Admissions 2013: How it’s going to work

The following is from last year’s admission cycle.  See this post for the 2014 cycle.

Soon the application centre will be open, so let’s review how the process is going to work and the approximate timelines.  As usual, this is specific to Waterloo Engineering admissions; other programs and universities will have their own unique variations.  Also, make sure you check our admissions webpages for exact deadlines and requirements.

First, just note that there are two broad classes of applicants:  those who are currently attending a high school in Ontario (we call them “OSS” applicants), and those who are not (“NOSS” applicants, which includes people in other provinces and countries, transfer applicants, and those who graduated from high school already).  There is no advantage to being one type or the other, it’s just a different internal process because of the way data is provided to us, as you’ll see.  So, here’s the process:

  1. Apply to one of our engineering programs through the online OUAC centre.  They provide all the necessary instructions on their website.  OSS applicants should apply by mid-January.  NOSS have up to March 1 to apply, but sooner is better.
  2. Follow any additional instructions we send by email.  Check your spam or junk folder, where our emails sometimes end up.  You don’t want to miss anything important!
  3. If you need to meet our English Language Requirements, submit your TOEFL or IELTS or other English test score.  We won’t consider you if this is missing, no matter how good your grades are.
  4. Submit your Admission Information Form (AIF) by the recommended deadline.  This is your chance to tell us about your interests, awards, extra-curricular activities, employment experience, and any other significant things you want us to know about.  You can also give us a 2nd and 3rd choice engineering program you’d like to be considered for, if your application isn’t competitive enough for your first choice.  Generally, if you don’t submit an AIF you will probably not receive an offer, so don’t forget.
  5. OSS applicants can sit back and wait (but don’t slack off!).  We will eventually get all your grade 11 and 12 marks from the school by electronic data transmission.  We will use this to generate an admission average, based on the required courses.
  6. NOSS applicants will have to send us high school transcripts and predicted grades (if applicable).  We will start going through this and compiling the grades data we need for decision-making.  With thousands of applicants, this is a labourious and time-consuming manual process, so please be patient!
  7. We send portions of all the AIFs out to reviewers (faculty and alumni) to be read and assigned a score of up to 5 points.  This gets added to your admission average.  There are almost 10,000 AIFs to review, so this takes a while too.  A future post will discuss the AIF in more detail.
  8. We compile “adjustment factors” based on our historical student performance data.  The adjustment factor is simply the difference between the admission average and first year engineering average, broken down by school or region.  A typical adjustment factor is around -15, meaning that an average high school student with a 90% average ends up with a 75% average in engineering.  However, some are higher and others are lower.  Here is an old Macleans article on this subject.
  9. For every applicant, we generate an “admission score”.  This is the sum of the admission average + AIF score + adjustment factor.
  10. Sometime in late February to early March, we will take all the data we have and start making some admission decisions.  For each program, we rank the applicants by admission score and start making offers to the top ones.  We usually aim to fill about 40% of the available spaces at this point.  We like to save a lot of spaces for later, in case the 2nd semester grades improve, or we haven’t had a chance to process the NOSS transcript yet.  This is our “early round”, and I’ll post more details about how it works in the future.
  11. From March to April we continue processing transcripts and AIFs, and assemble the remaining data for the final round.  We are also waiting for the 2nd semester mid-term grades to be uploaded for the OSS applicants.
  12. In early May, we do the final selection of applicants based on admission scores, and we fill the remaining spaces in all the programs.  For those who don’t get admitted into their first choice program, we will put them into the pool for their second or third choice programs.  We send out the offers, and then wait until the deadline in early June to see how many accept our offer.
  13. At the same time, we award the various Engineering entrance scholarships, based on grades and AIF scores.  Scholarship awards go out with the admission offers.
  14. In June, if there are any remaining spaces we will do a few late offers for those on our wait list.  Usually there are very few, if any, open spaces however.

So that’s the process, more or less.  There are a bunch of details that go into this, but I’ll save those for future posts as we progress through the cycle.

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About profbillanderson

I'm a professor and director of admissions for Engineering at the University of Waterloo. I like to read and write about undergraduate admissions, education, and environmental research.
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107 Responses to Admissions 2013: How it’s going to work

  1. Pingback: What’s the Cut-Off? | A Professor in Waterloo Engineering

  2. B.Scott says:

    I sent an email to the askus email, and they said that your grade 11 marks don’t matter for admission. How come you mention grade 11 marks in the admission average?

    • We will look at grade 11 marks when making decisions before late-April (so-called early offers), when some of the grade 12 marks for required courses won’t be available yet from the second semester. The majority of our offers go out in May and are based only on grade 12 marks, so if your grade 11 marks were not as good you’re still not disadvantaged.

      • Karman Dadiala says:

        I got a 77 in advanced functions first semester and all other marks were:

        AP Calculus: 85
        Accounting: 83
        English: 90

        Physics and chemistry I have this semester and by the looks of it, will be getting 90+ in both.

        I was put back into advanced functions without request, but chose to redo it only to see if I could do better this time. My intention was not to increase my chance of admission, but to get a better mark only for self satisfaction. Also, it has recently come to my attention that Waterloo will deduct my OVERALL average by 3-5 %.

        Based on that, what are the factors that will penalize me for repeating a course? Will it be a complete 5% deduction?

        Also, Advanced Functions is my only required course below 85. I am also taking part in, and feel confident about, my AP Calculus exam in May. If I do well, will Waterloo deduct less, or, not at all?

      • We recognize that sometimes people repeat a course to strengthen their background further, and not to try to improve their admission chances. In those cases we don’t apply a penalty, but we also use the first mark only. This scenario seems like one of those cases, perhaps.

  3. catsarecool says:

    I have a question – Do you “reject” people during the first wave of acceptances? For example, if student A has a 55% average and you feel they have no chance and you see it during April acceptances, do you reject student A or just leave them till the next wave of acceptances?
    im asking because I have already applied but my marks aren’t where I want them (no where like 55% though, haha )
    I just don’t want you guys to reject me early because I know I will have a competitive average by May.

  4. Peter says:

    How exactly is the AIF marked? Is it scored based on the number of extracurricular activities or its uniqueness? What is a realistic score to get? 5/5 is possible but really what do you have to do to achieve that? I’ve started my own company and released apps on the android store and was also mentioned on the Waterloo results booklet for the math competitions. What would be a realistic score for me to get? I’m applying to software engineering but my average is in the lower end of the average so I’m kinda worried.

    • Good question, and I plan to have a more extensive post on this topic in the next few weeks. But for now…the score is not simply a tally for the number of activities. It is a holistic comparison between all applicants, taking into account the number, type, length of time, impact or recognition, as well as the presentation of the AIF in general.

      In general, it sorts out the typical applicant (score of 2 or 3), from those with little to show (0 or 1), and those who have some unique accomplishments (4 or 5). A score of 5 is fairly rare (only about 5% or less of applicants) and would require something like a national or international level accomplishment.

      Your activities sound fairly unique, but I can’t really comment on what score you might get. Some applicants have good accomplishments, but their AIF is full of typos and grammatical errors and our scorers are not impressed. The AIF readers are engineering alumni, many in management or leadership positions, so they have high expectations for quality presentation.

      If you think your average may be a bit low for Software Engineering, consider making Computer Engineering your second choice (on the AIF submission). If you don’t get an offer to Software, you might for Computer, and with the Software Engineering Option (like a Minor), you can get to a similar point by the end of your degree. See http://ugradcalendar.uwaterloo.ca/page/ENG-Option-in-Software-Engineering

  5. Anirudh says:

    When applying on OUAC, can I only apply to one program at U of Waterloo and list my 2nd and 3rd choice in the AIF and still have the same chances of getting into my 2nd or 3rd choice as applying directly for a second and third choice program on OUAC? The reason I am asking this is because I want to get into Waterloo, however, I am worried that I would not get into my first choice and at the same time I want to apply to other universities, and in addition, I do not want to apply to more than 3 programs on OUAC because of financial reasons.

    • Yes, you apply to one Engineering program (not including Architecture), and list a 2nd and 3rd choice on the AIF (so it doesn’t cost anything more on OUAC).

      If your application isn’t quite competitive enough for your 1st choice, you are automatically considered when your 2nd and 3rd choice programs are being filled. If you do get an offer to your 1st choice, we don’t consider the 2nd and 3rd choices (i.e. one offer per person, and we always assume the 1st choice is the one you want the most).

      Strategically, on OUAC apply to the program you want the most. Then on the AIF, choose at least one program that has less competition as your 2nd or 3rd choice. That will maximize your chances at an offer.

  6. JW says:

    I hear that Waterloo deducts up to five percent if you take a summer school course, because students generally take a subject they are weak in, and get higher marks. Obviously, that is not always the case, and certainly not for me. I took a course I excelled in, and scored a little lower than what I would probably get in day school. I can live with the minor mark discrepancy. However, I don’t want this to further affect my admission. Would I get unfairly reprimanded for this – or can I explain my situation to Admissions? Thanks in advance.

    • No, Waterloo Engineering only deducts up to 5% if a required course is repeated (I can’t comment on the other faculties, like Math or Science, where their practices may be different). If a required course is taken during the summer and only once, there is no penalty. We ask you to explain in the Admission Information Form why you did it outside of regular school so we can get a more complete picture about your activities and timelines, but there is no further direct effect.

      • Sam says:

        What if you took summer school for a grade 11 course?

        For example, I took grade 11 physics in the summer. However, I have grade 12 physics in school first semester.

        Do I have to write that I took grade 11 physics in the summer and explain why?

      • Yes, the AIF asks you to identify any Grade 11 or 12 courses that you took in summer or night school, or online. It’s in your interests to explain, so we can have a better understanding of your situation.

      • Sam says:

        The reason I took grade 11 physics in the summer of grade 10 was because I was not interested in Engineering profession until grade 11. I had plans to go into health sciences in grade 10.

        Will this have any negative effects on my chance of admission?

      • No, there’s nothing negative about that.

  7. John says:

    Does Waterloo look more closely at specific marks rather than the entire admission average? For example if I have an 80 in chem, however my total average is 90, will my admission be looked down upon because of that one low mark ?

    • No, ranking is based only on the admission average. Individual marks don’t matter as long as they are above the required minimum (e.g. 70% for Ontario schools).

      • NE says:

        So if you have a high average but an individual mark thats below 70% (lets say in physics) then you have no chance of getting in?

      • I wouldn’t say “no chance”, because we always look at the overall picture and use some judgement. But a mark below 70% raises concerns, especially if it was lower in grade 11 too.

  8. Labib says:

    In my AIF, I stated that environmental engineering as my 2nd option. When I’m being considered for that (assuming I do), do people who took that as their first choice get priority over me? For example, say an applicant who’s first choice was environmental eng. has an average of 84% and I have an 87%, do they have a better chance of getting a spot?

    • No, you compete for spots on the same basis, with no priority based on choice. So in your example, if you don’t get into your first choice program and are then considered for environmental eng, your 87% would get you an offer before the person with an 84%, all else being equal.

      • Labib says:

        Oh, ok. What was the admission average for environmental engineering for 2012? I can’t seem to find it anywhere..

      • For 2012, grades in the low 80s had a decent chance at Environmental Engineering (see “Chance Yourself” post). For this year, may be a bit more competitive.

  9. Labib says:

    Sorry, one more question. What do you think of my chances of getting into Systems Design Engineering with an 86-87 average? I guess my AIF is really vital, more than I’d like it to be..

    • According to my “Chance Yourself” post, that would be about a 50:50 chance, based on previous years’ experience. As always, it’s hard to say for this year until all the numbers are in, which won’t be until May.

  10. Andy says:

    Hi,
    If most of my grades are solid but my English is in the mid to high 70s, do I still have the same chance as everyone else ? Am I expected to have a reason why my English grade is low ? Otherwise, am I expected to make up for it by having mid-high 90s for all of my other prerequisites ?
    Thank you very much.

    Andy

    • Since our decisions are based on an average of the required courses, yes you have the same chance as anyone else with a similar average. We don’t expect to see a reason for a lower mark, but you can certainly explain if you have something to tell us.

  11. Steve says:

    I’m a grade 12 student who has applied to Engineering. I am currently enrolled in grade 12 U French, but it will not be one of my top 6 12U courses. While all my other marks are 90s, I would rather not put too much effort into the class so that I can focus on the more important ones. If I were to finish with say a 50 in this class, would it in any way negatively impact my application?

    Thanks,
    Steve

  12. Alan says:

    Let’s say my 12th grade mark comes out with A, B and E and I’m an international student. I opt for a resit in June 2013 for the paper in which I got an E and will have my results by August 2013. What are my chances for getting a conditional admission for September 2013 in Computer Science co-op if I achieve an A in the specific subject for the re-sit? And about the AIF, let’s say I made a website and I manage it. Can that be included on in AIF?

    Thanks.

    • Yes, certainly you can mention your website in the AIF, and maybe include the URL if you like. For your first question, I don’t deal with Computer Science, just Computer Engineering. What you are asking is fairly complicated, so it’s best to communicate directly with your admissions officer contact person if this a concern.

  13. Frank says:

    Hi,

    For early admission when second semester marks are not yet available, you said that the admissions committee will look at the grade 11 marks for prerequisite courses. I have calculus and vectors second semester, for which there is obviously no grade 11 course. Am I not then eligible for early admission? My grade 11 functions mark was 99, would that be used?

    Thanks

    • Good question. Most Ontario applicants don’t have Calculus & Vectors grades until the second semester, so usually we give the Grade 12 Advanced Functions grade a double weighting in the early admission decision round. Most people will have an Advanced Functions grade available, so we generally don’t need to use Grade 11 functions.

  14. Tony says:

    Hi,

    I was just curious as to what the guidelines are when assessing students in the IB program. How much of an effect does it have on your AIF, if any? Is the selection process any different, and are we at an advantage/disadvantage in terms of admission chances?

    I applied for Electrical Engineering co-op and my top 6 are all IB courses, coming to an average of about 93-94%. How good are my chances? Also, how many applicants are usually accepted in Electrical Engineering every year?

    • Tony says:

      (Actually, I just discovered the Chance Yourself post, so apparently my chances are relatively high. However, let’s say an applicant had an average of 92.5% and therefore had an 85% chance of acceptance. Is there a reason for the 15% chance that he doesn’t get accepted? Like repeated courses or poorly written AIF or something? Thanks again, I hope you know that taking time out of your schedule to run this blog is like a dream come true for us applicants!)

      • At the higher grade range, the 15% that don’t get offers are for a variety of reasons, including: no AIF (or essentially empty), missing a required course, didn’t meet English proficiency requirements (e.g. low or missing TOEFL score), a required course grade below the minimum (e.g. 70% in Ontario), missing programming experience (for Software Engineering only), or possibly the effect of the repeated course penalty.

    • IB students are not at any disadvantage, and might have an advantage but it’s hard to quantify specifically. For example, given two applicants with the same stats competing for one spot, we might tend to pick the one in IB (or some other enriched program).

      Electrical engineering will probably have around 200 spaces, but it varies a bit from year to year.

  15. Jay says:

    I read somewhere that for students from high schools on which you have little to no data, no adjustment is made. This seems unfair as it would favor students from small high schools.

    • That should probably say “no net adjustment is made”. In other words, the average adjustment factor is used so students from small schools (or any schools where we lack data) are not favoured nor penalized either compared to the majority of other applicants. Fairness is always a primary concern in the design and operation of our admissions systems.

  16. MS says:

    How does the AIF work in relation to admission averages and scholarships? If my average is a 95 when I apply, and I score a 3 on the AIF, is my average for admission and scholarship consideration now a 98?

    Does the high school weighting also work the same way? If I come from a high school that has had students do poorly at Waterloo, and the adjustment factor is -10%, is my average now considered an 85%? Thanks!

    • Yes, that’s about right. With your example numbers, your admission “score” would be 95+3-10=88, and this would be used for ranking. For the automatic scholarships (Merit and President’s), your 95% average is used without adjustment. For other scholarship awards, the 95% average and AIF score are combined in a weighted average and used together with other criteria that depend on the scholarship, so it gets complicated.

  17. LT says:

    I have a quick question about admission. My average is 93% and my TOEFL score is above the required score, but one of the four categorizes is lower by 1 or 2 points will that affect my chance of getting accepted tremendously? And thank you for your helpful blog posts and answers here.

  18. Luke says:

    Hi, I was wondering for private school students, do you still look at grade 11 marks? Since we go by term and have all of our required courses ready by then.

    Thank You

  19. Andy says:

    Hi,

    I have two questions regarding the AIF. I’m currently applying to Software Engineering but I only have a couple of months of experience. However, I am very involved in many other activities such as sports teams, clubs, music etc.

    My first question is if I have my first programming competition at the end of February but I have already submitted my AIF, is there a way to update it if ever I am first place ?

    Also, my second question is if I score poorly in the Canadian Computing Competition Senior Problems, will that have an impact on my total admission score ?

    Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate it !

    Andy

    • 1) I’m not sure when the cut-off date for amendments occurs. I suppose if there is some very important information you can contact us at (enginfo at uwaterloo.ca).
      2) Scoring poorly on competitions doesn’t have a negative impact. It’s better to have tried than not at all.

  20. Hi, I have a couple of questions here.
    1. I know the English requirements for international students, but just wonder if I get for ex. 88 (a bit lower than requirement) on TOEFl test, is it solid that I have no chance to get into U of Waterloo? Or can I take ELS in university only if I got really high marks in school?
    2. I find many people mention we can use marks of top 6 courses to apply, but I have only 6 courses in total for 1st semester in Grade 12, does it mean I can wait till 2nd semester mid-term marks come out or not?

    Thanks a lot!

    • 1) having less than 90 on the TOEFL may be a problem, even if it’s just slightly less. There are always other applicants with similar course grades and higher TOEFL scores that would be given priority. Unfortunately, we don’t have an ESL foundations program in Engineering, with the exception of a new program called BASE which is being tested with Electrical and Computer Engineering applicants only.

      2) We are primarily interested in the 5 required courses, and we will wait until 2nd semester to make a final decision if we don’t have enough information in the first round of offers.

  21. Mark says:

    Hi,

    I’ve read that, once accepted to an engineering program, that you need to maintain a 79%+ average with atleast 70% in each course. Is this the same for IB applicants? Will you look at our final IB grades (as in the 1-7 grading scale) in July to decide whether or not the offer should be revoked? Or will you only look at the standard, Ontario grades?

    Thanks

    • For final condition checking, I believe that we use whatever equivalent Ontario course grade is provided by the school, because that is what is electronically transmitted to us through OUAC and determines whether you get the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. For IB students outside of Ontario, it depends and will be explained on the formal offer letter.

  22. Fud says:

    Hi, I was just wondering if offers admission are still being handed out at this time for UW engineering. I’m a bit worried because I applied to Systems Design with a 91% average and haven’t been accepted, but many other people who have the same average as me already got accepted into Electrical or Mecatronics engineering. Thanks!

  23. Tony says:

    Hi, I recently discovered that Waterloo Engineering has sent out its first and I assume the only round of early admission offers (according to your post in September). Unfortunately, I was not admitted. I am curious as to why this is the case since my average is 95% in grade 11 and grade 12 and I applied to computer engineering which has much lower average requirement. My friends who have lower averages were accepted. In addition, my extracurricular profile is one of the strongest in my school and my school is known by Waterloo for its academic rigour.

    Thank you!

  24. Maria says:

    Hello,
    I recently applied to Waterloo as a University transfer student from a Criminal Justice Program. I was just wondering, would you predict my chances at being admitted as good if my current average in University is about a 76% (3.0 GPA), or is it necessary for me to work much harder this second semester to raise my mark? I applied to the Arts and Business program for Legal Studies (co-op).
    Thank you!

    • Transfer applications can be very complicated, so it’s really hard to say anything useful. Also, I can only comment on Engineering applications; Arts & Business is outside of my experience.

  25. mark says:

    Hi,
    I am a Quebec student and I applied to the university of Waterloo (management engineering), three weeks ago. I have filled in and submitted my AIF a week ago. I received an e-mail yesterday from the university of Waterloo saying that ” Our records show that you have not submitted all of the pages of your Admissions Information Form (AIF).” Even though on my quest page it is written submitted in front of: About You – Part A, About You – Part B, Courses and Engineering.
    I just wanted to know what is missing so I can complete it and if this is going to retard the university’s admission answer.
    Thanks a lot for you time.

    • If all 4 sections show “submitted” it is probably OK. You can always inquire at “myapplication@uwaterloo.ca” with your student number to make sure. It is probably a coincidence that you finished your AIF at about the same time the system was queried for incomplete submissions, so you got the email although it no longer applies to you.

  26. ali says:

    Hi, apparently Waterloo deducts 5% from the total average if a student repeats a course. What if the student does an extra year, due to various issues in their personal life, not achieving high marks the first time in grade 12 – would there be a more severe penalty, or the same 5% takeaway?

  27. Nazim says:

    Hi, I am an international student, who is studying under the British System. I applied and sent my transcripts long before the deadline, but I did not hear of any admission decision yet. How are A Level students evaluated in the admission process? I achieve 6A* and 3A In IGCSE (O Level) and I have been awarded with predicted grades of 4 “A” in A Levels (Math, Chem, Physics and Bio), and got 8.0 in IELTS. What admission average will I be given with these grades?
    Thanks lot for this helpful blog :)

    • We get lots of applicants from British system schools, so we are very familiar with the grading. In general, grades in the A and A* range are equivalent to 90′s in our high school system although I can’t quote an exact number. We have quite a few international applications and it may take a bit of time to work through them all, so thanks for your patience. We are always careful to not give away too many spots too soon, so everyone has a fair chance in the competition.

  28. Anirudh says:

    Hi

    I am a Permanent Resident in Canada and have applied to Waterloo Engineering. Waterloo requires me to show proof of English Language Proficiency and therefore I have sent my transcripts and a letter from the Principal of my previous school. The documents were mailed at the beginning of February and 1 of the 3 universities I have applied for had already received the documents on February 21. I checked my quest account and there is no indication that Waterloo has received the documents. The deadline is nearing and I have emailed Waterloo asking what I should do and I have not received a reply as of yet. I am getting quite anxious hence the reason for this question even though it may not be something you are able to answer. Nevertheless, how long does it take for documents to process and come up on the quest account. I know it has been over a month since the documents were mailed. I also know that it takes up to 10 business days to update the quest account, and still I feel like the documents should have arrived by now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Don’t worry, it’s probably just held up in processing. We get a huge volume of documents this time of year. The deadlines will not be a problem if the documents were sent before then.

  29. SD says:

    Hello, I wanted to start off by thanking you for this incredible resource, it has been invaluable to me during the admissions process! Secondly, I applied to waterloo for the Software Engineering program and although I have not received my midterm marks my first semester average is a 95.0%. This semester I was one of 30 students chosen to attend a high school enrichment program at the Ontario Science Centre and although the experience has been amazing the new environment has caused my marks to drop. In Calculus and Physics I am achieving around a 90 still, however I did very poorly on a chemestry test sending my marks into the high 70′s for midterms.

    I have very strong extra-curriculars and my overall average should still be 91+, will you take into consideration that this chemestry mark is not consistent with my other marks or consider my grade 11 chemestry mark as well.

    Again thank you for taking the time to write this blog, I have found it to be an extremely useful resource and I hope to hear back from you soon.

    • Thanks, I was hoping this might be a helpful communication method. Congratulations on the OSC experience.
      We always try to look at the complete picture, including Grade 11 marks, to come up with an overall impression and decision, especially when comparing a bunch of people with similar overall grades. That’s about all I can say.

      • SD says:

        Awesome, I was hoping that would be your response. Again thank you for your helpfulness during this admissions process, and have a great week!

  30. Anand Mathur says:

    Hello,

    I have received my acceptance for Engineering. I wanted to know wether will my admission be cancelled if I score 2-3% less than 80% in my Final examination.

    • Congratulations on your offer. The specific conditions depend on your type of school system, and will be explained in your offer letter. If you don’t meet the conditions as specified in your offer letter, then yes your offer will be revoked/cancelled unless there are some serious reasons for not meeting the conditions.

  31. Abe says:

    You mentioned that for early decision grade 11 marks will be looked at. I am in a desemestered school due to the IB program. Basically I will have marks for Physics, Chemistry, Advanced Functions, English, and Economics (or computer science) but will not have marks for Calculus as it will be second semester. My schedule is kind of weird cause of IB.

    • That is the same situation in semestered schools, where no one has calculus until the second semester. For the early decision round we just use the Advanced Functions grade and give it double weight (to make up for the missing calculus).

  32. Cosmo says:

    Hi,

    My round 2 marks’ average is 1% lower than my round 1 marks. (Sitting at a 92.6%) Will this lower my chances of getting into SE? Since my mark lowered.

    Thank You

  33. Abe says:

    Also, would it be beneficial in terms of applications for Waterloo’s mechatronics program to take Computer Science in grade 12. My top six would include: Advanced func, calc and vectors, physics, chemistry, english, and economics or computer science. I’m deciding whether or not to take computer science next year in grade 12 as I do have economics for my top 6 average calculation. Although it would be a plus in terms of knowledge and readiness for first year, would it be beneficial for admissions in comparison to having economics in top 6. Also, will grade 11 marks be looked at for decisions. One of the admissions officers said it would be looked at for semestered kids but since calc and vectors is the only course I won’t have a mark for, would admissions only look at grade 12 top 6 marks? Thanks

    • Computer science and programming experience is good preparation for any engineering program, at any university. For Ontario student admissions, it doesn’t matter what the sixth course is. We look at grade 11 marks in the early rounds when we don’t have a full set of required course grades.

  34. Karman says:

    I applied for Environmental Engineering and my average sits at 84 and I do believe 99.9% that this mark is nowhere close to getting me accepted. Will being in the enhanced program and having AP Calculus increase admission chances even slightly?

    • Karman says:

      I know having AP Calculus isn’t enough, but if I do well on the exam coming up in May, will that affect my overall chance of admission. I will also be writing the Sir Isaac Newton exam in May and hope I do well in that also.

    • Enrichment programs and AP courses are positive factors, so it should help a bit.

  35. Ahsan says:

    Hello,
    I have applied to mechanical engineering with an average of 74%, I am a student from pakistan and I have provided documents in which my teachers say that the marks I got is due to the unfair judgements in pakistan, I just want to know what are my chances for admission,though the admission means the world to me.

  36. Laura says:

    Hello and thank you for creating this wonderful blog.
    I am a high school student from Indonesia. I have applied to chemical engineering to Waterloo. My average is above 90 and My TOEFL score is 109. However, I still haven’t got any offer of admission until now. I am worried about it. Is there any chance for me to get into Waterloo?
    Thank you.

    Best Regards,
    Laura

  37. john says:

    Hi,

    I was just wondering how many percentage Waterloo deducts from a repeated course as it mentions 3 to 5 percent on the website. Also, if the applicant does provide a valid reason will the penalty be lifted? Moreover, if the applicants sole purpose was to review the course material the second time around and not to improve their admissions average would there be a penalty still?

    • We look at each situation and decide whether to apply the penalty, and how much. If the purpose was only for review, we will usually just use the first grade and no penalty.

  38. George says:

    Recently, I have received an email that I got the President’s Entrance Scholarship, but I am unaware whether or not I have been awarded an engineering entrance scholarship. How, and when do you find out if you have been awarded an engineering entrance scholarship?

  39. Michelle says:

    Hi, I’m so glad to have found this blog. I have a few questions regarding IB final grades that IBO will send out in July. For a few of the programs I applied in the Faculty of Mathematics, they require a minimum FINAL grade of 6 in HL Math (e.g. FARM and Math/CA). I’ve already been admitted to these programs with my predicted marks, so I was wondering if the offers will be revoked should I get a grade lower than a 6 in July, even if I accept one of the offers by June 3rd. From what I’ve found out so far, the converted Ontario marks should be sent to UW via transcripts in July, and my offer packages specified that an average of at least 79% for the listed courses should be maintained for the offer, which is definitely lower than a converted level 6. Perhaps the required final grade of 6 is the requirement for students with ONLY the IB diploma and without the Ontario diploma? It’s just a wild guess, the only one that makes sense to me so far. Answers to these questions will really help me to choose the programs (and to be able to sleep at night for the whole month of June), thank you!

    • I can’t really comment on what the Faculty of Mathematics might require or do with their conditions. In Engineering, the conditions for Ontario students are based on the Ontario diploma courses and converted grades we get in July.

  40. Jenny says:

    Hi,
    I am taking the IB diploma and also the Alberta curriculum. My conditions for engineering are based on my IB marks, however if I do not meet the IB conditions, will my Alberta marks be looked at? Or will my offer be revoked without any consideration of my Alberta course marks? Thanks.

  41. John says:

    Hello Prof. Bill Anderson,
    Just wondering how would the grades from IB program taken into consideration for Admissions?
    Thanks.

    • That depends. In Ontario and other Canadian provinces, IB grades are usually reported to us on transcripts as grades for the equivalent high school courses (e.g. ENG4U), so we use those. IB schools outside of Canada usually report predicted grades for the IB exams, so we use those.

  42. Peter says:

    So I was a recent IB graduate who at first got accepted into ECE with an average of ~92%. However, i got way too overconfident during my last exams and caused my math mark to drop from a predicted lvl 6 (93%) to a lvl 3 (69%). As a result my admission was revoked. I was thinking of repeating advanced functions, calc and vec, as well as data management. My current three highest marks are chemistry, physics, and econ, 96%, 96%, 95% respectively. If i do well in the three math courses, say 90%+, what are my chances of getting accepted into ECE again?

    • Peter says:

      With the 5% average deduction taken into consideration of course.

    • That’s unfortunate, but it happens. If you can get an average back in the low 90s you’re probably OK, even with the 5% deduction. On the AIF, be sure to explain what happened and what you learned from it.

  43. Michelle says:

    If you repeated one course in grade 11, do you still get deduction of 5%? Or is it only for the grade 12 courses?

  44. I’m closing comments on this post. Within the next few weeks I’ll post a new and updated version for the 2014 cycle, so we can start fresh.

Comments are closed.