UoO: Alternative ('Other') Category Chat/Enquiries

Carmax

Member
Hi - first time poster. Congrats ‘Carmax’! :) I got an offer too! Pretty stoked! A bit about my background- I’ve been working as an Audiologist in NZ for the last couple of years. I did both my Bachelors and Masters at the University of Auckland. All the best to any future applicants reading this :)
Oh I'm so happy for you...Congrats. My background is in mental health nursing University of Auckland as well. I pray other alternative applicants get good news too.
 
Oh I'm so happy for you...Congrats. My background is in mental health nursing University of Auckland as well. I pray other alternative applicants get good news too.
Awesome! It’s really great to hear about the wide range of backgrounds, so interesting. Ahh I know right, it was such a long wait!
 

swes9321

Lurker
Hi team! I just found this after receiving an offer. I am panicking at the thought of being a penniless student for 6! more years (I'm in my thirties). Do you guys have a place to chat since this is mainly interview advice? Or we could make one?

To make this post relevant to the forum- know why you want to be a doctor and what qualities you bring to Otago med. Read up on equitable healthcare and just be a generally nice person! I had no clinical scenarios.
 

Carmax

Member
Hi team! I just found this after receiving an offer. I am panicking at the thought of being a penniless student for 6! more years (I'm in my thirties). Do you guys have a place to chat since this is mainly interview advice? Or we could make one?

To make this post relevant to the forum- know why you want to be a doctor and what qualities you bring to Otago med. Read up on equitable healthcare and just be a generally nice person! I had no clinical scenarios.
Congrats on your offer. Chat away...you'll be surprised youre not alone
 

swes9321

Lurker
Congrats on your offer. Chat away...you'll be surprised youre not alone
Just realised this is actually not just a forum about the interviews! Wonderful! I did a deep dive and found excellent posts about HSFY and interesting stories of other mature age people on the earlier pages. From my interactions with UoO so far, and the students out there posting, I gotta say everyone in NZ seems overwhelmingly kind. Love that!
 
Hi team! I just found this after receiving an offer. I am panicking at the thought of being a penniless student for 6! more years (I'm in my thirties). Do you guys have a place to chat since this is mainly interview advice? Or we could make one?

To make this post relevant to the forum- know why you want to be a doctor and what qualities you bring to Otago med. Read up on equitable healthcare and just be a generally nice person! I had no clinical scenarios.
I’m in exactly the same 30s boat :) I don’t know of another place to chat but I’d really love that. Will wait to hear from others
 
Hi team! I just found this after receiving an offer. I am panicking at the thought of being a penniless student for 6! more years (I'm in my thirties). Do you guys have a place to chat since this is mainly interview advice? Or we could make one?

To make this post relevant to the forum- know why you want to be a doctor and what qualities you bring to Otago med. Read up on equitable healthcare and just be a generally nice person! I had no clinical scenarios.
Congrats 😊 keen to chat too!
 

Pwnter

Member
Hi team, I'm a HSFY student currently. I'm in my mid-30s and moved the family down from the North Island etc to take up study. I'm happy to chat to anyone that wants to get a feel for what it's like.I can answer any burning questions or pass on some top tips.
 

Carmax

Member
Hi team, I'm a HSFY student currently. I'm in my mid-30s and moved the family down from the North Island etc to take up study. I'm happy to chat to anyone that wants to get a feel for what it's like.I can answer any burning questions or pass on some top tips.
Good to know there are other mature students. I'm in my late 20s. How are you finding HSFY? Have you been accepted into Med yet?
 
Hi team! I just found this after receiving an offer. I am panicking at the thought of being a penniless student for 6! more years (I'm in my thirties). Do you guys have a place to chat since this is mainly interview advice? Or we could make one?

To make this post relevant to the forum- know why you want to be a doctor and what qualities you bring to Otago med. Read up on equitable healthcare and just be a generally nice person! I had no clinical scenarios.
Congrats on your offer. I cannot believe it was 4 years ago now I was in your position! Life has changed so much for me, I even had a kid and I am much poorer!
Ha! In answer to your question, turns out you learn to adapt to being much poorer!, you also learn to follow your younger classmates about "YOLO"!
And finally I think most of us frankly ended up burrowing money from parents, or constantly telling your partner "don't worry Ill bring in the money some day..."

:D

All the best, I have not regretted my decision. I have made amazing friends and actually rather enjoyed doing uni the second time round!
 
Hey all, been lurking this forum for a long time too.

Congrats all on the offers. I got accepted through Alternative this year too. I'm already based in Dunedin (moved here for work about 6 months ago as an opportunity came up). Late 20s, have spent the past 6 years working for Pharmaceutical and Medical Device companies here in NZ.

Definitely keen to catch up with some of the other Alternative entrants when the time comes or if you decide to make a group chat or similar.

I'm pretty sure I'll be prescribed HSFY which I'm actually really looking forward to as it will give me a chance to get my teeth into some of the core concepts again. Who else thinks they'll be going through HSFY?

Does anyone have advice for key concepts to refresh on before next year? I've started reviewing my high school chemistry and will make a start on Physics.

Also where is everyone currently based?
 

Stuart

Administrator
Emeritus Staff
Hi Pommysaurus (and other relevant readers),

First off, congratulations on your offer.

From what I have observed over the years, the largest factor in getting through is whether one knows how to study at university, not so much prior field knowledge or experience. Hence, my usual recommendation is to focus on studying techniques. However, if you are so inclined to prepare for specific papers, I would recommend going through the prescribed textbooks, if available. Alternatively, NCEA Level 2 Biology, Level 2/3 Physics, Level 2/3 Chemistry may be beneficial. Furthermore, Otago offers bridging courses including JumpStart Physics. I have heard these can be helpful. Also, you can see other advice on this topic in the HSFY forum.

Good luck with your study.
 

Pwnter

Member
Good to know there are other mature students. I'm in my late 20s. How are you finding HSFY? Have you been accepted into Med yet?


No, I took some other pathways through my 20s, so never finished an undergrad. I'm here working my way through HSFY to apply via general entry to make it into med.

Re: HSFY - it's a pretty crazy year. As we are on different entry paths, my experience won't be quite the same as what you will face, but there will certainly be some parallels. I think the main thing that I've seen the Alt entry students struggle with this year is the twin challenge of the course material and family situations for those with young families. To help with the course material, there are a number of prep-courses available from the Uni including the physics course mentioned by Stuart above. There is an equivalent chemistry course also, I believe. There are also many in-semester aids available like drop-in times, additional tutorials etc. The good thing about the Jumpstart course is that a number of mature students take it, so it's a good chance to meet others in the same boat. Having one to three other like minded individuals to form a study group with is hugely rewarding and provides an invaluable group to bounce ideas off, and to use as a first port of call. Don't be afraid of engaging with the youngsters as well. 50% of my study group are school leavers from last year, and they're absolutely awesome. They have been crushing the assessments so are an integral part of the group. It's a good deal as I get to tell them about the 90s and noughties, and provide advice on life! It's a good trade haha. I think finding out the main resources that are available should be a priority prior to starting the semester, and then ensuring you use them as a matter of course, rather than just before a test. There are a number of excellent tutors that are available that many students use that can definitely be worth the typical cost of $30-$50 per hour. But all in all, just remember the required standard, and work to that. I think many of the Alt students are quite nervous until the first assessments and then once they achieve to the required standard, a lot of stress goes off.

For external commitments (ie family) it best to ensure you treat your HSFY as your primary focus for the year. Depending on individual knowledge and efficiency, in order to achieve the required grades for Alternative entry, a 40 hour working week is more than sufficient. Also as Stuart has said above, focussing on learning techniques should be your main task prior to commencing studies to ensure your learning is efficient. I did quite a reasonable deep dive into available literature about what the main tools for learning and over all, they are quite simple. Active recall, spaced learning, and practicing the test, are really all you need to succeed. How you do that is entirely up to you, but I have becoming a big advocate of a programme called Anki which does spaced repetition and active recall all in one programme. There are other ways this can be achieved, but I firmly believe it is the most efficient 'high yield' method. I'm achieving a grade that should be sufficient for med, and have yet to own, or read a single or the textbooks or assigned readings for the year. Finding high yield stuff and focussing on that is the best way to ensure you can really focus on study, but make sure there is enough time available for you have a life outside of Uni.

I guess that's a short overview - happy to answer anything more specific.

Cheers.
 

Carmax

Member
No, I took some other pathways through my 20s, so never finished an undergrad. I'm here working my way through HSFY to apply via general entry to make it into med.

Re: HSFY - it's a pretty crazy year. As we are on different entry paths, my experience won't be quite the same as what you will face, but there will certainly be some parallels. I think the main thing that I've seen the Alt entry students struggle with this year is the twin challenge of the course material and family situations for those with young families. To help with the course material, there are a number of prep-courses available from the Uni including the physics course mentioned by Stuart above. There is an equivalent chemistry course also, I believe. There are also many in-semester aids available like drop-in times, additional tutorials etc. The good thing about the Jumpstart course is that a number of mature students take it, so it's a good chance to meet others in the same boat. Having one to three other like minded individuals to form a study group with is hugely rewarding and provides an invaluable group to bounce ideas off, and to use as a first port of call. Don't be afraid of engaging with the youngsters as well. 50% of my study group are school leavers from last year, and they're absolutely awesome. They have been crushing the assessments so are an integral part of the group. It's a good deal as I get to tell them about the 90s and noughties, and provide advice on life! It's a good trade haha. I think finding out the main resources that are available should be a priority prior to starting the semester, and then ensuring you use them as a matter of course, rather than just before a test. There are a number of excellent tutors that are available that many students use that can definitely be worth the typical cost of $30-$50 per hour. But all in all, just remember the required standard, and work to that. I think many of the Alt students are quite nervous until the first assessments and then once they achieve to the required standard, a lot of stress goes off.

For external commitments (ie family) it best to ensure you treat your HSFY as your primary focus for the year. Depending on individual knowledge and efficiency, in order to achieve the required grades for Alternative entry, a 40 hour working week is more than sufficient. Also as Stuart has said above, focussing on learning techniques should be your main task prior to commencing studies to ensure your learning is efficient. I did quite a reasonable deep dive into available literature about what the main tools for learning and over all, they are quite simple. Active recall, spaced learning, and practicing the test, are really all you need to succeed. How you do that is entirely up to you, but I have becoming a big advocate of a programme called Anki which does spaced repetition and active recall all in one programme. There are other ways this can be achieved, but I firmly believe it is the most efficient 'high yield' method. I'm achieving a grade that should be sufficient for med, and have yet to own, or read a single or the textbooks or assigned readings for the year. Finding high yield stuff and focussing on that is the best way to ensure you can really focus on study, but make sure there is enough time available for you have a life outside of Uni.

I guess that's a short overview - happy to answer anything more specific.

Cheers.
Thanks for sharing your experience in hsfy and the tips. So you've applied for med next year?
 
No, I took some other pathways through my 20s, so never finished an undergrad. I'm here working my way through HSFY to apply via general entry to make it into med.

Re: HSFY - it's a pretty crazy year. As we are on different entry paths, my experience won't be quite the same as what you will face, but there will certainly be some parallels. I think the main thing that I've seen the Alt entry students struggle with this year is the twin challenge of the course material and family situations for those with young families. To help with the course material, there are a number of prep-courses available from the Uni including the physics course mentioned by Stuart above. There is an equivalent chemistry course also, I believe. There are also many in-semester aids available like drop-in times, additional tutorials etc. The good thing about the Jumpstart course is that a number of mature students take it, so it's a good chance to meet others in the same boat. Having one to three other like minded individuals to form a study group with is hugely rewarding and provides an invaluable group to bounce ideas off, and to use as a first port of call. Don't be afraid of engaging with the youngsters as well. 50% of my study group are school leavers from last year, and they're absolutely awesome. They have been crushing the assessments so are an integral part of the group. It's a good deal as I get to tell them about the 90s and noughties, and provide advice on life! It's a good trade haha. I think finding out the main resources that are available should be a priority prior to starting the semester, and then ensuring you use them as a matter of course, rather than just before a test. There are a number of excellent tutors that are available that many students use that can definitely be worth the typical cost of $30-$50 per hour. But all in all, just remember the required standard, and work to that. I think many of the Alt students are quite nervous until the first assessments and then once they achieve to the required standard, a lot of stress goes off.

For external commitments (ie family) it best to ensure you treat your HSFY as your primary focus for the year. Depending on individual knowledge and efficiency, in order to achieve the required grades for Alternative entry, a 40 hour working week is more than sufficient. Also as Stuart has said above, focussing on learning techniques should be your main task prior to commencing studies to ensure your learning is efficient. I did quite a reasonable deep dive into available literature about what the main tools for learning and over all, they are quite simple. Active recall, spaced learning, and practicing the test, are really all you need to succeed. How you do that is entirely up to you, but I have becoming a big advocate of a programme called Anki which does spaced repetition and active recall all in one programme. There are other ways this can be achieved, but I firmly believe it is the most efficient 'high yield' method. I'm achieving a grade that should be sufficient for med, and have yet to own, or read a single or the textbooks or assigned readings for the year. Finding high yield stuff and focussing on that is the best way to ensure you can really focus on study, but make sure there is enough time available for you have a life outside of Uni.

I guess that's a short overview - happy to answer anything more specific.

Cheers.
That's an awesome overview thanks.

I've contacted the Chem department about doing the Chemistry JumpStart course as that was always my weaker subject and required more effort so I thought it would be wise to get ahead on that.

I've spent some time looking at the support offered by the University in terms of their workshops and the [email protected] which looks quite good but I'm going to look into some of those learning techniques that you mentioned above.

Cheers.

I also found this which I thought was quite useful. Probably been shared before.

 

bslater_

Member
Hey guys! I was also lucky enough to receive an offer which I am over the moon about! I'm moving from Australia to New Zealand which I am also very excited about. I'm really hoping I don't have any HSFY papers as I have been trying to get into med school for several years and am so excited to just start! I have a feeling I will have to do a physics paper though so I have been desperately searching for an equivalent that I might be able to do in summer school before med school starts! Looking forward to meeting the rest of you and congratulations on your offers everyone!
 

swes9321

Lurker
Congrats on your offer. I cannot believe it was 4 years ago now I was in your position! Life has changed so much for me, I even had a kid and I am much poorer!
Ha! In answer to your question, turns out you learn to adapt to being much poorer!, you also learn to follow your younger classmates about "YOLO"!
And finally I think most of us frankly ended up burrowing money from parents, or constantly telling your partner "don't worry Ill bring in the money some day..."

:D

All the best, I have not regretted my decision. I have made amazing friends and actually rather enjoyed doing uni the second time round!
This’ll be my fourth time round at uni.. My parents arn’t going to shell out for this one 😂😂
 

Pwnter

Member
That's an awesome overview thanks.

I've contacted the Chem department about doing the Chemistry JumpStart course as that was always my weaker subject and required more effort so I thought it would be wise to get ahead on that.
To be honest, Chem was probably my favourite paper of the first semester as it required a good combination of calculations and knowledge. It's changed quite a bit over the last few years with the move from SAQs to MCQs. In my mind it has changed the emphasis of the assessment. Where previously, they'd do a bit question for 5 marks and if you didn't know what to do, you were stuffed. Now, it by definition, can only be a single mark, though sometimes there are multiple questions relating to a single problem or task. The other change is now that they need 80 individual questions (based upon our exam compared with previous years) they are testing a deeper level of knowledge then they have in the past. So, there are some swings and roundabouts as a result of the changes. The labs are good and I thought the Chem lecturers (particularly Lyle and Anna) were the best lecturers across any of our papers.

All in all 5/10, would do again.

Oh, and the single best resource than I can recommend for HSFY is aklectures.com. I used Khan Academy initially, and they do have a broader range than AK, but I found the delivery style and content to better with AK.
 
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