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Hi everyone, 

I'm in my third year of university and realized I have committed way too much outside of academics to make myself a better applicant and this really impacted my marks this year. I am a president of club, managed 2-3 research projects (expecting at least one publication), volunteer at a local school and am an exec of another club, I also attend many hackathons/competitions. All of what I did, I thoroughly enjoyed and gained so much from that has really developed me as a person but sadly my grades suffered.  I really needed to do really well this year since my grades have not been the best first and second year. At this rate, I am expecting a cGPA of around 3.65 and have lost hope to apply to schools next year. 

Do you think I still have a shot or has anyone been in a similar situation and has still been accepted to med schools?

If not, what can I do now to improve my chances? 

 

Thanks in advance

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Hey, sorry to hear you're feeling down about grades, it's so tough to balance ECs vs academics so I can definitely relate. Could you post your year-by-year GPA? Some schools only look at your best two years (e.g. Queens), and Ottawa looks at your most recent three years with the more recent years being more heavily weighted. You still have 4th year to get a high single-year GPA which will help a lot for Queens and a decent amount for Ottawa. Lastly, McMaster doesn't rely on grades too heavily; just 33% of interview invite score and 15% of post-interview score. Try to keep your head up, and if the stress really has you down try to clear your head (meet up with friends, take a nap, play video games, whatever)- most problems are resolvable and it can be easier to see that with a fresh mindset! 

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Like you I also focused heavily on extracurriculars I enjoyed and found fulfilling in undergrad, to the detriment of my cumulative GPA, which is lower than yours. Although I haven't been accepted yet, I still received interviews at Western and Queens this year. If you focus on your GPA for your final and if needed 5th years, I'm sure you'll be in a great position. Once you are able to get to the interview stage, the passion and involvement you've displayed in your interests can only help you come across as a well rounded applicant. Don't be discouraged, but don't be afraid to ease up on your othe commitments so you can focus on your academics. You'll be all right.

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6 hours ago, striders02 said:

Some schools only look at your best two years (e.g. Queens), You still have 4th year to get a high single-year GPA which will help a lot for Queens 

Queen's is two most recent years or cumulative, whichever is higher. A single high GPA for fourth year will not be enough if OP's GPA this year is low and the first two years are low as well.

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On 4/15/2019 at 11:16 AM, striders02 said:

Hey, sorry to hear you're feeling down about grades, it's so tough to balance ECs vs academics so I can definitely relate. Could you post your year-by-year GPA? Some schools only look at your best two years (e.g. Queens), and Ottawa looks at your most recent three years with the more recent years being more heavily weighted. You still have 4th year to get a high single-year GPA which will help a lot for Queens and a decent amount for Ottawa. Lastly, McMaster doesn't rely on grades too heavily; just 33% of interview invite score and 15% of post-interview score. Try to keep your head up, and if the stress really has you down try to clear your head (meet up with friends, take a nap, play video games, whatever)- most problems are resolvable and it can be easier to see that with a fresh mindset! 

Thank you so much for your support. Here is my breakdown for years 1,2,3 respectively - 3.6, 3.6, 3.7

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On 4/15/2019 at 1:04 PM, conbrio said:

Like you I also focused heavily on extracurriculars I enjoyed and found fulfilling in undergrad, to the detriment of my cumulative GPA, which is lower than yours. Although I haven't been accepted yet, I still received interviews at Western and Queens this year. If you focus on your GPA for your final and if needed 5th years, I'm sure you'll be in a great position. Once you are able to get to the interview stage, the passion and involvement you've displayed in your interests can only help you come across as a well rounded applicant. Don't be discouraged, but don't be afraid to ease up on your othe commitments so you can focus on your academics. You'll be all right.

thank you so much for your support and congrats on your interviews! 

would you be able to elaborate on what you think made you stand out enough to get an interview?

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  • 1 month later...

Hey Everyone, 

So I am currently freaking out about applying to Canadian med-schools as well and I know that it's only becoming more competitive so I am here to ask some questions and get a few opinions on my future steps.

I will be going into my 3rd year of undergrad in bio at UWindsor and my GPA has really take a horrible hit during second year. I know that I really need to turn things around for the next two years if I want to make Medschool happen but I feel like my chances of getting in even if I get 4.0 during my 3rd and 4th year, are really low. 

currently first year GPA: 3.67 (my GPA was dragged through the mud because of one single course in fall) second year GPA: 3.6 (I have no justification for this score, it was a horrible year) I did take two classes over the summer after my first year and got 4.0 in both of them but almost every medschool I've looked into stated that summer courses are not considered. (I had a full course load during the fall and winter semesters) 

This summer I am preparing to write the MCAT, if I still have a shot at Medschools, what score should I really be aiming for? I was thinking around 515 with a cGPA averaging at 3.84 (hopefully) will this make me competitive?

I am also very involved at the university in different leadership positions (leader of  a science initiative, science society rep., etc) as well as research (1 year in an ecology lad and recently joined a biochem-physics lab and might get paid during the school year through a work-study program) I have also been volunteering at the hospital since I was 16 and I'm very involved with my community as well. I feel like all this involvement may only come in handy if I get an interview and does not really have a signifiant effect if my MCAT and GPA are not the greatest, is this true? 

if I do not get an interview after my 4th year of undergrad, should I be looking into improving my grades by doing a double degree program or take an extra year of courses? if I were to take 1-2 extra years of courses, do they get considered for my GPA? anyone know how this would work? since this is not a traditional route, its harder to find information online or on trustable resources. there are 2-3 courses I would really like to re-take to improve my grade in those classes, is it worth it or should I just look into taking different classes?

I have heard that doing a masters gives you experience in research which is really good, however it does not make a significant difference when applying for medical schools, can anyone attest to this as well?

I would really appreciate any advice you have for me on how to approach this and proceed ahead. 

Thank you. 

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If it's any hope, I was accepted to Western straight out of undergrad with cGPA of 3.72 on my application this year. First year was 3.8, second was 3.69, and third was 3.75. Western only requires a 3.7 average in your best two years to consider for interview - however if your ABS is truly outstanding they can offer you conditional acceptance/interview if you already have one year at 3.7+, provided that you also achieve a 3.7+ in your current year of study.

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19 hours ago, Annatiller said:

if I do not get an interview after my 4th year of undergrad, should I be looking into improving my grades by doing a double degree program or take an extra year of courses? if I were to take 1-2 extra years of courses, do they get considered for my GPA? anyone know how this would work? since this is not a traditional route, its harder to find information online or on trustable resources. there are 2-3 courses I would really like to re-take to improve my grade in those classes, is it worth it or should I just look into taking different classes?

Depending on the school, they may not count your GPA if you retake courses in a year - I looked into doing this because there was two classes that were really dragging me down, but repeat courses generally do NOT count towards a full course load - basically they only consider novel courses as 'counting' towards your course load. An extra year may be a good idea to up your best two years GPA, but be sure that you actually raise your GPA by doing this (I hate to say this, but consider a bird course or two provided you can motivate yourself to keep on top of them), otherwise it's kind of pointless. As far as I'm aware, most of the universities in Ontario will count a fifth year towards your GPA. If in doubt, you can always call the medical admissions offices (but maybe wait a couple of weeks cause I think they're going to be pretty inundated considering the recent admissions) and they will clarify exactly what that university will count.

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23 hours ago, Annatiller said:

 

This summer I am preparing to write the MCAT, if I still have a shot at Medschools, what score should I really be aiming for? I was thinking around 515 with a cGPA averaging at 3.84 (hopefully) will this make me competitive?

if I do not get an interview after my 4th year of undergrad, should I be looking into improving my grades by doing a double degree program or take an extra year of courses? if I were to take 1-2 extra years of courses, do they get considered for my GPA? anyone know how this would work? since this is not a traditional route, its harder to find information online or on trustable resources. there are 2-3 courses I would really like to re-take to improve my grade in those classes, is it worth it or should I just look into taking different classes?

3.84 GPA is more than competitive.

Ace CARS. That's the only one that really matters for most Canadian medical schools. Get 127/128 on everything else and 130 on CARS, which is easier said than done, and you'll be golden for everywhere.

For your GPA it depends on the school. I think Queens is the only one that doesn't care about course level, so you could take extra years or a second degree with a full course load and still count towards your wGPA. Western requires the courses to be at your current level of study (ie: 500 if you're fifth year, etc).

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23 hours ago, QueenStan said:

Western requires the courses to be at your current level of study (ie: 500 if you're fifth year, etc).

This is actually not correct - from their admission requirements website this is what they require of courses if you do a fifth year (**and have not graduated from your degree):

  • Applicants must already have one undergraduate year that meets the GPA cutoff.
  • The Fifth Year must contain five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) taken between September and April, with at least three full course equivalents whose published level is at or above the third year.
  • Only one full or equivalent pass/fail course will be permitted.

If you have graduated, and decide to go back, they consider it a "special year" and has different requirements:

  • Only the first Special Year will be considered for GPA.
  • Applicants must already have one undergraduate year that meets the GPA minimum requirement.
  • A Special Year will only be considered if it contains five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) taken between September and April.
  • First-year courses, repeat/antirequisite courses, pass/fail courses, and second-year courses that do not require a first-year prerequisite are not acceptable in the Special Year.

For other information from Western you can look at their admission requirements here: https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/med_dent_admissions/medicine/admission_requirements.html

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