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It is official, I have been rejected from all 8 schools that I applied to. First of all, congratulations to everyone who got interviews, your hard work is paying off and I sincerely wish you all the best! 

I need some advice. I started looking into this forum a little ago (about a month ago) as I waited to hear back from schools and I feel like the anonymity of the forum will allow people to be more honest with me about my application and what I should be doing to make myself more competitive. These were my stats:

Location: Ontario

Education: BSc (4 year) and BA (3 year) expected this year (5th year undergrad)

MCAT: 510 126/129/130/125 (CP/CARS/BB/PS)

cGPA: 3.58 (this is prior to my 5th year grades and I have a steep increase in my 4th year which helps with wGPA)

ECs: really varied and for extended periods of time, student government, competitive sport, medical receptionist, mentor, tutor, choir singer, volunteering with kids, arts

I know I am not as stellar or competitive as many of the applicants here in this forum and I have been working to improve for the next round of applications but I could use advice as soon as possible so that I really have time to improve and have a better shot the next time around.

Since my application I have secured a volunteer position in 2 labs to gain research experience (which I know I lack). My GPA this year (5th year) has been very high thus far (4.0). I have also applied to Master's programs. What else should I be doing? Is there any hope for me at all?

I hope I have been clear with my post (please don't hesitate to ask if there is something that is not clear to you) and I really appreciate any advice that is offered. It means a lot that you would read this, I just feel a little lost. 

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Which schools did you apply to? 

Having glanced at your stats, your overall GPA will definitely preclude you from several schools on its own. I think it might be helpful if you share your wGPA for some of the schools you applied to.

ECs look fine IMO.

MCAT is dependent on school, but your score doesn't automatically warrant a rejection.

Did you take Casper? It is very significant for schools like Ottawa and McMaster.

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I would start focusing on an alternative plan, although to be fair, I don't know what the competition is like at all schools across Canada because I don't meet the admissions criteria for many of them (I lack many course pre-requisites and I don't know what the admission stats are at schools I'm ineligible for). Even with the 4.0 GPA this year, I don't think you can turn that 3.58 around. Your MCAT score is probably only good for schools that look only at CARS and/or assess it as a cut-off. Your ECs seem to cover the usuals: work, volunteering, campus involvement, and "interesting category" (sport, choir and the arts) but the only real way to judge their value is how you describe them in your ABS sketch and discuss their significance in an interview.

I think your best bet is to start working towards another option while targeting schools that will allow you to leverage certain gimmicks (ie: Queen's 2-year GPA, Toronto's wGPA). That other option could look like pursuing a different career, doing a graduate degree to boost your application and/or opening up doors for employment.

Just for comparison's sake, here are my stats:

Location: Ontario

cGPA: 3.79 (wGPA Alberta: 4.0, wGPA Queen's: 3.9+, wGPA Toronto: ineligible)

MCAT: 127/128/129/129 513

ECs cover all the usuals and are long-term: volunteering, employment, campus involvement, research, and interesting hobbies. Since I graduated in 2017, I have gained a boat-load of relevant experience and would expect to be above average in this department (thanks to the growing amount of responsibilities that come at work as time passes on top of the fact that I am not in school so all I do now is spend time on ECs).

I am just waiting on Toronto to reject me to make this my 3rd cycle, 12th straight rejection and never to receive an interview. This is a common reality so I suggest not backing yourself into this corner because it is always good to have options, despite how difficult it can be to accept them.

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44 minutes ago, pooper said:

Which schools did you apply to? 

Having glanced at your stats, your overall GPA will definitely preclude you from several schools on its own. I think it might be helpful if you share your wGPA for some of the schools you applied to.

ECs look fine IMO.

MCAT is dependent on school, but your score doesn't automatically warrant a rejection.

Did you take Casper? It is very significant for schools like Ottawa and McMaster.

Hey there! 

Thank you for your reply, I applied to: Alberta, Manitoba, McMaster, UofT, Queen's, Ottawa, NOSM, McGill

My wGPA was:

Alberta: 3.74

Manitoba: 3.70 (drops 30 lowest credit hours)

McMaster: doesn't have a wGPA as far as I'm aware

UofT: 3.79 (wGPA excluding 4 FCE= 8 semester courses and summer courses)

Queen's: 3.66 (2 most recent full-time years excluding summer courses)

Ottawa: 3.58

NOSM: doesn't have a wGPA as far as I'm aware

McGill: 3.85 (takes my most recent degree (BA))

I may have made some calculation errors, but I believe those are relatively correct. Let me know if you think there might be errors! 

As for the CASPer, I felt relatively ok with my answers, but I took the approach of answering one question really well and thoroughly instead of answering all three with a less-than-ideal answer. Let me know what you think about that and if you think that may have been the wrong approach to take!

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13 hours ago, Nik- said:

I would start focusing on an alternative plan, although to be fair, I don't know what the competition is like at all schools across Canada because I don't meet the admissions criteria for many of them (I lack many course pre-requisites and I don't know what the admission stats are at schools I'm ineligible for). Even with the 4.0 GPA this year, I don't think you can turn that 3.58 around. Your MCAT score is probably only good for schools that look only at CARS and/or assess it as a cut-off. Your ECs seem to cover the usuals: work, volunteering, campus involvement, and "interesting category" (sport, choir and the arts) but the only real way to judge their value is how you describe them in your ABS sketch and discuss their significance in an interview.

I think your best bet is to start working towards another option while targeting schools that will allow you to leverage certain gimmicks (ie: Queen's 2-year GPA, Toronto's wGPA). That other option could look like pursuing a different career, doing a graduate degree to boost your application and/or opening up doors for employment.

Just for comparison's sake, here are my stats:

Location: Ontario

cGPA: 3.79 (wGPA Alberta: 4.0, wGPA Queen's: 3.9+, wGPA Toronto: ineligible)

MCAT: 127/128/129/129 513

ECs cover all the usuals and are long-term: volunteering, employment, campus involvement, research, and interesting hobbies. Since I graduated in 2017, I have gained a boat-load of relevant experience and would expect to be above average in this department (thanks to the growing amount of responsibilities that come at work as time passes on top of the fact that I am not in school so all I do now is spend time on ECs).

I am just waiting on Toronto to reject me to make this my 3rd cycle, 12th straight rejection and never to receive an interview. This is a common reality so I suggest not backing yourself into this corner because it is always good to have options, despite how difficult it can be to accept them.

Hi Nik,

Thank you for your advice. Your stats seem really good, I wouldn't rule out UofT there is certainly still a chance for you, you never know! I am/have applied for Masters programs and have looked further into research to gain more experience there. Hopefully that will make me a bit more competitive, but I will take your advice and look into other options as well. 

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40 minutes ago, WhatAmISupposedToDo said:

Hey there! 

Thank you for your reply, I applied to: Alberta, Manitoba, McMaster, UofT, Queen's, Ottawa, NOSM, McGill

My wGPA was:

Alberta: 3.74

Manitoba: 3.70 (drops 30 lowest credit hours)

McMaster: doesn't have a wGPA as far as I'm aware

UofT: 3.79 (wGPA excluding 4 FCE= 8 semester courses and summer courses)

Queen's: 3.66 (2 most recent full-time years excluding summer courses)

Ottawa: 3.58

NOSM: doesn't have a wGPA as far as I'm aware

McGill: 3.85 (takes my most recent degree (BA))

I may have made some calculation errors, but I believe those are relatively correct. Let me know if you think there might be errors! 

As for the CASPer, I felt relatively ok with my answers, but I took the approach of answering one question really well and thoroughly instead of answering all three with a less-than-ideal answer. Let me know what you think about that and if you think that may have been the wrong approach to take!

Yeah the bottleneck here is still your GPA. While there are some individuals who manage to get in with those numbers, they are usually supplemented with graduate degrees, top notch ECs, stellar MCAT/CARS/Casper, and ultimately a knockout interview performance. Canadian med schools are quite a bit out of reach at the moment, so I would definitely consider either graduate schools or American med schools as alternatives at the moment. 

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1 hour ago, WhatAmISupposedToDo said:

Hey there! 

Thank you for your reply, I applied to: Alberta, Manitoba, McMaster, UofT, Queen's, Ottawa, NOSM, McGill

My wGPA was:

Alberta: 3.74

Manitoba: 3.70 (drops 30 lowest credit hours)

McMaster: doesn't have a wGPA as far as I'm aware

UofT: 3.79 (wGPA excluding 4 FCE= 8 semester courses and summer courses)

Queen's: 3.66 (2 most recent full-time years excluding summer courses)

Ottawa: 3.58

NOSM: doesn't have a wGPA as far as I'm aware

McGill: 3.85 (takes my most recent degree (BA))

I may have made some calculation errors, but I believe those are relatively correct. Let me know if you think there might be errors! 

As for the CASPer, I felt relatively ok with my answers, but I took the approach of answering one question really well and thoroughly instead of answering all three with a less-than-ideal answer. Let me know what you think about that and if you think that may have been the wrong approach to take!

While you have great ECs, you're largely getting screened out based on your numbers alone. I'd focus on making sure that you have a solid year or two with a high GPA under your belt, which should help you with wGPA schools like Western or Queen's. Be also sure to carefully check your MCAT overall score/section scores against the average scores of admitted classes. Don't be afraid to reduce your other commitments to focus on your academics- unfortunately GPA comes first here.

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Your cGPA/wGPA is not competitive for most schools.  You need near ~4.0 in your 5th year to help move them up.   Reduce your EC activity this term and focus specifically on GPA. 

Casper is designed to make you reason quickly.  You need to plan to answer more thoroughly across all questions.   

A Masters does not make up for an undergrad GPA that is not already competitive.  Only go that route if you have a passion in the area or see it as a career path. 

 

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To tell you bluntly, your applications were likely thrown out the second you applied to Alberta, Ottawa, Queen's, and UofT with your posted stats. The schools likely never even evaluated your ECs. Ottawa has a hard GPA cutoff of 3.85, Toronto suggests a minimum 3.7 to be "competitive" but has an average in the mid 3.9s. Queen's has an unpublished hard GPA cutoff that is almost certainly higher than 3.66. And, as an OOP, your GPA is too low for Alberta. At McMaster, you would need a casper in the 90th percentile + to get an interview with your cGPA and 129 cars. . 

If you get a 4.0 this year, you might be competitive for Queen's / western / other 2 year schools. You'll need another year for uOttawa. If you ever want to be competitive for McMaster you'll need another degree. 

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11 hours ago, Zuk said:

Your GPA is the main issue. Have you applied to schools that look only at best or last two years? (Western, Ottawa, Queens?).

Hey there!

Thank you for your reply! I applied to Ottawa and Queen's but I don't think I am eligible for Western because to complete my two Bachelor's I had to complete quite a few first and second year courses in my third and fourth years that exclude me from the Western prerequisite of having a majority of courses in your year of study.  

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5 hours ago, pooper said:

Yeah the bottleneck here is still your GPA. While there are some individuals who manage to get in with those numbers, they are usually supplemented with graduate degrees, top notch ECs, stellar MCAT/CARS/Casper, and ultimately a knockout interview performance. Canadian med schools are quite a bit out of reach at the moment, so I would definitely consider either graduate schools or American med schools as alternatives at the moment. 

Thank you for your honesty! That is certainly the plan for the coming year. Hoping to have a graduate degree by the end of next year to boost myself up a little. American med schools are unfortunately a little out of reach financially at the moment. 

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5 hours ago, conbrio said:

While you have great ECs, you're largely getting screened out based on your numbers alone. I'd focus on making sure that you have a solid year or two with a high GPA under your belt, which should help you with wGPA schools like Western or Queen's. Be also sure to carefully check your MCAT overall score/section scores against the average scores of admitted classes. Don't be afraid to reduce your other commitments to focus on your academics- unfortunately GPA comes first here.

Thank you for your advice! I am hoping to do so this semester. Last semester was a 4.0 so I am just hoping that I can maintain that this semester as well. I will take a look as soon as I can see the stats for the class of 2020 for my MCAT. 

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4 hours ago, Meridian said:

Your cGPA/wGPA is not competitive for most schools.  You need near ~4.0 in your 5th year to help move them up.   Reduce your EC activity this term and focus specifically on GPA. 

Casper is designed to make you reason quickly.  You need to plan to answer more thoroughly across all questions.   

A Masters does not make up for an undergrad GPA that is not already competitive.  Only go that route if you have a passion in the area or see it as a career path. 

 

Thanks for your advice! I am limiting my extracurriculars to lab work and my job this semester. I have maintained a 4.0 for the first semester and am hoping to do the same for this semester as well. 

Do you have any advice on how I can improve for the CASPer? Are there any websites or resources that can help me practice?

I will certainly only going to do a Master that I am passionate about, that tends to be the goal when I approach things. I really appreciate the advice. 

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4 hours ago, theevilsloth said:

To tell you bluntly, your applications were likely thrown out the second you applied to Alberta, Ottawa, Queen's, and UofT with your posted stats. The schools likely never even evaluated your ECs. Ottawa has a hard GPA cutoff of 3.85, Toronto suggests a minimum 3.7 to be "competitive" but has an average in the mid 3.9s. Queen's has an unpublished hard GPA cutoff that is almost certainly higher than 3.66. And, as an OOP, your GPA is too low for Alberta. At McMaster, you would need a casper in the 90th percentile + to get an interview with your cGPA and 129 cars. . 

If you get a 4.0 this year, you might be competitive for Queen's / western / other 2 year schools. You'll need another year for uOttawa. If you ever want to be competitive for McMaster you'll need another degree. 

Thank you for your honesty, it is greatly appreciated! Do you have any advice on how to improve my CASPer? 

Hoping for that 4.0 this semester! Do you have any insight into what McMaster is looking for? Will 2 Bachelor's and a Master be enough? 

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7 minutes ago, Plastics96 said:

Hey! 

NOSM offers a 0.2 GPA boost for those who have completed a Master’s degree. I’m not sure if you’re from up north/have connections to the north, but it may be worth the GPA boost if you think you can pull off a decent score on their context portion of the application. 

Thank you for the tip! Unfortunately not from the North but would certainly love to work/live there one day. 

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8 hours ago, WhatAmISupposedToDo said:

As for the CASPer, I felt relatively ok with my answers, but I took the approach of answering one question really well and thoroughly instead of answering all three with a less-than-ideal answer. Let me know what you think about that and if you think that may have been the wrong approach to take!

Wow. You screwed yourself out of every school that looks at casper right here. Why would you think you could do okay only answering 33% of the questions? When filling out the rest of your applications did you fill in your academic record really really well and then leave your personal statement and ECs blank? I'm stunned.

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Just now, bearded frog said:

Wow. You screwed yourself out of every school that looks at casper right here. Why would you think you could do okay only answering 33% of the questions? When filling out the rest of your applications did you fill in your academic record really really well and then leave your personal statement and ECs blank? I'm stunned.

Thank you for your honesty. I had done so on the advice of individuals who had said this would maximize my CASPer score. I was told that marking depended most on the quality of your answers and whether you could demonstrate an ethical understanding of the situation presented and not on the quantity. As such, I felt that I would be best served by focusing on how to demonstrate my ability to display empathy and make ethical decisions rather than on answering all 3 questions in 5 minutes with a lacklustre answer for each. Also, on some questions, I found myself answering the other questions in my reply to the first. Perhaps that was a mistake. Do you have any insight into how the CASPer is marked (scores are not released to those marked so I took the advice offered at the time)?

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8 minutes ago, WhatAmISupposedToDo said:

Thank you for your honesty. I had done so on the advice of individuals who had said this would maximize my CASPer score. I was told that marking depended most on the quality of your answers and whether you could demonstrate an ethical understanding of the situation presented and not on the quantity. As such, I felt that I would be best served by focusing on how to demonstrate my ability to display empathy and make ethical decisions rather than on answering all 3 questions in 5 minutes with a lacklustre answer for each. Also, on some questions, I found myself answering the other questions in my reply to the first. Perhaps that was a mistake. Do you have any insight into how the CASPer is marked (scores are not released to those marked so I took the advice offered at the time)?

I'm of the opinion that you should adopt a standard timeframe so you can answer all 3 questions to a similar standard of quality, and use left over time to add on where needed.

For instance, commit to 1.5 min for each question and then use the last 30 seconds to add to the most substantial question.

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Just now, pooper said:

I'm of the opinion that you should adopt a standard timeframe so you can answer all 3 questions to a similar standard of quality, and use left over time to add on where needed.

For instance, commit to 1.5 min for each question and then use the last 30 seconds to add to the most substantial question.

Good strategy! I was wondering what do you believe should be included in the answer? Should a decision be made immediately at the start, or should you work through and consider multiple scenarios (given that the situations presented are often ambiguous)? Is that even possible in 1.5 minutes? 

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3 hours ago, WhatAmISupposedToDo said:

 

 I applied to Ottawa and Queen's but I don't think I am eligible for Western because to complete my two Bachelor's I had to complete quite a few first and second year courses in my third and fourth years that exclude me from the Western prerequisite of having a majority of courses in your year of study.  

I'm confused. Are you doing two bachelors at the same time? If so, why?

1 hour ago, WhatAmISupposedToDo said:

I had done so on the advice of individuals who had said this would maximize my CASPer score. I was told that marking depended most on the quality of your answers and whether you could demonstrate an ethical understanding of the situation presented and not on the quantity. As such, I felt that I would be best served by focusing on how to demonstrate my ability to display empathy and make ethical decisions rather than on answering all 3 questions in 5 minutes with a lacklustre answer for each.

It wasn't wrong what they told you. You kinda took it a bit far with that interpretation though...

 

3 hours ago, WhatAmISupposedToDo said:

I will certainly only going to do a Master that I am passionate about, that tends to be the goal when I approach things

It's great that you have a Master's program that you are passionate about, but don't do it thinking that it will significantly increase your chance of gaining admission to medical school. 1) Not every school will care. 2) You will probably need to show research productivity. 3) it will most likely not be able to make up for your GPA, with everything else being equal.

Do the masters only if you are passionate about it and want to do it regardless. In fact, it may open up another career path. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, sangria said:

I'm confused. Are you doing two bachelors at the same time? If so, why?

It wasn't wrong what they told you. You kinda took it a bit far with that interpretation though...

 

It's great that you have a Master's program that you are passionate about, but don't do it thinking that it will significantly increase your chance of gaining admission to medical school. 1) Not every school will care. 2) You will probably need to show research productivity. 3) it will most likely not be able to make up for your GPA, with everything else being equal.

Do the masters only if you are passionate about it and want to do it regardless. In fact, it may open up another career path. 

 

 

Hi there! I am doing two Bachelor's at the same time, mainly because I have a topic in Arts and a topic in Science that I am passionate about. I will be finished both at the end of this year. 

With regards to what they told me, I was given the specific advice to just fill out one of the answers because of the reason I gave. 

With regards to the Master's, absolutely, I think you are correct. I would not be doing a Master's if I did not feel passionately about the topic, I would probably spend time boosting my ECs otherwise. 

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