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Low GPA first year, what should I do?


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Hey guys!

Unfortunately in my first year my GPA was horrible (2.3gpa) because of a terminally ill family member. I am in my second year and getting much higher grades (3.8gpa).

I did fail a course in my first year as well, so my first question is should I retake all of my first year courses if interested in a Canadian medical program?

I have hospital volunteering experience, I also shadow an oncologist every week, as well as a ton of community work in my city. I am currently doing research with a professor, and involved in sports and clubs in and around my campus so my EC and LOR should not be an issue. 

What I am concerned about is my grades. Hopefully I will graduate with around a 3.5 gpa due to my first year. Is there a chance of getting in a Canadian school if my MCAT is stellar? Or should I consider another degree or masters?

Thank you so much!

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If the rest of your years have good grades and you take full course loads, you will be eligible for weighted GPAs at some schools, which will only look at the GPA of 2 years of your degree. At some schools you can also write an extenuating circumstances essay to explain your situation from first year and they will take that into consideration when they assess you GPA. So don't give up, keep up the good work.

You shouldn't need to retake that failed course unless it's a prereq for your degree or a prereq for certain med schools

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2 minutes ago, JR1998 said:

I dropped a course in my first semester of first year as well as second semester of second year. Will this still effect my weighted average? Thank you!

Toronto yes, will be cGPA now instead of weighted.

can write the explanatory essay if something major causes you to do that, but things like “too hard” or “couldn’t balance” wouldn’t be great reasons. Consult their website what the essay can be used for. Terminally ill family member is a pretty big reason IMO.

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Thank you! 

My grandfather was terminally ill so my parents had to leave the country to care him. So I had to take on a full time position at work just to pay rent by myself as well as send money over seas for his surgery. Do you think this is a valid reason?

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38 minutes ago, JR1998 said:

If I am in Ontario does this effect my admissions to certain schools outside of the province?

Yes! Most out of province schools for you do give priorities to people in their own province. For example at the U of A, Albertans can apply with a 3.3 i believe and only need 124 in each sections for the MCAT. You would need a 3.7 i think and also higher mcat scores! If you look up “medical school requirements X school” you can get all this info in more detail

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3 minutes ago, whyudodistome said:

Yes! Most out of province schools for you do give priorities to people in their own province. For example at the U of A, Albertans can apply with a 3.3 i believe and only need 124 in each sections for the MCAT. You would need a 3.7 i think and also higher mcat scores! If you look up “medical school requirements X school” you can get all this info in more detail

thank you!

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