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How do people get rejected from Ottawa with good GPA and CASPer???


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52 minutes ago, EnchantedPrincess282 said:

I see so many people get rejected pre-interview with 3.95+, a presumably good CASPer (as they get McMaster invites as well) and probably good EC's as they receive another invite from a school like Queen's or UofT. Is Ottawa just this picky about their ABS? Has anyone noticed any patterns??

they have always been picky about the ABS - they were I would say one of the first schools to really empathize ECs pre interview. 

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Another thing to consider is that CASPer is really a blackbox. As well as the fact that Ottawa is a bit opaque about their pre-interview weighting. 

The people you see with 3.95+ that got interviewed at Mac might also have really high CARS scores that offset their "average" CASPer, which might have tripped them at Ottawa. 

On the flip side, I applied this year with a 3.96 cGPA and a 130 CARS and didn't get interviewed at Mac - presumably from a "bad" CASPer score (I'm also OOP so competition might just be fierce in that field). But I got Ottawa and was accepted in the end. But I wouldn't say that my ECs are outstanding enough to compensate for a "shitty" CASPer either, since I didn't get interviewed at Queen's or UofT.

All in all, it just points to the possibility of either CASPer score was used differently at Ottawa vs Mac, and/or that Ottawa really prefers certain types of ECs (compared to other schools). 

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I agree with everything said above, but I also wanted to add that you can never de-emphasize the amount of luck in this process. Unfortunately things like ABS and CAF ratings are subjective, and may depend on who is reading your application, if they can relate to the activities you did, etc. Med schools try to make things as objective as possible but there will always be some luck involved

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To add to the great points above it's worth noting the school's applicant pools are not the same (especially post-cutoff) between Ontario schools. 

At Mac CASPer's worth 32% and you're competing with EVERYONE, no cutoffs pre-interview. At Ottawa it's worth who knows what (we've heard everything from 1/3rd to 50% of preinterview, I'm not sure who to believe...), but, you're only competing with people who made the cutoff. The same thing applies to ECs, someone has good ECs, for making Queens decent cutoff or the UofT's really high competitive average. You can't really use different schools to benchmark yourself as a result. Sure, someone with awesome ECs may go 4/4 on Ottawa, Toronto, Queens, Western, but most people don't have awesome ECs, so there's some stochastic factors in which EC-heavy schools you would receive invites at. 

Furthermore, it's possible your availability heuristic is playing tricks on you. Someone posting "4.00, CASPer is great (Mac invite), great ECs, rejected :(" is going to stick into your mind more than someone getting an invite. It's also possible people are not choosing to judge their ECs in comparison to other schools; someone may have received Queens/Toronto/Calgary invites, but not mention it. We actually have some self-reported data you could comb through, the OMSAS button spreadsheet, which is Mac centric, but still has 46 Mac "interviewees", 34 Ottawa, and 24 both. 

Finally, that annoying CARs score. Based off the OMSAS button spreadsheet (does anyone still remember that? :)?) people with Mac+Ottawa had a CARs score a full point lower than Mac, no Ottawa, people only, so people with higher CARs scores, which do nothing at Ottawa, may have it carry them at Mac. You can't really make straight across comparisons between schools, especially when we don't know how much weight  (presumably significant) ECs hold at Ottawa. 

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4 hours ago, EnchantedPrincess282 said:

I see so many people get rejected pre-interview with 3.95+, a presumably good CASPer (as they get McMaster invites as well) and probably good EC's as they receive another invite from a school like Queen's or UofT. Is Ottawa just this picky about their ABS? Has anyone noticed any patterns??

I agree with that said above, this process is unfortunately very much based on luck. Your GPA only gets you to the "next round" of the process, after that its your ECs/CAFs/Casper - all of which are subjective. However, your GPA may help you post-interview for Ottawa, granted your interview goes well. 

My advice - focus on improving your ECs (try to make them standout/longterm commitments/good wording) and try your best at CASPER. 

 

Goodluck!

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As others have said, luck is definitely involved. As long as they don't release scores for Casper and the ABS, we will never really know why some people get and interview and others don't. 

I do have a theory though. It's something that I have noticed but I could be totally wrong. I think that they look for a significant commitment during the academic year on the ABS. Wether it is a part time job, volunteering or even a competitive sport, I think they want to see that you can have good grades while doing something else for at least 10 or 15 hrs/week. The people I know with very high GPAs that did not get interviewed were people that focused only on school from September to May. Anyways that's just my theory. Maybe someone with an amazing Casper and a high GPA would get in without this kind of commitment but I think that for the average applicant it's important. 

Good luck!

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1 hour ago, Sunshine! said:

I do have a theory though. It's something that I have noticed but I could be totally wrong. I think that they look for a significant commitment during the academic year on the ABS. Wether it is a part time job, volunteering or even a competitive sport, I think they want to see that you can have good grades while doing something else for at least 10 or 15 hrs/week. The people I know with very high GPAs that did not get interviewed were people that focused only on school from September to May.

Interesting theory. Definitely applies to my track record.

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Just now, petitmonstre111 said:

Interesting theory. Definitely applies to my track record.

Interesting! I'm sure we could find some people for whom it doesn't apply, but I think these applicants have something amazing that compensates for this.

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Yooo 500 IQ theory. I'd probably fall into that category too, add my n of 1. I never really gave it much thought but in the future you have to do a lot of things concurrently with your education and it makes a lot of sense they would value the ability. You have boards to study for during residency too which sounds really hectic, working burnout inducing hours and then coming home to study somehow. Meeting parallel workload demands is kind of hard to approximate, you just kind of figure it out by doing and you can learn a lot about yourself and your real priorities, how long can you handle losing your personal freedom, etc. Med is all evidence based so I guess they want to see evidence for it :P

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My experience doesn't really line up with that - I interviewed at Ottawa and was ultimately "good-waitlisted" but accepted a different offer. My ABS consisted of a bunch of activities, but none I had a super intense commitment to (definitely not close to 10-15 hours per week). I worked in research the past year after graduating, but that was a full-time job and not an extracurricular/volunteering

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