Trusted UMAT prep.

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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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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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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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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Which universities require the UMAT exam?

Which universities use the UMAT as part of their selection criteria for medicine courses? According to the official ACER website, the following universities require satisfactory completion of the  UMAT  as part of their selection criteria for students who are seeking to gain entry into  undergraduate medicine and health science courses.  There are also some universities which use the UMAT as part of their graduate entry programmes. For all of the following universities, performance on the UMAT will not be the only requirement to gain entry, but for most of these universities it will be the first criterion that students need...
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A comparison of medicine at Usyd and UNSW

A brief comparison of studying medicine at UNSW or Usyd for 2014 onwards.   Whilst the release of final ATAR results may still be a while away, it is important for high achieving students to consider now whether they would choose to study medicine at UNSW or Usyd. Below is a simple and concise outline of what each of the UNSW medicine and Usyd medicine pathways, respectively, entail.   What has changed? Usyd will change from awarding MBBS to MD or Doctor of Medicine. The change to MD has not yet been finalised – it requires approval from the University...
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Melbourne vs. Monash Medicine: Should I study medicine at Monash or Melbourne university?

To Melbourne or Monash for medicine? That  is the question. It's a question often asked by aspiring med students: ' should I study medicine at Melbourne or Monash?' To help you make up your own mind, we've compiled a clear, concise and simple breakdown of each of the available medicine pathways at Melbourne and Monash. For a comparison of UMAT against the GAMSAT please see the following article: ' UMAT or GAMSAT? which is harder? which is easier? '.   In summary, Medicine via UMAT  at Monash is far better for the students and their parents, but GMASAT route  at Melbourne...
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Why is so much weight placed on just one test, the UMAT?

It may seem unfair that a   three hour test is so impor­tant. Remember, though, that the UMAT is not a one-shot, all-or-nothing affair. Your standardised test scores account for about a third of your medical school entry, depending on which university you apply. The other essential components include your ATAR score and  medical entrance interviews . Further, if you score poorly in the UMAT (due to lack of preparation or other unfortunate event), you can re-sit the UMAT next year. As discussed  here , UMAT is an objective test of  medical entrance  in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. The ...
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Why do universities need UMAT scores? Isn’t my ATAR score (Final Year school score) enough?

Good university admissions officers will use your UMAT scores to help them assess your readiness to do tough medical school work. Although the UMAT does not assess broad subject knowledge, it provides a universal benchmark that your high school transcript can’t. It assesses skills that are essential to succeed in a competitive Australian undergraduate medical school: problem solving, data interpretation, logical reasoning, critical thinking and abstract analysis. Competitive universities need the UMAT because course grades are, unfortunately, far from objective measures of your academic ability. Teachers rarely give out grades consistently and without bias. We all know that every school...
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Doesn’t the UMAT do a poor job of predicting medical school grades?

UMAT-bashers have long liked to claim that the UMAT 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. 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 to “play the...
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Some people raise questions about the current medical selection process, but offer no solutions. As in most countries, the demand for medical places in Australia will always far exceed the number available. Therefore, any selection system used will have winners and losers, and will be controversial. Just because some doctors feel current entry procedures used may not have admitted them to medical school, it does not necessarily follow that the selection system is flawed. There are several reasons for this, one of them being that the advantages of medicine as a career compared to other professions has increased over the...
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Medical entrance

Throughout the ages and in most countries medicine has been a profession with special privileges, hence demand to study medicine is high. In fact the demand to supply ratio is higher for medicine than for any other course in Australia, which is one reason for the use of criteria other than ATAR (high school) scores for entry. Since medical knowledge is growing at an exponential rate, it is essential that future doctors have critical thinking, abstract reasoning, problem solving and interpersonal skills. Far from making the system sick, the selection process ensures that doctors are able, affable and adaptable. It...
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