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Honest comments on whether I should proceed next cycle


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Hi Everyone. I'm recovering myself from an R from UBC and now really trying to calm down and think about my choices going forward.

It's not the R that hurts because I am expecting that as a OOP with average-level GPA (~87%). But the fact that my results are also way below the IP cutoff (47, compared to IP cut-off 53) really makes me start to question whether I have a stance anymore in any other med schools in Canada. 

I think that number suggests that my EC are also below average, which I should have known. I didn't start research and volunteering until 3rd year undergrad, and spending first 2 years on club executives and the previous career goal I was pursuing (education). It was hard to get started on research so first 2 labs I just did basic things and has no product (pre/pub). But I don't regret it - it's from the tedious job in the first lab (non-lifescience) can I got recommended into a second lab that I'm more interested in (neuroscience), and the being able to get into a clinical lab, and stay there to do a MSc, doing work I enjoy. However, it may seem to AdCom that I have barely any long-term commitment (about 2-year crisis line volunteering seems to be the only long-term, if not talking about any hobbies), but I was a confused undergrad and I explored all kinds of different career options to find me the one I wanted to pursue.

Sorry for having you read through these bitter thoughts. But my question is just that, given now that I have a more realistic understanding of myself (lower than average GPA, lower than average EC), should I proceed trying a next cycle? Now is my second cycle, and I'm in the second year of MSc after a failed first one. Is it worthy to go on a second undergrad with ~3.8 GPA? Or would I have a better chance to work for a few years to get more Pub (I'm in human clinical research where pub really slowly comes out due to the slow recruitment, but I may have 2-3 next cycle)? Does it worth it to apply near my 30s?

I know a lot of those are personal choices. But it will be really helpful if anyone can provide me with some of your thoughts. Thanks in advance for whoever has the patience to read the whole thing. 

------- Edit: adding my yearly GPA breakdown

First to third year (full-time): 3.87, 3.82, 3.65; Fourth year (considered part-time, first semester only): 3.9

oGPA: 3.80 or 85.7 (UBC)

aGPA (UBC): 87.3

wGPA (UofT): 3.78  

2-year (Western): 3.85

MCAT: 2 tries, 513 (128, 125, 130, 130), 514 (130, 128, 128, 128)

 

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EC evaluation has an element of subjectivity and varies between schools. Anecdotal evidence to make you feel a bit better, but I was ~40th percentile NAQ IIRC (pre-interview) at UBC, and top 80th+ percentile at the UofC pre-interview (and interviewed at other EC heavy schools that don't give scores). One school generally doesn't predict your admission odds at other schools. You have 4 other schools, an OOP one rejected you, something you should usually expect when you apply OOP. Yes, OOP rejections sting and UBC's habit of stretching things over multiple days right before Christmas makes things worse, but now is not the time to hit the panic button.

It's impossible to say if a second degree is worth it without a year breakdown but with a (presumably cGPA) 3.8/87% I'd wager it wouldn't benefit you a whole lot. You'd also need to factor in the opportunity cost of doing another undergrad after a MSc. 

Enjoy your Christmas, and wait until February before doing anything hasty. You could very well go 4/5 from here on and look back later and chuckle at what you were thinking now. We all know the cycle is brutal but it's not over until it's over. 

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6 hours ago, ImReadyNextCycle said:

Hi Everyone. I'm recovering myself from an R from UBC and now really trying to calm down and think about my choices going forward.

It's not the R that hurts because I am expecting that as a OOP with average-level GPA (~87%). But the fact that my results are also way below the IP cutoff (47, compared to IP cut-off 53) really makes me start to question whether I have a stance anymore in any other med schools in Canada. 

I think that number suggests that my EC are also below average, which I should have known. I didn't start research and volunteering until 3rd year undergrad, and spending first 2 years on club executives and the previous career goal I was pursuing (education). It was hard to get started on research so first 2 labs I just did basic things and has no product (pre/pub). But I don't regret it - it's from the tedious job in the first lab (non-lifescience) can I got recommended into a second lab that I'm more interested in (neuroscience), and the being able to get into a clinical lab, and stay there to do a MSc, doing work I enjoy. However, it may seem to AdCom that I have barely any long-term commitment (about 2-year crisis line volunteering seems to be the only long-term, if not talking about any hobbies), but I was a confused undergrad and I explored all kinds of different career options to find me the one I wanted to pursue.

Sorry for having you read through these bitter thoughts. But my question is just that, given now that I have a more realistic understanding of myself (lower than average GPA, lower than average EC), should I proceed trying a next cycle? Now is my second cycle, and I'm in the second year of MSc after a failed first one. Is it worthy to go on a second undergrad with ~3.8 GPA? Or would I have a better chance to work for a few years to get more Pub (I'm in human clinical research where pub really slowly comes out due to the slow recruitment, but I may have 2-3 next cycle)? Does it worth it to apply near my 30s?

I know a lot of those are personal choices. But it will be really helpful if anyone can provide me with some of your thoughts. Thanks in advance for whoever has the patience to read the whole thing. 

 

Hey! I don't think you should take the UBC EC marker to be legitmate right now. They made a mistake with their EC calculations and I think the result bars as well. So before you start preicting how your ECs stand relative to other students, I think maybe just wait until UBC finalizes your NAQ score and result score. Your ECs could be better than you think!

 

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46 minutes ago, MedicineLCS said:

EC evaluation has an element of subjectivity and varies between schools. Anecdotal evidence to make you feel a bit better, but I was ~40th percentile NAQ IIRC (pre-interview) at UBC, and top 80th+ percentile at the UofC pre-interview (and interviewed at other EC heavy schools that don't give scores). One school generally doesn't predict your admission odds at other schools. You have 4 other schools, an OOP one rejected you, something you should usually expect when you apply OOP. Yes, OOP rejections sting and UBC's habit of stretching things over multiple days right before Christmas makes things worse, but now is not the time to hit the panic button.

It's impossible to say if a second degree is worth it without a year breakdown but with a (presumably cGPA) 3.8/87% I'd wager it wouldn't benefit you a whole lot. You'd also need to factor in the opportunity cost of doing another undergrad after a MSc. 

Enjoy your Christmas, and wait until February before doing anything hasty. You could very well go 4/5 from here on and look back later and chuckle at what you were thinking now. We all know the cycle is brutal but it's not over until it's over. 

Really appreciate your insights and the sharing of your experiences! I do feel pretty unsure about how a second undergrad would help me since I have all prerequisite courses taken already. Anyway, I will update GPA breakdown in the post as well to see if anyone has thoughts about this. I probably am pretty affected by the bar graph to see how off my slider is compared to the cut-offs and maybe I am thinking unrealistically pessimistic rn. It's reassuring to see your encouragement. Have a great holiday and hope things work out well for you too!

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17 minutes ago, minahg said:

 

Hey! I don't think you should take the UBC EC marker to be legitmate right now. They made a mistake with their EC calculations and I think the result bars as well. So before you start preicting how your ECs stand relative to other students, I think maybe just wait until UBC finalizes your NAQ score and result score. Your ECs could be better than you think!

 

I hope so! Didn't want to give myself too much hope because I feel they surely made the mistake of NAQ percentile but probably the sliders are accurate. But you're right we can't be sure. Thanks for the optimistic message!

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42 minutes ago, ImReadyNextCycle said:

I hope so! Didn't want to give myself too much hope because I feel they surely made the mistake of NAQ percentile but probably the sliders are accurate. But you're right we can't be sure. Thanks for the optimistic message!

For what it's worth, I don't think the sliders are accurate! There were people with the slider bar over the respective cutoff that got an R, people with 90+ averages with a TFR of only like 15, and I myself (OOP with 87 average) had a TFR of 24 I think (which is what my AQ score should roughly be) so def wait until they post final data...they took the whole tab down for a reason (presumably because it was messed up all over the place)

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56 minutes ago, corgi321 said:

For what it's worth, I don't think the sliders are accurate! There were people with the slider bar over the respective cutoff that got an R, people with 90+ averages with a TFR of only like 15, and I myself (OOP with 87 average) had a TFR of 24 I think (which is what my AQ score should roughly be) so def wait until they post final data...they took the whole tab down for a reason (presumably because it was messed up all over the place)

That's good to know! I can't believe this year they messed this up so badly... I appreciate their effort of sending out all As and Rs by the end of this week instead of waiting till Christmas, but this is really so messed up

Looks like we are at about the same boat GPAwise. Hope you would hear good news in Jan/Feb!

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1 hour ago, ImReadyNextCycle said:

That's good to know! I can't believe this year they messed this up so badly... I appreciate their effort of sending out all As and Rs by the end of this week instead of waiting till Christmas, but this is really so messed up

Looks like we are at about the same boat GPAwise. Hope you would hear good news in Jan/Feb!

Exactly, I wouldn't stress over your NAQ score until you see the actual thing next week because they really messed everything up. Even then, I agree with the above comment where there's some randomness to the process and different schools look for different things so if your NAQ is lower than you thought , don't take it personally.

 

And you as well! It's a shame UBC gives no love to the MCAT pre-interview but hopefully OMSAS is good to us next month!

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