Rotman Commerce Video Essay Question Examples

Rotman Commerce is offered jointly by the Rotman School of Management and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts and Science and is one of the oldest and best business programs in Canada (for our rankings of best business schools in Canada, please click here).


It is also very difficult to get into as it has some of the toughest entry requirements in Canada. We at CampusRankings have outlined the essentials on how to get into Rotman Commerce. CampusRankings has extensive experience in Rotman Commerce applications and if you require further assistance with your application, we recommend contacting For further information about U of T as a whole, please take a look at our review.

Please note, the Supplemental Application deadline for Ontario high school students, (101 applicants) is midnight (EST) April 1, 2014. For Ontario high school students (101) seeking early consideration, the final day to complete the Supplemental Application is midnight (EST) January 10, 2014. The last date to submit the Supplemental Application for non-Ontario applicants (105) is February 14, 2014.

This submission costs $50 in addition to the U of T application fee. Once you have applied to U of T and gotten your application ID and PIN, go to this website.

Course Requirements

As previously mentioned, Rotman Commerce has tough entry requirements. In addition to simply graduating and getting an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (or equivalent), the applicant requires 6 U or M level grade 12 credits.

This is all pretty standard, but there are additional course requirements. These 6 credits though include English 4U AND Calculus & Vectors 4U. Thus, unlike other schools, Rotman looks at your top 4 credits after ENG4U and MCV4U, meaning your entry average is AVERAGE OF (  ENG4U + MCV4U) + (4 highest grade 12 U or M courses). It is important to note, Advanced Functions is usually a prerequisite for MCV4U, but it itself isn’t isn’t a requirement and won’t be automatically used to determine your average, unless it is in your top 4. Make sure you consider this when planning out your high school career.

To compound matters, although they do not explicitly have grade requirements for ENG4U and MCV4U, they do look at these grades individually, and not just your combined average. As a result of this, getting high 90’s in your top 4 and low 70’s in MCV4U and ENG4U will not suffice as they recommend at very least low 80’s for these (which subsequently make the load on your other courses less).


Rotman recommends a high 80’s average which means their actual grade entry requirements are higher. Universities like Queen’s and Western recommend a low to mid 80’s average to apply, but realistically the acceptance average is generally in the high 80’s or 90’s. Therefore, the generally acceptance average for Rotman is generally around 90. Last year the average entry average was 89.7%.  However, these grades are not the only thing that are taken into account.

In fact, these are simply just the first process of filtering out students so if you do have an average of 87 or higher, don’t worry too much about improving your grades, but rather focus on your EC’s so that you can submit a better Supplementary Application. This is discussed below:

Supplementary Application

Aside from the entry requirements and the grades, the supplementary application is the most important part of your application. In fact, providing you do have strong enough grades to be even considered for Rotman Commerce (85%+), this is the single most influential part of your application. Therefore, it is essential you knock this out of the park in order to differentiate yourself as this is key on how to get into Rotman Commerce.

Extra Curriculars

There is a section of the Supplementary Application that explicitly asks to describe 3 extra curricular activities. As such, for your EC’s in high school, focus on quality over quantity. Meaning, rather than doing a little bit of everything, take an expanded role in a few areas. For instance, rather be involved as a member of every club in high school, instead be the coordinator, or captain, or organizer for a few clubs.

Therefore, you can really highlight your leadership or other skills more so than simply being loosely involved. This comes very in handy for this section of the supplementary application since you are limited to just three EC’s.

As mentioned above, focus on the three EC’s where you have been the most involved and would demonstrate the qualities that Rotman is looking for; leadership, motivation, commitment, initiative, and innovation.  Be sure to be concise and really highlight your role and duties.


Rotman tries to be tricky by stating they have a “randomly generated question pertaining to an extracurricular activity, leadership, community engagement or interest in the study of commerce. This essay is a maximum of 1500 characters and has no time limit.

However, that description describes almost exactly what the questions are that they ask. The questions pertain to the following:

  • Describe your EC’s
  • Highlight your leadership roles
  • Describe your Community Involvement

Like all universities, they want the best and brightest leaders. As such, every question is essentially asking the same thing: what have you done in the past that demonstrates your leadership skills and how these will positively impact U of T. Therefore, no matter what question you get, make sure you highlight your strengths and examples of leadership and specifically mention how that will apply to Rotman Commerce. Subsequently, it is important to research the university and the program to ensure that you can relate your answers to Rotman Commerce. Do your due-diligence on what the program itself actually offers as well as look at what societies and clubs are available at U of T.

Doing this will not only assist you in answering the question, but will also show the Admissions Committee that you did your research, which differentiates you from the competition.


Rotman has introduced this year a new requirement –  a video component.

Students will have the choice of answering 3 questions. The answers should be between 2-4 minutes, but students have an hour to record and upload the video. This new component promises to be a tremendous opportunity to differentiate yourself and thus it is absolutely crucial to be well prepared. We can work with you before and during your video application to coach you to ensure you maximize your chances. This is the hardest part of how to get into Rotman Commerce.

Don’t be afraid to brag!If you don’t, somebody else will.

If you would like further assistance with your application, we recommend contacting as they have the actual questions that are used for this year. Furthermore, we can properly prepare you for these questions with a very thorough approach that will guarantee you do well in the allotted 60 minutes. We can also help you with the rest of the applicaton process.

Year One – Beware

What makes Rotman Commerce a particularly difficult program is that once you get into Rotman Commerce out of university, you really don’t start Rotman Commerce until year two. The first year is very difficult as you take Calculus as well as other programs and receive a minimum grade just to be allowed to pursue the final 3 years of Rotman Commerce. The requirements are as follows:

  • Complete RSM100Y Introduction to Management with a mark of at least 67%
  • Complete ECO100Y Introduction to Economics with a mark of at least 67%
  • Complete MAT133Y Calculus and Linear Algebra for Commerce (or equivalent) with a mark of at least 50%
  • Accumulate a minimum of 4.0 credits

If you have met the above mentioned requirements, then you can continue with your degree. Don’t take ECO100Y lightly! This is the course that gives students the most grief in their first year due to the fact that you are required to have taken Calculus already, but there is no requirement for econ courses to be taken in high school therefore making this is a tough course.

The first year of Rotman has a very high drop out rate so please be aware of that. They accept up too many students in first year as they generally expect up anywhere between 20-50% drop out after first year, but mid 30% is typical.

And that’s how to get into Rotman Commerce.

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Alex Dorward

Alex is the co-founder of UniversityHub (now CampusRankings) and current Technical Director for CampusRankings. Alex grew up in Ottawa before attending St FX in Antigonish, NS. After graduating, he joined Accenture and is currently a Manager in Accenture Digital.

Rotman Commerce is seeking to admit outstanding students that have demonstrated academic excellence, have an understanding of leadership and community and a passion for the world of business. In order for us to better evaluate for these qualities, all applicants to our program are required to complete the Rotman Commerce Supplemental Application. The application includes a short written component and brief video which will allow us the opportunity to get to know you better. It will be considered alongside your academic record when evaluating you for admission to the program.


  • OUAC 101 – February 15, 2018 at 11:59PM (EST): Supporting Document Deadline (including Rotman Commerce Supplemental Application) 
  • OUAC 105 and U of T International Application – February 1, 2018 at 11:59PM (EST): Supporting Document Deadline (including Rotman Commerce Supplemental Application)

How It Works

Once Enrolment Services at the University of Toronto receives your application, they will send you an email acknowledgement that will include your JOINid/UTORid, your University of Toronto applicant number, and full information about the next steps in the application process. Please note that all prospective students will be required to submit a Rotman Commerce Supplemental Application as part of their applications. At Rotman Commerce, we are looking for the best and brightest students to join us – and we know that marks only tell part of the story. The Rotman Commerce Supplemental Application is a valuable part of our admissions process, and gives us a chance to get to know more about your abilities, strengths, and interests than your transcript can reveal.

Details about accessing and completing the Rotman Commerce Supplemental Application will be available through your Join U of T application portal after you have applied through the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC).

Note: Your information will be collected and held for the University by Kira Talent, a company that provides an online platform for video interviews and essays. Kira Talent uses cloud-based technology to store data. Before you begin your application, please ensure that you have read the Kira Talent Privacy Policy. Kira Talent will include unlimited practice with plenty of instruction and support.

Please note that the University and its offices will be closed from December 21, 2017 and will re-open January 3, 2018. However, support will be available to you during this time – contact information will be included within the Kira Talent site.

If you have any concerns about completing this phase of your application, please contact Rotman Commerce by email at:

The following information is meant to provide you with a general overview of what you will need to get started and give you a sense of what the process will be like.

General Requirements and Advice

  • You should set at least 1 hour of uninterrupted time to complete the supplemental application.
  • All technical trouble-shooting is handled by Kira Talent customer support and is available 24/7. Contact information will be included within the Kira Talent site.

Structure and Content

  • You will have unlimited practice opportunities. Please note that the practice questions are much shorter than the actual questions.
  • After you have completed your practice opportunities, you will have one chance to do your Supplemental Application. Note: Practice questions may be shorter in duration than the final questions.
  • The application includes two short written essays and a video question – completion of all three is mandatory.
  • For the written component, you will respond to two questions. Your response to the first question (What accomplishments or endeavours outside of the classroom are you most proud of?) should be approximately 100 words or less and you will have 20 minutes to respond. The second question is random and your response should be 250-300 words.You will have 30 minutes to respond to the second question.  Review the random question carefully; be sure to answer the question (this may seem obvious!); and pay attention to spelling, grammar, sentence structure, length and the overall composition of your response.
  • After your essay questions, you will proceed to the video question.
  • After you receive your video question, you will have 90 seconds to think about your response and two minutes to record your response before submission.
  • There is no right or wrong answer for either the written essays or the video question.
  • Relax and be yourself!


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