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

Discussion in 'UMAT' started by Mana, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. Jayel

    Jayel New Member

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    Hi all. My son is a recent high school graduate (OP 1, ATAR 99.55, UMAT 168/77%).

    He applied for medicine at Griffith Nathan/GC, JCU, SCU and UNE, but missed out on any offers. He has conditionally accepted a place in pharmacy at UQ, but are hoping against hope for a 2nd round offer on Jan 25.

    From what I have learned, all things point to an extremely high chance he won't get an offer in the next round so the dilemma is to decide the best way forward from here. I've read lots and lots of advice going back over the years but find myself even more conflicted as to how to advise him best. I've seen the suggestion that rather than deferring study for a year just to sit UMAT again it's better to get started on a degree, do as well as you can and aim for post-grad entry (or even non-standard along the way), as well as older advice that anyone with an ATAR of 99+ should consider re-sitting UMAT (I'm assuming this implies taking a gap year, but perhaps I've misunderstood).

    As a result, I'm confused and not sure what to think. Perhaps I've misunderstood something, so any clarification and advice at this point would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jayel

    Jayel New Member

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    I should probably have mentioned he interviewed at both JCU and UNE.
     
  3. Mana

    Mana Registrar Administrar

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    Most of this advice can be found in Common pitfalls to avoid for year 12 school leavers and other medicine applicants and above in Crow's post.

    This year is special because this is the last year of UMAT and next year there will be UCAT. Is there a correlation between these? Possibly, but even so there is no guarantee that your son would perform well enough in it to gain entry (additionally that he didn't score high enough in UMAT and there is no guarantee that he would have improved in that either if it was offered again in 2019.)

    Re: taking a gap year - 99.55 while being a very respectable score isn't in quite the same league as 99.90-95 in the sense that scores this high would mitigate the UMAT or UCAT requirement significantly. Thus with this score I'd be starting a plan B career pathway; you seem to be otherwise reasonably well informed about the opportunities this opens.

    Re: UNE and JCU - if he got interviews this year, he may very well get them again next year as both accept nonstandard applicants anyway.
     
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  4. BethMark25

    BethMark25 WSU MBBS II

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    First of all I'll suggest that if you haven't already, you have a look at the pitfalls thread: Common pitfalls to avoid for year 12 school leavers and other medicine applicants which has a lot of info on this topic.

    The reason a lot of people advise against taking a gap year with the SOLE intention of resitting the UMAT (it will now be the UCAT as UMAT is done and dusted) is that it can potentially be a waste of a year. The fact is that very few people get into medicine, so there is a good chance that your son could spend the whole year hanging his hopes on something that may not happen.

    I think it's important to have a back-up plan that is actually a back-up plan, as opposed to treating everything as a stepping stone to medicine. If your son would enjoy pharmacy and can see himself enjoying a career in that field then it may be best for him to commence that degree. He can apply to medicine as a non-standard or graduate, and if he is unsuccessful he'll still have a career he enjoys. Alternatively if he's planning on doing something with his gap year such as working or travelling then it would be well spent even if at the end of it he wasn't accepted into a medical degree.

    There's really no single correct answer in this situation. I think the key is to prepare for all eventualities, including one in which he may not be successful in getting into a medical degree.

    That being said I wish your son the absolute best of luck, and I hope he's not taking it too hard at the moment. I'm not trying to deter him or you by any means (I started my med degree at the age of 26, with two kids), and perseverance may very well pay off :)
     
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  5. Jayel

    Jayel New Member

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    Thanks BethMark25 and Mana for your prompt and detailed responses.

    I have already read the common pitfalls post, which actually prompted me to suggest my son switch his first non-med preference from biomed sci to pharmacy, so thanks for that sensible information. I also noted it was unadvisable to take a gap year solely with the intention of re-sitting UMAT (to be UCAT), which was not something I would have considered anyway, so it was nice to have the feeling reinforced.

    Just this morning though, thinking that he would likely have to attempt post-graduate entry, I read an old (2013) post by Mana, Mana Guides to the GAMSAT, which included the following comment:

    "As a general piece of advice from me: if you have a high ATAR and you want to get into medicine or dentistry, and your UMAT is bad - try the UMAT again, as there is no limit to the number of times you can attempt it, and it's also less than half the cost of the GAMSAT, as well as time spent studying a bachelor's degree and getting the required marks. If your ATAR is 99+, I would strongly recommend against starting a different bachelor's course (especially Medical Science - I will outline why after) as:"

    As I said, this threw me a bit, hence my question (especially since it was a 2013 post, and things would likely have changed considerably since then).

    Thanks again.
     
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  6. Mana

    Mana Registrar Administrar

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    That's valid as well and I think the confusion is that you may not have realised that you can take the UMAT/ UCAT even while you are studying at university. When you realise that starting uni doesn't mean giving up on the UMAT/UCAT pathway, I think the contradiction is reconciled.

    In regards to "starting a different bachelor's degree", my current advice is to continue chugging along and not to start a new bachelors if you already started one (as it slows your progression to GAMSAT by one or more years).

    I'll go back and check my GAMSAT post and update as necessary though, one moment!



    EDIT: I've gone back to my post and to clarify my points there in this context:

    If you have a high ATAR but low UMAT/UCAT, it may still be faster to do UCAT as a first year uni student than to hold out for the GAMSAT. Of course, you try every opportunity you can provided you don't jeopardise your plan B progression. This is probably best illustrated by this hypothetical scenario:

    Year 12 -> misses medicine undergrad -> thinks grad entry is the only option for med (it isn't) and never takes UCAT again despite it potentially getting them into medicine faster.


    I hope that's not too confusing! Let me know if there is anything else that appears to contradict.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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  7. Jayel

    Jayel New Member

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    That clarification is even more helpful, thanks Mana. I did have it in my head that UMAT/UCAT is only for school-leavers and those who've not commenced tertiary studies (could have sworn I saw that somewhere!). So, if he decides to, he can start pharmacy this year, sit UCAT and, if he gets a higher score, re-visit the application process using that and, presumably his GPA for his 1st year results; is that correct?

    Your advice is much appreciated! :)
     
  8. Mana

    Mana Registrar Administrar

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    Yes, that is correct.

    Bear in mind some non-standard entry undergrad universities will continue to use his year 12 marks until he has completed 1 or 2 years of uni - such as Western Sydney - others will use a combination, like UNSW.
     
  9. LMG!

    LMG! Moderator (UTAS MBBS) Most Helpful Member and Staff Member of the Year 2017-2018

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    Just to clarify, WSU will use "whichever is higher" out of his ATAR and GPA until he has a completed degree (at which point, it becomes GPA only), so he really can't lose with WSU.
     
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  10. Jayel

    Jayel New Member

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    Good to know! Thank you all so much.
     
  11. hpfanfiction

    hpfanfiction Paediatric Healer at St. Mungo's Hospital Magical Moderator

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    Congratulations on your ATAR, UMAT and UQ provisional offer.
    This is what I'd recommend:
    1) Have you read a few of our other threads on medicine/life as a doctor, and do you feel it's right for you? It's also worth talking to your sister, and her classmates/colleagues about their views on and experiences of medicine.
    2) If you still feel unsure but are leaning towards giving it a go, then start UQ Provisional, and use your marks at UQ science/whichever degree you pick and sit the UCAT in 2019 to apply for non-standard 2020 entry into an undergraduate medicine course (you will remain eligible for UNSW/JMP/UWS) . In the meantime, continue to chat to your sister/others on here for advice and get some work experience.
    3) If you begin step 2) but change your mind about medicine through the course of 2019, instead just use your ATAR/UQ marks to seek a transfer to Science/Law (or whichever backup degree you pick) at a university in your home state.
    All the best :)
     
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  12. Whynot101

    Whynot101 WSU MD I

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    Hey Everyone

    I thought I would share this as for the first time UTAS has a single tertiary entry pathway via the BMedRes. This is not a rant, just advice for anyone that doesn't qualify as rural considering this path. I was lucky enough to receive interstate offers so will be moving.

    I completed first year this year with a GPA of 7.0 (WAM of 94%) and a UMAT of 191 which is ok but I do know that some people with higher UMATs are in the course too.
    After many weeks of waiting on replies to my questions I received the below advice in writing (7th of Feb):

    "I have confirmed with the Medicine Admissions Committee that no applicant applying with Tertiary qualifications received an offer into MBBS for 2019, unless they had applied under the Rural Application Process.

    Any offers that were released to non-RAP students were Year 12 leavers only."

    I am then advised to continue to work hard in the BMedRes and resit the UCAT in 2019...

    This is not a reflection on UTAS as a University, I have had a fantastic time there and would recommend it to anyone. But they should probably consider advertising their MBBS as school leavers only*
     
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  13. Cjizzle

    Cjizzle New Member

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    Hi, I was wondering if anyone could advise me on my situation:

    I graduated school in 2017 with an IB score of 39 (OP1/ATAR 99.7 with bonus points for languages). I've had to take gap years and work in the meantime due to not being a citizen of the country and not being able to afford university. I applied for my citizenship over a year ago so should receive it this year but I sat the UMAT the last two years to get some experience and got 86% the first year and 60% the second year. If I sit the UCAT this year and do well enough to get into medicine will the fact i've been out of school for two years affect my chances of getting an offer?
     
  14. 1234med

    1234med Regular Member

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    Hey,

    If you haven't started a tertiary degree yet, there are still some unis which you won't be able to apply to e.g Monash undergrad, UQ provisional, UTAS (I think). Those are the unis I know about but check all other unis in all states as well. It will talk about the eligibility on their website.

    If you're going to take another gap year, look at redoing just one subject so you are eligible for the above unis.

    If you're considering tertiary education (might be very expensive given your circumstances), you can apply as a non-standard (e.g. JMP, UNSW) or through the postgrad pathway with a completed degree (e.g. Deakin, Notre Dame).

    Good luck :D
     
  15. A1

    A1 Admissions Speculator Moderator

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    The LOTE bonus is only good for UQ but you are ineligible there due to not being in Y12. With IB 39 = ~97.5 you can apply to WSU & JMP (where ATAR is a hurdle so you are not disadvantaged) and have some small chances with Adelaide & Curtin depending on your UCAT result.

    If you graduated at end of 2017 you are still eligible for Monash but need to be a Vic local to have a chance. You can "play the system" by moving to a low-SES address to get a good boost to your ATAR. The rest of the schools are practically out of reach.

    See this table for more info, good luck
    > [Undergrad] - (2018 Updated) Med schools Selection Criteria Y12s & Non-standards
     
  16. 1234med

    1234med Regular Member

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    Sorry I thought you took 2 gap years, not one! My bad, ignore me and listen to A1 :D
     
  17. John99

    John99 New Member

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    Thanks for sharing.
    Are you able to tell me who sent you this email? I have called UTAS a few times and no one have been able to give me any information.
     
  18. Whynot101

    Whynot101 WSU MD I

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    Manager of Admissions.
    You won't be able to get anywhere on the phone sadly, or I haven't anyway as the people you need to talk to don't take phone calls and the ones who do don't know
    I eventually got a response after emailing admissions@utas.edu.au with a few "unhappy" emails and waited for like a month and then another 2 weeks.
     
  19. Chloedanab

    Chloedanab The long journey

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    This is amazing.
    For the last 3 days I was contemplating changing my mind about nursing and applying for a Bach of Med Science/ Health Science/ clinical science at the unis that offer their undergrads some preference.. even doing a medical science bridging diploma prior to applying.
    But this has struck me back into reality!
    At least with nursing and clinical placements etc I can really clarify if I want to focus on patient care etc or the diagnostic side, and specialise in a nursing career in same area of interest! This is a fantastic thread! Thank you soooo much!
     
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