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Worth a 5th year just for Western?


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Is it worth doing a 5th year to also apply to Western if I meet MCAT cutoffs?

Backstory: transferred universities and switched majors which prevented me from taking courses at my year level (meet the 3/5 rule for Western) because I was behind. Only my 4th year will meet this rule.

If I apply after my 4th year, I could complete a 5th year that also follows this 3/5 rule to be eligible. 

Would this also be advantageous to schools like Toronto and Dalhousie which suggest courses to be taken at your year level or above? Or is it fine in the academic explanations section at UofT?

- I'm applying to all other Ontario schools

- GPA > 3.9 so don't require a 5th year

Increase chances or forget Western?

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I'd tend to look at it in terms of what is your Plan B in case you're not accepted.  A fifth year might open the Western door, but MCAT cut-offs do change every year on top of the effort for another strong year, since you're putting your GPA on the line to some extent, supposing the worst-case scenario of needing further cycles.  Other options might include an MSc (typically a two year commitment) or working or other activities.  I'd look at in terms of what interests you and whether the other options could increase your chances - e.g. grad work with UofT.  

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1 hour ago, caramilk said:

Is it worth doing a 5th year to also apply to Western given I meet MCAT cutoffs?

Backstory: transferred universities and switched majors which prevented me from taking courses at my year level (meet the 3/5 rule for Western) because I was behind. Only my 4th year will meet this rule.

If I apply after my 4th year, I could complete a 5th year that also follows this 3/5 rule to be eligible. 

Would this also be advantageous to schools like Toronto and Dalhousie which suggest courses to be taken at your year level or above? Or is it fine in the academic explanations section at UofT?

- I'm applying to all other Ontario schools

- GPA > 3.9 so don't require a 5th year

Increase chances or forget Western?

when are you applying to medical school? 

Your case sounds complex enough to inquire directly with Western to how they will process it. I mean your overall GPA is high so you are assuming I am guessing they won't be counting your first two years of GPA? Seeing the break down by year might be useful. 

a masters may make your application more broadly effective than targeting one school. Switching schools and changing majors sounds like a perfectly reasonable explanation for why you are doing something a bit unusual for TO etc. I don't think they will hold that against you. 

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On 1/28/2018 at 9:40 AM, Marrakech said:

I'd tend to look at it in terms of what is your Plan B in case you're not accepted.  A fifth year might open the Western door, but MCAT cut-offs do change every year on top of the effort for another strong year, since you're putting your GPA on the line to some extent, supposing the worst-case scenario of needing further cycles.  Other options might include an MSc (typically a two year commitment) or working or other activities.  I'd look at in terms of what interests you and whether the other options could increase your chances - e.g. grad work with UofT.  

2

Good points - MCAT cutoffs change, a risk that my GPA could drop, shelling out another $7500 for another year.

Do only research-based masters improve your chances of acceptance?

My backup plan (if I never get in) involves a course-based masters program in a professional health field. However, I heard that adcoms could question you for this - why you are switching fields, if you are just using it as a stepper to medicine, etc. Is this true? 

On 1/28/2018 at 11:01 AM, rmorelan said:

when are you applying to medical school? 

Your case sounds complex enough to inquire directly with Western to how they will process it. I mean your overall GPA is high so you are assuming I am guessing they won't be counting your first two years of GPA? Seeing the break down by year might be useful. 

a masters may make your application more broadly effective than targeting one school. Switching schools and changing majors sounds like a perfectly reasonable explanation for why you are doing something a bit unusual for TO etc. I don't think they will hold that against you. 


Year 1 - Not eligible, things got funky switching schools/majors

Year 2 - Not eligible, too many first-year courses 

Year 3 - Not eligible, too many second-year courses

Year 4 - eligible, 3 & 4th-year courses taken

My only option to apply to Western would be to complete a 5th year. I don't think they will give me an exemption because the year levels are incorrect for yr 2/3 even though the GPA is good each year. I will contact them to see though :) 

 

Thanks!

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1 minute ago, caramilk said:

Good points - MCAT cutoffs change, a risk that my GPA could drop, shelling out another $7500 for another year.

Do only research-based masters improve your chances of acceptance?

My backup plan (if I never get in) involves a course-based masters program in social work to continue in the field of addictions after volunteering. However, I heard that pursuing an alternate health care program like occupational therapy, social work or physiotherapy could make the adcoms question you - why you are switching fields, if you are just using it as a stepper to medicine, etc. Is this true? In that case, could pursuing a masters in SW straight out of graduation hurt my chances, not help? Considering my main goal is medicine?

I'm applying after my 4th year so either way I will have at least a year off. (Maybe more if I do a masters as you suggested.) That's good to know about Toronto.

Year 1 - Not eligible, things got funky switching schools/majors

Year 2 - Not eligible, too many first-year courses 

Year 3 - Not eligible, too many second-year courses

Year 4 - eligible, 3 & 4th-year courses taken

My only option to apply to Western would be to complete a 5th year. I don't think they will give me an exemption because the year levels are incorrect for yr 2/3 even though the GPA is good each year. I will contact them to see though :) 

 

Thanks!

I would do that - particularly as there is question about that "funky first year". In theory starting a new degree resets the clock for Western for instance. You need to reinforce the idea if possible that your Year 2 is really a Year 1 of a new degree. 

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3 hours ago, caramilk said:

Good points - MCAT cutoffs change, a risk that my GPA could drop, shelling out another $7500 for another year.

Do only research-based masters improve your chances of acceptance?

My backup plan (if I never get in) involves a course-based masters program in social work to continue in the field of addictions after volunteering. However, I heard that pursuing an alternate health care program like occupational therapy, social work or physiotherapy could make the adcoms question you - why you are switching fields, if you are just using it as a stepper to medicine, etc. Is this true? In that case, could pursuing a masters in SW straight out of graduation hurt my chances, not help? Considering my main goal is medicine?

 

My understanding research matters for UofT more than really anywhere else, besides maybe UBC.  I'm not sure about your second point - I can see it's a concern, although I'd be surprised if adcoms specifically discourage people with given backgrounds from applying.  Perhaps others on this forum or elsewhere will have greater knowledge.  In any case, you have competitive stats for med school, so it's certainly worth putting an application in, although non-academics or ECs matter to varying extents.

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