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carry on, carry on

I’ve been admitted to the Faculty of Arts and Science; I’m an international student from Hong Kong. This year will be my first at UofT. I don’t know if this is your area of specialty but I have a question regarding the submission of my final transcript.

I completed the international baccalaureate diploma. I ultimately managed to meet my conditional offer from UofT. However, I sent a request to the IB to send off my transcript to UofT on the 5th of July, two days before results were released to me. They said it would take 10-15 business days to send off. However, I realised later that on my offer of admission, my transcript is supposed to be received by July the 14th. I have already emailed the IBO to see if they can speed up the process, but have not yet received any reply.

I am quite worried about what will happen if my transcripts are not received in time. I have already asked the admission department, but was wondering if you may have any insight on my issue, or any advice to offer. Thank you in advance!



it’s okay if your transcript is a little late. it would be max, like, 6 days late (i think? my math is bad) which is totally okay. as long as u of t gets it ASAP, you will be okay.

i know that it’s really stressful and anxiety-inducing, but trust me, people are late all the time and people continue to carry on and do fine. in fact, you’re coming to u of t and toronto. being late for things is kinda our thing.

my only advice is to keep calm, wait for the school to receive your transcript, and look out for that email from u of t stating that the conditions on your conditional offer have been satisfied.

i hope this helped. i look forward to seeing you on campus in september!

SpongeBob SquarePants spongebob squarepants cartoon nickelodeon thumbs up GIF




to math or not to math

Hi aska! This problem has been bugging my for a while now. The English Major Program requires completion of 0.5 FCE in BR5. I have a transfer credit from IB HL Physics. Does that count towards the POSt? Degree planner says it does but I’m not sure cause the department website states CR/NCR doesn’t count towards the program. Does the transfer credit fall under that cause technically it doesn’t contribute towards my GPA? All these requirements are hella confusing. Thanks in advance!


hey there,

unlike CR/NCR courses, transfer credits (and that includes transfer IB credits) can count towards breadth requirements. if degree explorer is saying your IB physics credit counts towards the BR5 requirement for an English major, then you don’t have anything to worry about.

another way of checking would be to take a look at your academic history on ACORN; if the credit counts as a BR5 credit, then it will say so underneath the transfer credit. and if it’s a BR5, then it should meet that English major requirement!

as a matter of fact, i had a weirdly similar situation to you. i did an english specialist and had first-year transfer credits from another university, and my physics transfer credit (or maybe it was chem?…it’s all a blur now) was used to fill that same requirement for my English specialist!

maybe you’re like my doopleganger or something. whoa.




an IB mystery

Hi aska,
I’m going to be a first year student in September and I have 3 transfer credits from IB. So I was trying to enroll into a 6th course, and I realized that some of the courses have *percentage score as part of the prerequisites*.
Say for CHM249H1, the prerequisite is:
CHM151Y1/CHM138H1, CHM139H1 with a minimum grade of 63%…since for CHM222H1, the prerequisite is (CHM138H1CHM139H1/CHM151Y1 with a minimum grade of 63%, MAT135H1, MAT136H1/MAT135Y1/MAT137Y1/
MAT157Y1, PHY138Y1/PHY140Y1/(PHY131H1,PHY132H1)/(PHY151H1, PHY152H1). Noticing the existence of the square brackets in CHM222H1 and the lack thereof in CHM249H1, *I’m assuming the “with a minimum grade of…” for CHM249H1 is only for CHM138/139H1(so it’s either CHM151Y1 or 63% in both CHM138H1 and CHM139H1)*. Since I have chemistry HL, it seems that, from the IB transfer credit page, I should have: CHM1**Y(unspecified first year credit).
*The only 1**Y course in the CHM course list is CHM151Y1, so it should be what I got.* However, the degree explorer says *I have a CHM1**Y (CHM139H) credit out of 1.0.* For math and physics, I got the appropriate 135+136/131+132 half-credits, all of which are shown as* CR* on degree explorer which suggests that *I don’t have a percentage mark for them.*
So this is the problem:
*I don’t know if I have CHM151 or CHM138+139.*
*CHM151 excludes with CHM138+139, so I can’t take CHM151Y1 if I have CHM139H1, so if the chemistry credit I got is CHM139H1 AND is CR’d, it seems that I won’t be able to take CHM249H1 as I can’t take one of the prerequisite options and don’t have percentage marks for the other.*
1. For CHM249H1, does the percentage requirement apply to both the options (perhaps because of the lack of a uniform rule on the matter) or only the latter?
2. I have the transfer credits but they are shown as CRs, so is that still possible to enroll into such courses that require specific marks as prerequisites?
3. Which chemistry transfer credit am I getting?
confused IB student
(Sorry for the long email, hope it helps that I bolded the key points)


hey there,

yeahh, i really appreciate you bolding the key points, but unfortunately, that formatting was wiped out by my e-mail inbox. darn this technological age. hopefully i can address the important things anyway.

1. hmm, CHM249H1‘s prereqs are kinda confusing, aren’t they? i think your comparison to CHM222H1 might not be entirely accurate, because that course requires some math courses as well, so i think what they’re trying to say is that you need a 63% in 151 or 138+9, plus math/physics. if you take a look at CHM223H1, however, you’ll see that one prerequisite course clearly requires a certain mark, while the other one doesn’t.

based on that, i would say that CHM249H1 requires a 63% in EITHER CHM151Y1 OR CHM138H1+9H1.

2. it depends on the department, and the course you want to get into. you’ll have to contact chemistry with that one.

3. if degree explorer says you have a 1** credit, that means that you have an unspecified, first-year credit. so if you have CHM1**Y1, then you have 1.0 general, first-year chem credits. you do not have CHM151Y1 or CHM138+9, and if you need any of those courses for a program or as a prerequisite for other courses you want to take, then you’ll probably need to take them.

i say “probably” because of one line in this document on interpreting your transfer credit assessment which states: “Unspecified credits may be used to meet prerequisite, program or breadth requirements as long as permission is obtained from the relevant Program Advisor or College Registrar.”

just a tip – if you’re going to talk to anyone about trying to use your unspecified credit as a – well, specific – credit, make it the chem. undergraduate advisor rather than your college registrar. i can tell you right now they’ll know more about their own credits than any college will.

hope that helps!



Rocking the IB credits (and college shtuff)

Hi aska,

I am a Canadian Citizen currently going to school at an international school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am a senior enrolled in the IB diploma and I have two questions for you.

On some of the other universities websites I found that you could get admission scholarships based on your predicted IB scores not just your %, is that true for UofT? I am predicted a 38 without bonus points, would that get me any admission scholarships?

I also have another question. For colleges I can’t quite seem to decide between Trinity and Victoria. I initially liked Trinity because of the prestige and academic environment, but is it too snobby? Do people there ave fun or is it all work no party? Is vic going to be more of a party/work place?


hello there,

Uoft doesn’t seem to have any direct information about IB. Lucky for you, I am not just some Uoft peon. I am a MASTER DETECTIVE, and I have done a bit of sleuthing around.

The requirements for the President’s Entrance Scholarship (the highest value of admission scholarship you can get, at $2000) requires a minimum Grade 12 average of 92%. I’ve looked it up, and there is a handy conversion chart available for just your dilemma. The conversion chart just gives ranges, but it looks like a 38 in IB would work out to a 92%, which would mean that you qualify for that $2000. *pops party popper*

As to colleges, aska’s talked about them before. All I’ll say is that college reputations are really shadowy and honestly, I’m not totally convinced there’s not just like a handful of bored upper-year students every year who make stuff up about every college in order to confuse prospective students. To make an informed decision, I’d suggest looking at what the residences (Trin) (Vic), college buildings and college track one programs (Vic) (Trin) offer.

As to parties and snobbishness, I haven’t been to any Vic-associated (whatever that means???) parties so far, but that’s because I’m a boring old snob, not ’cause my college is. If you want to have fun, you’ll be able to regardless of where you go. I know lots of nice people and have friends from both colleges. So do some reading, and don’t listen to the stuff people make up – whatever you choose, you’ll be just fine 🙂



once upon a time i called you guys “international bachelorettes”

Hi Askastudent,

I just graduated this year from the IB program. It was a great experience (even though it was quite tough) and I learned a lot about myself regardless. Unfortunately, I didn’t do as well as I thought I would have in the finals, even though I had done better during school. The results just came out this weekend (June 6th).

If you are wondering why I’m asking you about Uni. at this time of year, well it’s because I decided in Nov. of my senior year that I will be taking a one year sabbatical post-high school. Hence, I will be applying next academic year (this Dec/Jan). U of T was one of the universities I was hoping to aim for, but now I’m not so sure D:

*Here are my final grades:*

Bio HL – 6
Chem HL – 4
Math HL – 3

English SL – 6
Psych SL – 6
Spanish B SL – 5

E.E. in MUSIC – C
(bonus 2 points)

That gives me a total of 32 points. Which I feel is a bit below the usual threshold at UofT, but I believe that there’s still a small chance for me. As you can probably tell, I wish to apply for a seat in the Life Sciences/Biology major.

So, what do you think of my situation? Any important factors that you think will play a big part in my decision? Advice on what you think I should do that might up my chances (SAT’s, online programs, etc)? Also, if you could give me some idea as to whether I am viable for some kind of scholarship?

I’d appreciate the honest feedback.

A prospective student.


Prospective student,

I think many things.

I think “I don’t know what the heck those numbers are supposed to mean… I should probably look that up.” I think “I can’t believe I got home at 11 PM last night because of that crazy ass weather.” I think “I need a coffee.”

But I also think you shouldn’t have much of problem getting into UofT. 🙂

Looking at the requirements, they call for a score of at least 28 or more, but for more competitive programs (like Life Sci), you should have at least 30 to be competitive — which, yippie, you have!

There’s no need to take SATs or online courses because fact: UofT doesn’t give a crap about em.

But one thing I want to let you in on is the possibility of getting a transfer credit or two!

Basically, if an IBer scores a final grade of at least 5 on their HL exam, a transfer credit may be awarded. So for you, since you got 6 points in your Bio HL, as long as you submit your results to Enrolment Services by a set date, you can get two little things that’ll appear on your transcript as “BIO1**H,” which are supposed to be the equivalents of BIO120H and BIO130H.

(Granted, depending on what programs you’re interested in, opting out of those transfer credits might be beneficial. I’ve been told that for say a Neuroscience specialist, you’re better off actually taking BIO120H.)

Now for scholarships, there are some of the few offered to incoming students. For the most part, they’re based on your grades. Past those ones, you’ll have the college-based scholarships and then when you’re actually a student, there are usually a bunch of department-based scholarships too.

Just note that because of the huge student population, scholarships tend to be veeeery competitive.

Annnnd I think that’s that!

Have fun applying. 🙂



i b in need of some info

Hey aska! 🙂

I am currently in a program called the IB. School is tremendously torturous not only for me, but for all of us, and it’s safe to say that most of us
feel like we aren’t even going to get in to university. I do have some questions for you though, so that hopefully I’ll feel less hopeless… first, do you know if the colleges (Vic, specifically) have any entrance requirements in terms of IB points? Secondly, I have heard rumours from graduates of the program that universities do tend to look for students that have weathered such a tough program, though they aren’t exactly allowed to openly state so on their websites. Is this true (it’s perfectly fine if you can’t answer!), and are we really given a slight advantage? I’m also extremely interested in taking up the Vic One program. How difficult is it to get in? And finally, are there, again, any entrance requirements in terms of IB points?

Thanks so much for your help, aska, and may you have a stellar day!

IB nerd


Hey IB nerd!

Yeah, I know what IB is. I’m pretty sure most people do. Likewise, they’re perfectly aware of just how gruelling it is. I for one did a bit of pre-IB and realized that masochism wasn’t my thing. Anyhow, there’s no need for that kind of negative thinking! And if it makes you feel better, plenty of non-IB students don’t think they’ll get into university either, so no need to freak out!

So let’s start with the points business. I can’t tell you anything about entry into Vic specifically, but I can tell you what basic admission into the Faculty of Arts and Science calls for! Basically, you’ll need a predicted score of 28 or higher for a provisional offer of admission. More competitive programs will require 30-35, but be aware that pretty much everything is competitive here. Next, that provisional decision will be based off of your midterms or predicted marks and your academic record thus far. According to the website, most successful applicants are in the the top third of their class.

As for these rumors… who knows? Naturally, that does sound like something universities wouldn’t outright post on the Internet, but I do suppose being part of IB does show off a devoted, hard-working side of a student. However, that’s only really worth anything if said student’s grades are good enough for the university. So I can’t really say if there’s an advantage or not — mostly because I don’t actually know — but I think it’s safe to say that like any other applicant, what matters are your grades, not what program you got them in.

Now Vic One… Ha. One of my best friends did that actually and I suppose that yes, it’s competitive. I won’t sugar coat that for you. Most College One programs are , but just take a look at the requirements for help! This may very well be a shining moment where your toiling through IB will definitely come in handy. For example, in the first section, you can probably sell yourself based on how much learned and grew as a result of IB.

Anyhow, everything that you’re looking for is really all over the UofT website, aside from that tidbit you had the sense to know wouldn’t be something the university would post online. If you’re still confused, take a look at the hyperlinks!

Good luck getting in!



IBe hoping my marks were higher


First of all, just wanted to say you guys are absolutely hilarious and helpful, I love reading through your answers.

Okay now the legit part. I’m a grade 12 student in Alberta in the full IB diploma program. What happens if my provincial marks (%) don’t meet the standards of the program I want to go into, but my IB marks (predicted) that I get after applying do meet the standards? Which one do they put preference to?

And also, they (Rotman) calculate my average my using 6 grade 12 U/M courses. If I’m an IB student, can I submit non-IB courses as a part of my 6?



Hey there future Rotty Man,

So I did a little asking around. The word on the street … ie St.George street says that they will look at your 12 U/M courses and not the IB marks. The IB can, after admissions, be considered for transfer credits.

You don’t really get to “submit” your marks, they just look at the top 6 grade 12 U/M marks.

I would still suggest applying if you fall under the requirements because you never know what the application competition will be like buuuut look into alternative plans.



IB(e) Wanting My Hard Hat and Admissions Package

Hi Aska,

I am in grade 12 right now doing my IB and have decided to come to UofT next year for mechanical engineering. Well, the thing is and very frankly the site says that you need to have more than a 30 to be considered for admission (should i get about 32 or 34?) also, i read that the university does not consider EE and TOK points, any idea about that I take Math and Physics HL and Chem and English at standard. My O level grades were decent with a 4A’s including Math and Physics, and 4B’s including Chem, English and Additional Mathematics. I will have a 5 in physics and Maths and will get close to 30 (that is what I am not sure of). My extracurricular are pretty good so the main question is . . do I stand a chance in getting accepted? Any thoughts you have

Future UofT



Yo yo Furqan!!

Here is what the engineering men with their suits and hard hats are saying,

International Baccalaureate Candidates must be completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma, with the following required courses:

  • Mathematics (Math Studies is not acceptable)
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • English

While most of our programs require higher scores, students with a predicted score of at least 30 will be considered for admission to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Applicants with a predicted score of below 4 in any of the pre-requisite subjects will not be considered for admission. Consideration is given for pre-requisite courses completed at the Higher level. Additional points awarded for theory of knowledge and the extended essay are not considered by the Admissions Committee.

Please note that the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering does not grant advanced standing credit for courses completed in the IB Diploma program.

If you apply with a predicted score of lower than 30, I can only imagine what they would do with your application.

Side bar Ted:

Top 5 ways to dispose of refused applications

1) The Burner

2) Larger Shredder

3) Feed it to a Dog

4) or … a baby

5) Most Likely Though … They Just Hit A Delete Button (we don’t even have bottled water on campus anymore, odds are they got rid of all paper ages ago)

… ok that might be a little dramatic, but you get the point

Unfortunately admissions is one of the more mysterious aspects of the university ride. The applicant pool changes from year to year. So if luck has it that you are in a pool of super geniuses your overall points will have to be much higher than 30. Saying that though, it could theoretically work the other way too. If you are in a year of all dummies or almost no one applies to the program, then they would have to start considering lower than 30 (this is so incredibly unlikely it pains me to even mention it)


I say to just work your ass of for the remainder of your IB and apply no matter what because you never know!


happy crawling into a cave and studying your life away like the rest of us,




Does it matter if you took IB or not when applying to U of T, because my teacher said that Ontario universities only look at your Ontario credits. If so, is it worth it to take IB, struggle and get high marks. Also, if i do continue on with IB, i will not be able to take some courses which will help me in the field i am applying for, will this affect my acceptance in that certain field? For example, say i wanted to become a business man, and if i continue IB the only related courses i could take would be HL economics and HL/SL math, but if i drop-out, I could take more business courses. WIll this affect my acceptance into a business program in U of T?


I’m going to admit this straight up … I’m slightly confused by this question. I know, it’s like a guy asking for directions or a chick admitting she’s wrong, it’s just something that doesn’t happen often.

Here’s is what the website says are the requirement from IB:

Admission Requirements:
  • The International Baccalaureate diploma including English HL or SL
  • Prerequisite courses can be presented at either the Standard or Higher Level. Math SL or HL is required for programs with Math prerequisites. Math Studies is not acceptable.
  • A Predicted score of 28 or more is required for a provisional offer of admission. More competitive programs require a higher predicted score.
  • Final IB results must be sent to us electronically by the International Baccalaureate Office.
  • Rotman Commerce at U of T St. George requires completion of an online Student Profile

This is where I got this information. U of T doesn’t care about business courses, just the ones they mark as prerequisites!

Hopefully this helps a bit. But on the slight (but slightly more than slight) chance that didn’t help give Admissions and Awards a shout [(416) 978-2190]

Peace out,


the inside scoop on Woodie

Hi aska,
i just got accepted to U of T and can’t wait to start in the fall!! I have a few questions so ill be short and straight to the point
1. where can i find a list of extracurricular activites at U of T? do the activities include volunteering, clubs etc.
2. im taking the IB diploma and i read in the information booklet that you need a 5 in every course that you take to get into U of T. What if, after you do the exam you get a 4 in one of your higher level or standard level courses? i had a friend who got into U of T and got a 4 in math hl so he couldn’t get the transfer credit so im kind of confused about the whole thing
3. i applied to woodsworth college and i read the descriptions and all and it sounds pretty good. Can any of you give me an actual u of t student perspective on the college? also do u know by any chance whether the college puts you in the rooms that are kind of similar to you (same personality, nationality etc) or just with random people? my school is also a boarding school and they have this system where they make the students fill out a questionnaire then pair up the students with similar answers.
thanks and hope to hear soon from you guys!!


Hi there. I’m glad you’re so excited about coming to UofT and getting involved!

It’s impossible to find a full list of extra-curricular activities around campus. There?s probably like, 1000 clubs or something here. But the Ulife website displays a pretty thorough list, and is a good place to start. The UTSU website also has a list of clubs. Also, there is always a club fair that happens during Orientation week (the first week before school), and you may be interested in going to that. During the club fair, UofT organizations will put up stands around King’s College circle and try to bribe you into joining them with free stuff. It’s a worthwhile event; I got some free pens, a water bottle, and a cute little mini-football.

Also, you may be interested in applying for work-study/volunteer positions in the future; you can find applications for these on the careers website. I think most jobs will be available to you after starting second-year.

I just checked out the admissions requirements for IB programs, and the Arts and Science admissions booklet says: Although applicants with predicted scores of at least 28 can be considered for admission to some programs, more competitive programs require at least 30 and as much as 35 on predicted scores. Applicants entering arts, science and commerce programs may receive a first year credit for each Higher Level subject passed with a grade of 5 or higher.

Does that clear things up? You don’t necessarily need a grade of 5 in every course you take to be accepted to UofT, but you DO need a 5 in your Higher Level courses if you want to receive the transfer credits. Got it? Needless to say, the higher the grades, the better.

Oh, and here’s a chart that shows what the IB transfer equivalents are.

An honest opinion on Woodsworth? Their residence looks pretty and I sometimes pop inside Woodsworth to use their bathroom, which is quite clean. And there’s a second cup inside Woodsworth, as well as a nice lounge where you can do your homework. That’s about all I know about Woodsworth. Honestly, I’m sorry. I’m a little disconnected from the other colleges.

Oh wait. Lucky you. My Woodsworth friend happens to be on MSN at the moment. Here’s what she has to say:

Friend: the parties are insane…

if you love to party, the wcsa will take care of it

Aska: LOL

Friend: not that many people use the student services (registrar and writing centre), so it’s really easy to book an appointment or even drop in

but yeah, there isn’t much of a student feel..i don’t hang out with anyone from woodsworth

Aska: LOL

Friend: overall, it’s a regular college

if you want to party, get in touch with the wcsa. if you need any academic or financial help, the registrar & writing centre are definitely there to help you. i wouldn’t go so far as to say that they go out of their way to make it the best college, but it’s definitely sufficient.

And there you have it, a student perspective on Woodie. I left my excessive LOLing in the conversation just for you.

Cynthia’s college series also has some good stuff on Woodsworth.

On residences: I’m not sure about this either. Best to phone Woodsworth and ask. However, when I lived at Innis, I also filled out a questionnaire with questions like “What kind of music do you listen to?” and “How clean are you?” I was supposedly paired up with people who were similar to me. The Woodsworth residence miiiight operate similarly.

And what do you mean thanks you guys? This is a one-man business, dear. The only living thing I talk to is my Pikachu in the corner.


should’ve stayed out of IB then


I’m hoping you can clarify a query I have. Having been in the IB program has restricted my choices in science to just Biology and Chemistry (both at the Higher Level) however, the more I read about the chemical engineering program at UofT, the more interested I get. As you can deduce, I don’t have a physics course that is the pre-requisite for engineering. Would I still be able to apply for the engineering program and be considered at a level equal to those who have taken physics? Also, if I’m doing chemical engineering, will it be possible for me to take electives from social sciences (Anthropology, Psychology etc)?

Looking forward to your reply. Thank you.


Uh… what kind of school do you go to? Last time I checked, the IB program had physics courses, and I have no idea why a school would offer only two out of the three standard science courses (does your school not offer English or Math too?). Not liking physics isn’t an excuse for not taking it, you know. Anyway, here are the Engineering Faculty’s admission requirements for students in the IB program. They require physics, so no, you would not be even considered for admission if you don’t have that course.

Being in IB is no excuse for not having a physics course. Can’t you summer school it or something? You really should’ve researched their admissions requirements more carefully.

Engineers have a set program that they move through (whereas Arts and Science students can design their own program), and one of the main differences between Engineers and the ArtScis are that Engineers have an extremely strict and inflexible program. This is because the engineering degree that you graduate with is a professional degree, which means it has to be approved by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. In engineering, you’ll have like, 2 full credits of electives at most (possibly less). If you are have broad interests and wish to study social science at an in-depth level, ArtSci is a much better fit and you can still take enroll in science-y courses such as chemistry or geology. On the other hand, if getting a professional degree is more important to you, then you might feel that ArtSci degree would be aimless and prefer a degree that is more structured.

If you really want to do chem eng., then try talking and working it out with the undergraduate admissions office at the Faculty of Applied Sciences. They might give you some advice as to what you can do to make up for the physics course – maybe they’ll make you summer school it. You poor thing.

If you don’t end up getting in, it might be a blessing in disguise. Trying engineering without physics will probably kill you.


i’d accept you!

Hey I am a grade 12 student at Upper Canada and I would like to know what my odds are at getting into Trinity College life sciences. I am in the IB so ill give you my mark breakdown

Hight level biology = 5+ (87%)
HL history = 6 (93%)
HL English = 5 (85%)
Standard level math = 4+ (79%)
SL chemistry = 5 (85%)
SL latin = 6 (93%)

Extra curriculars
Public speaking – did many keynote addresses
debating club
cross country team member
volunteering at a walk in clinic
Tutoring – havent done a tonne but have done some

I just want to know what my odds are at getting it…maybe some comparisons to other people’s acceptance marks and such. Thanks!



it’s the 4th dimension


I’m a full IB student and I’d like to get into english at st george, but im becoming quite nervous about my IB scores. I’d say that with a reasonable dose of optimism my predicted scores will probably be in the 30-32 range, including bonus points. Would this get me in? And of course, if i were to be accepted with say a 31, but somehow manage to royally screw up my exams in may, and instead get a 28, would I still have a chance??


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