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Got questions about UofT 1st Year Life Sci?

A photo of elimede elimede
'Sup boys and girls, I just had my last chem exam today and officially survived my first year at UofT.

Anyways, if you have any questions pertaining to 1st year stuff, ask awaaayyyy.

However, before you proceed with your inquiring, here are some misconceptions about UofT I want to clear up (because people are just so pessimistic these days).

1. UofT Life Sci is impossible - it's not.
2. Meeting new people is impossible - it's not.
3. Professors are impossible to talk to - they're not.

All you really need is confidence. Confidence is attained through strenuous effort and a thriving, attainable goal. If you know your stuff and you're desperate enough, there's nothing to scare away from.
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A photo of batman2002 batman2002
Hey, could you tell me what your GPA is. What is the best way to prepare for first year at U of T and why do people say getting a high GPA is almost impossible.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom
Thanks for clearing those things up, elimede. I've been trying to tell that to other people here, but they won't believe me. Anyway, how'd you find the exam today? I did it too.
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A photo of elimede elimede

@batman2002 wrote
Hey, could you tell me what your GPA is. What is the best way to prepare for first year at U of T and why do people say getting a high GPA is almost impossible.


It's 3.5 - not fabulous, nor terrible. Mind you, I dropped physics so I probably avoided a severe blow to my average, hah.

Keeping up with readings is critical, especially for courses that require heavy amounts of reading (biology and psych in particular...). For chem and math, don't waste your time on the easy questions when you're studying. Tackle the hard questions and once you get it, you get it. Memorizing is not a good strategy... Though, there's a difference between crude memorization and developing mental maps. Understanding the material is critical...

Class sizes are pretty large and average out to about 300 students/lecture. Don't get intimidated, talk to the person next to you if you want to make friends. It's really not hard, you just need to me more extroverted. Anything in life needs effort.

I don't really know why people say getting a high GPA is almost impossible. Getting an 85% average will guarantee you a 4.0 GPA. If you completely understand the material and know how to apply it in unique circumstances, getting that 85% shouldn't be a problem. I know tons of people getting 80s and 90s. You just need to be diligent!

I hope that helps.
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A photo of elimede elimede

@littleroom wrote
Thanks for clearing those things up, elimede. I've been trying to tell that to other people here, but they won't believe me. Anyway, how'd you find the exam today? I did it too.


My gosh, I completely left the osmotic pressure question blank because I thought M in the equation stood for molar mass... Oh well, other than that, things turned out alright.

Got physics or soc? If you do, good luck on those exams, hah :)
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A photo of puppies puppies
My questions are as follows:

1. What first year courses did you end up taking?
2. What were your marks (or projected marks) for those classes?
3. What classes would you recommend?
4. What classes would you avoid?
5. Now that you have gone through first year, would you have done anything differently?
6. Would have picked a different university?
7. What are your goals after undergrad?

Thank you so much!
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A photo of elimede elimede

@puppies wrote
My questions are as follows:

1. What first year courses did you end up taking?
2. What were your marks (or projected marks) for those classes?
3. What classes would you recommend?
4. What classes would you avoid?
5. Now that you have gone through first year, would you have done anything differently?
6. Would have picked a different university?
7. What are your goals after undergrad?

Thank you so much!


1. BIO(120+130), CHM(138+139), MAT135, PSY100, and some seminar course.
2. mid70s to low80s
3. Well, you really don't have a choice but to do bio, chem, math, and physics. Physics is important! You need it for pharmacy and most American medical schools...
4. Seminar courses, haha.
5. I only used 30% of my effort this year. I should have cared a little more? :P
6. Meh, no.
7. Medicine, Dentistry, Law, the usual.
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A photo of cyynthiia cyynthiia

@elimede wrote

@puppies wrote
My questions are as follows:

1. What first year courses did you end up taking?
2. What were your marks (or projected marks) for those classes?
3. What classes would you recommend?
4. What classes would you avoid?
5. Now that you have gone through first year, would you have done anything differently?
6. Would have picked a different university?
7. What are your goals after undergrad?

Thank you so much!


1. BIO(120+130), CHM(138+139), MAT135, PSY100, and some seminar course.
2. mid70s to low80s
3. Well, you really don't have a choice but to do bio, chem, math, and physics. Physics is important! You need it for pharmacy and most American medical schools...
4. Seminar courses, haha.
5. I only used 30% of my effort this year. I should have cared a little more? :P
6. Meh, no.
7. Medicine, Dentistry, Law, the usual.



Oh really?!
I actually didn't look into U of T's Pharmacy, but I'm pretty sure not all Pharmacy programs need it, though.
Guess it really depends on the university.
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A photo of OscarUK OscarUK
Hi elimede,

couple of q's about the uni in general as im applying for Arts rather than sciences.

did you live in rez, which college and how was this experience overall?
what is the city like as a place to live as a student, i've heard mixed things about Toronto?
are the uni societies/teams/clubs generally active and well supported?
did you know anyone doing the Vic One program, and if so what did they think?

(feel free to ignore any that don't apply ;)

many thanks in advance,

O
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@elimede wrote
My gosh, I completely left the osmotic pressure question blank because I thought M in the equation stood for molar mass... Oh well, other than that, things turned out alright.

Got physics or soc? If you do, good luck on those exams, hah :)


Wait, do you have 139 (or 151)? I did the 138 one today. Let's just say chemistry isn't my thing! And no, I'm not taking soc or physics, so I'm home free (except for an exam coming up on the 26th, but that'll be easy).


@puppies wrote
My questions are as follows:

1. What first year courses did you end up taking?
2. What were your marks (or projected marks) for those classes?
3. What classes would you recommend?
4. What classes would you avoid?
5. Now that you have gone through first year, would you have done anything differently?
6. Would have picked a different university?
7. What are your goals after undergrad?

Thank you so much!


1. BIO120, BIO130, CHM139, CHM138, two seminar courses, HPS100, JMB170, PSY100
2. 80-90s (except chemistry. I would insert some curse words here, but that's for another time).
3. HPS100: The History and Philosophy of Science is a very easy class to get good marks in and to fulfill your breadth requirement. There are few readings (relative to other classes, including my science courses) and as long as you can write essays, you'll do well. The TA's are fabulous too. JMB170 is a good course too. It's a joint math and biology course, but make sure you won't lose out on not taking more in-depth calculus. For my program, it won't matter; I only need to know the basics. I loved BIO120, but most people you ask didn't. PSY100 is fascinating, but there are a ton of readings. You'll be reading 60-80 pages a week for it, which may not sound like much, but with all your other classes to focus on, it really is.
4. If you can, CHM139 and CHM138 (but you probably won't get the chance to, because I think all Life Sciences students need to take them). Although some people I know have done well, most haven't, and I personally abhor the two because I have no interest in chemistry. So, since you can't really avoid them, I recommend you avoid Professor Browning. He's very genial in class, but his tests are very hard.
5. Not have let some initial bad marks get me down so much. You probably will get a few bad marks here and there, but the most important thing is how you respond.
6. Not at all. I love it here.
7. Graduate school and becoming a professor.


@OscarUK wrote
Hi elimede,
what is the city like as a place to live as a student, i've heard mixed things about Toronto?
are the uni societies/teams/clubs generally active and well supported?



I didn't live on residence, but I did live in downtown Toronto about 20 minutes away from the school, so I might be able to help. I love the city. It's very diverse and alive. What have you heard about it? That'll help me answer your questions. Sadly, we don't have much school spirit (although it does appear every now and then). I haven't gone to any of the sports events, so I can't tell you about the particularly.
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A photo of elimede elimede

@OscarUK wrote
Hi elimede,

couple of q's about the uni in general as im applying for Arts rather than sciences.

did you live in rez, which college and how was this experience overall?
what is the city like as a place to live as a student, i've heard mixed things about Toronto?
are the uni societies/teams/clubs generally active and well supported?
did you know anyone doing the Vic One program, and if so what did they think?

(feel free to ignore any that don't apply ;)

many thanks in advance,

O


I'm a commuter so I had very minimal contact with my college, hah. Toronto's a chill place but if you're looking for a very tight community, it might not be the best place for you. If you're wondering about colleges though, I hear that New holds the best parties...
A lot of extracurriculars at UofT are pretty well-funded by ASSU (the student union). If you want to join an executive team, I suggest you to keep your eyes peeled to upcoming elections for first-year positions.

I don't know anyone who's doing the Vic One program so I shall keep that question unattended.

Hope that helps.
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A photo of elimede elimede

@littleroom wrote
Wait, do you have 139 (or 151)? I did the 138 one today. Let's just say chemistry isn't my thing! And no, I'm not taking soc or physics, so I'm home free (except for an exam coming up on the 26th, but that'll be easy).


I took 139. Which exam is on the 26th?
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A photo of Commando3200 Commando3200
What are some GPA boosting courses that you could take?

Also, why didn't you take Physics?
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A photo of elimede elimede

@Commando3200 wrote
What are some GPA boosting courses that you could take?

Also, why didn't you take Physics?


Hm... The courses that will end up boosting your GPA are going to be the ones that interest you the most. For instance, I'm getting 88% on molecular biology right now but it requires a whooooole ton of reading. The same goes for psych, I absolutely love psych and I'm getting solid 80s. Less reading doesn't necessarily equate to higher grades! Don't be scared to take courses that you're interested in as long as you took prereq courses like bio, chem, math, etc...

I dropped physics because at the time, I kinda found out that I wasn't interested in the possibility of going to America for post-grad or any other professional schools that required physics (pharmacy, for instance). Plus, I really didn't like the course material... The profs weren't the greatest either... Nor the labs... Meh, I think I'll end up taking it next year to open those doors up again. If you're going to take it (which I recommend), just tough it out - it's one year. Most medical schools only look at your GPA from 2nd and 3rd year (don't quote me on this, do your own research!). For UofT, if you take 5 credits every year, they'll drop your 3 (I think) lowest credits when they're considering you for med school...

I hope this was insightful.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@elimede wrote
I took 139. Which exam is on the 26th?


JMB170 is on the 26th. How'd you find 139?


@Commando3200 wrote
What are some GPA boosting courses that you could take?

Also, why didn't you take Physics?


I don't need Physics. elimede was right in what she said. So, if you have any interest in the philosophy of science, I would very much recommend HPS100. It's interesting and easy. But then again, no course here is easy if you don't put effort into it. You need to keep up with readings and asks questions when you don't understand some of the material.
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A photo of marky marky
What was your average in high school?
I'm interested in knowing about how much of a leap it is to go from grade 12 to 1st year in uni
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@marky wrote
What was your average in high school?
I'm interested in knowing about how much of a leap it is to go from grade 12 to 1st year in uni


I had 95 on the dot in grade 12. My average here, in terms of a percentage, is somewhere in the high 80s (I don't know the exact number because I just finished my exams). I could lose ten percent on my grade 12 average and still come out with a 4.0, because anything above 85 is a 4.0 here. But, as I've mentioned before, chemistry ruined any chance of that happening.
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