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Time to Apply!

applyDid you ever think back to your welcome week at McGill and think that you would gain a lot of experience if you got to help out with it the next year? Well wait no longer, applications have now opened for all of the welcome events taking place in the summer.

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Prep-Course Review: GRE

GREWelcome to the last installment of my prep course review series. If you’ve been following my blog in recent months, you know that I’ve already compared prep courses for the MCAT, GMAT and LSAT. Last but not least, we have the Graduate Record Exam, or the GRE. In all honesty, I had never heard of the GRE until a few months ago, which is surprising considering it’s required by most graduate programs in the US and in Canada. With a little more investigation, Magoosh- a prep course company I had yet to come across in this entire series, and Kaplan- a series regular, seemed to be the most highly recommended.

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What I Wish I Knew When I was a Freshman

GradSchool2So tomorrow I’m doing a retreat for Service Point, the administrative office at McGill. They invited me to come and give suggestions about what could be improved in their office. Service Point is the face of McGill. It’s where students go to first when they arrive here. And, even though it has nothing to do with student affairs and personal problems, most people end up going there because it’s the only place that they can think of reaching out to. Therefore, this blog post is me outlining a little bit of what I wish I had known when I entered McGill.

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Prep-Course Review: LSAT

LSATWhen it comes to LSAT prep, the reviews of different companies and courses seem to be mixed. Even after scouring a number of different blogs and forums, I wasn’t able to identify any clear front runners. That being said, Kaplan and TestMasters were two of the most frequently mentioned.

Kaplan’s most popular LSAT course is their in-person course, which starts at $1,399. It’s taught in seven 4-hour sessions of comprehensive instruction and three full-length in-class proctored practice tests. In addition to the in-class sessions, the course also offers access to Kaplan’s LSAT Channel, which is an online resource providing hundreds of hours of live workshops.

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Prep-Course Review: GMAT

 

Beat-the-GMATNext in my review of prep-courses for various standardized tests is the Graduate Management Admission Test, more commonly referred to as the GMAT. Similarly to med schools and law schools that require MCAT and LSAT scores, most MBA programs also require a GMAT score. A lot of MBA programs require two years of post-graduate work experience, so preparing for the GMAT may see a little premature. But for those of you interested in pursuing joint JD/MBAs, it’s important to consider that both an LSAT and GMAT score are required. To be honest, I’m not at all familiar with the GMAT, nor do I have any friends who have experience with the GMAT or its prep-courses. But after conducting a little bit of research, it seems that the courses offered by Manhattan and Veritas are the most frequently recommended. Both companies offer a variety of different courses and study materials, but for the sake of comparison, I’ll be discussing their full-length prep-courses.

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Acquiring Reference Letters

Ref Letter

Getting your hands on solid reference letters can be one of the most challenging aspects of the application process to navigate. Nevertheless, it remains an indispensable element of any application. The prospect of acquiring references can be so daunting, it’s often difficult to know where to begin. In my own experience, I’ve questioned everything from how many references I should list, to who I should ask, what qualifies as a legitimate reference, will so-and-so agree to be my reference, what if their letter is negative and so on and so forth. As time progressed and I began submitting more and more applications of various types, I’ve grown to appreciate the art of acquiring references. Along the way, I received tons of advice from friends and peers as well as having learned a thing or two on my own. The time has come for me to pay it forward and share the knowledge I’ve accumulated with you all.

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Managing Rejection

REJECTIONI don’t know about everyone else, but I’m the type of person who fears rejection. So much so that I used to avoid applying for positions, jobs or even scholarships I was interested in. For whatever reason, I was convinced I wouldn’t get them and that I was better off saving myself the misfortune of rejection. I soon realized that this wasn’t a healthy mentality to maintain and that I wasn’t doing myself any favours.

If you’re like me and the thought of potentially being rejected gives you hives, I’ve got some news for you: you have absolutely nothing to lose from trying. Even if you don’t get the job or the scholarship, at the very least, you’ll come out of the process with more experience. As cliché as it sounds, what you learn from unsuccessful attempts will only help strengthen your applications in the future.

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T-A or Not T-A

TA
As I was lounging around and enjoying my break during the summer, I was suddenly struck by the realization that I should apply for some sort of TA, RA or grading position. I immediately started e-mailing all of the professors whose classes I particularly enjoyed and whose research work I found especially interesting. After a couple of weeks of radio silence, I slowly started receiving responses. To my dismay, none were positive. The bulk of the e-mails informed me that the department was responsible for assigning TA positions and applications had already passed. But one reply, from a professor I had briefly served as a research assistant in the past, explained that while she would not be teaching the course this semester, she would contact me in the winter to discuss a grading position. Thankfully, she forwarded my information to the professor instructing this semester and as it turns out, he was in need of an extra grader, which is how I ended up with the job.

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Canadian Law Schools- Part 3

meme-law-schoolHere we are at our final installment of the Canadian Law School series. So far, I’ve gone through the Ontario law schools who attended the McGill Pre-Law Society’s Canadian Law Forum, namely Osgoode, Ottawa and Queen’s. And I also discussed their shared application system, OLSAS. To wrap up the series, I’ll be relaying information provided by the representatives from McGill and the University of British Columbia.

 

 

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Canadian Law Schools- Part 2

PICWelcome back to all of you law school hopefuls. For those of you who are just joining me now, my last post discussed OLSAS and Osgoode Hall, so if you’re interested in attending law school in Ontario, I would encourage you to give it read. In this post I’ll be giving you an overview of the law schools at the University of Ottawa and Queen’s University.

The University of Ottawa is home to the country’s largest law school. Its tuition is also among the lowest for the Ontario schools. Ottawa being the nation’s capital, the school’s location comes with obvious perks such as its proximity to Parliament as well as to the Supreme Court. Between the different languages and the types of degrees, Ottawa offers an impressive assortment of programs. There’s the regular 3-year JD program and the 3-year LLB program, both of which are offered in French and English.

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