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The age old question; what university?

A photo of pupil pupil
Hello,
I am a mid ninety student in grade eleven at a catholic school (no AP or IB programs). I am a little flustered by the drop in my marks this semester, but hope to make a 95 average in grade twelve. As most of you who are searching this forum topic, I am a med-school hopeful and was wondering which universities would be good choices. Ive researched a fair amount and have noticed a lot of comments on UofT's competitiveness. I, like most, will also be applying to the health sciences program (though I do see this as a distant speck in my unlikely future lol). I understand that a high GPA is favored (basically required) among medical schools, along with an outstanding mcat score, and was wondering whether it would be in my favor to instead attend a smaller university with less competition. I'm a little conflicted, and would appreciate any advice.
Thank you very much,
Pupil
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A photo of ArchEnemy ArchEnemy
Hi Pupil,

First off, I would like to congratulate you on getting high scores. I really hope you do get that 95% :) Honestly from my very own experience as a first year student at UofT currently, I believe you should go to where you feel you can perform best.

So far I guess you have only been in small classroom environments, where you can ask questions easily with the raise of your hand whenever you are unclear about something. In many classes in UofT, most of the time the professors will not have time to entertain your questions since the classes are very large and as you can imagine, if allowed to ask questions during lectures, can be rather disruptive. As a result, you really must have the discipline to note down your question and seek further help during the "tutorial sessions". Many people say they'll ask during the tutorial, but either end up forgetting about it after procrastinating or simply do not care about it anymore <--- (worst kind of medical hopeful students, maybe that's why its probably better to name them 'hopeful'). Help is definitely around for you when you need it, what matters more is that you must be disciplined.

Competition should be the least on your mind, since everyone is technically competing with one another (irregardless of your university) since the common goal is medical school). Difficulty on the other hand, as many whiners will say UofT is very brutal it's a killer etc. So far I've attended all of these 1st year life science classes where people whine about, and find them to be reasonable. It's not as if the profs teach you ABC and expect you to derive XYZ. Nothing of this sort. I did not come from a very prestigious high school, and certainly did not receive a 95% average. So yup, I believe I'm fair to judge.

Regarding campus life, if you are the kind who likes to live with your family, living away on campus can be quite a drastic change in your life. Residence can be a good and a bad thing together. On one hand you'll definitely be more engaged with the whole "University Life" experience, hanging out with friends getting drunk etc, many of the students end up getting distracted and in the long run they lose focus on their dream on going to medical school and settle with just a BSc. This is one of the reasons why I chose not to live on campus. Even though I may be a little disengaged from the whole "University Life", I do have a fair number of friends of which I'm contented to spend good times with, at the same time enjoying the 4.0s on my transcripts :)

So my advice to you is to choose your environment very wisely, because it'll very probably shape your life in the years to come. In addition, look yourself in the mirror and see the type of student you are: Disciplined? Or prefer to be spoon-fed? Sorry if there are any errors in my post, I just came back from a long day of class.. Good Luck and stay positive!

Regards,
G
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
Visit all the universities you apply to and make a choice after that. You're going to (most likely) be living there for the next 4 years so it's important that you also like the campus, food, people etc. Talk to current students in the programs you're applying to when you're there, and most tours give you a chance to sit in on classes so you can get a feel of what they're like. I didn't make my choice until mid-May after I'd gone visited them all.
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A photo of pupil pupil

@ArchEnemy wrote
Hi Pupil,

First off, I would like to congratulate you on getting high scores. I really hope you do get that 95% :) Honestly from my very own experience as a first year student at UofT currently, I believe you should go to where you feel you can perform best.

So far I guess you have only been in small classroom environments, where you can ask questions easily with the raise of your hand whenever you are unclear about something. In many classes in UofT, most of the time the professors will not have time to entertain your questions since the classes are very large and as you can imagine, if allowed to ask questions during lectures, can be rather disruptive. As a result, you really must have the discipline to note down your question and seek further help during the "tutorial sessions". Many people say they'll ask during the tutorial, but either end up forgetting about it after procrastinating or simply do not care about it anymore <--- (worst kind of medical hopeful students, maybe that's why its probably better to name them 'hopeful'). Help is definitely around for you when you need it, what matters more is that you must be disciplined.

Competition should be the least on your mind, since everyone is technically competing with one another (irregardless of your university) since the common goal is medical school). Difficulty on the other hand, as many whiners will say UofT is very brutal it's a killer etc. So far I've attended all of these 1st year life science classes where people whine about, and find them to be reasonable. It's not as if the profs teach you ABC and expect you to derive XYZ. Nothing of this sort. I did not come from a very prestigious high school, and certainly did not receive a 95% average. So yup, I believe I'm fair to judge.

Regarding campus life, if you are the kind who likes to live with your family, living away on campus can be quite a drastic change in your life. Residence can be a good and a bad thing together. On one hand you'll definitely be more engaged with the whole "University Life" experience, hanging out with friends getting drunk etc, many of the students end up getting distracted and in the long run they lose focus on their dream on going to medical school and settle with just a BSc. This is one of the reasons why I chose not to live on campus. Even though I may be a little disengaged from the whole "University Life", I do have a fair number of friends of which I'm contented to spend good times with, at the same time enjoying the 4.0s on my transcripts :)

So my advice to you is to choose your environment very wisely, because it'll very probably shape your life in the years to come. In addition, look yourself in the mirror and see the type of student you are: Disciplined? Or prefer to be spoon-fed? Sorry if there are any errors in my post, I just came back from a long day of class.. Good Luck and stay positive!

Regards,
G



Thank you so much for the meticulous reply! I respect your opinion and appreciate your experience and honesty. I know I wont have a problem with the partying, and, regardless, I would be commuting from home. I guess it just comes down to if I will be committed and hardworking enough; something I must decide for myself. However, are there any other universities that might be a good choice?
Thank you once again,
Pupil
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A photo of ArchEnemy ArchEnemy

@pupil wrote
Thank you so much for the meticulous reply! I respect your opinion and appreciate your experience and honesty. I know I wont have a problem with the partying, and, regardless, I would be commuting from home. I guess it just comes down to if I will be committed and hardworking enough; something I must decide for myself. However, are there any other universities that might be a good choice?
Thank you once again,
Pupil



Hi Pupil,

You are welcome. I had some great people shedding light on me too when I was applying.

From what I've heard, Queens is a pretty good choice too. Nice cosy environment with little distractions (no offence but it's almost like a ghost town over there during summer when people are travelling lol). These two are my personal recommendations (I may be biased).

In the end, there is only so much information we forum users can provide you with. It boils down to your own decision. And always remember that wherever you may decide to go to, live with your decision and stick with it through thick and thin. If something is not going right, ie you're not doing well in school, most of the time the problem lies within yourself rather than the school. No school is out there to destroy its students. :) Good Luck!

Regards,
G
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A photo of xXxUfacStorAxXx xXxUfacStorAxXx
Fit is the biggest thing. Doing well in university isn't so much about smarts as it is about hard work, perseverance, and dedication. If you want it badly, you will get it.

And what's with the formality in this thread...this is online folks lol, we're not schmoozing at a cocktail party.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t8zNU_dbN0

EDIT: Above poster's advice is spot on by the way.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
A 95% avg is awesome so congrats on that! Obviusly Mcmaster is very reputed for its sciences programs however with every university, nothing comes easy and you have to study study study! I'm in grade 12 this year and already applied to universities but didn't bother applying to UofT because i heard exactly what you did; that competition is tough. If i were you i would also consider York University for its Biomed program or Kinesiology and Helath Sci program because i heard that they were good. My sister went to Mcmaster for Life sciences and she told me it was tough.But it's obviously your decision and i definitely recommend that you go to a university fair because those definitely helped me! Good luck!
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A photo of pupil pupil
Thanks so much for your advice! I never really considered York before, but I'll definitely look into it now :)
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A photo of mohammadahmad mohammadahmad
Hey pupil (and everyone else),

Congrats on the 95% and good luck.

I myself have around a 92% average and the same goal in mind. What is also bothering me is whether or not I should go to UofT (Human Bio - Bsc) or York (Biomedical Sci - BSc). Should I go to York where there is significantly less competition and stress or is it worth my time to get a "better" education at UofT (qualitatively speaking)?

I know that it all depends on the student but the environment has to affect your grades regardless of how disciplined you may be.

Now, taking into account the fact that medical schools (most of them) look at both your GPA and MCAT scores which school is the better option? If I put in the same effort at both, will my GPA at York be higher?

Also---> is it true that MCAT only tests like 1st/2nd year sciences because it does look like it from what I've seen on their site. If so do you think I should take grade 12 physics or will I learn the same thing in first year? (If so, I know that first year would be easier but it just won't fit into my schedule)

Can someone help?

Btw - I will be commuting in either case (just takes longer to get to UofT). I would have applied to Mac and other universities but it is pointless b/c I can't live on campus.

Thanks to whoever can help.
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A photo of asivasub asivasub
Anywhere where you will live on residence to get the best university experience.
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A photo of nice nice
i am a med-school hopeful too and been thinking about going to U of T and majoring in the life sciences. is U of T that bad as people say it is ?
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A photo of pupil pupil
Just to clear things up, I am aiming for a 95% in grade 12. I currently have low 90s (in grade 11). But thank you very much for all the support!

As for the questions above me, I have researched quite a bit, and yes, I've heard some scary stories about U of T as well. However, like many people have highlighted in other forums, as a med-hopeful you need to challenge yourself and work hard, regardless of which university you choose. Getting a high GPA is possible, but you will have to work very hard for it. UofT, however, does not seem to care very much for it's undergrad students. In this aspect, I agree with other peoples' comments on going to university fairs, and figuring out what university suits you. I looked into York, and I personally don't find it a good fit.

And with the MCAT, from what Ive heard, its the basic sciences, and then the rest is mostly logic/reasoning etc. based questions, but I'd look into it more to be sure :).
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