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Academic Explanation Essay

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Look, that essay is for legitimate reasons (e.g. issues with finances, family, illness, etc). Not because you found the courses hard. 

 

Funnily enough, the purpose of the weighted GPA according to UofT is to account for students taking harder courses. Which makes this even more ridiculous. 

 

Personally, I think it's almost riskier to write the essay in this case. Complaining you found biochemistry too hard probably isn't going to boost their impression of you in any way, and they certainly not going to drop more courses from your GPA because you found them too difficult....

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Okay thanks guys for the feedback, i see the valid points being made. In that case, i want to write an essay to explain what happened in my transfer of program, rather mentioning the grades, i would just illustrate that there is a change in undergrad program halfway through due to personal interests/reasons. This wouldn't be to help me boost my app or anything of that nature, just to help adcom better understand why i just randomly switched. Is this reasonable?

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Okay thanks guys for the feedback, i see the valid points being made. In that case, i want to write an essay to explain what happened in my transfer of program, rather mentioning the grades, i would just illustrate that there is a change in undergrad program halfway through due to personal interests/reasons. This wouldn't be to help me boost my app or anything of that nature, just to help adcom better understand why i just randomly switched. Is this reasonable?

Switching majors is irrelevant. What is your point, you switched majors and.....? Your grades dropped a tiny bit? 

 

That's not the purpose of the essay. You don't need to write one with a 3.97. It's useless.

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Okay thanks guys for the feedback, i see the valid points being made. In that case, i want to write an essay to explain what happened in my transfer of program, rather mentioning the grades, i would just illustrate that there is a change in undergrad program halfway through due to personal interests/reasons. This wouldn't be to help me boost my app or anything of that nature, just to help adcom better understand why i just randomly switched. Is this reasonable?

Switching majors is not something that needs to be explained. You're treating this academic explanations essay as an extra essay aside where you're gonna explain random stuff that happened in your undergrad. You need to realize that nearly every  applicant has done something similar in some way. Many applicants' grades fluctuate year to year (as it did for me), switch majors (as I have), or have experienced other things. This isn't essay where everyone talks about their undergrad path and why you did something at some point. This is an essay where you explain something that you think the adcom would want an explanation for, such as maybe taking too many pass/fail credits one year, or failing some courses, not going to school for some years, having a really low GPA in one year (not 3.92 lol). These are things that an adcom would want to know whether they reflect on poor ability or are due to extenuating circumstances. Then in that case, if you did deal with special circumstances then you would submit the explanations essay. Switching a major is not frowned upon, adcoms understand that people change decisions and follow different paths throughout their life; so it's not something that they would care to know about.

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For what it's worth, I agree that in this case writing the essay is not a good idea. WHen I wrote mine, it was because my first year GPA was something like 1.22 with a failed course, then immediately went to 4.0 the next year. The essay should be saved for explaining obvious academic issues such as this. Looking at your application, no such issue would pop out and therefore adding an essay would just be confusing IMO.

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Sorry to revive a dead thread, but would an academic explanation essay with a good enough reason be helpful for explaining a sub 3.8 undergrad GPA?, 

Look, there really is no way to answer that. I'm sorry but there's just so, so, so many variables. It really would depend on the reason 

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Sorry to revive a dead thread, but would an academic explanation essay with a good enough reason be helpful for explaining a sub 3.8 undergrad GPA?

 

You should only really submit an explanation essay if you had a legitimate circumstance regarding your GPA (ie. medical issues, death in the family, mental health). It's going to be confusing and shed negative light on you as a student if you just write something that says "I struggled with studying, but learned my lesson!"

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Would an academic explanation essay apply to a low MCAT score?

If you're above the 9/9/9 cutoff (or 125/125/125/125) there's no need since higher scores aren't favoured. If you're below the cutoff don't bother applying since you'll be screened out.

 

Yea I know, it would be for a medical reason. Would I need to include a doctor as a verifier for proof of my condition? I don't think family members would be appropriate.

It depends on your grade trends really. If your marks are different from when you were sick vs when you weren't sick (e.g. if you had a 2.0 GPA while you were sick and a 3.9 otherwise) then I'd definitely write one. If you were consistent the entire way through it might still be worth writing one but it might bring questions of whether the sickness actually affected your academic performance. I'd get a doctor as a verifier.

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If you're above the 9/9/9 cutoff (or 125/125/125/125) there's no need since higher scores aren't favoured. If you're below the cutoff don't bother applying since you'll be screened out.

 

It depends on your grade trends really. If your marks are different from when you were sick vs when you weren't sick (e.g. if you had a 2.0 GPA while you were sick and a 3.9 otherwise) then I'd definitely write one. If you were consistent the entire way through it might still be worth writing one but it might bring questions of whether the sickness actually affected your academic performance. I'd get a doctor as a verifier.

 

Yea it was quite a difference like that. Thanks a lot.

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