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So I know a similar post was made by 'Excelerate your breath' before, but I see his case as a no-brainer for continuing work since he has a near-90 GPA.

I think this topic fits better with my situation where I don't have a good GPA nor good ECs. I'm considering whether to do a second undergrad or continue developing my poor ECs for 2 or so years and kind of see where my applications go before doing a second undergrad or a masters degree. I know one option is to do a masters, but I don't want to jump into a masters degree right away because I'm already 24 and I would have to miss 2-3 more application cycles according to UBC's policy. Another reason is that I ended up disliking my degree. At this point I'm investing my entire 20s into getting medicine, so I don't care how long it takes. 

I graduated a year ago from a school in Ontario (I am however IP for UBC), and my AGPA is 84.7%, so with the average AGPA for UBC creeping into the 90s, I will likely be disadvantaged as time moves on. My ECs aren't great either, and they're definitely not at the level at which it can cover my GPA. 

My ECs:

1. iGEM team member (1.5 years),

2. Collaborated with a smaller uni to build an iGEM team there (1.5 years)

3. Lab Assistant for a company (6.5 months)

4. Line cook (6 months)

5. English tutor for 2 children in grades 1 and 5 (6 months and continuing)

6. Peer support volunteer for youth-in-crisis (2 years)

7. Paid lab internship (4 months)

8. Second year lab assistant (1 year) 

9. Foreign language tutor through a uni club (2 semesters) 

10. Foreign language teaching assistant (4 years - high school)

11. Various hobbies, life experiences that would go into my app.

 

So my question is, should I jump into a second degree right away, or should I continue developing my ECs and see how my application is received by UBC, before I do a second degree?

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I obviously cannot access your EC’s how UBC would, but unless they are GOATED then that is the only way you’d get an interview. In other words, this is highly unlikely.

 

I would definitely do a 2nd undergrad to improve grades and also try to focus on schools that you have a better chance at. Some schools look at the last 2 years, so those are places you could still be very competitive at.

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On 4/25/2021 at 5:03 PM, samproholdings said:

 I see his case as a no-brainer for continuing work since he has a near-90 GPA.

Who said I'm male lol 

 

For what it's worth OP I agree with the other commenters. I was around your gpa this past cycle, and I watched people with much less valuable ECs (altho I'm biased in this regard) than you or I (ex. 10 hobbies listed) get an invite while I did not; these people had 90+ gpa. Our gpa + ECs might have been good enough to get in 10 years ago but not anymore. Improve GPA since it's objective

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On 4/25/2021 at 5:03 PM, samproholdings said:

So I know a similar post was made by 'Excelerate your breath' before, but I see his case as a no-brainer for continuing work since he has a near-90 GPA.

I think this topic fits better with my situation where I don't have a good GPA nor good ECs. I'm considering whether to do a second undergrad or continue developing my poor ECs for 2 or so years and kind of see where my applications go before doing a second undergrad or a masters degree. I know one option is to do a masters, but I don't want to jump into a masters degree right away because I'm already 24 and I would have to miss 2-3 more application cycles according to UBC's policy. Another reason is that I ended up disliking my degree. At this point I'm investing my entire 20s into getting medicine, so I don't care how long it takes. 

I graduated a year ago from a school in Ontario (I am however IP for UBC), and my AGPA is 84.7%, so with the average AGPA for UBC creeping into the 90s, I will likely be disadvantaged as time moves on. My ECs aren't great either, and they're definitely not at the level at which it can cover my GPA. 

My ECs:

1. iGEM team member (1.5 years),

2. Collaborated with a smaller uni to build an iGEM team there (1.5 years)

3. Lab Assistant for a company (6.5 months)

4. Line cook (6 months)

5. English tutor for 2 children in grades 1 and 5 (6 months and continuing)

6. Peer support volunteer for youth-in-crisis (2 years)

7. Paid lab internship (4 months)

8. Second year lab assistant (1 year) 

9. Foreign language tutor through a uni club (2 semesters) 

10. Foreign language teaching assistant (4 years - high school)

11. Various hobbies, life experiences that would go into my app.

 

So my question is, should I jump into a second degree right away, or should I continue developing my ECs and see how my application is received by UBC, before I do a second degree?

I’ll be the dissenting voice here and suggest that, if you’re IP for UBC then a 84.7% is still competitive at UBC, and you’ll be better serving your future self by moving beyond the experience of school for a few years, getting a career, and developing your ECs. If you even did just 1 more semester of school and bumped yourself above 85%, you would be in the largest bracket of admitted students. Usually close to 47-48% of the admitted class has a GPA between 85-89.9%, and about 2/3 total have a GPA < 90%.

Plenty of people with 4.0 GPAs get rejected from UBC, including IP applicants, because their ECs are mediocre and/or they do not have sufficient maturity to do well on the interview. You can spend 2-3 years in school trying to increase your GPA, but possibly still have an uncompetitive NAQ to show for it because you won’t have as much time for ECs/work - if you get to that point and you still haven’t been admitted, you may really wish you had done something other than school. In contrast, you can get on with your life while continuing to develop independence and maturity, make some $$$, and have a life. You may still not get admitted by the time you’re 27-28, but you’ll probably thank yourself for not having spent 2-3 more years in school with little else to show for it. Medicine isn’t everything. 

And when you do get admitted, you’ll be glad you were able to enjoy a portion of your 20s doing something other than school before you recommit to ANOTHER 6-9 years of it. 

Edit: The one caveat I will say is if there’s an undergrad degree you actually WANT to do, because it would lead to a career in something you could see yourself doing as an alternative to medicine, then that makes more sense.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey OP, I know I'm late to the game, but I figured I could chime in because I went the route of getting a masters before applying. I honestly cannot recommend the master's route enough if you are able to find a topic and project that you are passionate about. Because of my master's degree, I was able to apply with a higher GPA, 1 first author publication, over 10 podium/poster presentations, scholarship and funding awards, a TA job, and some great references that knew me well. Not to mention, I loved the degree that I chose, met some amazing people along the way, and enjoyed my time there. Obviously it is your decision to make, and you should do whatever makes you happy, but I definitely found that my masters enhanced my ECs AND GPA all in one go... and it was really fun!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/27/2021 at 10:03 AM, frenchpress said:

I’ll be the dissenting voice here and suggest that, if you’re IP for UBC then a 84.7% is still competitive at UBC, and you’ll be better serving your future self by moving beyond the experience of school for a few years, getting a career, and developing your ECs. If you even did just 1 more semester of school and bumped yourself above 85%, you would be in the largest bracket of admitted students. Usually close to 47-48% of the admitted class has a GPA between 85-89.9%, and about 2/3 total have a GPA < 90%.

Plenty of people with 4.0 GPAs get rejected from UBC, including IP applicants, because their ECs are mediocre and/or they do not have sufficient maturity to do well on the interview. You can spend 2-3 years in school trying to increase your GPA, but possibly still have an uncompetitive NAQ to show for it because you won’t have as much time for ECs/work - if you get to that point and you still haven’t been admitted, you may really wish you had done something other than school. In contrast, you can get on with your life while continuing to develop independence and maturity, make some $$$, and have a life. You may still not get admitted by the time you’re 27-28, but you’ll probably thank yourself for not having spent 2-3 more years in school with little else to show for it. Medicine isn’t everything. 

And when you do get admitted, you’ll be glad you were able to enjoy a portion of your 20s doing something other than school before you recommit to ANOTHER 6-9 years of it. 

Edit: The one caveat I will say is if there’s an undergrad degree you actually WANT to do, because it would lead to a career in something you could see yourself doing as an alternative to medicine, then that makes more sense.

I heavily echo this! It's a popular opinion that GPA is the end all, be all. However, I was accepted into VFMP personally with an 84.8% OGPA (~86% AGPA). And my MCAT was a 514, meaning overall, my academics were average/below average. Reading through your ECs, I think you have a strong set of activities, but the one thing I see missing is leadership. If I were you, I would explore the things I was interested in (non-academically) and explore what your qualities are as a leader. Leadership takes time and there are several leadership opportunities when you're in undergrad, so I can see the argument towards doing another degree. However, I would think that you could probably find similar opportunities in your workplace and community work and it would be much more financially advantageous as well. Anyhow, there are some good opinions on this thread, so I wish you the best OP and be confident that whatever decision you make, you'll continue to be improving and bettering yourself. ❤️

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