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Presenting yourself in interviews

  Many of you may be well into preparing for interviews. Practicing how to answer tough personal questions and scenarios are vital. However one aspect of doing an interview that people may not focus on is how to present yourself in front of the interviewer. Presentation is just as important as the content you say in an interview. Now you might be thinking, ‘there’s no way that’s true’ however let me put it in perspective for you. In an MMI, the interviewers are sitting in a room by themselves for an entire day asking many different students the same question/s...
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How to answer the big question

First things first, congratulations on getting an interview! That’s a massive achievement all on its own! Now is the time to be prepping for that interview as it’s not the sort of thing you should be winging. There are already a couple of blogs on how to ace an interview (all of which you should read!) so this one is just about how to answer that one big question. So why do you want to be a doctor? Every medical school will ask you this in some shape or another. Here are a couple of ways it might be phrased...
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Tips for Medical Interviews

By now you may have finished your year 12 exams. For those who sat the UMAT this year, it almost seems like the end of the road. However, there is one crucial component for entry into medicine that many major universities require – the interview. It is important you prepare and practice for this last step, especially because this time, you are competing against a tough cohort: all those students who performed outstandingly in both the UMAT and ATAR. The first step to preparing for any interview is to start practicing. Whether this be attending the MedEntry Interview Training sessions,...
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Tell-me-about-yourself

Three Common Interview Questions and How To Approach Them

You have made it through the UMAT, found out your Year 12 results... now it's time for the interview! Not sure where to start? In this blog, I have outlined three common medical interview questions, and how to prepare for them.   Why have you decided to study medicine and not pursue another field where you can help others, such as pharmacy, education, nursing or social work? This question is designed to reveal your motivation for studying medicine, and to avoid the common answer of "I want to help others." Whilst this is a valid part of your reason for...
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What Universities and Courses will require UCAT in 2019/2020?

UCAT stands for University Clinical Aptitude Test. It has replaced UMAT for entry into most medicine and dentistry courses across Australia and New Zealand. If you wish to apply for such courses in 2020, you will need to sit UCAT in 2019. The last sitting of UMAT took place in 2018.  UCAT will take place across the month of July in 2019. UCAT results are valid for one year only, and cannot be carried over from one year to the next.  If you wish to apply for any of the courses below for entry into medicine in 2020, you will...
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What Are the Similarities and Differences Between UMAT and UCAT?

UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) has replaced UMAT for entry into most medical and dental courses in 2020. There are similarities and differences between the two tests, which are outlined in this blog. Similarities between UCAT and UMAT UCAT and UMAT are both aptitude tests which assess candidates’ generic competencies. The skills tested are considered relevant and important for the future study and practice of medicine. The verbal reasoning, decision making and quantitative reasoning sections of UCAT have similarities to the logical reasoning & problem solving construct of UMAT. UCAT and UMAT are both in multiple choice format. UCAT and...
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What is the UCAT test?

UCAT stands for U niversity C linical A ptitude T est. UCAT will be an important criterion for entry into medicine and some dental courses at most Universities across Australia and New Zealand in 2020. UCAT has replaced UMAT for this purpose. UCAT is similar to UMAT, however, it includes additional constructs which are considered important and desirable for future healthcare professionals. It comprises five sections: verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning and situational judgement.  UCAT is a computer based test that takes approximately 2 hours, and will be administered by Pearson VUE. Candidates will receive their score immediately...
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UMAT Has Become UCAT

Summary  The Consortium of Australian School-Leaver Entry Medical Schools has decided not to renew their contract to ACER. This means that the UMAT will now be replaced by the UCAT (University Clinical Assessment Test) in 2019, for entry into medicine in 2020. MedEntry has intimate knowledge of UCAT and will be providing high quality UCAT resources for our students.    What is UCAT? UCAT stands for University Clinical Aptitude Test. It is similar to UMAT, and assesses the same type of skills.    UCAT is a computer-based test and comprises five sections: verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning and situational judgement. ...
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Why study Medicine?

There are only two things people seem ask you about in your final year of schooling: those big exams at the end of the year and what you want to do when they’re over. It’s a stressful and busy year with plenty of studying to be done. The constant questioning can be annoying, but it’s really important that you take the time to really look at what it is you are going to do next year. For anyone considering applying to sit the UMAT and putting medicine down on your university preferences, here are just a few of the reasons...
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Studying Medicine – My First Year

Having just finished my first year of medicine at Monash University, it is clear to me that my first year studying medicine was not necessarily as I had expected. Having said that, at the start of the year I was very unsure as to what I should expect from the first of five years of my degree. As such, I am going to give you a basic outline of how the first year of the course is structured, and hopefully you can use this to help guide your decision on whether or not Medicine is the right choice for you....
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5 ways to make the most of your post-UMAT pre-Interview time

UMAT is over! Congratulations on getting through the marathon that it is. While you can relax a little, now is not the time to be sitting back (sadly). Now is the time to start planning for applications and interviews! Here are some tips: Volunteer Someone once told me that if you’re not volunteering you’re not making med. I’m not sure if that’s true but a quick canvas of my year group indicates that it might be. Volunteering is interview and application gold; I almost guarantee at some point you’re going to say some variation of “I want to help people”...
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What Happens Next: After the UMAT

For the few weeks leading up to the UMAT, it can seem like the entire world revolves around it. Often you can put off worrying about day to day issues until after the day of the test. So when the test date does roll around, and you walk out of the test centre with your head held high, the first question that you are likely to ask yourself is, “What am I supposed to do now?”. One thing that it is good to organise for directly after the test is to spend an evening with friends or family, maybe at...
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The Opportunity Cost of pursuing Graduate Medicine

It is very important to consider the opportunity cost of anything we do.  Opportunity cost represents the benefits an individual misses out on when choosing one alternative over another. For example, the benefit you miss out on by choosing a 6 year medical program vs. a shorter 5 year program. Similarly, you should consider the benefit you miss out on by going to graduate medical program (which takes a minimum of 7 years) instead of going to a five year school leaver entry program. Keep in mind that the prestige of the university matters very little when it comes to medical degrees.  Assuming a conservative...
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Chancellor's Scholarships

Medical schools love to attract TWO groups of students: they pull out the red carpet for (a) Rural students and (b) Very high ATAR students. Why? The real reason (not the one stated on their websites) is that the universities benefit directly and indirectly. If they recruit rural students, universities get significantly more funding from the government than they would if they recruit city students. If they recruit very high ATAR students, they benefit in many ways. First, their university ranking will go up: and universities will do anything to improve their ranking. There is tremendous competition between universities to...
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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT UMAT

What is UMAT? UMAT stands for Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test. It is a test developed by ACER and used to help select students into medicine, dentistry and other competitive health science courses at university. The UMAT consists of questions in three main categories: Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving, Understanding People and Non-Verbal Reasoning. What courses require UMAT? For a full list of courses that require UMAT, please visit https://umat.acer.edu.au/universities How long is UMAT? The UMAT takes a total of approximately 3 hours. There is also 10 minutes of reading time before the exam commences. When is UMAT?...
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Is this my only shot at getting into Medicine?

Many students sit the UMAT for the first time thinking that they must to do well in UMAT because it is the only way for them to be accepted into their dream uni degree, medicine. This is untrue! This thinking places an enormous amount of unnecessary pressure on students. The reality is there are numerous ways to be accepted into medicine. Sitting UMAT, getting a good ATAR and smashing an interview may be the easiest and quickest way to get into medicine, but it is not the only one. Other options to be accepted into medicine can include:  • Taking...
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Interview Tips and Advice (Part 1)

In preparing for something as mammoth as a medical school interview, there are a lot of things to consider. When preparing you have to understand what type of language the interviewers might use, what to include in your answers and how you can respond both verbally and through your body language.   General advice for medical interviews • Walk into the room with a big smile. • Be confident, honest, friendly, understanding, respectful and empathic. • It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you decide to adopt, take your stance and defend your arguments until the end. Give reasons...
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One on one with a medical school interviewer

I was fortunate enough to have jumped through the hurdles that lie on the way to medical school, and there are quite a few benefits on the other side. One of these is being able to talk to doctors, health professionals or community members that have had previous experience as interviewers. The following is an excerpt from a conversation I had with a past interviewer to understand what they are looking for in medical interviews.    1. As a community member are you concerned about the medical/dental focus of some of the scenarios? “The scenarios in the MMI (multiple mini...
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What Interviewers look for in prospective medical students (Part 1)

Many of the personal qualities that the UMAT aims to assess in prospective medical students are the same qualities that are required to be a good doctor. Whilst the UMAT can only assess what you put on a paper in multiple choice format; the medical interview that will follow, can look for these qualities in person.    Your choice of words, body language, attitude and way of thinking will all be up for examination in the medical interview. Without some internal self-reflection, you will not be able to paint a detailed enough picture of yourself. A lot of these qualities...
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Behind the Scrubs, Part 2: Student’s views of Undergraduate Medical Courses in NSW – Joint Medical Program, University of Newcastle

The University of Newcastle (UoN) has taken a unique teamwork approach within their Bachelor of Medicine course, collaborating with the University of New England to create the Joint Medical Program. Although this joint effort represents a new modelling of the course, UoN has offered an undergraduate Medicine course for almost forty years, and has gained an unofficial reputation for creating doctors with superior clinical skills. Their use of ‘Problem-Based Learning’ to train students to think critically and integrate concepts has been extensively harnessed by other medical schools. In this article, 4th year medical student Emma gives us further insight into...
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