your student life specialists

Mar 23

if i could help, i would

Hi there. I have applied to engineering at u of toronto. Unfortunately i did not study grade 10 n just gave my Olevel exams privately without a school. They want my grade 10 results now. I emailed them explaining this but no one has replied yet.



not sure what your question is but um… just wait?

i can’t expedite the process of them emailing you back. apologies for the less than satisfactory response, but i really can’t make them respond any faster!

so… yeah.

that’s about it.


thank you for giving me the opportunity to use a phil dunphy gif. i love phil.

cheers and good luck with everything!


Mar 23


What grades do grad schools usually look at? 3rd and 4th year grades? last 10 credits? last 10 credits with focus on senior level courses, etc… Also, is there any websites or resources that can explain the applying to grad school process to me (not just specifically uoft but Canadian grad schools in general)? I’m feeling a little lost as to what grades schools look at, where/when I should apply, what documents do i have to send in, what documents does uoft need to send in etc.



grad schools normally look at your 10 most recent credits. they won’t necessarily focus on “senior level courses”, but they may pay more attention to courses that are more relevant to the program that you are pursuing. then again, i can’t speak for all grad schools because it really depends on each school. i wrote a post recently which answered a question very similar to yours: check it out here! 

in terms of online resources for grad schools, the only one i can really recommend is OUAC, which is useful if you are applying to law school, medicine, rehabilitation sciences, or teaching in ontario. if you are applying to a discipline outside of the aforementioned (or if you are looking for something outside of ontario), you’ll have to look into each individual school to see what the process is, since they all have different deadlines and requirements.

unfortunately, i haven’t come across any websites that i feel comfortable with endorsing on here. the websites i HAVE seen tend to only “feature” some schools while completely ignoring others. super frustrating.

it would be much better/ safer for you to just go directly to the source. trust- that’s the best advice i can offer you!

peace and love bruh,


Mar 22

no secrets


I started at the campus of UTM in 2010 and got to second year by 2014 – I
know, not something I’m extremely proud of. In 2014, I got suspended for
one whole calendar year for failing too many courses. Subsequently, I also
got suspended for a plagiarism allegation for 3 and a half years. Right now
is 2017 and my suspension is up in the summer of 2018.

Would it be wiser for me to just ditch U of T and apply to another
university with my high school grades? Or is that not allowed?

Thank you!



wow, sounds like you’ve had quite a wild ride. school ain’t easy, that’s for sure.

if you choose to ditch U of T, you can’t apply to another university with just your high school grades. if you try applying for another university, you’ll need to show records from every previously attended institution, and if you refrain from disclosing information, there will be pretty severe consequences.

your best bet, if you still want to pursue your degree, would be to wait out your suspension and continue on at U of T. we still want you if you want us too!

hope everything works out for you!




Mar 22

summer grades matter

Is it true that grad schools don’t look at summer terms (grades)? I’ve taken a summer term every year since I started at uoft and that’s whats enabling me to graduate early in 3 years instead of 4



not sure where you heard that…

but it’s not true. most grad schools will look at your most recent two years of schooling. if that includes summer school, you’ll be okay!



Mar 21

no public shaming here, my friend

Hi Aska,

So i screwed up really badly- i commit and academic offense which is now reflected on my transcript (as a GWP). I recognize and understand the seriousness of this and completely accept responsibility. At the same time, i’m trying to turn my life around and want to apply to other UofT opportunities. My question is: can the registrar/prof/TA who are involved in my academic misconduct case reveal the reason for the GWP on my transcript? Can they share info on me behind the scenes? The position I’m applying for requires an application and transcript copy which obviously will show the GWP, so it’s not like i’m trying to hide the incident- i would just like to explain it myself, rather than have the faculty discuss it among themselves.

Thanks so much

P.S i’d really appreciate the lack of preaching about the wrongs of cheating. i’m not at all assuming that you’d do that, its just that, like i said, i understand what i did was wrong and came to aska to avoid the public shaming people have received on other advice sites- this has really affected me, as it should, and i just want to move forward



first of all, i think what you’re referring to is a GWR (grade withheld pending review).

regardless of what position you are applying to, if the university was contacted regarding your transcript, they technically, (according to the rules of FIPPA) cannot confirm if you even go to the school. the university abides by a pretty strict code of confidentiality so you don’t have to worry about this kind of information getting out.

if your academic misconduct case results in a sanction, then your transcript might say something like “sanctioned for academic misconduct“, but again, the university still won’t be able to release any information on whether or not you attend the school or the reason of your sanction.

aska strives to be a lot of things, but we do not strive to be preachy. we realize that sometimes people make mistakes, which sucks, but we want to help you get back up so you can learn from your mistakes.

i’m not sure if proud is the right word to use here since i don’t want to sound patronizing, but i’m very glad/proud that you are willing to take full responsibility for your mistakes. sometimes the hardest part is admitting to your mistakes. it takes a big person to admit that.

anyways, public shaming sucks.


you’ll be okay in the end.


wishing you all the best,

peace and love,




Mar 21

the consequences of failing a course


I wanted to ask that if I fail a course which I do not need for my program
of study and have just taken it as a breadth requirement, what will the
consequence be?
will I have to retake the course? will I be put on probation? will I be
kicked out of uni?
So I just wanna know what exactly will happen since I don’t need it as a
pre req for my program of study!




great question. since it’s not required for your program, you won’t have to retake the course unless you really wanted to retake THAT specific course. in terms of how many times you can retake the course, you’re allowed to the retake the course as many times as you want until you pass the course (but why would you do that unless you need to). once you receive a passing grade in the course, you won’t be able to retake it to achieve a higher grade without the permission of a registrar.

if you fail a course, a grade point of 0.0 will be assigned for that course, but you’ll only be put on academic probation if your CGPA is lower than 1.5. academic probation is a whole other story but they have a helpful chart to show you how it works.

don’t worry, you won’t be kicked out of uni!




Mar 20

let’s not do that

Dear aska,

It got me curious. What happens when everyone drops one specific course that there is no students enrolled in the course any more in the middle of the semester? It is merely a hypothetical question.

Thanks in advance!



lol, that would be both hilarious and quite sad.

disclaimer: everything i am about to say cannot be backed by actual facts, i’m merely hypothesizing.

i honestly have no idea what would happen. i asked my colleagues who have been here decades longer than i have and none of them had ever heard of this happening at U of T.

i hope that you’re only curious and that you’re not actually planning on organizing a course-wide drop because that would be pretty bad….a**.

i’m assuming that the department would try to conduct some sort of an investigation into why this class sucked so much and then take the appropriate measures to make sure it won’t happen again. like i said, there really is no precedent for this kind of situation so you’re allowed to use your own imagination????

 reactions spongebob imagination GIF

idk man.

peace and love,




Mar 15

program fees vs. course fees

Dear aska,

I’m a fourth year student and I want to take an extra semester of courses to improve my gpa for Masters applications. I’m an Education and Society minor and I need to finish 0.5 credit internship before I can graduate. I’m planning on doing it in fall 2017, not taking winter courses and graduating in June 2018. You answered a question (entitled: i have LOTS of problems) that basically encapsulates my situation as well. But what I’d like to know is that if I am a full-time student in the fall (probably taking 3-4 courses) and I don’t take any courses in the winter term, would I still be a full-time student. And do I still have to pay full year’s tuition?


Struggling Student


glad to know someone’s reading our wee li’l blog!

arts and sciences will assess your status by looking at the full session (both fall and winter), meaning that if you are only enrolled in 3-4 courses in one semester, you’re still considered a part time student.

let’s assume that by taking 3-4 courses, you mean 1.5-2.0 FCE’s. according to the faculty of arts and sciences, you’re still considered part time and you’ll be able to pay per course fees. the link above explains everything in excruciating detail ^

you will also be paying reduced incidentals, which are specific to your college: <— select which college you are part of and you’ll be able to see what fees you’ll be paying.

basically, as long as your course load is 3.5 credits or lower, you’ll pay course fees.

hope this helped!

peace and love,




Mar 10

should i stay or should i go

For the past 4-5ish years at uoft,lets just say I didnt work as hard.I thought a BA would get me pretty far in life,but sadly,I was told I needed a masters to get a decent job in my field. The issue is that most master programs in canada have the standard 3.0+cGPA requirement.I dont mind staying back to boost my cGPA but will it affect my application?do schools look at the #of years uve been in school?Not exactly sure what to do…

while working hard is usually a good statement to live by, sometimes it just doesn’t happen for some of us (lol me) and that’s okay. there is always room for change!

because every school is different, i can’t say for sure that they won’t look at how many  years you’ve taken to get your degree. i do know that they will be looking at your most recent academic performance and because of that, it wouldn’t be a terrible to thing to boost your cGPA. however, if you are really far away from a 3.0 cGPA, you might want to reconsider staying behind. you may end up spending too much time (and a lot of dough) trying to get that 3.0 cGPA.

my feeling is that if you have experience with research in your field, it can definitely improve your chances of being accepted because it shows that you took the initiative to look for these opportunities. even if it isn’t a formal job, experience is always beneficial to your application.

remember that getting a 3.0 GPA doesn’t guarantee entry into a masters program! there are other factors that will be considered during the admissions process, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

if you haven’t already, check out the career learning network to see if there are any jobs open now that you are interested in!

hope all of the above makes sense, i’m sorry i couldn’t give you an absolute answer since they do handle each application on a case by case basis. your best bet is calling the schools directly. (or emailing their askastudent) 🙂

Distractify the clash

(click on the .gif for the song. its a classic)

peace and love,


Mar 08

gurl bye (revised)

Hi Aska! So I’m in my fifth year and hoping to go to med school. I’ve heard about the u of t weighing formula, and how they eliminate your lowest FCE for every year of full time study. I did a full course load for 4 of my 5 years (one year I did even did 6 FCEs), but for one of the years I did only 4.5 FCEs. Does this mean they won’t apply the weighing formula to me at all 🙁 Thanks so much in advance!


the original march 8th published version of this post contained incorrect information. please disregard the original post. it has since then been revised. please see below for the post. my sincerest apologies for the mistake!


this is a great question.

what you’re referring to is the weighted GPA formula that we have at u of t for the MD program.

you should be able to have your lowest 5 FCE’s removed from the calculation of your GPA since you completed 5 full years of undergraduate study. 4.5 FCE’s from fall to winter is still considered full time, so it looks like you’re good! if you want to triple check to make sure, you can always contact them directly!

(fyi: full-time status= a student enrolled in 3.0 full course equivalents or more for the fall-winter sessions is considered to be full-time.)

also, the frequently asked questions section of the MD program does state that if you have five years of undergraduate study, you are allowed to eliminate 5 of your lowest FCE’s from your GPA calculation. so there you go!

since you are applying to med school, check out the OMSAS page on U of T if you haven’t already!

say bye to those crappy breadth courses you almost failed

peace and love,


aska edit: shortly after posting this, i was notified of a mistake that i had made when looking at what counts as full time. i used the arts and sciences definition of full time when answering your question, and it ended up being drastically different than what medicine considers full time.

so, as i’m sure you know, from the standpoint of medicine at u of t, in order to be considered full time, you need to be in 5 FCE’s. since you didn’t have 5 FCE’s in your last year, it may throw off your weighted GPA calculation and you may not be eligible to eliminate any of your lowest FCE’s. however, this is up to the discretion of admissions, so contacting them directly is the only way you’ll get a solid answer.

i sincerely apologize for the mistake and any inconveniences (false hope) it may have caused! this is a student run website and sometimes we make mistakes but we always encourage you to contact the source directly. since your case is a unique case, please please please give them a call or shoot them an email: here is the link to their contact information:


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