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A standard by which to judge your EC's?


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As the application for the fall 2011 cycle nears, I've been finding myself questioning how good my ECs' look in the eyes of the adcom. I've searched but could not find any standard by which to judge your own ECs' if you were to give them a score. While I realize that the way your ECs are worded on an app is a huge part of it, I also realize that quantity matters as well.


Can anyone shed any light on this issue and maybe give some insight on self-scoring including:


-volunteer hours/diversity of volunteering

-volunteering abroad

-sports involvement and years/diversity of sports


-any other notables

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Firstly, no-one will be able to give you any insight into 'self-scoring' - it would essentially be a waste of time.


There is no formula to input your EC's into that will output a quantitative score. Adcom's judgments of your EC's in subjective by nature, so trying to quantify it yourself will do little good. Just look at it subjectively - does it represent you well? Does it demonstrate commitment, community involvement, genuine interests, and whatever else you (or the adcom) think makes a good applicant. Overseas volunteering is honestly no better per se than to have volunteered long-term in a small community, despite what many will think. Sports is good, as it demonstrates an interest of yours and longterm involvement in something, but obviously not everyone likes playing sports, and it is by no means required. Research is always good, but again not everyone enjoys research. Travel is nice, as it shows exposure to other cultures and such, but not everyone can afford it / has the time, and it is no better per se than talking about your enjoyment of hiking/portaging. Hospital volunteering seems like it would be necessary, but it is not (as long as you can genuinely illustrate your interest in medicine / exposure that is, using other platforms... look at this way... probably 90% of premeds spend time volunteering in hospitals... how many of the successful ones base a significant part of their UofT essay/Mac questions on hospital volunteering... I would guess <30%, because it is so generic).


Comparing yourself to a 'standard' will just be seeing how similar / dissimilar you are to a standard/average/typical applicant... you don't want to be a typical applicant... and if you are, you better know how to present it lol


Anyways, what I am trying to say, as many others will tell you is that there is no formula / scoring system. Do what you enjoy, pursue your interests, and present it well / tie it into your desire to go into medicine in your application. Quality is definitely more important than quantity... a large quantity of small things on your application will just make you an average applicant, with nothing special. You have to define yourself with an application that is unique to you and your interests.


If you'd like, you can post a synopsis of your EC's on here, and people will be able to give you a very general idea about how you are sitting. But still, is hugely depends on how you present it in your UofT essay, Mac questions, and even OMSAS sketch....

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If you can talk about the EC for at least 2 or 3 minutes, provide some meaningful insight into how it has helped you develop / how you helped develop it, and it is something you are passionate about, then it is a good EC regardless of how long you were in it.


Also, long term isn't necessarily better than short term.

i.e. working 40 hours/week for the summer is better than 2 hours per week for a year IMHO, but it all depends on context

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