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Rejected With Above Average Interview?!

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Hi, longtime lurker here.

 

Although I did not receive an interview this year, I have noticed several applicants rejected with above average interviews. I know some have a GPA and MCAT score on the lower end but I have seen people with even lower scores get accepted. 

 

Anyone know why that is or comment on it. Its quite concerning for myself because I don't have the best GPA and MCAT score either. 

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I don't think there is one right answer here. I would assume these people were given holistic file reviews (includes looking at trends in their grades, hardships etc) and were compared to other people with similar files.

 

'Above average' on an interview is also vague on their part...I'm sure there is some sort of range or comments that they (committee) can see and use.

 

At the end it really comes down to who reviewed your file (some subjectivity here) and the applicant pool that year.

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I was rejected 2 years in a row with above average interview. My TFR was also 64. But my mcat was bad lol. But I see someone on the forums posted about getting in with a 25 but their personal story seemed really courageous/ they faced many hardships.

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I feel ya, I am in that boat. 

 

I have NO idea! I have been pondering for the past 24 hours. I thought they were moving towards more holistic admissions based on the no pre reqs but it doesn't feel like that at this point :(

 

My guess is they can only accept so many of these types of applicants, so not everyone will make it. 

 

But I must say that after some digging today, I am also positive that another person I know that got in yesterday had a lower TFR than me, but a different balance. Higher AQ, but lower NAQ. So I am guessing you don't need a certain TFR to get in, but really that it is some sort of black box holistic review. 

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I had an 'above average' interview score and didn't get in either. 

 

My AGPA was low (82 (was 86 last year, but was dropped due to a transcript error/misinterp - ugh). My MCAT was average (10/9/12 = 31). My NAQ was  34. I'm a rural in-province applicant. That leaves me just below average in comparison to most of the entrance stats. I was counting on doing well at the interview. 

 

I'm 39 and was last at uni 16 years ago (BSc).  I should have applied when I was in my 20's - the GPA's have crept up substantially since then. This was my second (and probably last) application. I've spent loads of time and money doing the pre-reqs and MCAT with lost opportunity costs for my my professional/personal life.  I'm sure I'm not alone on that account. With the removal of pre-requisites, I'm guessing my GPA will get blown out of the water next year (even at 86).

 

I have a friend that got in two years ago with an 81 AGPA and a 32 MCAT. If you substantially improve your MCAT it might be a cheaper investment than trying to drag up a GPA with a huge number of credits on fie.....

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Honestly I think it's all GPA. It seems like there's likely a large number of people with 80-85% GPAs, and they're only going to accept a small number of them. So at that point, unless your NAQ realllllly stands out, it's probably a crapshoot. It just sucks because with a lower GPA and MCAT it's not really plausible to apply to out of province schools either. I just don't know anymore! And with the pre req change, things are only going to get worse I would think

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Honestly I think it's all GPA. It seems like there's likely a large number of people with 80-85% GPAs, and they're only going to accept a small number of them. So at that point, unless your NAQ realllllly stands out, it's probably a crapshoot. It just sucks because with a lower GPA and MCAT it's not really plausible to apply to out of province schools either. I just don't know anymore! And with the pre req change, things are only going to get worse I would think

 

Are you saying that because More people with good averages will be able to apply, or that pre-req gpa as an competitive criteria would be eliminated?

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I am astounded at all these people with above average interviews not getting in... I think this just speaks to how competitive the admissions process is and that the process is somewhat subjective. 

 

Yes, having an MCAT that is high is great, but if you look at the accepted/rejected/waitlisted, there are lots of people with high MCAT getting rejected. I have no idea what this holistic review entails, but I would really, really like to know. 

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Yeah, and this is just my speculation, but some of those pre reqs probably brought GPAs down (certainly did for me). So people who don't haven't to do them likely have high GPAs, which will push the average up higher. Also more people can start applying at younger ages, so long as they have the 90 credits

 

Are you saying that because More people with good averages will be able to apply, or that pre-req gpa as an competitive criteria would be eliminated?

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I would strongly encourage everyone to still reapply this next cycle at the very least. With the new changes, and UBCs track record of drastically changing how they evaluate things every few years...you really never know how the application pool or the review process will look like.

 

Do not discount yourselves! As for the older folks, my PI entered medicine after another career at 45, and is doing further med education even now after residency. I understand we put time based constraints on ourselves in this fast paced culture

..but maybe mull it over for a few days. Remember it can't hurt to reapply again, and if you truly think its too late, simply decline or step out at any point in the process

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I would strongly encourage everyone to still reapply this next cycle at the very least. With the new changes, and UBCs track record of drastically changing how they evaluate things every few years...you really never know how the application pool or the review process will look like.

Do not discount yourselves! As for the older folks, my PI entered medicine after another career at 45, and is doing further med education even now after residency. I understand we put time based constraints on ourselves in this fast paced culture

..but maybe mull it over for a few days. Remember it can't hurt to reapply again, and if you truly think its too late, simply decline or step out at any point in the process

Aside from changing pre reqs, can you expand on drastic changes in the review process that have taken place in the past few years?

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Another factor that probably made it more competitive is the fact that many OOP students are now gaining IP status for UBC. It takes only six months to get your BC care card and I know multiple people who went from Ontario, stayed for 6 months and got the BC care card to apply as IP. Essentially, this increases competition and more people don't get in.

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Another factor that probably made it more competitive is the fact that many OOP students are now gaining IP status for UBC. It takes only six months to get your BC care card and I know multiple people who went from Ontario, stayed for 6 months and got the BC care card to apply as IP. Essentially, this increases competition and more people don't get in.

I don't doubt that that is happening, but unlikely its happening at high levels that shifts the pool drastically.

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I don't doubt that that is happening, but unlikely its happening at high levels that shifts the pool drastically.

There are 7 people that I know who got into UBC med this year who got IP from being there for only 6 months. I'd have to say it's happening at a larger scale now than ever before

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I just feel with the pre-req removal, if non-science applicants apply with high GPA's then their AQ score is going to be high and with a decent NAQ score, they'll end up with an interview. On the other hand, we have done all the pre-reqs and did science degrees and now have a lower GPA, so lower AQ and this will cause us to not meet the new TFR cut off for interview. I feel that they should do the MCAT score comparison 'screening' with the applicant's degree before interview so that people with low averages aren't at disadvantage for interview invites. There's no point in inviting applicants who have a music degree with 90+ average (which will give a high AQ) and bare min MCAT a chance at interview and then reject them post interview after looking at their MCAT scores in the holistic file review. This whole process is a huge mystery but I think admin needs to do something about this pre-interview process so that there's hope for us with low GPA's and all pre-reqs done and MCAT with decent scores. I wish I did an easy undergrad now...could've ended up with a high GPA and just worked hard for the MCAT with a tutor and get into med.  

 

Any thoughts guys?

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I just feel with the pre-req removal, if non-science applicants apply with high GPA's then their AQ score is going to be high and with a decent NAQ score, they'll end up with an interview. On the other hand, we have done all the pre-reqs and did science degrees and now have a lower GPA, so lower AQ and this will cause us to not meet the new TFR cut off for interview. I feel that they should do the MCAT score comparison 'screening' with the applicant's degree before interview so that people with low averages aren't at disadvantage for interview invites. There's no point in inviting applicants who have a music degree with 90+ average (which will give a high AQ) and bare min MCAT a chance at interview and then reject them post interview after looking at their MCAT scores in the holistic file review. This whole process is a huge mystery but I think admin needs to do something about this pre-interview process so that there's hope for us with low GPA's and all pre-reqs done and MCAT with decent scores. I wish I did an easy undergrad now...could've ended up with a high GPA and just worked hard for the MCAT with a tutor and get into med.  

 

Any thoughts guys?

 

I am also very worried about what's to come next year. I am waitlisted this year but I don't think I can go as far next year. I was reading the UBC Admission Blog and it does look like they are trying to take into account the level of difficulty of certain courses. Hopefully that would help buffer our scores a bit...

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I am also very worried about what's to come next year. I am waitlisted this year but I don't think I can go as far next year. I was reading the UBC Admission Blog and it does look like they are trying to take into account the level of difficulty of certain courses. Hopefully that would help buffer our scores a bit...

Really? What did they say to indicate that?

 

But anyway agree with medicine... Some people think that this won't change the average GPA of the applicant pool much, but I really don't see how that's the case. especially for those of us with lower GPAs... ANY increase in average GPA of the applicant pool is really crappy for us, even if it's just a percent. I totally agree that if you're going to axe pre reqs then something else has to change in the pre interview process as well. Anyway if UBC chooses to rely heavily on GPA as an admissions factor, nothing we can really do about it. I guess we'll find out in the coming cycle what the actual effect of the pre req removal really is.

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Just because people did non science degrees doesn't mean they will suddenly have higher gpas...the majority of people applying to med school in the short term will still be people with science degrees...whom by nature of their degree will likely still need 100/200 level science classes, even if UBC doesn't require it.

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Really? What did they say to indicate that?

 

But anyway agree with medicine... Some people think that this won't change the average GPA of the applicant pool much, but I really don't see how that's the case. especially for those of us with lower GPAs... ANY increase in average GPA of the applicant pool is really crappy for us, even if it's just a percent. I totally agree that if you're going to axe pre reqs then something else has to change in the pre interview process as well. Anyway if UBC chooses to rely heavily on GPA as an admissions factor, nothing we can really do about it. I guess we'll find out in the coming cycle what the actual effect of the pre req removal really is.

 

This link here: http://mdprogram.med.ubc.ca/2016/03/01/easy-courses/

 

I am not sure how much value it holds though

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Does this mean that people with below average interviews were accepted? I remember someone saying you were pretty much going to be rejected if your interview was below average. and are the interview scores only above average and below average? or is there average interview as well?

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As a person who was flat out rejected last year with an above average interview, there were many scenario's of why.

GPA? MCAT? Interview? ECs? And I didn't really get any answers besides massive speculations from everyone. 

The only thing I could work on was the scores that UBC provided. 

 

I just tried to improve on all the things that were a bit 'lower' than the average accepted applicant for the next cycle - which in my case was MCAT and ECs, and it seemed to have worked. :)

 

From what I'm guessing, its a combination of it all. Academic Readiness + Interpersonal Skills. 

 

UBC and probably many other schools have seen candidates somewhat similar to 'us' (aka. everyone), and have probably tracked their success to see who thrives in their school, and who simply doesn't.  As I see it, they must have seen a pattern of individuals who are great in person and on paper with ECs, but they may have struggled with the academic rigour once in med. Or else I honestly don't know how to rationalize a non-acceptance with an above average interview considering that about 40% get in/waitlist, and that above average means top 33%. 

 

So my advice is just work on what you can - a few courses probably won't increase your GPA, but if granted an interview, in the wholistic part post-interview, they will see you trending with awesome grades. If you retook the MCAT and did significantly better, it will only increase your shot.

 

I feel that in a way its more of a 'weed-out' process, than a 'weed-in'. Lots of individual things can cut you right out of the process, but very few things can guarantee you an acceptance.

 

cheers,

 

swordfish 

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My 2 cents. Pre-interview MCAT score does not matter, but post interview it does, as does GPA. Not saying that lower numbers are impossible to get accepted, but for non-rural positions i think  someone with lower stats needs to be more "above average" on the interview than someone with higher stats to get accepted.

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Yeah I'm pretty sure I was near the bottom of the list pre-interview with a TFR score just barely above the cutoff. I have very weak ECs but a strong MCAT and decent GPA. So I worked really hard to make sure the interview would catapult me to atleast mid-range. Similarly I have a feeling you dont necessarily need an above average interview if you're TFR was in the top 10th percentile initially..  

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I just feel with the pre-req removal, if non-science applicants apply with high GPA's then their AQ score is going to be high and with a decent NAQ score, they'll end up with an interview. On the other hand, we have done all the pre-reqs and did science degrees and now have a lower GPA, so lower AQ and this will cause us to not meet the new TFR cut off for interview. I feel that they should do the MCAT score comparison 'screening' with the applicant's degree before interview so that people with low averages aren't at disadvantage for interview invites. There's no point in inviting applicants who have a music degree with 90+ average (which will give a high AQ) and bare min MCAT a chance at interview and then reject them post interview after looking at their MCAT scores in the holistic file review. This whole process is a huge mystery but I think admin needs to do something about this pre-interview process so that there's hope for us with low GPA's and all pre-reqs done and MCAT with decent scores. I wish I did an easy undergrad now...could've ended up with a high GPA and just worked hard for the MCAT with a tutor and get into med.  

 

Any thoughts guys?

 

I agree. If they're taking out pre-reqs they HAVE to take a look at the MCAT scores seriously pre-interview and not just as cut-offs (kind of like USask). Medicine is heavy in science, so you don't want a person with a music degree coming into medicine and being overwhelmed by the science content and then possibly failing. 

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I agree. If they're taking out pre-reqs they HAVE to take a look at the MCAT scores seriously pre-interview and not just as cut-offs (kind of like USask). Medicine is heavy in science, so you don't want a person with a music degree coming into medicine and being overwhelmed by the science content and then possibly failing. 

There are people with music degrees in med, and they are doing just fine. 

 

Everyone thus far, prior to the change, had to come in with the same pre-reqs, which were more then enough to make sure they could handle rigour etc.

 

Even then, most pre-reqs weren't very relevant.

 

Really, all you need is decent amount of critical thinking and a whole lot of ability to read volume. Non-science students generally have to do a lot more reading than traditional science majors. 

 

Just food for thought, you may be surprised to find out that at least on a baseline level, medicine doesn't require a whole lot of the "hard sciences" to be a good clinician.

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