• weirdness

    the answer is! yes

    do you need to pass a swim test before entering U of T?

    ——————————————

    hey,

    i love this. i’ve never seen a question in my inbox that has bewildered in this exact way. i have so many questions for you. why? how? what? what? do i know you? is that why you’re doing this?

    is swim a typo? am i missing something? it’s not whack enough that i know for sure it’s a joke.

    on a more serious note: yes, you absolutely do. it’s not very well advertised by the university, which it obviously should be, seeing as it’s such an essential thing. it’s toronto, after all. the land of torrential rainstorms during the summer months, and school cancellations that do not happen when they need to. how else are you expected to get to class? even billy bishop airport is overrun with frogs. look at me, citing my sources. 

    we’ve had so many students almost die drowning, in all seasons, all of them. toronto weather is WHACK. i almost died once myself. i was there. it happened. 

    many a wide-eyed frosh is turned away from the school each year for not meeting this requirement. you would think they’re out to get us, or something. make us pay our fees and then kick us out for some absurd reason. 

    what? you’re telling me this isn’t standard? that mcgill and queen’s don’t take policy-grounded precautions to prevent student drownings? frankly, that’s a pretty irresponsible oversight. this, and definitely not the millions of dollars we pour into research, must be the reason why u of t is the number one uni in canada. 

    just kidding. the only thing u of t kiddos are drowning under is the insatiable load of readings, labs, online homework, testsquizzesassignmentsprelabsahhhsendhel- ~static~

    be Boundless,

    aska 

  • art,  clubs

    i kinda want to do everything help

    hi is there any room for exploration of creativity and art at u of t bc I kinda want to do everything help

     

    ——————————————

    hello,

    ahahhah this is such a vague question but i totally get the mood. it’s fantastic that you’ve got that drive to explore, and i hope it’s something you hang on to throughout uni.

    these are some of the options i can think of. i’m assuming you don’t mean programs, so i’ve focused on things you can do outside the classroom:

    join clubs: there are tons of options– and this is probably your best bet.

    are you musical? we’ve got gospel choirs, acapella, and more. if you’re into illustrations, i’ve got a friend who joined a sticker selling club– dunno what it’s called tho. photography and cameras? got it down. drama? ballroom and latin dance? just want to release stress through art therapy?  are you an engineer AND a poet?

    you can check out the full ulife arts clubs list here. 

    i would encourage you to go to the clubs fair during frosh– wander up and down the booths, especially in the arts section, and see if anything catches your eye. joining them is a great way to make new friends as well– nurturing a sense of community is super important as a first year.

    check out your college: most, if not all, colleges should have some sort of arts programming. i know uc has a theatre troupe, innis shows free movies on friday nights, and trin/vic both have choirs. see here for more.

    explore hart house: there’s some kind of hart house art committee that seems to be involved in actual curation, as well as the hart house theatre where donald sutherland used to perform. if you’re into books, check out the literary and library committee. more hart house clubs here!

    use that breadth requirement 1: take a creative writing course, or something in cinema studies. study some chinese art in EAS199. anything in FAH should be artsy as well.

    it’s really easy to get absorbed in academics, especially at u of t, but you seem to already have the right idea. so best of luck with it all!

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • economics,  online courses

    eco105whY

    How do online courses work? Like for ECO105Y1, is it kind of a do-it-at-your-own-pace thing with deadlines or does everyone have to be online at certain times? Where online are they held?

    ——————————————

    aight so,

    the thing with this is that u of t is pretty closed-mouthed about online courses in general, much less how they work. short of actually taking one, which i haven’t, it’s a bit hard to know. i’m sure it also varies across different courses from different departments. i did try calling the undergrad econ department to get some info for you, but either they were on lunch break or away. 

    luckily, before i became an aska, i enrolled in (and very quickly dropped) this exact online course. from what i could remember (and what i could find in my inbox), the course was administered through quercus and some other online software. i dug through my computer to see if i still had the course outline (i don’t), but luckily for you the internet does. check it out here. you’re welcome. 

    to paraphrase what that very lengthy document has to say, you’ll need to get an access code to something called myeconlab, and you’ll also be doing some work on peerscholar.ca. as far as i can tell, it is a ‘do-it-at-your-own-pace thing with deadlines’– when you sign up for it on ACORN, no time slot is provided. i guess it’s intended to be flexible, which is a lovely lovely thing especially given that the in-person lectures are usually at unearthly times. last year they scheduled it mondays at 8; this year it’s mondays at 9. a slight improvement. still dunno if i would take it. would not have time for breakfast. food is important, yall.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • french

    TWO!

    Hi!
    I took the french placement test prior to my first year cause I thought I was going to continue my french immersion studies. I’m now in 3rd year and am interested in taking my first french course. I know you’re usually supposed to take the test prior to the course. Am I allowed to take the placement test again? I tried contacting the french.secretary email last month but no response.
    Thanks!

    ——————————————

    hey friend,

    my apologies this answer was so long coming– i’d never encountered this situation before and have little-to-no prior knowledge about placement tests. luckily, the lovely french department came through. 

    according to them, a placement test is valid for two! whole! years.

    to clarify, that should mean if you took it before first year and you’re now headed into your third, you won’t need to take it again. that is, if you’re planning to enrol in that french course for the upcoming school year. 

    however, if you choose not to tackle that french course now and end up wanting to do it later (your fourth or fifth year), you will need to retake the placement test. it’s not as simple as just signing up for and taking the test, though: you’ll need to obtain permission to retake it first.

    you’ll likely need to contact the french undergraduate counsellor in order to do this. just let them know your placement test expired, or whatever the correct term for it is.

    i suspect that if the french secretary still hasn’t answered your email as of now, they may only be the person to contact to schedule placement tests, not to answer questions about them. 

    anyway, hope this helped!

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • enrollment,  enrolment

    speeeedy

    i’m a first year, and i’m super stressed about picking courses. how likely is it that i won’t get into the ones i want? (social sciences and humanities mostly.) what do i do if i can’t get in? also, how fast do you have to do your course selection before time runs out?

    ——————————————

    hello friend,

    it’s natural to be stressed your first time, but there’s less to worry about than you might think! it is true that first years get to pick their courses last of the bunch, but first year courses also tend to be on the larger side. so it kinda balances out. chances are your schedule will be full of those larger con hall shenanigans, where it doesn’t really matter if you’re the 15th or 959th person in. if you’re shooting for first year seminars and application-free ones, you might find you have a little bit of trouble, but those also don’t always fill up all the way. it’s hard to say how likely it is you won’t get your first picks without knowing the popularity of your courses or your start time, but speaking as someone who’s done course reg before, i think you’re gonna be okay. 

    if you’re worried about not making it in, you can put together as many backup timetables as you want. i think i had… three different versions, my first time doing course reg? and i ended up getting my top timetable. it’s kind of funny because this year, i’ve spent waaaay more time answering yalls’ questions about course planning than actually paying attention to my own. which is unfortunate cause my start time is (was? will be? nah. not gonna drop you any clues about my year) much, much sooner than yours. maybe it’s the sense of total nihilism that starts to accumulate when you’ve spent one too many months sleep-deprived and hyped up on coffee to get through the day. or maybe i’m mellowing out. we don’t know. hopefully the second one. 

    when your start time comes up, i would just recommend being ready– have your enrolment cart on ACORN preloaded with the courses you want, so all you have to do is click a few buttons a few times. there’s no “how fast”– just how prepared. make sure your internet connection is speeeedy. set several alarms if you’re in a different time zone and your start time is smack dab in the wee hours of the night. 

    aaaanyway. take a deep breath. another one. there you go. you’re gonna be just fine. 

    be Boundless, 

    aska 

  • enrollment,  enrolment

    anxiety, woo!

    what can we do to prepare for course selection? (first year anxiety woo)

    ——————————————

    hello friend, 

    a very valid question! i should probably get started on that myself, given that my course selection’s coming up much much sooner than yours. (upper year anxiety woo)

    anyway, here’s a quick step-by-step of what i do/would do as a first year to prep.

    go through the calendar and check the prereqs for all your programs 

    these are gonna be important. a lot of the time you’ll need to pass some kind of grade threshold, too, to make POSt, but for now all you’re concerned with is what you’ll need to take in first year to even get considered. it can be wise to make sure you’ve got the prereqs for one or two backup POSts just in case– in particular if the POSts you’re eyeing are types 2 or 3.

    use the timetable  to add courses to a hypothetical plan and view them blocked out in a schedule 

    the timetable is great, guys. probably my favorite u of t course planning tool, not that i’m aware of that many others.

    if you’re a keener/super anxious/both like i was, you can make backup versions of your schedule too. this can be especially reassuring if you get a crappy start time, and are legitimately worried that the lecture/tutorial sections or classes you want will be full. saves you from a last-minute scramble while things are filling up. 

    when you’re choosing courses, take into account:

    • what do your class sizes look like? it’s a good idea to balance those classic first-year con hall monstrosities with at least one smaller class. first year foundations seminars and the one programs are a fantastic idea to check out, and they can help you fulfill breadth, too.
    • what breadth requirements will your courses fill? you’ll need to hit at least 4 of the 5 during your time at u of t, and a good time to get them out of the way is first year.
    • who’s teaching the course? ratemyprof is a decent resource for this, although not all the entries are super populated with our school. it can be helpful to give you a sense of the more well-known instructors, though.
    • what’s the course content like? this feels like a pretty minor consideration to me, but still worth mentioning because you’re more likely to do well in classes you enjoy. i’ve found it’s pretty hard to find syllabi on the internet for u of t’s classes, but you can check out the past exams repository to see what you might be tested on. i don’t know if this is a normal thing to recommend people do. but i sorta wish i’d done it my first year.
    • evening classes or morning classes? a few, stacked days or a well-distributed courseload? eight straight hours of class or four hourlong breaks throughout the day? it’s up to you. personally, i find it hard to focus for more than a few hours straight. for some reason, i’m still stacking my schedule because it feels more efficient. so this one’s on me.

    when you’ve planned that all out, you can check your start time on ACORN

    assuming you’re a first year, you’ll be able to do this starting july 19. for all other years, kindly! consult! this post.

    preload your cart on ACORN with the courses you’ve planned for 

    once again, this’ll save you from a scramble once your start time comes.

    right off the bat (aka, when your start time comes up) you’ll be able to enrol in a maximum of five courses. after the priority enrolment period is over, you can add a sixth. general enrolment opens to everyone on august 2, although times are still staggered by year.

    log on to ACORN at your start time and register! 

    hope this was helpful, and it does something to ease your anxiety.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • enrollment,  enrolment,  grad school

    i’m lovin it

    hello, lovin the new theme
    there are 3 courses that i need to take to complete my degree requirements. for the rest of my courses, i am conflicted as to whether i should choose bird courses that aren’t directly related to my degree or to choose 3/4-level year courses that are related to my degree and probably require more work. are these different types of courses weighed differently by grad schools? the grad school im interested in said they rank applicants based on GPA of the most recent 10 FCE but do they still consider the types of courses that are taken?

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    you noticed the theme change! it’s still very much a work in progress (read: kind of dull atm) but i’m looking into spicing it up a bit. lemme know if you have any suggestions. but yeah, hopefully it’s a tad bit easier on the eyes now.

    the thing with grad schools is that what they’ll consider and the weight they place on different elements of your application varies so much between schools. i’m glad you put time into researching your grad school– but i’d encourage you to take it a step further and maybe give their admissions office a call. i don’t know if they’ll be able to give you a super direct answer, but it’s gotta be better than what i can approximate with the very limited info i have.

    sorry i couldn’t be more helpful! my best guess is that it’s probably safer to take those related higher-level courses. but even just thinking about that much extra work, especially if it doesn’t turn out to be necessary, kind of hurts. so yeah– would encourage you to go straight to the real sources for this one.

    be Boundless,

    aska

     

  • enrollment,  enrolment

    you no big dumb

    Hi I am big dumb but for signing up for courses on acorn, do you take the course you sign up for both days or both times that it says you have to take them? Or do you or someone else ultimately choose the day and time you take said course based on the other courses you have?

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    i don’t think you’re big dumb. uni is a different system to adjust to. big dumb would be having this question and not bothering to ask it. you no big dumb.

    what i’m assuming you mean by this is that you’ve got a lecture where you sign up for one section, but it’s held at two different points in the week. for example, mondays from 4-5 and wednesdays from 4-5. for example, HIS103 is held 2-3pm on both monday and weds.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    in this kind of case, you’re required to go to both. if there’s a longer, chunkier option only offered on one day, i tend to prefer those options just ’cause it’s one fewer time i need to drag myself across campus to class. it’s less walking, too. the optimal play for laziness. but we don’t always get a choice, do we?

    by ‘both times,’ there’s also a chance you’re looking at something with multiple lecture sections. something like this (gotta love gently informative screenshots):

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    in this case, where you’ve got two different lecture codes (0101 and 0201), then you’ll only be allowed to select one when enrolment time comes.

    the bottom line is that you make your decisions! no one else is gonna mess around with your schedule once it’s set– unless something goes deeply, madly wrong. i would encourage you to use the timetable to plan if you’re not already doing so. you’ll be able to add courses and click on that lil ‘view timetable plan’ button to check out what your schedule will actually look like.

    hope this helped and best of luck getting into the sections you want!

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • enrollment,  enrolment

    we love specifics!

    any word yet on when course selection will be?

    ——————————————

    hello hello,

    yes, actually, i’ve been planning to put an update out and this has been a good reminder! big thanks to u of t memes for true blue teens, actually, for providing me with this info before i found it myself. it’s listed on the artsci website, but is highkey hard to dig up because i guess we still havin’ issues.

    since you’re reading this already, and since i promised updates, here are the dates. we love specifics!

    first years can see their start time on july 19 and their course enrolment begins july 25.

    second years get their start time july 12 and can start enrolment july 18.

    third years’ dates are the 8th and 15th.

    fourth and fifth years get their start time today (july 3) and can register in a week, on the 10th.

    where can you see your start time, you ask? ACORN has your back for this one.

    don’t forget to plan your schedule out using the timetable, and be aware of your POSt prereqs and breadth requirements! best of luck to everyone with the whole process. hope the start times are favourable and yall get the classes you need.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • courses,  enrollment,  enrolment

    who wants to be average anyway

    How many courses do you recommend people to take each semester?

    ——————————————

    hello friend,

    five courses a semester is considered the average number– it’s how many you need to be taking to graduate in four years, if you don’t plan on taking any summer school.

    big thanks to the university of utah for this snazzy gif that only reads in my head as sarcastic. suMMer sCHOol, oh! yeah! i love attending class in 30-degree heat while my friends upload instastories from asia and europe. this is my idea of a good time.

    real talk, though– what i would really recommend is that you take things at your own pace. the adjustment from high school to university (if i can make that assumption, given your question) can be rough in different ways. i mean, not for everyone– we get it, jim, you’re taking six courses and pasted your 99 in bio to your dorm room wall. and while we all know a jim, we’re not all jim. jim will probably burn out anyway.

    as far as fall/winter is concerned, you’ll need three courses to qualify as a full-time student, and you can take up to a maximum of six without special permission. i haven’t met anyone yet on three– the most common loads are four, five, and six.

    tl:dr, your options for a full-time sem of fall/winter study (and what kind of first year/carb they make you) are:

    option 1! four courses

    you know your limit and you play within it. or maybe you just took one of the few APs u of t actually accepts and want to ease things off after an anxiety- and caffeine-fueled high school career. either way, you’re not looking to bring anyone down; you just wanna look after yourself and get things done without crying too much.

    if you were a carb, you’d probably be brown rice. healthy and quite wholesome.

    option 2! five courses

    you’re a go-with-the flow kinda kid. you probably went to university because everyone else was doing it too, or because your parents told you to. you don’t know what you want to do with your degree yet, or even what POSt you want. what’s a POSt? post… what? post-degree, you’re headed for a standard nine-to-five with an hour-long lunch break where all your coworkers talk about their kids and the weather.

    you, my friend, are a slice of bread. pretty standard. not too interesting. good with peanut butter.

    option 3! six courses

    you like to live life on the edge– of sanity? of a robarts study carrel at 3 in the morning? no one else is really sure. you’re highkey headed somewhere, whether that’s absolute greatness or the deep dark pits of study burnout. maybe you’re crazy. maybe you just have a better work ethic than the rest of us. maybe she’s born with it. maybe it’s maybelline.

    your designated carbohydrate is kraft dinner mac and cheese. can’t be eaten for too many years in a row without doing some kinda damage to your body. a lil concerning. but pretty dang amazing in the moment.

    obviously, take ’em with a grain of salt. i’m no buzzfeed quiz.

    regardless of which option you choose, it might be useful to know the uni will probably charge you the same tuition. that is, if you’re in artsci– if you’re not, i would encourage you to look into your fees. just to show you what i mean, last year a first-year domestic student in innis college paid a flat program fee of $6,780 whether their courseload was four, five, or six. once they dropped below an average of four per semester, they’d pay per course.

    so, purely financially speaking, you kinda get more worth outta things if you’re taking a load of five or six courses. especially since, if you’re only taking four at a time, you’ll have to take summers, extra semesters, or even an extra year to finish your degree.

    like i said, though– if you have the resources to do so, take your time. i know plenty of really smart people who plan to stay an extra year or sem. don’t feel too much pressure to do things the “normal” way. remember that you can always register for five and drop down later, if things get to be too much.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • one programs

    [confused screaming]

    help the ones program page is down and I can’t find the deadlines for the different programs

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    lmao i love the panicky tone of this question because that’s exactly how i felt when artsci went down and i had all these admissions questions pouring in a few weeks ago.

    what i soon found out is that a lot of pages appear to be broken, but if you plug what you want into the search bar, you can usually dig it up.

    anyway, to answer your question (or at least the one i think you’re asking), this page on the ones program should be functional. so should this one– and hey, look, deadlines! i didn’t know this page existed til now. basically, the gist of it is:

    vic one: march 17

    smc one: may 31

    trin one: july 1

    munk one: july 12

    innis one, new one, woodsworth one, uc one: enrol during course registration (in short, a free-for-all)

    hope this helped, and that the deadline for the one you’re interested in hasn’t passed! i’d encourage you to apply to any of them, though– they all offer a fantastic experience.

    be Boundless,

    aska

     

  • admissions,  UTSC

    is it gonna be (rev)ok(ed)

    Hi! I was accepted to UTSC’s Psychological and Health Sciences program (so excited!). I was told I need to maintain at least a 75% average and at least a 70% in my prerequisite subjects. If my final average is a couple of marks under 75%, but I maintain above a 70% in my prerequisite subjects, will my offer of admission be revoked? This totally wasn’t the best year for me sigh 🙁

    Thanks 🙂

    ——————————————

    hello,

    congrats on your acceptance!

    for specific cases like this, i would encourage you to give the utsc office of admissions a call. as they’ll have access to your actual academic record, they’ll be able to better advise you on your circumstances. this is too consequential of a guesstimate for me to comfortably make, as someone who’s not particularly involved in the actual process of admissions.

    apparently if you’re really worried about it, you can take summer school and try to boost your marks to avoid getting your offer revoked. at least, that’s what this 3-year-old reddit thread suggests. i try not to use reddit too much as a source, because it can be wildly inaccurate, but the comment i’m referencing was apparently made by a utsc admissions staff member. i’d give the thread a look and check its info over with the office of admissions.

    good luck and be Boundless,

    aska

  • engineering

    engsigh

    I’m a soon to be first year for eng, and I’m not sure what engineering strain I want to do anymore. I’ve been thinking of switching to engsci(I know that it’s going to be tough – by the way, what’s the typical average I need after first year to be successful?), but I’m afraid of doing horribly in physics – I’ve had absolutely awful physics teachers for all of high school. how screwed am I if I manage to transfer? does the first year curriculum allow me to explore(most of) every strain?

    also, pertaining to physics – what’s the general consensus of physics in the first year of eng? do the classes have a high failing rate? is it generally considered one of the hardest courses?

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    congrats on your eng admission! it’s understandable that you’re unsure what you want to go into at this point– and you’ve certainly got some time left. plenty of eng students go in not really knowing what strain they’re interested in.

    as far as i know (and maybe you know this too), transferring into engsci is harder than transferring out of engsci. according to the university, you can only do so after first year, whereas you could transfer out of engsci right now. the website only specifies that you’ll need a ‘superior academic record,’ which i suspect is vague on purpose — they don’t know what kind of transfer room there will be year to year, and what your competition will look like.

    in terms of how screwed you are if you manage to transfer, this blog post compared first year engsci to ‘drinking out of a fire hose.’

    so, assuming you decide to go ahead with the transfer, you’d be going into second year engsci without having had the same intensive foundation as your peers. you can check out all the first-year engineering curricula here, which might give you a more accurate (and concise) look into first year than i can offer. the idea of first year, though, is that you do get a feel for each strain so you know what you wanna pick later on. with that said, i dunno how good of a job track one is gonna do regarding engsci strains.

    the post is actually pretty illuminating regarding the differences between engsci and track one, so i’d suggest giving it a look.

    what i’ve heard about physics is that there is some overlap with high school and AP physics. i’d suggest you check out forums and see what others say, as well as take a look at the course descriptions. this is track one’s first year physics req, and engsci’s is phy180, which i can’t find any working pages on. it’d probably benefit you to have a solid high school foundation for things like kinematics, but if you’re worried about it and enough of a keener, you can definitely pre-study to prep yourself.

    anyway, since none of this info comes from firsthand experience, i’d recommend you hit up the engineering registrar and speak to them as well. they might be able to advise you on what your gpa will need to look like to transfer into engsci, as well as what first year physics is really like.

    best of luck!

    be Boundless,

    aska