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Your experience at CEGEP

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Hello everyone,

I wanted to start a new topic about your experience at CEGEP because I would like to have a better idea of this whole new world.

Please tell me which CEGEP you went to, how you managed to get through it and if you have any tips (schedule, courses, extracurricular).

Also, I heard that it's possible to take some courses during the summer or even during another semester. The thing is, I heard that it is not recommended to take your CEGEP courses in more than 4 semesters, otherwise some med universities will refuse your application. Could you please give me more details about it?

Thank you very much everyone.

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I am finishing my second year of cegep this year. I went to a french public cegep in Montreal.

First of all, you can do your cegep in more than 4 semesters if you want to, but you won't be able to apply to medicine in Mcgill University. But you CAN take a general course during the summer semester (french, english, physical education, philosophy..). Mcgill allow you to do this as long as you manage to have a minimum of 13.33 courses per regular semester (6 courses) and that you don't take a science class during the summer semester. Personally, I took 6 courses every semester and I took a gym class during summer. 

My first advice to have good grades during cegep is to find a way to manage your time. It's not like high school, a semester is only 15 weeks and it FLIES!!! Everyday counts. Schedule every hour of your days if you want to. (I do that lol) Also, another advice would be to never neglect your general courses (french, english, PE....) because they almost count as much as your science courses in your R score. (For example, french counts for 2.33 credits and a scientific class is 2.66). Also, if you find a class difficult, try to get help as soon as possible (tutors... etc). Also, if you are not good in algebra I recommend you to become a master of it before you start cegep because you have to be great at it for Calculus 1 and 2. Many students get bad grades because they still struggle with the basic algebra stuff. 

For extracurriculars, it's only mcgill that really look into it when you apply. So, if you really want to apply there, I recommend you to take a few extracurriculars, but not a lot because you should REALLY focus on your grades. A great EC would be volunteering in a hospital (I do some in the Royal Victoria, its awesome). I think that 2 hours per week (or even 2 weeks) is more than enough. If you are into sports, it could be also great.

Anyway i hope that it will help you!

Good luck!


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I'm only there for the question about summer/intersession courses because I, myself, was worried.

If you want to be on the safe side, there are 2 rules:

1) finish in 4 semesters;

2) you CAN take intersession/summer courses BUT: they cannot be science classes (prerequisites) (so you can take a phys. ed. course for example and it helps to have one less class during the semester) AND you need to take at least 6 courses DURING the semester for your workload to be considered as heavy enough so that you can be considered for med selection. 

To summarize; 4 semesters, yes summer/intersession courses but not for prerequisites (science classes), 6 courses minimum during the semester.

I'm absolutely sure about this as I got an email from the office of admissions at McGill, which I can show anyone if you need it..

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  • 1 month later...


I am in my final year in an english CEGEP and honestly it went way better than high school for me. Always prioritize your grades. Always after each lecture, understand what you teacher said, if you don't, figure out when your teacher has office hours and they will usually explain it to you. You really have to study and do a tons of exercises and practices. The more practices you do, the better. Try to get a variety of problems and sample tests, you need to network with classmates and try to find sample tests/notes from other teachers especially if you end up with a bad teacher. It's really important you end up with a good teacher and it can impact your grade more than you think. You have to finish in four semesters, my cegep offered winter intersession (gen ed) courses that look like they were taken during your winter semester so it does not look like an extra semester at all. I recommend doing those so you have time during the semester to put energy on your core science courses but make sure to put effort in every course as much as you can. Really you just need to get good grades and study a lot. If you can get the grades during cegep it will be worth it honestly. 

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