MedEntry

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How will UCAT scores be used by universities?

  As UCAT is new as of 2019, the manner in which UCAT scores will be used is yet to be confirmed. Information regarding how universities will use UCAT scores will be made publicly available later in 2019. However, it is very likely that: UCAT will continue to form one of three main criteria required to enter medicine or dentistry (with the other two criteria being ATAR/NCEA and interview performance) Students will need to generally score above the 80 th percentile in UCAT to be considered for entry into medicine and dentistry. That is, students will need to be in...
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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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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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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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5 Tips for Medical School Applications

Know where you’re eligible for Some students won’t be eligible to apply for all undergraduate medical schools. School leavers are eligible for most, but some schools have some odd stipulations if you’re not coming straight from school. For example, UNSW doesn’t admit students over 25, the University of Adelaide doesn’t want students who have a university academic record from anywhere but Adelaide, and James Cook only has 10 places for non-school leavers. So it really pays to know what you’re actually able to apply for! When I was applying I made myself a table and colour-coded for schools that I...
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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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Is the median ATAR of medical students at USyd/UniMelb higher than at UNSW/Monash?

No, in fact, it is far lower. People assume that because the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne have a certain limited number of places for their “guaranteed entry” scheme (for which the minimum ATAR required is 99.90 or 99.95) the median ATAR of medical students at such universities must be very high. This is a myth and is completely untrue. The University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne have about 300+ places each in their graduate entry programs and only about 10% of places are from the guaranteed entry stream. The rest of the places are...
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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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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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MEDICAL INTERVIEW TIPS: WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?

Delivering coherent answers in a medical interview is no easy feat, but unfortunately, that is only half the battle. The interviewer is trying to see if you have the qualities that would make a good medical student and more importantly, a good doctor. These qualities can include being resilient, motivated and self-aware. And thus, the questions and/or activities they ask of you are all trying to assess if you possess these qualities. The first step in you presenting desirable qualities to your interviewer is you being aware that they are looking for them instead of blindly answering each question. A...
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Behind the Scrubs, Part 1: Student’s views of Undergraduate Medical Courses in NSW – Western Sydney University

The Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) is the newest addition to NSW's undergraduate medical courses, opening its doors for the first time in 2007. UWS has a particular commitment towards providing health care and education for the Western Sydney region, including a focus on the area of Indigenous health. To find out more about the UWS medical course, I caught up with Jess, a third year medical student at Western Sydney.   Evie: So Jess, you're now more than half-way towards graduating from UWS! Could you share with us what the...
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Applying mid-way through your degree

So you find yourself starting the first year of your degree. Your wounds from not getting accepted straight out of high school are still fresh but you know that medicine is the career for you. Graduation from your current degree is still years away so what can you do to try get in till then? Don’t worry, there’s still hope for you.   With most Bachelor’s degrees being three years, you will be sitting the UMAT in either your first or second year of university. Let’s be honest, you are not particularly wanted by medical schools. At this point you...
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Pathways into medicine: UMAT vs GAMSAT

Living in our corner of the world and having a desire to pursue medicine will mean that at some point you will encounter either the UMAT or the GAMSAT. I experienced the former a multitude of times and the latter most recently, and have achieved success in both. This blog will guide you through both exams and pathways.   If you are a student pursuing medicine in New Zealand, the UMAT will be your only concern. It is not possible to directly enter medicine as a high school leaver at either Auckland or Otago, so the UMAT is a barrier...
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Discrimination in university admissions?

What is discrimination? Discrimination can be defined as unwarranted unfavourable treatment towards an individual or groups of individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category. Such treatment is usually in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated. Discrimination could be based on someone’s gender, race, location, or socio-economic basis, etc. Discrimination is against the law under the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT), Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), Anti-Discrimination Act 1996 (NT), Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (QLD), Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA), Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (TAS), Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Vic) and...
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So, you want to be a doctor? How do I get into medicine in Australia/NZ?

Congratulations on your decision to pursue medicine as a career! Medicine is an interesting, valued and rewarding profession. The process of getting into medicine can be confusing, so here’s an introduction.   Criteria for getting into medicine Unlike most other courses, getting into medicine doesn’t just require a high ATAR. Entry into medicine at most universities is based on three criteria: ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) UMAT (Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission Test) Interview (some universities also require a written application) Each university differs slightly in how they go about selecting students for medicine, so it is important to...
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