Otago Vs Auckland Medicine- Where should I GO?

Discussion in 'NZ General Discussion' started by DrFlower, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. DrFlower

    DrFlower Member

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    Otago Vs Auckland:

    Here are some tips on where to look forward to studying Med depending on your strengths an weaknesses. Let me know if you don’t agree and of any clarifications. Ask these questions and see what your choice is- I know there are many factors that influence the choice on where to study, But this is solely on the fact that you want to have the best chance. I hope they are helpful.

    1- Are you going for first year or Grad entry?

    1st year- HSFY vs OLY1-

    a- Have you done UMAT in year 13 or do you know how good your UMAT could be? If you are confident enough to get a UMAT over 40-50th percentile that’s great, perhaps you should consider Otago then. But what about if Im in low 20’s, Don’t worry, You still have Auckland as a choice (this year I know 2 people who got in with 19th (from OLY1) and 21st percentile in Grad entry- so not to worry about UMAT if its your weakness. As I have said earlier, UMAT is just like a sauce beside the main dish at Auckland, Its only 15% of RS and if you have stellar GPA 8+ you should be fine as long as you wing your MMI.

    b- What do you think you marks are going to be like? School results are some sort of an indicator on how you will do but I know most people improve in first year as that’s when they actually start studying. You have to make a call, are you going to put your 110% of work? Remember its NOT HARD! Its just a lot of stuff to learn, and the key is keeping up with your work. It’s the same story as the rabbit and the tortoise, you cant let it slide through till the end. SO do you think you can get an A+ just, meaning a 90/91 or you think you can ace it 95+? If you think you are the first category than Akl would be a better option because they count GPA points regardless of 90 or 99 and only count 4 core papers for ranking. But if you think you are going to ace all your papers then you will have a advantage at Otago, as every mark counts in the RS (I mean 99 will give a higher RS than 90 whereas at Akl you will both have a GPA of 9). I know its hard to judge on how you will perform, this is just something that I think I would have found helpful if I knew and would have stressed less.

    c- MMI- this is a gamechanger- There is no oneway for MMI answers, You just have to be yourself, prepare well- read some newspapers a month or so beforehand. Be confident and remember, if you say something that you think is not so right and feel embarrassing, the interviewer will never see you again, so who cares what they think. But do try to be a professional like, eye contact, shaking hands, use you hands while talking, at least they sweat less and keep drying as you push them in the air rather than sitting in your lap! Yeah all those basics. And may be pray and for Gods Help, if you believe in prayers. But then the MMI is so risky, right? Are you asking that question too?

    SO In HSFY you know pretty much if you will get in or not after your UMAT and S1 are on track or not, well at least most of them with a RS of 80+ know it. But at akl you don’t find it out until Dec and plus the MMI is nerve-wrecking. SO if you are a High school student deciding where to go (assuming you are choosing just based on increasing your chances of getting in, regardless of the shifting hassle and stuff). If you think Your UMAT is great then choose Otago and try to maintain the grades (which you have to do at both unis, obviously). BUT if you think your UMAT will let you down then perhaps Auckland is a better option. Also if you think you are social and love talking, and are a ‘bit of self show off’ than the MMI will advantage you. So consider these options in deciding. I hope they are helpful.


    For Grads- Well you know you can apply for Both Unis’ and choose which one you wanna go to! But then the question is which one am I more likely to get in because my first year is stuffed up with a GPA of only 3?!!!?

    a- Lets talk about UMAT first- Well you get to know pretty early on (in sept) if you have met the Otago threshold or not. They email you if you haven’t. SO your UMAT is great and 50+ percentile? Yes- It will count for more at Auckland but not very much (its just 15% after all- Ill do some calc and show you what I mean). At Otago you just need to meet the threshold after which it is not considered at all.

    GPA 9- 60/60 UMAT 20% (122)- 6.1/15% = 66.1/70 +MMI score

    GPA 8.5- 56.6/60 UMAT 75%(170)- 8.5/15 = 65.17

    GPA 8.5- 56.6/60 UMAT 90% (200)- 10 = 66.6


    SO that’s what I mean- even if you have 90%+ UMAT and your GPA is in a similar range, you are not much disadvantaged! Its just 1 or 2 rank points away. Regardless, All Im saying is, if you get your UMAT results and think its all over, IT is not if you have the GPA! (this calculation also applies to 1st year calculations at Auckland)


    b- GPA- This is where it gets tricky- Otago considers the weighted system in which 1st year is included and if you have stuffed first year, it kind of pulls your stellar 2nd& 3rd year GPA down. So they use the (0.5x1st year)+(1.0x2nd)+(1.5x3rd)- Its simplified but you can see the website for the calculations. So If you get 8 in 2nd year, 8 in 3rd and had 4 in 1st year- your weighted GPA- 7.33 what on Earth? Yeah, because your first year is not so good, BUT not to worry! At Akl your GPA is going to be 8! See the difference?! So if you have an awesome GPA in 2nd and 3rd year, You have a very good chance there!

    c- MMI- Grads ususally don’t have a problem with this. They are more mature, chilled and calm and most people with over 8 Grad GPA actually get in, because you know there aren’t many with over 8 GPA as its hard to maintain it over 3 years. Yeah I know there are heaps of people with perfect 9s in first year but then those papers are designed especially for selecting Med/dent students and com’on its only one year vs 3 years. Its easier to maintain a relationship for one year than 3 years, right? So if you are over 8 in 2nd and 3rd year and totally stuffed up your UMAT, I would not be at all worried!!!!! Not even the size of grain guilt.


    Have I missed anything? Sent me a message or comment here so that I can add it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
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  2. vhunter

    vhunter Auckland MBChB IV

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    Good job on the writeup, I'm sure a lot of people will find this helpful when deciding where to apply for medicine. :)

    I just wanted to add a couple of things in terms of Auckland's entrance scheme. Firstly, for any prospective Auckland students who are stressed out about the MMI: it's seriously not that bad. Granted, if your GPA is not great (8.0 core or lower), it can be tough because you need a good interview score to make it up. But the main purpose of the interview is to identify great candidates with poor GPA and terrible candidates with good GPA. It doesn't make much difference either way for the average candidate. I'm a little shy and introverted so I was terrified about the interview, but I ended up doing fine.

    Secondly, we don't really know how exactly they calculate the scores using the 60/15/25 method. Your calculations assume that they take the absolute score for each section and add them up, but @buddingdoc's thread here suggests that your rank score depends on how well you did with respect to the rest of your cohort in each of GPA, UMAT and interview. The information in the thread comes from before the introduction of MMIs, but it shouldn't be too different to what they use now. It also makes sense intuitively; it explains why someone with an 8.5 core GPA is much more likely to be accepted into medicine compared to someone with an 7.5 GPA, when there isn't much absolute difference in their scores.
     
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  3. DrFlower

    DrFlower Member

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    Thanks Vhunter! I totally agree with the interview comment, its not scary or anything and you will be fine. I wrote taking position of what I was in before the MMI, nervous and worried on how I'm not so great at talking (I think its a personal bias LOL, as I have been told by number of people). Its not at all as you expect... I think ain think is to be confident on what you say and delete this thought before you start 'What if I don't get in?" If you keep thinking negative then I don't think it will help.

    In terms if the calculation, for now I would just like to believe that the way they have given us on their official document and website to be correct. I mean I have no reason to think its not right, right? I don't know how far that implies but I think they are pretty clear on the ranking score calculation and if they were to alter it every year, it would be a long hassle. And afterall there are similar number of students each year so its likely the distribution is pretty similar each year- as we can see for cut off at Otago for example. I mean UMAT is graded according to the cohort but in the end the RS for Otago HFSY is pretty much similar to 79.xx every year... So in case if they do the cohort based thing as suggested in that thread, I wouldn't be too worried on how it will impact me as an applicant. Even if it will affect me, every applicant will be affected as well, right? But yes a very valid point vhunter!
     
  4. orilu

    orilu Member

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    Just another point to add, Auckland uses raw score for UMAT and not percentiles.

    Because UMAT is a bell shaped curve, the difference in raw scores of say 70%ile and 90%ile isn't all that much.
    I think the general idea is that if you get anywhere above 50%ile that's good enough and you don't need to worry. But like DrFlower has already mentioned, heaps of people end up getting in with even lower UMAT scores so long as your GPA is decent and you perform well in the MMI.
     

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