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I was looking to apply to McGill this cycle and wanted an idea of how competitive I'd look pre-interview. I'm a Quebec resident (though I did post secondary in Ontario) and I have a CGPA of 3.83, I'm finishing up my Masters and my GPA for that is 3.93. I also just got my MCAT score back and got a 517 (130 in everything except CARS which was 127!).

I know McGill this cycle is no longer looking at prerequisite GPA specifically and the average GPA for IP students admitted last year was 3.87. I'm just wondering how I'd fare this year as I feel my undergrad CGPA may be too low (considering this can take up to 70% of my pre interview score). I was pretty happy with my MCAT this year and definitely wanna apply with it but McGill made it pretty unclear as to what extent it can support an application this cycle.

Any thoughts/advice?

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The fact that you've done masters-level studies will give you a bump in the academic ranking since 10% of the academic component of the pre-interview rank depends on "academic context" like graduate studies and progression of course difficulty. Seems like you should be fine in that regard. Sure, maybe your cGPA is slightly below average, but it seems like you're close enough that it's unreasonable to rule you out. If your CASPer/CV are solid then you should be able to at least get an interview I'd think. As for the MCAT, it's effectively irrelevant at this point. Previously it was only used in the post-interview ranking, but as of this cycle the post-interview ranking is 100% based on your interview performance. 

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2 hours ago, Vons said:

The fact that you've done masters-level studies will give you a bump in the academic ranking since 10% of the academic component of the pre-interview rank depends on "academic context" like graduate studies and progression of course difficulty. Seems like you should be fine in that regard. Sure, maybe your cGPA is slightly below average, but it seems like you're close enough that it's unreasonable to rule you out. If your CASPer/CV are solid then you should be able to at least get an interview I'd think. As for the MCAT, it's effectively irrelevant at this point. Previously it was only used in the post-interview ranking, but as of this cycle the post-interview ranking is 100% based on your interview performance. 

Thank you! I needed some reassurance at least that an interview is possible. It was obvious, but I gotta make sure to nail CASPer at least to better my chances. And dang, I didn't know the MCAT was only for the old post-interview assessment. On their website they say they still consider it for the academic evaluation but now I have no idea how for sure or if it's just not updated. I sent them an email to ask so hopefully some clarity will come.

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1 hour ago, KyleLowryFanAccount said:

Thank you! I needed some reassurance at least that an interview is possible. It was obvious, but I gotta make sure to nail CASPer at least to better my chances. And dang, I didn't know the MCAT was only for the old post-interview assessment. On their website they say they still consider it for the academic evaluation but now I have no idea how for sure or if it's just not updated. I sent them an email to ask so hopefully some clarity will come.

I totally understand needing some reassurance! As for the website, I'm pretty sure there are at least a few pages that aren't totally up to date. If you look here you'll see the percent breakdowns at each stage. There's no place for the MCAT anymore. That said, I understand that they "consider it" for the sake of American applicants who need to submit it to be eligible for US loans, or for undergraduate applicants whose degrees were completed outside of Canada. In that context I understood it simply as a way to "confirm eligibility", and not a competitive point of comparison between applicants. If they tell you otherwise please let us know!

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33 minutes ago, Vons said:

I totally understand needing some reassurance! As for the website, I'm pretty sure there are at least a few pages that aren't totally up to date. If you look here you'll see the percent breakdowns at each stage. There's no place for the MCAT anymore. That said, I understand that they "consider it" for the sake of American applicants who need to submit it to be eligible for US loans, or for undergraduate applicants whose degrees were completed outside of Canada. In that context I understood it simply as a way to "confirm eligibility", and not a competitive point of comparison between applicants. If they tell you otherwise please let us know!

They got back! Here's what they said:

Note that the MCAT will be reviewed in the 70 percent academic context if it is beneficial to your application.  We are no longer using the basic sciences in the selection process. 

They didn't specify (as usual) as to how exactly it can affect the weighing of the selection or whether or not they mean only the 10% portion of the overall academic context or the remaining 90%. But it seems like there's no reason not to include the MCAT score since it could help in some way (I would also like to think all the effort I put into it doesn't go to waste either haha)

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On 9/17/2020 at 10:39 AM, Vons said:

The fact that you've done masters-level studies will give you a bump in the academic ranking since 10% of the academic component of the pre-interview rank depends on "academic context" like graduate studies and progression of course difficulty. Seems like you should be fine in that regard. Sure, maybe your cGPA is slightly below average, but it seems like you're close enough that it's unreasonable to rule you out. If your CASPer/CV are solid then you should be able to at least get an interview I'd think. As for the MCAT, it's effectively irrelevant at this point. Previously it was only used in the post-interview ranking, but as of this cycle the post-interview ranking is 100% based on your interview performance. 

Agreed with what Vons said, to give you some idea here’s a bit of my experience as a grad student applicant.

In the 2017 and 2018 application cycles, I ranked inside top 270 for the academic component with an undergrad gpa of 3.68. Given my decent academic ranking relative to my gpa, there’s no doubt I received a good chunk of the points in academic context (10% of the 70%) because I fulfilled at least 1 or 2 of their listed criteria:

-did grad studies

-took progressively harder courses during undergrad

-it wasn’t a professional degree though, so no pts there

Notes:

-regarding the progressive course difficulty: was never 100% sure if I satisfy this but probably yes because I never had below-my year courses plus also took a grad-level course during undergrad

-McGill stopped giving component specific rankings this year, so no idea how my academic ranking stacked up in this year’s newly widened applicant pool in the IP university category plus I also got screened out by my rock bottom CASPer

-at the time of those prior applications: MSc already completed/graduated, PhD started, 4.0 gpa in both

Which leads to some things I’ve pondered about over the years:

Do they give more or less “points” for the graduate degree if it is in progress or does it have to be completed by the time of application?

Do you get more points for multiple grad degrees? (PhD + MSc vs MSc alone)? Do the grades matter in some way?

In my situation, I have no insight to these questions because I didn’t apply prior my MSc being done but have always been a bit curious, and wonder if anyone here would have some more anecdotal data to share so we can uncover this a bit for other fellow graduate applicants lol.

 

tldr: those potential 10% given for the academic context can apparently make a hell of a difference

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39 minutes ago, medium fundamental said:

Agreed with what Vons said, to give you some idea here’s a bit of my experience as a grad student applicant.

In the 2017 and 2018 application cycles, I ranked inside top 270 for the academic component with an undergrad gpa of 3.68. Given my decent academic ranking relative to my gpa, there’s no doubt I received a good chunk of the points in academic context (10% of the 70%) because I fulfilled at least 1 or 2 of their listed criteria:

-did grad studies

-took progressively harder courses during undergrad

-it wasn’t a professional degree though, so no pts there

Notes:

-regarding the progressive course difficulty: was never 100% sure if I satisfy this but probably yes because I never had below-my year courses plus also took a grad-level course during undergrad

-McGill stopped giving component specific rankings this year, so no idea how my academic ranking stacked up in this year’s newly widened applicant pool in the IP university category plus I also got screened out by my rock bottom CASPer

-at the time of those prior applications: MSc already completed/graduated, PhD started, 4.0 gpa in both

Which leads to some things I’ve pondered about over the years:

Do they give more or less “points” for the graduate degree if it is in progress or does it have to be completed by the time of application?

Do you get more points for multiple grad degrees? (PhD + MSc vs MSc alone)? Do the grades matter in some way?

In my situation, I have no insight to these questions because I didn’t apply prior my MSc being done but have always been a bit curious, and wonder if anyone here would have some more anecdotal data to share so we can uncover this a bit for other fellow graduate applicants lol.

 

tldr: those potential 10% given for the academic context can apparently make a hell of a difference

Thanks so much for sharing! It's definitely a relief to hear that grad studies make a difference. The Ontario medical schools really give minimal benefits if you did any grad studies which is Shane. Makes me wonder more now if McGill differentiates or prefers a course-based vs thesis/research driven graduate program too. But it seems like a significant plus nonetheless!

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