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For All the UTSG Life Sci Hopefuls...........

A photo of Sheldore Sheldore
These are the course averages for various life science courses offered in the 2010-2011 session.

BIO120H1F: C+
CHM139H1F: C (this course had substantial bell curves)
PHY131H1F: C+
PSY100H1F: C+
BIO130H1S: B-
CHM138H1S: C
PHY132H1S: C+
MAT135Y1Y: C+
JMB170Y1Y: B

Yup folks these are the averages. This isn't to make you kids scared or anything, its just some insight into UTSG and UofT's politics in terms of marking. First year is usually the worst academically for most UofT students but it doesn't have to be. Work hard and you can do good. IMO MAT135 is really easy if you put some effort into it and go to lectures and do some problems. The first year chem's are just f***ing terrible. Most people hate CHM139 more but I hated CHM138 way more, I got 24% higher in CHM139 than CHM138 and no I didn't fail CHM138 :P. JMB170 is an easy course according to one of my friends but it requires you to attend all lectures, however the exam was apparently super hard. BIO120 is a pain if you aren't into evolution, really nothing like high school biology. BIO130 is more like high school biology and I found to be much more enjoyable. I got 20% higher in BIO130 than BIO120 and no I didn't fail BIO120, far from it:P. If you got any more questions about first year just post em' in this thread and I'll make sure to answer them!:cheers:
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A photo of littleroom littleroom
Good post. +1
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A photo of Bluesharpies Bluesharpies
Nice, if off-putting, dose of reality.

Thanks for this.

Oh, when you say there was substantial bell curving involved in that chem course, was that to the detriment or benefit of the average?
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
I love hearing U of T students b!tch about the marking there. You all knew what you were getting yourselves into by going there. (not saying that that's what the OP is doing; just making a general statement)
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@Bluesharpies wrote
Nice, if off-putting, dose of reality.

Thanks for this.

Oh, when you say there was substantial bell curving involved in that chem course, was that to the detriment or benefit of the average?


It was to our benefit. Our first CHM139 midterm had an average around 30-40%. He brought it up t 61%, if I remember correctly. Don't let that give you hope though. First year chemistry, as Sheldore said, is a nightmare.

By the way, UofT does not bell-curve down (it happened once a few years ago). How many times do I have to say this...?
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A photo of esin esin
what's ur gpa and where are the best places to grab a bite?
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A photo of FiresinX FiresinX
Good posts but I must say my high school class averages were worse than that.

Oh and you forgot to mention that the chem bell curves were about 40%+...therefore I must say UofT isn't as tough as people say it is because it's compensated through ridiculous bellcurves for every tests your write(if the profs were smart they would bell curve your final mark instead). It's very competitive and hard but at the end of the day expect a bell curve in almost every class, so you can fall back on that, so don't be alarmed.

Edit: Uoft doesn't bellcurve down... it's all rumours that UofT students made up to make the school seam tougher than it really is.
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A photo of Sheldore Sheldore
Keep the questions coming guys. I really want to help shed some light into what UTSG is really like. As for my gpa I only took 4.5 credits first year and finished with a GPA of 3.0 which is 73-76%. I hope to boost it with another half course I take next school year. I really didn't put in as much effort as was required to be a really successful UTSG student but I learned a ton and am much more knowledgeable and experienced on how to be successful in university, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Just a note, for all you kids, remember this and don't forget it: If you have a class with Dr. Clive Scott Browning, switch IMMEDIATELY. He is terrible. He made the first year chem classes a horror show.
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A photo of Zion Zion

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
I love hearing U of T students b!tch about the marking there. You all knew what you were getting yourselves into by going there. (not saying that that's what the OP is doing; just making a general statement)


+1


@FiresinX wrote
Good posts but I must say my high school class averages were worse than that.


Are you suggesting your high school is comparable in difficulty to U of T?
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A photo of esin esin
Do you recommend taking MAT135, 137 or the 157? I know most life scis take 135 but are the others manageable?

I was told to take Lam for math and Thomson for Bio. Good advice?

Where were your classes and how big were the class sizes? How hard is it to get a good seat?

How many hours of class did you have a week?

Which SMC rez building is the best?

What's the best library? Robarts? Gerstein? Pratt?

What do you plan on doing after life sci?

What's the worst part about UofT except the difficulty? Best part?

Is a research position realistic for a first year?
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A photo of Sheldore Sheldore

@esin wrote
Do you recommend taking MAT135, 137 or the 157? I know most life scis take 135 but are the others manageable?

I was told to take Lam for math and Thomson for Bio. Good advice?

Where were your classes and how big were the class sizes? How hard is it to get a good seat?

How many hours of class did you have a week?

Which SMC rez building is the best?

What's the best library? Robarts? Gerstein? Pratt?

What do you plan on doing after life sci?

What's the worst part about UofT except the difficulty? Best part?

Is a research position realistic for a first year?




- MAT135 is your best bet, its the easiest and the other 2 are just useless you'll get a lower mark so stick with 135, also 157 is like for the mega geniuses
- Yes Lam is the best for MAT135, his session is always full. Thompson is good for BIO120 too, I hated Barrett though he was a arrogant prick
- the class sizes range from course to course, the bio's had around 1000+ because it was held in Con Hall, Chem's are usually 300-400 students, Math was around 250-300 students, I heard JMB was around 140, etc. Bio's are the largest classes first year because its held in Con Hall, Anthropology and Sociology are also held in Con Hall so they must also be quite large. It isn't hard to get a good seat if you show up early, except in MAT135 with Lam which is always super crowded cause he's the best :P
- I had a decent amount of class each week, minimum of 2 hours each day, some days I had 8 hours of class (lectures, tutorials, labs) which is really tiring
- Robarts is super large and crowded, most prefer Gerstein which is less hectic but it really depends on you
- I plan on attending Dental School
- It can feel lonely and hopeless at times but you have to push through, there isn't much school spirit either and there's a lot of socially awkward kids, the best part is that its in Downtown which is awesome if your into shopping, restaurants, etc.
- Not really unless your grades are stellar and you make acquaintances with Professors, etc.
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A photo of Nyx Nyx
Sheldore, what college were you in? Did you think it would have been better if you were in another one?
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A photo of esin esin
Where can we get the lecture notes/slides for the courses? So i can get a taste of what's of coming up.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@FiresinX wrote
Oh and you forgot to mention that the chem bell curves were about 40%+...therefore I must say UofT isn't as tough as people say it is because it's compensated through ridiculous bellcurves for every tests your write(if the profs were smart they would bell curve your final mark instead). It's very competitive and hard but at the end of the day expect a bell curve in almost every class, so you can fall back on that, so don't be alarmed.



Most bellcurves are an addition of a few percents. Don't give a false impression. CHM138 wasn't even bellcurved. The CHM139 bellcurve was so enormous only because we had an incredibly difficult test. And even with the bellcurves, most people are getting 60s.


@esin wrote
I was told to take Lam for math and Thomson for Bio. Good advice?

Where were your classes and how big were the class sizes? How hard is it to get a good seat?

How many hours of class did you have a week?

What's the best library? Robarts? Gerstein? Pratt?

What do you plan on doing after life sci?

What's the worst part about UofT except the difficulty? Best part?

Is a research position realistic for a first year?



Thomson is great. I personally liked Barrett (although I'm a minority in this). He is quite arrogant, but he knows how to teach evolution, which is all you need for BIO120.

Sheldore summarized class sizes well. Except JMB170 dwindled in size as the year progressed. And PSY100 was by far my largest class. It was also in Convocation Hall. It's easy to get a good seat as long as you're there a few minutes before the lecture begins.

I had 20 hours of class/lab/tutorial every week.

Robarts is supposedly the Humanities library. Gerstein is the science library. I like Gerstein better because it's smaller and doesn't look like a prison.

Graduate school.

The worst is the difficulty. The best is the research opportunities.

You can very easily do a work-study in a lab (you need to be eligible for OSAP to do this) or volunteer. Both can be attained by emailing professors expressing your interest. They will not let you do your own research, though: you're only a first-year. Look for ROP299 courses for your second year. That's a research course.


@esin wrote
Where can we get the lecture notes/slides for the courses? So i can get a taste of what's of coming up.


Portal. You're going to learn quickly that professors aren't here to make it comfortable for you. In other words, they won't be posting September's lecture notes in May. Expect them to come up after your first class.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
Just curious, is it actually mathematical bell curving, or is it just adding 5 or so percent to everyone's grade?
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A photo of fruitpunch9 fruitpunch9
I just heard about ROSI and was unable to view the courses. When will I be able to select my courses? After paying my tuition?
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A photo of Sheldore Sheldore

@fruitpunch9 wrote
I just heard about ROSI and was unable to view the courses. When will I be able to select my courses? After paying my tuition?



Well for me last year what happens is that sometime in early to mid July (I think it was the 16th) you have to check ROSI to find out your start time for picking your courses on a specific date in late July (I think it was the 26th). On July 26th at your start time you go and add courses and all that jazz. For me it was totally confusing, I had no idea what courses to take at all and I had so many conflicts. I'll list the courses you should most likely take:

MAT135 - this is a full year course on calculus, take it with Lam
CHM139 - this is mostly high school review, take it in fall and don't take Browning's lecture
CHM138 - this is mostly new stuff on Org. Chem, don't take Browning again and take in Winter
BIO120 - this course has to be taken in fall, will be bad if you hate Evolution
BIO130 - this course has to be taken in winter, pretty good course not too hard

The rest of the courses you decide are up to you.

Also some additional info.:

MAT135 - 3 hours of lectures a week and a 1 hour tutorial each week, weekly quizzes at the beginning of tutorials (15 quizzes throughout the year)
CHM139 - 3 hours of lectures a week and 1 hour tutorial each week, 5 quizzes throughout the semester during your tutorial, 5 3-hour labs that alternate weekly with lab quizzes each lab
CHM138 - 3 hours of lectures a week and 1 hour tutorial each week, 4 quizzes throughout the semester during your tutorial, 5 3-hour labs that alternate weekly with lab quizzes each lab
BIO120 - 2 hours of lectures a week and 5 3-hour labs that alternate weekly with lab quizzes, also an optional tutorial that you don't have to enroll in ROSI is held weekly
BIO130 - 3 hours of lectures a week and 5 3-hour labs that alternate weekly with lab quizzes, also tutorial like sessions are held normally once a week during a lecture session

p.s.: BIO120/130 labs are a total breeze and are really fun, you just have fun and talk to friends the entire time and their SOOOO easy
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A photo of FiresinX FiresinX

@Zion wrote


@FiresinX wrote
Good posts but I must say my high school class averages were worse than that.


Are you suggesting your high school is comparable in difficulty to U of T?



No I'm just saying that I don't see why having class averages in any university in the C+ to B- range is bad... from what I heard "UofT is a killer" I expected averages to be in the D's, also most universities's averages in sciences are way under the C+ to B- margin...which i find weird, are you sure these averages are right?



@littleroom wrote

@FiresinX wrote
Oh and you forgot to mention that the chem bell curves were about 40%+...therefore I must say UofT isn't as tough as people say it is because it's compensated through ridiculous bellcurves for every tests your write(if the profs were smart they would bell curve your final mark instead). It's very competitive and hard but at the end of the day expect a bell curve in almost every class, so you can fall back on that, so don't be alarmed.



Most bellcurves are an addition of a few percents. Don't give a false impression. CHM138 wasn't even bellcurved. The CHM139 bellcurve was so enormous only because we had an incredibly difficult test. And even with the bellcurves, most people are getting 60s.




I find that ridiculously funny, i've seen alot of bellcurves, not 1-2% but 10%+ bellcurves in quite a few classes.

Let me put it this way, no other university in Canada will give you larger potential bell curves than UTSG. But I admit they deserve the bell curve due to the toughness, but it doesn't give any student the right to say UTSG is soo hard, if its soo hard whyd you go there?
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
Just curious, is it actually mathematical bell curving, or is it just adding 5 or so percent to everyone's grade?


Both have been done. It depends on what gets the class average to around a 65% most easily.


@FiresinX wrote

@Zion wrote


@FiresinX wrote
Good posts but I must say my high school class averages were worse than that.


Are you suggesting your high school is comparable in difficulty to U of T?



No I'm just saying that I don't see why having class averages in any university in the C+ to B- range is bad... from what I heard "UofT is a killer" I expected averages to be in the D's, also most universities's averages in sciences are way under the C+ to B- margin...which i find weird, are you sure these averages are right?


The averages are right. UofT is hard. No more analysis is needed.



@FiresinX wrote

@littleroom wrote

@FiresinX wrote
Oh and you forgot to mention that the chem bell curves were about 40%+...therefore I must say UofT isn't as tough as people say it is because it's compensated through ridiculous bellcurves for every tests your write(if the profs were smart they would bell curve your final mark instead). It's very competitive and hard but at the end of the day expect a bell curve in almost every class, so you can fall back on that, so don't be alarmed.



Most bellcurves are an addition of a few percents. Don't give a false impression. CHM138 wasn't even bellcurved. The CHM139 bellcurve was so enormous only because we had an incredibly difficult test. And even with the bellcurves, most people are getting 60s.




I find that ridiculously funny, i've seen alot of bellcurves, not 1-2% but 10%+ bellcurves in quite a few classes.

Let me put it this way, no other university in Canada will give you larger potential bell curves than UTSG. But I admit they deserve the bell curve due to the toughness, but it doesn't give any student the right to say UTSG is soo hard, if its soo hard whyd you go there?


Do you go to UTSG? BIO130 had no bellcurves (in fact, they posted our marks with about 5% extra on it, and then took it off after realizing their mistake). Neither did CHM138. Neither did JMB170. BIO120 did twice, each maybe 5%. PSY100 had two bellcurves of around 7%, I believe. CHM139 had one bellcurve around 30%. All of these were done to bring the average to around 65%. None of them were things we could "fall back on." They just made people's marks less awful. No one walks out of a course getting, say, a 54%, and then thinks, "Well, thank goodness for the professor, at least he bellcurved me to a 62%!" I mean, it's an improvement, but not as great as you've been describing.

"But I admit they deserve the bell curve due to the toughness, but it doesn't give any student the right to say UTSG is soo hard, if its soo hard whyd you go there?"
Yes, it does. Can I complain about it? No, I suppose not, and I don't. But I can state it. Why did I choose to go here? Because of the education it's providing me for my field. Not everyone chooses a school just because it's easy.

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A photo of Sheldore Sheldore

@littleroom wrote

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
Just curious, is it actually mathematical bell curving, or is it just adding 5 or so percent to everyone's grade?


Both have been done. It depends on what gets the class average to around a 65% most easily.


@FiresinX wrote

@Zion wrote


@FiresinX wrote
Good posts but I must say my high school class averages were worse than that.


Are you suggesting your high school is comparable in difficulty to U of T?



No I'm just saying that I don't see why having class averages in any university in the C+ to B- range is bad... from what I heard "UofT is a killer" I expected averages to be in the D's, also most universities's averages in sciences are way under the C+ to B- margin...which i find weird, are you sure these averages are right?


The averages are right. UofT is hard. No more analysis is needed.



@FiresinX wrote

@littleroom wrote

@FiresinX wrote
Oh and you forgot to mention that the chem bell curves were about 40%+...therefore I must say UofT isn't as tough as people say it is because it's compensated through ridiculous bellcurves for every tests your write(if the profs were smart they would bell curve your final mark instead). It's very competitive and hard but at the end of the day expect a bell curve in almost every class, so you can fall back on that, so don't be alarmed.



Most bellcurves are an addition of a few percents. Don't give a false impression. CHM138 wasn't even bellcurved. The CHM139 bellcurve was so enormous only because we had an incredibly difficult test. And even with the bellcurves, most people are getting 60s.




I find that ridiculously funny, i've seen alot of bellcurves, not 1-2% but 10%+ bellcurves in quite a few classes.

Let me put it this way, no other university in Canada will give you larger potential bell curves than UTSG. But I admit they deserve the bell curve due to the toughness, but it doesn't give any student the right to say UTSG is soo hard, if its soo hard whyd you go there?


Do you go to UTSG? BIO130 had no bellcurves (in fact, they posted our marks with about 5% extra on it, and then took it off after realizing their mistake). Neither did CHM138. Neither did JMB170. BIO120 did twice, each maybe 5%. PSY100 had two bellcurves of around 7%, I believe. CHM139 had one bellcurve around 30%. All of these were done to bring the average to around 65%. None of them were things we could "fall back on." They just made people's marks less awful. No one walks out of a course getting, say, a 54%, and then thinks, "Well, thank goodness for the professor, at least he bellcurved me to a 62%!" I mean, it's an improvement, but not as great as you've been describing.

"But I admit they deserve the bell curve due to the toughness, but it doesn't give any student the right to say UTSG is soo hard, if its soo hard whyd you go there?"
Yes, it does. Can I complain about it? No, I suppose not, and I don't. But I can state it. Why did I choose to go here? Because of the education it's providing me for my field. Not everyone chooses a school just because it's easy.





Tell em' littleroom. Nothing pisses me off more than non UTSG kids or even high school kids talking as if they go to UTSG and know exactly what its like. Seriously, just STFU and stop pretending. If any of you kids that want an honest opinion from someone who's gone through the mythical creature that is UTSG then don't hesitate and just ask, I would love to help give you kids some insight and help you prepare for what should be a new chapter in your lives :).
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
I've seen some U of T exams. They seemed exactly like what I am used to, probably easier actually (mostly because they were simple pick-the-best-answer multiple choice questions). Mind you, and this is probably an important note, they were upper-year course exams. I don't remember enough about calculus, chemistry, and physics, and even genetics/biochemistry/ecology/evolution, to be able to distinguish a hard question from an easy one.

Looking at those class averages paints a different picture.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom
I hope those are what my exams will be in the future, matt. To date, if the test is multiple-choice only, around 70% requires you to know things down to the letter, and the rest is pretty easy. If it's multiple choice + long answer, they make one easy and the other extremely hard.
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A photo of marky marky
I really appreciate you guys giving us U of T life sci hopefuls a taste of the truth
but this makes me really worried.. if class averages are that low, then that means only a few people can make it to medical school doesn't it?
while like 80% of the people are either failing or don't have the marks good enough to go
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@marky wrote
I really appreciate you guys giving us U of T life sci hopefuls a taste of the truth
but this makes me really worried.. if class averages are that low, then that means only a few people can make it to medical school doesn't it?
while like 80% of the people are either failing or don't have the marks good enough to go


Yes, pretty much.
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A photo of dominator dominator

@marky wrote
I really appreciate you guys giving us U of T life sci hopefuls a taste of the truth
but this makes me really worried.. if class averages are that low, then that means only a few people can make it to medical school doesn't it?
while like 80% of the people are either failing or don't have the marks good enough to go



You'll quickly find that in any uni, there won't be many people pulling off grades good enough for medical school. While a larger percentage of people may get 70..71..72.. at other universities... you wont find many others getting 90s and such anymore than at UofT.

Also, UofT presents great ECs/research opportunities which are crucial for med school anyway.
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A photo of Sheldore Sheldore

@marky wrote
I really appreciate you guys giving us U of T life sci hopefuls a taste of the truth
but this makes me really worried.. if class averages are that low, then that means only a few people can make it to medical school doesn't it?
while like 80% of the people are either failing or don't have the marks good enough to go



Yeah that's why I recommend to the kids who want to get into medical school, you should attend UTM or UTSC. Its still UofT in the end but its significantly easier than UTSG, trust me I have tons of friends at UTM.
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