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Hello, please let me know what you think would increase my chances best:

On the MCAT, I scored 513 (127,125CARS, 130, 131)

My GPA is as follows
- First year: 3.72
- Second year: 3.22
- Third year: 3.87
- Fourth year (one semester complete): 3.93
(Hoping for 4.0 in second semester)

My current cGPA is 3.65, if I finish this semester with a 4.0 it will be 3.7.

Should I take a fifth year or do a masters?

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You need to look at the way different schools do a weighted-GPA.   Queens(last 2 years), Western(best 2 years), Ottawa (last 3 years). Toronto (drops x courses).   Calculate what your wGPA is for each school and then match up your MCAT(CARS) score and see where you are competitive.

At most schools, it is the undergrad GPA that matters and doing a Masters does not help your GPA.    A Masters can expand your ECs and add research experience, but it does not make up for a weak GPA. 

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17 minutes ago, Meridian said:

You need to look at the way different schools do a weighted-GPA.   Queens(last 2 years), Western(best 2 years), Ottawa (last 3 years). Toronto (drops x courses).   Calculate what your wGPA is for each school and then match up your MCAT(CARS) score and see where you are competitive.

At most schools, it is the undergrad GPA that matters and doing a Masters does not help your GPA.    A Masters can expand your ECs and add research experience, but it does not make up for a weak GPA. 

In that case (give that I have a 4.0 this final semester) my credentials are:

Western, Queens: 3.92
Ottawa: 3.69
Toronto: 3.87

MCAT: 127CP, 125CARS, 130BIO, 131PSYCH

Do you know how it works for other schools? I.e. U of A, UBC?

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U of A and U of C drop your worst UG year (double check that to be sure, I may be wrong). You would be competitive at both alberta schools since average accepted GPA hovers 3.8-3.9 or higher if you're OOP. Granted, your CARS would be uncompetitive for U of C.

You probably aren't in a great spot for UofT with that GPA, but then again an MSc. may help more to get you through the grad student route rather than a marginal increase in GPA would via a 5th year.

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Doing a 5th year with a 3.9+ GPA would put you in much better contention for Ottawa. What province are you in? Also, what would this MSc be in? If its not research based then it is unlikely to help out with the grad student route at UofT. 

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18 hours ago, ExercMed said:

Doing a 5th year with a 3.9+ GPA would put you in much better contention for Ottawa. What province are you in? Also, what would this MSc be in? If its not research based then it is unlikely to help out with the grad student route at UofT. 

Yeah it would definitely help with Ottawa, however I was thinking an MSc will help excel me in other schools where I will already have a competitive GPA
I am applying to two masters programs - one is research and one is course based
And I am from Alberta

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It definitely could help with other schools that you are already competitive at. I always suggest putting in the extra work and going for the research based MSc. Not to say anything bad about a course based program. However, there are things that you might not encounter in a course based program as opposed to a research based one. Being a functioning member of a research team, conflict resolution (there can be a lot in labs), project management, and problem solving, to name a few. Not to say that these are absent in other course based programs, but they are more prevalent in research. As such, you will have many more experiences to speak to when applications come around. Aside from fine tuning professional skills, depending on the research, you will also learn a variety of specialty skills and techniques that you may (or may not) use in the future. Then there are the publications you can get out of your research! You just have to know what you want out of the program.
 

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6 minutes ago, ExercMed said:

It definitely could help with other schools that you are already competitive at. I always suggest putting in the extra work and going for the research based MSc. Not to say anything bad about a course based program. However, there are things that you might not encounter in a course based program as opposed to a research based one. Being a functioning member of a research team, conflict resolution (there can be a lot in labs), project management, and problem solving, to name a few. Not to say that these are absent in other course based programs, but they are more prevalent in research. As such, you will have many more experiences to speak to when applications come around. Aside from fine tuning professional skills, depending on the research, you will also learn a variety of specialty skills and techniques that you may (or may not) use in the future. Then there are the publications you can get out of your research! You just have to know what you want out of the program.
 

Well said. Thanks for all the advice. Do you know how U of A/U of C treat MSc's?

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5 minutes ago, EricLeman34 said:

Well said. Thanks for all the advice. Do you know how U of A/U of C treat MSc's?

U of A gives extra points onto your file score (similar to McMaster) once you are finished your graduate degree. U of C will count courses that you took during your MSc as a full year of undergrad (In addition to dropping your lowest year). Apart from that, you are treated like all other applicants. However, you would be able to speak to whatever experiences you had during your graduate school which would look good in your top 10s. Furthermore, there are a lot of opportunities to join graduate student run councils, TA ships, and mentoring opportunities to bolster ECs. I personally feel like I am offered something new to get involved with every week by either my supervisor or another graduate student. It ends up opening a lot of doors that wen't there in undergrad and that can set you apart from other applicants. 

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6 hours ago, ExercMed said:

U of A gives extra points onto your file score (similar to McMaster) once you are finished your graduate degree. U of C will count courses that you took during your MSc as a full year of undergrad (In addition to dropping your lowest year). Apart from that, you are treated like all other applicants. However, you would be able to speak to whatever experiences you had during your graduate school which would look good in your top 10s. Furthermore, there are a lot of opportunities to join graduate student run councils, TA ships, and mentoring opportunities to bolster ECs. I personally feel like I am offered something new to get involved with every week by either my supervisor or another graduate student. It ends up opening a lot of doors that wen't there in undergrad and that can set you apart from other applicants. 

Thanks for the info. Sold on doing a Masters!

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Eric - where are you in-province ?   

Be aware that U of T (as example) requires you to complete your Masters prior to Med.  This means delaying your Med School app 2 years if take a 2 year research-based masters.   Also a 1 year course-based masters will have little impact on a U of T application as you will still be in the undergrad pool.   A Masters is a good thing if you are interested in the material.  It is not such a great way to just bid-time to apply to Medicine. 

Your overall MCAT is good.  Your 125 CARS is holding you back from multiple schools.   Suggest consider a re-write.

 

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15 hours ago, Meridian said:

Eric - where are you in-province ?   

Be aware that U of T (as example) requires you to complete your Masters prior to Med.  This means delaying your Med School app 2 years if take a 2 year research-based masters.   Also a 1 year course-based masters will have little impact on a U of T application as you will still be in the undergrad pool.   A Masters is a good thing if you are interested in the material.  It is not such a great way to just bid-time to apply to Medicine. 

Your overall MCAT is good.  Your 125 CARS is holding you back from multiple schools.   Suggest consider a re-write.

 

Hey, I am in province in Alberta and I go to school in Ontario. I am considering a re-write for my MCAT but am undecided yet. In the grand scheme of things I do not think the extra year is that bad of an idea, especially since I'm really interested in my potential research topic. What do you suggest I do?

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