Application 101: a few Helpful Pointers

Sep 24, 2018
Hannah Stevenson & Kendra Hawke

Medical school application season is officially underway! You are now wrapping up your application on OMSAS! We understand that this time can feel overwhelming, so we have developed some tips for you to consider throughout the application cycle. photo

  • Make sure that you carefully read through our admissions requirements to ensure that they are all met. Applicants must meet all of these requirements for their applications to proceed to the next round.
  • Read through the OMSAS guidelines thoroughly, and make sure everything is submitted by the deadline. Check in with your referees to ensure they have submitted their letters by the deadline too!
  • Not sure about your prerequisites? We have a webpage for that. Check our listings.
  • When choosing your referees, ask them if they feel comfortable giving you a positive and objective reference. Communicate directly with your referees what we are looking for in the letter (hint: over the course of your 3 letters of reference, make sure the four clusters are covered!).
  • Ask people to read over your application, to ensure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, and that your writing is clear and concise. Have people you look up to – such as mentors and professors read over your application, but also invite others to read your application. If you can make a complicated issue understandable to someone who is not familiar with it – you are probably on the right track.
  • Give yourself time. Allow your ideas to marinate for a while, and then come back to them. Oftentimes you will think of a new way of wording something, or a more thoughtful insight when you have the time to come back and re-read your application. Tip - the essay limit is 250 words (not 2000 characters).
  • Make use of the Academic Explanations Essay if you need to. We understand that life is not always smooth – so please feel comfortable using this essay to convey these situations to us. It can give the admissions committee a better picture of your application and ensures we do not overlook strong applicants who were affected by circumstances beyond their control. It is also useful to use this essay if you have taken a co-op, PEY, transfer credits etc. These things are not always clear on your transcript, so it is best to let us know. FYI - it is not limited to 250 characters.
  • Don’t believe everything that you read (unless it comes from us!). If you have a pressing question, get in touch with us at the Enrolment Services office directly. It can be tempting to go on forums and blogs to get your answers, but oftentimes this is how rumours spread. We are always happy to clarify for you!
  • Building on the above point, focus on your application. There is no magic package we are looking for in our applicants. Review the four clusters, and focus on how your activities and achievements exemplify them. Each person has a different story and background that we want to know about. Don’t psych yourself out comparing yours to others. What makes your application strong?


For more admissions tips and guidance, check out our FB Live videos. We recorded a few over the summer to answer FAQ's about the application.