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Interview Invites & Regrets (2015/2016 App. Cycle)

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Congrats to all who survived yesterday's wave of rejections. I was actually rejected yesterday but I thought I would come by to say good luck to you all.

 

I was very surprised how low my NAQ came out to be (<20).  I have a master's degree and currently work as a clinical researcher at a prestigious medical institution in the US. I have extensive research experience as I have started doing research since the sophomore year in undergrad. I have two first-authored publications and many more co-authored publications in SCI level journals. In terms of volunteering, I have done both domestic and overseas volunteering...

 

So although UBC explicitly denies it, I think they definitely undervalue research accomplishments.

 

UBC would have been my first choice because I wanted to go back home, but I guess that is not happening.

 

Anyways, good luck to you all - it was a good run

 

I have also noticed this apparent trend? This year, I had put more focus onto research, getting 1 publication and having another on the way. However, my NAQ dropped almost 4 points (3.88)! Even though nothing has changed except the addition of my extra research work. Needless to say, I'm upset because I thought my application was stronger this year (because of the additional research). Yet I got an interview last year, but not this year. It's even more disappointing as I did better last year when I was just testing the waters and "yolo'ing" it when compared to this year where I put in some goddamn effort.

 

Anyways, good luck to those who was awarded an interview!  

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Has anyone else read Kafka's Trial? This is the first time I've made it past the first day of rejections at UBC. I feel more and more like Joseph K each minute.

Haha same here! The email always comes to me on Monday and the rest of the week is spent in sadness :(

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I have also noticed this apparent trend? This year, I had put more focus onto research, getting 1 publication and having another on the way. However, my NAQ dropped almost 4 points (3.88)! Even though nothing has changed except the addition of my extra research work. Needless to say, I'm upset because I thought my application was stronger this year (because of the additional research). Yet I got an interview last year, but not this year. It's even more disappointing as I did better last year when I was just testing the waters and "yolo'ing" it when compared to this year where I put in some goddamn effort.

 

Anyways, good luck to those who was awarded an interview!  

I am curious whether or not NAQ is relative to where you are in your education or someone in your shoes. 

 

An extreme would be whether a 2nd year undergrad with a Nature (1st Author) would be evaluated the same as a 5th year PhD student with a Nature (1st Author).

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I am curious whether or not NAQ is relative to where you are in your education or someone in your shoes. 

 

An extreme would be whether a 2nd year undergrad with a Nature (1st Author) would be evaluated the same as a 5th year PhD student with a Nature (1st Author).

 

They say specifically on their blog that this is an incorrect theory. 

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Does UBC undervalue research or do we overvalue it? While research is important, they're looking for skills, traits, and values in a multitude of areas. This statement isn't directed towards anyone haha just a different perspective.

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Did anyone experience a fluctuation of their NAQ score by more than 10 points before? 

I had an interview last year and made sure to improve my application over the year. However, my NAQ score went down about 11 points.

 

No changes in the descriptions were made and I only added new activities. I made sure to confirm that all of my verifiers replied back. 

 

Thanks in advance 

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I saw the UBC blog post and thought, CRAP I must've missed the admissions email somehow... then frantically tried to find it in my inbox, couldn't find it, then came to UBC premed forum. I hate doing this every year, I'm so sick of waiting...

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I am curious whether or not NAQ is relative to where you are in your education or someone in your shoes. 

 

An extreme would be whether a 2nd year undergrad with a Nature (1st Author) would be evaluated the same as a 5th year PhD student with a Nature (1st Author).

 

I would wonder if anyone with 1st author Nature article would just go into med, they have such a great future ahead with natural sciences research...

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Does UBC undervalue research or do we overvalue it? While research is important, they're looking for skills, traits, and values in a multitude of areas. This statement isn't directed towards anyone haha just a different perspective.

I think the NAQ is a combination of attributes: scholar, teamwork, service, etc...

Let's say you have a few pubs = max scholar scores, adding more pubs isn't gonna influence the app that much?

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Does UBC undervalue research or do we overvalue it? While research is important, they're looking for skills, traits, and values in a multitude of areas. This statement isn't directed towards anyone haha just a different perspective.

 

Medical institutions should value research. Field of medicine is continuous evolving and making new advances. If you look at top medical schools in North America, they spend a lotttttt of money on research.

Maybe UBC's main goal is to produce primary doctors who could serve the communities. who knows.

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I think the NAQ is a combination of attributes: scholar, teamwork, service, etc...

Let's say you have a few pubs = max scholar scores, adding more pubs isn't gonna influence the app that much?

 

Thats the problem that I have with UBC admissions. Why are they forcing us to chase after cookie cutter experiences? people are naturally better at certain things over others. 

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Did anyone experience a fluctuation of their NAQ score by more than 10 points before? 

 

I had an interview last year and made sure to improve my application over the year. However, my NAQ score went down about 11 points.

 

No changes in the descriptions were made and I only added new activities. I made sure to confirm that all of my verifiers replied back. 

 

Thanks in advance 

 

Whoa, and I thought I had it bad with my deduction of 4 points. I feel for you man. If i had my score from last year, I would have gotten an interview :( 10 points is just absurd. 

 

I think the NAQ is a combination of attributes: scholar, teamwork, service, etc...

Let's say you have a few pubs = max scholar scores, adding more pubs isn't gonna influence the app that much?

 

I guess the applicant pool is just stronger this year. My NAQ seemed to be fairly solid last year with my other attributes (service, teamwork, hobbies), so the NAQ drop was surprising. It's unfortunate that UBC seems to limit the research score as I had decided to focus on that last year. Oh well, I guess I still have graduate school as an option. 

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Do they verify everything? They didn't contact my verifiers for sports/hobbies/work. The only person they contacted was for my piano activities that had over 4000 hours, which had the most hours.

No they only select 3-4 verifiers randomly and email them for verification of activities.

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Thats the problem that I have with UBC admissions. Why are they forcing us to chase after cookie cutter experiences? people are naturally better at certain things over others. 

They aren't. 

 

I scored near the top percentile on NAQ - and my ECs were far from cookie cutter. Zero hospital experience, no pre-med clubs or undergrad clubs etc.  Just keep building on your volunteering and work experience(people often forget that work experience counts too!) and you'll get there.

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Medical institutions should value research. Field of medicine is continuous evolving and making new advances. If you look at top medical schools in North America, they spend a lotttttt of money on research.

Maybe UBC's main goal is to produce primary doctors who could serve the communities. who knows.

UBC very much so values research. Many of my class have research backgrounds - but they also have additional ECs and volunteer work in broad areas. 

 

Research alone does not get you a good score. Breadth, continuous involvement and leadership all go a long way in getting a strong NAQ score.

 

It's tough and hard to predict since the application pool changes yearly - but if you are focusing on those traits above, it will serve you well in all facets of life.

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As far as NAQ is concerned i think that each area is scored on a set scale. Let's say 8 points for each of your five experience areas and ten for research/publications (I don't actually know if this is true or accurate).

If you have a 10/10 on research thats great but if you only score 3 on each of the areas of experiences then your total score is still going to only be a 25. I think the best way to go about it is to get one great experience in each area. For me my first year was terrible (NAQ 18) so for that year i did one experience that i put in each area and my NAQ went up to 25. I think the point is to try and get experience in every area and not just focus on one experience.

That is just my thought on it though.

So far this year I haven't heard back yet so I am hoping that my NAQ went up enough that i got an interview, I missed it by 0.9 last year :(.

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As far as NAQ is concerned i think that each area is scored on a set scale. Let's say 8 points for each of your five experience areas and ten for research/publications (I don't actually know if this is true or accurate).

If you have a 10/10 on research thats great but if you only score 3 on each of the areas of experiences then your total score is still going to only be a 25. I think the best way to go about it is to get one great experience in each area. For me my first year was terrible (NAQ 18) so for that year i did one experience that i put in each area and my NAQ went up to 25. I think the point is to try and get experience in every area and not just focus on one experience.

That is just my thought on it though.

So far this year I haven't heard back yet so I am hoping that my NAQ went up enough that i got an interview, I missed it by 0.9 last year :(.

 

Honestly if this were true, Id say UBCs evaluation criteria is a little shortsighted. 

 

If they split the NAQ up what would it be split up into? Likely Research, Volunteer, Work, and Leisure (sport, personal interests, ect). If this is also true then, for example (Im going to make numbers up here), if research gets 10 points maximally, volunteering gets 15 points max, work gets 15, and leisure gets the remaining 10, then someone who must work to make ends meet, and cannot volunteer because they dont have the time, would be severely disadvantaged since they would likely maximally score on work but minimally score on Volunteering - and this would translate to a less-than-optimal NAQ score, probably. So I would say that would be pretty unfair. 

 

And although the system may not (and I hope it doesnt) run by the above exact structure, it is possible a similar system is in place. Allocating specific points to specific categories in the NAQ section runs the risk of widening the crack for some nontypical applicants to fall into. To this end, they would be indadvertedly narrowing their classes' diversity profile. I sure hope that is not the case.  

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I hope this info will be useful to someone applying next year!

 

TIME STAMP: 3:45 PM December 7
Interview Invite: Regret
Early/Regular Deadline: Regular
Interview Date: N/A
GPA: 83.65%
AGPA (if applicable): 84.36%
MCAT: 11 PS/ 8VR/ 11BS

ECs: Undergrad club exec for a few years, some itnernational exchange, 2 years of research (co-op and honours), volunteering with cancer patients, etc
Year: Bachelor's completed

Geography: IP
NAQ (if applicable): 27.49
AQ (if applicable): 22.84

 

I applied last year as well with an aGPA of 84.05% but my AQ dropped slightly from 23.23. Ah well, that's what the bell curve will do to you. See you again next year!

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