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Easy Programs vs. Challenging Programs


Avinash

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From what I've heard Med schools do not look at what kind of degree you have, as long as it is from a recognized University and you've completed their prerequisites. What stops people from completing their required courses, and then taking purely bird courses to get a sky high GPA? What about those of us in more challenging programs (not to put down others) such as Engineering? Do they consider the difficulty of your degree/courses?

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From what I've heard Med schools do not look at what kind of degree you have, as long as it is from a recognized University and you've completed their prerequisites. What stops people from completing their required courses, and then taking purely bird courses to get a sky high GPA? What about those of us in more challenging programs (not to put down others) such as Engineering? Do they consider the difficulty of your degree/courses?

 

I know for sure that french universities in quebec do make a difference between the programs applicants come from, the hardest the program you come from and the highest the marks, the more chances you have to get in.

 

That being said, what's easy for some people is very hard for some other people. Personally my major is nursing, a program judged as very easy by many, unfortunately I never managed to get more than a B+ on any nursing course (This semester will be an exception hopefully), while I have A and A+ on every single science course I took. I even had to take some extra science courses last summer to keep my GPA from dropping.

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Honestly, I don't take bird courses because I do better in challenging courses. I know you hear about majoring in some programs and how the courses will be easier, yaddy yadda... but I'll stick to doing tough courses that I love doing over taking bird courses that I hate any day. I always end up with high marks in those challenging courses because they challenge me to do my best (plus they're usually the interesting ones). So my advice to anyone is don't take classes because you think they'll be easy, rather, take them because you're going to enjoy doing them!

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Honestly, I don't take bird courses because I do better in challenging courses. I know you hear about majoring in some programs and how the courses will be easier, yaddy yadda... but I'll stick to doing tough courses, that I love doing over taking bird courses that I hate any day. I always end up with high marks in those challenging courses because they challenge me to do my best (plus they're usually the interesting ones). So my advice to anyone is don't take classes because you think they'll be easy, rather, take them because yo'ure going to enjoy doing them!

Hey Law

I am so with you on that one!

I dont like to take a course because it is easy... i take it because i am interested in it.. thats why im doing a minor in psych... (psych is not that easy, especially combined with a major that is also quite difficult)

i get super mad at some of my friends who take classes just to get credits and a high mark. grrrrr it aggravates me! :)

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Excellent points.

 

But I think what should be stressed is that for the major part, universities do not take into account the difficulty of courses that an applicant has completed when making admissions decisions. This does not mean you should look for the easiest courses offered by your undergrad institution. Take courses which deal with subjects that you enjoy (something that has been stressed many times already). Conversely, don't take courses that you find hard just because you think it will make you good in the admissions committee's eyes.

 

Keep in mind, however, that medical school is tough. We just finished our 2nd block today and I feel like we've covered more in the last 5 months than the work I did during 4 years of undergrad! Therefore it's a good idea to take a few courses in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry etc. so that you won't be too overwhelmed when your time comes.

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Make sure whatever you are learning, (or the path on which you are on), is one that you are truly interested in, and you will do well.

 

I remember an "easy" sociology class I had to take to fill a requirement, I hated every minute of it and my mark showed it because I couldn't embrace the subject matter. I wasn't sure of my career direction at the time, and it was a course filler to satisfy degree requirements, it totally sucked!!!

 

Do what you love, and tolerate what it takes to get you there...but don't take subjects that you don't enjoy to get an easy mark because it doesn't always work out that way if you don't like the subject matter!!

 

happy2bme

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I am with the doing courses you like. At the beginning of this year and all of last year, I was a Biochem major. I like Biochemistry, organic chemistry, and molecular genetics. This year, in the biochemistry program, I had to take physical chemistry and inorganic chemistry and absolutely hated them. They are by far the worst courses I have ever taken. I came to the realization that the program I wasn't in didn't really offer what I wanted to learn and it was unnecessary stress. The chem. courses at my school are quite challenging (at least for me) and were a dread to study for. \

 

I decided to switch the Genetics program. It is far more encompassing and allows me to pursue a biochemistry focus without having to do physical chemistry and solid state chemistry (which have essentially NOTHING to do with biological systems from the chemistry point of view). So, starting next term, I will be taking more Biochemistry/Genetics courses (like proteins and mendellian genetics) as opposed to analytical chemistry and thermodynamics.

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I am with the doing courses you like. At the beginning of this year and all of last year, I was a Biochem major. I like Biochemistry, organic chemistry, and molecular genetics. This year, in the biochemistry program, I had to take physical chemistry and inorganic chemistry and absolutely hated them. They are by far the worst courses I have ever taken. I came to the realization that the program I wasn't in didn't really offer what I wanted to learn and it was unnecessary stress. The chem. courses at my school are quite challenging (at least for me) and were a dread to study for. \

 

I decided to switch the Genetics program. It is far more encompassing and allows me to pursue a biochemistry focus without having to do physical chemistry and solid state chemistry (which have essentially NOTHING to do with biological systems from the chemistry point of view). So, starting next term, I will be taking more Biochemistry/Genetics courses (like proteins and mendellian genetics) as opposed to analytical chemistry and thermodynamics.

 

Nice! I did the exact opposite. I was in Genetics, but couldn't stand the biology/ecology/mendel content, so I switched into biochem. I'm a big fan of the physical chemistry courses :D

 

Thanks for the input everyone!

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I totally agree (jumping on the bandwagon)

my 2 worst subjects, biology II (mostly taxonomy) and evolution, A-'s, woe is me:( I hate taxonomy and evolution, although it may have been the profs - i think i can proove through mathematical formulae that prof's iq < a brick's iq. Most of the bio's i'm actually interested in, i've done amazing, and some were fairly hard to do well (Modern Genetics, Advanced Anatomy, Physiology).

 

I've also been interested in math and physics, so i took a bunch of courses, not easy ones either, calc 1,2,+3, mathematical physics, quantum 1+2, and all of these, supposedly the hardest courses in the university i have A+'s in :D . I think everyone does better when you're actually interested in the subject matter no matter the difficulty. People look at me funny when i say i do amazing at quantum physics, but not in bio II. My response is usually, you don't know how much i hate taxonomy.

 

I think i wanna start a club: the 'taxonomy blows' club. We can have weekly sessions discussing and implementing strategies on how destroy taxonomy, wiping it from all existence. Hmmm, i wonder if that will count as an EC for medschool:

'tell me what you like to do in your free time'

'well, i like to volunteer, play sports, o, and destroy taxonomy!'

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A friend of mine told me that U of T actually looks at your courses and program "difficulty". I refused to believe him. Anyone know for sure?

 

They evaluate the validity of your program, but I don't think "difficulty" of your program is factored into admission. They just want to make sure you're in a worthwhile program that can come from any discipline... the arts, humanities, life sciences, physical sciences, music, social sciences... whatever you want.

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They evaluate the validity of your program, but I don't think "difficulty" of your program is factored into admission. They just want to make sure you're in a worthwhile program that can come from any discipline... the arts, humanities, life sciences, physical sciences, music, social sciences... whatever you want.

 

They don't evaluate the validity, but more the coherence. They want to ensure you are taking courses that relate to each other and you proceed from general studies to focused studies. So, for example, taking a bunch of intro. courses into your third year isn't the best idea. However, if you go from say General Chem and Biology, to introductory Biochemistry, to Enzymology. This shows coherence as you go from general biology and chemistry to the focused discipline in biochemistry.

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Yeah, but I think that having a range of courses in your years will just show that you have wide ranging interests and haven't restricted your exposure to other fields of study (besides your major). You get a chance to explain your choice in your personal sketch though, so I think people's choices are fine as long as they can articulate why they are doing what they're doing.

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No kidding. When does this kid have a chance to actually be a kid?

I was never one of those kids who couldn't wait to be older, although I know that some do feel this way. I loved being a kid - when else in your life can you really get away with some of the stuff you do as a kid? When can you be so silly and do nothing but 'play' all day? Maybe when you're 80, but then you're taking a gamble that you're physically fit enough to do such things, will enjoy them, and are mentally coherent. Too much of a risk.

Poor kid. No childhood. One day he'll snap...

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No kidding. When does this kid have a chance to actually be a kid?

I was never one of those kids who couldn't wait to be older, although I know that some do feel this way. I loved being a kid - when else in your life can you really get away with some of the stuff you do as a kid? When can you be so silly and do nothing but 'play' all day? Maybe when you're 80, but then you're taking a gamble that you're physically fit enough to do such things, will enjoy them, and are mentally coherent. Too much of a risk.

Poor kid. No childhood. One day he'll snap...

 

I know man. He's gonna miss out on all the amazing things kids do.

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Just because going to university is typically ascribed to a person in their early adult years, it doesn't mean one doesn't feel right at home (even as a 12 year old) being in that environment. I think if staying with his peers in an intellectually deprived environment is not all that exciting for a 12 year old, then send the lad to university, maybe he'll find people *almost* like him there.

 

Just a thought....

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I have to agree Kuantum. Our recent batch of undergrads included a few who are several years than their class mates. These folks are just as articulate as those who are older. During an online orientation, the older incoming students claimed that they wouldn't be able to survive because they weren't mature enough. The discussion it envoked was long, sometimes mature and sometimes hurtful. At the conclusion, I felt that there was no more maturity in the older students as in the younger.

 

I wasn't mature when I first started my university career, not because of my age but because I was "sheltered" from life experience.

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I have to agree Kuantum. Our recent batch of undergrads included a few who are several years than their class mates. These folks are just as articulate as those who are older. During an online orientation, the older incoming students claimed that they wouldn't be able to survive because they weren't mature enough. The discussion it envoked was long, sometimes mature and sometimes hurtful. At the conclusion, I felt that there was no more maturity in the older students as in the younger.

 

I wasn't mature when I first started my university career, not because of my age but because I was "sheltered" from life experience.

 

Yeah but if he's twelve year olds, I think he should have the right to interact with other kids his age. Sure he may be smarter, if he really is then you can put him in a very rigorous program, but he'll miss out on the fun experiences you gain as you go through life. I don't know why our society wants to fast forward everything, isn't life short enough as it is? I don't think it's a question of whether or not he is mature enough, but whether or not he should be there in the first place.

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