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18 minutes ago, YesIcan55 said:

In the other thread, someone said the advisor from UofA said this is will be in effect for this upcoming cycle.

ughhhh if that's true I'm going to be very screwed. 

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28 minutes ago, VINCHER said:

ughhhh if that's true I'm going to be very screwed. 

same. 

 

this is crazy why would they just switch up expectations like this without giving us a year or two to adjust our focus... why ualberta why

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20 hours ago, YesIcan55 said:

if you thought that GPA was the most important thing in getting into medical school and perhaps spread yourself thin on ECs...that is your fault. 

Really? The lack of compassion and understanding here is quite sad. If we flipped this around and suddenly GPA was worth more, would it be fair of me to tell you that is your own fault your GPA isn't good enough because you spread yourself too thin? Didn't think so. 

I am really curious though how you can defend your other comments. Are all high achieving students socially inept? How do you know? Where is your evidence. It is easy to generalize them in that way but I don't see how you can justify that you are correct. Is there an inverse correlation between GPA and MMI performance (arguably a measure of social aptitude to some extent)?

Regarding your comments about the younger students admitted into medicine... You're right, they have less life experience. However, I think you fail to notice that their EC scores are on average HIGHER than those who are admitted in the 4yr category. According to the admissions committee, their experiences are better despite them being younger. Not only that, but they generally blow the rest of us out of the water in GPA and MCAT too. Maybe they're just incredibly intelligent high achieving individuals. I know I am jealous of that. I wish I worked harder and got in after 2 years of undergrad. But I didn't. And you didn't. We should just accept that they're stellar and wish them luck in the future instead of trying to conjure up reasons why they aren't "better" than us.
 

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19 hours ago, End Poverty said:

Although I understand where you are coming from adhominen and I believe that you made a lot of good comments, I would like to add the following comments:

1) Although GPA is objective measure, there are individuals who intentionally take easier classes to get 4.0 ( I have seen it so many times).  I personally think MCAT scores are a more objective measure of individual's critical thinking. Additionally, in a lot of instances, GPA measures your ability to memorize things rather than apply it.  Having said so, I also believe that GPA is an excellent indicator of one's work ethics if everyone is taking the same class ( but that is not the case).  Overall though, I don't like the idea that U of A is going to completely remove GPA from the calculation, because I feel that it would be unfair to a lot of applicants who spent countless hours studying. They need to be rewarded for their work ethic.

2) There IS a way to measure how impactful someone's volunteer and work experience. Although people can just volunteer to get more hours, they will probably stay in one position for the entire time. However, if you are diligent and passionate and go above and beyond what is expected of you ---> people notice and you get more and more responsibilities over time.  Over the years, I have been very privileged to be given paid positions that I did not qualify for on paper because of my work ethic and how I interacted with clients at the organizations I volunteered at, not because I had hundreds of hours although I probably did lol but I genuinely liked helping others out. I agree ranking ECs is quite subjective and very tricky and complex, and I definitely think admission committee should not judge an activity based on what they think subjectively of the activity. Instead, it should be based on the qualities that the applicant demonstrate that a competent physician should have. 

 

Also, just like Mountain Amoeba, my arguments might be quite biased because of the fact that I am a low GPA applicant lol

Full disclosure: I am an applicant relying on a fairly high GPA to boost my scores, so I have a bias as well. I think that is simply the nature of the situation haha. 

I agree with your points as well, however I worry that the current system U of A uses to look at ECs doesn't really give them enough information to capture the impact of activities. Something more similar to the top 10 system at U of C would allow applicants to delve into how and why their experiences align with things like canmeds competencies. I think that GPA is still important, but I understand why they are attempting to emphasize life experiences more. However, before they make that the main criteria for admission, they should come up with a better way for us to communicate own experiences to them. 
 

Given the current amount of space in the application, I don't think we can get the intricacies of any position across. For example, when you were moving up in your career it would take someone familiar with the process to properly recognize that. I highly doubt the people reading your file will understand that. That is my main concern with the ECs in general, regardless of what happens with the GPA. 

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I find it most interesting that at the end of the day... the people that will be the most successful will do their best regardless of what selection process / obstacles will appear before them. It's the people that are looking at these admission requirements and trying to play the game that are less likely to be successful. 

At the end of the day, this information is neither confirmed nor will it be implemented soon even if it is true. Furthermore, does this information really change whether or not any of you here will apply to the UofA medical school? 

To apply broadly, you'll still need to maintain high grades, do well on the MCAT, and be involved in the community. To do well on the MMIs you have to display critical thinking, open and balanced viewpoints, efficient communication, and emotional intelligence (among many other traits and qualities)... none of this will change. 

So ... the real question becomes... would any of the applicants work less hard for a high GPA assuming the admission requirements changed for the UofA? I'd be willing to bet that most people will still try to attain a high GPA regardless. 

- G

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2 hours ago, 1997 said:

This is why you didn't get into medicine. Age and GPA have nothing to do with someone's ability to communicate effectively, demonstrate people/social skills, etc. "years" alive will not better you as a person, it is what you do with those years that you will, and there are tons of young people who achieve incredible things. In another post you were bashing jobs in the fast food industry... Jeez, leave your biases at home and learn to respect everyone.

Unless you have a terrible GPA, I'm not sure that this new admissions process will help you. Less emphasis on grades means more emphasis on other aspects such as interview/casper/cv and you don't seem to be superb at being open-minded and non-judgemental, which are important traits for any healthcare professional.

Look regardless of what you may think......... this is very hurtful of a claim. 

- G 

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8 hours ago, 1997 said:

This is why you didn't get into medicine. Age and GPA have nothing to do with someone's ability to communicate effectively, demonstrate people/social skills, etc. "years" alive will not better you as a person, it is what you do with those years that you will, and there are tons of young people who achieve incredible things. In another post you were bashing jobs in the fast food industry... Jeez, leave your biases at home and learn to respect everyone.

Unless you have a terrible GPA, I'm not sure that this new admissions process will help you. Less emphasis on grades means more emphasis on other aspects such as interview/casper/cv and you don't seem to be superb at being open-minded and non-judgemental, which are important traits for any healthcare professional.

I think YesIcan55 should be espectful and sensitive to others, but I also think we should not judge YesIcan55 and try to convey the message in a kinder & more compassionate way, especially because a lot of good applicants are denied admissions every year. 

 

8 hours ago, adhominem said:

Full disclosure: I am an applicant relying on a fairly high GPA to boost my scores, so I have a bias as well. I think that is simply the nature of the situation haha. 

I agree with your points as well, however I worry that the current system U of A uses to look at ECs doesn't really give them enough information to capture the impact of activities. Something more similar to the top 10 system at U of C would allow applicants to delve into how and why their experiences align with things like canmeds competencies. I think that GPA is still important, but I understand why they are attempting to emphasize life experiences more. However, before they make that the main criteria for admission, they should come up with a better way for us to communicate own experiences to them. 
 

Given the current amount of space in the application, I don't think we can get the intricacies of any position across. For example, when you were moving up in your career it would take someone familiar with the process to properly recognize that. I highly doubt the people reading your file will understand that. That is my main concern with the ECs in general, regardless of what happens with the GPA. 

I agree U of A needs to come up with a better way that would allow applicants to communicate ECs more effectively, especially if they are going to increase the weight of ECs. I completely understand your frustration with ECs, because EC evaluation can be quite subjective . I hope they train admission committee properly on how to avoid bias when reading ECs, to be sensitive to accomplishments from various disciplines,  and to be culturally sensitive and holistically sensitive to applicants who come from non-traditional backgrounds who may not have traditional ECs.

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6 hours ago, adhominem said:

Full disclosure: I am an applicant relying on a fairly high GPA to boost my scores, so I have a bias as well. I think that is simply the nature of the situation haha. 

I agree with your points as well, however I worry that the current system U of A uses to look at ECs doesn't really give them enough information to capture the impact of activities. Something more similar to the top 10 system at U of C would allow applicants to delve into how and why their experiences align with things like canmeds competencies. I think that GPA is still important, but I understand why they are attempting to emphasize life experiences more. However, before they make that the main criteria for admission, they should come up with a better way for us to communicate own experiences to them. 
 

Given the current amount of space in the application, I don't think we can get the intricacies of any position across. For example, when you were moving up in your career it would take someone familiar with the process to properly recognize that. I highly doubt the people reading your file will understand that. That is my main concern with the ECs in general, regardless of what happens with the GPA. 

Adhominem, I honestly feel like you should communicate that to the admissions committee. I felt like I had feedback to give to them last year about something, and they were very welcoming of it. I honestly think that approaching them about it yourself could potentially get them to look at this issue (which I agree with completely) if they haven't already.

 

Plus, for those who participated in this forum for longer than one application cycle: is there always such petty animosity after results are out? Those who got in and those who didn't, please show respect for your peers. Generalizations are low blows no matter who delivers them.

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They could try having two interview selection formulas: one based more heavily on GPA and the other a new variant, and take the maximal file review score from the two.  They could also limit the number of people from either formula to give balance.

As an aside, UofT is opening the door on second degrees, which is pretty groundbreaking - link. 

 

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Most people who would get accepted to med school, are likely to be not that much affected anyways.

i.e. most people who get in with good GPAs...ALSO have strong extra curriculars/work experience.

The people worried are mostly those who only had GPA to rely on, and not extracurrics and work experience.

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1 hour ago, YesIcan55 said:

exactly this is good news for people that have high GPAs and good EC as it doesnt effect them in a bad way, if anything makes them look better as their EC will stand out more. Also, these people will likely get multiple interviews/acceptances. 

 This is exceptional news to people that have low GPAs and good EC as it will greatly increase their chance of admission, since for the most part previously those ECs werent considered if you had a low GPA since it was too much of a uphill battle to climb.

The ONLY people worried, and rightfully so, are the ones with high GPAs and not so stellar ECs...just like JohnGrisham said, since they wont be able to bank on their GPA to make up for lack of ECs like they could in the past.   

This would not be "good" for the people with high GPA and great EC's either  because they would have had a better chance if their GPA was being compared with someone else's competitively. Before, if you had a 4.0 GPA and great EC's you would have had a better chance compared to someone with a 3.6 GPA and great EC's, but now you would just be on par with them. In essence, making your "great" EC's less impactful in reality. so this implementation does not BENEFIT a high GPA high EC applicant (it doesn't make them less competitive however, either). This implementation would only benefit those with lower GPA's, period.

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so I think the general jest of things from my interpretations is:

People with low GPA/Great EC: this is really good news to them

People with High GPA/Great EC: this will not affect them so neutral 

People with High GPA/low EC: This will not be good news to them

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47 minutes ago, sgsw454 said:

so I think the general jest of things from my interpretations is:

People with low GPA/Great EC: this is really good news to them

People with High GPA/Great EC: this will not affect them so neutral 

People with High GPA/low EC: This will not be good news to them

Its bad new for people with high GPA and high ECs cuz their GPA won't count :/

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I seriously don't get this complaining. You've worked hard, but there are TONS  of individuals with lower GPA's that have worked equally hard. Perhaps they have dealt with other responsibilities that have proved somewhat challenging for them to manage or have had to overcome certain social factors, health issues and structural inequalities that are subtle and not as evident as being sociopolitically identified with an underrepresented population. There is no absolutely no need to discredit or minimize their efforts by saying they might have focused more on extracurriculars, so now they have a "better" chance. I am incredibly humbled by the effort schools are now placing on allowing all kinds of applicants to have a "foot" in the door (this doesn't even guarantee admission if its instituted). Yes, GPA's reflect a level of commitment and dedication to hard work, but admissions committees are possibly realizing that there are other ways to measure this and "lower" gpa applicants are perhaps more likely to be as equally dedicated to their studies and succeed as "higher" gpa applicants. In all honesty, I wish we could all have a constructive conversation without categorizing and somehow attempting to make individuals with lower gpa's, who sincerely just need encouragement - really, seriously - that they also can achieve their dreams. I am incredibly dedicated to not only becoming a physician but doing whatever it takes to becoming the person that will serve my community will dedication, perseverance and love. I have been surrounded with people that remind me of this. Some people are not often surrounded with individuals that have supported and encouraged them. Some people need institutions and a larger voice through structural change in processes to let them know and recognize that they can achieve their dreams. Lets just be humans for a second and perhaps be happy that  "lower" gpa applicants will feel encouraged to just try or keep at it. Seriously, this is probably just a way to encourage all kinds of people to apply, that's all. it doesn't necessarily mean transcripts will not be reviewed and grades will not be considered. Anyway, thats just my perspective. I apologize if i may have offended. But these are just my thoughts.

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26 minutes ago, RedVelvetRims said:

I seriously don't get this complaining. You've worked hard, but there are TONS  of individuals with lower GPA's that have worked equally hard. Perhaps they have dealt with other responsibilities that have proved somewhat challenging for them to manage or have had to overcome certain social factors, health issues and structural inequalities that are subtle and not as evident as being sociopolitically identified with an underrepresented population. There is no absolutely no need to discredit or minimize their efforts by saying they might have focused more on extracurriculars, so now they have a "better" chance. I am incredibly humbled by the effort schools are now placing on allowing all kinds of applicants to have a "foot" in the door (this doesn't even guarantee admission if its instituted). Yes, GPA's reflect a level of commitment and dedication to hard work, but admissions committees are possibly realizing that there are other ways to measure this and "lower" gpa applicants are perhaps more likely to be as equally dedicated to their studies and succeed as "higher" gpa applicants. In all honesty, I wish we could all have a constructive conversation without categorizing and somehow attempting to make individuals with lower gpa's, who sincerely just need encouragement - really, seriously - that they also can achieve their dreams. I am incredibly dedicated to not only becoming a physician but doing whatever it takes to becoming the person that will serve my community will dedication, perseverance and love. I have been surrounded with people that remind me of this. Some people are not often surrounded with individuals that have supported and encouraged them. Some people need institutions and a larger voice through structural change in processes to let them know and recognize that they can achieve their dreams. Lets just be humans for a second and perhaps be happy that  "lower" gpa applicants will feel encouraged to just try or keep at it. Seriously, this is probably just a way to encourage all kinds of people to apply, that's all. it doesn't necessarily mean transcripts will not be reviewed and grades will not be considered. Anyway, thats just my perspective. I apologize if i may have offended. But these are just my thoughts.

I  agree with you :).

GPA tends to be a permanent record, and once you have a GPA that is below average for 2+ years, it significantly affects your  overall GPA and recovery from a low GPA can be very difficult and takes a VERY long time.  

Perhaps, a different GPA calculation formula  ( For example--> best two years)  may allow the admission committee to balance both points of view because: 1) it will be more forgiving to applicants who have a low overall GPA because it will make it easier for them to prove their academic suitability  and  2) applicants who have high GPA  will still be rewarded for their hard work ethic.

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Well I'll chime in on why I'm annoyed. Think about med school requirements like a triathlon. You have someone training for a triathlon for 4 years, but they are naturally more apt at running. Of course they aren't going to completely forget cycling or swimming, but they are also banking in the fact that their running is going to be their saving grace, so they make sure that their running can compensate. Then a week or so before the race they find out that the triathlon doesn't involve running anymore, they are going to be pissed. Not because they weren't cut out to be a triathlon runner(is that the right word for that?), But because their strongest trait, and the one they worked hard on, suddenly doesn't matter. 

Same thing applies here. When I started undergrad it was a split between MCAT gpa and Ecs. I gravitated towards academics so my GPA is what is my best feature on my application. And I worked hard to keep it that way. And now when I'm about to apply, all that goes out the window? If it does, and I know I'm not the only one, all the nights I spent making sure I had nailed something in my classes to make sure I got an A instead if an A- seems like wasted time when I could have taken up another sport or joined more clubs. 

Anyways my two cents. 

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49 minutes ago, mmoharra said:

Well I'll chime in on why I'm annoyed. Think about med school requirements like a triathlon. You have someone training for a triathlon for 4 years, but they are naturally more apt at running. Of course they aren't going to completely forget cycling or swimming, but they are also banking in the fact that their running is going to be their saving grace, so they make sure that their running can compensate. Then a week or so before the race they find out that the triathlon doesn't involve running anymore, they are going to be pissed. Not because they weren't cut out to be a triathlon runner(is that the right word for that?), But because their strongest trait, and the one they worked hard on, suddenly doesn't matter. 

Same thing applies here. When I started undergrad it was a split between MCAT gpa and Ecs. I gravitated towards academics so my GPA is what is my best feature on my application. And I worked hard to keep it that way. And now when I'm about to apply, all that goes out the window? If it does, and I know I'm not the only one, all the nights I spent making sure I had nailed something in my classes to make sure I got an A instead if an A- seems like wasted time when I could have taken up another sport or joined more clubs. 

Anyways my two cents. 

To be fair... in that example... if you're complaining about the difference between an A and A-... then that pretty much supports the unverified changes. 

Furthermore, if the change is true, then you have years before that happens so you can respond to it.... not like they sprung this on you for this coming cycle. 

Lastly, these changes shouldn't detract from trying to do well in school. Because med school admissions have less emphasis on grades... does that equate to working less hard in school?  

Those nights you spent working hard to get a higher grade... I doubt that's somehow become wasted time because things outside of your control. 

- G

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