• admissions,  international students,  stress

    everyone is panicking about admissions oh god.

    I study in year 10 and in an cbse school. I want to take up science but I am very weak in it. I am good in biology and I know that because of my grades and understanding. I really want to be a gynaecologist but I cant because of my grades. I doubt I can take up science also. I am in desperate need of help. Please tell me what to do.


    hey there,

    I understand where you’re coming from. Students all over the world right now are experiencing exactly the same thing you’re experiencing – they’re afraid they’re not good enough, and they are generally convinced that they are going to fail. Man, I can’t blame you. Going to university is incredibly scary, especially if you’re planning to go to school in a different country.

    I’m guessing you go to school in India, meaning this is the year you’re doing/have already done your AISSCE examinations, and that has got to be really stressful. Just know that even if you don’t do as well as you hoped you would, you have two whole years to improve.

    That said, if you’re thinking of coming to UofT and you eventually want to go to medical school, you’ll probably want to enrol in the BSc. Life Science program. If you like Biology, there’s a Biology major available, where you get to focus on Biology, which is what you seem to feel most comfortable with. The requirements for that program are here. Like I said, you’ve still got some time to figure all this out, but if you want to feel a little less worried, take a look at the requirements and see if you think you could handle them.

    If it turns out that in two years you don’t meet the requirements, then maybe you can take some time to think about what it is you would be most comfortable doing. However, you’re only in year 10 now and there’s plenty of time to figure all this out and get your grades up if you have to – so don’t worry! If you are careful about researching the best possible option for you, you won’t go wrong.


  • failing,  stress

    Panicking about marks and other fun stuff about UofT!!1!one!!: Part One

    Hello, I am a freshman who has royally screwed up. My first term tests for bio is a 74, physics 55, and chemistry most likely 60, math most likely a 70. These are horrible marks, as they will inhibit any attempts at furthering my GPA. I had begun university thinking 5 credits compared to 8 in high school, would be a walk in the park, with the exception of now more weighting to tests and exams. Due to this thinking and most beginning material to be high school review, I didn’t review or read anything, and my marks reflect that. I now plan for taking 1.5 credits this semester with 3.5 the next, so 7 courses next semester…is this realistic? Those courses are BIO130, CHM138 (dropped now and taking next semester), CHM139, PHY132, MAT136, MAT223 and PCL102 (art of drug discovery).
    Thanks, a lonely, depressed masochistic student.


    hey there,

    first of all, I disagree with your statement that “these are horrible marks.” You did fairly well, and most people say that their first year was their worst one average-wise, so don’t feel too discouraged. It’s more than likely it’ll get better from here on in.

    However, if your program is making you feel “lonely, depressed and masochistic,” ask yourself how much you’re really getting out of it. Over Christmas break, I’d suggest you take some time out to ask yourself why you’re at this school, why you want this degree, and whether you think the job it’s likely to get you is worth this effort, and is something you’d actually enjoy doing.

    If you’re dead-set on staying in the program that you picked originally, then there’s a couple things you can do. First, do the reviews! Never think any problem sets or practice midterms are beneath you. Ultimately, it’s the people who work the hardest who make it, not the people who get by with the least effort.

    Sometimes you might just need help understanding the material, and uoft has plenty of resources to help with that. If you need chemistry help, that’s available. Math help is available in the Galbraith Building in GB 149, every Monday to Friday from 12:10-2pm. Finally, take advantage of your prof/TA’s office hours – go to them and get help, as often as possible. I know everyone says that, but seriously. You’re paying money to learn. So get your money’s worth.

    Finally, to be totally honest, I would advise against doing 3.5 credits next semester. If you’re finding you’re having trouble this semester, doing two extra courses above the regular load next semester probably isn’t a good idea. But ultimately – it’s your decision. You’re in charge of your own life, and whatever you think is best for you, you shouldn’t be afraid of doing.

    Best of luck,


  • admissions,  engineering,  grad school

    Engineering admissions woes

    Hi! 🙂

    I am an international student and I really really want to attend Uoft engineering ece grad school. I am currently in my last semester and my cgpa will be 3.5-3.6 ish.

    Its a big dream of mine to get into uoft (follow in my dad’s footsteps) but i hear uoft is very competitive and they won’t even?look at anything less that 3.8. Should I just give up and not apply at all? I mean do I really have a shot at getting in?

    Thanks a lot :))

    -Worried Undergrad


    Hey there,

    So basically, the cut-off for a master’s in engineering is a mid-B – that works out to a 3.0 in your final year. You’ve decided to go for one of the more competitive engineering streams, meaning you should have as high above that average as possible, but fortunately, I’d say a 3.5-3.6 qualifies as well above the 3.0 minimum, enough to give you a shot.

    Also keep in mind that for ECE, GPA is not the only consideration. They also look at references, so the better your references, the more likely your chances of getting in even if you don’t have a 3.8 GPA or higher.

    If you’re concerned about how your school matches up with uoft’s, or if your degree is an appropriate preparation for uoft’s grad program, you can also take a look here.

    Finally, I’m gonna go ahead and say what I always say: don’t pay attention to what you hear from other people. If you have the time and money, go ahead and apply – it’s always worth a shot if you really want it. Also, I get that you want to come here because your father did and it has sentimental value, but I’d also encourage you to apply to other places as well; uoft’s great, but it’s not the only option!

    Best of luck, and try not to worry TOO much 🙂 I know it’s tough.


  • commerce,  FLC,  rotman

    Dropping an FLC

    Dear All:) Hey,
    I am a first-year student in Rotman Commerce and right now involved in FLC group for RSM (RSM099Y1). For some reason I have to drop this non-academic course. I went to ROSI at first and it said that I could not change anything on ROSI. So may I ask how to drop that course then? Am I still allowed to drop in this half-way period?


    hey there,

    I really like how you said “dear all,” like there’s a whole office behind askastudent, all of us just working together to answer as many questions as possible…yeah, no, it’s just me. Sittin’ here. All alone. Feel free to drop me a line any time. I don’t really get a lot of chances to talk to people.

    Anyway, I’m sad to hear you’re thinking about dropping your FLC group! FLCs are really cool because they’re like extra-curriculars in that they’re non-credit courses, but they’re official enough that they appear on your transcript as an extra activity – and they provide a social and networking atmosphere that can be really helpful for your future career, especially in commerce.

    However if you do have a scheduling conflict or REALLY don’t like your FLC, all you have to do is e-mail flc@utoronto.ca and let them know you want to drop it, then they should take it from there. Because it’s a non-credit course, dropping it halfway through the semester won’t jeopardize your GPA, so you can rest easy about that.

    stay swaggie,


  • breadth requirements,  math

    Breadth requirements *shivers*


    First of all, love the Game of Thrones reference on your ask page!

    Now to my question. I’ve heard from a U of T alumnus that any student must take a math or science course in first year even if he or she is 120% sure his/her major and future career will have nothing to do with either. Is that true?



    hey there,

    thanks, man! Just for you, I’m gonna make this post GoT themed. Catering to your personal tastes and stuff, yeah. Aska’s like that.

    Now, as to your question, the idea of forcibly making everyone take a math/science course seems like some kind of dystopian fantasy, and is fortunately not true. If you’re coming in to the faculty of arts and science, which you almost certainly are, you need to fulfil breadth requirements, which are basically a certain number (no more than one or two) of courses that you need to complete in each of five categories to get your degree. One of these categories is called “the Physical and Mathematical Universes.” HOWEVER if you take 1.0 (that is, two semester’s worth – so one full-year or two half-year courses) courses in each of the other four categories, then you don’t have to take any in that fifth math one.

    Also keep in mind that you don’t have to fulfil the breadth requirements in first year! So there is time to figure all this stuff out.

    So don’t worry yourself friend – you can avoid math for now.


  • admissions,  law,  law school

    aska tells you the rule of law

    Are there any course prerequisites for law school, or just a BA in
    anything (besides an LSAT and high averages)?


    hey there,

    So basically I’m just gonna give you the full run-down of uoft law, because it’s a bit different from the way other canadian law schools do things and I couldn’t bear to leave you all confuzzled.

    Most law schools in ontario (osgoode, western, what have you) consider your lsat score and gpa for admission, and nothing else. Uoft requires those as well. If you want an idea of the competitiveness you’re looking at, the average GPA of incoming students last year was 88%, and the average LSAT score was 167. Take note that these aren’t cut-offs or minimum requirements; they’re averages of the people who got in. You can have an average/LSAT score that’s lower than that and still get in.

    So the GPA and LSAT scores together make up 2/3rds of your application. The other 1/3 is a personal essay, which is unique to UofT. Basically, it’s no big deal, just a little essay describing who you are, what’s cool about you, and why you want to be a lawyer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about what you know about law; it’s more an opportunity to highlight what’s different or special about you.

    hope that helps man,


  • colleges,  IB,  scholarships/bursaries

    Rocking the IB credits (and college shtuff)

    Hi aska,

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

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

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


    hello there,

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

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

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

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


  • psychology,  PUMP

    psychology’s a tough cookie, man, what can i say.


    I’m a grade 12 student who is interested in taking psych in ut st.george. However, I don’t have calculus and I didn’t take Functions (U) in grade 11( I came to Canada last yr and I have no idea that the course is important). Is there any other way that I can still take psych? Such as taking Calculus in 1st yr? Or should I take something else in 1st yr and then switch to psych in 2nd?



    hey there,

    Basically, you’ve got two options here. Since you’re missing three math courses, there’s no way to finish them all in order to be considered for September 2014 admission. The admission decisions are made by June of every year, and after that it’s GAME OVER until the next admission cycle.

    Lucky for you, aska’s here to tell you all is not lost. What you can do is take a year off after you finish Grade 12, get your three credits at your high school during a victory lap (that is, a fifth year), and then apply for admission for September 2015. Easy-peasy, plus you get a year to work and think about your future and do all that mid-twenties soul-searching stuff.

    However, if you’re not up for any soul-searching garbage and you really want to start university right after you finish high school, you can apply to a general social science program for first year, take PSY100H1 (the only required university course for a psych major), and complete the calculus requirement through uoft’s PUMP (preparing for university mathematics) program during your first year, or through other alternative courses. Then you have your requirement by the time you apply for the psych major at the end of first year. This is a great way to meet the psych requirements, explore all your interests and make sure psych is really what you want to do, all in your first year.


  • admissions,  grad school,  masters

    living in a material world, and i am a materials (science) girl


    I am an international student and want to do my masters in material science in univ of Toronto. I have a decent CGPA and I think I would meet the requirements. I however have heard that Toronto is like the MIT of Canada. So it is very difficult to get into a grad programme. What will you suggest me to increase my chances of getting into the grad school.



    hey there,

    Between you and me, friend, I’ve heard absolutely everything about uoft – depending on who you ask, it’s the Harvard, the MIT or the Brown of Canada. I choose not to listen to any of these people, and I recommend you do the same.

    The only thing you can do is follow the application instructions as closely as possible and hope for the best. With that said, let’s take a look at requirements.

    So, three main points: 1. You’re going to need a mark that’s at least a 78% (B+) in your LAST TWO YEARS of undergrad 2. You don’t need to do the GRE and 3. If your university didn’t teach in English, you’re gonna need a certain score in TOEFL or another English language test. Finally, they recommend that you contact professors who might be suitable supervisors for you before applying.

    It seems like they’re really only considering your GPA and the relevance of your program to the MASc., so just try to get as high an average as possible. Make marks your priority, since it’s basically all they’re looking at. Above that, there’s nothing else you can really do.

    However, if you’re really kinda nervous about where your school’s reputation stands in relation to uoft, Toronto has provided a complete list of minimum admission requirements for every country. Take a browse, but don’t worry that you’ve got no chance because you’re coming from a different school. I’d also encourage you to apply to a couple different places, just in case you don’t get in or even because you might get a better offer somewhere else. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

    I hope that’s made you feel a bit better:) Good luck!


  • admissions

    be the best belle at the ball for BSc.

    Hi there, I was wondering if you could tell me what a good high school average would be to get into the BSc psych program at UofT? I’m currently at an 82%.



    hey there friend.

    Let me explain you a thing about the university of Toronto. When you are admitted into the university, you are part of a general program – for you, that would be the Life Sciences BSc. The admission requirements for this program are six 4U/M courses including university English, Chemistry, Calculus and (recommended) Biology. If you have an average in these six courses that is in the low to mid eighties, you are eligible for admission. That means that you, my lil’ friend, just make it into the range of eligible averages. Something a bit higher would give you a better edge though, so keep trying as the year continues.

    Once you’re at the university, you have a year to take all kinds of different courses. Explore different classes. Take up a weird hobby. Then, in April, you’ll get a chance to settle down into a major. You declare your subject POSt (program of study) at the end of first year, and this is when you either do or don’t get admitted into psychology. When you say psych, I assume you mean psychology major. The requirements for admission into this major are a 75% in PSY100H1 (so make sure you squeeze that course into all your explorations), a high school Calculus course, and any other 4.0 credits. The average of these courses will be used to determine whether or not you get in.

    There’s no explicit average you need to get – but use your common sense. An average of 75% in PSY100H1 is the absolute MINIMUM, so the higher above that you can get, the better. This is a limited enrolment program, so if you’re gonna do this, do it properly. Go hard or go home.

    And that’s just about everything you need to know! Hope to see your groovy face at uoft next year.


  • subject POST

    subject posts posing a problem

    Hiya, I just started 2nd year, and I’ve enrolled into 3 subject posts: major in cell and molec bio, major in bio, and minor in psych. Now I majored in bio just for a course…I actually wanted human bio. They are all type 1. Can I still switch the bio to human bio any time I want on rosi, or do I have to wait until April…or…can I even? I’m a little worried, as the deadline for type 1 posts were september 22!


    hey there,

    You gotta keep an eye on those deadlines! Unfortunately, you can’t switch your major now because September 22 has passed, but you will be able to this coming April. In 2013, the period to choose your subject POSt opened on April 1st, so this year it’ll probably open again around the same time, and, just like this year, stay open until some time in late September. So when this April comes around, you gotta be all set to switch up your subject post on rosi.

    Just make sure you have the prerequisites for human biology, because if you don’t you might run into some trouble. If you have the prerequisites for a program though, then you can switch into it in April. It’s that easy.

    keeping track of your deadlines for you,


  • switching

    sneaky sneaky lecture switching

    Say, for example, I’m taking a Mathematical Proofs course (MAT102) but due to personal learning ability I wish to switch to a different lecture (i.e. LEC0102 to LEC0103). The time schedule and the material is the exact same in both lectures, the only difference is the room. Even though it is now too late to transfer to a different lecture, what would be the repercussions of me skipping my scheduled lecture and attending the other one instead?


    hey there,

    If by repercussions you mean scary official university people who are going to track you down and punish you for your HEINOUS LECTURE SKIPPING, you’re probably not going to encounter that. Let’s be real, in big lectures, it’s fairly easy to slip out of one and into another. But is it a good idea?

    At the end of the day, there are always going to be little differences between one prof and another, and your prof is the one who administers your tests/quizzes, so it might be a good idea to stick around in their lecture. They might emphasize different things from another professor, and when it comes to writing the tests, those things will come less easily to you than to your classmates. Also, you could miss out on important administrative information if you go to a different lecture.

    If you’re really bent on going to this other lecture though, why not talk to that other prof and/or the registrar’s office about possibly switching into it? Your case is pretty specific and they might be able to accommodate you. Who knows? I’d say it’s worth giving a shot.

    If you’re concerned about your personal learning ability, just talk to the prof about it. You can also try Accessibility Services, or the academic skills centre. They are super helpful and awesome.

    Hope you enjoy your class, compadre, whatever you decide.


  • admissions,  architecture

    so you wanna defect to architect


    Basically, this is a really long question about how? I can transfer into?the Daniels Faculty of Architecture. Currently, I’m a life science major.?I’d like to keep my current major, and study it along with architecture.

    I know I have to fill out the U of T internal application. Around what?range does my AGPA and CGPA have to be in order to be considered, and in?order to be a competitive application??And would I have to have completed the introductory first year architecture?course before applying for a transfer?

    I’ve also had some extenuating circumstances (personal illness, illness of?an immediate family member) that have made my marks lower than they could?be. They are definitely not excuses, but they did affect my performance; is?there any way I can make the decisions committee aware of these factors?

    Also, how much does the application cost?

    Thank you so much for your help, sorry for all the questions!


    Hey there,

    Wow, lots of questions. It’s cool, I had a large coffee this morning. Let’s go.

    I’m gonna be straight with you. I don’t decide who gets into the architecture program. Believe it or not, the mysterious figure behind this blog is NOT an all-powerful admissions authority at UofT. So I don’t know exactly what your marks have to look like to be competitive. Your overall CGPA and most recent AGPA will be considered, but there is no set cut-off. So just do the best you can.

    You don’t need to have taken any previous architecture courses, just as long as you’ve completed a certain number of high school credits. As to your extenuating circumstances, I’m sorry that you’ve been put in that situation. The application for the architecture BA only looks at your marks and a creative essay, so there’s no formal way to explain your unique circumstances. What you can do though is?e-mail the Faculty of architecture, landscape and design’s faculty office assistant?letting them know what’s up.

    As for the application, it costs an arm, a leg, and a monthly 9L plasma donation to the University of Toronto’s department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology. And what I mean by that is that OUAC charges $135 for your application. So. Same deal, really.

    Good luck homeslice, and good luck with your application!