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Changes to Admission Requirements 2020-2021


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With regards to not taking winter 2020 marks, I think this disproportionately affects those applying in this upcoming cycle more than those who are currently in their first and second year. People ready to apply generally have an upswing in GPA.

But at the same time, the change in weighted GPA disproportionately affects those who just graduated and applying this cycle, why? My understanding is that 2nd year going into their 3rd year and 3rd years going to their 4th benefits the most as the lowest 2.0 FCE gets dropped whether you took 20 courses, or 30 courses, or 40 half-year courses. Hence, I can see why they decided to include summers as 2nd year applying to 3rd year typically take hard prerequisites in the summer which may lead to a decrease in GPA.

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Wow, this was so well said! Thank you! This was also exactly my point ... UofT assesses GPA competitively, but just removing 2.0 FCE gives limited flexibility and only values people who already have a

No, I think they might round down 

Yea that's the biggest slap in the face, if youre making it harder to get a high wGPA, dont frame it like youre doing us a favour!

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7 minutes ago, RaccoonKing said:

 My understanding is that 2nd year going into their 3rd year and 3rd years going to their 4th benefits the most as the lowest 2.0 FCE gets dropped whether you took 20 courses, or 30 courses, or 40 half-year courses. Hence, I can see why they decided to include summers as 2nd year applying to 3rd year typically take hard prerequisites in the summer which may lead to a decrease in GPA.

Applicants applying in their 3rd year wont have any FCEs dropped as they specify that it only applies to  (for applicants enrolled in fourth year of undergraduate studies or higher):

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Personally, I think this is their attempt to try and stop people from "gaming the system" and look better. 

Think of it, why count summer courses now? To count grades for people who are spreading out their coursework is one reason, but other schools ("cough" Western "cough") are quite insistent on having 5 and 5, so many people who have been planning for this since junior High will already have 5&5. What this does do is stop people from taking "Hard" courses in the summer and counting on them not counting at most schools. It closes a loophole for some, making the process fairer for those who need to work over summers. I am curious what a "1.5 FCE" actually translates to in practical terms. Is it one course per summer term (then my argument applies). If not, then my argument falls a little flat but it still works at helping people who need to take summer courses, which is a net benefit. 

For the second change it works in a similar matter. No more taking 5th and 6th years to boost that GPA. We can debate the "best" wGPA formula day in day out, and some people win, others lose, the key thing to remember is that UofT has the envious position of having a sky high (almost mockably high) GPA. In an age of op eds talking about "holistic" or some other buzzword admissions policies do you really want to stand up and defend having an average that rounds to an A+? I see this as a push to knock their average GPA down, maybe even low enough that Ottawa can be the highest. 

Let's also think of the ramifications of this change. Everyone focuses on the average like you need to hit it to have a fighting chance, which isn't true since it's a MEAN, not a minimum, set based on the pool. I was accepted to a school where my GPA is below the average, it happens. Grade inflation/increased competitiveness seems to have hit the ceiling in the last couple years, so relatively similar people, with relatively similar marks, apply to each school each year. Only drastic changes to selection policies will have a large impact (no more 3rd years, looking at ECs, cutoff instead of competitive, etc...). Yes, your GPA will be lower and that sucks, but guess what, so will almost everyone else's GPA since they too will only be able to drop the same number of courses as you. Sure, someone might have 4 horrible courses, someone else 5, another 6, and it makes a difference to some people, but on the whole, everyone is in the same boat, as unfortunate as it is for some people. 

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9 minutes ago, MedicineLCS said:

I am curious what a "1.5 FCE" actually translates to in practical terms. Is it one course per summer term (then my argument applies). If not, then my argument falls a little flat but it still works at helping people who need to take summer courses, which is a net benefit. 

"3.0 or more FCEs during the fall/winter and 1.5 or more FCEs during the summer terms" - makes it sound like taking a full course load during a summer which nobody really does (most take one or two hard courses to get it out of the way, or to fulfill UBC English or something) (agree with @BBALLCBMJ)

Catching summer cheats would be a noble endeavour but this policy doesnt accomplish this

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5 minutes ago, MedicineLCS said:

Personally, I think this is their attempt to try and stop people from "gaming the system" and look better. 

Think of it, why count summer courses now? To count grades for people who are spreading out their coursework is one reason, but other schools ("cough" Western "cough") are quite insistent on having 5 and 5, so many people who have been planning for this since junior High will already have 5&5. What this does do is stop people from taking "Hard" courses in the summer and counting on them not counting at most schools. It closes a loophole for some, making the process fairer for those who need to work over summers. I am curious what a "1.5 FCE" actually translates to in practical terms. Is it one course per summer term (then my argument applies). If not, then my argument falls a little flat but it still works at helping people who need to take summer courses, which is a net benefit. 

For the second change it works in a similar matter. No more taking 5th and 6th years to boost that GPA. We can debate the "best" wGPA formula day in day out, and some people win, others lose, the key thing to remember is that UofT has the envious position of having a sky high (almost mockably high) GPA. In an age of op eds talking about "holistic" or some other buzzword admissions policies do you really want to stand up and defend having an average that rounds to an A+? I see this as a push to knock their average GPA down, maybe even low enough that Ottawa can be the highest. 

Let's also think of the ramifications of this change. Everyone focuses on the average like you need to hit it to have a fighting chance, which isn't true since it's a MEAN, not a minimum, set based on the pool. I was accepted to a school where my GPA is below the average, it happens. Grade inflation/increased competitiveness seems to have hit the ceiling in the last couple years, so relatively similar people, with relatively similar marks, apply to each school each year. Only drastic changes to selection policies will have a large impact (no more 3rd years, looking at ECs, cutoff instead of competitive, etc...). Yes, your GPA will be lower and that sucks, but guess what, so will almost everyone else's GPA since they too will only be able to drop the same number of courses as you. Sure, someone might have 4 horrible courses, someone else 5, another 6, and it makes a difference to some people, but on the whole, everyone is in the same boat, as unfortunate as it is for some people. 

I could be wrong, but I believe summer terms only count if you were in school on a full-time basis (1.5 FCE/3 courses or more). If you were only taking 1 or 2 courses per summer (less than 1.5 FCE), then they wouldn't count.

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1 minute ago, kiara said:

how do you guys think this will change the wGPA? I think it'd be lower obviously, but how much :confused:

Depends on what the weighting was removing - I have four really bad grades (two 3.0 and two 3.3) which are wiped. I was supposed to have 5 FCE wiped but the others were just 3.7s (the additional 3FCEs I wouldve gotten doesnt wipe all my 3.7 either. so 3.92 to 3.88 if my math holds 

Ive applied to UofT three times with no avail - probably my essays more than anything 

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1 hour ago, helpmeplease! said:

I really do not understand why they are completely ignoring W20 grades. That was my last semester of my undergrad and was going to be my best (even before COVID). Now that will never count and will continuously make me disadvantaged in all future application cycles. Why wouldn't they just discount the semester if it lowered your GPA and keep it if it raised it/kept it the same? 

I don't think schools are wiping this semesters grades because they may be overly low for some applicants, but rather the opposite. With online evaluation there is much more opportunity for cheating and therefore inflated averages. I think that's the main reason they aren't including it.

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As someone who terribly struggled in their first year of university due to some severe personal issues (I nearly failed every course in first year), I can say that I probably would have not gotten into UofT if they did not apply the 4 FCE drop. 
 

It’s crucial to understand that the weighing wasn’t there only to boost people to a near 4.0 GPA. For many, many applicants, it meant the difference between having no chance at all and having somewhat of a chance, as was the case for me. With the 2 FCE drop my GPA would have been around 3.7 as an UG applicant. One might argue that since this affects all of us, wGPA averages will drop. But that drop won’t be significant because there are still many applicants who will be in the 3.95+ range with the 2 FCE drop. The result is that those who really struggled in one year will be hurt more while those who had high GPAs to begin with will benefit. The disparity between high and low gpa applicants will increase due to this.

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11 minutes ago, bruh said:

As someone who terribly struggled in their first year of university due to some severe personal issues (I nearly failed every course in first year), I can say that I probably would have not gotten into UofT if they did not apply the 4 FCE drop. 
 

It’s crucial to understand that the weighing wasn’t there only to boost people to a near 4.0 GPA. For many, many applicants, it meant the difference between having no chance at all and having somewhat of a chance, as was the case for me. With the 2 FCE drop my GPA would have been around 3.7 as an UG applicant. One might argue that since this affects all of us, wGPA averages will drop. But that drop won’t be significant because there are still many applicants who will be in the 3.95+ range with the 2 FCE drop. The result is that those who really struggled in one year will be hurt more while those who had high GPAs to begin with will benefit. The disparity between high and low gpa applicants will increase due to this.

Isn't disparity between applicants preferable? Those with consistent high gpas aren't really benefiting, they're not affected, similarly those with consistently lower gpas are not as greatly affected. This is bad for everyone without a 4.0 but worse for those who had a tough start to uni or had a block of bad courses. I wonder why U of T is so against the MCAT, I think increasing the cutoff or assessing it competitively could help ppl with lower gpas prove their academic side and hopefully lower the ridiculous averages.

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23 hours ago, AB27 said:

Isn't disparity between applicants preferable? Those with consistent high gpas aren't really benefiting, they're not affected, similarly those with consistently lower gpas are not as greatly affected. This is bad for everyone without a 4.0 but worse for those who had a tough start to uni or had a block of bad courses. I wonder why U of T is so against the MCAT, I think increasing the cutoff or assessing it competitively could help ppl with lower gpas prove their academic side and hopefully lower the ridiculous averages.

 

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14 minutes ago, AB27 said:

Isn't disparity between applicants preferable? Those with consistent high gpas aren't really benefiting, they're not affected, similarly those with consistently lower gpas are not as greatly affected. This is bad for everyone without a 4.0 but worse for those who had a tough start to uni or had a block of bad courses. I wonder why U of T is so against the MCAT, I think increasing the cutoff or assessing it competitively could help ppl with lower gpas prove their academic side and hopefully lower the ridiculous averages.

Those with high GPAs DO benefit because while their situation does not change, those who could have competed with higher GPAs from the 4 FCE drop will now be pushed lower in the ranking. Think of my own example here:

 

bruh - cGPA: 3.61

someotherdude: - cGPA: 3.85

Scenario 1 (existing): 4FCE drop

bruh -  wGPA: 3.91

someotherdude - wGPA: 3.90

bruh is more competitive

 

Scenario 2 (new): 2FCE Drop

bruh - wGPA: 3.7X 

someotherdude - wGPA: 3.88

someotherdude is more competitive

In fact, every other dude and dudette is more competitive because bruh ain’t got no chance with a 3.7X

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3 minutes ago, bruh said:

Those with high GPAs DO benefit because while their situation does not change, those who could have competed with higher GPAs from the 4 FCE drop will now be pushed lower in the ranking. Think of my own example here:

 

 

I guess its a question of whether or not we value consistent academic performance, the second group is really pushed closer to their actual ranking. I don't love seeing ppl trying to act like those w good GPAs got it cushy. I worked for my GPA and every two seconds I see posts like "a 4.0/ 520 wont get you in! " "Stats aren't everything!" like why you gotta rub it in my face that above a certain point my hard work is useless lol. If we are going to use GPA to separate people we have to let it do that at some point, to some degree. I am glad there are weighting formulas in Canada because a lot of factors can lead to a bad semester or bad year. There has to be some point where we actually use GPA though. I think the academic explanations essay is a good idea here and more schools should try something like this for people who've gone through tough times that may not make them competitive at first glance.

 

Also that last bit made me chuckle :p

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Hey everyone, I think statistics are really important to some degree. However,  I'm disappointed with the changes. Sometimes it is extremely difficult to consistently score a high gpa due to extenuating circumstances. I applaud people with 3.8s, 3.9s and 4.0s without any weighting but then again, cGPAs are not standardized. Also, isn't it surprising that all the people I know with cGPA of 4.0 come from McMaster Health Sci? I really don't know what to say about these changes. It sometimes feels like we just have to accept what the admissions committee throws at us ... :( I still think the previous weighted gpa benefited people that would have actually ADDED to the DIVERSITY aspect of the program... and I still believe someone with a 4.0 or 3.9 cumulative, will not be a better doctor than someone with a cumulative that is much lower ... everyone comes from different undergraduate programs which have varying difficulty levels. 

*sigh*

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Man I overloaded my summer with 2.5 FCEs after second year with orgo + lab, physics I & II + lab, and a 1 FCE summer research project with a 70 page research paper....this is no bueno. Still fortunate I only dropped 0.02 all that being said based on everyone else dropping much more. They should institute such policies after 1-2 years of said policy...

 

And yes I agree that this policy does help those with higher GPAs (>3.90) in the first place than those that have lower GPAs. Not really equitable of a policy as they say. 

 

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18 minutes ago, greysweater said:

Gonna be a large influx of academic explanations essays this year.....

Why do you say that? 

I think the only thing that has changed is that they are only letting you drop 2.0 FCE. Aren't AEE only there for applicants to advocate that they should be considered for weighting? Are you saying that people are going to write AEE to drop more than 2.0 FCE? Lol

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On 6/8/2020 at 4:42 PM, scoobydoo1623 said:

But before the wGPA explanation, it had "for applicants enrolled in fourth year of undergraduate studies or higher" in brackets. What if you're not enrolled in undergraduate studies? I don't think this particular wGPA would apply and perhaps, the existing weighting formula still stands for other applicants (non-undergrads). I hope this is true. 

 

 

did anyone email to get clarity on this? Does the wGPA change affect everyone alike, regardless of whether you're currently in undergrad or graduated many years ago?

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6 minutes ago, Failure said:

did anyone email to get clarity on this? Does the wGPA change affect everyone alike, regardless of whether you're currently in undergrad or graduated many years ago?

Just my interpretation but it wouldn't make sense for them to have different formulas depending on whether you graduated a decade ago versus those still in school now. I think they meant it in the sense that those who completed three years or more of undergraduate.

For example, I finished 5th year in Winter 2020 (RIP) - doesnt mean I will get 5 FCEs removed like I was promised

Literally the feeling of having the rug pulled under you with Winter 2020 and now this - I took 2 full year courses too (4.0 both) which wont even count to Fall 2019

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But has anyone actually emailed UofT Med Admissions to figure out additional details? medicine.admiss@utoronto.ca

honestly we could ALL be wrong depending on how you interpret the grammar lol..stop for a moment, what if they are allowing 2.0 FCE removed PER year? And we're all just hysterical? Re-read the sentences a few times.... They really should've been more clear especially during this pandemic.

Weighted GPA Calculation (for applicants enrolled in fourth year of undergraduate studies or higher):

  • EXISTING: Eligible to drop 3.0 or more FCEs of lowest grades if they have taken a full course load during the regular academic year (September to April for most programs) in each year of their undergraduate studies. The number of dropped FCEs is equivalent to the number of undergraduate years completed.
  • NEW: Eligible to drop 2.0 FCEs of lowest grades if they have taken a full course load during the regular academic year (September to April of most programs) in each year of their undergraduate studies.
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