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Prospects and Opportunities for next year

A photo of jelly jelly
Hi, I'm going into grade 12 next year, and after months of reading the forum, I've decided I want direct opinion for my chances of making it into a desired program next year.

I will probably apply to:
Waterloo: Civil, Electrical, Architecture (maybe Math as well?)
UofT: Civil, Electrical
Ryerson: Architecture
Carleton: Architecture
McGill: Architecture
Queens: Engineering
McMaster: Engineering

Waterloo is the top choice for me right now in terms of location, prestige, and education. I want to move away from home, but close enough to be able to bus/train back in a couple of hours. Co-op program is also appealing, I'd like work experience and some extra cash. I'd probably have to live at home if I attend a university in Toronto, so I'm not exactly fond of UofT or Ryerson. I would apply to McGill's engineering as well, but its so damn far that I'm rather stay at a closer university since engineering is offered at so many locations. Its not even easy to get in, either. Queens and McMaster are more "back-up" programs, as I hear a mid-80s average is sufficient.

Here are my grade 11 marks:
CLU3M (Law) - 86
MCR3U (Functions) - 83
SCH3U (Chemistry) - 84
SPH3U (Physics) - 82
ENG3U (English) - 94
HRT3U (World Religion) - 85
ICS3U (Computer Science) - 89
MHF4U (Advanced Functions) - 92

I know they're not great and there is a ton of room for improvement, so there will hopefully be a lot more studying next year. I'm going to place most of my emphasis on my sciences, because they're my weakest subjects.

These are my courses next year and predicted mark range:
SPH4U (Physics) - 82-87
HZT4U (Philosophy) - 90-99
ENG4U (English) - 85-90
SCH4U (Chemistry) - 82-87
MCV4U (Calculus and Vectors) - 94-99

I'm also going to be taking two spares, so that leaves one elective. I'm going to decide based on the best time slot available, as well as course difficulty, etc. Right now, its between Data Management, World Politics, History, and Law. The mark guesses are still a bit broad, but I don't want to get overconfident with the sciences because I hear the grade 12 counterparts are much more difficult. English and Philosophy are also fairly teacher-based (subjective) so again, don't want to get overconfident.

I also don't have a lot of ECs so I will be working on that a lot. I have a weekly volunteering job at a well-known organization, as well as random volunteer work around. I'm planning to join several school clubs next year, and will possibly look for a job after I get my G2. For architecture, I'm expecting an average portfolio (just started working on it). I don't know how an interview and precis will turn out, but I can only hope for the best.

Thanks to anyone who actually read the entire thing.

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9 replies
A photo of d0nut d0nut
Oh my goodness, you are making me really nervous! Your marks are great! I am also going into grade 12 and it will be a tough year (phys, calc, vectors, chem, english, bio, etc.), but hopefully everything will turn okay!

I know that universities look for someone who is well-rounded. Definitely work on the community service hours because that's something that will really make the difference in certain cases.

All in all, I think you're on the right track. For your grade 12 year, just study your butt off and get those hours in!!!
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A photo of dinosaurbones dinosaurbones
Hello! Your marks are more than sufficient to land you an interview at Waterloo and a evaluation session at Ryerson. But all the architecture schools (except for UT) will put a lot of emphasis on your portfolio so it's difficult to say how you'll do for those programs based on your marks alone.
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A photo of jelly jelly
Thanks for the answers. Its good to see someone in the architecture program replying, I haven't seen many on the forum, especially from Waterloo. I've started work on my portfolio recently, so hopefully that goes smoothly. Do marks only matter for getting an interview? Or are marks still taken into account after the interview/precis/portfolio process?
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A photo of jelly jelly
Thanks. Its pretty difficult for me to decide on which programs/schools I actually prefer because I haven't visited them. I'll probably visit a few of those schools when I'm given the chance. My parents are well-prepared to support me through my education. Of course, I'm not going to overspend or anything simply because the resources are there and available, but there really shouldn't be a limit to which school I wish to attend in regards to residence costs and the like. They don't really have a strict preference as to where I'm planning to study either, though I do want to move out.
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A photo of dinosaurbones dinosaurbones
Your marks will not be considered after you've received an interview at Waterloo, but you still have to maintain a certain average after you've received an offer.

The application process at Waterloo is described as a "hurdle system". So your marks and your extracurricular activities are looked at to determine whether or not you get an interview. If you leave a good impression during the interview they'll look at how you did on the precis and rank your precis with other impressive interviewees'. Then from the ranked precis, they give offers to the top 70 something precis writers.

You should visit open houses or university fair if you get the chance. You can get tons of information online on the university websites but it makes a big difference when you ask the faculty in person.
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A photo of threepointonefour threepointonefour
Just a quick note- unlike Respects I think you should apply to quite a few schools, simply because of the interview process. Your marks are objective, but an interview is subjective, and the more interviews you get the better your chance of getting a good review, and hence being accepted.
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A photo of jelly jelly
Ugh, interview. I'm actually not too confident in terms of the interview mostly because I haven't done enough of them to be completely comfortable. As stated, they're completely subjective so there isn't a surefire way of knowing if my interview process went well or not. It just seems that the way my personality comes across is way too important and subjective so I can never be completely prepared. On the plus side, I'm fairly confident on the precis. I've been a decent and creative writer through high school, so that should work in my favour. I also hear that the content is philosophy-based, which is good as I have the course first semester. I also know someone who could probably help me in philosophy. And the interview point... while I agree that the interview is subjective, its not usually a part of the general application process for the majority of programs as far as I know. It'd probably be way too tiresome and tedious to interview every single eligible applicant, and its only really there for some select few programs, I believe.
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A photo of dinosaurbones dinosaurbones
I don't think the interview process is 100% based on the interviewer's personal preference or whether or not they like your personality. Speaking with hindsight, I think you can tell if someone's a good candidate for architecture by just talking to them. You can tell if they're truly passionate about it and if they have a good eye for design by conversing with them or looking at their work. And that's what the interview serves to do. Just get friends to help you practice your answers for interviews and do your best to show your creativity in your portfolio.

I hope you have fun with the precis. The Ryerson precis was straightforward but the Waterloo one was pretty bad. I was on the verge of giving up while I was writing the precis because I was so intimidated by it. Which was weird because I don't usually get test anxiety. But don't let that discourage you. :)
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