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Can my GPA and MCAT make up for poor ECs? (Alberta)


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I am going into my 4th year of undergrad and am applying for 2019. So far I'm applying to U of A, U of C and UBC. Also considering applying to some Ontario schools.


1st year: 3.54 :( (Full course load)

Summer course: 4.0

2nd year: 3.89 (9 courses)

3rd year: 4.0 (Full course load)

Based on the fact that they drop the lower year my GPA for U of C application is at 3.95 and I assume the U of A will be the same.





Adult literacy tutor for 1 year, 2 hours a week

Volunteer at a non profit for 4 months (over the summer) 4 hours a week

Teaching elementary classrooms science demos 1 year (Sept-April) ongoing

Student representative on a school governing council 1 year (Sept-April)

Currently working in a lab around 35 hours a week, have three pending publications 2 of which I'm primary author - doesn't help much though because they wont be published for at least 6 months 

Worked retail part time for three years continuously 

I just started as a tutor for adult literacy in my new city as well, 2 hours a week ongoing 

My ECs are short because I have to move and transfer institutions half way through my undergrad. What are my chances and what I can do to maximize my application?

Thanks :) 

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MCAT will not make up for EC's at UBC. That being said, definitely include life experiences that you may not think to add as an EC. The UBC help guide provides examples of this- being a parent, helping on the family farm/restaurant etc. 

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Hi OP, I thought I would just chime in here since I was in a similar situation this past cycle! First of all, I don't think your ECs are really that bad. If there's anything lacking, it's that most of your volunteer experiences have been short-term. I had a 4.0 and 523 for U of A last year (IP) and was still rejected post-interview. I'm almost sure it was solely because of my extracurricular score of 4/17. I passed the interview, and I actually thought it was my best interview of the 3 I got. My interviews in Sask and Manitoba (OOP for both) led to waitlist acceptances, so I doubt the interview significantly dragged me down for U of A. So to answer your question, no, GPA and MCAT can't compensate for weak ECs at Alberta schools. I would highly recommend that you apply to Sask and Western. You would have at least gotten an interview at Sask this year with your stats, and I think you'd still have a good shot at Western (even with ECs being introduced) with your MCAT score for the next cycle. Manitoba would be worth applying to as well, but someone with a 4.5 and 521 (according to premed) did not get an interview this year. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions! 

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