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Waterloo 2014

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by teril02, 07.08.13.


  1. Thanks to Crack the OAT
  1. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
    07.08.13
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry

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    Hello everyone!

    I've just completed my OAT and submitted my online application for Optometry at Waterloo and was looking to get to know the other applicants. I know it's a little early to be creating a thread for the Waterloo 2014 applicants but I'm a little jumpy so I decided to start it now.

    You can check out the forums from past years to see about the whole application process and get some references for scores on OAT and GPAs from past applicants.
    References
    Optometry Cycle 2013 Thread
    Optometry Cycle 2012 Thread
    Optometry Cycle 2011 Thread

    So we can get to know everyone, please provide some of the following details
    Current Education level:
    (3rd yr, 4th year, PhD, Masters, working?)
    OAT score: (TS / AA)
    GPA: ( out of 4.0 )
    Optometry Experience: (volunteer length and with how many optometrists)
    EC: volunteering , awards,

    Check out this link from McMaster if you need help with converting your GPA
    http://studentsuccess.mcmaster.ca/students/tools/gpa-conversion-chart.html
    Take a peek at the transcript legend here from Waterloo as it may also help in converting and calculating your GPA
    Waterloo Transcript Legend

    I'll start. I didn't do as well on the OAT as I had on practice tests but apparently my score puts me in the 80th percentile for the average.

    Current Education level: 4th year of B.Sc. Honours in Neuroscience
    OAT score: 330 TS/ 330 AA
    GPA: 11.15 out of 12.00 (about 3.90 out of 4.00)
    Optometry Experience: Shadowed two ODs and opticians for a day
    EC: Worked in the Registrar's Office of my university for over a year / just starting to volunteer with the CNIB / Dean's List / Neuro society at my university

    Cheers!
    Last edited: 03.07.14
  2. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
    75
    Hey! I'm also applying to Waterloo this year! I haven't written my OAT yet, and am going to get some shadowing done this summer, but my GPA isn't as great as yours (~3.65 on the OMSAS scale...not sure how Waterloo will calculate that into percentages).

    I'll keep you guys updated on how things go! :)

    PS - I'm Canadian :)
  3. optogirl17

    optogirl17

    Joined:
    06.13.13
    Messages:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    I too am planning to apply and scored the same on the OAT as you. On practice tests I was scoring 400 consistently on bio, however felt totally caught of guard for the real thing. I was wondering if you felt the same? Also, do you plan to retake it with that score (I am undecided)?
  4. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
    07.08.13
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hello chb64 and optogirl17!

    I did find the OAT harder than I expected, optogirl. I somehow actually got 400 on the Bio section and that really helped my overall score. I got 290 on both Organic Chem and QRT. I didn't study the right things enough for Orgo and I ran out of time for QRT so I was rushing and just picking answers. Which is unfortunate because math is one of my stronger subjects. Hopefully Waterloo sees on our transcripts that some of the OAT scores don't really reflect our abilities.

    I would like to rewrite it but you have to wait 90 days between writing the OAT so I wouldn't be able to try it again until October and so I'll be in the middle of classes then and Waterloo wants you to have written the OAT by July 31st. Unless they somehow let me do another round and will count it, I won't be writing it again unless I don't get in.

    I have seen on other posts in this forum that people with scores around 300 and 310 have gotten interviews and people with around 350 have gotten in. Hopefully this year the OAT was more strictly graded so we get in!

    Good luck on your OAT chb64 and I'm Canadian too! I live in Ottawa.
  5. Xraychump

    Xraychump

    Joined:
    10.10.12
    Messages:
    34
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey guys - I'm one of the entering students for next year's optom class. Feel free to ask me any questions you need! I ran this year's optom 2013 cycle thread and hopefully that will be a good resource for you guys as there didn't seem to be anything in the past.

    I'm also offering MMI training sessions for next year's applicants come October. I didn't have a stellar GPA, and my OAT were decent but I really felt it was my MMI that made me stand out. I practiced for about 3 weeks straight and it definitely paid off with certain techniques and strategies.

    Anyways let me know if you have any other questions regarding : Application, OAT , Courses, taking online courses for medical ethics/ English. And MMI prep.
  6. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
    07.08.13
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Thanks Xraychump! The thread from last year has been a big help so far. Congrats on getting in by the way and I'm glad we still have chances even without perfect GPAs or OAT scores though yours were quite impressive.

    I've never done an MMI so I may take you up on your offer for the training. I need to do well there to really help my chances of getting in.
  7. optogirl17

    optogirl17

    Joined:
    06.13.13
    Messages:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Current Education level: 3rd year of BSc in Biology
    OAT score: 330 TS/ 330 AA
    GPA: 4.00 out of 4.00
    Optometry Experience: Worked for an optometrist for 7 years as well as shadowing
    EC: On my university's Math and Science council, optometry volunteer work, Waterloo optometry bridging program exam subject

    Nice to meet everyone! I am glad to hear some people are as eager as I am. Question for Xraychump, as I just wrote my OAT yesterday and am devastated by my score. Similar to Teril02, I too scored under 300 in two sections and was shocked as it did not at all relate to the 400's I was scoring on practice exams. I guess my question is do we all still have a good chance at being admitted with such a low OAT score (330)? Any hope I can get at this point would be amazing. I feel like the OAT was so out of left field... :(
  8. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC

    Joined:
    02.22.13
    Messages:
    28
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Current Education level: 4th year Hons B.Sc Neuroscience/Chemistry
    OAT score: 370 TS/ 360 AA
    GPA: 3.78 (4.0 scale)
    Optometry Experience: Shadowed two ODs for a day
    EC: organic chemistry seminars, chemistry tutor, assistant physiotherapy in geriatrics, research assistant in analytical neurochemistry


    I've been told by everyone I have solid marks, but I am a bit nervous about my limited optometry experience but at the same time, I question whether or not the length of the optometry experience matters or just the overall exposure and determination to find such a rare experience.
  9. dancingaround52

    dancingaround52

    Joined:
    11.05.12
    Messages:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey guys!!! I wrote my OAT 2 weeks ago, and will be applying to Waterloo very soon.

    Current Education Level: 4th year double major in Biology and Nutrition
    OAT score: 390 TS/380 AA
    CGPA: 3.39/4.00 :(
    Optometry Experience: Work in an optical clinic as an optician assistant and have shadowed 2 different optometrists in private practice and 1 optometrist in comerical practice.
    EC: organic chemistry TA, volunteer for canadian blood services, children with disabilities, and at a rehab center, medical/dental/public health volunteer brigade in honduras, mental health awareness society co-president at my uni

    I facked up my first year in uni, which is reeeeally dragging down my overall GPA. It is so difficult to raise your GPA after a few poor grades! Not feeling very confident since my GPA is so low... what do you guys think??
  10. tbair200

    tbair200

    Joined:
    05.28.13
    Messages:
    47
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey all! I am not applying to waterloo but I am applying for schools in the usa. I was wondering how long did it take optomcas to calculate your gpas? Also do you have to pay the fees before they calculate them? Good luck everyone!! Also, I agree that the oat was wayy harder than I expected!!!
  11. tbair200

    tbair200

    Joined:
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    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    you did awesome on your oat! I don't think you should worry :)
  12. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
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    28
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hi AnthonyC! My optometrist who's been helping me with the whole application only shadowed an optometrist for half a day when she applied. Granted she got into Waterloo about 10 years ago but it gives me hope since I have limited Optometry experience too!

    dancingaround52, I think your OAT scores will show Waterloo that you're quite capable at handling the material despite your grades in first year.

    Sorry tbair200, I didn't use optomCAS at all because I'm only applying to Waterloo and I just used the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) since I'm an Ontario resident.
  13. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC

    Joined:
    02.22.13
    Messages:
    28
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hi teril02, my optometrist also mentioned she only was a receptionist back when OAC (grade 13) existed and she was able to get in from that experience.

    Also, I was talking to some people and apparently a lot of girls have been able to get into optometry because they were receptionists at an optometry clinic as well... Probably one of those times I wished I was a girl because a few clinics I applied to didn't want to have a male receptionist and had no other volunteer position avail.

    Let's hope our limited experience backed by our GPAs is enough!
  14. Euhemerus

    Euhemerus

    Joined:
    07.08.13
    Messages:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey guys! I should be applying to Waterloo this September.

    Current Education level: Starting 3rd year of BSc in Biology at the University of Alberta
    OAT score: 400 TS/ 370 AA
    GPA: 3.455 out of 4.00
    Optometry Experience: Should be shadowing with optometrists this August.
    EC: University groups, rowing, fraternity, student election volunteer,

    I'm hoping my GPA isn't too low to put me out of consideration.
  15. tsam

    tsam

    Joined:
    07.15.13
    Messages:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey guys! I also plan on applying to Waterloo this summer. I just wrote my OAT about a week ago and didn't score as high as I had hoped, but still want to give the application process a try.

    Current Education level: 3rd year of B.Sc. Biological Sciences
    OAT score: 340 TS / 330 AA
    GPA: 3.9 according to OMSAS
    Optometry Experience: Worked at an Optometric Clinic for the last 2 summers (Doing pretesting, reception work, retinal photo and OCT scanning). I planning on job shadowing with a couple doctors at the clinic later on this summer.
    EC: Dean's List, Lifeguarding, Swim Instructor and First aid/ CPR certifications, position on school Pre-Optometry Club, previous experience volunteering at hospital information desk and research institute
    Last edited: 07.15.13
  16. Xraychump

    Xraychump

    Joined:
    10.10.12
    Messages:
    34
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey optogirl! The OAT can be tricky as it pools questions from many different subjects. Waterloo does suggest that do not score below a 300 on any given subject however don't get down on yourself from your score. Previous applicants have received interviews on lower OAT scores. Example someone in the 2013 cycle had a 310/300 score and still was selected for an interview.

    Since you cannot take the OAT till October I recommend you apply this round, since you have an outstanding GPA (4.0 that's amazing!- can't get any higher) and if you don't make it, you rewrite it again in May next year since you know it could be improved. When I applied I was similar in your situation, my OAT scores were decent (360/360), but my GPA (3.3)was poor. What will differentiate yourself is during the interview. Best of luck! Let me know if you need anything else answered.

    Hey Teril02. No problem, I am putting up a website shortly with my contact info and we can definitely arrange something when interview rounds happen. You sound like you're in the same boat as optogirl. Again - if you don't get an interview this round you can at least pinpoint it to OAT scores. Good luck, and when interview time comes around try to connect with me :)

    Congrats on your wicked OAT scores! I understand your fear with your low GPA, but don't give up. I had a 3.3 GPA and still managed to get in! I may have been one of the few selected with such a low gpa, but again if you make it to the interview round, it'll be your chance to impress and distinguish yourself from the other candidates who have well rounded application. So don't worry - I am a good example of someone who had a low GPA still get in!

    Hey Tbair200, I applied to the states last year and interviewed at NECO/PCO/MCPHS and Ferris. As for calculating your GPAS, I dug up some old e-mails.

    From Optomcas
    "Upon processing your fee payment and receiving your required official transcripts from all U.S colleges and universities attended, OptomCAS will verify your course work and forward your verified application data to all of your designated schools. In addition to the OptomCAS application, schools may require you to send a supplemental application and fee directly to the institution"

    I submitted my application in August 27th and they verified it on Sept 13th. So about two to three weeks time frame. Good luck on your applications.
    " Your application has now been Verified, and will be included in the next OptomCAS mailing to your designated programs. "

    Hey tsam, I'm sorry to hear about your OAT score. Apply anyways they may see something they like in your application. If you plan on writing the OAT again, I may have some advise if you're in need.

    Let me know if you have any other questions guys.
  17. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
    75
    Wow I'm glad to meet lots of fellow Canadian pre-optometry students! I just started looking into Optometry as a career and so I don't really know any other pre-optom students.

    Xraychump - if you score below 300 on any section (and by section do they mean like "Natural Sciences" or do they mean like "Biology" or "Organic". I'm really scared I am going to score below 300 on my orgo section :( If I do, does that mean I can't apply at all?

    And I will definitely take up on your offer for the MMI practice, I would HUGELY appreciate that!! (never done an MMI and it seems nervewracking!)

    Does anyone know how or if Waterloo uses a particular admissions formula, like they do for some med schools? ie, 30% GPA, 30% OAT etc.

    Also - how does waterloo convert letter grades into percentages? I emailed Admissions a long time but they never told me exactly. I go to a school with letter grades, so I don't know how they'll calc my average (since they want a minimum 75% average).

    Aaaaand - do they look at your prereqs differently than your other courses? Like say I got B in one of the prereqs like English, would they hold that against me? (btw, I need to find a decent online ethics/english course, anyone have recommendations? :) It can be at any school!)

    Thanks! :)
  18. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey chb64, welcome to the group!

    The website on Waterloo says if you score below 300 on total science or any individual section they encourage you to retake the OAT but it doesn't mean you can't apply. Like I said before, I got 290 on Orgo and QRT but I'm applying anyway and hoping my transcripts show I can do those subjects successfully and that the interview will showcase my skills better.

    I found this link on one of the earlier forums discussing applications to Waterloo. I don't know if it's the exact conversion they will use for grades but it could be handy: https://uwaterloo.ca/registrar/transcripts/transcript-legend

    I had e-mailed Waterloo in the past and the response they gave me was that they simply look to see you've completed the prerequisites but they look at your overall CGPA when considering admissions. They may "unofficially" look at the specific prerequisite grades since you have to provide those on the longer paper application but supposedly they just look to see you've completed the course.

    Athabasca University is a fully online university and I've heard good things about it. I don't know if they offer an ethics or English course but it could be a good place to start: http://www.athabascau.ca/
  19. Xraychump

    Xraychump

    Joined:
    10.10.12
    Messages:
    34
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey Chb - What Teril said was correct, on their website the state that they encourage you to retake the OAT, It doesn't mean you cannot apply at all! They may see something that appeals to them. For me even though I had a bad GPA, they saw I scored decently on the OAT and I have work experience. So make your application attractive as possilbe. I usually advise people not to worry on their weaknessess and highlight their strengths. For instance my GPA wasn't going to change significantly if I did extremly well on one more course. However I did know that if I highlighted my strengths, I would rather be noticed by that than by my weakness.

    As for online courses: I took two through Athabasca. I did an english course and a philosphy course which was the medical ethics preqreq.

    And as for MMI practice - I'll put up my contact info soon in september just before interviews start to get handed out.

    PHIL335 - Biomedical ethics
    ENGL155 - Developing writing skills

    I've linked both to their URLS - Both were straight forward and recieved good marks. Phil 335 is a lot of reading! so be warned haha.

    Waterloo does not openly disclose their breakdown of acceptance. As far as I know I am probably one of the lowest cGPA in the class! :laugh: What may help is if you reference their stats from previous years. They have ranges of stats from 2008 to 2011 of accepted applicants: This will let you know what to strive for and meet any of those criteria either cGPA or OAT score.

    http://uwaterloo.ca/optometry-vision-science/future-optometry-students/admission-requirements/selection-process
    Last edited: 07.17.13
  20. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
    75
    thanks so much teril02! Yeah, I'm hoping that's the conversion they use - that would REALLY bump up my average (the OMSAS GPA scale is pretty harsh...do bad in one course and your entire GPA for that year is ruined. I sure hope Waterloo looks at it like that, since I didn't do so well on a few courses, but have mostly As on my transcript.)

    Thanks Xraychump for your info :) So I'm assuming that Waterloo is ok with these English/ethics courses as prereqs! (I was actually looking into these very courses so I'm glad to hear that they are doable As!)

    Btw guys, for the OAT, I don't have much time left and I am quite behind in my studying (July 31). Any topics/tips any of you could give me? I am taking this microbiology course atm in addition to studying for OAT and the lab reports are soooo time consuming (one due every single week :( )
  21. Euhemerus

    Euhemerus

    Joined:
    07.08.13
    Messages:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Am I crazy or did the prerequisites for Waterloo change? I remember two semesters of humanities being a requirement but I checked this morning and it's no longer there. Was it ever required?
  22. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC

    Joined:
    02.22.13
    Messages:
    28
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    No it was never required. Perhaps you were looking at Waterloo's Pharmacy program?

    Developmental biology and physiology (human and plant) showed up quite a few times on my OAT that I wrote about 2 years ago back in second year summer. I was also taking microbiology during that time!

    Endocrinology for sure... and others are just random easy questions taking from cell/molecular biology and ecology.

    Good luck!

    -------------

    For all others, I am actually interested in why you guys also picked optometry? Would it be because it is a clean job? Or perhaps it is high paying? Or you would just enjoy counseling and assisting people on a daily basis? Or maybe because the pay is high and the job is simple?
  23. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
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    Thanks AnthonyC! :)
  24. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    I picked Optometry because I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field and be able to help people. I never liked the idea of dentistry and becoming an actual doctor stressed me out too much. I also felt as a doctor, unless you're a family doctor, you don't get the same repertoire with your clients and it's not as fun then. I've also always wanted a family and being a doctor doesn't necessarily provide consistent hours so I can plan for things with my family.

    Now, I didn't just pick Optometry because the other two didn't work. I always enjoyed visiting my Optometrist and found the equipment they use fascinating (taking photos of retinas) and the idea that you are giving someone their vision back is very rewarding. It also allows some of the clinical diagnosing and determining treatment plans for people and you see clients regularly and can get to know them. It's steady work that will always be in demand and the pay is nice too. Also, my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience had allowed me to study the senses and organs a lot and I find the visual cortex and the eye fascinating. The idea that are brain simply takes randomly oriented bars of light hitting specific receptors and can create this massively complex world in our mind for us to "see". It's too cool.

    Sorry for the long explanation/rant!
  25. dancingaround52

    dancingaround52

    Joined:
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    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    I too also always knew I wanted to work in health care. Its in my nature to take care of people and believe optometry would allow the perfect opportunity for that. A few years ago I actually wanted to go into dentistry. I studied for the DAT and was looking into dental schools. I ended up shadowing with a dentist and realized it was not for me. Dentistry does not have as much patient-doctor interaction as I hope for in my career. I also felt uncomfortable with the pain aspect that comes along with dentistry. The dentist made probably 90% of the patients he saw that day cry. Don't get me wrong, dentists are amazing and they have saved so many lives, but personally I do not want to make my patients cry on a daily basis.

    Then when I went for my anual eye exam I asked my optometrist if I could shadow her for a day. And after shadowing her I knew 100% that optometry would be perfect for me, and I know I would make a good optometrist. Optometry requires someone who is a people person (which I am), and I will be able to make a huge impact in my patients lives. Giving them the gift of sight is huge! Not to mention I am also just a huge nerd and am extremely interested in the physiology, function and physics of the eye and optics.. hehe.

    Optometry is challenging and rewarding. It will allow me to provide vision health care to my patients without hurting them 90% of the time. :)
  26. sb1993

    sb1993

    Joined:
    08.02.13
    Messages:
    26
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey.
    I am applying to Waterloo optometry this year!
    STATS:

    Going into third year science at UW
    OAT: 360TS/350AA
    GPA : 3.72 (out of 4.00 scale)
    Experience: volunteering/job shadow 2 days
    EC: lots of intramural sports, volunteering at two 1 day things, working 2 part time jobs, volunteering at a hockey camp

    I feel i need to get more volunteer stuff overall including with an optometrists, but how does my application look so far?
  27. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC

    Joined:
    02.22.13
    Messages:
    28
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    One or two days was apparently enough for many of the OD students I've talked to... but I think you're getting the same feeling as me! Everyone else has years of optometry related experiences and we just have a day or two. Of course, longer will be more advantageous but shorter does not mean disadvantageous since you satisfied the requirements (assuming your shadowed for the LoR)

    I think that even though it is important to get familiar with the field of optometry, other volunteer experiences can help shape/mold your personality as a whole and help you develop skills needed for optometry such as the interaction/treatment with patients from volunteering at a hospital or a LTC center.

    Another student once told me something along the lines that optometry belongs to the field of vision SCIENCE, meaning any EC related to science will be good. After all, the scientific method (which we are all fond of and practiced all of our undergrad life) will be the prime foundation which will be used in optometry school.

    Cheers.
  28. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
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    75
    I think you're right - they want to see that you know what a career in optometry is like, but that doesn't mean you need years of optometry experience. There were a few students admitted in the last year's cycle with just a few days of shadowing. Volunteer/other ECs will definitely help you in conveying that you are ready for a healthcare profession like optometry (something that shows leadership, responsibility, aptitude in science, communication skills, etc).

    I actually just started looking into Optometry as a career, and will only have like a week or a few days worth of shadowing myself before applying, so you guys are not alone :)

    Now I have a question for you guys! On Waterloo's website, it says:

    "Two confidential assessment forms (CAF) are required as part of the application. CAF’s are like a letter of reference, but are specific forms. Those forms are part of the secondary application and are not available prior to that time."

    So does that mean that our referees don't actually write a letter - they just fill out the CAF form? And that I can't give my referees the forms before submitting the first online application? (what exactly is the secondary application? The pdf link that they send to you via email after you submit the online part?).

    Thanks guys!

    Btw- I wrote my OAT the other day and got 340/350. Not amazing but actually better than what I thought I'd get. Hope its enough :oops:
  29. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
    07.08.13
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    28
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    The CAF forms have two pages to them. The first page is your referee filling out their identifications and rating you on some things. The second page is mostly blank and this is where they write their opinion on you. I e-mailed Waterloo about the CAFs and they said that your referee can type a separate letter and attach it to that form, if they wish.

    You only get the CAF forms once you've submitted your first online application so you can't give them to your referees until you've received the second application. Waterloo acknowledges they've received the online application by e-mail and send you the .pdf with the full-length paper application that has the CAFs attached to it. The secondary application is where you fill out your entire academic record including grades, awards, volunteer work, actual paid work, extracurricular activities, etc. It's to give Waterloo a greater knowledge of you as a student and a person.
  30. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
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    Thanks a lot!!

    I have another question: I think I want to take the English requirement via Athabasca. I was wondering if you HAVE to start in Sept and end in Dec or start in Jan and end in April in order for them to count it as part of a full course load? Or can I officially start the course in say, October, and end in Dec (or Jan). Does it matter? I need to know ASAP, thanks guys.
  31. sb1993

    sb1993

    Joined:
    08.02.13
    Messages:
    26
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hello all,
    I was wondering what kinds of things can be listed under "Special training" other than the examples that are given. What are other people putting on their application?
    Thanks!
  32. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC

    Joined:
    02.22.13
    Messages:
    28
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    The full course load rule can bend... Some people who got in last year did a 4 / 6 split because they dropped some course like organic chemistry.

    Also, are you receiving a credit for the course? If you are not, then it probably wouldn't count. And I mean can you just enroll in the course in September anyways and begin in October?
  33. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
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    75
    Hey, thanks for the reply. What do you mean by "receiving a credit for the course"? If its taken on a LOP (letter of permission), then yes the credit is transferred to my degree. However I actually don't need it for my degree and I have enough credits to graduate without it, so I'm going to see if I don't have to apply for the LOP. I'm going to ask Waterloo if they are ok with this. Will report back when I get the answer!
  34. Heffalump88

    Heffalump88

    Joined:
    03.07.12
    Messages:
    6
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hey guys,

    I was hoping to receive some advice. The paper application has the following question:

    Are there any reasons why your transcript does not reflect your true ability?

    My grades were awful in first and second year because I was trying to deal with the death of an immediate family member. My question is, does it look bad to answer this application question with a yes? There is a blank space underneath this section asking for a brief explanation and the option of sending in supporting documentation. I have a death certificate, but I'm not sure if this is what they anticipate when they ask for supporting documentation. I guess I don't want to seem like I am making excuses for my bad grades, and this is why I am having some trouble deciding what to do.

    I'd appreciate any help on the matter! Thanks very much!
  35. sb1993

    sb1993

    Joined:
    08.02.13
    Messages:
    26
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Id say tell them the truth. They have that section for a reason because you wont be the only.
  36. WaveofShadow

    WaveofShadow

    Joined:
    03.04.11
    Messages:
    19
    Status:
    Optometry Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    If I remember correctly I answered that question as 'yes,' on my application and I'm currently going into 3rd year.
    Good luck!
    :)
  37. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
    75
    +1. you definitely can and should let them know the reason if it did hurt your grades. Life happens, and they understand that.
    Last edited: 09.02.13
  38. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC

    Joined:
    02.22.13
    Messages:
    28
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    This is worth bringing up. Perhaps bring the certificate with you in a bag and only present it if they ask you during the interview?

    But remember, always turn negatives into positives.

    Cheers.
  39. Xraychump

    Xraychump

    Joined:
    10.10.12
    Messages:
    34
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hey Heffalump88 - I'm sorry to hear about the rough go you had back in first and second year. Again my GPA previously was 3.3 and I also had extenuating circumstances. I did explain myself and state very clearly in a concise way what my reasons were without sounding like it was an excuse. I just stated facts. I encourage you definitely explain your scenario, but have a few people read it to verify the tone and delivery.

    I hope that helps! Also my website is up and I am now offering Interview prep by donation. Link is at the bottom! Tomorrow is the start of Orientation week.

    Good luck with APPS!

    also remember apply early!!!! as Waterloo is rolling interviews.
  40. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
    75
    Hey all,

    Just had a few questions regarding the Waterloo app (the first part). Since I'm currently enrolled in a Athabasca course (on letter of permission), I am assuming I use the "Letter of Permission" option for the program? (Since I am not on a program). Also, I probably will take another Athabasca course this winter term (but I am not enrolled in it yet - too early for that and I am not 100% sure if I will just take it at my own university). So what do I put for the year length, Fall 2013-2014? It'll only show on my transcript that I am enrolled in Fall 2013.

    Also, since we are sending transcripts off, if our courses change (I'm pretty sure mine will, still trying to get into a course and I can't until the first week of classes), do we have to notify UW immediately, or can it be sent at the end of the term? (as requested on their website).

    And - for the "highest year level of achieved" - what exactly does this mean? If I am taking two courses at Athabasca (one 200 level, one 300 level), what should I put?? :S I also took a 500 level course during the summer before my fourth year - does this mean the highest year level achieved was five?

    The "help" page on that application doesn't help much...should I ask UW or contact the technical help line? (but if anyone here knows please do let me know).

    Thanks.
    Last edited: 09.03.13
  41. Heffalump88

    Heffalump88

    Joined:
    03.07.12
    Messages:
    6
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Thanks everyone for your kind advice =)
  42. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
    75
    Hey guys,

    I was wondering for those students who only shadowed an OD for a day or two, how did they write up your reference letter? I only shadowed mine for a few days and he seemed hesitant to write it when I asked him (since they hardly even know you after just a day of being with you). They need to comment on how you interact with other doctors/patients, etc but if you're just shadowing, you're not doing much interacting...any tips from those who were accepted with minimal OD shadowing on how to tell my OD to write the letter would be hugely appreciated, thanks!
  43. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
    07.08.13
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry

    You would be on a Letter of Permission for any courses at Athabasca so be sure to put that. The year length would be Winter 2014 but you can post it as taking place during the 2013-2014 academic year, that's what I did.

    I've made edits to my courses but I haven't informed Waterloo of it. I'm assuming beyond you changing when you take the mandatory prerequisite classes (ENGL, intro BIO, etc) they don't care what you take. That's what they said to me when I asked them if I should do an Honours essay or research project. They don't care so long as you have the mandatory prerequisites.

    Highest level achieved usually means which year level you have at your university. Whether you have first-year, second-year standing, etc. Normally, each university bases this on how many credits you've earned and it should be listed on your audit.
  44. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
    07.08.13
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    The forms are confidential assessment forms so we're not supposed to have any idea of what are optometrists write. Sorry, I just gave mine to my optometrist and am just checking to make sure she's sent it off completed.
  45. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
    75
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah I managed to get a hold of them on phone and they said that if you change your courses, you just have to email them to let them know.
  46. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
    75
    Oh lol I know they are confidential and all...I was just wondering how the optometrist was even supposed to write a letter for you commenting on your personality traits when they've only known you for a day or two. (since a few students got in with just a day or few days of shadowing). I just wanted to help my OD by giving him some tips, that was all.
  47. teril02

    teril02

    Joined:
    07.08.13
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Well thanks for letting me know I need to tell them my courses have changed! I will do that now.
  48. msoptom

    msoptom

    Joined:
    08.20.13
    Messages:
    2
    Hi everyone!
    I was wondering if anyone else was having problems/glitches while filling out their Waterloo PDF application. For example, when I enter info into the text boxes, the font and font sizes seem to be all different.
    Thanks!
  49. longeye

    longeye

    Joined:
    09.18.13
    Messages:
    11
    yes, i've had many problems and have had to call the school many times. What makes it worse, is the person who is in charge of the application, is out of office indefinitely. I ended up emailing the school, and go an email telling me to hand write whatever I thought was missing
  50. chb64

    chb64

    Joined:
    04.18.13
    Messages:
    75
    Oh my gosh I've been calling them all last week and this week and the admin person in charge is ALWAYS out of her office or away. They are driving me crazy. Emailing is even worse it takes them weeks to get back to you!! Not impressed with this, I don't understand why its not all online like the OMSAS Med app is, that would be way more efficient.
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