mejorization

7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2010
123
7
Chapel Hill, NC
Status
Medical Student
I heard that there are hard cut-offs for the writing sample score if you're applying to Canadian med schools. You need at least a P or it's an automatic rejection. I'm not applying to any, but I'm just curious if this is true. What about Canada's medical system makes their med schools value writing so much more than US med schools?
 

lkthlttr

7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2010
321
13
Status
Medical Student
I heard that there are hard cut-offs for the writing sample score if you're applying to Canadian med schools. You need at least a P or it's an automatic rejection. I'm not applying to any, but I'm just curious if this is true. What about Canada's medical system makes their med schools value writing so much more than US med schools?
This is school dependent and the cut-offs can be higher than a P but change from year to year (for instance, two years ago at Queen's University you needed a writing score of R in order to get through to the interview stage, last year it appeared to have dropped to Q). It is thought that the hard cutoffs are used arbitrarily to cut the candidate pool down to a more manageable size without putting too much work into it and given that there are many more qualified applicants than there are seats available, they can make these cutoffs quite high. Another thought is that these universities that use high cutoffs for the writing sample and/or verbal are looking for qualities beyond just being able to memorize the different stages of the Kreb's cycle or how to calculate resistance in a parallel and serial circuit. I guess the American schools just look for these qualities in other areas, such as ECs or having completed a degree in the humanities, rather than the ability to write a paragraph with many multi-syllable words in a very short amount of time.
 
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Mithril

Johnny Canuck
7+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2010
955
7
Vancouver, Canada
Status
Attending Physician
To cut down on the applicant pool. Some schools also have a PBL-based curriculum, so it's important you can think up of a coherent argument or perspective on the spot. This is also partly why most Canadian schools use the MMI. My school for example has a cut-off of M. Schools like Queen's have a cut-off of R some years.
 

mejorization

7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2010
123
7
Chapel Hill, NC
Status
Medical Student
Interesting. Does this mean the non-academic requirements (EC's, research) for Canadian med schools aren't as high?

This is school dependent and the cut-offs can be higher than a P but change from year to year (for instance, two years ago at Queen's University you needed a writing score of R in order to get through to the interview stage, last year it appeared to have dropped to Q). It is thought that the hard cutoffs are used arbitrarily to cut the candidate pool down to a more manageable size without putting too much work into it and given that there are many more qualified applicants than there are seats available, they can make these cutoffs quite high. Another thought is that these universities that use high cutoffs for the writing sample and/or verbal are looking for qualities beyond just being able to memorize the different stages of the Kreb's cycle or how to calculate resistance in a parallel and serial circuit. I guess the American schools just look for these qualities in other areas, such as ECs or having completed a degree in the humanities, rather than the ability to write a paragraph with many multi-syllable words in a very short amount of time.
 

lkthlttr

7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2010
321
13
Status
Medical Student
Interesting. Does this mean the non-academic requirements (EC's, research) for Canadian med schools aren't as high?
I do think that Canadian schools (except maybe Toronto) care much less about research than their American counterparts. But you definitely still require all of the typical clinical and volunteering experience in order to be taken seriously at the interview stage for the Canadian schools.

Edit. Although maybe I'm making more out of it than there actually is and American schools don't really care all that much about research either. But you definitely get the impression around here that research is a critical aspect to one's application.
 
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