)

-Valedictorian (The selection for this at my high school was based on a student vote, provided that the candidate met basic academic and extra-curricular requirements; so, being selected among your peers demonstrates amiability, peer perception of one's leadership, etc.)

 

-An involving leadership EC within the school community (for all four years) (I think the nature of this one is self-explanatory)

 

-Subject Awards (*NOTE: I was only considering including this as one entry; I won a few dozen of these awards - for almost every course I took in hs - but of course it would look like padding if I just included one or two, especially as separate entries. I know high school awards generally aren't significant, but I feel like the large magnitude may be noteworthy - at least as a single entry; I'm also going to be an applicant at the undergrad stage - I'm not a Master's or phD student - so all of the above achievements aren't from too long ago.)

 

 

Thoughts?

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Please save your self an eye-roll on the schools behalf and don't include high school subject awards. Your achievements in Grade 10 french class speak little to your ability to be a doctor....

 

The long-term community activity sounds helpful though

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It's pretty arrogant and pretentious for anyone on here who hasn't sat on an adcom or been intimately involved with the admissions process to comment so brazenly about what is and isn't valued.

 

OP, I'd take whatever you read on here with a grain of salt, that's the first piece of advice I'll give you.

 

Second, is something I learned applying last year: your ABS or sketch is all about how you feel you're best represented. I filled up all slots in my OMSAS app and included stuff that I'd done in high school (including my subject awards). By contrast, two of my colleagues left only filled out 15 and 27 of those slots; the former, included stuff they'd done since childhood while the latter focused predominantly on undergrad activities. They still wound up sitting beside me in class.

 

Personally, if you have space, and you think it best represents you, I'd include all of them.

 

Medal - Coming top of your class is generally no small feat, and you're right, it helps establish a track record of hard work and success.

Vale - Being class valedictorian shows that you play nicely with others and that you did stuff in highschool; but it also evidences that your peers trusted you to be their voice in what was a really important time for them. It's a big deal.

Awards - I would combine all of the subject awards to save space. 

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It's pretty arrogant and pretentious for anyone on here who hasn't sat on an adcom or been intimately involved with the admissions process to comment so brazenly about what is and isn't valued.

 

OP, I'd take whatever you read on here with a grain of salt, that's the first piece of advice I'll give you.

 

Second, is something I learned applying last year: your ABS or sketch is all about how you feel you're best represented. I filled up all slots in my OMSAS app and included stuff that I'd done in high school (including my subject awards). By contrast, two of my colleagues left only filled out 15 and 27 of those slots; the former, included stuff they'd done since childhood while the latter focused predominantly on undergrad activities. They still wound up sitting beside me in class.

 

Personally, if you have space, and you think it best represents you, I'd include all of them.

 

Medal - Coming top of your class is generally no small feat, and you're right, it helps establish a track record of hard work and success.

Vale - Being class valedictorian shows that you play nicely with others and that you did stuff in highschool; but it also evidences that your peers trusted you to be their voice in what was a really important time for them. It's a big deal.

Awards - I would combine all of the subject awards to save space. 

 

Do people at UofT talk in that much detail about their applications? I've heard of nobody in my class talking about their med apps at McGill.  

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It's pretty arrogant and pretentious for anyone on here who hasn't sat on an adcom or been intimately involved with the admissions process to comment so brazenly about what is and isn't valued.

 

OP, I'd take whatever you read on here with a grain of salt, that's the first piece of advice I'll give you.

 

Second, is something I learned applying last year: your ABS or sketch is all about how you feel you're best represented. I filled up all slots in my OMSAS app and included stuff that I'd done in high school (including my subject awards). By contrast, two of my colleagues left only filled out 15 and 27 of those slots; the former, included stuff they'd done since childhood while the latter focused predominantly on undergrad activities. They still wound up sitting beside me in class.

 

Personally, if you have space, and you think it best represents you, I'd include all of them.

 

Medal - Coming top of your class is generally no small feat, and you're right, it helps establish a track record of hard work and success.

Vale - Being class valedictorian shows that you play nicely with others and that you did stuff in highschool; but it also evidences that your peers trusted you to be their voice in what was a really important time for them. It's a big deal.

Awards - I would combine all of the subject awards to save space. 

 

Anyone who's sat on an adcom or who has been intimately involved in admissions isn't allowed to speak about it - any opinions on this site or otherwise are all just informed guesses, for which you are no exception, and nothing that's been said so far is bad advice. And you've detailed the exact reason why none of the advice has been bad - people with markedly different approaches to their EC list are still competitive. Whether or not to include high school ECs and the amount of emphasis a candidate places on them don't seem to matter much at all. It's a judgment call and there's really no wrong answer. You gave a good rationale for your approach and I generally agree with it, but there's no need to insult the other posters.

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Anyone who's sat on an adcom or who has been intimately involved in admissions isn't allowed to speak about it - any opinions on this site or otherwise are all just informed guesses, for which you are no exception, and nothing that's been said so far is bad advice. And you've detailed the exact reason why none of the advice has been bad - people with markedly different approaches to their EC list are still competitive. Whether or not to include high school ECs and the amount of emphasis a candidate places on them don't seem to matter much at all. It's a judgment call and there's really no wrong answer. You gave a good rationale for your approach and I generally agree with it, but there's no need to insult the other posters.

 

 

Sorry about that. I didn't mean to come across so prickly. The "save yourself an eye-roll" comment just floored me a bit. 

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