yconic - Adjusting to jump from high school to university - U of T Life Sci?
Hide Menu

My Feed Money for School Student Help Brands Winners Support Center



Explore yconic
Explore Student Life Topics
Scotiabank
STUDENT CHAMPION
yconic proudly recognizes Student Champion Partners who are providing our community with superior support for their student journeys. Learn More
Student Help Brands

Adjusting to jump from high school to university - U of T Life Sci?

A photo of ktggirl ktggirl
I'm a grade 12 student and want to hear from U of T Life Sci students about the program is like. Was it difficult to adjust to the jump from high school to university - especially to one as big as U of T SG)? I have a 91 avg. currently and I would say I have great work ethics but I'm still concerned about the rumours I've heard about the difficulty level at U of T. If I'm aiming for medical school later on, is U of T a bad option? Any advice or opinion is welcome. Thnak you.
Was this helpful? Yes 0
5 replies
 
A photo of CatRunner CatRunner
The problem with choosing U of T if your ultimate goal is medical school is two-fold:

1. U of T is a large university. So there are a LOT of people there who received excellent marks in high school. These people are all now competing to be among the few to receive the very few A+ marks handed out. So competition is fierce.

2. U of T has been known to bell curve down marks if the course average is too high.

You have to realize that most people going to university received excellent marks in high school. Now all these high achievers are at university, where class averages tend to be around B/B+. So some of those straight-A students will no longer be A students.

To be one of those who continues to get good marks (which you will need if medical school is your goal) you need to learn what study methods work best for you and your courses, so that you can remain at the top. Can you get excellent marks at U of T. Of course. Many students do, and plenty of U of T grads get into medical school. That said, from what I've heard on other forums, choosing U of T for undergrad will make things more difficult. Check out Pre Med 101 if you want the scoop on what you need to do to get into medical school.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of ktel ktel
I have never attended U of T. I did achieve top marks at U of A and got into U of T for grad school. Maybe after I TA a few undergrad courses I can find out if these rumours are true, but I can say I think they are exaggerated. What is happening is kids who got inflated grades in high school or skated by with no work are now getting terrible grades at U of T (as they would at ANY university), and want to blame it on their school. When I hear people complain that only the top 5% of the class gets A+, I roll my eyes. THAT`S HOW THE CURVE WORKS, example:

http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/gfcpolicymanual/content.cfm?ID_page=37723&section=38628&contentshow=section
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of CatRunner CatRunner

@ktel wrote
I have never attended U of T. I did achieve top marks at U of A and got into U of T for grad school. Maybe after I TA a few undergrad courses I can find out if these rumours are true, but I can say I think they are exaggerated. What is happening is kids who got inflated grades in high school or skated by with no work are now getting terrible grades at U of T (as they would at ANY university), and want to blame it on their school. When I hear people complain that only the top 5% of the class gets A+, I roll my eyes. THAT`S HOW THE CURVE WORKS, example:

http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/gfcpolicymanual/content.cfm?ID_page=37723&section=38628&contentshow=section




That's not how it works at all universities, though. Here at Guelph, marks are not curved to some artificial distribution. Rather, the marks fall where they will. Thus, I know going into a final exam exactly where my marks lie and exactly what mark I need to get on the final exam to get an 85, or a 90, or a 92, or a 95 in a course. My marks are not adjusted to fit some curve or distribution. If 6% of the students happen to deserve an A+ in the course, then that's okay, 6% of them can have it.

That said, the class averages for large, first year courses still end up around a B/B+. But the marks aren't artificially adjusted. I managed to obtain all A+ marks in my first year by working hard but I didn't have to worry about where I fell on some curve or distribution. So I didn't have to worry about my 90s+ ending up as Bs. My 90s+ remained As and A+s.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of ktggirl ktggirl
I don't know if it's true but I've also heard about this 'bell curve' at U of T as well. Anyone know whether they actually do it? Does it significantly reduce your marks or something?
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of ktel ktel
And CatRunner, I bet that the grades for most large classes naturally fall onto some sort of curve. And a 90+ would NEVER fall into the B category at any school, unless the professor was giving absolute crap tests, and then he would probably get fired and your grades would be as-is.

People really seem to hate the curve, while I've found it has really had no effect on my grades, other in one instance where I would have gotten an A- not a B+ if there was no curve. When the class average was higher, the professor typically didn't curve down our marks, but would just allow a higher class average (this only happened for small upper year classes). The whole premise of the curve is that you want to do better than everyone else, which you should strive to do regardless.
Was this helpful? Yes 0