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A Debate with No Right Answer (GPA vs Work)

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Hello all,

Long story short I'm a BC IP applicant (northern) with 89.65% adjusted GPA. Planning to apply to UBC med for Sept 2022 intake.

I like to always plan for if things go wrong. Accordingly, if I am unable to get an interview decision in my favour in the month of December 2021, I've been thinking about enrolling as a non-degree student in the Winter 2022 semester and taking 6-7 classes. I expect to get an A+ in all of these classes (I would drop all ECs), thereby boosting my GPA by about 1 percent in total.

The question I am posing is: is this 1 percent in GPA worth it compared to all the hours of experience (pretty much around 700) that I would give up between Jan. 2022 and June 1st, 2022 (i.e. the cutoff date for the next application cycle's activities)?

For context, I am working full-time (35 hr/week) as a counsellor through the Native Friendship Centre in my town, providing hour-long counselling sessions to 4-6 people per day (all ages) who are typically low SES (given that the services provided are free/funded through gov't grants). I manage a caseload of about 34-40 clients (with people dropping out and others adding on to my caseload on a fluctuating basis). Other hours on the job include file management, charting, etc all that logistical stuff.

More context: scored 50th to 75th on ECs this year (first ever try to med).

Of course, I am aware that no one can make this decision for me, and I fully intend to receive an interview anyways, but life doesn't go to plan all the time. Merely looking for opinions. Personally leaning towards the 700 hours because I don't see how 1% in GPA could weigh greater (in the eyes of UBC) than 700 hours in that specific job role (if it was 700 hours of a low-effort TV-watching hobby then maybe we'd be looking at a different weighting).

Thanks in advance for the responses and keep your breath excellent!

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14 minutes ago, offmychestplease said:

Your GPA is 89.7%. The average accepted GPA this year 2021 will be around 90%, and next year will likely be around 90.5%.

Therefore, your GPA will not hold you back. Don't worry about increasing it. Focusing on NAQ is way more high yield in my opinion. 

I really respect your opinions on this site because you tell it like it is, blunt and with no filter. To hear you validate my thoughts on this gives me great confidence. Thank you!

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I would agree with @offmychestplease too! You have a great average that won't hold you back. Your job seems great as well so I think rewriting those descriptions and really narrowing down on what you want adcom to see will make a bigger difference. I have applied three times- twice with high 70s and now once with low 80s and managed to get an interview twice because of my NAQ. In my case, GPA definitely holds me back so if yours was as low as mine it would make more sense to get it higher but I think for you, if you can work on your NAQ, you have a solid shot!

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