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No UMAT needed- a good or a bad thing?

NeoNM

New Member
I've decided to start this thread to invite other ppl to share their opinions on this topic. By the way, Griffith (from what I've heard) only requires an OP1 from yr 12. There's no interview, no UMAT so there's almost no way of distinguishing between people who have a genuine interest in dentistry and those who want to get in because their marks are high enough and lack social skills. IMO the UMAT or an interview alone is enough to flush out those who don't possess a passion. Also, the yr12 assessment isn't and shouldn't be the "be-all and end-all" when it comes to selecting students for a course that demands a great deal of social and interpersonal skills.
Please feel free to comment :)
 

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Season

Emeritus MSO Staff
Emeritus
I personally wouldn't want to be surrounded by 100% 99.95 kids, even if I was one.

I don't think the UMAT and interview does completely flush out those who don't have passion. Going to an organised school, motivated family and friends, always being the best, could easily ensure that you do well on those selection criteria.
 

n33b

FIRST!!!
Moderator
Personally, I don't consider the UMAT a good test for measuring social and interpersonal skills and so taking it out wouldn't do much in that aspect. But, nevertheless, I think that removing it is a bad thing as it had played a role in balancing the playing field between the high social classes (private school students, etc.) and the not-so-high social classes.
 

sainteced

Regular Member
Those who do get those 99.95s aren't that bad. Anecdotally I've found that they can be pretty nice and social people. You're just scared when you get your marks back.

For the OP's question. I think UWS's system is the most effective, as it predominantly measures your ability to relate and interact with real people. This is due to the 2/3 : 1/3 weighting of the interview and umat respectively. They could have raised the atar threshold a bit but I think they are correct in only making it a threshold.
 

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illmatic

Regular Member
I've decided to start this thread to invite other ppl to share their opinions on this topic. By the way, Griffith (from what I've heard) only requires an OP1 from yr 12. There's no interview, no UMAT so there's almost no way of distinguishing between people who have a genuine interest in dentistry and those who want to get in because their marks are high enough and lack social skills. IMO the UMAT or an interview alone is enough to flush out those who don't possess a passion. Also, the yr12 assessment isn't and shouldn't be the "be-all and end-all" when it comes to selecting students for a course that demands a great deal of social and interpersonal skills.
Please feel free to comment :)
I personally think that removing the umat is good, because as n33b stated doesn't measure social and interpersonal skills, further more it is much harder for individuals like me who haven't been long in Australia and have poor vocabulary to perform 90 percentile+

However removing the interview is definitely bad especially when the interview is divided into stations.
 

Season

Emeritus MSO Staff
Emeritus
^^ I personally think its good that every university has a slightly different criteria. It allows you to play to your strengths.
 

gulls

Victim of Procrastination
Emeritus
Agreed with what Season said, considering all kinds of selection criteria seem to have their merits and flaws.
 

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Hutcherson

Emeritus MSO Staff
Emeritus
Noob and I discussed this a while back and we agreed that universities should work on the following protocol:
1. ATAR Cut Off Minimum e.g 90
2. Written Application
3. Interview

This is the system CSU works with and all the dentistry students I have met have passion for dentistry. It is amazing too see people who drool over the course like myself. I don't think they could have done a better way to pick those that a truly committed and interested in that particular field.

I personally don't agree with UMAT because it doesn't really test anything but rather cuts down the applicant pool to make it easier for the university.
 

greenglacier

Emeritus MSO Staff
Emeritus
all the dentistry students I have met have passion for dentistry. It is amazing too see people who drool over the course like myself. I don't think they could have done a better way to pick those that a truly committed and interested in that particular field.
Should the ultimate goal of selection of students for dentistry (or med) be that of finding the most committed/interested students though? If you know that a student is sufficiently motivated to complete the degree and pursue a career in the relevant field upon graduation does it matter beyond this minimum standard just how motivated they are, or should the ultimate goal after this be to select those students who are likely to be the most capable in the relevant field?
 

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Jackie

=D
Emeritus
There are people who feel committed to studying medicine or dentistry, but a few weeks in, they'll realise that it's not the thing for them. That's why the methods try to find people who are most able to cope with the demands of medicine, as well as have the qualities which are good and respected.
 

greenglacier

Emeritus MSO Staff
Emeritus
There are people who feel committed to studying medicine or dentistry, but a few weeks in, they'll realise that it's not the thing for them
See I don't actually think this is a big issue. One of the justifications often seemed to be given for interviews is that they identify those capable of completing the course etc... but at Otago we don't have interviews for med, and the completion rate is generally around 97% (which accounts for drop-outs and exclusions).

Even if it were an issue, this strikes me as grounds for using the interview as a threshold rather than a ranking tool. Once you are reasonably sure that the person you are interviewing will be able to complete the course, does it not make sense to shift focus to assessing how competent they will be in the course?
 

Jackie

=D
Emeritus
Actually, I'm not sure if the interview is asking if they're capable of completing the course, but rather, are they the right type of person to be doing the course. Do they actually have the appropriate interpersonal skills and motivation.
However, if interview was only a threshold, and we are questioning the ability of the UMAT to determine anything, then we're just left with high achieving students who may not have a passion for medicine.

I'm not sure what my previous post was saying, basically, the three working together seems to be a good combination. I mean, it's working so far.
 

Havox

Sword and Martini Guy!
Emeritus
The more barriers there are in selection the more accurate the results are meant to be. Theoretically anyway.
 

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greenglacier

Emeritus MSO Staff
Emeritus
The more barriers there are in selection the more accurate the results are meant to be. Theoretically anyway.
Well, no. If one barrier performs no better than chance then it reduces the accuracy by only adding random error (and to be honest, I don't think every selection tool used by every medical/dental school in NZ/Aus passes this test).
 

Havox

Sword and Martini Guy!
Emeritus
Well, no. If one barrier performs no better than chance then it reduces the accuracy by only adding random error (and to be honest, I don't think every selection tool used by every medical/dental school in NZ/Aus passes this test).
That's based on the assumption that none of the tests have any degree of accuracy. Honestly, I like having interviews if only to weed out the sociopaths, the socially retarded and the strange ones.
 

greenglacier

Emeritus MSO Staff
Emeritus
No it isn't. The first part of my post is a theoretical truth. The second part is my opinion, based on the assumption that at least one of the interviews used across NZ/Aus lacks any degree of accuracy.
 

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