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McMaster Health Science Program-2017 Applicants

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Hey guys, 
I am going into grade 12 in September. I have been doing a lot of soul searching about what kinds of programs and stuff I wish to apply to. One of my top choices is McMaster Health Sciences and I'm sure it is many other peoples top choices as well. Ever since I was young i knew I wanted to do something in the health field, mainly to help other people out. I have always LOVED science, especially biology and chemistry. We can use this discussion page to talk about the program and stuff. 

These are my other top programs:
-Life Sciences at McMaster
-Medical Sciences at Western
-Health Sciences at Western
-Biochemistry at Western 
-Biomedical Science at Waterloo

If anyone was or is in McMaster's Health Science program, I was wondering what do you think makes a successful applicant? How did you decide to enter this program?

Thanks
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965 replies
 
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A few things you should know:

You don't choose McMaster Health science. They choose you. There are about 3000+ applicants each year for 160 spots. If we assume that some of the accepted applicants reject their offers, then at most about 200 offers are made. Their minimum requirement is that you have a 90%+ average in Gr.12 and three supplementary essay answers.

It is a totally random and arbitrary process. I know people with mid to high 90s rejected, while those with low 90 averages were accepted. The essay questions are random questions and are different each year. Keep your expectations realistic about getting into this program. They don't look at any extracurricular activity of any kind.

Secondly, what type of health care field are you aiming to go into? Know that Canadian professional schools, such as medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, etc. do not care where you went for undergrad, nor do they care what you got your degree in (unless there are specific prerequisite courses to be completed prior to entering the professional school program). I know people with arts degrees and business degrees in medical school.

You need a backup plan as well, because getting into medical school is extremely competitive and difficult in Ontario. What are you going to do with a generic life sci/health sci degree if you do not get into professional school? Again, these are some of the things that you need to be aware of.
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Thank you for the advice!
I am very well aware that McMaster Health Sciences is not something that I choose (sadly). I can definitely hold a 90% + average in grade 12. I currently hope to go to medical school but this is not the reason I am interested in this program. It is more about the opportunities available within this school and this program. I am not going to list them all because there are a lot but I am sure you know, If I cannot get into med school, I hope to do medical research or just anything that would benefit other peoples lives. The job market is constantly changing so this is not something I am really worried about right now as I know there are many different job opportunities with a health science degree. If you don't mind me asking, what undergraduate school did you attend and which program?

Again, thank you so much for the advice! It made me think more in-depth about the program and the numbers helped clear things up.
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There are many job opportunities with a health science degree? Noo:(
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Is ENG4U an acceptable non math/non science/non technology 4U credit for Mac Health Sci? Im taking 
MHF4U
SCH4U
ENG4U
SBI4U
SPH4U
MCV4U

Can I apply or do I need another course ?
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You would need to take another course, as English is one of the requirements.
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Hey! If you have any specific questions about Mac health sci (or any of the other popular Ontario pre-med programs), I just started a thread focused on this: https://yconic.com/discussion/pre-med-programs-and-scholarships-ama/AAmxNtsbT0G5DKkqHcsTVQr2rYeRS4i1  
You can also ask any questions to my blog if you'd like! https://countingtomd.wordpress.com
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I'll be applying. I have a rough idea of the other schools I am interested in, but I still need to do more research and visit the campus' and stuff. I'm applying to toronto schools for biology-related fields. Possibly western. I'm not sure what I'd like to do In the future. My options are research, teaching, and professional school for medicine and pharmacy. Maybe optometry.
What I want to know: What are your back ups? If I don't end up in the listed above, I'll do a masters in medical imaging and become a technologist.
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You should change the title of the thread to 2017 cause last years was called 2016
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I'm thinking about applying too! Just wondering, what were your grade 11 averages?
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I slacked A LOT so my top 6 is like an 80 lol
:P
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mine was 93! with two u level grade twelve courses completed
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Mine with all 8 was a 93% but my top 6 was 94.5%. I know that this is good but for some reason it doesn't feel like it's good enough :/
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Hey! A 94.5/93 is still REALLY GOOD!
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How many applicants in this thread so far?
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I think 7 because 7 are currently following but I'm not too sure if they are all planning to apply 

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I'll also be applying to Mac Health Sci and I'm very nervous lol- my goal is med school
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I'm not nervous :) I'm sure wherever you end up you'll do great
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Same! I'm extremely nervous because the application last year was hard and I want nothing more in life than to get into this program :///
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honestly I don't even know if I would accept health sci because I like lecture based learning more :P I don't really see the big deal except high amounts of ppl going to professional school. But I truely believe the student is what matters the most. So if I don't get in I won't be heart broken.
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I totally agree with you as well! I just really want in because it's driving distance from my home and I have been to the health science campus and I just feel like I couldn't see myself anywhere else :) I just get so happy thinking about it haha
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I haven't been to the campus yet. Not sure if i wanna move away from home
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I'm the person who posted the original comment, but for me since I'm from Hamilton I really really want to get in to health sci since I could save a ton of money staying at home.. OP, are you from the hammer as well?
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^ I am from Milton so its like 30 min driving distance so it would really help with the money also! My family is kind of tight on money ://
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my best friend's from the campbellville/milton area lol. commuting could be a good choice for you!
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What courses are you guys taking in grade 12? I'm taking:
Biology 
Chemistry
Physics
Advanced Functions
Calculus and Vectors
Foods and Nutrition
Earth and Space Science Online
English

I also already took Data Management so that is another course I could use for my average calculation but I guess I will wait and see which mark is higher for the math. 
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I'm taking 
3 sciences (2 AP)
Adv/calc
English (online) 
philosphy 
and kinesiology
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I'm taking:
AP biology,
chemistry,
advanced functions,
calculus and vectors,
AP english,
kinesiology,
and french :)

it's worth noting that I actually started advanced functions in grade 11 but chose to continue it into my grade 12 year (at my school that is an option you can choose) so I'll finish it early and the period that I have it will turn into a spare
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is it hard? ^ I'm nervous.
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to the person above me, could you specify as to what classes you're wondering are hard? the AP classes honestly weren't bad at all in gr 11 if that's what you were wondering and since i especially like biology, i really liked going more in depth in the ap class
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Oh, I meant advanced functions LOL. Sorry I tend to do that a lot
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I'm back lol, and advanced functions isn't that bad either. I'm only about halfway through the course so I haven't reached the calculus prep stuff but the material isn't all over the place like it is in grade 11. it's more concentrated on certain things and there isn't a lot of information packed into one unit. it's definitely more manageable so you should be fine :)
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Just a heads up from last year's applicant: don't put too much hope into this program. I personally thought I had a very strong application but did not get into the program. Just to give you an idea, I was accepted to 5 ivy leagues, offered $300,000 in scholarships including national scholarships from multiple universities, and also got into top canadian programs such as waterloo software engineering and u of t eng sci. I just think it's very hard to see how two random essays determine the acceptances, but oh well. I've seen so many of other people who weren't as lucky as me in other programs and were so distraught when they didn't get to health sci. Just be prepared for the bad news. It's more likely to happen than not.
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IMO your accomplishments are not what makes an applicant strong for health sci. But congratulations on all your success, health sci is poo poo compared to ivy leagues anyways imo. 
Me, personally as I mentioned above will not be too disappointed if I don't get in. I know I'll be successful where ever I go and as long as I get to study science I am happy in my undergrad. I don't even know if I want to move away from home so, it's whatever. 
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It's not accomplishments, it's luck. Out of 3500 applicants, I would say more than 500 of them are at least deserving of a spot. But only 160 of them actually make it because of some two random ass essays
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Does anyone know when they put up the questions for the supp app? On the website it says it'll be posted 'this summer', but that message has been up there for nearly a month. 

When did the questions get released last year?
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My question exactly! The creator of this post said mid to late August! I'm hoping sometime this week but it's looking like they are a little behind this year maybe. They usually put the questions on that same page that you are looking at that says "will be posted this summer-stay tuned!". https://yconic.com/discussion/pre-med-programs-and-scholarships-ama/AAmxNtsbT0G5DKkqHcsTVQr2rYeRS4i1

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I've literally been checking since may LOL
Kinda sucks, hope it does come out this week becaaauusee i wanna do it b4 school
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Yeah, I was hoping to get started before school as well ... hopefully it does come out this week. But I'm sure we won't miss it because as soon as it's released this thread will start blowing up with all the questions lol. 


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Yeah same I wanna get a general idea before school starts so after that I will only have to edit! Soon hopefully :/
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the questions for the supp app have been released!!!
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THEYRE SO DIFFERENT WAS NOT EXPECTING!! But I'm excited ahh!!
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I can already tell I'm not getting in lmao
:D oh well 
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Can someone link me to the supplemental application? Or post the questions? I am from the west coast so I'm still trying to figure out all the Ontario schools. Thanks!
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http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/bhsc/documents/SuppAppLevel1.pdf
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Omg :0 the questions are I think easier than last year to formulate a clear response but it's gonna be really hard to make the first and last one unique... RIP
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I have no clue what I'm going to write about lolol
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I have a plan i just dunno if it'll be good enough
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Last one I think is the hardest to make an answer, but the easiest to be unique. So many possibilities and directions, but so hard to justify the means.
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I really want to start answering these early, but I feel like that is just not going to happen. I'll at least wait until school starts :)
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I KNOW! I was the one basically whining a week ago on this thread that the questions weren't released yet, and how I was totally gonna start before school, etc. And now after seeing the questions, I'm blowing it off until later, aha. :P
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Well I've planned my questions I just need to write. For me the second question is hardest wbu?

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Hey all! I'm just about to start my first year in the program. Classes start tommorow, in fact. Word of advice: don't share any of your ideas in regard to the supp app to ANYONE on here. It is forbidden; plus, you wouldn't want someone stealing your grand idea(s)! Besides that, if you have any questions about the application process or otherwise please ask! Simply refer to me as Dr. Blue - I will explain the name later :)
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Thank you so much for the help!! If you don't mind me asking, what was your grade 12 average and what courses did you take? Thanks and good luck!
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In your opinion which supp app is harder? This years or last? Congratz btw.
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Hey, just to confirm the 6 courses they look for admissions include biology, chemistry, non math/science/tech course, your highest math marks and your next 2 highest marks right?
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As far as the supplementary application goes, how did you make yours unique? I know you can't give me what you said directly, but could you name anything generally? For example did you incorporate a lot of your personal experiences/extracurriculars? Thanks
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I had a 97% overall average...I took all the prereqs in addition to HRE4U and IDC4U, which rounded out my top 6...To me, both of the supp apps are equally challenging, albeit in different ways. 2015's was incredibly similar to RAPSEs, whereas this one is similar to past supp apps...I made my supp app unique by being GENUINE. I know that sounds like it is of zero assistance, but it is the truth. Write something that is honest; show why you and your ideas are unique... Since mine was so different in regards to questions, I couldn't name you anything that would be of any help - Dr. Blue
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I am posting this just to de-anonymize all of my prior posts.
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Hey, I go to a pretty hard semi private advanced high school my averge hovers around 93 each year, do u know people that got in with averages less than 93,92..
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Yep! Lots, in fact. Supp app reflects more about you than grades. The rumour is that your grades are simply tiebreakers...if used at all. That being said, maximizing both your average and supp app score is incredibly important in regard to your chances of getting in. That is not to say someone with a 99% av. has an incredible advantage over someone with a 90% av...but it does help (especially if supp app scores are close).
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I'm not from Hamilton so I guess that means I'll have to do research about #2...
Anyone in the same boat? 
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I'm not really doing research.
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To Dr. Blue:

I was just wondering what do you think about the health science program at western? I talked to someone who said you will not get a good medical education with that program. And also did you take physics in high school?
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I don't see how Dr blue will help you as much as the rest of us but anyways,
This shows you the difference between BSc's and BHSc. http://uwo.ca/fhs/shs/programs/difference.html
BHSc is more humanities I think. 
If you like studying about healthcare and systems then do it. If you want a more science degree then don't do it. Anyways, you don't need to have a good medical education in your undergrad, that's what med school is for. You can study whatever you want in undergrad- and you should take advantage of having options to study other things while you can.

Just my piece of advice :)
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I did take Gr. 11 physics...but not Gr. 12. MedSci at Western is notorious for being incredibly difficult. There is a Maclean's article titled "Gambling on an M.D." which highlights this. Personally, I applied to the program and was considering it as my third choice, behind Mac Health Sci and QuARMS.
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Med sci is different from health sci. One gives you a BMSc and the other a BHSc
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https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/bmsc/future_students/applying/year_1.html
Says BMSc takes in 750 students 

https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/bmsc/current_students/after_grad/career_survey.html
Survey shows 361 made it to fourth yr 27% went to med 5% to dent and many to graduate programs u can assume some who didn't respond to the survey are in med busy studying lol. It can't be supppperr hard otherwise we won't be getting so many successes. 
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You can't assume not responded is med school... Maybe some, but I'm sure it's students from all over
But I'm pretty sure op is talking about health science at western, unless they made a mistake

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Hello everyone! This account is managed by a group of Health Sci's. I remember the experience of applying to university last year the many questions that were answered correctly to me from forum pages, so I'm trying to do the same for people applying this year. We hope to be as helpful as we can.
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What are your initials?
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There are more than 1 of us, and we'd prefer not to say.
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Alright there chiefs.
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It would make sense for you to put your initials after you write a response so people can know who they are talking to/what advice each person is giving......
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Giving initials while in health sci completely reveals who we are, but for future reference you can refer to me as "A"
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Why is this so mysterious
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If by A-levels you are referring to the education system in England, I haven't heard of any so far. Although I have heard of an international student in the program. But of which I'm not sure off, however you should call the office of admissions as they would mostly likely have the answer you're looking for.
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Is someone with a mediocre secondary application but with a 97% average more likely to get in than someone with a 92% average and an astounding secondary application? Or is it vice versa?
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Hey Guys, 
Good luck on this years applications, I just have a few questions. To begin if anyone here is looking to go to med school later on, what other programs are the looking at? Secondly what is a good average to have a decent chance to get in? Finally, what was your grade 11 average? 
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Yes I am. But I'm not 100 percent set on med school as of now. 
I'm applying to programs relating to biology and life science. Not sure if I even like health science. 
Your marks won't give you a decent chance. They don't matter if your supp app is written well. I'm aiming for.a 94 average. But as long as you're over 90
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Just as a piece of advice - look into QuARMS if you are pretty set on med school. Despite the long odds of getting accepted, I took a shot in the dark at the program last year and found myself as a finalist! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
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are your initials JT?
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Nah...he sexy af tho dead honest
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RB?
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My name is Jeff

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Dr. Blue, did you do any ECs? And by QuARMS finalist, do you mean up to the interview or were you accepted?
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would taking bio in night school/summer school matter?
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Taking night school and summer school courses isn't a problem during the application process. However a word of caution when doing so is most of the time night school and summer school courses are often less rigorous than day school because of the time restraint therefore you'd be less prepared for your first year courses.
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But really ya'll are only worried about marks anyway...take the night/summer/regular class that will provide you with the highest mark...oftentimes it is not the smartest people who get into university, but rather the ones with the highest marks. Harsh reality, really. Also, once you're in, you're in...that's all that matters. Worry about uni when you're in uni.
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Ya but if you can't Handle a high school day school course what makes you think you can take university?
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Most highschools inflate their marks insanely these days so i'd say for most first years that weren't in IB or AP they would have a little bit of catching up to do so i dont really see much of a difference.
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I know I'm a little late to the party, but I'd like to chime in on this. I took a lot of online courses in high school, and they got me grades but I didn't learn a lot. I've ended up having to work harder at certain courses to get myself up to speed, so take from that what you will.
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Hi everyone,
I applied to this program last year and was rejected, but I will be in this thread to answer any questions about the process of the application. I found last year's thread to be really helpful when I was applying (and entertaining tbh) so, I'll be here to answer any questions you might have for me.

My number 1 tip would be to focus on the supplementary application and not worry too much about your average, as long as it's above 90% it's no big deal. I know many people who had significantly lower averages than I did in high school and got in, so, focus on your supp app above all else. 

By the way, If you have room in your high school schedule and you want to take some courses I think are useful for first year university, here are some:

1) Human growth and development. (This course will help a lot with psychology in university if you take it, which you probably will take at least one psychology course, this course is actually quite difficult in my experience though, so only take it if you already have a 90+ top 6)
2) Physics (Even if it's not a requirement, taking it will be really useful for university chemistry)
3) Kinesiology / exercise science (This is kinda useful for bio and if you ever take anatomy or physiology in university I think it will help a bit, that is, if you manage to remember what you learned in grade 12)
4) Philosophy (won't really help you directly in science courses in university but it's an awesome course to take regardless) 
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What was/were your back-up school(s) in case you didn't get into Mac BHsc?
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Hey everyone,
I need some advice! So I'm in grade 11 and want to ensure 2 spares in grade 12 (so only 6 courses). The thing is the majority of "health science" related programs require bio, Chem, English, advanced functions, calculus and physics, while health sciences at McMaster requires a non math, non science, non tech ( for me this would be philosophy or kinesiology [im pretty sure this is considered a physical education course]). So my question is: should I request a grade 11 semester 2 course change from grade 11 intro to anthro, socio and psychology, which is not a prerequisite for anything, to grade 12 philosophy or kinesiology to ensure that I can have 2 spares and maintain qualification for the maximum amount of programs.
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You're right that both Kinesiology and Philosophy count towards McMaster's "other" course. Personally I think philosophy is the better course to take, but not for the sake of school. Kinesiology may be more useful for the sciences you will be taking in university, but philosophy was (in my experience) absolutely life changing, out of every class I've ever taken in my life, I've probably learned and grew the most in philosophy. One thing to keep in mind though is that philosophy can be awesome (like in my experience) or horrible depending on your teacher. I personally had an absolutely amazing teacher, the class wasn't a lot about the tests / assignments etc, but a lot more about the actual learning and discussion. It wasn't a class you go to because you had to, it was a class you went to because you actually wanted to go (Teacher didn't care if you skipped / came late). So my experience with high school philosophy is probably not the norm due to my teacher being incredible. 

Also, I think that besides how mind blowing philosophy is, it teaches you critical thinking skills and logical argumentation that can actually carry over significantly into science. If things click (You get a good teacher, and you have a natural inclination to like philosophy) you will find that after the course, the way you think completely changes, for the better.

My experience with Kinesiology is also pretty good (but not nearly as good...clearly..lol). The class was interesting, and involved a lot of overlap with Grade 11 biology, a lot of the concepts you learn are repeats. The only new things you'll see in Kinesiology are biomechanics (which will involve some grade 11 and 12 physics concepts, but very little to no calculation) anatomy, and maybe nutrition. Kinesiology involves lots and lots of memorization though in the anatomy units (Skeletal system and muscular system).

 For example, you have to memorize (name, correct spelling, location [you can label where it is on a full body diagram], as well as what it actually looks like [you can label it without the stuff around it]) approximately:
a) 20-25 bones + 14 landmarks
b) 25 ish (I'm guessing here) muscles + their functions (With proper anatomical language though, for example: thoracic extension, shoulder circumduction, etc)
c) 30-40 muscle origins and insertions
d) 30-35 ligaments and tendons (posterior superficial view of the knee is the hardest in my experience, I could never remember everything properly because there are so many tendons and ligaments all over the place)

But don't worry, because you spend 1 week or so on each of those, and also, there is a method to the madness (in the naming) so there will be some patterns that will help, it won't be just brute memorization.

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I'd recommend taking kinesiology; from what I heard and experienced the course is a free 95+; this helps your admission average cause it drag might drag a low 90 mark upwards.Furthermore, in Level 2 of the BHSc program we have a course known as anatomy and physiology; taking Kin would definitely give you a competitive advantage in that course as well. Personally I look Grade 12 Law early and it backfired on me, I ended up with a mark that dragged down my admission average. Thus take courses that interest you, not bird courses; as a matter of fact my top 6 marks were composed of the prereqs and grade 12 Calculus and Adv Functions. This was because I loved the senior maths which caused those two marks to be my highest ones instead of any bird courses I took.
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Yeah, I'm in grade 12 and I wish I would've taken a grade 12 course in grade 11. For my nonmath/science/tech course I'm taking religion (mandatory bc catholic school) and doing english online so I'll have 2 spares. So I'm ending up with 8 credits this year
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Thank you so much everyone! Super helpful!! I still haven't changed my second semester yet, but I'm leaning towards kinesiology! But overall it depends on the freedom my guidance counsellor has to coordinate my schedule. I've been avoiding the visit because I'm scared of bad news LOL. By the way, which would you say is more difficult- 11 or 12 in your experience. Also, this years SUPP app is so weird LOOL, I'm not applying this year but I would love to hear how some of you are going about it.
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