Admissions Blog

MD Admissions is moving!

By Admissions on December 5, 2017

MD Admissions will be moving offices from December 15 – 18. We may be out of phone and email contact on Friday, December 15 and/or Monday, December 18, but hope that everything is up and running again by Tuesday, December 19. Feel free to keep emailing and/or messaging us through the application system during this time – we will write back as soon as we can.

Due to the move, we will have a new phone number starting Monday, December 18: 604-822-9911. Our mailing address will stay the same. We will have a new location for our info sessions starting in January; please check the Information Sessions page for updates.

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Pre-Interview Scoring and FAQs 2017/2018

By Admissions on December 4, 2017

We are always impressed with applicants’ academic and non-academic achievements, and regret that we cannot invite more of you to interview. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual feedback on your application, but we hope this explanation of scores can help to answer some of your questions. There are some FAQs below as well.

OGPA = Overall GPA in UBC percentage

AGPA = Adjusted GPA in UBC percentage

AQ Score = OGPA (if not eligible for AGPA) or AGPA, converted to a number out of 50 (50 is the maximum score). The AQ score is just your OGPA or AGPA, automatically converted to a number out of 50 by our application system. The exact conversion mechanism is confidential. It is important to emphasize that the calculation is automatically determined. This means if your OGPA/AGPA is correct, your AQ score is also correct. If you are a reapplicant and your AQ score is different from last year, that’s ok; the scores are standardized against the current applicant pool, which changes from year to year. This means your AQ score can change even if your OGPA/AGPA stays the same.

NAQ Score = The score given for the non-academic portions of the application, converted to a number out of 50. In order to make sure applicants receive a fair score for this section, all file reviewers are carefully trained, there are various checks throughout the process to ensure consistency in marking, and the NAQ score is standardized to make up for any scoring variations between reviewers. Due to these safeguards we do not accept requests for re-evaluation of the non-academic section.

Please note that while we look for the same aptitudes and qualities each year, we periodically revise how we evaluate and score these qualities. Additionally, every year there are changes in the applicant pool which affect the scoring of the non-academic section. These include the competiveness of the pool, the addition or deletion of activities from an individual’s application, and adjustments made to the average candidate profile that reviewers use to help evaluate the non-academic sections. Therefore, NAQ scores may fluctuate from year to year.

TFR Score = AQ Score + NAQ Score. Your TFR score might be really close to the cutoff. We have double-checked these files for accuracy, so unfortunately, you might just be one of the unlucky ones whose score is really close but not quite high enough to get an interview this year.

 

FAQs

Feedback

I was not invited for an interview; can I talk/meet with someone to discuss my application? I would like some more feedback.
Due to limited resources, we regret that we are not able to offer any feedback advising to applicants who were not granted an interview, nor can we provide any further information about the evaluation of your file. More information about scoring can be found on our Evaluation Criteria page. Reviewing the Interim Statistics on our Statistics page may also help you to identify some potential areas of improvement in your application.

I can tell why I didn’t get an interview, but how can I improve my scores?
Unfortunately, we cannot give you individual feedback about improving your scores – each person’s situation and application is unique and we do not have the resources to offer this type of advising to applicants.

In general terms, improving one’s AQ score seems fairly straightforward, in that the only way to improve a GPA is by taking more classes and achieving higher grades in those classes. It’s the related if/how/when/why/is it worth it type of questions that are much more complicated. You know your situation, capacities, future plans, and personal resources the best, and you are the best person to make this kind of decision. We cannot tell you what impact improving your GPA would have on your ultimate chances of acceptance.

For NAQ, we look for several things when we evaluate the non-academic portions of the application: longstanding, meaningful commitments; leadership; service ethic and altruism; ability to work with others, especially people outside of your peer group; and diverse interests and experiences. We also recognize exceptional achievements in some areas. With NAQ it is important to remember that the applicant pool isn’t made up of the same people you might normally compare yourself against, like your classmates or coworkers – it is made up of highly accomplished individuals just like you. Unfortunately we cannot offer specific ways to improve your NAQ score.

AQ

My AQ score seems too low for my GPA.
The AQ score can look really low sometimes. This is a result of the conversion mechanism we use (which is confidential). The AQ score is a number that is meant to be compared to other AQ scores only; it doesn’t have much meaning on its own. Sometimes applicants will see an AQ score of 10 or something similar and will think we are giving them a 10% (an F). We’re not! Please try to use your AQ score for comparative purposes only. The GPAs published on the interim stats may be a useful comparison tool as well. Finally, as a reminder, as long as your OGPA or AGPA (if applicable) is correct, your AQ score is correct.

I think that there has been a mistake in the academic evaluation of my file.
The academic evaluation was based on the credits and grades entered by applicants. If you believe that there has been a specific error, please send an email via the application system detailing what you believe the mistake to be. Please note that some applicants entered wrong information – eg. did not include all courses, excluded failed courses or used letter grades instead of percentages. In these instances the Admissions Office had to correct these mistakes by verifying courses and grades on official transcripts. Therefore, there may be a discrepancy between averages calculated by an applicant and the grades as they appear on the Application Status page of his/her application.

The calculation of the AQ Score is automatically performed by the application system, so as long as your OGPA or AGPA (if applicable) is correct, your AQ Score is also correct.

I am a re-applicant. I have not taken any further coursework so my OGPA/AGPA is the same (or I have taken further coursework and my OGPA/AGPA is higher than last year), but my scores have gone down. Why?
For the academic section of the application the actual evaluation criteria remained the same and there were no changes to the grade conversion tables used. However, academic scores, like non-academic scores, are standardized against the current applicant pool. You can check your AQ score by looking at your OGPA or AGPA (if applicable): if your OGPA/AGPA is correct, your AQ score is also correct. 

I thought I should have been eligible for the AGPA to determine my academic score, but it does not seem to have been used.
The AGPA was calculated based on the courses and grades entered by applicants. The application system automatically determined (a) the lowest academic year which could be eliminated and (b) if this year could be dropped (i.e. if there were still 90 remaining credits with grades at the time of application, excluding summer 2017 courses, as outlined on the Evaluation Criteria page). The Admissions Office verified that grades had been entered accurately by comparison with the official transcripts. 

My overall GPA (or adjusted GPA if applicable) is slightly below the 75%/85% cut-off but I still feel my non-academic experiences are very strong and should have been reviewed.
Although we look for excellent non-academic qualities, these must also be accompanied by very good academic qualities to demonstrate an applicant’s ability to successfully handle the rigorous MD Undergraduate curriculum. It was determined that a lower AQ score (below 75% for BC and below 85% for OOP) cannot be offset by a strong NAQ score; hence these files were not reviewed.

I attended a university that did not use percentages for its grading scheme. How did UBC calculate averages from universities with different grading schemes?
Information on grade conversions, including our grade conversion tables, can be found on the Evaluation Criteria page of our website.

NAQ

I am not happy with the non-academic score I received. Can I request another review?  
We understand that you may be dissatisfied with the scoring of the non-academic portion of your file, but would like to assure you that the non-academic portion of your application was reviewed and evaluated fairly and consistently. We will not re-evaluate the non-academic section of your file. At the beginning of each cycle, with guidelines provided by the Admissions Policy Committee, we establish a profile of an average applicant as a benchmark and points are allotted accordingly. Reviewers are trained and files are cross-checked. Although there cannot help but be a degree of subjectivity involved, we feel the standardized process keeps this to a minimum. 

I am a re-applicant. I feel I have more activities, volunteer, and employment experiences than last year, but my NAQ score has not increasedWhy?
Each year, the applicant pool is different, as is the average applicant profile used by non-academic evaluators. In addition, while we look for the same aptitudes and qualities each year, we periodically revise how we evaluate and score these qualities. All of these may contribute to a lower-than-expected NAQ score. 

General

I was not invited for an interview and would like to appeal the decision.
We realize the importance of your application and appreciate that the results may be disappointing. Please be aware that we do our best to ensure that our evaluation practices are fair and consistent. Files are often double and sometimes triple checked to ensure accuracy. While we are unable to discuss your application over the phone, you may message Admissions through the application system if you have any specific concerns regarding your file evaluation. Please note that we will not re-evaluate the non-academic section of your file. We will not make appointments with the Dean, Associate Dean, or Admissions staff to discuss your application.

I’m not sure if I am seeing the right thing under the scores line on my Application Status page.
This is what you should see, depending on your application status:

Ineligible: no scores
Regrets, Partial File Review: OGPA, AGPA (if applicable)
Regrets, No Interview: OGPA, AGPA (if applicable), AQ, NAQ and TFR
Invited to Interview: no scores

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Message from AFMC: MCAT Fee Assistance Program for Canadians

By Admissions on November 24, 2017

AFMC has provided more information on the new MCAT Fee Assistance Program for Canadians. Please click the poster to read their message, or view a PDF version here.

 

 

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November 23 – Online Information Session

By Admissions on November 7, 2017

An online information session will be held on Thursday, November 23 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. If you would like to attend an info session but can’t make it in person, we hope one of our online sessions will work with your schedule. Please see our Information Sessions page to register.

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MCAT Fee Assistance Program for Canadians

By Admissions on November 1, 2017

A new MCAT Fee Assistance Program for Canadians is coming soon. This pilot program will enable Canadian students who demonstrate financial need to receive reduced MCAT scheduling, rescheduling, and cancellation fees. Students will submit financial information to the Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada (AFMC), who will determine which students are in greatest need of the funds. AFMC will identify these students to the AAMC through their AAMC ID numbers only, so no information will be passed on to the individual medical schools.

We hope this program can bring the MCAT within reach of applicants facing financial barriers. Details are still a bit sparse, but if you are interested in this program, please check out the information posted on the AAMC and AFMC websites. Unfortunately, the Admissions Office does not administer this program and we do not have any additional information beyond what is available on the AAMC and AFMC websites, but we will pass along any updates we receive.

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