• UAC releases their offers at 7am on the 8th of January 2021! For those fortunate enough to receive an offer, congratulations! Please post your details here in the 2021 Entry Collated Data thread.
  • Happy holidays to all on MSO! Recently the staff team have noticed a lot of requests for users to PM them with advice and answers to questions. We kindly ask that these requests and answers are posted publicly on the forum wherever possible, unless it is a personal matter that you aren't comfortable discussing publicly. This allows all users to benefit from the advice as opposed to select individuals, and it also saves the repetition of the same advice multiple times. Cheers!

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Graduate Entry Medicine Advice Requests

A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
Thanks guys!! I did forget to add that I was talking about applying after the degree had finished, sorry that I didn't mention that.
In that case only the best of the last 3 counts, because the 1st result will be more than 2yo at application time.
(Unless you also sit the March one *after* completing the degree, then you'll have sat 5 times)
 

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timleyton

Member
In that case only the best of the last 3 counts, because the 1st result will be more than 2yo at application time.
(Unless you also sit the March one *after* completing the degree, then you'll have sat 5 times)
How long is the gpa valid after the completion of the degree?
 

Crow

MD3 | Staff
Moderator
Please read the Acer GAMSAT website (and the GEMSAS guide) for some background information before asking further questions - you will find it quite informative to answer these basic questions!
 

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Senkanq

Member
So can you complete one degree and then take a bit of break and then do the gamsat and try and apply for med. Or are you only allowed to sit the gamsat whilst studying a degree?
As long as you already have completed a bachelor's degree within 10 years of starting the program
 
Hi Mana and LMG!,

I was just wondering if you could offer any thoughts/advice again about which program you think would be best to do (considering med is still the end goal)?

I had made plans to study the MN at USYD this year but a late offer for the Master of Nursing Science at Unimelb came through last week. The program at Unimelb commences in 3 weeks and the Usyd program commences in 2 weeks.

Some things I've considered:
  • Teaching style and grading cut-offs at USYD vs Unimelb
    I've spoken to several current/past students at both unis and it seems that the USYD program is better in terms of teaching and facilities (they've just opened the Susan Wakil Health Building). From what I've gathered, there appears to be a greater emphasis on textbook-based learning at Unimelb and students have said that there are a lot of prescribed readings each week that you're expected to do before lectures in order to comprehend the actual lecture content. In contrast, Usyd students have said that most of the examinable content is covered in-class (lectures = comprehensive) and the only real required readings are those for pre-lab and pre-tutes. (I did my undergrad at Monash so am familiar with the "All prescribed readings are examinable" and teach-from-a-textbook approach, and it really wasn't something I enjoyed).

    So Usyd seems like the better choice but my concern is that there's a difference in grading schemes between the two unis. The cut-off is 85/75 at Usyd vs 80/70 at Unimelb. I think the worst I can do at Unimelb is a Distinction (>70) whereas I am probably going to struggle to achieve HDs at USYD given 80-84 scores. FYI my undergrad WAM was 82 and the only time I got >85 was for my strong subjects (e.g. statistics) and units that I put in a lot of time/effort (no external commitments). I don't know if you think grading scheme is an important factor that I should be considering when deciding between programs? GEMSAS will calculate GPA based on whatever the university's grading scheme is (no adjustments), and they'll take the aggregate of 2-year masters + final year bachelors.

  • Personal circumstances
    My family are in Melbourne so if I do study at Unimelb, I wouldn't need to juggle work/uni and could focus 100% on my studies. I don't think I will be as happy down there though given my friends/mentor are in Sydney and I really like the independence here (plus feel like I've matured a lot more living away from home). I also do have a very understanding employer in Sydney who has agreed to let me work just the Saturdays with 1 weekday every now and then once the uni semester starts. I don't think this will impact on my studies too much - it's just other things though that make it easier to focus on study when living at home (e.g. already cooked dinner, stocked groceries, cleaning, etc.). Also, another consideration is I have a surgery next year in Melbourne and if I stay in Sydney, I will need to go back and fourth once per month this year for pre-op consults/adjustments and I am not entirely sure how the 1-month recovery post-op will work next year. I may be able to schedule the surgery during a break period early in the year/mid-year though.
So what do you think?

Should I pick the uni that will offer the best program and not be so concerned about grades/just try to do my best?

Or should I remember my end goal (medicine), be realistic about my capabilities, really knuckle down for 2 years (no life), and study somewhere I will have the least external commitments and can devote the most time to studies? I do feel like I will regress somewhat if I move back home.
 

LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
Hi Mana and LMG!,

I was just wondering if you could offer any thoughts/advice again about which program you think would be best to do (considering med is still the end goal)?

I had made plans to study the MN at USYD this year but a late offer for the Master of Nursing Science at Unimelb came through last week. The program at Unimelb commences in 3 weeks and the Usyd program commences in 2 weeks.

Some things I've considered:
  • Teaching style and grading cut-offs at USYD vs Unimelb
    I've spoken to several current/past students at both unis and it seems that the USYD program is better in terms of teaching and facilities (they've just opened the Susan Wakil Health Building). From what I've gathered, there appears to be a greater emphasis on textbook-based learning at Unimelb and students have said that there are a lot of prescribed readings each week that you're expected to do before lectures in order to comprehend the actual lecture content. In contrast, Usyd students have said that most of the examinable content is covered in-class (lectures = comprehensive) and the only real required readings are those for pre-lab and pre-tutes. (I did my undergrad at Monash so am familiar with the "All prescribed readings are examinable" and teach-from-a-textbook approach, and it really wasn't something I enjoyed).

    So Usyd seems like the better choice but my concern is that there's a difference in grading schemes between the two unis. The cut-off is 85/75 at Usyd vs 80/70 at Unimelb. I think the worst I can do at Unimelb is a Distinction (>70) whereas I am probably going to struggle to achieve HDs at USYD given 80-84 scores. FYI my undergrad WAM was 82 and the only time I got >85 was for my strong subjects (e.g. statistics) and units that I put in a lot of time/effort (no external commitments). I don't know if you think grading scheme is an important factor that I should be considering when deciding between programs? GEMSAS will calculate GPA based on whatever the university's grading scheme is (no adjustments), and they'll take the aggregate of 2-year masters + final year bachelors.

  • Personal circumstances
    My family are in Melbourne so if I do study at Unimelb, I wouldn't need to juggle work/uni and could focus 100% on my studies. I don't think I will be as happy down there though given my friends/mentor are in Sydney and I really like the independence here (plus feel like I've matured a lot more living away from home). I also do have a very understanding employer in Sydney who has agreed to let me work just the Saturdays with 1 weekday every now and then once the uni semester starts. I don't think this will impact on my studies too much - it's just other things though that make it easier to focus on study when living at home (e.g. already cooked dinner, stocked groceries, cleaning, etc.). Also, another consideration is I have a surgery next year in Melbourne and if I stay in Sydney, I will need to go back and fourth once per month this year for pre-op consults/adjustments and I am not entirely sure how the 1-month recovery post-op will work next year. I may be able to schedule the surgery during a break period early in the year/mid-year though.
So what do you think?

Should I pick the uni that will offer the best program and not be so concerned about grades/just try to do my best?

Or should I remember my end goal (medicine), be realistic about my capabilities, really knuckle down for 2 years (no life), and study somewhere I will have the least external commitments and can devote the most time to studies? I do feel like I will regress somewhat if I move back home.
I really wish I had more useful advice but unfortunately I’m not all that familiar with graduate entry (despite my study history, I only went the non-standard route), though you will be able to apply to non-standard unis if you sit UCAT as well, which is something to potentially throw into the mix.

I’d personally prioritise the arrangement I think I would enjoy most/be most fulfilled in (which sounds like Sydney for you), and hope this reflected positively on my GPA, though family suppprt is definitely not something to be sneezed at, particularly when you add your medical issues into the picture.

That said, it honestly sounds like both options have their pros and cons and it’s going to be a matter of picking one and committing to it, and, importantly, not letting yourself get caught up in ‘what if’ type scenarios down the track as that will just be self-defeating.

Best of luck!
 

Mana

there are no stupid questions, only people
Administrator
Hi Mana and LMG!,

I was just wondering if you could offer any thoughts/advice again about which program you think would be best to do (considering med is still the end goal)?

I had made plans to study the MN at USYD this year but a late offer for the Master of Nursing Science at Unimelb came through last week. The program at Unimelb commences in 3 weeks and the Usyd program commences in 2 weeks.

Some things I've considered:
  • Teaching style and grading cut-offs at USYD vs Unimelb
    I've spoken to several current/past students at both unis and it seems that the USYD program is better in terms of teaching and facilities (they've just opened the Susan Wakil Health Building). From what I've gathered, there appears to be a greater emphasis on textbook-based learning at Unimelb and students have said that there are a lot of prescribed readings each week that you're expected to do before lectures in order to comprehend the actual lecture content. In contrast, Usyd students have said that most of the examinable content is covered in-class (lectures = comprehensive) and the only real required readings are those for pre-lab and pre-tutes. (I did my undergrad at Monash so am familiar with the "All prescribed readings are examinable" and teach-from-a-textbook approach, and it really wasn't something I enjoyed).

    So Usyd seems like the better choice but my concern is that there's a difference in grading schemes between the two unis. The cut-off is 85/75 at Usyd vs 80/70 at Unimelb. I think the worst I can do at Unimelb is a Distinction (>70) whereas I am probably going to struggle to achieve HDs at USYD given 80-84 scores. FYI my undergrad WAM was 82 and the only time I got >85 was for my strong subjects (e.g. statistics) and units that I put in a lot of time/effort (no external commitments). I don't know if you think grading scheme is an important factor that I should be considering when deciding between programs? GEMSAS will calculate GPA based on whatever the university's grading scheme is (no adjustments), and they'll take the aggregate of 2-year masters + final year bachelors.

  • Personal circumstances
    My family are in Melbourne so if I do study at Unimelb, I wouldn't need to juggle work/uni and could focus 100% on my studies. I don't think I will be as happy down there though given my friends/mentor are in Sydney and I really like the independence here (plus feel like I've matured a lot more living away from home). I also do have a very understanding employer in Sydney who has agreed to let me work just the Saturdays with 1 weekday every now and then once the uni semester starts. I don't think this will impact on my studies too much - it's just other things though that make it easier to focus on study when living at home (e.g. already cooked dinner, stocked groceries, cleaning, etc.). Also, another consideration is I have a surgery next year in Melbourne and if I stay in Sydney, I will need to go back and fourth once per month this year for pre-op consults/adjustments and I am not entirely sure how the 1-month recovery post-op will work next year. I may be able to schedule the surgery during a break period early in the year/mid-year though.
So what do you think?

Should I pick the uni that will offer the best program and not be so concerned about grades/just try to do my best?

Or should I remember my end goal (medicine), be realistic about my capabilities, really knuckle down for 2 years (no life), and study somewhere I will have the least external commitments and can devote the most time to studies? I do feel like I will regress somewhat if I move back home.

A lot to consider here, although, long story short, if you are having surgery in Melbourne and you get free rent in Melbourne (do you?) then it doesn't make any sense not to go there.

My thoughts about independence etc go something like this (and of course, your own values may vary) - but - if you're only working 1 day a week, and you don't have enough saved up for rent plus living expenses, then you have no choice - 1 day of work per week will not pay the bills, so you're going to have to either a) dig into savings (if you have any) or b) ask the parents for help, either by moving back in with them rent free/discounted rent, or have them contribute towards your living expenses.

Add to that the expenses of you having to fly back and forth once per month (and remember if COVID-19 cases arise again, Victoria's state government appears to be pretty trigger happy with lockdowns compared to NSW) and then the convalescent period post-operatively (no idea what your surgery is, obviously) and you'll find that there are probably just too many unknowns if you try and do this all yourself.

I don't know your specific financial circumstances (for all I know you could be independent enough to pay your own way through everything), but if the assumptions I have made are correct, then I can't agree with staying in Sydney.

I can't speak about the quality of either of the courses, and so I'll refrain from that, but I think the above would have been enough to go on for me.
 

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A lot to consider here, although, long story short, if you are having surgery in Melbourne and you get free rent in Melbourne (do you?) then it doesn't make any sense not to go there.

My thoughts about independence etc go something like this (and of course, your own values may vary) - but - if you're only working 1 day a week, and you don't have enough saved up for rent plus living expenses, then you have no choice - 1 day of work per week will not pay the bills, so you're going to have to either a) dig into savings (if you have any) or b) ask the parents for help, either by moving back in with them rent free/discounted rent, or have them contribute towards your living expenses.

Add to that the expenses of you having to fly back and forth once per month (and remember if COVID-19 cases arise again, Victoria's state government appears to be pretty trigger happy with lockdowns compared to NSW) and then the convalescent period post-operatively (no idea what your surgery is, obviously) and you'll find that there are probably just too many unknowns if you try and do this all yourself.

I don't know your specific financial circumstances (for all I know you could be independent enough to pay your own way through everything), but if the assumptions I have made are correct, then I can't agree with staying in Sydney.

I can't speak about the quality of either of the courses, and so I'll refrain from that, but I think the above would have been enough to go on for me.


Thanks Mana and LMG. I feel really conflicted so do greatly appreciate your advice.

So if I return to Melbourne then yes, I would live at home with parents/no rent. In terms of independence - well, I like living out of home, having flatmates, not having life just revolve around studies, etc. (feeling of independence)

I am also making my own way in Sydney with very, very, negligible help from parents. I do receive YA study payments now which completely covers my rent in Sydney and working 1 day per week (Saturday casual rate) is enough to sustain myself during the semester but not really in terms of covering additional costs/adding to savings in any way. I do have working credits accrued though so it's strange but my student payments have never been reduced although there was a period where my concession card was revoked.

The surgery is bimax (OMFS) as part of my second round of orthodontics. Monthly visits will be for orthodontic pre-op/post-op adjustments and I was thinking of possibly staying with the surgeon in Melbourne, but transferring to an orthodontist in Sydney. My savings are actually for the surgery as parents are only covering the orthodontic costs and I guess I haven't really calculated travel costs yet or carefully considered about border closures :-/ I think finances may become an issue now, after what you've said.

The only thing is I have read criticisms about the unimelb program and heard that there's a high attrition rate (some students drop out after first semester, then more later on):

From my own undergrad experience, I think if there's a high attrition rate in a certain program and neg feedback about a department then that should be a red flag. Unimelb teaching style also seems to be similar to Monash (different from in-class focus at UNSW/USYD).

Do you think that with all things considered, it would still be wise to return to Melb even though I expect the Unimelb nursing program to be worse? Also, not sure if you think the 80/70 vs 85/75 cut-offs will make a difference?

Many thanks again 🙏
 

dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
As a side note, GEMSAS will actually use your marks in the course (the %) not the letter grades, so the cut off will not make a difference for grad entry.

GEMSAS will use percentage results to calculate your GPA and will use grades only where percentage results are not provided on transcripts or results retrieved electronically through ARTS. Your GPA calculation will be an estimation for your information only.
 

A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
GEMSAS will actually use your marks in the course (the %) not the letter grades, so the cut off will not make a difference for grad entry.
I know we can't (or it's difficult to) prove but this^ is only true if achieving 81 at an 85 uni is not easier than 81 at an 80 uni.

This is where the TACs differ from Gemsas. The TACs treat the latter 81 as HD i.e. equivalent to achieving 86 at the former (implying 81 at 85 is easier), whereas Gemsas treats both 81s the same. Let's debate which is more valid :)
 
As a side note, GEMSAS will actually use your marks in the course (the %) not the letter grades, so the cut off will not make a difference for grad entry.

http://gemsas.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/How-to-calculate-your-GPA.pd
Thank you so much dotwingz !!!!!!

When I use the GEMSAS GPA calculator and enter in marks for each course, the calculated GPA remains the same even if I change from VIC to NSW unis.

I think non-GEMSAS unis still use the awarding uni's grading scheme - but it shouldn't matter for USYD as they have a hurdle.

This is where the TACs differ from Gemsas. The TACs treat the latter 81 as HD i.e. equivalent to achieving 86 at the former (implying 81 at 85 is easier), whereas Gemsas treats both 81s the same.
So when applying with UCAT to unis that accept non-standard applicants (WSU, UNSW), it will actually matter?

I find that for some disciplines where they have a lot of written assessments and need to maintain a class average when grading (bell curve), it wouldn't matter what the cut-off is. The grading distribution is mostly the same and a HD at either uni will (probably) be the same difficulty to achieve.

It's for courses where they have more continuous/formative 'testing' type assessments (often in medsci) where it would be advantageous to go to a uni with a lower HD cut-off. That's just what I've noticed though.
 

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dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
Non standard unis will use letter grades so it will make a difference there. Although, of the non standard uni’s only UNSW and JCU have selection processes that will make a difference (WSU and UoN have hurdles), so i don’t think it’s worth picking a uni based on a very small marking difference, which would give minor advantage, for only two universities which have very small non standard cohorts...

I think you’ve acknowledged that the UniMeb cohort is very content heavy, and reliant on assessments... moreso and than the style you prefer at USYD, so if you’re purely looking at achievable grades, USYD will be a better choice despite having a higher mark required for a HD.

What A1 was saying is that if we think that the universities design assesments to aim for the same amount of distribution of people with HD/D/C etc, but GEMSAS will only take the % grade, you will be actually advantaged by going to USYD because an 80 at Melbourne will be as difficult as an 85 at USYD (both borderline HD’s), but gemsas will give you a boost for the 85 USYD Mark.

I can’t really comment on how either university will fit within your life however. But Mana brings up a great point, that pretty much every premier except for NSW seems very trigger happy on borders, and as someone who was split between NSW and QLD for this year, i can tell you personally it was a massive pain in the arse.
 
Although, of the non standard uni’s only UNSW and JCU have selection processes that will make a difference (WSU and UoN have hurdles), so i don’t think it’s worth picking a uni based on a very small marking difference, which would give minor advantage, for only two universities which have very small non standard cohorts...
Many thanks, dotwingz - that's very useful info that I didn't know.

I think you’ve acknowledged that the UniMeb cohort is very content heavy, and reliant on assessments... moreso and than the style you prefer at USYD, so if you’re purely looking at achievable grades, USYD will be a better choice despite having a higher mark required for a HD.

Really appreciate this reassurance. I looked further into the unimelb program/watched the info session (from 2018 though) and it really doesn't seem like the right program for me. The heavy emphasis on theory and weekly chapters of prescribed readings... It reminds me of undergrad days and I remember spending so much time in the library learning from a textbook and being absolutely, utterly MISERABLE. I think I'm definitely more suited to the in-class teaching/attendance requirements at USYD more.

Spoke to the OMFS as well and they can look into an orthodontist in Sydney so I won't have to go down monthly. I will only need to go down for 3 more OMFS consults pre-op then obviously for the surgery.

the universities design assesments to aim for the same amount of distribution of people with HD/D/C etc, but GEMSAS will only take the % grade, you will be actually advantaged by going to USYD because an 80 at Melbourne will be as difficult as an 85 at USYD (both borderline HD’s), but gemsas will give you a boost for the 85 USYD Mark.

I see^ I can't thank everyone enough for helping me to make this decision 😄❤️
 

dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
Really appreciate this reassurance
I just want to clarify that I am just echoing what you have said, I dont actually know anything about either of the two courses. Just that you have mentioned that you have asked multiple people and done plenty of research yourself, and that it seems like based on what you have written that you prefer the teaching style at Sydney rather than Melbourne.
 

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Just that you have mentioned that you have asked multiple people and done plenty of research yourself, and that it seems like based on what you have written that you prefer the teaching style at Sydney rather than Melbourne.
Yes - this decision is my own 😄

The USYD program was always my first pick. I was just concerned about grades because I don't think it's realistic for me to score >85 in my courses, although knowing that GEMSAS treats >80 the same irrespective of uni and I would only be ruling out UNSW/JCU (which were unlikely to begin with) makes the decision pretty straightforward. Ty 🙏
 

hk092000

Member
Hi guys, sorry if this is a very basic question, but I've looked at a few places and seem to have come up empty-handed. If after I graduate from a bachelor's degree, I start another degree, will I still be able to use the GPA from my completed degree, along with GAMSAT, for entry into med? Or will I have to start applying again as an undergrad student? Thank you!
 
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