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avrge dropping at queens

Guest Alastriss

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Guest Alastriss


I was just wondering...how much did high school averages drop from the transition to queens u?

I know it differs for many ppl but i just wanted to get an idea from people's experiences. Is there an anticipated drop?


Thank you

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Guest avisee

In general, I think you can expect your average to drop 10-15% between high school and first year of university (that's one half of the Frosh-15).


This is probably especially true at Queen's, where last year the cutoff average was something like 85-87% for the double cohort. First year class averages are usually around 70-75% and even though everyone came in with a high 80 or 90%, someone now has to be getting those low marks!


Mark dropping is a pretty natural phenomenon, but that said, there's a lot you can do to prevent that from happening to you. Lower marks are a product of a number of factors: different learning environment, adjusting to academic independence, harder courses, partying, etc etc. I know people who entered university as Ontario Scholars or Governor General medalists (ie, highest mark in their high school) who were on academic probation by December (ie, failing); but I know just as many people who just scraped into their university of choice with a 70 or low 80, and who starting pulling off 80s and 90s in university because the learning environment better fit their style.


What you can do to prevent or minimize a drop: get organized with your studying, attend classes!, talk to your professors! (outside of class!), attend optional tutorials or help sessions (eg, at Queen's there are help desks in rez, there are theme floors based on certain majors, or you can always find other people in your classes). You can always visit learning strategies sessions for tips if you need help. But basically, take charge of your studies off the bat, keep on top of things and you should be fine. And don't forget to relax once in awhile and enjoy yourself!


Bottom line: your marks will probably drop at least a few points, but it's nothing much to worry about. If you plan on applying to med school, your first year often doesn't count for much (some schools don't use it at all if you have 2 years with higher marks). Plus, first year courses are sometimes used as weeder courses - intentionally harder to get good marks in than upper year courses. Use the time to find out what study strategies work for you, find a social support network and get involved (try to round out those other aspects of the application as well!). Just make sure you maintain a minimal average in first year if you need to keep in a program (certain programs are competitive to continue past 1st or 2nd year, and your average will matter).


That said, even if your average does drop, it doesn't mean it's a bad average. Regardless of what your mark is now, if you can keep an 80% average, that's great. If you have a low 80% average without too much variation in marks, you'll probably be competitive for admission to medical schools.


The most important thing I've learned about marks (the hard way!) is that it's more important to try to avoid low marks than try to get really high marks. When calculating your GPA for medicine, the lower marks have a much bigger effect on your average than the higher marks. So my piece of advice for you would be to try to focus on doing decently well in every course, rather than astoundingly well in a few courses and okay in a few others. Having an 80% average with 5 courses with a mark of 80% will give you a much better GPA than having an 80% average with two 100%s, one 80%, and two 60%s. If you can, focus your studying more on the courses you find difficult than on the ones you enjoy and expect to do well in.


But regardless, you'll probably get at least one or two bad marks (bad being relative to your own expectations) at some point in your university career. It's unavoidable. You can try your best to minimize those bad marks, but when they happen, don't be too concerned. One or two bad marks won't hurt (many med students can probably list off at least one bad mark on their undergrad transcript).



Your marks probably will drop in university (5-10% might be reasonable if you are a hard worker), but there are a lot of things you can do to prevent this.

Try to find the right balance between enjoying your university years (partying, extracurrics, etc) and working hard - too much in either direction is a bad thing.

Worry more about the courses you're doing poorly in than the courses you're doing well in.

Don't sweat a few bad marks. Many schools will drop your lowest years, your lowest marks, or use some other weighting formula that may work to your advantage.

Relax and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be the best years of your life!

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Guest californicator

to be honest, getting 80%+ in most life sci courses at queen's is not hard.


it's CHEM 282, BCHM 310 that you really have to watch out for.

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