HSFY 2019

Discussion in 'HSFY' started by Stuart, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. mr_fanstadic

    mr_fanstadic New Member

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    anyone has answers for hubs past papers?
     
  2. cashew

    cashew New Member

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    Does anyone have worked answers/any answers for CHEM191 final exams? Cheers :)
     
  3. toastisgood

    toastisgood New Member

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    kind of struggling a lot in chem in terms of answering concept questions in exams. Will I get better with doing just practice questions and looking over my notes and trying to understand the concept or is there another way? how can I study more efficiently in chem?
     
  4. cereal

    cereal New Member

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    You could go to the chem help room and bring the specific conceptual questions you struggle with? Then someone from the course can walk you through the concept and how to approach the question etc. I personally haven't been (yet) but I know a lot of people they've helped with. Also posting on the discussion board can help too. Because if you're struggling to grasp a concept, reading the same notes probably won't change much, you might just need to have it explained in a different way?
     
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  5. LALALALAA

    LALALALAA New Member

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    What happens when you absolutely fail at most of your progress tests?
    How do they contribute to your final grade?
     
  6. frootloop

    frootloop House Surgeon Moderator

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    Use flashcards. HUBS and CELS are almost entirely rote learning papers, so flashcards are a very effective and efficient way to study for them.

    Hell, I still use flashcards to remember clinical guidelines and stuff. Big fan of flashcards.

    I'm not very up to date on the weightings (having done HSFY 8 years ago), but when I did it the progress tests usually contributed to somewhere between 20 and 30% of your final grade, depending on the paper. The exact weightings should be readily available from the uni.

    I think the biggest issue with 'absolutely failing' all of your progress test is that it rather implies that you haven't gotten to grips with how the HSFY papers work, so your final exams are unlikely to go much better without some reflection.

    How are you going about studying? Do you feel you know all the content? Or is it your exam-taking technique? Does it feel like you know the content but you can't get it onto paper in the exam?

    Those are the sorts of questions you need to be asking yourself, and then working on. Once you've had a think about it, I'd be happy to give you some more specific help - feel free to DM me
     
  7. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    Given that they have reduced content this year and UCAT is now a pass / fail - how high do you think the needed GPA for Medicine will be? Above 95%?
     
  8. academedical

    academedical Otago MBChB III

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    I'll be super surprised if it doesn't go up. In my year rank score (including 30% UMAT) was 91 for initial offers. With UCAT only being pass/fail I reckon we'll be looking at around a 95% GPA for entry. Most people in previous years had their rank score brought down by UMAT.

    EDIT: I feel the need to point out here that just because I think GPA will go up doesn't mean I think it will be harder to get in - your entire year level is in the same boat. Percentile matters, not percentage. Plus HSFY has had a HUGE amount of content removed (at least for HUBS - I only tutor HUBS so I'm not so sure about the other papers). That means people have a better opportunity to study all of the content well, so there will be more A+ grades.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019 at 1:18 PM
  9. Cathay

    Cathay Emeritus MSO Staff Emeritus

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    Huge disclaimer upfront: like frootloop above, I did HSFY 8 years ago, unlike froot though, I bailed out of medicine halfway through, so don't take me too seriously, I just wanted to make a token contribution to this year's HSFY thread.

    I think you guys must be close to first semester exams. (I just had a look at the Otago exam timetable and confirmed this.)

    At this stage of HSFY, having kept up to date with notes and being reasonably confident I absorbed a lot of the material, I used past exam papers a lot to test my understanding and recall. So essentially I went through years and years' worth of past papers (starting with the most recent - as the course may have changed over time) to see which parts of the course I knew well, and which parts I didn't know well. You'll soon pick up on it - there are questions you see and just start writing furiously, and there are questions you see and sit there going "huh?"

    The questions you have to really think about are the topics you need more work on, so put the past exam paper down, go to that section of your notes (or lecture slides, or whatever it is you use), and do some studying - this may mean reading it (mentally or out loud - mind your neighbours if you're at a library), rewriting it, drawing a diagram or a mind map, or whatever works for you and makes you understand and remember the content. Once you have done some further studying, go back to the past paper and see if you can answer it now. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

    That having been said,like froot I think there's something to be said for flashcards. I didn't really get myself familiar with flash cards until much later in life, and I think I could've benefited from them. Heck, most recently in my railway rules training (2 weeks of classes followed by a 4-hour exam, then a third week of classes followed by a 2.5hr exam; 80% pass mark) our instructors provided us with flashcards for signals (the railway traffic lights), and our class used the crap out of them.

    (Context: because reading signals is such an important part of a train driver's job, the signalling questions were the core compulsory parts of the rules exam; one signal question wrong and it's an automatic fail. The questions would give a picture of a railway signal displaying one of 15-20 coloured light combinations, and we were expected to reproduce the rulebook word for word on "What is the signal call for this aspect" and "list the actions to be taken", the latter part could be up to five bullet points long.)


    It's been far too long since I did HSFY, and the names must've changed because I can't recall what "progress tests" were. This made me curious and I had a look through the paper descriptions on the Otago website to catch up.

    It looks like the "progress tests" you refer to are the mid-semester exams (we used to call them "terms tests"). Would this be correct?

    If so they can be worth up to 30% of the final grade, depending on the paper - this should have been outlined at the first lecture of each paper (or maybe a preliminary lecture) and this information should be readily available on Blackboard (is that still a thing?) in either a course outline page or, failing that, the lecture slides from the first lecture (or preliminary lecture).
    Also interested to know what you mean by "absolutely fail" at them. When I was a health sci, you could talk to 10 different health scis and get 10 different answers on what "absolutely fail" meant - and it varied from getting "below 50%" on a test to "below 97%" depending on the student and their personality.

    Assuming you're meaning "actual low score" (how I'd view "absolutely fail" nowadays) rather than "imperfect score" (how I probably viewed "absolute fail" as a health sci myself), I'd agree with froot that a low score in progress tests indicates something isn't going quite right. On top of examining how you're going about the coursework and how you're studying and how exam situations affect you, I also want to ask an important question: how are you doing?

    In fact, it's a question not asked enough during HSFY, AND in the subsequent professional courses.

    How are you doing?

    Are you okay?

    Are you coping?

    [Edited to fix formatting, now more reader-friendly]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019 at 8:29 AM
  10. LALALALAA

    LALALALAA New Member

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    I think I’m coping well, I did mean a low score when I said absolutely failed. I think it’s talking with other people around me and health sci being such a competitive course that it stresses me out over everything and I’m sure that’s what it’s like with everyone.
     
  11. Cathay

    Cathay Emeritus MSO Staff Emeritus

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    Pleased to hear it.

    Yes it's often quite daunting talking to other health scis, as a health sci. Remember the people you talk to are not always representative of the whole class. I think people that talked to me (back in HSFY, in 2011) probably got a little extra stress by the sheer fact that I was performing well above average (sorry guys!)

    But also, you will get people telling you an inflated score - whether it's because they weren't comfortable telling you their true score (they might be in the same boat thinking that they'd "absolutely failed"!), or something more malicious (unfortunately there have been people that tried to instill fear and stress in others by lying about their score.) Critically evaluating information you're presented with is a skill taught later on, in HEAL192 (now called POPH192 I think?) and at med school, and is a skill that often develops with age, so all I can say at this stage is "don't worry too much about what other people are doing."

    What's most important during HSFY is to keep focused, and keep studying. Study in a way and at a pace that suits you. Don't worry about what other people are doing, and just give it your best shot.

    Remember, even if you don't get into the professional programme you want (straight away or via the wait list - if that's still a thing) it's not the end of the world - though it may seem like it at the time. If anything, I am the right person to tell you that a high score and being offered medicine in the first round (and going to med school) isn't the "be-all and end-all", either. I went into medicine for the wrong reasons, it didn't turn out to be a good fit for me, and I suffered because of it; but I eventually found the courage (or desperation?) to leave and pursue my first-choice career plan, working as a bus driver for a while and then transitioning to train driving. Unconventional? Yes. Makes me happy? Hell yes.

    Oh and frootloop I'm gonna call that a win for my understanding of the health sci mindset :p

    [Edited to fix formatting, now more reader-friendly.]
     
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  12. frootloop

    frootloop House Surgeon Moderator

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    I think it's super important to stress here that, even if this is true, this does not mean it will be harder to get in this year.

    HSFY has a large enough cohort that variations between year levels in terms of overall academic performance are very, very limited. So if the score required for entry does go up this year, then that would be because the tests got easier. And that's the case for everyone, so the score change would not be a difficulty change.

    As for the effect of UCAT changing to pass-fail, I've argued previously that this will have a limited impact on the required grades - and I stand by that. But also, at this stage of the year, you have absolutely no idea whether you're going to ace UCAT or bomb horrifically. So UCAT changing to pass-fail presently neither advantages or disadvantages you.

    HSFY isn't a game where you have to aim for a certain score and then you're in. It's a competition.
     
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  13. Cathay

    Cathay Emeritus MSO Staff Emeritus

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    This.

    Medicine will still take a similar number of applicants from HSFY. In effect, this means you still have to be in the top x%, and if you are you'll still get in.

    I think it's too soon to say what effect UCAT will have on the cutoff score.

    I actually don't agree with that line of reasoning. When you say "most people had their rank score brought down by UMAT", I'd say that of course it did - people just don't get 90+ in raw UMAT scores like they do with HSFY paper scores. UMAT scores and HSFY averages were two separate components in the overall ranking score. In 2011 I had an excellent UMAT result (98th percentile overall), but the raw scores were used to calculate UMAT's contribution towards the ranking score, and my UMAT contribution was 64.75. It is "numerically lower" than my HSFY average of 93.14, but they were both very good results, and therefore my ranking score of 83.68 was well above the cutoff (somewhere between 78.75 and 78.99 - we had members with those two scores, and 78.75 went to the wait list and 78.99 got an offer first round).

    The effect of removing UMAT from the equation does NOT automatically drive up the GPA for entry. Sure, you can argue that the old days of having an outstanding UMAT compensate for lackluster performance in HSFY is gone, but I have to point out there was the other side of the coin as well - people whose truly amazing HSFY scores compensated for a lackluster UMAT performance, which is no longer possible, either. There will likely be some people with stunning HSFY scores who will be out of the running on the basis of UCAT, which will have a lowering effect on the HSFY average needed too.

    UCAT itself is not an automatic pass/fail, but it looks set to be used by Otago Med as a threshold only (like how UMAT used to be a threshold for dent interviews), and the actual requirement is to have "a current UCAT result and achieved a score in all five of the UCAT sections at a threshold level determined annually by the Medical Admissions Committee" (direct quote from Otago Medicine Guidelines for Admission page.) A key phrase is "all five sections" - that means someone that did well in sections 1 to 4 but did not achieve the threshold in section 5 will be out of the running, no matter what their HSFY marks are.

    Important conclusions:
    1) Because of the change in admission method, it won't make much sense to compare 2018 Ranking Score cutoffs with the future 2019 cutoffs - that would be comparing apples to oranges.
    2) The effect of this change on what HSFY marks are needed to gain entry to medicine is not known, so rather than panicking about the potential increase in scores required (which may or may not happen), the advice for HSFYers is the same as all other years: give it your all, do your best. Don't get complacent if you are doing well, and don't freak out if you don't think you're doing well enough.
     
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  14. Cathay

    Cathay Emeritus MSO Staff Emeritus

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    I, uh, I've made a bit of a boo-boo there. I misread "did" as "didn't" - so sorry! :oops::oops::oops:

    Still. The advice is the same (I just thought I'd fess up to it) - look at how you're going about studying, and whether you've been doing too much outside of study. Don't worry too much about what everyone else is doing and just do your best. And like I said, the worst thing that could happen is not getting into the professional course you hoped for - and that's not the end of the world.
     
  15. frootloop

    frootloop House Surgeon Moderator

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    For anyone who doesn't want to trawl through cathay's essay, I'll summarize :p

    As many people got in 'because of' (inverted commas bc HSFY grades were twice as important) UMAT as missed out.

    There's no point panicking over 'the cutoff going up', because even if it does, worrying about that doesn't help your CHEM midterms or CELS final grade.

    Don't panic. And always carry a towel.
     
  16. Cathay

    Cathay Emeritus MSO Staff Emeritus

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    I love that after 8 years, I still write too much in my posts and froot still does a tl;dr for me :p

    Just like the old days huh?
     
  17. Casl

    Casl New Member

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    Do they every bump up your overall grade for a paper ? Because I’ve read somewhere that they’ve done it before.
    Also would appreciate some study advice since exams are in two weeks :)
     
  18. Cathay

    Cathay Emeritus MSO Staff Emeritus

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    Can happen - they do things to grades to get the distribution curve they want. I wouldn't rely on it though - if they do bump up your grade they'd also be bumping up everyone else's grade so it doesn't really give you any competitive edge - your relative position (and therefore ranking for something like medicine) will stay the same. It's more important to try to get every mark you can get in the exams, rather than worry about the actual numerical grade.

    Well. Are you up to date on all your lecture material? Once you are, I would say hitting the past papers would be a good way to test your knowledge. I'll quote my earlier post below:
     

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