• academic offense

    academic misconduct: second time’s not the charm

    I have been charged for unauthorized coloration during the final exam and got a warning as a result, but a month later, I’ve been charged for the second academic offense because they said they find similarities in my midterm exam in the same course. Is it possible to let them combine this into one case? Because I thought the second offense need to happen after the first offence not before.


    hi there,

    after some digging around, i haven’t been able to find anything on how first vs second offenses are technically defined. it’s possible that your second offense doesn’t necessarily need to have occured after your first offense, it might also be based on the order of when they were noticed by the instructor and reported.

    in any case i don’t think it’s common to combine multiple offenses into one case if these were two separate instances of misconduct. then again, the info i have is mostly limited to the code of conduct published on uoft’s website, and there might be other nitty gritty details i’m not familiar with.

    i’d recommend reaching out to downtown legal services asap as they frequently provide help to uoft students on academic offense cases and will definitely know more about Actual Law Things™ to help you out, including the details on whether this would count as a second offense, and what you can do next.

    sorry i couldn’t be of more help with the first vs second offense stuff (i do have my limits you know), but if you ever need other support on this or other things you can always reach out to your registrar too, to get one-on-one advising (also anything you share with them won’t be used against you in academic offense cases).

    best of luck,

    aska

  • courses,  enrollment,  tutorials

    i am confusion

    im so confused should i enroll in lectures or tutorials help please!!


    hi confused (sorry i had to),

    me too. i’m confused too.

    i’m gonna assume you’re starting first year in september (or have otherwise avoided enrolling in any lectures or tutorials this year somehow??) so here’s a quick rundown of how lectures and tutorials,work. lectures (LEC) are the actual “classes” you’ll be attending, while tutorials (TUT) are smaller workshops, Q & As or problem solving sessions. there are also practicals (PRA) which are things like labs for science students.

    you’d have to enroll in everything your course requires, so if a course says it has lectures and tutorials, then yeah, you’d have to enroll in both on acorn. (and yes, they’d both be mandatory, unless the instructor says otherwise.)


    if you’re at utsg you can check the artsci timetable to see if they offer lectures/practicals/tutorials. you can also search up your courses on acorn right now and there’ll be options to add lectures or tutorials if they’re available.

    just as a heads up, i’ve also had some profs who held tutorials at times that were actually different from the ones on acorn, or added optional tutorials outside of class time which you wouldn’t have to enroll on acorn either, but usually the lecture/tutorial schedule follows what’s on acorn.

    hope that helps,

    aska

  • wait list

    waitlist woes

    Hi, I’m fifth on a waitlist for a class of 25 people and I was wondering if I’ll have a chance of getting in since there are three weeks left before waitlists are over. I just need some encouragement:(


    hey there,

    i’m sure you’ve heard of that handy rule of thumb where if your spot on the waitlist is within 10% of the class size you’ll probably get in. unfortunately your spot is more like 20% of the class size so it’s kind of hard to tell. it’s not impossible, of course — you’d just need 5 people to drop the class or leave the waitlist which could totally happen from now till july 6th, but it really depends.

    people might also drop the course after the waitlist closes. since the last day to enrol in a summer S session course is july 10th, if you’re dropped from the waitlist but still really want to get in the course you might need to obsessively check acorn for a few days in case something opens up. (a pain… i know. but just so you’re prepared)

    sorry i can’t give you a straight answer but i can send encouragement so there you go. it’s possible! believe in yourself! don’t lose hope!!!!! and if you don’t get in, there’s always next sem, hopefully.

    good luck!

    aska

    p.s. to anyone planning to drop a course, this is a psa to do it asap for your fellow students :’)

  • psychology,  subject POST

    utsg psych major: the saga continues

    i didn’t make the psych major at uoft sg and that was my main goal. i don’t know what to do now. i have to retry but not sure how that process works. and i don’t have financial means to take an extra year so i’m worried i’m off track. what are my next steps…


    hi there,

    ok hooold up. i gotta say this sounds… awfully familiar.

    since it looks like everybody and their mother is applying to the utsg psych major, let me just rehash some of the important stuff from that previous post which might help.

    1. you didn’t get in. sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. from my experience, there are lots of chances to apply later on — as long as you makes some real solid changes to your studying and academics going forward.

    2. to reapply in second year and above (9.0 FCEs or more completed), you’ll need marks from psy100, grade 12 calc and bio, as well as psy201 and 1.0 FCEs of the 200-level psy courses listed. retaking psy100 could certainly help your grades for POSt, but it’s up to you to decide if/when/how to do it. lucky you, i happen to be a bit of a degree explorer aficionado, so let’s just walk through how you could plan this stuff out.

    since the grade cutoff is listed at around 77-79%, if your current psy100 and grade 12 calc/bio marks are lower than that then it might be safer to retake psy100 next year. if you need to graduate in four years, the most straightforward ways to do that would be to either take psy100 in the summer (still $$, but at least it’s not $$$$…) or take more than 5.0 FCEs in one academic year (likely 2nd year, if you want to have the best chances of getting into the psych major right after). you can take 4.0 – 6.0 FCEs in the fall/winter semesters for the same program fee, so there won’t be any extra costs (finanically, at least) but it could be more difficult to balance things and get the marks you need. taking a summer course isn’t a walk in the park either, since things are going at 2x speed, but (hopefully) you won’t be taking other courses at the same time too.

    3. if you do end up taking psy100 next year, i’d suggest first prioritizing your 200-level psy courses and courses needed for other majors/minors you want to complete (unless you’re ready to risk it all for the utsg psych major, it’s probably best to still keep up on your other programs). try to pick courses that you’re really interested in, where you can likely do well. the utsg artsci course evals are a handy way to stalk check out potential courses, including ratings by instuctor and year/session. remember to prepare backups too — course enrolment is already finnicky, and if you’re not a psych student it might be hard to get your first choice psy courses since you won’t have priority.

    once you’ve got your required courses down, i’d recommend adding psy100 in your lighter semester so that even if you’re taking 6 courses, it’ll still be manageable. another tip is to enroll in multiple courses if you’re not sure which ones would be a good fit, and just make sure to drop the extra ones by the deadline.

    4. i’d also recommend speaking with your college registrar to get support with planning, academics, or anything else you might need help with. they’ll be able to help with your study strategies, provide resources, and a whole lot of other things to get you on track.

    5. if you haven’t already, try applying to the psych minor next year too as a backup. it’ll allow you to enroll in courses as a psych student and could be a good alternative if getting into the major is still a challenge.

    now, follow these trusty steps and i guarantee you’ll… wait, what’s that? no guarantees? oh. okay. well unfortunately, i can’t say for sure that you will get into the utsg psych major even if you follow all these handy tips, but hopefully this gives you a better idea of what your next steps might look like.

    best of luck,

    aska

  • admissions,  scholarships/bursaries

    mysterious money box (aka scholarships)

    Hello, I was wondering how UofT calculates their averages for qualification of their admission scholarships. I got admitted to the faculty of Life Science and did not receive a scholarship. My average when I calculated it all my courses was 97%, and my friends said their averages were similar or less.


    hello hello,

    as far as i’m aware, utm and utsc have specific ranges for admission averages (e.g. grade 12 top six marks required for the program you applied to) for their automatic entrance scholarships, in addition to some extra requirements on the eligible courses. for example, neither campus will take the second mark for a repeated course, utsc won’t count grades updated after admissions or courses taken the summer right before university, yadda yadda yadda. i’m assuming you’re interested in the automatic, grades-based scholarships, by the way — don’t even get me started on the applications-based scholarships, because there are just wayyy to many factors to account for there.

    it looks like admission averages around the high 80% or 90% range would guarantee you scholarships at these campuses, so if you applied to utm or utsc, you can certainly send a strongly worded email to their admissions departments asking about your scholarships.


    i have a feeling that you’re asking about utsg though, which, uh…


    let’s just say they like to keep things mysterious. the uoft scholars entrance scholarship at utsg doesn’t seem to have any specific range in terms of grades. they do state that scholarships are specific to your campus/faculty/college, though, which does make everything more complicated. (great.) anyhow, to answer your question, i can’t really say for utsg, but it might depend on your college and what their cutoffs are for lifesci, too. if you find that your friends going to the same college/program with similar averages got an automatic scholarship, it might be worth asking the admissions department or college registrar about it, in case you were also eligible.

    either way, congrats on getting through high school with those marks! entrance scholarships can be fickle and competitive, but it looks like you’re doing great regardless and will hopefully keep it up in uni! if tuition costs are an issue at all, you should definitely also prepare to apply for osap (if you’re an ontario kid), utaps, or other financial aid from uoft.

    good luck!

    aska

  • residence,  woodsworth

    woodsworth why you gotta be so picky

    Hi! I would like to ask something about residency. I got placed into Woodsworth College but I’m not allowed to have a place of residency there as I place it as my second choice, and most likely they’re going to place me into Chestnut. I would really love to live within my college, their ensuite kitchen is what made me choose them. I emailed Woodsworth’s residency department but they’re not giving me a clear response. Is there anthing I could do? Were there any similar cases?


    hey there,

    it’s funny that you ask, because there was a similar case to this about 8 years ago… ah, the elusive woodsworth, swerving on student residence applications since 2014 (well, probably earlier than that too). i’m not sure if that poor kid ever did get into woodsworth res, but i’ll say the chances are probably veeeery slim.

    i would recommend to email woodsworth and plead your case, but it looks like you’ve already done that. so if the application portal and woodsworth residency department are both saying that you’ll probably be put in chestnut, well… that’s probably what’s gonna happen.

    if the lack of a kitchen is a real deal-breaker, you could also try looking into other housing options like campusone (although most rooms with kitchens look like they’re waiting list only right now), or renting a room off campus. on the other hand, you’ll have the rest of your adult life to cook your own meals — it might not be so bad to just spend your first year chilling at chestnut and mindlessly eating off the meal plan.

    best of luck,

    aska

  • academic success,  mental health

    sending u positive energy (and all the resources i got)

    Hi! I am a first year student and this year has been just bad. I moved to a whole new country and ig that had a bad effect on my mental health. I have failed 4 of my first year courses . I am not sure what to do.


    hi there,

    i’m so sorry to hear that your first year has been so difficult. i hope you’re doing better now, and maybe this can give you some comfort/advice.

    honestly, the transition to university is tough to navigate for almost everyone, not to mention moving to a completely different country, or figuring out student mental health resources. it’s just a lot, so know that you’re not alone. first year is probably one of the most universally despised years from what i’ve heard, but it does get better. most people i’ve talked to get better at their study skills, meet more friends, and simply adjust more to uoft life over time.

    the first thing that i would recommend for you is definitely to book an appointment with your registrar. they provide support for all sorts of student concerns and can help give advice on things like mental health resources, study strategies, finances, and more. they’re so so helpful and can definitely guide you in the right direction.

    i’m sure you’ll be in good hands with your registrar in terms of resources, but i’ll also just include some that i know of which may help. your health definitely comes first, and uoft does have a whole list of mental health services which you may have heard of, as well as 24/7  phone counselling for all kinds of student concerns through my SSP, if you ever need to talk about anything. you may also want to see a medical professional or look into accessibility services accomodations to get the proper supports for any health concerns you might have. it can be tricky to find the mental health supports that work best for you, so i’d recommend starting early and trying out resources this summer to help maintain your health and wellbeing.

    the academic success centre also has a lot of great programs to help build your study skills, like workshops, peer mentors, and learning strategist appointments. i’m not sure if you’re taking any courses right now, but you could also just book an appointment to reflect on your past school year and get some professional advice on how you could improve.

    you’re probably also aware of the CIE at utsg, or international student centres at utsc and utm, which offer support especially for international students. i just have to highlight these programs from the CIE which look super wholesome, and could be a great way to connect with other students and build your support system here in toronto.

    from what i know, these resources are open year round, so if you have any concerns or simply want to get on track to prepare for second year, definitely reach out to them! although the road ahead can be challenging, i think that with the right supports and strategies, you can definitely make it through!

    good luck,

    aska

  • psychology,  subject POST

    all roads lead to the utsg psych major

    I had a rough semester and ended up with a 75 is PSY100. Hoping to get into the psych major at utsg but I’m right at the cutoff. Do you think there’s a chance for me to get in still? If not, should I retake the class next year?


    hello there young grasshopper,

    ah yes, the agony of waiting for POSt offers… unfortunately, it’s quite hard to tell in your case as you’re literally right at the cutoff. to be honest, it could really go either way, and also depends on the number of spots compared to the number of people applying for the program, as well as their marks.

    if you haven’t heard back about your application yet, the best thing (well, also kind of the only thing) you can do is probably just to chill and wait it out! it’s good to prepare ahead but there’s also no need to stress out when the results aren’t even out yet!

    i will say, psych and most artsci programs are quite good with giving multiple chances to enter the POSt and switch in/out of things even in upper years, so even if you aren’t accepted after first year, you can definitely still get in later on.

    so, as for plan b… if you don’t get in, you should definitely consider taking some second year psych courses, such as PSY201. these are usually required if you are applying for the psych major again after second year or above, as you may have already completed 9.0+ FCEs.

    doing really well in your second year psych courses would improve your chances of getting into POSt, as 1.5 FCEs of second year psych courses (specific ones listed in the POSt requirements) will be considered in addition to your PSY100 marks. you can try to pick courses that are also part of the psych major requirements so that if you get in, you’d be on track to completing your program requirements, while also being well equipped for upper year courses in psych.

    you could repeat PSY100 as an extra course too, although it could potentially change how you schedule your courses later on, e.g. you may have to take summer courses, an extra semester, or an increased courseload to fit in that extra course. it’s up to you to decide if it’d be worth it to repeat PSY100 right away next year or do it later on if things don’t pan out after your second year psych courses.

    although POSt might be a bit of a pain during course enrollment, chances are you’d still be able to get into at least some, if not all of the second year psych courses you need even as a non-major. another tip is to apply for the psych minor, if you haven’t already! the cutoff for that is at 73%, which may not be a guarantee, but does give you better chances of getting in — and psych minors will also have priority enrollment in psych courses, to make your life a little easier. 🙂

    hopefully that gives some reassurance on the process! POSt offers are tricky and there’s really no way to fully predict your results until they come out, but just know that no matter the outcome, there’ll be plenty of ways to get to the program you want. in the meantime, good luck, and enjoy the summer!

    aska

  • courses,  full-time,  part-time

    if a course gets ncr’d did you ever really take it

    Hello, I’m an international student taking only 3 credits. I’m not doing great in a course and considering declaring it non-credit. If I am to fail it, will it impact my full-time status?


    hi friend,

    apologies for the late reply! hopefully you’ve gotten some advice on this already, but if not, maybe this can still help.

    if you’re taking exactly 3.0 FCEs this school year, then failing or dropping the course could drop you down to part-time status. so the answer is probably yes, but it depends (gotta love that, i know).


    for example, osap funding requires you to enroll in and pass at least 3.0 FCEs for a school year (search “osap academic progress”) — otherwise, you might be put on probation.

    but depending on who you ask, the criteria mayyyy differ. i mean, what even is ‘full-time’ anyway? it’s possible that funding/programs/employers/whoever else you’re tryna impress could consider an ncr differently, so you might want to ask directly to be sure.

    i would also recommend speaking to your registrar for more info, and for support in your future courses!

    good luck~

    aska

  • courses,  UTM

    an imposter among us (sorry, i had to)

    Hello! I’m a st george student and just realized a course I’ve been taking online is from the mississauga campus. Does it matter? will the mark count toward my grade do I have to tell anyone about this?


    hey there!

    generally the course would count towards your gpa and degree requirements, as long as it’s not an exclusion for a course that you’ve already taken. exclusions would be marked as extra courses and won’t count towards your gpa or degree.

    you should also double check with your registrar’s office to see if the course would count towards your degree requirements. if you’re hoping to take the course for your program requirements (major, minor, specialist, etc.) then you’d also need to ask your department.

    there’s some more info on taking courses at other colleges on this page, under “Courses in Other Divisions”, but that pretty much covers the main points!

    so rest assured, as long as you have a chat with your registrar to clear things up, it’ll likely be fine… just act natural and channel your inner utm student.

    all the best,

    aska

  • colleges,  switching

    the good ol’ college switcheroo

    Hi! I’m in woodsworth college and I’m hoping to try and switch colleges to trinity, Victoria or UC. I’m wondering if you have any advice for how to do this successfully! What kind of reasons are they looking for to switch? What can I do in an application that will make my chances better? Thanks!


    hey there!

    i think a few things would help make a strong application. firstly, try to reach out and apply as soon as you can! it’ll be easier to convince the college that you’ll be a great addition to their community if you join early on in your undergrad career, with plenty of time ahead to experience the college that you want to transfer to. vic actually states that they will not accept transfers from students that have completed more than 10.0 credits, so applying earlier is definitely an advantage.

    a good gpa would help, too. for example, vic requires a cgpa of around B (3.0) or higher. the requirements for other colleges aren’t really publicly available, but i’d assume that a higher gpa would be beneficial.

    anyhow, moving on to the part that you’re really here for… how to actually write your transfer application. college transfer applications are somewhat of a black box. vic is nice enough to lay out some application questions right on their website, but you’ll have to reach out directly to the other colleges to find out their exact requirements.

    do i know anything about how colleges judge their transfer applications? not really. have i even personally transferred colleges before? also no. am i gonna throw some ideas out here anyway? well yes. based on my general experiences applying to stuff, here are a few things that might help.

    • find out more about the college, and talk about what you like about it. try to be as genuine as possible. get a sense of the vision and values of trin, vic and uc,  and describe specific aspects which resonated with you.
    • write about what you’re hoping to get out of the transfer. this shows that you’ve done your research and have a clear idea of why you want to transfer! are there certain college-specific resources that you are hoping to access? is there any aspect of student life in the college which drew you in? if you’re interested in uc’s beloved writing centre, vic’s sweet sweet scholarships (read: “generous financial support”), trin’s small and close-knit community, or anything else for that matter, then write about it!
    • describe what you can bring to the table. how have you contributed to your student community thus far? what kind of a role do you see yourself playing in the college and its community? are there any student groups or activities at the college that you’d like to get involved with? you might want to reference specific initiatives at trin, vic, and uc.

    the college transfer process can be tricky, but hopefully this gives you some ideas for your application! remember that other factors such as the number of spots available at a college could also affect your chances of landing a transfer. as one of the smallest colleges at uoft, i feel like trinity will probably be particularly hard to transfer into, while it may be easier to transfer to a large college like uc. in any case, good luck and give it your best shot!

    all the best,

    aska

  • CR/NCR,  GPA

    sounds familiar… hello cr/ncr my old friend

    I’m ready to graduate this June, but took a couple of extra classes this sem to boost my gpa and get more writing experience. I kinda want to graduate with high distinction, but I think one class might weigh me down from that. Should I cr/ncr it or just accept missing the high distinction cut off? It’s a class within my program but doesn’t count toward any reqs as those are done. Also I’m considering grad school so idk if cr/ncr would affect that. Would high gpa look better or visible grades?


    hello there,

    so sorry for the late response — i’m just getting to these long-overdue cr/ncr courses, but hopefully you were able to work something out. here are my two cents, anyhow, in case it helps.

    i think it depends on how much this course lowers your gpa, and whether it’s related to your undergrad or potential grad programs. i haven’t heard much about how high distinction and other titles are considered by grad schools, but gpa would definitely be a factor that is considered. i would recommend calculating your gpa with potential marks for this course to see if it is still competitive for grad programs and other opportunities you may be interested in, e.g. jobs, scholarships. if this course doesn’t lower your gpa too much, you might be better off just keeping the grade. but also, beware of grad programs that focus on only your upper years or final year, which might cause this course to hold more weight.

    a CR might give the impression of a very low mark and could be a red flag, especially if it’s in a course related to your desired grad program. at the same time, just one CR/NCR in your final year (the main focus of many grad school admissions, e.g. uoft) may not be so much of an issue, especially if it saves your gpa! however, it’s best to contact your potential grad programs to ask how they consider CR/NCR in their admissions process.

    in any case, i hope the rest of your semester has gone smoothly, and wish you all the best for graduation!

    aska