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Hey everyone!

I'm currently going into my fourth year with a cGPA of 3.60 mostly due to some fuckups in first year and second year 1st sem. (1st year: 3.44, 2nd year: 3.39: 3rd year: 3.97). I feel strong going into 4th year and can hopefully maintain similar GPA to my third year.

My MCAT is 518 (130 ChemPhysics/128 CARS/129 Bio/131 Psych). And for extracurriculars, I've got hospital volunteering, research since May this summer (and hopefully working towards an authored publication this coming year!), a bunch of leadership roles, cultural clubs VP, part-time work experience, etc. 

I am planning on applying by this October for the 2018 cycle. However, I was wondering in terms of boosting my application for maybe next year (if we're being realistic), I was wondering what the best option would be: a 5th year or maybe a one year masters? Anyone have any successful experience with this?

Also, if anyone has any general advice for areas like my EC or other ways to improve myself, that would be definitely welcome!!! :) 

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Your 3rd year GPA looks great; if you can get a great 4th and 5th year GPA, that's 3 solid years of a good GPA. Ottawa only looks at past 3 years; Queen's and Western's 2 years; UofT will drop a lot of your lowest marks the more full time years that you have. Way better than starting a Master's. Do a full-time, degree 5th year. ECs look good (but keep it up). Your GPA should be your main focus for now though. Don't be discouraged by your 1st two years, you can definitely make up for it!

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Assuming you are in Ontario,  the dilemma you face is that your 3.6 cGPA is likely not sufficient to get any interviews in the 2018 cycle. You are going to need a stellar fourth year completed and use a weighted wGPA to offset your earlier grades.  Suggest you strive to nail a 4.0 in 4th year and see how where you stand on wGPA calculations.  If you still need to bump your GPA, then a fifth year would be required. The one year course-based Masters will not really help    Your MCAT (CARS) is good for Ontario schools. Western is on the edge depending on where it cuts off each year. 

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Also, have you thought about US a a back-up plan next year (too late this year)? Even as an international student there are a number of schools where you would be competitive at sooner than in Canada if all goes well GPA wise in the next year or two for you. 

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Thanks so much for all of your comments. With all that you said and a bit more research on the side, I think 5th year is the way to go. On that note, I know you can either graduate and come back as a 5th year (but then only 4000 level courses count as 'in your year') or return without graduating (in this case both 3000 and 4000 level courses count as 'in your year').

So logically it makes sense to return without graduating, but I was wondering if you had any thoughts on it.

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On 2017-07-25 at 5:06 PM, barc16 said:

Your 3rd year GPA looks great; if you can get a great 4th and 5th year GPA, that's 3 solid years of a good GPA. Ottawa only looks at past 3 years; Queen's and Western's 2 years; UofT will drop a lot of your lowest marks the more full time years that you have. Way better than starting a Master's. Do a full-time, degree 5th year. ECs look good (but keep it up). Your GPA should be your main focus for now though. Don't be discouraged by your 1st two years, you can definitely make up for it!

Thanks barc16 for the little motivational words, really appreciated :) 

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