• admissions,  other schools (boo!),  stats

    live laugh love? in these conditions?

    hi aksa!! i have had pretty terrible grades in 11th and somewhat better in 12th, do u think there is hope for me to get into a good uni for statistics ??


    hey there,

    aw, i’m sorry to hear that! good on you for improving, though! that takes commitment.

    ok, so you want to get into a good uni for statistics. i can’t really look into every single good uni out there cause i’m pretty sure they all work pretty differently. so for now, let’s look at a couple example to compare our options with: U of T, UBC, and mcgill. these are the top three statistics programs in canada, apparently.

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    first, let’s cover U of T.

    1. getting into U of T statistics

    when applying to U of T, your admission is based on an average grade calculated using your top six grade 12 U/M courses. if you wanted to get into the statistics program, you would apply under the admission category “physical and mathematical sciences“. (this is because at U of T, you don’t enter your specific program of study until after first year).

    as you can see in general admission requirements, two pre-requisite courses are required for physical and mathematical sciences: english (ENG4U), and calculus (MCV4U). so these are the two courses that will have to be included in your top six. therefore, your admission will be based on your english grade, your calculus grade, plus your four top grades in academic grade 12 courses. that’s it.

    if you apply for early admissions, or if your final grade 12 marks aren’t out yet, U of T may also look at your corresponding grade 11 marks to give you a conditional offer. but if your grade 11 marks are low, they’ll wait to see your grade 12 marks. so really, don’t worry too much about your grade 11 marks. it’s your grade 12 marks that are the make or break factor.

    2. UBC

    according to this website, UBC looks at your grade 11 and grade 12 marks, paying extra attention to the courses that relate to the degree you’re applying to. this includes english 12 and pre-calc 12. overall though, UBC looks at a whole lot of things other than just the numbers on your transcript. they say they look at the range of courses you took and how challenging they were. infamously, they look at a whOle lot through your personal profile, where you have to write a lot about leadership skills, extracurriculars, and experiences. (maybe i’m just dramatic, but writing this sucked the life outta me.)

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    so if your grades have been bad but you have a lot of leadership experience and you’re involved in your community, you might have a  chance at UBC! but if you have zero experience in that area, and you are throwing all your cards into the numbers on your transcript, U of T is the one to bet on.

    3. mcgill

    meanwhile, mcgill will look at your grades over the past three years — so grade 10, 11, and 12. and, um, the admission averages are INSANE for computational sciences? 97-98% is crazy high.

    but like U of T, they compute your top 6 grade 12 courses, so there ia little room for grace.

    ultimately, this just shows that it really depends on where your strengths lie. each university considers its applicants differently, so you’ll have a better chance in some places compared to others. whichever university you apply to, it’s great that you’re doing better in grade 12! i heard somewhere that universities like to see improvement. just do some research on how different place consider their applicants.

    so yeah. i think you do have hope to get into a good uni. reach out if you’ve got any other questions, wishing you the besttttt luck!

    over and out,

    aska

  • admissions,  applying for U of T,  social sciences

    no, no, and no

    hello,
    i am currently a grade 11 student. last sem i failed the functions u level course with a 40%, so i’ll be retaking it this summer. i’m worried that i won’t be accepted to the social science program because of this. also, i think my current average right now is around 74%.
    so my questions are that would failing functions affect my change of acceptance?
    i am aiming to get better grades in grade 12 so will uoft look at my grade 11 marks or my grade 12 marks?
    my last question is regarding supplementary applications, i am planning to choose the political science stream so would i need to submit my extracurriculars, volunteer hours, etc? because currently i only have around 45 hours of volunteering and no extracurriculars, would this also affect my acceptance?

    thank you,
    hope this makes sense.


    hey there,

    Season 1 Friends GIF

    i like you. finally, questions that are within my realm of expertise.

    1. will failing functions affect your acceptance?

    no, it shouldn’t. as you can see here, U of T only looks at your top 6 academic grade 12 courses, which they use to compute your admission average. among those courses, one must be english 12. depending on the admission category you apply to, there may be other pre-requisites included — such as functions if you were applying to, say, computer science.

    however, you are applying to the social sciences admission category, which only requires english 12. this means that U of T will only look at your english course + five other of your top grade 12 marks. so if you’ve failed functions, it won’t be included in your top marks and U of T won’t look at it! so like, moving forward, um wdym, you didn’t fail! that tOTally did not happen!

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    2. will U of T look at your grade 11 or grade 12 marks?

    so again, U of T will only look at your top 6 grade 12 marks. however, if those marks haven’t been released yet, they will look at the corresponding grade 11 marks to make conditional early offers.

    check out this answer i posted recently where i talk more about the weight of your grade 11/12 marks. the tldr is that if your grade 11 marks don’t make the cut, U of T will consider you again when your grade 12 marks are released.

    3. will you need to submit extracurriculars for political science?

    The Office gif. Rainn Wilson as Dwight carefully considers the answer to a question as he speaks to us. Text, "Let's put it this way..." He gently shakes his head. Text, "No."

    you will not need to submit extracurriculars to get into your program of study, thank GOD. as you can see on the arts & sciences calendar, admission into the political science program only concerns pre-requisite classes and your grades. i’ve never heard of a U of T undergrad arts & science program that required extracurriculars, or volunteer hours. so you’re good to go!

    4. will U of T look at your extracurriculars/volunteer hours for admissions?

    finally, U of T also does not look at your extracurriculars or volunteering hours for first year admissions. when you apply on OUAC, there isn’t even an option to put these in! if i remember right, you pretty much just upload your transcript lol.

    anyways, university applications can be super hectic and so confusing. so i hope this was helpful and that it took a bit of stress off your back! good luck with everything, you’ve got this!

    over and out,

    aska

  • admissions,  campus,  hard

    we love utsg

    Is there a difference between applying to different campuses at UOFT? (Like applying to St. George is harder to get in or Mississauga is easier) truth be told, I’m only interested in St. George campus


    hey there,

    good question.

    yes, i think there is a difference between applying to different U of T campuses. there is no official info on this, but from what i’ve heard, the st. george campus is harder to get into compared to the mississauga and scarborough campuses. i say this because i know some people who were admitted to UTM or UTSC but were rejected from UTSG.

    i would try to compare the admission averages among the three campuses, but i can only find the utm admission average, which is 75%. so take from that what you will.

    Cartoon gif. Jake the dog from Adventure Time on Cartoon Network blinks its large white eyes, raising its skinny yellow arms into a shrug.

    ultimately though, it depends on what program you’re applying to. maybe the st. george campus is harder to get into because it has programs that have a higher volume of applicants? as in — most people are like you and only interested in the UTSG campus. also, some programs are only offered at the st. george campus, which might play into it.

    but don’t be discouraged from applying to UTSG. i think the st. george campus is so beautiful and a great place to spend your undergrad years at. (if you’re interested, find out what makes each campus unique here). it may be a bit harder to get into, but this is just a word-of-mouth thing and again, i don’t have any statistics to back up my facts with.

    however, i can back you up. you’ve got this! WOOO! yeahhh!

    TV gif. Clip of Rainn Wilson as Dwight in "The Office" wearing an "Over the Hill" party hat and blowing on a noisemaker, giving a somewhat unsettling and overenthusiastic smile while holding a chocolate cupcake with a single unlit candle. Suddenly, Ed Helms as Andy bursts into frame, peeling around an open door with a big cheesy smile on his face.

    anyways, good luck with your application, hope to see you here.

    over and out,

    aska

  • programs,  wait list

    try, try again

    I am in year one, and I am waiting to be accepted into a certain program. They sent me an email saying that I am on the waitlist, and the last accepting date is supposed to be June 7th. After this, I can expect that I have been rejected, and I should apply to the program again in the second round, right?


    hey there,

    hmmm a certain program. so vague of you. testing my psychic powers, i see. but hasn’t anyone ever told you, don’t test god.

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    anyways yes, that’s correct. according to this page on important program dates, the last day to be accepted in the first request period is june 7.

    so if you haven’t received an acceptance by june 7, it means you haven’t been accepted during the first round. after this, you are able to re-apply in the second round, assuming your program offers a second round. (some programs don’t offer a second round, so you should look here to make sure yours does.)

    some advice, though: if you want to improve your chances of getting in the second time around, you might want to consider taking courses in the summer to increase your CGPA. because re-applying with the same qualifications as last time may likely give you the same outcome. the second round’s application period is between july 6 and august 20, and results will be sent out between august 21 and september 4 — meaning that whatever summer courses you take will be counted in time.

    but, that’s a really general advice, and i don’t know your mystery program. so i highly recommend that you go connect with your registrar for more specific advice around that.

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    so good luck, i hope it all works out for you!

    over and out,

    aska

  • admissions,  programs,  psychology

    confusing uoft websites, couldn’t be me

    Hi! I’m currently in year 12, I study IB and my Higher Levels are Psychology, Sports Exercise and Health Science, and Art. I’m planning to apply to uoft to study clinical psychology in the future but then found out BIO is required after some research. Now I’m confused about this because the websites gave me different answers, one telling me that the only requirements are Calculus and English, and another saying that biology is required too. (if that’s the case would SEHS still be acceptable?)


    hey there,

    yeah, several people have asked this question before. those admission websites can be so confusing, they’ve got to fix that!

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    the tldr is that you don’t need bio 12 for admissions, but you’ll need it to go into second year.

    admissions

    let me explain. when you apply to u of t, you don’t actually apply to a specific program, like biochemistry or immunology, or psychology. instead, you apply to a general “admission category“. basically, all 300ish undergrad programs at the UTSG campus are categorized into 6 admission categories:

    1. computer science
    2. humanities
    3. life sciences
    4. physical and mathematical sciences
    5. rotman commerce
    6. social sciences

    you can follow these links to see a list of programs under each admission category. your admission category is what you’ll actually put into your OUAC application, so admission category requirements are the only requirements you’ll need to worry about for now.

    if you want to get in to the u of t psychology program, you’ll be applying under the “admission category” of life science. although the psychology requirements website says that you need biology, calculus, and english, the life science requirements website says you only need calculus and english. so for admissions, you only need calculus and english.

    program enrolment

    HOWEVER, you will need to complete biology 12 to enrol in your psychology program after first year. this is because everyone at u of t actually enrols in their POSt (program of study) when they go into second year. for some POSts, you automatically get in, but many others require pre-requisites or grade minimums. psychology is unfortunately the latter.

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    assuming you’re hoping to take the psychology major, this means you’ll need to first take PSY100 (the first year psych class at u of t) and get above 75%. you’ll also need to have passed grade 12 calculus and grade 12 biology.

    biology equivalents

    i recommend you read through the bottom of this page, where it covers biology equivalents and other options. here, it says that they accept IB biology courses, including standard and higher level classes. since i didn’t take IB myself, i’m not sure if SEHS would be counted. you said it’s a higher level IB course, but my question is — is it specifically a biology course?

    you can figure that out. but if not, you are able to directly check by sending an email to psy.ug-assistant@utoronto.ca .

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    anyways, i hope this cleared things up, good luck with everything!

    over and out,

    aska

  • askastudent love/hate

    love from the void

    Hi, I’m the second year student who asked about if having no experiences is bad. Thank you so much for your response I felt a lot better after reading it!


    hey there,

    yay, glad to hear it! thanks for reminding me i’m not speaking into the void.

    over and out,

    aska

  • getting involved,  research,  volunteer

    i am the resource

    hi there! im an incoming uoft for sept 2024 and i’m just curious where can i find/which websites i should go look into to find professors that can provide students with volunteer experiences/research opportunities? or specifically, as an incoming student, is it possible to apply for volunteer positions at hospitals? and if so, how may i do that? where or which resources can i go look for that opportunity? thank you in advance


    hey there,

    welcome! this is a great question. you want resources? i’ve got them. heck, i am the resource.

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    1.research opportunities on CLNX

    so, there aren’t exactly websites where you can just search and find professors who have available volunteer/research experiences open to students.

    HOWEVER, there is something sort of similar, and it’s called the career & co-curricular learning network (CLNX). i think you’ll only have access to this once you get your utorid closer to september, but it is a really important site to know during your time at u of t. CLNX is a launching pad for applying to on-campus jobs, exploring clubs, applying to experiential learning opportunities, seeing different career events happening, and more.

    most relevant to your question, it’s where you will be able to search and apply to research opportunity programs (ROP)s. ROPs are research experiences that are supervised by a u of t faculty member, and CLNX has a searchable/filterable database of all of them. you’ll be eligible to participate in ROPs if you’ve completed between 4.0-13.0 credits by the end of the school year — so you’ll have to wait until the spring of your first year to apply. note it down, applications are open for this between mid-february to mid-march every year.

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    2. research/volunteer opportunities through other means

    CLNX is not the only way that you can gain access to research or volunteer experiences. some advice i’ve heard is to ask your professors and TAs if they are currently in need of research assistants or if they can direct you towards opportunities. they might not always conveniently have a spot for you, but they are connected and might be able to help you out! little tip: you might improve your chances if they know who you are, so go to office hours throughout the semester and participate in class.

    i’ve also answered a similar question here about getting into research, if you wanna give that a look. there, i mention @uoftursa on instagram, the uoft undergrad research students’ association, who post events geared towards getting into research. another group to look into might be the uoft research network, @uoft.rn .

    3. volunteer positions at hospitals

    the great thing about u of t is that it’s near and connected to many of the top hospitals in canada.

    • one popular opportunity i’ve heard about is volunteering at sickkids. sickkids is affiliated with u of t and is super close to campus, offering both summer and year-round volunteer programs for post-secondary students. to be eligible, you just need to be 18 or older and enrolled in post-secondary education. posting for this year’s 2024 fall program, which starts in september, will open on june 3.
    • another great one to volunteer at is UHN, the university health network affiliated with u of t. through this, students are able to volunteer at toronto general hospital, toronto western hospital, toronto rehab, and princess margaret cancer hospital. applications for this are open all year. if you want to do actual research through the UHN though, i think you’ve got to be a grad student.
    • mount sinai hospital also takes volunteers, but they are currently full—their website says to check back in the fall for openings.
    • st. michael’s hospital takes year-round volunteers through the unity health network

    anyways. i hope this was helpful, good luck with everything! and please don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get involved with all this during your first year. students usually get involved with research and volunteer stuff after their first year, once they’ve settled down academically.

    over and out,

    aska

    p.s. y’all are asking so many questions :D. i’ve never done so many posts in such a short span of time, this is me every waking hour:

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    but, pls pls keep ’em comin.

  • admissions,  engineering,  grades

    wait for me

    I’m currently in grade 11 and have a 85 average and in HOSA (and going to be president in my club soon), I want to get into uoft for mechanical engineering, I want to try to get higher grades for grade 12, but will my grade 11 marks be considered a lot for my admission or will they wait for my grade 12 marks?


    hey there,

    Season 3 Question GIF by NETFLIX

    ok, right now, i think all you can do is just stick to your plan and try to get higher grades for grade 12. because, the weight that your grade 11 marks hold against your grade 12 marks just depends on a whole bunch of factors.

    first, i’d recommend reading through this faq page, which details a lot of important need-to-knows about admissions! i’ll be drawing some info from there.

    as you can see on this important deadlines page, there are two rounds of admissions decisions: students who submit their OUAC application by nov 7 and their engineering application by dec 1 are considered under round one (aka. early consideration). meanwhile, those who submit everything by jan 15 are considered under round two.

    the answer to your question depends on which round of admissions you’re considered under, and how soon your school releases your grade 12 marks. in my experience, it makes a difference whether you go by the quarter semester system or the three term system. if you’re considered during round one, there’s a chance you won’t have many grade 12 marks released yet, so they’ll mostly look at your grade 11 marks and whatever grade 12 marks are available. so basically, from the way i understand it, it all really depends on your school’s term system.

    however, it is all going to be okay if you’re not admitted under round one due to unavailable grades. you will just be considered again in round two as more of your grades come out.

    nothing is really set in stone, but ultimately, you don’t have to worry about applying early if your grade 11 marks aren’t as high as you’d like them to be. after all, the admission committee say they “may hold applications to wait for more information” if you applied early. so overall, yes. they should wait for your grade 12 marks to be released from depths of the underworld.

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    (if you don’t get this reference, you are simply uncultured)

    also, i found on this same page that canadian students’ admission averages for mechanical engineering is within the high 80s to low 90s. i think you have a good chance if you succeed in getting those good grades in grade 12! they also say that extracurriculars are considered, so good on you for being extracurricular-ly involved! that will help you out.

    sooo good luck with everything, reach out if you have more questions!! you’ve got this.

    over and out,

    aska

  • bba,  newly admitted,  programs,  switching,  UTSC

    faq page pulling through

    I applied for undergrad in BBA but i got offer for co-op social sciences & humanities. Any possibility of switching after a year or sem?


    hey there,

    i’m sorry that you didn’t get your first choice! that can be really disappointing. but congrats on getting in, and welcome!!

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    so the good news is, yes — there is a possibility that you will be able to switch your program. especially since you’re switching at this early stage, i think you might have a good chance.

    check out the utsc admissions website‘s FAQ page under “amending your application”. as you can see here, it’s pretty common to ask whether you can change the program that you applied to. so you’re not alone!

    this FAQ page says that for those who haven’t yet received an offer of admission, all that student needs to do is change the program on OUAC.

    however, since you’ve already received an offer of admission (woop woop!) for co-op social sciences & humanities, do not change your program on OUAC! this will cancel your offer of admission and you’ll lose your place at u of t. instead, you need to directly email utsc.offer@utoronto.ca to request a program change. with this, it’s best that you reach out as soon as possible.

    keep in mind though, i’m not sure if this will work since i think what you received is an alternate offer of admission (also explained on that FAQ page), having not received your preferred program choice. if emailing for a program change doesn’t work at this point, you might need to switch after first year.

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    if that’s the case, you should directly contact the academic advising team for BBA students or management department to find out what this process would look like, concerning application procedures and deadlines. i would recommend that you specifically contact admissions inquiries at (416) 287-7529, or the first year academic advisor at mgmtyr1.utsc@utoronto.ca .

    i hope the people at the end of these contacts i’ve provided are helpful and kind to you! this doesn’t need to be a stressful process, you’ve got this. reach out if any more questions come up.

    over and out,

    aska

  • GPA,  grad school,  non degree

    pls guys only i’m allowed to not make sense

    If I get my four bachelors degree’s ECA from university of Toronto, can I upgrade my CGPA
    Which help me for further university education


    hey there,

    Season 4 Nbc GIF by The Good Place

    sorry, but this wording is confusing me. “four bachelors degree’s ECA”?

    i don’t know if i’m having a stroke or i’m just reading this wrong, but my brain is deteriiooioutaing i can hear it.

    i’m gonna try to untangle this question. so, the educational credential assessment (ECA) from u of t is an academic credential evaluation service used for things like immigration or employment purposes, getting your visa, licensure, etc. you can learn more about that here.

    the bachelor’s degree at u of t is something entirely separate. from what you said, it seems like you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree, possibly even four bachelors degrees like this guy. if so, you scare me and i hope my mom never meets you.

    The Office gif. John Krasinski as Jim sits in the passenger seat of a parked car, wearing a fake moustache and gray jumpsuit. He looks at us with discomfort as he reclines the chair out of sight behind the car door.

    if you have already graduated as an undergrad from u of t, there are certainly ways that you can raise your CGPA to help you apply for further university education. the main way that people do this is take courses as a non-degree student. basically, non-degree studies allow you to take courses that will upgrade your university record, which will help you qualify for grad school.

    if you want to saunter down that road at u of t, you’ll need to contact your former college/faculty registrar’s office to ask whether you’re eligible to re-register or if you need to re-apply through ouac. admission consideration for non-degree students will be based on your academic record from both high school and undergrad, as well as your english proficiency, if required.

    *10 minutes later*

    WAIT. i was just about to post this, but i think i figured out where you’re coming from. you took your undergrad degree somewhere else and are taking your ECA to verify your degree is valid and equal to a canadian one?! and now you want to upgrade your gpa at u of t? did i get it?

    option 1: (*you shake your head no. i’m crazy*)

    option 2: (*you are shocked. the rumors are true, aska is indeed a psychic*)

    in this case, you can still apply to u of t as a non-degree student. students who have completed their degree at another university/college have to apply through ouac using the non-degree application. just make sure to review important dates and deadlines to make sure you complete all your required documentation. once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll be granted access to the join u of t portal, where you can submit more supporting documents and check your application status.

    some things to note: once you’re admitted, you can enrol in courses depending on course prerequisites and available space. you can prepare by review which courses interest you and what their prerequisites are, by looking on the academic calendar. i also highly recommend using timetable builder to look at course schedules and space available.

    anyways, i hope one of these answers answered your question.

    over and out,

    aska

  • academic success,  ccit,  digital enterprise management,  GPA,  hard

    stars, do you like dem?

    hi there! i’m currently a grade 12 student looking at the ICCIT program, specifically DEM. i’ve been doing research (going on reddit) and i can’t really figure out wheter it’s a good program or not. i want to go into communications, and pursue project management, or public relations or something like that, and i’m not sure if i’m going to do higher education.

    i’m not sure what to do, and am really scared of having a low gpa (cause everyone says UofT is hard to maintain a good gpa in)
    any advice?
    -plankton

    hey plankton,

    broo i haven’t seen you since you played the lead role in spongebob! nice to hear from ya.

    Season 9 Episode 25 GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

    ok, doing “research” on reddit is so real. but please don’t trust everything you read on there or let it scare you off! some people go on there just salty after bad experiences/grades, and others are just straight up Wrong. also, like, people are more likely to rant on reddit if they’re mad than if they’ve had good experiences. so you gotta proceed with as much suspicion as you can muster.

    in terms of advice, i can tell you what i think. however, keep in mind that i can’t speak from experience since i’m not in a CCIT program, and also don’t know anyone in one either.

    ccit programs

    i think the communication, culture, information, and technology (CCIT) programs look really good. in general, u of t programs are quite high quality—there are hiGh stAndards here—and CCIT certainly doesn’t seem like an exception to that. especially if you want to go into communications, this seems pretty perfect for you. as you can see from the arts & sciences calendar, the department offers such interesting and unique courses. what you would learn here seems like it would be current, relevant, and applicable, for careers in the context of today’s digital age. they offer courses about topics from rhetoric and media, to digital marketing, to sound studies, to surveillance studies.

    the digital enterprise management (DEM) specialist definitely sounds like the most “practical”-y program out of that list, since it incorporates business management. you mentioned you might want to pursue project management, so this seems like a good choice for you!

    maintaining a good gpa

    so i guess u of t is Just A Girl. it just can’t escape the juicy, frightening rumours spreading about it around high schools. but, the rumours are sort of true, because when i got here, i was

    .

    everyone talks about how if you’re an A student in high school, you become a B student at u of t—and if you’re a C student, you become a D student. and i think this does happen to most people, but it is definitely possible to not fall into this!

    i think the reason why this gpa drop happens is that there’s just a huge jump from what’s expected from you in high school vs. uni, in terms of workload, speed of material, and grading standards, as well as a larger disconnect between teaching teams and students compared to high school. here, a lot of people say professors couldn’t care less about you, but i think most of them really do (i’ve been lucky to have the most caring, amazing, and passionate professors and TAs recently). you just have take the initiative to connect with them, whether that’s through class participation or office hours. by connecting with your instructors, you’re more likely to feel comfortable asking clarifying questions and ask for help with assignments.

    essentially, academic success at u of t requires a whole lot of self control and intrinsic motivation. in uni, it’s all up to you whether you go to lecture, whether you take notes, whether you stay on top of course content, and whether you take extra time to go to office hours. nobody else could care less if you don’t. so most people end up skipping class and falling behind, then cramming right before exams.

    overall though, the big make-or-break factor is your program. you could have all the work ethic and motivation in the world, but if your program is difficult, all i can say is :D. for example, i have seen many fallen soldiers in rotman or life sci. some extremely smart and hardworking people i know met their fate with low marks there (in certain courses, not all courses!). but guys, don’t look at this and be discouraged, i also know some people in rotman and life sci with high gpas!

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    but for CCIT, i honestly haven’t heard anything about it being one of these notoriously hard programs. from the looks of it, it seems like you should be fine.

    anyways, i wish someone had told me all that gpa stuff before i went into first year.

    depends what your end goals are

    finally, i think your choice really depends on where your future plans lie.

    you mentioned you’re not sure if you’re going to do higher education. well, maintaining a high—or even good—gpa only really matters if you want to go to grad school. if you plan to go straight into the workforce, no employer is gonna ask for your gpa. they’re just going to ask for your experience. getting a degree from a reputable institution is going to hold more weight, and i’ve heard having a u of t degree looks really good for getting a job. u of t is number 1 in the country and ranked like, super high worldwide. (don’t ask me for an exact number).

    wishing you luck with whatever you decide! i’m always here if you have more questions. here are some gold stars to launch you into uni life <33

    over and out,

    aska

  • biology,  GPA,  programs,  UTM

    no need to panic (i did it already)

    hey aska, i really need your help. i’m panicking.
    I’m a utm student and i just finished my first year in life science. i’m trying to go into one of the bio programs but i’m scared about my gpa. it currently does not reach the minimum as stated in the academic calendar and i’m really worried about not entering into my dream program (bio for health sci). i’m taking a couple of courses this summer to hopefully boost my gpa but when i checked the gpa calculator, i don’t think it would help :(. i do have 4.0 credits and the necessary courses, it’s just my gpa i’m worried about.
    someone told me that if i don’t have a POSt by the end of this summer, I wouldn’t be able to enter into second year of uni and will need to redo first year all over again (which i cannot do). they said that, worst case scenario, i can just apply to type 1 programs and i’ll be automatically going into second year. not sure if this is true, but i want to avoid the worst-case scenario and get into the programs i want.
    the POSt i’m applying to: major in bio for health science or just biology,
    my ideal future POSt is: major in bio for health science, major computer science.
    my backup POSt is: bio for health science, minor in computer science, minor in psychology. however, i didn’t get the minimum grade for psy100. i also haven’t taken computer science courses yet because i’m in life science. idk what to do.
    should i take a third course this summer to boost my gpa, like a psych course? or is that a bad idea? do they round the gpa? and when will the university accept POSt requests?
    please tell me someone was in the same position and ended up being a great student. i need to be inspired.
    sorry, this is very long but thank you so much!

    hey there,

    ok ok you’re gonna be fine! you’re going to be OKAY.

    first of all, i know program selection and admission can be so overwhelming and stressful! when i was at that stage, i definitely did a lot of panicking too. but let’s not worst-case-scenario this situation. let’s look at where we are and see what options are available from where you are, alright?

    Comforting Big Hero 6 GIF by Sky

    so just to recap: the biology for health sciences program is a type 2 program. in order to get admitted into it, you need a minimum cgpa of 2.5. you also need to complete 4.0 credits, including the courses BIO152H5 and BIO153H5. you say your gpa does not reach that minimum, but you’ve completed 4.0 credits including BIO152 and BIO153. you’re taking courses this summer to raise your gpa, but you don’t think you’ll reach the minimum regardless.

    ok.

    let’s answer some of your questions.

    1. when is POSt admission?

    i’m assuming you’ve already requested enrolment to your program during round 1 of program application, which runs between march 5 and april 30. the deadline to accept your offer for round 1 is may 30, so i’m assuming offers will go out sometime during may. however, if you haven’t done this yet, round 2 runs between june 3 and august 23, and the deadline to accept offers is september 15. so offers for round two will probably go out late august or early september.

    2. should you take summer courses to boost your gpa?

    i think you could definitely take more courses during the summer and absolutely lock tf in in order to raise your cgpa. and when you ask whether you should take a third course, i think that would be fine! as long as you’re staying under the maximum of 2.0 credits for the whole summer and maximum of 1.0 credits per sub-session.

    i would say though, that taking less courses at a time increases your chances of doing better/getting better grades. if you spread yourself too thin, you might not do as well as you hoped. so just make sure you can handle the course load you give yourself!

    Jimmy Fallon Running GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

    if you do want to take multiple summer courses in order to boost your gpa, i would also recommend taking elective bird courses. this would give you a much higher chance of skyrocketing that gpa rather than if you were to take your required courses. taking courses in summer is also known to be “easier”, since the course moves faster and grading is “nicer”. in my experience, i’ve found this to be quite true.

    3. should you take a psych course for the summer? 

    it depends which psych course you’re talking about. according to the timetable builder, there’s only one first-year psych course offered during the summer at utm: PSY100. but you said you’ve already taken it.

    if you are taking a course purely just to raise your gpa, i wouldn’t take some of the second year courses i see, like PSY201 since that is required courses in the psych program. (red flag to watch out for are large, required courses. these tend to be harder!)

    4. do they round your gpa?

    i don’t think they round your cgpa for program admissions. but if you mean “round” as in scale your grade in courses, that really depends on the course. some do, and those tend to be hard courses that have low averages.

    my thoughts on the situation.

    in the case that you don’t get into your program this year, it is most certainly not the end of the world nor is it the end of your bio dreams. you have several options here.

    1. option one: apply to the biology major instead. the minimum cgpa for this is 2.0, and it has the exact same two required courses, BIO152 and BIO153.

    2. option two: apply to an open POSt for now.

    it is not a worst-case scenario if you apply to an open POSt to automatically go into second year, then reapply to your POSt next year. many people i know applied for a POSt in first year AND second year! drawing from my own experiences, the main consequence of not getting into your first-choice POSt would simply be later course enrolment times going into your second year.

    for some context, in my first year, i applied to two type 1 arts POSts. but like literally two months after, i changed my mind and decided i wanted to switch one of them to a type 2 life sci POSt. so it wasn’t exactly that i didn’t get my first choice POSt. i’m just an Indecisive Person. 😀

    anyways, what i did that summer—after deciding i was going to switch programs—was enrol in the required first-year courses for my new program. however, because i was not in my life sci program OR a first year, i had to wait until the general course enrolment period just for certain courses, which was maybe 2 weeks later. this was the main inconvenience i faced for not being in my desired second-year program right off the bat.

    my main message is that enrolling in a type 1 program is absolutely fine. you just might have to deal with a few early morning classes or second choice tutorial times, as a result of your course enrolment time! then, you’ll lock in AGAIN and get those grades up to apply again after second year! yeah, you will!

    The Simpsons gif. Holding a phone to his ear, Homer throws a fist into the air and closes his eyes in celebration, yelling, “Whoo-hoo!”

    and look at me! i’m fine. i applied to my desired program after second year, and got in. now, it’s all smooth sailing from here (aside from the weekly what-am-doing-with-my-life crises i have haha…). while i wasn’t in your exact same situation, i did go through some similar steps! and am i a great student? well, if i do say so myself, yEs.

    i hope i provided sufficient inspiration.

    but anyways, it is SO normal to apply to a program after second year, you’re all good!

    and finally, there’s a whole powerpoint presentation that u of t made on navigating your exact situation, so again—you are most definitely not alone! i highly recommend taking a look at it, it gives different scenarios with specific academic plans and next steps. i also am on my knees begging you to please connect with an academic counsellor at your registrar. they’ll be able to direct you much more specifically, with access to your transcript. that’s the best thing you can do for yourself right now.

    TV gif. James Franco as Daniel on Freaks and Geeks leans against a wall with hands together in prayer, saying "please" sarcastically.

    wishing you so much luck rn. shoot me any more of your concerns/questions/qualms/quibbles if they come up!

    over and out,

    aska

  • arts & sciences,  biology,  chem,  prereqs

    you’re welcome ??

    Hi! So I recently got accepted into the uoft arts and science program. I applied for humanities back in October, but after taking chem and bio in second semester I’ve been curious to take some science courses in uni. I looked online and sadly the chem course at uoft requires calculus and functions (that I didn’t take). Is it still possible for me to take this course, or do you have to have the high school prerequisites? Thank u ??


    hey there,

    ayy congrats on getting accepted!

    if you take constructive criticism, it would be super helpful if i knew which chem course at u of t you were referring to? there are, like, at least a couple (there are over 70 chem courses).

    Season 2 Episode 21 GIF by Twin Peaks on Showtime

    jokes, i’m just being a hater. i’m gonna assume you’re probably talking about the standard first-year chem course required for pretty much all science programs: CHM135.

    you’re right that the academic calendar says CHM135 requires the prerequisites of grade 12 bio, and grade 12 calculus and functions. so what i would do in this case is email the chemistry department directly and ask them if it’s in any way possible for you to take the course without the grade 12 math prerequisites. i’m not sure if they will say yes or not, but this was what i did for BIO120, and they let me. i would encourage you to email them asap, so that you know whether you need to consider enrolling in online school to complete the prereq.

    i actually took CHM135, and i would say it’s definitely do-able without calculus or functions knowledge. however, take this with a grain of salt because i did actually have the calculus 12 prerequisite, so maybe it unconsciously helped, idk. but unless i’ve erased it all from memory, i recall there was only one lab out of five that even referred to functions on a graph. it was just pure memorization, you didn’t actually need to know calculus for it, and either way, it was all explained in the lab book. it definitely doesn’t need bio as a prerequisite though, since i didn’t even take biology 12 either, and i cannot recall anything in that course that required pre-knowledge of bio.

    anyways. nothing can make me un-remember difficult CHM135 was, so just be prepared. the general consensus was that BIO120 was much easier, so if you don’t end up trying out chem, at least try out bio. in general, people say that the spectrum of difficulty with first year science courses goes like this: physics>math>chem>bio. (if you want my opinion, i think chem was harder than math, and i loooved BIO120).

    if you’re genuinely interested in it, i highly support this endeavour to try your hand in uni science courses! they are so interesting and kind of change the way you see the world around you! if you wanted, you could absolutely complete the math prerequisites through TVO ILC, which i’ve seen people do. my friend did that, and it might seem overwhelming to take a whole calc course online, but it really wasn’t that big of a deal. definitely worth it in the end—think of it as an investment in your future.

    also, did you know that you can actually take a major in sciences while taking a major in the arts? i learned that embarassingly late LMAO. so just putting it out there in case you ended up girlbossing too close to the sun and end up loving the science courses you take so much that you want to pursue a science program.

    I See You Wow GIF by Bounce

    over and out,

    aska