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McMaster Interview Invites/Regrets 2020


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No need to refer to any specific posts or names in this topic. Good luck to both: the ones who were invited (in their interview) and the ones who received a regret (in their other/future applications.) However, some published statistics raise a concern about McMaster admission process. The following are four examples I selected to make my point, two invited and two rejected:
 
GPA / CARS / Result:
 
3.91 / 131 / Rejected
4.00 / 130 / Rejected
3.59 / 127 / Invited
3.18 / 126 / Invited
 
McMaster says they have a formulae (we all know of) for invitation to interview; to me (although not a mathematician), even if the ones who were rejected have ZERO on their CASPer, and those who were invited have FULL mark on their CASPer plus a MS or PhD degree, the outcome would be different than the above; this is regardless of pool averages or calculation method (z score or other). I might be wrong somewhere, or there might be something I am missing or do not understand. If so, please correct me.
 
The only way to clear any doubts applicants might have is to publish CASPer scores (at least in statistics released annually).
Until then, the argument made by 'criticalthinker' remains valid to me, and the response by 'vigovirgo' to that argument lacks substantiation. 
 
By the way, I have been invited, with average stats, but I feel with those who were not. I repeat good luck to all.
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Time Stamp: 9:05 AM Invite/Reject: Invite!!! GPA: 3.59 (I know) CARS: 127 (I know) Casper: Felt super confident about it. It clearly saved me. I really hope this gives people confidence to ap

As a current MD student, at a top 5 university, I found it absurd that candidates of such high caliber (and many of my close friends, with 4.0 GPAs and MCATs in 515-520s) are not offered interviews (a

I don't understand the point of this post. You're already a medical student, why bother? It reads like someone who still holds a bitter grudge. McMaster have been doing things their way for decades an

8 hours ago, Nik- said:

Yes I always understood this. Who would even be a credible source?

 

Med students who have gotten into a Casper heavy school with low stats. Prep companies may count too, but their approach is very for formulaic and one size fits all, also $$$.

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1 hour ago, aloeplant said:

Med students who have gotten into a Casper heavy school with low stats. Prep companies may count too, but their approach is very for formulaic and one size fits all, also $$$.

McGill will give you feedback on your Casper. If you don't get in this time , that might be good to try for the next attempt 

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4 hours ago, surgeonhopeful said:
No need to refer to any specific posts or names in this topic. Good luck to both: the ones who were invited (in their interview) and the ones who received a regret (in their other/future applications.) However, some published statistics raise a concern about McMaster admission process. The following are four examples I selected to make my point, two invited and two rejected:
 
GPA / CARS / Result:
 
3.91 / 131 / Rejected
4.00 / 130 / Rejected
3.59 / 127 / Invited
3.18 / 126 / Invited
 
McMaster says they have a formulae (we all know of) for invitation to interview; to me (although not a mathematician), even if the ones who were rejected have ZERO on their CASPer, and those who were invited have FULL mark on their CASPer plus a MS or PhD degree, the outcome would be different than the above; this is regardless of pool averages or calculation method (z score or other). I might be wrong somewhere, or there might be something I am missing or do not understand. If so, please correct me.
 
The only way to clear any doubts applicants might have is to publish CASPer scores (at least in statistics released annually).
Until then, the argument made by 'criticalthinker' remains valid to me, and the response by 'vigovirgo' to that argument lacks substantiation. 
 
By the way, I have been invited, with average stats, but I feel with those who were not. I repeat good luck to all.

Red flags/Indigenious/Trolls

Goodluck to everyone on their interviews!

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Time Stamp: 9:03 AM (EST)
Invite/Reject: Invite

GPA: 3.93
CARS: 129
Casper: Felt okay, but must have gone better than I expected since Manitoba invited as well.

Geography: OOP

Really grateful for the opportunity to interview here!

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10 hours ago, VigoVirgo said:

I don't understand the point of this post. You're already a medical student, why bother? It reads like someone who still holds a bitter grudge. McMaster have been doing things their way for decades and are a pretty revolutionary school (for example, they were the first to implement PBL which is used all over the world now, probably at your school too). CARS tests deductive reasoning which is a crucial skill to possess in medicine (it's not just memorization) and Casper is more of a filter test. They want to get a general idea of what the applicant is like. It makes lying on an application harder because they don't care if you created some charity or pumped out 100 research articles before the end of 1st year (I'm looking at you son of that rad onc).

 

Also FYI academic institution rankings don't mean anything. It is more to do with the research they pump out. I know of people currently studying medicine at the University of Melbourne & University of Sydney in Australia, both great schools that are ranked as being 17th & 18th in the world for med by QS World University rankings. But they are there because they could not get into a Canadian school with their lower (albeit still fine) stats.  I know for a fact they would have been grateful to get into Saskatchewan or Manitoba  (which ranks waaaay further down, something like between 400-450 I think). They are shelling out over 350k to attend big name institutions that do a lot of research and are more forgiving to international applicants with lower stats because they are full fee paying.  So again, ranking doesn't mean anything. Bashing McMaster for being ranked 77th really isn't doing you any favours.  Also the fact that you think applicants with a 4.0 and 520 MCAT are entitled to an interview is concerning. No one is entitled to an interview. People with a wide variety of stats and life experiences bring a lot to medicine.

I do not want to bash anyone, I was stating facts. Do you think saying McMaster is 77th and among the top100 medical schools in the world bashing? I don't thinks so. 

The point is I am concerned for my friends who have been rejected by this school, whom I know are outstanding scholars, great communicators, phenomenal scientists, and kind human beings. I wrote my post to ignite some critical thinking and discussion on the topic. 

In addition, you have not addressed any of my points. You are giving examples of people who go to medical school in Australia. I like it how people say rankings don't matter and research output doesn't matter! lol. Times Higher Education and US world News ranking are prestigious ranking groups and residency directors of top specialities in Top 10 universities pay close attention to these rankings when they are selecting their students. Research output is a sign of how many research opportunities will be available for students!

Yes I think people who have 4.0 gpas and 520 mcats are entitled to interviews, especially in schools that do not look at any extracurricular and research activity of applicant. Let me reverse the question on you: are you saying people with low MCATs and GPAs with good casper tests deserve to get an interview, when more qualified applicants are not? How is that meritocracy? 

Also in our class most students who are academically very strong think of PBL/GBL as useless for education but good for fun and hanging out with your friends and colleagues. So I am gonna give this to you, PBL/GBL are really good at that!

Going back to my points:

- Financial Conflicts of Interests (there seems to be a consensus on this topic) 

- Design of the exams are unfair to certain populations

- Extracurricular and research activities are not considered 

- By paying money to Prep companies you can improve your scores on SJTs (contrary to the claims of the SJTs)

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6 hours ago, surgeonhopeful said:

No need to refer to any specific posts or names in this topic.

I'll say it then. The 3.18/126 applicant is either 1.Indigenous 2. The holder of a pHd, or 3. A troll. Those are really the only 3 options. McMaster provide a pretty simple and transparent pre-interview formula, there's no black box EC score calculator like with Queens. Based on stats from accepted applicants from last cycle, there were 6 accepted applicants with a CARS of 126 or lower, and 2 accepted applicants with a GPA of 3.49 or lower. Even though these accepted stats are likely a bit higher than the applicant stats, they are likely close enough for rough comparisons. Having a 3.18 and 126 must put you in the lowest quartile for each. Even with a 100th percentile casper score, this would only give you a final percentile score of 50th percentile of all applicants, not enough to get an interview (0.25/1.00 + 0.25/1.00 + 1.00/1.00 = 1.50/3.00).

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1 hour ago, criticalthinker said:

I do not want to bash anyone, I was stating facts. Do you think saying McMaster is 77th and among the top100 medical schools in the world bashing? I don't thinks so. 

The point is I am concerned for my friends who have been rejected by this school, whom I know are outstanding scholars, great communicators, phenomenal scientists, and kind human beings. I wrote my post to ignite some critical thinking and discussion on the topic. 

In addition, you have not addressed any of my points. You are giving examples of people who go to medical school in Australia. I like it how people say rankings don't matter and research output doesn't matter! lol. Times Higher Education and US world News ranking are prestigious ranking groups and residency directors of top specialities in Top 10 universities pay close attention to these rankings when they are selecting their students. Research output is a sign of how many research opportunities will be available for students!

Yes I think people who have 4.0 gpas and 520 mcats are entitled to interviews, especially in schools that do not look at any extracurricular and research activity of applicant. Let me reverse the question on you: are you saying people with low MCATs and GPAs with good casper tests deserve to get an interview, when more qualified applicants are not? How is that meritocracy? 

Also in our class most students who are academically very strong think of PBL/GBL as useless for education but good for fun and hanging out with your friends and colleagues. So I am gonna give this to you, PBL/GBL are really good at that!

Going back to my points:

- Financial Conflicts of Interests (there seems to be a consensus on this topic) 

- Design of the exams are unfair to certain populations

- Extracurricular and research activities are not considered 

- By paying money to Prep companies you can improve your scores on SJTs (contrary to the claims of the SJTs)

Actually yes. There really is no point in you saying you're at a top 5 prestigious medical school while McMaster is ranked at 77th. If you didn't intend to minimize McMaster's standing you would not have even mentioned this. It is completely irrelevant. Additionally you consistently bring up how prestigious these ranking groups are without any consideration for the fact that they might be biased. There is actually a fair amount of controversy over how they rank universities. Just google it there are plenty of articles and a few studies out there.

Your point that "residency directors of top specialities in Top 10 universities pay close attention to these rankings when they are selecting their students" is also irrelevant. It actually showcases how they themselves are a bit biased haha. Yes just pick the applicants whose parents paid for their $400,000 USD medical school tuition right? So at least to the vast majority of the people on this forum who are Canadian, this is not something that matters. The top 10 medical programs in the world are mainly American. Additionally a lot of medical students are not going to be interested in highly competitive residencies at Ivy league institutions. Many opt to go into primary care specialties anyway.

Your belief that someone with a 4.0 and 520 MCAT is entitled to an interview is just where we are going to have to agree to disagree I'm afraid. Just because someone has a 4.0 and 520 does not actually mean they are "more qualified" to go into medicine. If you truly think that you must have perfect academic scores to be qualified to go into medicine I think that is worrisome. There is a lot more that goes into what makes someone a good physician. MCAT performance isn't really a good predictor of clinical skills/residency performance. From the research I have read on the topic, the MCAT is a weak predictor of performance on USMLE Step 1. Overall I have no issue with McMaster's admissions process. If you look at the statistics they release you would see that many of the people they admit have GPA's of 3.8+ which is very good.Those with lower GPA's usually compensate with a higher CARS score and solid Casper performance. It is fair. This segues well into one of your other points.

By omitting EC's and research from the assessment criteria, McMaster is actually creating a more equal process. Not everyone (especially those from lower SES backgrounds) have the same opportunities to pursue impressive feats like volunteering for a noble cause abroad or creating a charity to help impoverished children. It also prevents someone fabricating activities and inflating their hours which absolutely does happen. 

 CARS is the section that non native English speakers struggle with no doubt. But there have been candidates admitted to McMaster who were in the same boat as you. So it's not impossible at all. But yes it's true that one will need to work harder to improve their score. This would be the equivalent of me going to France for medical school. Despite speaking ok French (as it is my second language that I learned in school) I would struggle with their admissions tests. Would I claim that their tests are unfair? Probably not, I'd just have to work twice as hard to better my language skills. Again, CARS tests deductive reasoning/logic. Casper is more of a suitability measure that tests emotional maturity and people skills.

A lot of prep companies (but not all) capitalize on the fears and insecurities of students. You can probably find a prep company for any test. Whether an applicants improved scores can really be attributed to a prep company or the sheer amount of extra time they put in studying themselves is debatable. I have known people who hired prep companies and still did not improve much.

Your last point about the financial conflict of interest has some merit but does not negate the validity of Casper. One of the people who founded Altus, Harold Reiter is also the man who helped create the MMI process.  He's an expert when it comes to creating assessment tools for applicant selection. To an extent Casper is sort of like that. Its job is to filter people who possess characteristics that could be problematic in medicine. McMaster is not the only school to use it. More and more schools are adopting the Casper, and with good reason.

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46 minutes ago, VigoVirgo said:

Actually yes. There really is no point in you saying you're at a top 5 prestigious medical school while McMaster is ranked at 77th. If you didn't intend to minimize McMaster's standing you would not have even mentioned this. It is completely irrelevant. Additionally you consistently bring up how prestigious these ranking groups are without any consideration for the fact that they might be biased. There is actually a fair amount of controversy over how they rank universities. Just google it there are plenty of articles and a few studies out there.

Your point that "residency directors of top specialities in Top 10 universities pay close attention to these rankings when they are selecting their students" is also irrelevant. It actually showcases how they themselves are a bit biased haha. Yes just pick the applicants whose parents paid for their $400,000 USD medical school tuition right? So at least to the vast majority of the people on this forum who are Canadian, this is not something that matters. The top 10 medical programs in the world are mainly American. Additionally a lot of medical students are not going to be interested in highly competitive residencies at Ivy league institutions. Many opt to go into primary care specialties anyway.

Your belief that someone with a 4.0 and 520 MCAT is entitled to an interview is just where we are going to have to agree to disagree I'm afraid. Just because someone has a 4.0 and 520 does not actually mean they are "more qualified" to go into medicine. If you truly think that you must have perfect academic scores to be qualified to go into medicine I think that is worrisome. There is a lot more that goes into what makes someone a good physician. MCAT performance isn't really a good predictor of clinical skills/residency performance. From the research I have read on the topic, the MCAT is a weak predictor of performance on USMLE Step 1. Overall I have no issue with McMaster's admissions process. If you look at the statistics they release you would see that many of the people they admit have GPA's of 3.8+ which is very good.Those with lower GPA's usually compensate with a higher CARS score and solid Casper performance. It is fair. This segues well into one of your other points.

By omitting EC's and research from the assessment criteria, McMaster is actually creating a more equal process. Not everyone (especially those from lower SES backgrounds) have the same opportunities to pursue impressive feats like volunteering for a noble cause abroad or creating a charity to help impoverished children. It also prevents someone fabricating activities and inflating their hours which absolutely does happen. 

 CARS is the section that non native English speakers struggle with no doubt. But there have been candidates admitted to McMaster who were in the same boat as you. So it's not impossible at all. But yes it's true that one will need to work harder to improve their score. This would be the equivalent of me going to France for medical school. Despite speaking ok French (as it is my second language that I learned in school) I would struggle with their admissions tests. Would I claim that their tests are unfair? Probably not, I'd just have to work twice as hard to better my language skills. Again, CARS tests deductive reasoning/logic. Casper is more of a suitability measure that tests emotional maturity and people skills.

A lot of prep companies (but not all) capitalize on the fears and insecurities of students. You can probably find a prep company for any test. Whether an applicants improved scores can really be attributed to a prep company or the sheer amount of extra time they put in studying themselves is debatable. I have known people who hired prep companies and still did not improve much.

Your last point about the financial conflict of interest has some merit but does not negate the validity of Casper. One of the people who founded Altus, Harold Reiter is also the man who helped create the MMI process.  He's an expert when it comes to creating assessment tools for applicant selection. To an extent Casper is sort of like that. Its job is to filter people who possess characteristics that could be problematic in medicine. McMaster is not the only school to use it. More and more schools are adopting the Casper, and with good reason.

Hey bud, 

I don't have the time to argue with you. I am assuming you are a Mac Student and as such you are defending your alma mater, which is fair.

Critical thinkers out there can see my points. This serves as my last response and I will just write bullet points: (its not comprehensive because I have to study)

- MCAT is a relatively good predictor of USMLE performance (Gauer et al. 2016 Medical Education Online) 

- Using casper for selecting interviewees is not holistic, how can they learn about someone's difficult personal journey without an essay or an other considerations??? 

- Saying casper is good because MMI is good lacks any logic. (both exams have similar biases)  

-  In my opinion medicine is losing its focus from having very competent highly knowledgable individuals to only focusing on behavioural factors. (Behavioural factors are just as important but not more important.) If my mom needs surgery I dont want a very nice surgeon who did an art major, did not take any science courses in undergrad, and did mediocre in medical school, albeit he/she has perfect people skills. I rather the doctor be both highly knowledgable and socially competent but if I had to choose I would choose knowledgable any day over an individuals who does good in CAsper and MMIs because they are social extroverts with great people skills and a good command on language. 

- (FYI you can get full scholarships at top US schools not necessary have to pay 400,000) 

 

26 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

ha - we have to move all this discussion to another thread. We keep these clean so people can quickly skim the results each year. Feel free to create another ones to discuss whatever. 

I will be cleaning this up shortly, and go from there!

thanks everyone

Sorry i wrote it already

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16 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

ha - we have to move all this discussion to another thread. We keep these clean so people can quickly skim the results each year. Feel free to create another ones to discuss whatever. 

I will be cleaning this up shortly, and go from there!

thanks everyone

Of course, this isn’t a discussion for the thread. 

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Time Stamp: 10:06 AM (EST)
Invite/Reject: Reject

GPA: 3.23 (cGPA OMSAS, With an upward trend, 3.87-3.9 in the last 3 years, not that McMaster cares necessarily though!)
CARS: 132
Casper: Felt okay, I prepped for a few weeks and didn't feel too bad about it.

Geography: OOP

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Time Stamp: Jan 8, 2020 06:14 AM 
Invite/Reject: Waitlisted

GPA: 3.92
CARS: 132
Casper: Evidently my Casper was weak -- I knew it was going to be a struggle for me because I'm not a very speedy typist (or written communicator in general tbh). I felt good about the responses that I did write, but I only managed to answer 1-2 qs for almost every prompt.   
Geography: OOP

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Time Stamp: Jan 8th @ 9:45
Invite/Reject: rejected

GPA: 3.96
CARS: 126
Casper: honestly felt quite average about it. felt like I had some great responses and also got cut off 

Geography: IP, completed MSc

Knew that I had to overcome the low CARS score so it's sad but not unexpected. 

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Time Stamp: 9:35 AM
Invite/Reject: Regrets :(

GPA: 3.97
CARS: 127 - upsetting because I did all the practice questions and took a course. This was my second time doing the MCAT, and I did it again just because of CARS. stupid CARS. 
Casper: idk I guess not that good, even though I prepped a decent amount. I read 'Doing Right' and did a bunch of practice questions. 

Geography: IP

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