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Gpa From Current Year Excluded For Getting In The Following September?


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Hi!

 

I recently made the decision to aim for medicine, and am currently completing my 2nd year undergrad in sciences at UBC. 

I was just looking through the timeline for UBC's med school application - and let out a gasp of slight horror when I realised that for getting into med school the september following the end of fourth year, the application process is more or less completed by the time your fourth year grades are out - so how can these grades be anticipated in the application process?

I'd like some confirmation if I'm interpreting this correctly: A med school student who gets accepted after 3rd year in fact went through the application with only their grades from years 1 and 2, and an applicant who gets accepted after 4th year got accepted through the application with only their first three years of GPA? (And as such, their aGPA that they would have at the end of summer is never considered?)

 

This is a major buzzkill for me, as I did poorly in first year (76%) and while I've been lifting my average up right now (with 90%s, more focused, motivated, aware, etc.), when I apply in my fourth year, getting that first year dropped isn't possible? (I'd have to wait for the following year's application cycle... doing a year of who knows what)

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You need to have 90 credits remaining for them to evaluate, after removing your worst 30 credits (in a year) in order to be considered for adjusted GPA (aGPA).

As a fourth year applicant (or third year applicant), you probs have 90 or less credits before removal, resulting in 60 or less credits remaining after removal.

Thus, you would not be eligible for aGPA in your 3rd or 4th year.

 

Students who enter medical school after 3rd year, would have applied during their 3rd year studies (most likely completed the MCAT during the summer following second year or earlier). I personally know some of these students - all had a cGPA around 88% (for ubc med) or higher + where involved heavily in research, clubs, and outside UBC activities since their first year.

 

IF accepted like these students I mentioned, the expectation is that you keep your academic standing by the time you finish that year.  (otherwise a re-evaluation of your file will be conducted).

 

Hope this helps. 

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You are correct that most (if not all) applicants that qualify for an adjusted GPA calculation have completed, at minimum, 4 years of coursework by the application deadline, for entry the following year. To quote information from the application manual: "In order to have the academic year with the lowest academic average dropped, applicants must have 90 credits with grades remaining by June 1 of the application year."

 

Unless UBC changes this rule in the near future, unfortunately there's not much that you can do. Though I certainly would not call a 76% a very poor year, it cannot be ignored that the math is quite daunting when you try to see what average you would need to get over the next X years to achieve a Y overall GPA (etc.). However, reflecting on what worked and what didn't during that first year, while maturing from your experience and continuing to work diligently and engage in your coursework would be greatly sound advice at this point.

 

Furthermore, applicants are commonly accepted in the 80-85% GPA category (although fewer compared to the 85-90% group). Keeping in mind that GPA (AQ) accounts for 50% of the pre-interview file score, devoting involvement towards extra-curricular activities that you are passionate about is equally as important to the admission committee at UBC. Also, there is a diversity of academic requirements and calculations among Canadian medical schools such that applicants can be more or less competitive depending on which school they apply to (looking at you, U of C, with only 20% pre-interview file score based on GPA).

 

Moving forward: Don't sweat it too much. Reflect and develop from that academic experience, work your tail off in your current/future coursework, and continue to rock out with your ECs! :)

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Thanks a ton for your input (and encouragement)! We'll see how it goes!

 

I'm planning to get as high as possible a GPA for the next two years in order to get this done, so hopefully I won't need to rely on getting an aGPA! It looks like I'll be needing an average of 94% this year to bring my average up to 85% (if I were to apply during third year). Which, fortunately, isn't a mathematical impossibility nor is it an impossibility (at least with the courses I have now).

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I might add.. though perhaps I am a bit biased as I am an older applicant, but it is definitely not a bad thing to have a year between undergrad and starting med school. There are lots of things you can do, and I definitely think having a bit of life experience adds to your decision to pursue medicine and also see what else is out there besides attending university. I also think it adds to your interview personally..

 

Med school is a long road, and I think it might be nice and beneficial to have a year to work in a different area, or do research, or travel, volunteer, etc, the list goes on! Make some money.. So i know it might seem like a bummer, but a lot of people do take time off before starting medical school which is why the average age of someone entering is about 24 or 25 I think. You can check their stats on the website to see what age the people are of the entering class. But there are lots of people who are older and have done different things or gotten multiple degrees before starting.

 

So if it ends up taking an extra year, I would not think of it as a bummer, but more an opportunity to explore other areas and do something else besides school!

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I might add.. though perhaps I am a bit biased as I am an older applicant, but it is definitely not a bad thing to have a year between undergrad and starting med school. There are lots of things you can do, and I definitely think having a bit of life experience adds to your decision to pursue medicine and also see what else is out there besides attending university. I also think it adds to your interview personally..

 

Med school is a long road, and I think it might be nice and beneficial to have a year to work in a different area, or do research, or travel, volunteer, etc, the list goes on! Make some money.. So i know it might seem like a bummer, but a lot of people do take time off before starting medical school which is why the average age of someone entering is about 24 or 25 I think. You can check their stats on the website to see what age the people are of the entering class. But there are lots of people who are older and have done different things or gotten multiple degrees before starting.

 

So if it ends up taking an extra year, I would not think of it as a bummer, but more an opportunity to explore other areas and do something else besides school!

 

 

I agree 100%, and to add onto this, I was definitely one of those individuals who was heartbroken after not getting in right after completing undergrad in 2014. While still on the grind to finally crack a program, I've engaged in opportunities to get involved in so many things in these 'gap' years including working in clinical research, volunteering, travelling, spending more time in my hobbies etc that I am certain I would not have been able to do had I started med school right out of UG. 

 

At the end of the day, when you're 45 and practicing, nobody is going to question when you got in, nor will 1, 2, or 3 years of extra life experience hurt you in any way. In truth, it will likely only be a benefit in retrospect. 

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