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Common pitfalls to avoid for year 12 school leavers and other medicine applicants

LMG!

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Admodistrator
- Southern Cross doesn’t have as many options for health degrees as the other mentioned unis do (e.g. if you want to do paramedicine or pharmacy or medical laboratory science or physio, none of these are offered at Southern Cross)
Oh, that's really unfortunate :(
 

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truetryhard

New Member
I think this almost deserves its own pitfall in this thread!
- Turning down a med offer in the same city
- Taking a pathway that will see them graduate 1-2 years later if they’re lucky enough for it to work out for them on the first attempt
- Risking never getting into med to very possibly end up with a degree they can’t use

I know what I’d be doing in their situation!
I might believe this for one odd person, but for three and you happened to know them all is very peculiar. I'd say likely their UNSW/WSU offers were non-med, either you misunderstood or they made it sound like med.
To clarify, they did not graduate high school this year, they've been in uni for 1-2 years. The pathway would graduate at the same time as a normal DDMP, just without the guaranteed entry in MD (which I guess could end up badly if they don't get in).

About graduate entry into medicine at USyd (or other universities); how much exactly are each of the components weighed, as in GPA, GAMSAT and interview? Are GAMSAT scores used only as a hurdle to decide who gets an interview, meaning an applicant with an extremely high GAMSAT score would be on a level playing field as someone who just scraped above the cut off?

For example, would an applicant with 7.0 GPA and a superb GAMSAT score be at a significant advantage to someone who just scraped above the cutoffs, meaning they wouldn't have to perform as well in the interview, kind of like how a high school leaver with 99.95 ATAR and 100 UMAT wouldn't have to perform as well in the interview component to be accepted, compared to someone who just made the cutoffs?

Edited by Moderator - Responses provided in appropriate thread: [Grad] - Graduate Medicine FAQ and Quick Questions
 
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A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
To clarify, they did not graduate high school this year, they've been in uni for 1-2 years. The pathway would graduate at the same time as a normal DDMP, just without the guaranteed entry in MD
The point we were getting at was, even they've been in uni for 1-2 years grad-entry USyd will take 5-6 more years to complete. WSU/UNSW med is also 5-6 years. The fact that you know not one but three persons who rejected an equally good offer to chase an unknown is rather peculiar.
 

CardiacSurgeon

New Member
Hello!

New member to this site (Don't really know where to ask for help so I hope this is the an acceptable place for questions) :)
I just wanted to ask for some advice regarding 2019. I completed year 12 this year and sat the UMAT. My UMAT was a 31 percentile and my ATAR was a 98.15 raw (99.80 adjusted score). As you can see by my username, the only option I have in life is to be a cardiothoracic surgeon because of religious reasons but I am not sure how to get there as my UMAT was poor this year. I currently live in Adelaide and plan on living here so could I please ask, Should I take like a gap year (working/volunteering at a medical place & sitting the UCAT) or do some degree instead? If so which sort of degree would be most useful for my cardiac surgeon goal? Would some degree such as Paramedic Science be good? Could you possibly also explain how the graduate entry method works because I have read the "common pitfalls..." post but am still quite confused about how the graduate entry pathway works :(

Thank you very much for the support!

If someone could reply to this as soon as possible, that would be greatly appreciated as preference changing has a deadline of the 3rd Jan (satac) :))
 

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A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
New member to this site (Don't really know where to ask for help so I hope this is the an acceptable place for questions) :)
I just wanted to ask for some advice regarding 2019. I completed year 12 this year and sat the UMAT. My UMAT was a 31 percentile and my ATAR was a 98.15 raw (99.80 adjusted score). As you can see by my username, the only option I have in life is to be a cardiothoracic surgeon because of religious reasons but I am not sure how to get there as my UMAT was poor this year. I currently live in Adelaide and plan on living here so could I please ask, Should I take like a gap year (working/volunteering at a medical place & sitting the UCAT) or do some degree instead? If so which sort of degree would be most useful for my cardiac surgeon goal? Would some degree such as Paramedic Science be good? Could you possibly also explain how the graduate entry method works because I have read the "common pitfalls..." post but am still quite confused about how the graduate entry pathway works :(
Let's clear this up first, according to this table > http://www.satac.edu.au/documents/2017-sace-ntcet-university-aggregate-to-atar-conversion-table.pdf
ATAR 98.15 gets adjusted to 99.80 with 4 bonus points. Did you get 4 instead of the usual 5 SATAC UES bonus points or has the table changed for 2018?

Secondly forget about Cardiac Surgeon for now. You must get into medicine first which is hard enough, then only 1 in like 100 doctors get into that specialty. You haven't got into med yet it's unrealistic to be thinking about being the one in 100. For graduate-entry medicine you do an undergrad degree (practically any degree unless you aim for UoM or UQ that require a few biomed prereqs), achieve a competitive GPA, sit the GAMSAT test and apply through Gemsas.

If I were you I'd be tempted to redo 1 or 2 Y12 subjects, those currently with lowest marks for ATAR, for the express purpose of getting a little better than 98.15 raw and get adjusted to 99.95. This with a not-too-hard 70ish %ile UMAT (or the equiv in UCAT) gets you a Flinders offer. I know many here frown on this method but it's more achievable than the 1-in-10 success rate of the grad entry path. If this doesn't work out then go on to grad entry.
 

Q3

Regular Member
Hello!

New member to this site (Don't really know where to ask for help so I hope this is the an acceptable place for questions) :)
I just wanted to ask for some advice regarding 2019. I completed year 12 this year and sat the UMAT. My UMAT was a 31 percentile and my ATAR was a 98.15 raw (99.80 adjusted score). As you can see by my username, the only option I have in life is to be a cardiothoracic surgeon because of religious reasons but I am not sure how to get there as my UMAT was poor this year. I currently live in Adelaide and plan on living here so could I please ask, Should I take like a gap year (working/volunteering at a medical place & sitting the UCAT) or do some degree instead? If so which sort of degree would be most useful for my cardiac surgeon goal? Would some degree such as Paramedic Science be good? Could you possibly also explain how the graduate entry method works because I have read the "common pitfalls..." post but am still quite confused about how the graduate entry pathway works :(

Thank you very much for the support!

If someone could reply to this as soon as possible, that would be greatly appreciated as preference changing has a deadline of the 3rd Jan (satac) :))
You also might want to consider if a medical degree is a wise decision to make if you are only limited to one speciality. What if something happens along the way that prevents you from being said surgeon? As A1 said, only 1 in 100 doctors become a cardiac surgeon and it seems like a huge investment in time for something might never happen. What is your back up plan for then?

From the sounds of your post I think you should really have a think about things and consult with knowledgeable people before you start any medical degree.
 
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CardiacSurgeon

New Member
Thank you for the fast reply!

Just want to ask though, wouldnt repeating the year 12 subjects and UCAT be a bit risky? I mean like, would it be better to be a year into finishing a degree or would attempting UCAT again be better (and give a higher chance for med)? And what do you mean by repeat 1 or 2 subjects to get a 99.95? So if we repeat 1 or 2 subjects and do amazing at them, is the raw ATAR boosted to 99.95 or is it the adjusted ATAR? Do I repeat the subjects at my current school or would I have to like move?
Sorry, I have no clue about how this yr13 thing works

And I recieved 4 bonus points according to the adjusted ATAR calculator bot :)

Thank you!!
 

CardiacSurgeon

New Member
You also might want to consider if a medical degree is a wise decision to make if you are only limited to one speciality. What if something happens along the way that prevents you from being said surgeon? As A1 said, only 1 in 100 doctors become a cardiac surgeon and it seems like a huge investment in time for something might never happen. What is your back up plan for then?

From the sounds of your post I think you should really have a think about things and consult with knowledgeable people before you start any medical degree.
I do not have a single back up plan :(
I have to tunnel vision on this one speciality because my religious leader (H.H. Mahant Swami Maharaj) had advised me to become that since I had no clue what I would like to pursue as a career.
Hope you can understand what I mean :)
 

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A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
what do you mean by repeat 1 or 2 subjects to get a 99.95?
Your ATAR is the rank of your uni aggregate, which I believe is the total of your highest 4.5 subject marks. Pick out the two lowest marks & redo them, or do two new subjects that you can achieve better than their marks, to increase your *raw* ATAR to better than 98.15 enough to get adjusted to 99.95 (instead of 99.80). You'd need to do this at a school that allows you in but still provides the UES bonus points.

Just want to ask though, wouldnt repeating the year 12 subjects and UCAT be a bit risky? I mean like, would it be better to be a year into finishing a degree or would attempting UCAT again be better (and give a higher chance for med)?
You can view it either as a risk or a worthwhile investment of time. Would you rather only follow a 1-in-10 success path or invest a year of time for a 1-in-2 opportunity first, and if it doesn't work out you still have that 1-in-10 path to follow?
 

NG

New Member
Hello!

New member to this site (Don't really know where to ask for help so I hope this is the an acceptable place for questions) :)
I just wanted to ask for some advice regarding 2019. I completed year 12 this year and sat the UMAT. My UMAT was a 31 percentile and my ATAR was a 98.15 raw (99.80 adjusted score). As you can see by my username, the only option I have in life is to be a cardiothoracic surgeon because of religious reasons but I am not sure how to get there as my UMAT was poor this year. I currently live in Adelaide and plan on living here so could I please ask, Should I take like a gap year (working/volunteering at a medical place & sitting the UCAT) or do some degree instead? If so which sort of degree would be most useful for my cardiac surgeon goal? Would some degree such as Para medic Science be good? Could you possibly also explain how the graduate entry method works because I have read the "common pitfalls..." post but am still quite confused about how the graduate entry pathway works :(

Thank you very much for the support!

If someone could reply to this as soon as possible, that would be greatly appreciated as preference changing has a deadline of the 3rd Jan (satac) :))
Hey bud, I'd just like to echo the message thats the other mods have been saying. Redoing a few ATAR subjects is very much possible but its a "high risk high reward" kinda move to make. I had a friend who graduated with a 99.85 ATAR, he took a gap year to pick up Human Bio as a subject and redo Chemistry as a subject. Despite all his studies and work, he didn't quite improve on his ATAR, however since he spent a lot of time working on the UMAT he was able to improve it from 25th %tile to 88%tile which is pre crazy! Also by taking Human Bio he made him self eligible to apply to international medical schools which is also a huge positive. But long story short, redoing a few ATAR subjects is possible however unless you get significantly higher might not improve your actual ATAR.

I hope hearing this helps and motivates you to not give up. :)
 

A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
I had a friend who graduated with a 99.85 ATAR, he took a gap year to pick up Human Bio as a subject and redo Chemistry as a subject. Despite all his studies and work, he didn't quite improve on his ATAR
Thanks for the anecdote. I should point out however, improving from an upper end ATAR is much more difficult. In @CS's case we see from the SATAC Aggregate table they need just 0.6 extra aggregate mark (from 84.45 to 85.05) to go with the 4 bonus points to get boosted to 99.95. For the one subject with lowest marks it's like improving from 86/100 to 89. Redoing one you are already familiar with and having a lot more time to focus on, it's not difficult to pick up these 3 extra percentage marks (as opposed to your friend trying same from 96 to 99).
 

chinaski

Regular Member
I do not have a single back up plan :(
I have to tunnel vision on this one speciality because my religious leader (H.H. Mahant Swami Maharaj) had advised me to become that since I had no clue what I would like to pursue as a career.
Hope you can understand what I mean :)
I'm not really sure I do understand. Cardiac surgery - of all things - is a puzzling default to recommend to someone who can't decide what to do as a career. Suffice to say, my non-religious advice is to heed that already offered by the posters here - think long and hard about whether this is the right decision to be making (particularly given the context). A back up plan is always well-advised for everyone.
 

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CardiacSurgeon

New Member
Thanks for the anecdote. I should point out however, improving from an upper end ATAR is much more difficult. In @CS's case we see from the SATAC Aggregate table they need just 0.6 extra aggregate mark (from 84.45 to 85.05) to go with the 4 bonus points to get boosted to 99.95. For the one subject with lowest marks it's like improving from 86/100 to 89. Redoing one you are already familiar with and having a lot more time to focus on, it's not difficult to pick up these 3 extra percentage marks (as opposed to your friend trying same from 96 to 99).
Would Flinders undergrad Med look at the adjusted ATAR instead of raw?
I'm not really sure I do understand. Cardiac surgery - of all things - is a puzzling default to recommend to someone who can't decide what to do as a career. Suffice to say, my non-religious advice is to heed that already offered by the posters here - think long and hard about whether this is the right decision to be making (particularly given the context). A back up plan is always well-advised for everyone.
Nah I cant really make up a backup choice by myself. If after many many years I still fail at Med, then I will have to ask him :) But I think I should enter Med soon
 

Mana

Registrar
Admodistrator
Would Flinders undergrad Med look at the adjusted ATAR instead of raw?

Nah I cant really make up a backup choice by myself. If after many many years I still fail at Med, then I will have to ask him :) But I think I should enter Med soon
As per A1's excellent table at [Undergrad] - (2018 Updated) Med schools Selection Criteria Y12s & Non-standards yes Flinders does use the bonus points, but the cutoffs are on the very high side of high (99.85+ typically).

I'm wondering about how your major life decisions are being made by someone else rather than yourself. My first question is why are they recommending you a pathway that they personally did not take (and why aren't they recommending the pathway that they did take? For example, surely, if your Hindu religious leader was giving advice they would be nurturing future Hindu religious leaders?)
 

apk22

New Member
I feel like this has probably been asked multiple times before but I've been following these forums for a while and haven't seen anything where anyone is in the exact same situation as me so I'll go ahead anyway.
So in 2018 I sat the UMAT and did so poorly, I got about 122 which was like 25% percentile with something around 39/47/43 in each section. I'd felt relatively prepared in advance to the test but due to an unfortunate family event the day before I think I was fairly unfocussed on the day. Nevertheless, I still failed the exam and very poorly...
I ended up getting an atar of 97.6 and I am a rural applicant from RA3 which makes those marks fairly ideal for a few places.
I never ended up getting an interview from JCU, I'm not sure if this was because my application was poor, I had a bad predicted atar or because I haven't completed the maths pre-req.
I initially thought I'd start physiotherapy but I've heard from a few people that Non-standard can be extremely difficult to get into medicine and have been advised to take a gap year so that I'll still be classified as a School Leaver for 2019 applications (for 2020).
Does anyone have any opinions on their entrance after taking a gap year or just any overall advice??
 

Crow

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Most Active 2018
Hey apk22, welcome to MSO! Please have a read through this thread (particularly pitfallf #3 here: Common pitfalls to avoid for year 12 school leavers and other medicine applicants and this post RE taking a gap year: Common pitfalls to avoid for year 12 school leavers and other medicine applicants) and then let us know if you have further questions.

I fully agree with the advice given in the thread; I think you should start the physiotherapy degree (which is an excellent back up choice, by the way) and aim to gain entry to medicine via the non-standard and graduate entry pathways. Ultimately you will open up more opportunities to gain entry to medicine for yourself by doing this rather than taking a gap year.

ETA: If you were planning to take a gap year for reasons other than solely for sitting the UCAT and aiming to gain entry into medicine as a school-leaver (e.g. to travel, work etc) then this would make it a much more reasonable decision (and one that I personally would be in support of).
 
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apk22

New Member
Hey apk22, welcome to MSO! Please have a read through this thread (particularly pitfallf #3 here: Common pitfalls to avoid for year 12 school leavers and other medicine applicants and this post RE taking a gap year: Common pitfalls to avoid for year 12 school leavers and other medicine applicants) and then let us know if you have further questions.

I fully agree with the advice given in the thread; I think you should start the physiotherapy degree (which is an excellent back up choice, by the way) and aim to gain entry to medicine via the non-standard and graduate entry pathways. Ultimately you will open up more opportunities to gain entry to medicine for yourself by doing this rather than taking a gap year.

ETA: If you were planning to take a gap year for reasons other than solely for sitting the UCAT and aiming to gain entry into medicine as a school-leaver (e.g. to travel, work etc) then this would make it a much more reasonable decision (and one that I personally would be in support of).
Thanks for your advice! I've decided that if I am to take a gap year I will be doing quite a bit of travelling and volunteering. Theoretically, will it be easier for me to apply after a gap year (Year 12 leaver) as opposed to Non-Standard?? Particularly because I'm a Tasmanian student and I know of quite a few Tasmanians who got offers after only achieving a 40%ile in UTAS?
 

LMG!

Moderator
Admodistrator
Thanks for your advice! I've decided that if I am to take a gap year I will be doing quite a bit of travelling and volunteering. Theoretically, will it be easier for me to apply after a gap year (Year 12 leaver) as opposed to Non-Standard?? Particularly because I'm a Tasmanian student and I know of quite a few Tasmanians who got offers after only achieving a 40%ile in UTAS?
If you’re Tasmanian, as long as you use it wisely, a gap year is a viable option. The minimum UMAT requirement was 150/300, and we aren’t sure what the UCAT requirements will be, but presumably they will continue to be reasonably achievable. Assuming it doesn’t change, the ATAR hurdle is 95.00, so it’ll just be UCAT you need to worry about.

But definitely make good use of your gap year if this is what you decide to do.
 

crunchyandmoist

New Member
hey all! firstly I really appreciate anyone who gives their opinion on my current situation.
Last year i graduated with an ATAR of 99.65 and a UMAT of 96, but I unfortunately didn't receive offers from any medical schools in NSW, which I've been moping about. The options I have now are UQ provisional medicine and combined science and law. Not getting in anywhere in NSW greatly damaged my morale and I've been questioning whether I really want to do medicine, especially interstate (having to leave family/friends etc), but people have been suggesting that I just try it out to see if I like it. I'm just worried that if i don't take the UQ offer then I will never have the chance to get into medicine again, especially since I do not think I could ever repeat the same UMAT/UCAT mark and its one of the only places without interviews. On the other hand, I am the kind of person to just go with the flow and I feel like once I start medicine, I will finish it even if I don't like it (like my sister has). Does anyone have any advice as to what offer I should accept or what I should do? thank you
 

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