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What are my chances? (non-trad)


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Hello all,

I'm a 2nd year mechanical engineering student in my 2nd undergrad, my first being in IT - Game Dev. The reason why I started is due to my interest in eng but not switching in time from my last major. Also, my high school prereqs for eng were expiring and with me not realizing my interest for medicine at the time, I ended up starting it. If I were to ultimately fail at getting in, my plan would be to resume my eng degree and work in biomed eng. Basically, I was planning on applying this past summer but due to personal circumstances and with handling a really heavy course load, it was ultimately not possible for me so I was now planning on writing the MCAT sometime late in the upcoming summer. 

My main worry was obviously the MCAT given my non-science background along with my cGPA as it was originally around 3.71 from my first undergrad but unfortunately took a real hit in my summer semester due to the personal circumstances I was facing and then in my past sem. I strongly feel these past 2 semesters are not reflective of my true academic abilities when compared to my degree. Ever since I realized how much of an impact my summer semester had dipping me below 3.7, I felt a bit depressed as my preferred school was McMaster especially since its more local and 3 years but as it seems like they don't allow any academic explanations essays, there's not much I can do to bring it back to a 3.7 although I don't think my chances were good anyways with 3.71 to begin with. So, now I was looking at options that may be more realistic for me such as Western since they consider best 2 years of completed degrees and possibly Queens depending on if they would consider the last two years from my last degree or from my current one.

 

Below are my stats:

cGPA: around 3.5-3.6 depending on how grades turn out by end of 2nd year (combination of past IT degree and current in progress eng degree)

Best 2-years GPA: 3.87 and Last 2-years GPA: 3.74

ABS/ECs: academic achievements (multiple President's/Dean's list awards, game dev related awards), personal group video game projects, Game Dev position/capstone for the Toronto Rehab, presenting projects at public events and exhibitions (ex. Level Up Showcases, EGLX, etc), academic publication, few community related volunteer experiences, some personal health related experiences leading to medical interest, and currently for the past 4-5 months I've been part of my professor's research group who's outcome is to develop advanced materials for extreme environments and additionally focus being on developing tissue-simulant biomaterials for use in biomedical/biomechanics applications. My main volunteer work so far with the professor has been with creating 3D printable models for medical education purposes, another one of his projects. In addition, I was planning on getting some more volunteer experiences hopefully medical related over the summer or during my winter semester depending on my workload.

 

The only thing with me applying to Western is that unless I'm in my final year which I'm not, they require me to withdraw from my degree in order to be eligible to apply meaning that I would be delaying that degree if I don't ultimately get in. I was also considering withdrawing before my winter semester begins so I have more MCAT study time but as I'm only 1 semester away from potentially doing a summer co-op possibly biomed related which may or may not help my application, I feel that it may be better to just complete the sem it while studying for MCAT on the side and then increasing my study time in the summer while doing the co-op or a full-time job whichever I get. So, I'm hoping to study for around 300-330 hours in total before writing the MCAT in the summer.

 

So, assuming I get the minimum MCAT scores for Western and Queens, what would you say my chances are with my stats?

My preferred option would be Western but I may also apply to Queens. I wondering how my chances with Mac and U of T are too but don't know if they are realistic options for me although I would likely still apply to Mac just in case and depending on if I take the prereqs for U of T on time, I would apply to U of T as well in case they allow wGPA for me.

 

Thanks a lot for your time in advance and happy holidays!

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  • amg changed the title to What are my chances? (non-trad)

No one can give you chances at Queen's/Western without an MCAT. If you meet the MCAT cutoffs and GPA cutoffs (with proper course levels) it will come down to EC's/essays. This is easier said than done, as the MCAT is not easy and many people fail to meet the cutoffs even after re-writing. But you know yourself. If you don't meet the MCAT/GPA cutoffs (with proper course levels), then there is no chance. See how the MCAT goes and you will be able to gauge your own chances.

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Thanks for your response. Could you be a bit specific on what you meant by proper course levels? Do you mean school year levels as in which years are factored into the GPA calculations?

The reason why I was wondering how my chances are before the MCAT is due to me likely not getting the score until near the deadline since I'm planning on writing it late in the summer to maximize my study time.

So, I was wondering where I might stand before then in order to allocate my time accordingly like for example, if my ABS/ECs are already good enough then I would allocate even more time for MCAT study to increase my chances and a bit less on those.
 

So, specifically I had the following questions:

1) How do you all feel about my ABS/ECs at the moment?

2) I know this is very dependent on the person but to those in similar situations with no science background, do around 300-330 hours seem reasonable preparation for the MCAT?

3) Do you think me withdrawing from my 2nd degree in order to be eligible to apply to Western might be judged negatively in anyway or should it not matter as long as the requirements are met?
 

Thanks in advance.

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1) your ECs look good to me, although this is quite subjective and depends on how you frame them in your ABS/essays. But depending a bit on the time you spent on each of them, I don't think they'll hold you back!

2) 300-330 hours is a decent amount of time to study for the MCAT, although maybe a bit on the low side if you don't have a science background. That really depends on you though. I'd probably estimate that I studied around 300 hours, and I do have a science background. Having said that, your engineering degree should help you with the chem and physics section, CARS is hard to study for and is not science-related so science students will struggle with it as much as you, and psyc/soch are also things not covered in a lot of science degrees. So really, you're only "behind" in the bio section.

3) Can't speak too much to this, but other than it hurting you if you don't get into med (since it'll be more difficult to get back into your engineering degree), I don't think they'd look at that (i.e. as long as you meet requirements you should be fine)

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