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I disagree with you on this. In the new application that Western has put out, they have a section similar to UofT in which they give you the opportunity to mention any relevant obstacles in your caree

I don't think the majority of pre-meds should care too much about this change aside from two interesting developments that come up. 1) Potentially a lower CARS cutoff 2) The extra work needed t

Well how many people can score above the traditional Western cut-offs AND have a strong ABS?  It sounds like Western is becoming "Queen's lite" - i.e. semi-black-boxish, with some hard-cutoffs but flexibility for selection with ABS.  Could also be a boost in terms of money from more applications, but sure would be more than offset by extra costs involved..  All schools are beginning to look a little more similar in terms of their selection criteria - Ottawa with CASPER and now Western with ECs..  

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Imagine re-writing a 97th percentile MCAT to reach Western's MCAT CARS cutoffs and then not getting an interview because "holistic". This might have happened to me if I was unlucky enough to be applying this year. wow. 

 

The objectivity of Western was unique in Canada and it looks like they're throwing it away. Maybe their GPA and MCAT pool was getting too insane and they needed to do something. I still would have preferred introducing CASPer before doing this. 

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I'm actually interested to see how SWOMEN might play into this new aABS.

Will they require more involvement in your community to qualify for lower MCAT cutoffs (beyond just attending and graduating from high school)? Or will it give some leeway into your ABS "score"?

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I don't think the majority of pre-meds should care too much about this change aside from two interesting developments that come up.

1) Potentially a lower CARS cutoff
2) The extra work needed to be done. 

 

Any self-respecting pre-med knows that you need to have a diverse set of extracurricular experiences not just for med school but for yourself as a person. They are great opportunities in and of themselves aside from check marks on your pre-med resume. I would not be happy if 20-22 year olds forewent their entire undergrad without doing any ECs and expected to get in entirely based off grades and an interview. 

 

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On 7/12/2018 at 4:42 PM, Hammmmmy said:

I don't think the majority of pre-meds should care too much about this change aside from two interesting developments that come up.

1) Potentially a lower CARS cutoff
2) The extra work needed to be done. 

 

Any self-respecting pre-med knows that you need to have a diverse set of extracurricular experiences not just for med school but for yourself as a person. They are great opportunities in and of themselves aside from check marks on your pre-med resume. I would not be happy if 20-22 year olds forewent their entire undergrad without doing any ECs and expected to get in entirely based off grades and an interview. 

 

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Wow I'm glad I got through this year. I wonder how this will affect the CARS cut-off. I suspect the MCAT cut-offs overall may be lowered, but may be competitively assessed (i.e. a person with lower MCAT scores may need a better score on the holistic portion of the application). This change does introduce quite a bit of subjectivity to the application processes, so I can't say that I'm a fan of this change.

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52 minutes ago, silverorlead said:

If someone has decent ECs with a well rounded MCAT and 128 CARS, is it worth rewriting now or not?

Asking for a friend...

(Na jks it's for me)

 

If you're not SWOMEN I would not bank on the cutoffs lowering. Admissions are only getting more competitive and this new criterion is a testament to that. Just my $0.02.

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25 minutes ago, DarkRoastBlaq said:

 

If you're not SWOMEN I would not bank on the cutoffs lowering. Admissions are only getting more competitive and this new criterion is a testament to that. Just my $0.02.

Western is (was?) a MCAT-centric school (main barrier for most applicants, non-SWOMEN atleast). Such schools will never get any more or less competitive since the MCAT is a standardized exam. This reflects a shift in their ideology / what they're looking for, not the applicant pool getting more competitive for this school specifically. It's one of the reasons I thought the system Western used was uniquely fair in Canada. 

 

I would be very surprised if the CARs cutoff was a 129 next year. Heck, we might not even have a hard cutoff any more, just a soft one. We don't know how they'll be approaching this whole thing, maybe this year will be a test year and they're doing everything exactly the same way. But most likely they'll give you a score based on your MCAT/GPA/AB and pick the top 400, so there might not be a hard "cutoff" for MCAT but it'll be harder the lower you score is. 

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5 minutes ago, tavenan said:

I would be very surprised if the CARs cutoff was a 129 next year. Heck, we might not even have a hard cutoff any more, just a soft one. We don't know how they'll be approaching this whole thing, maybe this year will be a test year and they're doing everything exactly the same way. But most likely they'll give you a score based on your MCAT/GPA/AB and pick the top 400, so there might not be a hard "cutoff" for MCAT but it'll be harder the lower you score is. 

That's also a possibility. They could also include psych/soc in their assessment of the MCAT.

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13 hours ago, Hammmmmy said:

I don't think the majority of pre-meds should care too much about this change aside from two interesting developments that come up.

1) Potentially a lower CARS cutoff
2) The extra work needed to be done. 

 

Any self-respecting pre-med knows that you need to have a diverse set of extracurricular experiences not just for med school but for yourself as a person. They are great opportunities in and of themselves aside from check marks on your pre-med resume. I would not be happy if 20-22 year olds forewent their entire undergrad without doing any ECs and expected to get in entirely based off grades and an interview. 

 

This is an interesting change - and yeah since most people are applying broadly anyway they will have EC which hopefully will serve.

It does make it less transparent and will make the coming cycle much more interesting ha. Med schools - always changing things

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20 hours ago, tavenan said:

They still looked at your overall experiences in the interview. This just introduces another element of uncertainty into a process that was already uncertain. The whole holistic meme is one of my least favourite aspects of the journey from undergrad to medicine, and I thought it was really nice how Western told you exactly what you needed to do to get an interview and gave hard working students from every background a realistic chance. 

 

Some poor kid with a really high percentile MCAT is going to get rejected from an interview in favour of a kid with a much lower MCAT, all because he wasn't "holistic" enough. This is something that routinely happens in systems such as this one (just look at Queens), so this is in no ways hyperbole. Medicine has been a rich boys club for centuries and taking away quantitative review processes in favour of qualitative ones gives even more advantages to wealthier students. They already have an advantage in studying for the MCAT and achieving higher GPA's, but EC's is truly where rich applicants get to shine. I find it troubling and an unwelcome change. 

I disagree with you on this. In the new application that Western has put out, they have a section similar to UofT in which they give you the opportunity to mention any relevant obstacles in your career in medicine and any gaps in your transcript. This would undermine your point about their holisticness being a front for making it easier for rich kids to get in. 


I also think that even those who are not rich and cannot afford to volunteer (which I have found out this year, is truly a privilege and not a norm) can still get in. I have seen several personal examples in my own life of students that worked multiple jobs and could only afford to do 1-2 extracurriculars while balancing home and family life get into medical school. I do agree that there is a certain barrier to entry (such that not even the poorest vagrant can get in) but it is certainly getting better, not worse like you're implying. 

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8 hours ago, rmorelan said:

This is an interesting change - and yeah since most people are applying broadly anyway they will have EC which hopefully will serve.

It does make it less transparent and will make the coming cycle much more interesting ha. Med schools - always changing things

I am hopeful for a lower cars cutoff. As I went through the pdf that Western has attached for this part of the application, it seems that they are VERY clear on what they are looking for. I do admit that there are some translucent elements in their description of the values but how they want you to write is much more concretely explained than UofT. 

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On 7/13/2018 at 6:11 AM, rmorelan said:

This is an interesting change - and yeah since most people are applying broadly anyway they will have EC which hopefully will serve.

It does make it less transparent and will make the coming cycle much more interesting ha. Med schools - always changing things

Do you think preference/more points will be given to activities that were done long-term compared to shorter term ones - or even a one time event? I'm curious as there are a couple short term/one-time events that were great experiences which I'd love to include, but not at the cost of losing points. Please pardon my neuroticism!

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12 hours ago, ChasingZebras said:

Do you think preference/more points will be given to activities that were done long-term compared to shorter term ones - or even a one time event? I'm curious as there are a couple short term/one-time events that were great experiences which I'd love to include, but not at the cost of losing points. Please pardon my neuroticism!

first off this is all going to be guess work, probably for both has an to a degree them as well. They have not had a system like this in so long there is no institutional memory around it.  You would think longer is better because of what they are looking for. 

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