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Queensland Medical Schools

sixtythree

New Member
Is it just me, or are all the easiest med schools in Australia to get into located in Queensland?

Suppose you did badly on the UMAT. Your three best options at this point are:

  • JCU; doesn't look at UMAT, significant emphasis on application/interview,
  • Griffith/USC; 99.65ish is the lowest ATAR cutoff out of all unis that purely admit based on ATAR, and potentially even lower for USC, and
  • Bond; anyone with a 97+ ATAR and the $$$ has a fighting chance given 1/2 interview to place ratio. Probably also has the worst applicant pool out of any med school.
All of the above are located in Queensland.

Suppose you did well on the UMAT (>90th percentile ish). Your best option would be UQ, as it would only require a 99+ ATAR and no interview. It's even easier if you did the highest level of maths at school (which a lot of med applicants do) as you'd get two bonus ATAR points, lowering the cutoff to 97. Obviously, UQ is also located in Queensland.

So regardless of the situation you're in, your best shot at a med school is likely to be located in Queensland.

Why is it the case that Queensland just happens to have so many med schools that are comparatively easier to get into relative to other states? Surely it's not because their local applicants are a tad dimmer than the rest of the country???
 

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umatresults.jpg

New Member
or... queensland is just giving a more diverse range of students a chance to receive an offer by having varied selection criteria?

plus, two of the courses you listed are provisional (which typically aren't as sought after as it means studying more years and having to maintain a certain gpa to progress onto the med), making the entry requirements lower if we consider the laws of supply and demand

and as for postgrad med, the schools in queensland are definitely not the easiest to get into. in NSW, both UNDS and MQ offer full fee medical places which are comparatively less difficult (though difficult nonetheless) to acquire.
 

Mana

Registrar
Administrar
Is it just me, or are all the easiest med schools in Australia to get into located in Queensland?

Suppose you did badly on the UMAT. Your three best options at this point are:

  • JCU; doesn't look at UMAT, significant emphasis on application/interview,
  • Griffith/USC; 99.65ish is the lowest ATAR cutoff out of all unis that purely admit based on ATAR, and potentially even lower for USC, and
  • Bond; anyone with a 97+ ATAR and the $$$ has a fighting chance given 1/2 interview to place ratio. Probably also has the worst applicant pool out of any med school.
All of the above are located in Queensland.

Suppose you did well on the UMAT (>90th percentile ish). Your best option would be UQ, as it would only require a 99+ ATAR and no interview. It's even easier if you did the highest level of maths at school (which a lot of med applicants do) as you'd get two bonus ATAR points, lowering the cutoff to 97. Obviously, UQ is also located in Queensland.

So regardless of the situation you're in, your best shot at a med school is likely to be located in Queensland.

Why is it the case that Queensland just happens to have so many med schools that are comparatively easier to get into relative to other states? Surely it's not because their local applicants are a tad dimmer than the rest of the country???
JCU is arguably one of hardest medical schools to get into because much of the weighting is based on factors that you can't change, like being rural or having significant experience with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Furthermore, as a result of not requiring UMAT, the relative ease for which you can get into JCU is much harder because for any given applicant there are more applicants to compete against to obtain a place there (since all the people who didn't get high enough UMAT scores would be putting an application in).

--- I mean... did you get into JCU, sixtythree? If you didn't... I'm not sure how you can claim this is an easy medical school to get into...

Bond - well, I don't think the medical school should exist, but given that the interviews for Bond only commence once all the offers for every single other medical school have been given out, of course the only people who would get into Bond are the ones that failed to get into any other medical school. This has nothing to do at all with QLD and everything to do with them being full fee and starting their application process once the others have already closed.

Griffith's medical school is comparatively new (easily the newest of the ATAR-only schools) and located outside the bounds of a capital city; a side effect of being comparatively new and being located outside a capital is lower demand, obviously. This again has nothing to do with the quality of applicants and everything to do with the preferences of applicants Australia wide (as cutoffs are set based on relative supply and demand).
 

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sixtythree

New Member
Not sure what the purpose of this thread is - maybe a rant from a disappointed interstate applicant?
Nope - I received an offer from UQ last year which I declined (chose to study a non-med degree). With many people I know still involved with the admissions process, I just happened to notice a trend which I thought was interesting but lacked any obvious explanation, hence this thread.

Seriously?
Pauline says it all...

JCU is arguably one of hardest medical schools to get into because much of the weighting is based on factors that you can't change, like being rural or having significant experience with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Furthermore, as a result of not requiring UMAT, the relative ease for which you can get into JCU is much harder because for any given applicant there are more applicants to compete against to obtain a place there (since all the people who didn't get high enough UMAT scores would be putting an application in).
I agree with all of the above. But at the point where you have already done poorly in UMAT, JCU has to be one of the easiest schools to get into because it is one of the only schools (1 of 5 I believe) which will still consider you. Take out USyd and UMelb (as literally 99.9% of students won't meet the ATAR cutoffs for guaranteed pathway) and it becomes one of the three remaining options for someone in that situation. All three of which, as I've noted, are located in Queensland.

plus, two of the courses you listed are provisional (which typically aren't as sought after as it means studying more years and having to maintain a certain gpa to progress onto the med), making the entry requirements lower if we consider the laws of supply and demand
If this is the case then we'd expect to see similarly low cutoff scores at other provisional pathways (USyd, UMelb, UWA, Flinders, etc.). But it is still significantly easier to get into the two QLD provisional programs than those in other states. This means the lower cutoffs we see at Griffith and UQ have to also be due to some sort of policy decision on the part of the unis as opposed to mere supply and demand. If you put this together with the presence of JCU and Bond, I think it would still be valid to say that it is generally easier to get into med school in Queensland versus any other state.

The question is if there's a coherent reason for this (and if so, what), or if it's just coincidence. Based on what people have said in the thread so far, and the small sample size of unis involved, I'm starting to think it's probably the latter.
 
Last edited:

Mana

Registrar
Administrar
Nope - I received an offer from UQ last year which I declined (chose to study a non-med degree). With many people I know still involved with the admissions process, I just happened to notice a trend which I thought was interesting but lacked any obvious explanation, hence this thread.



Pauline says it all...



I agree with all of the above. But at the point where you have already done poorly in UMAT, JCU has to be one of the easiest schools to get into because it is one of the only schools (1 of 5 I believe) which will still consider you. Take out USyd and UMelb (as literally 99.9% of students won't meet the ATAR cutoffs for guaranteed pathway) and it becomes one of the three remaining options for someone in that situation. All three of which, as I've noted, are located in Queensland.

If this is the case then we'd expect to see similarly low cutoff scores at other provisional pathways (USyd, UMelb, UWA, Flinders, etc.). But it is still significantly easier to get into the two QLD provisional programs than those in other states. This means the lower cutoffs we see at Griffith and UQ have to also be due to some sort of policy decision on the part of the unis as opposed to mere supply and demand. If you put this together with the presence of JCU and Bond, I think it would still be valid to say that it is generally easier to get into med school in Queensland versus any other state.

The question is if there's a coherent reason for this (and if so, what), or if it's just coincidence. Based on what people have said in the thread so far, and the small sample size of unis involved, I'm starting to think it's probably the latter.
Uh, I'm not sure this is valid either. I would argue that the ease of any particular applicant getting into any particular medical school is based on these factors:

1. Relative demand (which is overwhelmingly high at all medical schools but also similar between medical schools as the same people apply all over Australia)
- obviously some variation based on factors like location and relative supply of places as well
2. The methods they use to cull applicants to match the final number of selected applicants to spots
3. How well that applicant's particular performance happens to have matched the culling criteria

Basically, the ease of your particular entry to any particular uni is based on #3 which is based on #2 and the cutoffs for those culling tools in #2 is based on #1.

For JCU, the culling tools are the ATAR, the application and the interview. Using these three the relative combined rank is set such that the number of applicants is able to be culled to fit the number of places. As stated before though the application weighs very heavy and is based on things the applicant often cannot change, like their rurality or ATSI background. However, combined, the relative cull MUST reduce the applicant number to the number of places.

For Griffith, the only culling tool is ATAR. Using this ALONE, the relative combined rank is set such that the number of applicants is able to be culled to fit the number of places. Note that in the absence of an interview or UMAT or portfolio etc. the relative bar for the remaining culling tool is set higher.

For USyd, the bar is set very high because the culling tools of ATAR and interview need to be set to be able to cull the applicant pool down to 30 (which between them they are able to do). Note that if an applicant manages to match their criteria to the culling tools available here then Sydney is a relatively easy uni to get into because the applicant who managed to match their ATAR to the 99.90 culling tool has a massive 66% chance to make it in.

For the JMP, 100% of the admission rank is based on the interview and PQA and the GPA/ATAR requirement culls very few people; the UMAT also relatively less - and thus the interview and PQA must cull relatively more (and so is "harder"). For the hypothetical applicant with perfect interview skills, this is the easiest school to get into because they have matched their strengths with the school's culling tools.


In all these examples and really in any other medical school you can see that the cutoffs for each cull are set so the combined cull will approximate the total places to the remaining applicants.

By suggesting that any particular school is "easy" by any particular cull (e.g. no UMAT) you forget that the remaining culling tools necessarily have higher bars set because their culling effect must be greater to compensate. Thus, a medical school with 300 places which uses 1/3 UMAT/interview/ATAR is just as difficult as a school with 300 places that uses 100% ATAR which is just as difficult as a school with 300 places that uses 100% UMAT to get in overall and the only difference is which specific candidate you are and how well you matched with the culling tools. Thus, what may be easy for one specific candidate is going to be hard for another specific candidate, and you're probably a bit short sighted in suggesting that these medical schools are easier overall because their relative demand is still the same or similar to similarly sized medical schools in other states (except Bond, which obviously has less demand due to cost); its just that the culling tools happen to vary in QLD to favour the UMAT and interview less (and the other criteria more). These other non-Bond unis aren't particularly easy to get into, it's just that you don't appreciate how high the bars are set in other culling tools.
 

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