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Non standard entry and further clarification on NZ schools

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clia9576

Lurker
Hey all,

My name is Charles; I've been browsing through these forums lately and I think I've come across a very helpful community of students passionate about medicine. I have recently completed a 3 year bachelor of science degree at the University of Sydney and I've been contemplating doing med for some time. However my academic transcript was not as good as I have hoped. Prior to starting my B.Sc, I did engineering for a year, had a few failed subjects, then switched degrees. I'm looking into NZ unis because one of friends told me the cutoffs are lower there compared to Oz unis and are thus easier to gain entry. My calculations for my Usyd GPA was 4.8 which is just below a credit average. How would that grade according to NZ university standards?

I've sent the NZ medical faculties emails, but I think they're being a bit vague. They told me that my given current predicament, my application would be classified in the 'other' category. However according to the wikis, I've read that applicants from Australia are classified as domestic students.

Otago told me that:
Other Graduates
This subcategory is for those who have completed their first degree more than three years previous to application, completed a second or higher degree in New Zealand or who have completed a degree at an overseas university. An academic grade point average equivalent to an Otago B (70%) or better is recommended for consideration under this category.


I suppose I would be exempt from HSFY?



Auckland on the other-hand told me that:
[FONT=&quot]If you completed your full-time study overseas you will have to undertake a minimum one year of full-time study on postgraduate level in a NZ university or must go through [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Overlapping Year 1 route[/FONT]

So basically Australian students cannot apply for direct entry into Auckland University medicine?


My UAI was 93, would that be at all considered given that I've already completed a degree?

based on what I've read overall:

I think my only choices are (regardless of Otago or Auckland):


  • complete a first year of health sciences or biomedical sciences, do the UMAT during the year and then apply to medicine
  • apply for direct entry to medicine in the 'other' category in which case I will need to provide my academic transcript

I am confident about the UMAT but it's mainly my academic transcript that's bothering me.

given my specific situation, I am asking for advice for my medical pathways. I'll appreciate any help at all :)

Charles

note. I am very familiar with the search function and have done tons of reading
 

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scarah

Regular Member
I looked into NZ unis too and applied for Auckland but then withdrew that application when I got into med here in Australia. I found the rules quite confusing and probably can't shed any light on your NZ questions.

However with your GPA here and Australian unis I just wanted to make sure that you have considered the following.

1) Uni of Tasmania on looks at more recent results - I think it's the previous 2 years or 18months, I'm not sure how this will impact your GPA but it will eliminate the engineering from the equation

2) Uni of Newcastle GPA requirements are much more relaxed for graduates, basically if you have a completed degree that satisfies the minimum

Not sure if you were already aware of those two points but thought it might help. Good luck with getting NZ info, as far as I could work out with my Auckland application I would have had to complete the common first year but ? perhaps there was some system where I was guaranteed a med place rather than having to compete... can't remember.
 

DocOrNot

Regular Member
Charles,

Just a quick reply to encourage you as this has been extensively discussed on here and you'll find some very helpful threads.

I was in your position although I had worked for about 5 years post-degree. I did one year of one degree with a less than pass average. Switched unis and course, pulled my finger out and got my GPA up to somewhere between 4.5 straight and just over 5 (ACER/GAMSAT calculation)

Firstly, if you've 4.8 on your Sydney transcript, there's a very good chance it'll be over 5 for the purposes of postgrad entry opening up options like UWoll, U Notre Dame. get on to http://www.gamsat.acer.edu.au/ and http://forum.pagingdr.net/index.php for all things post-grad. I interviewed at Wollongong and missed out.

4.8 definitely satisfies the academic requirement for UNcle/UNE. If you meet their UMAT threshold you're guaranteed an interview and from there on you're ranked on interview alone. I got CSP at UNE and am loving it. It's definitely the easiest entry pathway for postgrads wrt. academic scores but the interview's a complete unknown. Wouldn't hurt to have a crack.

I assume you've registered for UMAT this year? If not, i think you're too late so spend some time to explore your postgrad options aswell. I wanted postgrad as, at 27, 4 years sounded better than 5 :)

Wasn't such a quick one after all.

Best of luck.
 

Lozzy

smilee ☺ <font color="Yellow">★ ★</font>
Emeritus Staff
It isn't too late to register for umat. late applications are still accepted until the 18th, although you'll have to pay $55 extra
 

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DocOrNot

Regular Member
ah. thanks lozzy, sorry if i freaked anyone out. I'd read an email that warned apps were closing but forgot about late apps
 

greenglacier

Emeritus Staff
Emeritus Staff
Hi Charles

Unfortunately you would not be eligible for HSFY or "normal" graduate entry at Otago. This is because you are not allowed to do Otago HSFY if you have studied any of the material in HSFY at university level before, and to get "normal" graduate entry, you need to be applying on the basis of your first degree, which must be from a New Zealand university.

You would be eligible for the "other" category (which is open to graduates of non-NZ universities, amongst others), but applications for entry into the 2011 class closed on the 1st of May, so you'd have to wait until next year, and apply for the 2012 second year med class.

In terms of your GPA, the conversion between NZ and Australian university GPA's tends to be very unfavourable to Australians (and I think blatantly unfair sometimes), so I wouldn't rate it that highly. In terms of the academic cutoffs, I think the Australian med schools tend to be significantly lower (to put it into perspective, for "normal" graduate entry to Otago, applicants generally would aim for an 8.0 GPA - that's equivalent to an "A" average, and at Otago "A" = 85-90% in a paper). At the same time, I don't know how Australian GPA's are converted to NZ GPA's (only the other way around) - I would have thought there would be some correction for the maximum Australian GPA being 7.0 and the maximum NZ GPA being 9.0. At the same time, the Otago "other" category decides admission on a LOT of factors, so regardless of how your academic record looks to Otago, you could still get in.

Auckland has slightly different policies, particularly with regard to overlapping year 1. If you took the overlapping year 1 route, as has been offered, it sounds like you would get a clean slate - Auckland would only look at the grades achieved in the overlapping year 1 core papers (chemistry, a biology paper, an anatomy/physiology paper, and a public health/epidemiology paper - all at first year level), and ignore your previous study. You would have to be prepared to work very hard for a year though. I can't really comment on this 1 year of postgraduate study route, but it sounds to me like it would be treated the same way as overlapping year 1 (i.e. only look at grades from this year).

In terms of your UAI, none of the NZ med schools cares the slightest about how applicants did at school.

Oh, and I'm sure you've considered this, but the NZ government has just made it a lot harder for Australians to get NZ student loans, so if you were to come to NZ, you'd have to make sure you had a good source of money to pay the fees and living costs.
 
Hey.

Based on my experience with the Otago Other Graduates Category this year:

1) You are required to be a NZ citizen or permanent resident (they asked for evidence of this).

2) Otago requires ALL students who enter 2nd year medicine to have done the Health Science First Year (HSFY) course AT OTAGO. Typically access to the HSFY course is restricted to first year of university study only, but they grant an exemption for students who have been accepted to 2nd year professional program who haven't taken the HSFY course. Your entry into 2nd year medicine is deferred for one year and you are required to meet a certain GPA in HSFY in order to take up your second year place the following year. A science degree wouldn't get you out of that (I'm fairly certain - though it could be that they grant exceptions that I don't know about).

Neither the Auckland nor the Otago criteria were fully transparent to me either. The Otago process is becoming clearer to me now but Aucklands is still pretty hazy. Can't afford to live there any rate lol.

I'm in the reverse predicament of needing to stay in Aussie for 2 years in order to get Citizenship (thus access to HECS and the opportunity for scholarships) if my application to Otago is unsuccessful. If I don't get into Otago I will do that. Try and get a job in Australia in something to do with health to help boost my application and study for the UMAT. Good luck with things.
 
On the upside...

For graduates who are applying for entry to medicine they seem to care about more than just your grades. If you can get work experience, do volunteer work etc etc etc that will help boost your application. Also... If you take a couple years to do that and study for UMAT and get entry into a four year program in Aussie... You will graduate same time as a person who gets into Otago's 6 year program next year. Lol.
 

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clia9576

Lurker
Hey.

Based on my experience with the Otago Other Graduates Category this year:

1) You are required to be a NZ citizen or permanent resident (they asked for evidence of this).
doesn't that preclude int. students from gaining entry into otago?
thats great news for aussie citizens who've never set foot in NZ b4

i guess i'll just cross Otago off my list then :(
 

clia9576

Lurker
In terms of your GPA, the conversion between NZ and Australian university GPA's tends to be very unfavourable to Australians (and I think blatantly unfair sometimes), so I wouldn't rate it that highly. In terms of the academic cutoffs, I think the Australian med schools tend to be significantly lower (to put it into perspective, for "normal" graduate entry to Otago, applicants generally would aim for an 8.0 GPA - that's equivalent to an "A" average, and at Otago "A" = 85-90% in a paper).
If it's unfavorable, then y would aussies want to got to NZ for med at all right?

Then it's a mystery y my friend went there for med and y he subsequently recommended it to me because of its more 'relaxed' admission.

I'm gonna have to ask him again.

By the way, he went there after finishing his 1st year of undergrad @ unsw so i guess his situation was different from mine to start off with

At the same time, the Otago "other" category decides admission on a LOT of factors, so regardless of how your academic record looks to Otago, you could still get in.
what exactly are these 'factors'. if you are talking about work experience, referrers and memberships, then I think these 'factors' are also taken equally seriously by other unis regarding graduate entry. e.g. take a look at the applications for notre dame and Wollongong


Firstly, if you've 4.8 on your Sydney transcript, there's a very good chance it'll be over 5 for the purposes of postgrad entry opening up options like UWoll, U Notre Dame. get on to http://www.gamsat.acer.edu.au/ and http://forum.pagingdr.net/index.php for all things post-grad. I interviewed at Wollongong and missed out.
sooo my 4.8 GPA suddenly becomes over 5, how does that work??

also I had a look at UWoll, they strictly require you to have come from a remote/rural background and/or to have done community work and as a city-dweller all my life, I automatically fail that requirement. they also give preference to Torres strait islanders and indigenous people.

Also thanks for all the great replies everybody, though i'm not sure if i'm even more confused than before :unsure:

based on the posts and subsequent research, it seems that une/UNcle has the lowest requirements in terms of GPA so i think i'll apply for that next year. Notre Dame also seems to have comparatively relaxed conditions.


On the other hand im 22 and feeling old. will be at least 23 before I can start hopefully. Another med course 29, then specialization 35. wow middle age. I can't imagine anyone coming out older than me
 
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scarah

Regular Member
sooo my 4.8 GPA suddenly becomes over 5, how does that work??

also I had a look at UWoll, they strictly require you to have come from a remote/rural background and/or to have done community work and as a city-dweller all my life, I automatically fail that requirement. they also give preference to Torres strait islanders and indigenous people.
Depending on where your degree is from the raw marks are worth different amounts in GPA calculations. Did you use the conversion table and formula from acer? Just that say, scoring 75 at UMelb or USyd is often worth more in the calculations than scoring 75 at say a smaller less prestigious uni.

That's the only thing I can think of that might have been meant.

On the other hand im 22 and feeling old. will be at least 23 before I can start hopefully. Another med course 29, then specialization 35. wow middle age. I can't imagine anyone coming out older than me
Quit your whinging, 22 is not old and if you were at Newcastle I would consider you one of the younger students.
 
It precludes int. students from gaining entry to Otago under *that particular criteria*. Aussie students have the advantage over other international students insofar as you don't need a visa in order to move to NZ and live there for 2 years (thus gaining residency), however.

The interview is at Otago. They don't reimburse costs. They also don't seem to give much in the way of notice. I can't book flights / accom until I have an actual date for my interview and they said they would notify within 2 weeks. The interviews actually start only a few days later.

I've got 10 years on you age-wise. Maybe... Think about how much you want this and what you are prepared to do in order to get it. If you are worried about your GPA you could of course study something more health related in order to bring your GPA up (e.g., nursing). You could also attempt to find work in the health field in order to boost your application (and show them how much you want this) that way.
 

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