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[Applying for Med] FAQs on the Basics

Discussion in 'Interviews' started by A1, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. A1

    A1 Moderator Moderator

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    Having a little spare time with my midyear break I'm writing up this FAQs in preparation for the flock soon starting their application journeys. Others are most welcome to comment or add their own below this post, if suitable I will incorporate into this one.

    Q1 - Which med schools should I consider and what are their requirements?
    See this first if you have not
    [Undergrad] - 2017-18 Med schools Selection Criteria Y12s & Non-standards

    Of those who are eligible to apply the success ratio is about 1 in 12. Your particular strengths in ATAR or UMAT or Interview can make you more competitive for certain schools than others.

    Q2 - How do I apply?
    For UTas it's a direct application on UTas website, for the other schools it's through the TAC centres UAC, VTAC, QTAC, SATAC, TISC. One application to each TAC centre for all the schools in its state.

    Several schools also require submitting a supplemental application directly to them. The application to JCU is super important in consideration. All the others are only to provide additional info which the TAC centres do not collect by default, they are not counted in consideration. (Note the Rural application is a separate matter). Also note carefully the closing application date, other courses can be added later with a late fee but not Med.

    Q3 - How should I place preferences within each TAC application?
    As far as preferences go you DON'T need to play the percentages. Simply place them as you wish, even if you feel you have lower chance for a particular school placing it 1st pref does not affect your chances for the other schools. If you don't get 1st pref it effectively promotes your 2nd pref to 1st, 3rd to 2nd... ultimately the same as you had not placed that 1st pref.

    Q4 - What's the difference between minimum threshold, hurdle and cutoff?
    Typically a school only wants to take a few thousand instead of tens of thousand applications so they set a predefined score as the minimum threshold to be eligible for consideration. This threshold is seldom close to being realistic for a place offer, except...

    Where it is a hurdle it no longer counts afterwards. Like JMP 94.3, WSU 95.5, UQ 99.0 everyone is then on equal footing going into the next consideration round.

    Cutoff otoh is the who-knows score at the point the target number of interview/place offers is reached. IMO talking about cutoff score only makes sense when it's the single/dominant determinator like ATAR for Griffith Flinders, S1 for JMP, Overall UMAT for UQ. For combo schools like UNSW Monash Adelaide their cutoffs cannot be expressed in a single number, 90%ile is good for a 99.5 but 92%ile may not be enough for a 98.0 etc.

    Q5 - What ATAR+UMAT should I aim for to be competitive?
    It varies between the schools, for a general idea you should have 99.0 + 95ish %ile (or 99.5ish + 90%ile) to go into the interview round with 50/50 chance at a combo school. IOW with that combo you still need to achieve a median interview score among the interview cohort. With a lower combo you need a better-than-median interview and vice versa.

    Otoh for schools like JMP no ATAR+UMAT will make you 50/50 competitive. Being all on the PQA/Interview it's 1 in 4 chance equally for everyone (170 places for ~700 interviewees).

    Q6 - Are interstate applicants disadvantaged?
    No in general but yes in a way for some unis. For example UNSW interviews NSW applicants in the Dec/Jan 1st rounds then interstate applicants in the late-Jan 2nd round. The latter are not disadvantaged since UNSW assures the place-offer score for them is kept the same as for 1st round interviewees.

    With the other unis
    - Monash: 1st round interview offers to Vic students require a reasonable ATAR+UMAT combo, otoh 2nd round interview offers to interstate students require *very high* ATAR+UMAT. That means many interstate applicants with scores worthy of a 1st round interview are not even invited to try out.

    - Adelaide: interstate applicants are interviewed in both 1st round (UMAT heavy) & 2nd round (ATAR heavy). SA students get a bonus added to their UMAT score resulting in more of them invited to interviews but the UMAT bonus does not count in the final ranking.

    - UTas: a big part of the intake quota is reserved for Tas students, very few places left for interstate applicants.

    - JCU: I read that local students are given a higher rurality index thus better chances. Similar to WSU favouring GWS students.

    Q7 - Does interstate applicants only getting 2nd round offers mean they are 2nd-class applicants?
    It's important to note most non-Med/Dent courses do not involve an interview. All their offers can come out together in the 1st offer round. Thus any later offers in 2nd round are like second life chances to those already missing out 1st round.

    Med offers are different. Where interstate applicants are interviewed separately, the 2nd offer round is mainly for them and is like a 1st round part II. Only a small portion of it, if any, is in the traditional context of 2nd round offers.

    Q8 - What are the ATAR/UMAT weightings and how are they calculated?
    The weightings are shown in the link above. Using UNSW as example where they are equally weighted your ATAR UMAT Interview scores are combined 33/33/33 into a Final ranking score and approx the top third of the interview cohort are successful for a place.

    To allow mathematical summing the three scores must be standardised to a common scale, usually by the z-score method. Except for a few outliers this should result in a score ranging from -3 to +3 for each component (for the math-minded that's how many std deviations you are below or above the cohort's average). In my estimation a Final ranking score of 3+ is needed to be in the top third; this was somewhat verified by UNSW saying a student got in with 96.x (near bottom) by having 100%ile UMAT plus a top interview.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
    pi, Isiyara, Mana and 1 other person like this.
  2. medhoping

    medhoping Member

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    How many med schools should each student apply to?
     
  3. A1

    A1 Moderator Moderator

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    This FAQs is intended for domestic students. Since you are int'l an answer here wouldn't be in the right context.

    EtA: Sort of apply everywhere you are eligible to if the application fees are affordable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017 at 2:15 PM

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