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AMA: UofT First Year Engineering Student (Track One). Ask about university, engineering, other subjects, admissions…whatever!

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EDIT: Just to give another update, I'm half-way through 3rd year right now. Just went through the PEY process and wrapped that up, so if you have any questions on any of that, I'd be more than happy to share some firsthand experiences! 

I was also accepted to Waterloo, Ottawa, and Mac way back when, so you can ask q's about those as well.

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Bump….
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I was thinking about maybe applying to medical school after engineering. How realistic is it for me to get grades at UofTEng that are good enough for medical school (at least 3.6 GPA) ? How much have your grades changed since high school?
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Interestingly enough, my GPA after first semester was a 3.6! I think it'll go higher this semester to about 3.7 (there was one course that really weighed me down). 

So yeah, that GPA is definitely possible. Trust me, I'm just a regular student from the public education system. It's taken hard work and discipline, but if I can do it, most people can. 

Going through engineering to get to med school is like choosing the path of most resistance though :) I'd only suggest doing this if you'd be completely happy in the engineering field. 

The other tough thing about med school and engineering is that the rigorous engineering schedule takes away time to do EC's, which med schools care about. However, if you're willing to make some small sacrifices (mostly to social life), you can still do EC's. I'm a part of 2 EC's on top of commuting 3 hours per day AND i still have solid grades. It's doable, but I'll admit that I have little time for other stuff.
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Wow, that's amazing. Yeah, I am choosing engineering because I know that if I don't get into medical school, I will have a career I enjoy.Also, who knows if after 4 years I will even want to do another 4 years of school.  I have applied to civil. Is this one of the easier disciplines in terms of workload and subject material, or are they all pretty much the same?
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I mean…it really depends. It's a cliche, but everyone's good at their own things. Some people find software a total breeze. Yet, something like 30% of the students in first year programming dropped the course. I'll say that if you like the material, it'll be easier. 

There's conceptual difficulty and then there's also workload difficulty. Some disciplines have tougher years (ex. ECE and Chem 2nd years are notoriously difficult), but each discipline has their own "horror" semester. Conceptually, they'll all be challenging in their own way. Personally, I lack physical intuition, so CIV isn't easy for me. Others find the abstraction of a math course like linear algebra difficult, yet I found it fun. If you like civ, you should be good. 

Don't be afraid to switch into another program if you find you don't like civ. One of the biggest pros to Uoft engineering is the (relative) ease with which you can switch around after first year. 
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Alright. Thanks for the advice and detailed answers! Wish you luck on your midterms or whatever it is you have coming up!
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Hey, I would really like to know about your university experience so far, in detail. 

1) Which universities were you accepted to? And what made you choose UofT over Waterloo (what were some major deciding factors between the two, pros/cons/etc.)?

2) Tell me about frosh week! How was it? Do you still talk to the people you met during that one week? 

3) Do you commute? If so, please outline your routes (I have little or absolutely NO experience with commuting, so I'm really nervous about this...)

4) I'm a girl, so I'm wondering... What is the girl to guy ratio in engineering at UofT (approximately)? How friendly is everyone? Is everyone collaborative, or does it seem to be filled with more cliques and groups separated by "ethnicity" (for example, the asians with the asians, the whites with the whites, etc.)?

5) How is the course load? Is it manageable? 

Thank you for your time. :) If you have any tips about first year engineering at UofT, please let me know!
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1) In total, I was accepted to Mac, Waterloo and Uoft (in that order). 

I'll start by saying that both Uoft and UW are obviously great for engineering. If one of them gives an advantage over another in some aspect, I don't think it's *too* significant. For Waterloo, the absolute biggest pro was the coop. However, I'm not an ECE-type person, so I worried that I wouldn't get the full advantage out of the coop program (coop is great across the board, but the ECE's & software kids get the most out of it). 

Other than coop, every other factor I was considering was a "win" for Uoft. Things like student culture (from my perspective), social life, living environment (i.e. living in a city), campus greenery and aesthetics…all of these don't seem like big deals, but they are important to some extent. 

But what ultimately made me choose Uoft was the FLEXIBILITY. I am SO glad I chose Track One with the benefit of hindsight. If you're the type of person who 100% knows what they want to do with their lives, there's no problem with going to Waterloo. However, if you have any doubts, it's really difficult to switch programs there. I've changed my mind on what program I want to go into 4 times since uni started, even though I felt like I was pretty sure at the beginning of the year! Now, I'm leaning heavily towards a field I had ZERO interest in before (industrial). 

2) Frosh Week is…pretty insane! It was definitely much more than what i was expecting and you really get your money's worth! Even if you're not too social, it's a lot of fun. I'd say the most memorable moment was running through the water at Nathan Philips Square dyed head to toe in purple and completely polluting the water…good times. And the carnival setup is pretty crazy too. I won't give away too many details because some of them are supposed to be surprises, but it's definitely a blast. 

And yeah, surprisingly, I do see some people from Frosh from time to time. You'll end up spending most of your time with ppl in your specific program, but if I'm in the Pit (which is the engineering student lounge kind of place), I'll occasionally recognize doing some crazy stuff with said person and go over and quickly catch up with them. 

3) YES, I do commute. My commute is 1.5 hours one way (so 3 hours per day). I take the Go train and then I take the subway up to the school from Union station.

Commuting isn't easy, especially in engineering. You just have to change your approach to things. It'll definitely make you *extremely* efficient (which is what happened to me). If you're commuting from a long distance, I'd strongly recommend the Go Train. It's not perfect, but it's a smooth ride and I actually love to take time during my commute to get some homework or studying done. 

Personally, I like to do all of my work at school and during my commutes. That way, when I get home at around 9:00, I just eat dinner and chill out until bed. I haven't pulled off a SINGLE late nighter and my marks are good (latest I've slept was 12:30 once). If you're efficient during the day, even with a commute, you can totally get all of your work done!

The worst part about commuting is probably getting up early. Just make sure you get a good night's sleep, regardless. Also, there are some serious advantages to commuting. I can talk about this more if you're interested. 

4) Luckily for you, we have the BEST girl:guy ratio in Ontario (and i think the country) for engineering! There are actual hard numbers on this, but last time I checked, our engineering program was 35% girls. This number is will vary depending on discipline though. If you're interested in something like industrial or chemical, it'll be 50/50 split. 

One of my biggest surprises since coming here was learning how collaborative people are in general. Of course, there are the "loner" types who seem to hate human interaction…but engineering really gets people to bond together. You're going to go through a lot of great times (and painfully frustrating times) prepping for midterms with friends or frantically trying to finish a problem set in the library late at night with some buddies. In times like those, everyone is willing to help. Especially in Track One, it feels like there's a "no man/woman left behind". Everyone in T1 encourages each other and helps out. This seems to be true in general, but is less true in some disciplines (ex. not to stereotype, but ECE's tend to be more individual). 

On the ethnicity question, i have seen zero segregation based on ethnicity. In fact, I never noticed this, but my main friend group has a person from each continent in the world except Australia…

HOWEVER, there is a bit of seclusion from international students (particularly, Chinese international students). It's mostly a language thing. Even then, it depends on the type of international student. If they went to "American" schools in China, they're very friendly and sociable. One of my best buddies is a Chinese international student. 


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I just realized I forgot your last question. Sorry!

5) It's definitely manageable. You'll quickly learn that this isn't high school anymore and it'll feel like a crazy workload, but you'll get through and it'll feel good at the end. 

I do have some tips. Most of them revolve around mentality because I feel that's important. 

First of all, at some point (assuming you're not Einstein), the material is going to get tough and you'll feel overwhelmed. This is especially exacerbated at Uoft, where the entering student body for engineering is just so damn strong.

I came from a normal public school education and I was immediately jealous of all of the IB and AP kids who come in basically knowing most (if not all) first year material. It feels like you simply can't compete. This is where your brain might tell you to give up. But you have to be willing to battle. And if you have to be willing to fail. The important part is how you RESPOND. You're probably really smart and you may never have faced adversity before. You're going to face challenges here, so it's important to be willing to change and make adjustments. 

For instance, after my first set of midterms which were roughly average (some slightly below class average), I decided to make a schedule. I now use Google Calendar and I have every hour of my day from 8 am to 9pm fully planned (including breaks). I have a list of "action items" that I need to get done for the day and I do my best to get them done. If you follow your schedule, you will succeed. University is really about working hard and preparing appropriately, not just smarts. 

After I got on a schedule, I did  MUCH better. I won't go into specifics, but I did good enough at the end of the first semester to get honours, which I'm pretty proud of, coming from a normal public school background. It's totally doable. 

You may also have several existential crises during first year (or maybe that was just me?!). I asked myself several times "why am here?", "Why did I even choose engineering?", "Is this what I really want?" 

The reality is that you do NOT have to be here. It's a choice. And when you're slaving over a problem set for hours, the question of why you're even doing this WILL come up. You MUST have an answer to these questions. Believe it or not, I keep a personal diary and on my Friday night train trips home, I take some time to write to myself about these questions and about motivations (and other stuff in general). It helps me maintain sanity and I'd recommend it :)

Also, ask for help. You'd be amazed how lazy some students are. The great thing about Uoft engineering is that the faculty teaching staff for first year are honestly AMAZING. All of my profs have been the best teachers I've ever had. Yet, students barely show up to office hours. They're great people and willing to help, so use them!

There are also tutorial sessions and extra help sessions outside of class that people can use. Barely anybody shows up to those. Even if you're acing your courses, go to these extra sessions. Why? Because you'll get the chance to explain concepts to struggling students which is good for both of you! 
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Goodness gracious, thank you so much for your time and detailed answers! You have really given me hope and have motivated me. :) I checked out your answers below as well, and I'll definitely look into asking about integrals with some math teachers. I'll make sure to thoroughly grasp the concepts of limits too. And thanks for the insight on commuting! Omg commuting seriously has been one of my greatest worries about choosing to go to UofT (I kept asking myself how in the world I would ever find the time to do homework, study, sleep, on top of commuting time), but you've really reassured me that it's gonna be alright. :') Also, if you don't mind, can you please elaborate on the advantages of commuting?

And I love your positive outlook on all these situations. You're definitely going to go far, I'm sure of it. :) 
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Firstly, I'll just say a quick disclaimer: I haven't found commuting to have too much of an effect on my studying, but others might differ in their opinion on the matter. You have to make it work for you by adjusting your studying habits accordingly. 

Also, this is a bit off topic but: personally, I like doing "relaxed studying". This means that, if I'm just doing some practice work or a problem set, I don't like locking myself up in a quiet library. I usually go down to the student lounge type area (the pit) and get my work done there. 9 times out of 10, I'll see a friend down there and we'll work together for a bit, goof around a little, etc. It doesn't feel like hardcore studying that way and helps maintain sanity. 

Also, to make it work while commuting, you need to be efficient with your time. Particularly, you need to be efficient with your lectures. What I'm about to say will surprise you, but students (even at Uoft) don't take enough out of lectures. Some of my lectures only have 60% attendance or so. And even then, about a quarter of the class will literally be sleeping in the back. I get up right to the front and try to engage with the lecturer and the material. If you do this, you actually don't have to do too much studying outside of class; it'll just be practice problems. It's crazy to see all of these people, 2 days before a test, trying to frantically learn 6 chapters worth of material or something. 

Also (and again, sorry for going off topic!), don't be afraid to engage with the prof themselves during lecture. You'll hear about these massive class sizes in university (especially Uoft), but this isn't true for Uoft engineering. Aside from 1 class, all of my lectures have max 100 students and since so many don't show up, it's more like 60-70. If you sit near the front, it feels just like high school. In one of my classes, my prof even walks around and asks individual students questions to keep everyone engaged. Answer questions, ask questions. Do whatever you can to stay intellectually engaged --> this is how you maximize your retention of lecture material (and the theory and concepts outlined in lecture). 

Also (again with the off topic…), classes are different from high school structure. For all university courses, you'll have at least 2 separate components: lecture and tutorial. Lectures are almost always purely theory or conceptual things. Tutorials are more geared towards examples and practice problems. It's different from high school where a teacher would often talk 10 minutes about some concept and then spend the rest of the class on examples.

OKAY, back to your actual question! Here are some of the advantages of commuting: for one, it makes you disciplined. There are lots of kids who are just plain lazy in all facets of their life and it shows. When you're a commuter, you can't sleep in. You can't skip multiple classes and just crash in bed in the middle of the day. You can't stay up drinking on the weekends. This might sound like no fun, but it's good in the long run. Commuting is not for the weak and it is not for the lazy. It will turn you into an efficient machine. 

In addition, I really love my family so it's a blessing to be able to see my mom, grandma, sister, etc. every single day. It's  a strange thing but I've moved closer to my family since first year started. In engineering, you're going to doubt yourself many times and feel bad about certain things…but it's good to have that support network there and know that, no matter what happens and how badly you did on that calc midterm, there are people who will always love you. 

I also get home cooked meals every day. Dinner is (usually) made for me and I can just pack a lunch from home. It helps you stay healthier (and is so much cheaper than constantly buying food). 

Commuting also gives you some alone time. I actually like riding the train. It's quiet, serene and there's something about a train ride that tends to generate some nostalgic feelings. It gives you an hour+ each day to just…remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of school and chill. Of course, you can also use that time to do some studying!

And then there's the biggest advantage: $$$$. I'm saving at least $10k/year commuting. Over 4 years, that's $40k…which is a lot (like a year's worth of salary for most). If your folks are willing to foot the bill, maybe it's not such a big deal. But that's a lot of money. 
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So, I just got an email from UofT Engineering inviting me to a top applicant dinner, even though I haven't been accepted yet. But when I checked my application status on the Engineering Applicant Portal it says "Not yet reviewed" and on the JoinID it says "pending review". So I am now confused. What is this dinner for? And how can I be a "top applicant" if nobody has looked at my application yet?
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I remember this thing. I'm pretty sure this is filtered by average you have at the moment (which is something they do have access to). So it's not "top applicant" in the holistic sense (in that, they haven't looked at your EC's yet), but it is for the top academic students. 

I'm pretty sure this is an extremely good sign for your admission :)  I can't imagine they'd reject someone after inviting them to a dinner. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to go last year because I had no one to take me (lol), but it's a nice opportunity if you have the time. You'll get to meet some faculty and staff, other students, check out the campus, etc. 
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Okay, awesome. That's good to hear. I am kind of nervous, but mostly excited to see what happens. Someone told me that you would get your offer of admission at the dinner. Do you know if that's true?
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That is absolutely not true. No matter how high your grades are, they won't accept you until they've looked over the SPF. 

The first round of admissions should be the first week of March (it was like this last year). Then, they wait all the way until May to give out more acceptances (i.e. they basically give them out in 2 big batches). If you're strongly competitive (which it seems you are), you'll probably get accepted in the first round (which, trust me, is a MASSIVE relief). 
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There was a webcast that UofT Eng had recently for applicants and they said the first round of offers have started and they have 3 rounds Feb, March and May.
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That may be a new addition this year.Historically, it's been 2 rounds. I suppose it makes sense. They're getting more and more applications each year, so it can be difficult to control the number of acceptances you give out when you only have 2 big rounds.
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I am currently in a regular ontario public school. Our calculus and vectors course does not cover integration. Would you recommend I find some AP calc material and learn some integration before I get to UofT Eng? And is there other stuff (that comes up a lot) I should try to learn, just to be on the same page as the AP kids?
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First of all, I totally get your worries…as I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I'm a regular public kid too and I was massively jealous of the IB and AP kids. 

As a quick aside, some people will tell you to focus on yourself, but that's difficult to do because in university, your mark depends on the strength of your class. You're graded against your peers, so in a sense, you're competing with these AP/IB kids. 

As another aside, I'll also mention that they lose their advantage once first year is done (also, most lose an advantage after first semester). So take solace in that. ALSO, I want you to know that you, as a public school kid, can totally beat out some of these AP/IB kids. I'm living proof of that.

Anyways…onto your question. It's good  that you're thinking ahead like this. Personally, grade 12 calc was very simple for me, so I actually used to go to my calc teacher's room during lunch and spare and we'd do calculus together (more advanced topics). I was lucky that he was so open to doing that. If you have a great calc teacher and you feel good with the material, I'd recommend asking them to help you because it's easier with a teacher. 

I'd recommend going over integration. You don't even need to know derivatives to understand integration (in fact, I know one very famous Calc textbook that actually teaches integration first). Understand what an integral is, the fundamentals. Start with Reimann sums. These are honestly very boring and you'll feel like skipping it to get to the "cool stuff", but these are important fundamental concepts. 

Once you've got the basic ideas of integration down (i.e. integration polynomials, simple trig functions, etc.), you'll move to some integration techniques. Before coming into university, I (by myself) covered: integration by parts, u-substitution, trigonometric substitution, improper integrals and applications (volumes and stuff). Doing this will basically cover first semester calc. If you have the time, try to get to differential equations and series. This is much tougher, but doing this will get you all the way up to most of calc 2.  

If you can find a textbook at the library to follow along, I'd recommend a JAMES STEWART textbook. I know they had several copies at my local library. 

WARNING: I don't know how much differentiation you know so far…but you'll quickly realize that integration is MUCH more difficult. With taking derivatives, there's always some rule that you can use. By the end of high school calculus, you should be able to take the derivative of basically any continuous function. With integration…eventually, when it gets complicated, you'll never know if you can even solve it.

For example, the integral of (sin x)^2 is fairly trivial. However, do you know what the integral of (sin x^2) is? It doesn't really exist! It's been proven impossible to compute exactly. That's pretty crazy. A slight change messes up everything. 

ALSO, more than calc, I'd recommend doing some LINEAR ALGEBRA. This is a weird math course (but a lot of fun) that a lot of people struggled with…I never used my calculator once for linear algebra --> it's very theoretical. You talk about higher dimensional spaces and all of this weird stuff. Find an intro text and go over some of the basic theorems and the proofs. Try to understand what they're getting at. You need lots of exposure to this type of math to let it sink in. The computations are all very simple (it's systems of linear equations, which you did in grade 10). It's the understanding that's difficult with this course. 
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We've just started so we haven't gotten into derivations yet, but I think that's the next chapter. When I get time, I will go get some of the textbooks you mentioned and try to learn some of the stuff. Should I do it during the school year or in the 2 month summer?
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It's up to you. I actually learned most of that stuff at the end of the school year and didn't do too much during the summer (this was mostly because we had to deal with the strike, which was weird and opened up some time). I would wait for now. You want to make sure you kick butt in your regular classes first. Towards the end of the year (maybe May or so, where your final marks won't matter much), start looking into this stuff. If you want to save it until summer, that's perfectly fine as well. All of this is definitely doable in the summer if you just dedicate a few hours each day. 

Other than that, if you want to come to Uoft, I'd recommend picking up some programming during the summer, since that's a course many people struggle with. There are tons of resources online - Code Academy was the best one I ran into (I'd recommend starting with Python, if coding is new to you). 
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ALSO, I forgot to add this, but you're probably doing limits right now (or will soon) - PLEASE try to understand that unit! It literally forms the basis for all of calculus. If you don't fully grasp limits, you'll run into conceptual difficulties even in your upper years in calc 3! Lots of students gloss over that stuff because they feel that calculus = derivatives but the derivative operation is nonsense without the limit, as is integration. Do yourself a favour and really pester your teacher with questions about the theory, concepts, etc.

I'd say limits is the most important unit in all of high school calc. If you got a coma at the end of your limits unit and you knew absolutely no derivatives going into university calc (but you knew limits), you'd probably be fine. 
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I've done Java in classes. I also learned  a bit of HTML and CSS. Is that good prep, or should I try to do more?
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No, I'd say you're good then. Most people come in without having ever written Hello World so you're definitely ahead of the curve in that regard. Even just a simple grade 11 CS class would be good prep. One of my biggest regrets from high school was not taking a CS class (and not learning French, but oh well).
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Hey! thanks so much for answering these questions! I applied to ECE at both Waterloo and UofT, and I was wondering if UofT Engineering (or UofT in general) provide any help/tips on getting a job/internship (like resume workshops...) especially for PEY ? I'm kinda scared that if I choose UofT, I'll not be as prepared as students in Waterloo in terms of interviewi/job-searching related skills to find a career after uni (most likely I'll study my butt off in uni and will have no chance to practice career-related skills lol). Thank you!
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That's definitely one of the big pros of Waterloo's coop. You're forced to get experience and you're forced to go through those interviews. There definitely is quite a bit of support here. You won't get as much "real" practice here compared to Waterloo though, unless you really take initiative. For PEY, there are all sorts of interview prep sessions (mock interviews and stuff), resume workshops, coding interview tips, etc…in fact, all of this is open to first years as well, so you can drop in any time (most of this is run by a student organization called Your Next Career Network, and they do a great job). 

If you're in ECE (especially the computer side), don't worry about PEY. Every single ECE that wants a PEY gets one. The PEY salary stats actually just came in for this past year and ECE's are doing REALLY WELL. They made an average salary of $60k for their PEY term…most engineering students don't make that much coming out of uni, and these kids still haven't graduated! 

However, you will most likely have noticeably less experience compared to a Waterloo ECE until your 3rd year. After PEY, it'll balance out. You can still get jobs as a 1st or 2nd year, but it's tougher (although, again, if you're into the CE side of ECE, it's much easier). I'd say about half of ECE's are able to find good, relevant work (be it in industry or in a research setting) after 2nd year and virtually all find work in PEY (3rd year). For first year, I'd say only the top 20% or so are able to find relevant work, but I could be wrong. To be fair, for first terms at Waterloo, a lot of students are stuck doing IT and stuff as well. 
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Edit to add: The diversity of work experience that you'd get at Waterloo can't be matched. In terms of raw, total work experience, you should graduate with the same amount of work experience at Uoft compared to Waterloo. If you're most interested in software through ECE, both schools are great, but it appears to be easier to get into the big firms (Google, Microsoft, etc.) through Waterloo. This might also just be because Waterloo attracts more software minded folk or something.

I just thought I'd say this so I'm not biased. The advantage with PEY lies in the fact that its long term and you get a better sense of project management and seeing something all the way through and the fact that you're more developed by 3rd year so you can really take responsibility and contribute. Also, you don't have to stress about finding a job for your next coop term during exam season :) 
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Wow thanks again! Your detailed answers definitely provided more insights! I for sure agree with you on the advantage of PEY and I never knew the average salary is 60K! That's more than what coop students in Waterloo earn on average throughout their entire uni (I did some basic math to calculate this lol).
More Questions: What scholarships did you apply in high school and which ones would you recommend to apply?
Thanks again!! 
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Here are the actual raw stats for PEY #;s:

http://engineeringcareers.utoronto.ca/files/2015/09/PEY-Salary-Statistics-2015-2016.pdf

Turns out I lied. It's not $60k. It's actually $59,243 :)

The only one I got was the $2k entrance (just missed the $5k one apparently). I honestly didn't apply to too many (you usually need really good EC's to win them). I will make on suggestion: if you end up at Uoft, try your best to get into Victoria or Trinity College (especially Vic). They give recurring in-course scholarships if you achieve a certain GPA. None of the other colleges guarantee anything. It's really nice. 
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For engineering, can you choose which college to stay-in? Thank you!!
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Well, it's not exactly a choice. As an applicant to Uoft, you get to rank your college preferences. Most colleges reserve very limited space for engineering students, so most of them get stuck with Chestnut or New College (Or Innis). The odd few will get into Trin or Vic (you need to have a full application and high average though). There's nothing particularly special about being in those colleges --> it's just that the extra scholarship money is a big plus. 

I remember ranking Chestnut dead last and I still only got accepted to Chestnut for res. 
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Do you know if those numbers are annualized (i.e. yearly salary) or a total over the 12-16 month term? $60,000 seems awfully high as an average, since its considerably higher than what some of the major PEY employers (IBM, AMD, etc.) pay.
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Great question. I've been told that it is annualized, meaning this is per 12 months, so the kids on 16 month stints are making even more.

This sounds ludicrous, but it's actually an extremely recent development and that's the key point. If you even go back one year to the 2014-2015 stats, ECE's are at an average of $47 or so. There was a HUGE jump this year. I've talked to some people about it and apparently it's because an increasing number of students are doing their PEY's in the States and abroad. Then, because the Canadian dollar has been doing so poorly, the figures look much higher when converted to CDN. Apparently, Uoft students are being attracted away from Canada due to higher salaries abroad (and PEY is increasing in popularity amongst international employers). 

It's funny because I actually had the chance to talk to a Uoft alumni who recruits for his company about this topic. He said that every year, they mostly hire a couple of PEY students. However, this year, all of their offers got rejected even though they offered the same salaries they've always had. After I showed him the stats, he said "wow this makes sense. My offers were $10k less than what these other companies were offering". He said that he's going to have to raise his salary offers next year if he wants to keep snagging PEY students. 

The question is whether this trend will continue. It seems like the CDN should be weak for the near future, so I'd expect it to continue for at least a year or two, but it's hard to predict.
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What was your average and which month did you get accepted, when you were going through applications?
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95-96 and I was accepted in what was the first round of offers last year (first week of March).
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How were your ECs and the personal profile? I have about that average, but below average ECs and I think I bombed the video portions.
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Your average is still most important. If you're mid 90s, you're almost always safe for just about anything except eng sci. 

I'd say my EC's were above average. Had stuff related to a varsity sport and writing related EC's, but nothing else. But don't worry, I'm pretty sure I also bombed the interview portion. I remember stammering a lot and my eyes kept darting around. They understand that students are going to be nervous. As long as you didn't say anything offensive or downright stupid in the video thing, it won't keep you out. 
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Thank you for doing this! I didn't apply to Track One but I applied to civil and industrial engineering at UofT and I was wondering what you'd recommend trying to learn (especially math subjects) before first year? ie. linear algebra (Ive heard so many horror stories about it aha), integration, etc?
I'm also in a regular public school and I'm feeling pretty intimidated by all the IB and AP kids, especially since I don't think I that great at math ^^" Somehow I ended up with a 95 in adv. functions but I just feel like I don't really know all that much?? If that makes sense. You mentioned that you studied a lot outside of what you learned in class, but do you think your regular class adequately prepared you for first year courses?
I'll definitely check out the James Stewart textbook you mentioned in a previous comment! And maybe ask some IB friends at other schools about some things idk
Thanks again for taking the time to do this, it means a lot!!
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As I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, the biggest thing that's different about university is that you're graded against your peers (for the first year --> this is less true in upper years when class sizes get smaller). Therefore, you're (in a way) "competing" against kids who from AP/IB who have much better preparation. 

For Calculus topics, definitely get a good grasp of what's going on in high school calc. You want to master differentiation and have a good understanding of limits. Coming into first year, you should be able to derivate just about any continuous, well behaved function. 

I covered the following calculus topics in my spare time towards the end of grade 12 year and during summer. If you cover these, you'll have covered basically all of Calculus 1 material & some of calc 2: integration (the basics), integration by u-substitution, integration by parts, trigonometric substitution (note: these are all what they call "integration techniques). Then, there are applications: areas between curves, volumes of revolution (slicing, disks, etc.), physical applications…if you cover all of that, you're definitely good and I think it's doable. 

If you REALLY want to be prepared specifically for Uoft engineering, the calc textbook that all core 8's use is "Calculus for Scientists & Engineers: Early Transcendanetals" by Briggs, Cochran, & Gillet. Any intro text will help, but I'm pretty sure this specific text can be found at large public libraries. 

For linear algebra…it's definitely a very different math course. The computations are trivial and can be done in your head (it's all systems of linear equations, which is grade 10 material). It's just the theory and concepts that are tricky. I'd recommend picking up a Lin Alg text from the library and just introducing yourself to some of the theory. Just to get familiar with it. 

If you go through some lin alg material, you'll notice a lot of theorems. This is different from what you're used to. I know that at Uoft at least, they're big on introducing theorems and deriving properties and results from that. 

Also, if you have the time and motivation, learn some basic math logic and notation. They really emphasize this in first year math (but especially in linear algebra). Learn about conditionals, what constitutes a proof, if-then statements, if and only if statements, the idea behind implication, what equality means, etc….none of this stuff is properly covered in high school. 

The stuff you've done in advanced functions will be quite different from what we do here. I remember in my linear algebra final exam, half of it was "show this…" or "given X, demonstrate Y". So kind of like more logic focused and proof based (but not at math majors level). Reading through a linear algebra text and actually reading and UNDERSTANDING their steps when they prove something will be GREAT preparation for this style of thinking.  

So, other than the math, I honestly felt well prepared. There's not much prep you can do (IMO) for the physics type courses, but anyways, I felt high school physics did a solid job. It's really the math that seems to be lacking in the public school curriculum. 

BY THE WAY, if you go into Track One, we have a programming course in the first semester that is a harder version of the ones that Civ's and Indy's take (it's the one for ECE's). If you don't have any programming experience, try to pick some up over the summer (in a "beginner language, like Python from some source like Code Academy). 

If you have any other q's about Uoft and engineering, feel free to ask!
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I felt that Calc 1 and Linear Algebra were one of the easier courses that I took in first year. Burbulla's (the person who basically "runs" the course) tests are very mechanical, and you don't need to understand a whole lot of the material to get a decent mark because his tests seem to focus on solving equations rather than proving/deriving formulas. Interestingly, doing poorly on these courses do not mean that you're screwed for future courses. I know a few individuals who went from Cs in Calc 1, to Bs in Calc2, then to As in Calc 3. Most people from high school already know calculus, but "knowing" calculus isn't enough to get high marks in these courses. 

However, these two courses form the foundation of engineering. I really regret not studying harder for these courses because it pops up quite frequently in my ECE courses. 
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Good points. Those courses are definitely fundamental. I think all of my courses (outside of ESP) in 2nd term use derivatives and integrals now (they're simple, but it really seems to trip people up). 

And yeah, I miss Burbulla…how're you feeling about calc 2 with Bernardo? 
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Thank you so much!! It helps a lot to have a specific topics I should try to cover
And I've been slowly trying to learn Python on my own for a while now so that's cool that it'll help! Thanks again, you the real mvp B-)))
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Calc 2 with Bernardo was brutal last year. The strike also meant that Calc classes were cancelled. Most people ended up bombing the exam, and the exam average was around a 50. If you look at the mark distributions for each question, it was very polar. Many people either got 0s or didn't attempt the question, while many other people got full marks on it. 

But Calc 2 was actually quite enjoyable for me. I really liked learning about sequences and series, and I did fairly well on that part of the course. On the other hand, differentials were boring for me, and a lot of people got destroyed on the (imo relatively easier) differential questions. 

Good luck buddy, you'll need it :)

(And thanks for your high quality responses!)
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What were the conditions on your offer? I'm mostly curious about what average you had to maintain.
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I honestly can't remember the exact number (I can't even remember if they even gave me an exact number). I think it was about 90 or low 90. All I remember is seeing my condition and not being worried about maintaining it. I think the conditions they give depends on your average (so if you get accepted with a 92, their condition will probably be lower than low 90).
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Favourite and least favourite course? What are your plans for the summer?
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So far…I'd say programming was my favourite (even though it was, by far, my worst mark!). All of the first year courses, including programming, are focused on fundamental skills, but programming is the only course where we actually get to *create* stuff. You actually a taste of real engineering. The projects you do are actually really cool (albeit hard) and it's one course where your coursework can directly help you land a summer job. I also think it was an extremely well run course. The profs are excellent (all fully tenured profs too) and there's a good mix of interesting theory and good practical experience. Great experience. 

I also really like linear algebra. It's such a cool subject and very different from anything math related I've done so far. Depending on your engineering discipline, linear algebra will be way, way more important than calculus. 

As for least favourite, calc 1 was pretty boring, although I had an awesome prof for it. Most of it is a rehash of high school material. There's also this course called Enginering Strategies and Practices that almost everyone hates, but it's really important stuff. It's a group-based course, so the quality of your teammates will really sway your experience. I had bad teammates, so it became my least favourite course. 

RE: Summer --> I actually just sent off an application for a job! I can't say exactly what it is for privacy purposes, but I'd say it's halfway between "engineering relevant" and "just a regular summer job at McD's". It's something that I'd definitely emphasize on my resume for future engineering internships though. 

Other people try to land summer research positions. Getting one of those is great experience, although as a first year, it'll probably be unpaid. Also, they're tough to get (I sent out about 10 emails to profs for a position and was rejected on basically all of them). Beyond that, I think students just try to land some regular summer jobs like retail or something, just to make some $$$. If you can't get a job, it's a good idea to do something productive, whether that be "side projects" of some sort if that's possible in your field or even just prepping academically for the next year. 4 months is A LOT of time to just waste...
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Hi
I attend a private school that is accredited and licensed by the ministry. However I heard some talks about UofT rejecting private school applicants especially when it comes to engineering, and I also heard that they might take away a certain percentage off my average, so I just wanna know if this is true? Plus do you know if other universities discriminate between schools such as McMaster maybe ?

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I'm not too comfortable talking about admissions because I'm just a student after all - I'm not an admissions person. However, here is my understanding: 

 There's a lot of confusion for Ontario students over the whole private school thing. There are private school courses, which can be extremely sketchy (most offered my "credit mills"). These are ones that universities like Uoft and Waterloo penalize. 

 However, there are also the actual private schools where you'd go for all 4 years of high school (not just for one course that you're struggling with). Many private schools are incredibly prestigious and rigorous (Appelby College, Upper Canada, etc.). Uoft is obviously not going to discriminate against those guys (I think they favour them actually). If the school is accredited, it shouldn't be a problem (and you feel like you haven't just been handed free A's, it shouldn't be a problem). 

 I've never heard confirmation about this, but i know Waterloo does this for sure, so I suspect Uoft engineering does it as well: what they do is look at how students from your high school have done in the engineering program in the past and adjust your grades slightly according to that (of course, they'd only do this if they have enough data). Maybe ask your school guidance counsellor if your school has a history of sending kids to Uoft for engineering. 

 Personally, I know of at least one student who went to a private high school in the engineering program, so it's not like they reject all private school kids. I don't think McMaster cares. Other than Waterloo and Uoft, I don't think any university in Ontario cares about private vs public school.
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Bump
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lol I know this isn't necessarily admission/academic related...but it would be nice to get your perspective on this. I have a boyfriend right now and he for sure wants to go to Waterloo for engineering (assume that he gets accepted). I am indecisive between Waterloo and UofT (but I'm leaning towards UofT more as of now). I was wondering what are your thoughts about going to the same uni as your bf/gf, or going to a different uni than him/her and having to break-up, or even long-distance relationship? It would be much appreciated if you share your thoughts and advice on my current situation! Thank you!
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Wow, interesting question! I'll give it a shot…

Personally, I think it really depends on the strength of the relationship between you two. Ultimately, it's up to you, but I think it's important to make a decision in a vacuum that is good for *you* because doing things for *yourself* is permanent whereas relationships (especially in youth)…often change. Love is fickle and ruthless and it doesn't take much to change. 

Waterloo and Uoft are, like, one hour away. This is hardly long distance. If it was meant to be, you'll find time for each other and won't drift off while at different schools. Personally, I think going to different uni's isn't a problem. There's plenty of time to meet up on weekends (again, they're only one hour away). And hopefully, he'd come to you because Toronto is infinitely more interesting than Waterloo…

Anyways, I get the feeling that not being exactly together at the same uni will give each of you enough of a "taste" to satisfy yourselves without over indulging in one another. Your interactions will feel more special, I suppose. 

But I don't know. If you like Uoft, you should go to Uoft. The relationship will work out if it was supposed to work out, in my opinion. 
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Uoft and waterloo are not an hour away.
In the car, more like 2-3 hours.. Which is quite the distance
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We're splitting hairs here. Even if it's 2-3 hours, that's not long distance. 

And google maps tells me it's about 1.5 hours via car, so I don't know. 
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Especially if you meet halfway, thats really close
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Hello, I have applied to track one and was wondering if you could give me a sense of how competitive admissions were? I know you're not an admissions person but do you have a rough idea of what the grades were for admitted students into your program? I currently have a 94 first semester average and good EC's, but is that good enough for track one?? Also what is the social atmosphere like for the engineers at u of t? On one hand I've heard that the engineers have the wildest parties,  but also that most of them are antisocial, whats your experience? Thanks :))
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I've heard that 94 was actually the admission average for Track One this past year (when I was accepted). So you're competitive for sure, but it's not nearly a guarantee at 94. I'd say you'd be good for any of the core 8 programs. Track One is becoming more and more competitive each year. In fact, in your admission cycle, I expect it will be higher than 94 (perhaps ~94.5). If you have good EC's, I think odds are good though :) 

I would say that both extremes you mention aren't accurate. For first year, most of the "wild" stuff requires…certain stimulants…which are illegal (at the moment & at our age), so not many first years drink & do the other stuff (in public spaces at least). But yeah, a lot of engineering students drink from 2nd year onwards and some definitely party. But I haven't heard of any especially crazy parties at Uoft engineering.

The thing I like about Uoft engineering (and especially track one) is that it's a very diverse group. There are complete nerds here (but nerdy in an endearing and cute way), extremely shy & nice people, and also *extremely* antisocial people (I mean, not to be rude, but developmental disorder level). These are your typical engineering student stereotypes. BUT, then you also have the kids who are complete "bros" and the athletes/jocks (I know of at least 4 varsity athletes in Track One alone!). Then you also have the pot heads (I've been offered weed in a physics class before…) and you also have some artistic kind of people…so there's something for everyone. 

Like a lot of people, I'm not just one kind of person - I'm an introvert sometimes and extrovert other times. I love the social life here because, due to the diverse student body, I can find a group and a spot to hang that suits my specific mood at the time. Toronto, as a city, also reflects this. 

I mean, there are times where I just want to nerd out and talk about how freaking cool differential equations are. Then I got to the SF library and chat some people up. Other times, I want to just chill with some students and complain about stuff. In those cases, I go down to the Pit. Other times, I just want to enjoy nature and stare at squirrels and old architecture. In that case, I go for a stroll around campus. 

All in all, I like the community. It's not party excessive like a place like Queens, and i don't think it's on the other extreme of social awkwardness of other schools . It feels like good middle ground. This also depends on your program. Some are more social, while others are a bit more introverted. But even the introverted ones are cool, if that's what you like. You just have to explore and find your place. 

The Skule community is also pretty awesome. There's some engineering school spirit here & LOTS of tradition and it's fun to see students who really care about the school (and they organize some activities and events throughout the year). 
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Did you receive any entrance scholarships? If so, how much?
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Just the $2k entrance you get for a 92+ average. Uoft doesn't give out much in scholarships. There's also the $5k award that you need something like a 97+ average to get (but it changes each year - I think it's for the top 2% of applicants or something like that). Regardless, Uoft doesn't give out much $$$ relative to other schools.
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Do you have any idea of how competitive is civil engineering at UofT. And how much do I need to get to secure a spot?
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Civ typically has an average of around 89-90, so it's in the middle of the pack in terms of competitiveness for core 8 programs. "Securing" a spot is difficult, but I'd say that a mid 90s average with even a weak SPF would get you into civ for sure. Anything even low 90s though makes you a strong applicant.
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u a real one
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Hey! Do you mind sharing your typical week (how many hours of lectures/tutorials/labs, homework, free time, etc...) as a first year engineer? Also, do you know if UofT also deliberately lower your mark in engineering (I believe they do that in Life Sciences but I'm not sure about engineering)? Thank you so much!
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"Also, do you know if UofT also deliberately lower your mark in engineering"

I'll answer this question first (everything I say applies to engineering, not necessarily anything else). They will NEVER *artificially* lower your mark. This is explicitly against the department's academic guidelines for grading. I say artificially, because they sort of try to do it in other ways. Here's how it kind of works: 

The faculty (rightfully) believes that there should be almost 0 variance in class averages from year to year because the idea is that the average student shouldn't be very different with sample sizes so large. So, they always aim for a B- or B average (i.e. they're usually aiming for anything between 70-75). 

Depending on how the class is doing on throughout the year, they'll adjust the difficulty of midterms and exams to get to the desired average. For instance, for my Linear Algebra course, I think the average on the first midterm was 83%. That is WAY too high. When this happens, everyone gears up for a rough time in the next midterm. The 2nd midterm and the final exam were more difficult and they were able to bring down the class average to a B- (low 70). 

However, this also works on the flip side. We ended up getting a straightforward computer programming exam to help get the class average up to B- (I thin it was about a C before the exam). 

And then, occasionally, you'll have a course where the raw average on EVERY assessment ends up being really low. In this case, they just linearly adjust everyone (i.e. give everyone an X% boost at the end --> whatever amount gets the class average acceptable). For my calc 2 course, our course coordinator is famous for doing this. Apparently in one year, everyone got a 12% boost (so a person who had a 68 raw average ended up with an 80 on their transcript!). 

It's NEVER the case that they just subtract points from your total. They'll always plan it so that you get creamed on an exam or something and then adjust you up if needed. Overall, this is actually a good method. It helps distinguish students at the higher end of the bell curve. Also, the big takeaway here is that, for engineering here, don't get discouraged by a bad mark --> all that matters is where you stand relative to the average. Getting a 68 on a midterm with a 55 class average is EXCELLENT. However, if you got an 80 on a midterm with an 88 average, you are in SERIOUS TROUBLE! 

This is slightly off topic but I'll make this point here as well: you can tell by this system that the strength of your peers does indirectly affect your mark. For instance, in my linear algebra example above, a weaker class of students (so…pretty much any school other than Waterloo, if we're being honest) likely wouldn't have done as well. Thus, the subsequent exams and midterms wouldn't have been made harder. 

For your interest, the class averages for my first semester were: B-, B-, B-, B, B … so quite consistent! (That's 3 B minuses and 2 B's). That comes out to an average of ~2.8 GPA which is a good estimate for the average first year GPA. So, you hear a lot of people talking about how a high 3 is "good" and all, but really, if you're even at 3.0, you're doing better than 50% of Uoft engineering…that's something to be proud of, IMO.

I'll answer your other question in a second post because this is getting long :) 
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"Do you mind sharing your typical week"

Let me preface this by saying that I'm a commuter who spends 3 hours per day on a train…so I don't have an atypical schedule. However, I'll try to give you an idea for a commuter and non-commuter schedule:

Assuming I'm counting correctly, in first semester, I had 16 hours of lecture, 8 hours of tutorial and 4 hours of lab for a total of ~28 hours. This is much more than a typical arts/science schedule, but I'd like to highlight the fact that it's not *so* bad. For one, there are quite a few tutorial hours, but honestly, those are kind of like forced studying sessions. If your TA is good and, more importantly, if you treat tutorial as an opportunity to practice/study, then those are very productive hours (and it means less time spent studying outside of class). Too many students treated tut's as an obligation. 

On a typical day, I had class spanning form 9 to 6 with a few breaks in between. I always dedicated one hour in the middle of the day for "lunch and chill". That usually left me with 1-2 hours for other stuff. I'd spend this time doing some work. Usually, I quickly went over lecture notes/examples and then did some practice q's. Depending on the time of week, I'd also use this time to work on some problem sets (I had 3 classes with weekly/bi-weekly problem sets). From time to time, I'd have to use an hour for a group meeting for this group project course, but that's usually how I spent my time.

Then, after 6, class is done (for everyone). Assuming you sleep at 11 or so, this leaves you 5 hours to do whatever you want. You can study, chill, hang out with friends, go out somewhere, some combination of the above, etc. I'll leave this up to your imagination as you'll end up using this time however you see fit. 

For me personally, as a commuter, I'd do the following after 6: I typically stayed on campus for another 2 hours or so in the library. This was timed used strictly to study concepts/theory, get some labs done (especially programming), do some practice q's, etc. At about 8, Id head home. I actually liked doing work even during my commute. However, on the bus/train, I liked doing "busy work" - that is, I wouldn't read the textbook, but I'd do something that was more of a "muscle memory task" like taking integrals, or doing more practice with a certain type of problem. 

So that's like 3 straight study hours for me after class ends at 6. The only reason I do this is because I COMPLETELY shut down as soon as I get home. I feel too tired to do anything, so I make sure I get all of my practice/studying in before 8:00. This was also nice because it allowed me to sleep on time (I needed to get up at 6:00 to get to school on time). 

So, for me, it turned out being about 4-5 hours of studying/work outside of lecture per day (although not straight studying - I'd take quick internet breaks in between…). I should also note that I made time for 2 different EC's throughout the week (which I cannot name); I dedicated about 3 hours/week in total to them (they occurred in evenings). As you can see, I haven't mentioned anything about hanging out and going out to places because, honestly, there was none of that in my first semester. I did use lunch time to hang out with some friends, but we'd never go out to places. In hindsight, I wish I dedicated a bit more time to that stuff but it's harder as a commuter because most of that stuff occurs in the evenings. My schedule ended up working for me. 

If you're not a commuter, I think there's definitely time to do some fun stuff. Even as a commuter, there should be time. I think I spent more time studying than most people because I'm not as smart as most people here and I also came in with weaker preparation, so I was scared!
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After you came to UofT Engineering are you happier? More stressed? Content? The same? Is there constantly a bunch of stuff you have to do? I get the impression that once I start  1st year engineering  I will constantly be stressed. Or do people just over exaggerate the difficulty? In terms of high school, what is it like?
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"Or do people just over exaggerate the difficulty? In terms of high school, what is it like?"

I went to a regular public high school, so for me, it's been a very different experience. I know some AP/IB friends who've had an easier time adjusting, but even then, they've felt overwhelmed on occasion. 

There's definitely a lot of stuff to do, but if you set yourself straight, it's actually not bad. I remember for the first 2 months, I felt so overwhelmed and just wanted to get out. It *felt* like there was a deadline every other day and that I was always a week behind on homework and I was always shocked when I heard a test was in 3 days or something. Now, in 2nd semester, even though the classes are (IMO) harder and even though I have more on my plate, it feels much more relaxed. Definitely not stress free but I'm absolutely on top of everything. 

What changed? I did. And that's the key - I changed my habits, removed inefficient in my day and, most importantly, created a DETAILED daily schedule for myself and stayed disciplined to stick to it. By detailed, I mean that every hour of my day is planned out and I have a list of action items for stuff that needs to get done that day. It's helped me immensely and it's something I never did during high school. 

So, there really is a lot of stuff to do in engineering, but stress absolutely can be minimized if you schedule and stay on top of things. However, there are just simply going to be times where you're a bit stressed. Midterm and exam season are always pretty stressful, even if you stay on top of everything. Overall, people definitely over exaggerate difficully….or maybe I'm just getting used to the difficulty now! Either way, you'll change and grow as the months go on and it's the people who don't change who tend to complain & scare kids at the end of the day. I can tell you this: if I hadn't been willing to change my high school habits, I think I probably would have switched out by now. 

"After you came to UofT Engineering are you happier? More stressed? Content? The same?"

Great question and thank you for asking this. Right now, I'm happier than before and I'm just really excited for the future and all of its possibilities. Before I expand on this, I want to be clear that it's not a land of sunshine and flowers here. Times have been tough. I've wanted to quit at times. I've wanted to hurt something/myself. I've felt depressed, angry and useless at various points. It's a battle, but the battle feels good because you come out stronger every single time and you can begin seeing yourself really working towards a certain goal or becoming a better person. To quote Charles Dickens, it's been the best of times and the worst of times. 

I'm a better person than I was in September with a fresh perspective on things. I'm an infinitely better worker now, and I know I can improve from here. I don't think another school would have forced me to change like Uoft has. 

It's a pretty inspiring place as well. There's this old "Ivory Tower" feel to the university and the program and it really comes across - you can tell they expect you to be a leader in engineering and a leader in the world in the future. That's what they're training you for. This results in high expectations, but it feels good to be in a place like that. Definitely not for the lazy and not for the weak of heart. There are also so many bright people here. It's incredibly humbling and, if your attitude is right, it motivates you to be better. You have to have a bit of a competitive nature to do well here, I think. 

And seeing the possibilities from this program are inspiring as well and make me really excited. Alumni are doing really cool things and seeing some of the internships/jobs that upper years land is exciting. You can succeed anywhere, but there are so many companies that exclusively hire engineering students only from Uoft and Waterloo. It feels like there are so many doors waiting to be burst open. 

I'd say a lot of this happiness is internal pleasure though. I think there's also external pleasure, and some people prefer that, and that's okay, but there's more of the internal pleasure here. I think, to be happy going through the program, you need to have the ability to reflect and you need to be satisfied with "self actuation" more than anything else. It's a very intellectually engaging environment and I like it here. 

This is a very personal response. I know some people who will say that there's too much work to do, classes are boring, and the school's no fun. I think I've had a lot of fun this year but not fun in the traditional sense (or the fun that old me would have called fun). But I value my personal growth and the furthering of my potential, so it's been a good time for me. 

This has been a very long response, so if I could sum up how I feel about this school in one /two sentences, I'd say: This program & this school make me feel like I can do great things and have made me take small steps towards that. I think, to be happy here, you have to be okay with stepping into a boxing ring, getting smacked on your butt and having to get back up. You have to enjoy getting back up just to get hit again. You need to relish the punch in the face and be itching to get your turn to come back stronger with the left hook. If this isn't you, I think you can have a nice time here, but maybe you'd be happier somewhere else. 
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What do you think the absolute minimum average to get in? I've read that someone got in with an 82% (not sure what discipline, or if they're doing well) but have you heard of cases like that?
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I've never personally heard of a case like that, but it probably has happened. According to CUDO, in 2014, 0.6% of the entering class had an average between 80 and 84…however, these are truly outliers. 0.6% of the class is like 5 students. 

The absolute minimum really depends on the specific discipline, but below an 85 is kind of like an effective cutoff. Even at 85, your chances are low for the least competitive programs (mineral, mining) which have averages around 87-88.

Because admission is holistic, I'd say it's worth applying if you have at least a low 80 but with something else substantial (i.e. apply to least competitive program, excellent EC's & rigorous high school). That's the only case in which I'd see a low 80s getting in (and I imagine those 5 kids from 2014 who got in had those 3 factors on their side. 

So, to answer your question, technically speaking 80 is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM to get in simply because, historically, for the last few years now, not a single person has gotten in with an average below 80. 
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Oh wow, thank you for your response! 
I did so poorly last semester that my projected 5 prereq average is ~82%, and my 5 prereqs+1 4U course is about an 84-85%. I was doing well and I slipped. Sigh. My first choice is mineral, then I ranked civ, then materials, and I think my EC's are very above average. As for the rigour of my school, I am 100% sure all the math and science teachers prepare us very well and don't bump us. My video responses weren't  horrible but I don't think it could save me. I have about 0.6%(lol) hope left for myself to get in. If they see a significant difference in my grades from first sem to interim second sem marks, would I still have a bit of a chance?
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How many prereq courses have you already finished? If you can seriously turn things around and out up strong midterm marks for the 2nd semester, you still have a shot. The key thing will be lasting the first round (i.e. hoping they don't outright reject you in the first round and give you a chance to boost your marks). It's a shame because you're honestly quite close to being in the mix for mineral. Try hard in 2nd semester!

Also, I'd swap the order of civil and materials in your ranking if still possible. At this point, you're simply not going to get into civil, but you hope is not lost for min and materials. From what I've seen, Uoft doesn't like going too far down your ranking list, so you want to put the ones you actually have a chance for 1 and 2. 
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They flat out reject people in the first round?! Really?! I'm nervous but getting rejected right off the bat would save me from getting my hopes back up LOL.
I had 3/5 prereqs last semester.... :(
And my study habits have drastically changed for the better. 
I will definitely change my rankings - I knew civ would be a long shot anyways. 
Thank you for your advice!
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They'd only reject you if they look at your grades and what you have coming up and conclude that you have basically 0 chance. It's harsh, but if you're not going to get in, at least they won't drag on the anticipation and stress for 4 more months. 

Good luck. You've probably already done this, but make sure you have a safety school in your applications (Ryerson, Carleton, Ottawa would be ones you might want to look at). 
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Hey can you please tell me what the admission avg for chemical engineering was around last year? Is it possible to get in with a high 80 - low 90?
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Yeah, I'd say the chem average was about 89-90, so it's definitely possible at that level.
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Hi, I hate to be the person who asks what my chances are but I am stressing out and I was wondering if you'd be able to appease my anxiety even slightly.

I'm an Alberta high school student and I have 4 of my grade 12 course marks finished.
My overall average is a 92 with the following grades (I have calculus remaining this semester)

Grade 12 Chemistry: 94
Grade 12 Math: 94
Grade 12 English: 91
Grade 12 Physics: 89

I'm applying to chemical engineering (which surprisingly, it seems is not very popular among applicants), what do you think my chances are?

Thank you SO much for taking the time to answer and make this thread :)
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I wouldn't say chem is unpopular. It's not as big as, say, ECE but it's pretty competitive (~90 admission average). I'd say you're definitely looking very good. A 92, with an above average SPF, should get you in for sure. 

By the way, I know someone in chem eng upper years who was also originally from Alberta and he's loved his time here :) 
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Hi, I have a 92.5% overall average with my grade 12 grades (fulfilling 4/5 of my pre-reqs) and I am applying to chemical engineering. In grade 11 however, I had mid 80's (as in 86, 84, 85, respectively) for English, Chemistry and Math. These do not worry as much as my 76 in Grade 11 Physics (which I got up to an 88 for grade 12 physics), does this severely hinder my chances of admission?
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If I'm understanding correctly, you've already taken physics in grade 12. If that's the case, your grade 11 mark will NOT matter. As soon as you get a grade 12 credit in one of those prereq courses, the grade 11 gets swept under the rug (unless you got, like, a 52 or something). So don't worry. If you had grade 12 physics in 2nd semester (i.e. you don't have a grade 12 mark for it yet), then you might be in a bit of trouble. 

Your chances for chem are very good by the way. 
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Bump
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Hey,

I'm currently a grade 11 school at an average Ontario high school. I'm not too sure if you know much about EngSci at UofT. I'm interested in applying to that program but I'm concerned about my EC's. My grade 10 marks were high 90s, but that was only grade 10 and I understand that my average will most likely drop. I'm not too sure by how much but I'll try to minimize it. My ECs are decent. I only play 1 sport and 1 instrument but I'm fairly good at them (no awards tho). I don't have any national awards or anything to really make me stand out. I was wondering how I could make my application stronger. I don't want to wait until last minute to start building my application.

Thanks
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Also, is it possible to switch into EngSci if I attended UofT for another engineering program? For example, switching from Civil to EngSci in year 2. 

I'm also curious about TrackOne. I've heard a little about it but could you elaborate a bit more?
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