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Is It True That Ubc Doesn'tweigh Degree Difficulty Factors Into Gpa?


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if I apply to UBC for med after doing a double major in mathematics and chemistry and a minor in computer scinece and was wondering how does UBC factor in your degree into the calculation of the academic score?

 

Do they take the difficulty of courses into account? From what I heard it seems that UBC doesnt. It sounds very unfair that if I got an 82% in a 7-course-per-term science degree gets a singificantly lower score than someone who got 88% in a 3-course-per-term degree since it seems the former studnet is more likely to do well academically in medicine. I feel that placing all degrees equal will nullify the staggering difference between the hardest degree at UBC and the easiest and the quality of the studnets the programs produce...

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As far as I can tell, all degrees are weighed equally. 

 

To empathize with you - I took engineering physics at UBC (8 science/engineering courses a term, 6 courses in summer - has years where I had 50+ credits) and I get how you feel. The thoughts usually go "I got 80% in the hardest program at UBC, why do I get placed lower than someone who got 86% in the easiest program? I would totally be more academically compatible in med school!". Heck, even our director says that our program is the hardest and we believe (with good reason) that getting 80% in this program is such a high achievment that we can succeed anywhere. Then the shocking reality hits that wihtout contextual evaluation of our degree that we can't succeed anywhere if we can't get there in the first place...

 

I think (this is conjecture, don't take it as the reasoning med schools use) the main reasoning is that it's difficult to correctly "weigh" the difficulty of the programs. How do we know your courses are the hardest? Does that mean we're going to reject all non-science people outright? How do we compare 6 courses a term vs 7 courses a term? What if the people who get 90% in a 4-course term could get 90% in a 7 course term? How do we know people who get 80% in a 7-course term could get 90% in a 4-course term? 

 

Now that reasoning seems to apply to comparing say, a biochemistry major vs. a pharmacy major vs. and international relations major. On the extreme end, which seems to be what you're concerned about, I get it seems a far fetched argument when equating say, a minimum courseload degree and your double major and minor degree since the subjectivity of diffculty seems to be distant enough that it is confident 7 courses is most likely harder than 3-4 courses (using probabilities here because that's essentailly what's used in academics - probability of being academically succesful in med is gauged by your undergrad performance). The risks, still, are that if one double major degre is weighed more favorably, that this would have to be done to understand all "hard" degrees. Despite me being in high favor of taking the context of your degree in judging academics, it seems that it is unrealistic to jduge diffficulty of degrees fairly, even with extreme cases.

 

Regardless, it is still a high personal achievement to complete a degree that is objectively difficult by subjective measurement of time commitment, effort required, and that the "smartest" people (likely judged by peers who accurately say you are among the smartest in the university) take difficult programs like yours and you should be proud. 

 

 

PhD and Masters students, on the other hand, seem very underrated (I would say a Master's/PhD should be valued more than the undergrad from experience working with grad students but not sure why undergrad GPA is the greatest factor).

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Wow eng phys  :o I never thought I see one of you going to med. I heard from my engineering friends that it is crazy hard to get into and do. 

 

Ok. I get that it is hard to judge whether an ir major taking 5 courses a term is a better candidate than a chemistry major taking 5 or 6 courses a term. But how come a double major candidate who took 7 courses a term gets compared the same to someone who took 3 courses a term? That is literally more than double the work. Shouldn't cases like these get a closer look?

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Wow eng phys  :o I never thought I see one of you going to med. I heard from my engineering friends that it is crazy hard to get into and do. 

 

 

Haha I always show people this graph (first year average of studnets entering second year engineering programs) http://imgur.com/MX4ZQXt . Thought it's important to stay humble - there are a lot of weecked smaht people all around cmapus in Science, Arts, LFS, Kin, Music, and especially grad students that are also on campus.

 

Can't really answer your other questions with confidence, though, sorry...

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Based on this excerpt from UBC Med:

Post-Interview: All aspects of applicants’ files are looked at. The Admissions Selection Committee will consider that applicants, whatever their particular academic background, have demonstrated they are likely to perform well in the rigorous curriculum and problem-based format of the program. Assessment of academic performance also includes reviewing trends in grades from year to year as well as senior undergraduate and graduate level achievements completed by application deadline.

 

One could argue that they do take into account your heavy academic workload (post-interview).

The program you've chosen to pursue in your undergraduate career might be implicitly accounted for - seeing as your credits will be displayed.

 

This is only post-interview though, so you'll have to make it to that stage first.

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Simply because it's too much effort. To assess every course everyone who is applying has ever taken to compare difficulty is simply impossible.

 

U of C (+ a few other schools?) has (have) a quantitative evaluation of academic rigor that is performed on all files at the pre-interview stage. Although maybe it isn't the exact topic being discussed here, U of C evaluates: "a global assessment of academic strength: such things as the types of courses taken, trends in grades over time, ... " which is worth 10% of the pre-interview file score, 5% post-interview.

 

Now, I think UBC incorporates "academic background" during post-interview file review as either a quantitative evaluation or perhaps as an ordinal/categorical statistic, like highly-rigorous/adequate/rigor-lacking type of a classifier. This is conjecture as no one truly knows how UBC treats these types of things post-interview.

 

I agree with all above that it is difficult to evaluate different degree types from different universities, completed along different timelines and perhaps even during different time periods. It would be interesting to understand how U of C weights course-type in relation to other courses or the same(ish) courses at different schools...

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If they adjust for degree difficulty, it'd only be reasonably to also adjust your AQ according to your course selection (whether you took bird courses or not...etc), school (some school are easier than others), and many other factors. It can be an extremely complicated process and it's difficult to be objective.

 

I go to a difficult/prestige school in Canada and I agree 100% with you that it's unfair to treat all degrees/school the same when it comes to the application process. At the same time, I do not see any other more effective solutions to this problem due to the complexity of this matter, so I guess we can't really complain :/

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Hi all, sorry to jump in the conversation, I'm a 1 year med student at U of montréal and our faculty do take in consideration the difficulty of the program we come from. There is what we call a "strength index" included in the calculation they make for admissions! We do have a major difference from you guys and that is our 2 years cégep, but still, its supprising for me to hear that everybody is equally compared since it's obvious that certain programs are heavier in terms of class or workload!

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I was at an interview session and someone asked a question at how they would be looked at in terms of grades vs full course load. The student said they took a full course load once and their average was lower than all their other years (which were not at full time status). They said their gpa would be like 3.8 without their full-time year factored in. 

 

The admin person said that the full-time courseload isn't just a check mark on their application. They want to know if you can handle the rigorous curriculum of med school. They said med school isn't easy - it is a lot of work.

 

From this, I would imagine that the person who has done a double major with a minor taking 7 courses a term would demonstrate this exceptionally well and would be ranked accordingly. However, pre-interview this is not evaluated so gotta meet that threshold first.

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  • 1 month later...

To play devil's advocate, medical school isn't nearly as hard as many people make it out to be (I would say probably less difficult than some of the degrees discussed above).  If you keep up with your reading during the first two years, and are remotely competent in clerkship, you will have no problem graduating.  There are hundreds of rejected medical school applicants each year who would do just fine academically in medical school (regardless of their degree).  I personally don't feel difficulty of a degree should play a part in the application process.

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