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Heyo

I'm graduating from Western this year in Health Sciences and looking to take a 5th year as a special student. I have contacted uwo, mcmaster, queens and uoft, all of them have said the special year will be considered as long as I meet the quota for a full course load (Western hasnt gotten back to me yet but I think this is the case for them as well). My question is- In Queens' email, they said a full course load is 3 courses/semester, does it make sense to only take 3 courses each semester in my 5th year? Im not sure if thats a common strategy because on one hand, it is likely easier to do better with only 3 courses but im worried about any caveats with specific schools or even the fact that 3 courses might not bear that much weight on improving my overall GPA. (The goal of the 5th year in general is to boost gpa).

 

What are your thoughts on this? Should I just do a 5.0 like I have been every year just to make sure I'll be good?

Thanks!

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I'm currently finishing a 5th year at western in HS too, what a coincidence lol. Doing a fifth year is relatively common I think for students who just didn't get accepted and want to take the time to boost your grades, get experience etc. If you decide to do a 5th year, western has a 3/5 rule meaning basically 3.0 of your credits have to be 3000+ for it to count towards your 2 best years. I took a full course load but did not know about that rule when I signed up four courses so I have a couple of extra credits that weren't 3000+

 I wish I could help you out more but I really only applied to dentistry at UWO  

 

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Haha small world, thanks for the reply. Also, is your 5th year a special year? (Did you graduate last year?) I made a post on here about whether or not I should graduate and get the special status or not graduate and just continue my degree for an extra year- people here seemed to hate the idea of a special year although as I mentioned in the OP - every med school I contacted is cool with it. Just interested in your opinion.

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I really didn't have the option to graduate because in addition to doing a 5th year I wanted switched specialization within HS, however I don't think there is any significant difference between either choice really. I would just pick the option that you think will end up getting you the highest possible grades, if there is any difference.  

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Many schools won't count less than a full year, TO will potentially punish you.....doesn't seem logical to do less than the norm of 5.0(?) 

The differences are minor but they do exist - there are few differences with respect to Western (different rules for special years and you can only have one of them), access to particular courses can be a problem if you graduate, and rarely you run into a school that doesn't accept years not included in some form of a degree. For those reasons I usually think it is better not to graduate but the differences often aren't huge. 

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