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Why are there differences in the way Universities use UCAT for Medical Entry?

Some Universities offer medical entry programs for school leavers without the need for UCAT. These include Griffith University (which offers a ‘conditional entry’ program) and James Cook University. Other universities have lower weighting for UCAT when assessing candidates for medical entry (for example, Auckland and Otago Universities).  On the other hand, some universities use UCAT even for graduate entry medical programs (for example, WSU, Newcastle, Auckland and Otago), while others use GAMSAT. Why do these differences exist? Universities are autonomous (meaning self-governing) bodies and claim they have the right to decide on academic standards and entry criteria. Such decisions are left...
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Why do some 99.95 ATAR students choose Provisional entry for medicine?

There are broadly two types of medical courses for school leavers: “Direct Entry” (for example at Curtin, Adelaide, Monash, WSU, Newcastle, UNSW, and JCU) and ‘Provisional entry’ (for example at UWA, Flinders, UniMelb, USyd, UQ, Griffith and Bond). ‘Provisional entry’ is also called ‘guaranteed entry’ or ‘assured entry’ or ‘Chancellor's scholar pathway’ and even misleadingly as ‘direct entry’ (by UWA). There are many disadvantages of provisional entry programs which are discussed in other blogs on this site. They are generally designed to benefit the university, while the direct entry programs are far better for you. So why do some high ATAR...
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Virtual Medical Interviews: 3 Tips For Success

The COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic has resulted in several changes to medical school admissions. A significant change has been the move from in-person medical interviews to virtual interviews. Several medical schools have already confirmed that medical interviews will take place virtually (for example over Zoom). These include Monash University, Adelaide University and Charles Sturt University. A virtual interview is very different from an in-person one, and requires an understanding of how to best present yourself on a teleconferencing platform. Here are three tips for success: 1.  Familiarise yourself with the technology Some universities have already confirmed the teleconferencing platform that they...
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Medicine – The Big Picture

So you’re going into your final year of schooling, and you’re super duper set on being a doctor. There are lots of ways you can keep hold of medicine as a big picture throughout this long and sometimes arduous year. By putting some of these points into action now, you will increase your chances of getting straight into med, pump up your motivation over the year, and be an awesome doctor in the future! ·         People – get amongst them! Medicine is all about the people. In your career you will interact with others from diverse backgrounds, and it is crucial...
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English and UCAT

Why doing well in English is essential for gaining entry into medicine and succeeding in your medical course and career. Some students love it. Others hate it: Reading books, writing essays and analysing articles where the content matter is highly subjective and there is no definitive ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. English is the polar opposite of many subjects favoured by maths and science minded students because essay questions require a highly critical and subjective thinking style in order to write high scoring responses. However, like it or not, all students looking to study medicine or other popular health science courses, need to do well in...
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Doesn’t the UCAT do a poor job of predicting medical school grades?

UCAT-bashers have long liked to claim that the UCAT isn’t valuable to universities because it doesn’t predict university grades very well. They miss two important points: first, smart university admissions officers don’t want it to predict grades, and second, it correlates very well with something more important than grades—real success in academic fields like medicine or in life ingeneral. Predicting grades is a wild-goose chase because grades are not objectively distrib­uted: almost any teacher/professor can give out grades any way he or she wishes. Many students, as we all know, get good grades without having great intellectual ability. They just learn...
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