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Selection criteria for interview


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Hello all, first time poster here. 

I am interested in applying to Queen’s medicine this upcoming cycle but I have read some conflicting info on these forums. 

From my understanding, the Queen’s website states that wGPA, MCAT, references, and ABS scores are all used for selection to interview and final selection is based off just interview, ABS and references. However, I see people posting about ‘MCAT and wGPA cutoffs’, implying that once you reach a certain threshold GPA/MCAT no longer account to your composite score and interview selection is based purely on ABS and references.

 

Therefore, I’m hoping an accepted student who is familar with the process can help clear the air and maybe chime in on my chances. 

OOP (not that it matters haha) 

wGPA: 4.0

MCAT: 511 (127/128/128/128) - I’m rewriting in a week and am confident I can boost this up closer to the 515-520 range. 

ECs: 2 pubs, 2 posters, 1 conference abstract, 11 undergrad awards, undergrad honours thesis, ~150 hours non clinical volunteering, ~100 hour clinical volunteering, junior hockey for 4 years, 4 TA positions, and extensive work experience spanning from food services, construction to research. 

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So interview selection is done in sequential steps. First they cut down the applicant pool based on an unknown wGPA/cGPA threshold. Then they cut down based on an MCAT threshold. Finally, they select top ~500 for an interview based on ABS/LORs of ~2000 applicants. This is why people talk about 'cutoffs' for GPA and MCAT, but once you make it past those cuts, they don't matter anymore. Just based on your wGPA and MCAT, you will likely make it to the ABS stage. 

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10 hours ago, helicase said:

 Finally, they select top ~500 for an interview based on ABS/LORs

Are you quite sure about this? The website states that "Based on GPA, MCAT, Sketch and Reference Letter scores, a rank order list is generated. Approximately 500 of the top ranking applicants are invited to come to Queen’s for an interview". This leads me to think that GPA and MCAT are used not just as cutoffs but also competitively, i.e. a score (perhaps a z-score) is assigned to your GPA and to your mcat and that is used as part of the formula for the selection of those 500 who are interviewed. 

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25 minutes ago, unarmed walrus said:

Are you quite sure about this? The website states that "Based on GPA, MCAT, Sketch and Reference Letter scores, a rank order list is generated. Approximately 500 of the top ranking applicants are invited to come to Queen’s for an interview". This leads me to think that GPA and MCAT are used not just as cutoffs but also competitively, i.e. a score (perhaps a z-score) is assigned to your GPA and to your mcat and that is used as part of the formula for the selection of those 500 who are interviewed. 

https://meds.queensu.ca/academics/undergraduate/prospective-students/applying/method-selection

They updated their website now, but I remember it stating on the old website that candidates were evaluated based on 'sequential steps' and that after you progressed past those stages GPA/MCAT didn't matter. I guess like yes it theoretically could have changed, but I'm more inclined to believe the cutoffs. They get over 5000 applications every cycle. It makes sense that hard cuts help reduce the pool 

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1 hour ago, helicase said:

https://meds.queensu.ca/academics/undergraduate/prospective-students/applying/method-selection

They updated their website now, but I remember it stating on the old website that candidates were evaluated based on 'sequential steps' and that after you progressed past those stages GPA/MCAT didn't matter. I guess like yes it theoretically could have changed, but I'm more inclined to believe the cutoffs. They get over 5000 applications every cycle. It makes sense that hard cuts help reduce the pool 

I agree that GPA and MCAT thresholds are used as cuts in the first of several sequential steps, and I agree that after the interview it's clear that only ABS, LOR, and interview scores matter. But what I'm saying is that in addition to being used as cuts, I think that GPA and MCAT scores are also built into the formula (along with LOR and ABS) that determines which 500 of the 2000 get an interview.

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1 hour ago, unarmed walrus said:

I agree that GPA and MCAT thresholds are used as cuts in the first of several sequential steps, and I agree that after the interview it's clear that only ABS, LOR, and interview scores matter. But what I'm saying is that in addition to being used as cuts, I think that GPA and MCAT scores are also built into the formula (along with LOR and ABS) that determines which 500 of the 2000 get an interview.

Oh I see. Hard to say I guess. If it's true I'd imagine it to not be weighed too too much, there are a lot of examples of high GPA/MCAT combo that don't interview. The wording on their website isn't super clear anyway, I mean they still haven't updated their FAQ from when getting an interview was just based GPA and MCAT years ago. 

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10 hours ago, unarmed walrus said:

I agree that GPA and MCAT thresholds are used as cuts in the first of several sequential steps, and I agree that after the interview it's clear that only ABS, LOR, and interview scores matter. But what I'm saying is that in addition to being used as cuts, I think that GPA and MCAT scores are also built into the formula (along with LOR and ABS) that determines which 500 of the 2000 get an interview.

From reading the website, this is what makes the most sense to me. However, looking at the interview invites thread, I see a lot of 520+ and high gpa applicants getting rejected pre interview so it is possible what helicase says is true. But the wording of the site leans towards your intepretation in my opinion. 

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And hence the black box that is Queens admissions xD. So essentially if you have decent MCAT/GPA, put your best foot forward. They are an ec heavy school that no one can argue with, so really work hard on that ABS, make it stand out, do non cookie cutter activities, and get amazing reference letters. 

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GPA and MCAT don't factor into the decision for interview invites. It's a computer that automatically screens out people who don't meet the GPA and MCAT cut-off for that year, and then the committee goes through ABS and LORs to determine who gets an interview. One of the people I talked to on their admission committee last year mentioned that they don't even see your GPA or MCAT when they're going through your file for interview invites.

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15 hours ago, xiphoid said:

GPA and MCAT don't factor into the decision for interview invites. It's a computer that automatically screens out people who don't meet the GPA and MCAT cut-off for that year, and then the committee goes through ABS and LORs to determine who gets an interview. One of the people I talked to on their admission committee last year mentioned that they don't even see your GPA or MCAT when they're going through your file for interview invites.

and they shouldn't - otherwise there is bias and one selection point bleeds into another and effectively is then counted for more than was intended. 

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