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Hey all, I'm a recent graduate (Ontario IP), and I am considering to do a special year to raise my GPAs. I'm wondering if this is something that adcoms would look down upon at all? For reference my cGPA is 3.8 and with a full year of 4.0's could be possible for me to get it up to 3.85 (optimistic haha). I would probably just seek work otherwise, but I am interested in this special year to increase my chances even by a little. In particular Queens with the 2YR GPA formula (I had a great final year/term (covid), not so great third year). It would also make my UofT wGPA to be the low 3.9s instead of high 3.8s. Any comments are much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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No there is no "looking down" in doing a fifth year. Have you actually applied to graduate with a degree? Or can you just extend your studies by another year? 

Since some schools may require that the courses taken must be leading towards a degree, just taking courses in a fifth year may be problematic. Check with Admissions for the schools you're thinking of applying to just to be sure. 

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Hi @DrOtter, yes I have already graduated, so this year would be a "special/unclassified year" instead of a fifth year. Thanks for letting me know about some schools not considering non degree years, I will look into that for sure. Just to clarify for schools that DO look at non degree years, these years would not be seen as "less legitimate" than degree years? Thanks so much

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I don't believe there is any negative connotation to you doing a special year, as long as you make sure to do high level courses (e.g. 3rd and 4th year courses) to show that you are able to excel in an academically challenging environment. It'd look bad if a person does a special year of just 1st year courses to raise their GPA. so I think as long as you do that, nothing will be held against you aside from the admissions policy regarding courses leading to degree that I mentioned. 

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It's totally fine to do a 5th no degree year. I actually did a mix of higher level and low level science courses (ie astronomy 101 and genetics 403) And it wasn't a problem since I wasn't eligible for the special GPA rules at most places. What I did do though was to ensure they were all math or science courses because I was also applying to the US and they look at your math/science course GPA as well as your overall GPA.

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On 7/2/2020 at 12:16 AM, lostnconfused said:

Hey all, I'm a recent graduate (Ontario IP), and I am considering to do a special year to raise my GPAs. I'm wondering if this is something that adcoms would look down upon at all? For reference my cGPA is 3.8 and with a full year of 4.0's could be possible for me to get it up to 3.85 (optimistic haha). I would probably just seek work otherwise, but I am interested in this special year to increase my chances even by a little. In particular Queens with the 2YR GPA formula (I had a great final year/term (covid), not so great third year). It would also make my UofT wGPA to be the low 3.9s instead of high 3.8s. Any comments are much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Double check with admissions to see how a special year after graduation works - each school is different in their GPA calculation. You want to get a sense of if it  will it count towards your WGPA. There’s no looking down on an extra year. 

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