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Does schools only look at GPA or detailed transcripts?


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Hi, I have a question regarding how our grade is looked at in the applciations. Do schools simply look at GPA as a pass/fail (to meet criteria) or look into the transcript as well?

I have this question because it can make a huge difference for me. My OMSAS calculated GPA is 3.83, but it is due to having a year full of low 80s and a couple 70s in a business program (my first year) at a different school. After that year, I then transferred to a science program at another school and completed year 2-4 there, and have a 3.95 GPA ever since. As a matter of fact, I got the gold medal of that program when graduating. I am generally concerned that my first year in business will downplay my academics profile significantly despite my effort to achieve my grades in the science program which actually matters. And last year I only got interviewed by Ottawa which uses their weighted GPA ignoring my first year in business which kind of contributed to my concer, as Ottawa this year also plans to use normal cumulative GPA.

Any input is appreciated, thanks!

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On 11/6/2020 at 2:22 PM, BENQQQQQ said:

Hi, I have a question regarding how our grade is looked at in the applciations. Do schools simply look at GPA as a pass/fail (to meet criteria) or look into the transcript as well?

I have this question because it can make a huge difference for me. My OMSAS calculated GPA is 3.83, but it is due to having a year full of low 80s and a couple 70s in a business program (my first year) at a different school. After that year, I then transferred to a science program at another school and completed year 2-4 there, and have a 3.95 GPA ever since. As a matter of fact, I got the gold medal of that program when graduating. I am generally concerned that my first year in business will downplay my academics profile significantly despite my effort to achieve my grades in the science program which actually matters. And last year I only got interviewed by Ottawa which uses their weighted GPA ignoring my first year in business which kind of contributed to my concer, as Ottawa this year also plans to use normal cumulative GPA.

Any input is appreciated, thanks!

Hey there, just wanted to ease your fears re Ottawa- their weighted to cumulative GPA switch doesn't have anything to do with what years they look at (your 3 most recent), it's just that they used to calculate it as year 1 x 1 + year 2 x 2 + year 3 x 3, so basically upper year courses were "worth" more, whereas now each course is worth the same. But as I said, in both cases they only look at 3 years so if you did years 2-4 in your science program and got 3.95 each then you'll be totally fine. They won't look at your first business year.

As for the transcript thing- I have no idea if they do that, but keep in mind that each school looks at GPA differently. Western and Queen's both use 2 best years (for Western as long as you have 3 years above a 3.7 which you do), so you're good there. U of T is cumulative but I highly recommend writing their academic explanations essay and explaining what happened in your first year, which could cause them to increase your GPA with weighting (no one knows how much). The only place in Ontario where you might have an issue is Mac which does use cumulative GPA, but a 3.83 is not bad for them as long as your cars and CASPer are decent.

I have no idea how OOP schools calculate GPA.

Hope that helps ease your concern!

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 11/8/2020 at 5:50 PM, Psych said:

Hey there, just wanted to ease your fears re Ottawa- their weighted to cumulative GPA switch doesn't have anything to do with what years they look at (your 3 most recent), it's just that they used to calculate it as year 1 x 1 + year 2 x 2 + year 3 x 3, so basically upper year courses were "worth" more, whereas now each course is worth the same. But as I said, in both cases they only look at 3 years so if you did years 2-4 in your science program and got 3.95 each then you'll be totally fine. They won't look at your first business year.

As for the transcript thing- I have no idea if they do that, but keep in mind that each school looks at GPA differently. Western and Queen's both use 2 best years (for Western as long as you have 3 years above a 3.7 which you do), so you're good there. U of T is cumulative but I highly recommend writing their academic explanations essay and explaining what happened in your first year, which could cause them to increase your GPA with weighting (no one knows how much). The only place in Ontario where you might have an issue is Mac which does use cumulative GPA, but a 3.83 is not bad for them as long as your cars and CASPer are decent.

I have no idea how OOP schools calculate GPA.

Hope that helps ease your concern!

Omg sorry about the late response and thank you so much this made my mind much easier! (Just woke up in the middle of the ngiht and can't sleep due to this). I was always thinking if I qualify for writing an explanation because I blame myself for my performance under the business program, but if it does not work our this year I will definitely give it a try and contact them beforehand to make sure it is fine for me to write one.

Again really appreciate your insights!!

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