Are CEGEP, IB and/or AP courses acceptable for prerequisites?
Yes. They must appear on the university transcript as credits.
Are we allowed to have a reference section in the BPEs?
Yes. Each brief personal essay must be 250 words or less. This word count does not include titles, references or verifiers, if you choose to include these.
Can I send an update to my ABS?
No. The activities listed are limited to those prior to the application deadline.
Can I send updates for my ABS and transcripts?
No. The activities listed on your ABS, as well as transcript information, are limited to those prior to the application deadline.
For MD/PHD applicants, can we have duplicate referees in addition to the graduate supervisor (e.g. references that were used for the MD portion of the application)?
The 3 additional letters of reference for the MD/PhD applicants can include some duplicate referees, but they will have a different focus (i.e. your scientific ability and potential).
How much volunteer and research experience do I need?
There is nothing that you ‘need’ in the Autobiographical Sketch. You will not be penalized for interest in the clinical side of medicine, rather than research, or vice versa. You will not be penalized if you have fewer extracurricular/volunteer activities because of your need for employment. There is no required number of activities or required number of hours. Some candidates may have a large number of activities among which they share their time; others may have a few activities to which they devote a large amount of time.
How should I choose my references?
Referees should have extensive knowledge of you and be in a position to make reasonable statements concerning how best you fit the four clusters. You may wish to vary your choice of referees to include those with knowledge of different aspects of your activities, both academic and non-academic. It is in your interest to select referees who are able to give an objective assessment. Applications from candidates with letters from friends, family, or family friends or colleagues of close family members will not be considered.
If a letter arrives at OMSAS one day after the deadline, will it be accepted?
Any materials submitted after the deadline will be considered late and the application will be marked as incomplete so it will not proceed to file review.
What if people who can verify an activity on my ABS are no longer available?
You are expected to make a reasonable effort to verify all major activities listed in the Autobiographical Sketch. It is understandable that a few verifiers may be out of touch, or no longer with the organization. Please use common sense and do the best you can.
When I select an activity or accomplishment to write about for the extended ABS statement, is it better if it were medically-related or happened overseas?
No. The most important thing is that the activity or accomplishment shows evidence of the attribute clusters. The nature or location of the activity is not relevant to the assessment.
Will an interesting narrative style make my application stand out?
No. The essays are assessed on content rather than style. A thoughtful, clear and concise writing style with proper spelling, grammar and punctuation is the best way to get your ideas across.