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Dr. Octavius

3rd Year Disadvantage

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A dean at my undergrad said, "applicants accepted in 3rd year are usually exceptional candidates." Near perfect GPA, outstanding EC's, etc.

So, there does seem to be some disadvantage in the sense that a 3rd year applicant would probably need a higher GPA to be admitted than a candidate who has completed undergrad or a masters. 

The US medical schools claim that one reason for this is maturity and life experience - adcoms on SDN routinely discourage younger applicants from applying in order to first build life experience. I'm not sure if this is the case for Canada as well.

Not sure about the quota, but less 3rd year applicants are admitted and it is definitely harder to get in because the standards seem to be higher.

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5 hours ago, caramilk said:

A dean at my undergrad said, "applicants accepted in 3rd year are usually exceptional candidates." Near perfect GPA, outstanding EC's, etc.

So, there does seem to be some disadvantage in the sense that a 3rd year applicant would probably need a higher GPA to be admitted than a candidate who has completed undergrad or a masters. 

The US medical schools claim that one reason for this is maturity and life experience - adcoms on SDN routinely discourage younger applicants from applying in order to first build life experience. I'm not sure if this is the case for Canada as well.

Not sure about the quota, but less 3rd year applicants are admitted and it is definitely harder to get in because the standards seem to be higher.

I would be very surprised if there is a quota - it is just logically harder to hit all of the criteria in a shorter time. 

Regardless of the outcome even there is some logic in applying early - it forces you to actually get all of the ducks in a row and focus your time. If you are a good 3rd year applicant and don't get in then odds are you would be an even stronger 4th year one the following year. 

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I'd imagine a large contributor to the "3rd year disadvantage" is the GPA weighting formulas that most schools offer. Western takes best two years, Queens takes most recent two (assuming first year is worst for most people), U of T drops your worst courses starting in 4th year, etc. I know many people whose GPA jumped from 3.85->3.95 (or similar) from the weighting, which is a huge change in their competitiveness for every school.

Aside from that, it also represents a second opportunity to write the MCAT if you didn't do well when/if you wrote after second year.

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I feel like a big part of it is simply due to having fewer ECs and potentially a lower GPA. I also think going through a cycle the first time while unfamiliar makes it more challenging when applying during 3rd year while most 4th year applicants have already tried out a cycle in their 3rd year and are applying in their 4th year with more experience and know-how. 

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3 minutes ago, healthscireject said:

What if your GPA is fine (4.0) and so is your MCAT (132 129 132 132) and you're still gettnig rejected from schools. Is there some massive gap in my CASPer and ABS then? 3rd year here

Could be CASPer, could be the activities on your ABS, could be the wording/description of the activities on your ABS (rather than the activities themselves), could be reference letters. 

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Consider applying a year early as an important practice run to put you ahead of the competition for the next year. There is a learning curve involved in being able to market yourself effectively in the ABS. Practice makes perfect. If you obtain an Interview, consider this too a practice run. Not only will you tend to have an improved performance with this attitude, but actually going through the interview process will be helpful the following year. Yes, lightning may strike as a 3rd year applicant, but don't count on it, don't have high hopes. The other applicants are at a decided advantage as having more life experience, improved skills, more confident, etc.

Having experienced the entire application process, with or without an interview, will give you an advantage over others in the application pool the following year.  

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