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Hey everyone, I want to get into med school like everyone else here and am going to UofT to do my Life Sci degree this september. People talk about how hard it is and how studying is different here, is it that bad or am I listening to idiots talk lol? I think I've already gotten the hang of school and what not I averaged 88 for my last few years in high school in my core courses and confidence is really blooming, it shouldn't be toooo hard to get a 4.0 right... lmk

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WHile I'm also just an incoming first year myself, I caution you against assuming you will do well by using what you did in high school. I've heard time and time again from friends and family that studying in university is completely different, and that being knocked down a few pegs in one's first semester is to be expected. Friend of mine pulled 95%+ in every course in high school, and could barely get seventies in uni. It was a different learning environment, and while she is probably a bit of an extreme example, she had a really hard time adapting, and couldn't just skate by on her abilities like she had previously.

 

The people here on this board have stated many, many times in different threads that those of us beginning our UGs could be in for a bit of a shock, and should be prepared to work very hard. As the people who've gotten into med school are largely the cream of the crop of university students, I'm taking that advice myself, hah.

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I don't mean to offend, but you're going to have to do way more work in University than you did in high school. If you use the same study habits, you're going to end up disappointed with your grades.

 

Go into University with the attitude that you're going to have to work your ass off to get decent grades. If you can do that, you'll be fine.

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i failed a ton in k-12 and found university to be relatively easy (as in i put in hard work out and good grades, if i put work in i almost always got good gpa) and am told daily im some sort of genius (i'm not, just informationally dense, and very motivated (that's the biggest factor in my ability to acquire knowledge, other people have oversized entorhinal cortexes, lol), plus verbally fluid, which is peoples heaviest interpretative inference of intelligence) at least once a day, often more… i'm really not at all, i just tend to focus on things i enjoy and am uber passionate about so i can push myself a lot harder than people who say just want an a, or money, or whatever... plus i rely exclusively on working memory, because i'm almost borderline handicapped in terms of short term memory, because of medication i have to take for a neuro-visual condition… so essentially i had to adapt by exclusively using high yield learning techniques, all day, every day… something that would have been initially way to hard to even try if i wasn't forced too.

 

i think the reason for this was i thought university would be insanely hard and i'd have to bust my ass just to keep up… iuno… to be honest, there are very few people in your high school who will end up as exceptional (i don't mean valuatively or professionally), between 0-4/5 maybe… a lot more than ability plays in out of high school, motivation, passion, preference for structure versus non structure, interest base, neuropsychological differences, emotional intelligence… this diversity isn't there in hs, so believe it or not a lot of the smartest seeming people in your class will do terribly while maybe someone like me will be top grad in your hs… performance always seems to be linked to some sort of "intrinsic" intelligence, when in reality it's so complex and multi-factorial... so i would just play it by your own ear instead of comparing yourselves to others.

 

simple example is asking study advice… i guarantee future doc would say work on it everyday, whereas i work on random stuff everyday, exceptions being before say a test day, where i would skip all other classes and just study that and cram… honestly, i have a really different brain than most people and can study for 20 hours straight, seriously, but only in situations i find extremely rewarding (traditional add aversion avoidance reinforcement motivational structure)… but i hate schedules, weekly planning, detail…. so both our advice would be true… but which is relevant to you… in terms of study structuring in terms of time length and advanced preparation… her, hands down… if you ask about learning style in individual study session, i'll prob give you the best advice, because my adaptions to poor short term working memory mean i have to exclusively think in the elaborative level (the highest one in the learning pyramid)… never would have done it, it's too hard to start, if i didn't have to, but believe me, i can tell you how to learn, so you'll remember… on the other hand… it's a very mentally straining process… so again, my advice is good for some people, whereas another persons is good for some people… bottom line, it's complicated.

 

Hey everyone, I want to get into med school like everyone else here and am going to UofT to do my Life Sci degree this september. People talk about how hard it is and how studying is different here, is it that bad or am I listening to idiots talk lol? I think I've already gotten the hang of school and what not I averaged 88 for my last few years in high school in my core courses and confidence is really blooming, it shouldn't be toooo hard to get a 4.0 right... lmk
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Dont mean to brag but I came from high school into UofT with 3 FCE transfer credits (would have had 4FCE if they counted an A+ A level and a 5 AP calculus lol), 2330 SATII score, A levels, APs, etc.. It's very tough here. I was offered to skip first year at an American university, but I refused it for the prestige of UofT, not knowing the great but maturing challenges awaiting me here! :) If you want to do it go ahead.. I said exactly what you did... The problem with UofT is that the class average is FIXED at around low 70%s in upper years and mid 60s in first year. That is the ONLY problem for high GPA-seekers. There are very few spaces for high grades (>80, >3.7) and if you really want them you're going to have to mature by sacrificing some of your secondary pleasures and aim for time management. With time management, you can kill UofT. With just enthusiasm, you'd be getting Bs. I had a 3.8 this third year. Average for students (remember they had about the same grade as you), I guess is 2.7 (based on class averages). UofT is another dimension. Good thing is you learn how to manage your time and become a far more efficient and effective studier, and you can research with top profs. Bad thing is MUCH lower GPA and less time for ECs. If you want med. Don't be arrogant. They don't give a crap where you study. Seriously. If your GPA is 3.0 at Harvard versus 3.8 at an average university, guess who's not getting an interview (with the exception of a high MCAT). In canada especially, the system is stupid and superficial like a child when it comes to check your GPA. They just don't need to care. Thousands of applicants for hundreds of spots and most of them are "good enough" anyway.

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High school and university are two totally different beasts. There are plenty of people who get lower marks at university than in high school. However, some people find that their marks don't drop that much, as long as they have good time management, a good work ethic, and a natural talent for what they are studying.

 

My marks didn't drop at all from high school to university (with the exception of a few courses). My worst marks in university were in classes where I had no interest combined with no natural talent (such as the horrible machine language programming course I had to take where the entire class failed the midterm).

 

I graduated at the top of my class from a very large high school, and also at the top of my class from a small engineering faculty at university. I'm currently doing a second undergraduate degree because I only have a few full-time semesters from my first degree, due to multiple health issues at the time (now resolved or under control).

 

I don't know what U of T is like, but there are obviously people who earn high marks there. But, there are also plenty of people who don't, and many people who see their marks drop drastically from high school to university. Most people say to except a drop of 10-15%, and that seems to be the average for most "typical" students. If you don't want your marks to drop, you need to work smart. You need to know (or very quickly learn) what study methods work best for you for each type of course. It's not always the people who study the longest who get the highest marks, but it is usually the people who study smart. That's how they can have time to be involved in extra-curriculars.

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i think we have a lot in common… and i'm pretty sure you know what i mean...

 

ever feel too tired of dealing with the constant notion of perceived arrogance in say... a general undergraduate population (i used to be in arts, i switched to sciences, and thought… wow, the people here really don't think for themselves very much and they never elaborate about what possibilities the facts they're learning could lead to, or are taught to question the facts, or the methodology, they're not very competent communicators, have poor written language skills, are very sub-specialized and non adaptable, tend to have external locus of self esteem, have trouble with abstraction, or multi-factorial complex situations which don't have an answer (try being responsible for stats and research methods in a psych lab… then to blow your mind more, take a philosophy major, lol)… and for some reason they said i wasn't going to get a job with a ba (lol, i get offered jobs during conversations with people who end up being like vice-presidents or something… and this will be at like the hot tub in a pool, you know, lol) and aren't very smart… well, the science students in third or fourth year classes who didn't want to be doctors started becoming more like the arts students… generally more generalist in nature and with an ability to manipulate new concepts mentally on the fly… med school, save me please... non trads, hippie future gp types, psych keeners, and a few other sub groups i've mentally clustered by now saved me… especially from a core group of maybe 1/4 of the people who thought that everything in medicine was awesome, they were awesome, they deserved to make a ton of money, that they needed to only hang out with each other, that doctors generally have a very limited and utilitarian knowledgebase, even within their own fields, let alone academia as whole and say... social intelligence… after i read your post i ended up reading like an hr of weber to find a book to refer to ppl and was like **** it, i dont think most people would get it anyways… plus i remembered how sick i felt about the consequences of how diminutive a scope we place on education and social value are… reading this is like most stuff i do in my life, if you havent met or talked to me or seen much of my typing, you'd laugh and say im bs'ing everything, full of ****, or lying… but after a couple minutes, crazy is plausible, and in five minutes you see why i get offered masters positions (the kind that guarantee funding, aren't at u of t, and is run be more or less, well, at the top of their field, which is ) in top labs by casually chatting up profs i walk by… i just looked up a lab i used to work in and remember why… unpublished phd student turned distinguished scholar in two years since i edited his theses (lets say that… ya, edited), and well, lets say, helped a lot on his seminal work, the basis of his future, but he was one of the nicest guys i've ever met so i'm happy for him (why be mad, i don't want to be a prof anyways, and shoot, if you can get a bud a paper or two, and some huge scholarships, why not, eh)… but nevermind, that was just a tangent… oh yeah, and i forgot, no one makes residency position offers in carms, thats unethical… let alone after m1… oi… sometimes when i get headaches i dont think about making multi-national change and smile and nod at everyone and become a little more, well, forthright, of just well, a tad of my abilities, i swear, if i ever undid the ptsd (fortunately the rare resilient **** u type that ppl with adhd who go thru traumatic experiences tend to get… lucky me) i and stopped caring about people so much, ****, well, just start throwing the money guys, i'll let you know who won the lottery of getting to employ me tomorrow. back to ib kids and people in pre-med, whatever who has a 4.0 and think you're a genius in the sense that you're convincing yourself that what you're doing isn't just algorithmic and easily accomplishable for most you're not that smart or great, or anything really, it's the really amazing synthetic, conceptual thinkers who often choose not to go into medicine because of restrictive treatment paradigms, culture, etc. who are the builders, it's like the max police iq of 125, you want them smart… but not so smart that they "get bored of "policework" who, well for the most part, can be as behaviourally projective as to be inherently unnoticeable, to "seriously, quit while your ahead"… tbh even considering the topic of intelligence in isolation to other personality factors is itself stupid, intelligence, doesn't exist in a bubble… so why would gpas… and what would we say of the construct validity we ellucidate from the tests well give kids to measure these "personality variables"… that well predict high iq, which in itself is a test predictive of future performance, not intrinsically definable, reliable sets of traits *imagine trying to get down to the bio level, which some ideologues do…"

 

 

Dont mean to brag but I came from high school into UofT with 3 FCE transfer credits (would have had 4FCE if they counted an A+ A level and a 5 AP calculus lol), 2330 SATII score, A levels, APs, etc.. It's very tough here. I was offered to skip first year at an American university, but I refused it for the prestige of UofT, not knowing the great but maturing challenges awaiting me here! :) If you want to do it go ahead.. I said exactly what you did... The problem with UofT is that the class average is FIXED at around low 70%s in upper years and mid 60s in first year. That is the ONLY problem for high GPA-seekers. There are very few spaces for high grades (>80, >3.7) and if you really want them you're going to have to mature by sacrificing some of your secondary pleasures and aim for time management. With time management, you can kill UofT. With just enthusiasm, you'd be getting Bs. I had a 3.8 this third year. Average for students (remember they had about the same grade as you), I guess is 2.7 (based on class averages). UofT is another dimension. Good thing is you learn how to manage your time and become a far more efficient and effective studier, and you can research with top profs. Bad thing is MUCH lower GPA and less time for ECs. If you want med. Don't be arrogant. They don't give a crap where you study. Seriously. If your GPA is 3.0 at Harvard versus 3.8 at an average university, guess who's not getting an interview (with the exception of a high MCAT). In canada especially, the system is stupid and superficial like a child when it comes to check your GPA. They just don't need to care. Thousands of applicants for hundreds of spots and most of them are "good enough" anyway.
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No seriously, how the hell can it be so hard, its the same ****, you study for a test and go write it plus theres not as many assignments ive heard which just wastes time anyways... i could see myself studying for 7 courses 7 days a week and getting the 4.0 it makes sense to me, just come home study than go to sleep and review for exams - not far off high school. someone explain to me how this is so hard... no one even complains about the difficulty of a course either, they just say uni is hard...

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No seriously, how the hell can it be so hard, its the same ****, you study for a test and go write it plus theres not as many assignments ive heard which just wastes time anyways... i could see myself studying for 7 courses 7 days a week and getting the 4.0 it makes sense to me, just come home study than go to sleep and review for exams - not far off high school. someone explain to me how this is so hard... no one even complains about the difficulty of a course either, they just say uni is hard...

 

sigh @ arrogance

 

it is EXTREMELY rare for people to get a 4.0 in university... you can always try tho

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simple example is asking study advice… i guarantee future doc would say work on it everyday, whereas i work on random stuff everyday, exceptions being before say a test day, where i would skip all other classes and just study that and cram… honestly, i have a really different brain than most people and can study for 20 hours straight, seriously, but only in situations i find extremely rewarding (traditional add aversion avoidance reinforcement motivational structure)… but i hate schedules, weekly planning, detail…. so both our advice would be true… but which is relevant to you…

 

You know me well. :P Different strokes for different folks, we are all so different. I am far from brilliant and need to always work steadily and hard to

achieve my goals, whereas it is a breeze for others. :)

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No seriously, how the hell can it be so hard, its the same ****, you study for a test and go write it plus theres not as many assignments ive heard which just wastes time anyways... i could see myself studying for 7 courses 7 days a week and getting the 4.0 it makes sense to me, just come home study than go to sleep and review for exams - not far off high school. someone explain to me how this is so hard... no one even complains about the difficulty of a course either, they just say uni is hard...

 

I almost have a 4.0 (OMSAS 3.99), and I think you're completely wrong if you say that it's easy to get a high GPA. You're going to have to work way harder than you worked in high school, since you only had an 88% average (which would be 3.9).

 

Not only does it take a tremendous amount of time and dedication to maintain a 4.0, but you need to do it while keeping up with your ECs. It's definitely possible, but you're going in with the wrong attitude.

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You know what you are all right, i probably have a reallyy bad attitude towards the whole thing and not even realize it. Can you tell me things to make me fear ug cause i have will definitely float by if i dont believe in my head that i need to put in work. fear is the best motivator in my life, so it would help me if you can scare me convincingly

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If you want to scare yourself, just go look up the horror stories of people who took their undergrad at UofT. I'm too tired to find them now, but they're not too difficult to find.

 

I'm not saying that these stories reflect UofT at all, but they just might motivate you.

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Another reason university is hard is because...

You are learning more information in a shorter amount of time. A typical semester in university is <3 month of class and in high school it's about 4 month. That makes a huge difference. If you fall behind in university it is going to be a hell of a time to catch up.

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existentialism, philosophy of science, psychology of self deception, monte carlo methods, advanced methods in social sciences, theory in comparative cognition, epistemology, philosophy of mind…

 

essentially, im going to give u 12 essay questions, the week before exam, and 3 longer essay questions.

 

i want you to focus on what the nature of self is.. lets call that our subject..

 

on test day, i choose 3 of the 12, on the spot, 1 of the 3, and say pick one from each… in 3 hrs… well, i expects at least 15-20 pages… n not volume, i want reflection and depth…

 

you're more or less ****ed...

 

No seriously, how the hell can it be so hard, its the same ****, you study for a test and go write it plus theres not as many assignments ive heard which just wastes time anyways... i could see myself studying for 7 courses 7 days a week and getting the 4.0 it makes sense to me, just come home study than go to sleep and review for exams - not far off high school. someone explain to me how this is so hard... no one even complains about the difficulty of a course either, they just say uni is hard...
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i agree, and it's harder as an arts student, since there's always some imperfection in your argument (no flame war ;) 4.0 in bio is great accomplishment too)

 

I almost have a 4.0 (OMSAS 3.99), and I think you're completely wrong if you say that it's easy to get a high GPA. You're going to have to work way harder than you worked in high school, since you only had an 88% average (which would be 3.9).

 

Not only does it take a tremendous amount of time and dedication to maintain a 4.0, but you need to do it while keeping up with your ECs. It's definitely possible, but you're going in with the wrong attitude.

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What I will say about UTSG first year Life Sciences is that it doable.

 

The thing that bothered me the most was the differences in difficulty between classes. Seriously, I took a first year writing course (ENG100, highly advisable if with Flynn, and you can write a decent essay), barely turned up to class, and ended up with a good grade. Compare that to CHM138, the class average was a C - , and I had to work far harder for a grade. It was not that great in the end.

 

All I can say is that you need to come in with all guns blazing. The tests are brutal, and the lab quizzes are brutal (labs in general are).

 

Best of luck, it will be one heck of a ride.

 

I don't know why everyone complains so much about courses with C- averages being so difficult.. That's the way almost everything is here, I've got my official transcript in front of me (only after 3 years so far) and almost all of our class averages are C's, some C-'s, some C+'s, and a couple B-'s in some of the really small classes (my quantum mechanics course only had 4 people).

 

Low to mid 60's is a standard class average for an intro science course, and high 60's, *sometimes* low 70s is standard for more upper year courses. At least that's the way it is here.

 

That doesn't make things impossible. I had a 4.0 right up till the last semester of third year (I lost it to an A- in that quantum class). But other than that it's 4.0 in everything. Applying to U of T this year with a 3.99 cGPA. I'm also no genius, just reallllllly interested in chemistry and willing to sacrifice a lot of things.

 

There's still time to get around, I've boxed competitively my whole degree, volunteered, etc. Still had time to enjoy life, you just have to be very efficient when you study and keep wasted time to a minimum.

 

There are people here a LOT smarter than I am. Fortunately, none of the one's that I'm friends with want to go to med school :D

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most of my class averages were like 2.5-2.9 (b- or so) early on... then maybe like 2.8-3.2 (B) after 2nd year...

 

I don't know why everyone complains so much about courses with C- averages being so difficult.. That's the way almost everything is here, I've got my official transcript in front of me (only after 3 years so far) and almost all of our class averages are C's, some C-'s, some C+'s, and a couple B-'s in some of the really small classes (my quantum mechanics course only had 4 people).

 

Low to mid 60's is a standard class average for an intro science course, and high 60's, *sometimes* low 70s is standard for more upper year courses. At least that's the way it is here.

 

That doesn't make things impossible. I had a 4.0 right up till the last semester of third year (I lost it to an A- in that quantum class). But other than that it's 4.0 in everything. Applying to U of T this year with a 3.99 cGPA. I'm also no genius, just reallllllly interested in chemistry and willing to sacrifice a lot of things.

 

There's still time to get around, I've boxed competitively my whole degree, volunteered, etc. Still had time to enjoy life, you just have to be very efficient when you study and keep wasted time to a minimum.

 

There are people here a LOT smarter than I am. Fortunately, none of the one's that I'm friends with want to go to med school :D

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