January 25, 2020
Ontario Medical School Application Service
There are the grades, the MCAT, the extracurricular and volunteer work, the research, etc. Then there’s actually preparing your application for various schools, all of which may require different pre-requisites, letters, essays and more. Just preparing the application can be daunting.
Thankfully, it’s a bit simpler in Ontario thanks to the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS), a centralized application service for applicants to the 6 Ontario medical schools. So whether you’re applying to McMaster, Ottawa, Queen’s, U of T, Western, NOSM, some or all of the above, it’s a one-stop-shop. That’s not to say it’s quick and easy. It requires a number of components that can take days to properly prepare. These include the following:
Personal and Address Information: Self-explanatory. An easy start to build up your confidence!
Autobiographical Sketch (ABS): Do you have a university degree? Do you or did you have a job? Engage in any volunteer or extracurricular activities? Earn any awards? Involved in research? Any other accomplishments you’d like the medical schools to know about? Here’s your chance! The ABS is a list of all such activities since you were 16 years old and gives admissions committees some understanding of who you are beyond your transcript.
Medical School Application For Ontario
Preparing Your Application
Verifiers: These are the people who can vouch for all the incredible things you’ve included in your ABS. You provide their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
OMSAS Reference Letters
Referees: Are there three people in your life who, as a whole, can attest to your professionalism, ability to communicate, collaborate and manage, as well as your advocacy and scholarship? As long as this doesn’t include your mom, another family member, a colleague of a close family member or close friend, you can include them as your referees who will send reference letters on your behalf.
MCAT: When you write the MCAT you need to consent to have your official score shared with OMSAS.
Postsecondary Education and Transcripts: Input all post-secondary institutions at which you have been or are registered. Official transcripts from these institutions are also required so contact your registrar to send your records to OMSAS.
Specific School Requirements: Some schools may have specific requirements. If you input into OMSAS that you’d like to apply to a school with such requirements, it’ll prompt you to complete them. For instance, when applying to U of T, you’ll be asked to complete a series of four brief personal essays (questions change yearly). For some schools, like McMaster and Ottawa, you are required to complete the CASPer Test. It’s an online test made up of about a dozen sections of the video and written scenarios to assess non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics. You do not take the test on OMSAS, but OMSAS will provide a prompt about doing this at a later date.
So that’s a quick primer. You input the details above and the Ontario medical schools you’d like to apply to, then OMSAS handles the rest. Check out the OMSAS website to register and for more info. Then you’ll be ready to get started! But before you go one last word of caution. Make sure you’re aware of all important dates and deadlines. There won’t be any exceptions.
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