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Discussion Topic 1# – The Back Up Plan

The “Alternatives to Medicine” section will be running a discussion for members fortnightly. Gulls and I will be running these and we welcome you to contribute your thoughts and opinions. If you have any ideas for future discussions please contact us.

+ Please note that we’ve only completed one year in one degree at one university- Hutcherson and I are not entirely knowledgeable. Especially for this reason, we’d like to invite all of you to discuss your back up plans and your thoughts. Any tips and suggestions are much appreciated and would benefit anyone and everyone who have been forced to seek an alternative route. We call upon those particularly who have completed more than one year in an alternative degree or degrees.

NOTE:While this is a discussion thread and debates may inevitably arise, there is no room for flaming, douchebaggery and the like.

Discussion Topic 1 # : The Back Up Plan

It is that time of the year again where we sit and wait for offers to come out on an online computer system. When that day finally arrives, you log in and might find yourself disappointed. Instead of getting that dream course you have been working hard for, you get a lower preference. Welcome to the Back Up Plan. A common pathway that many people take. Now there are 4 main options that you can take to reach that course you desire.


+ Study an undergraduate degree for one year and apply as a non-standard the next year (while possibly redoing UMAT)

+ Take a Gap year, relax, earn some money, redo UMAT etc
+ Repeat Year 12 (and possibly UMAT, too)
+ Graduate-entry pathway

The most common back up courses I have noticed for those Medicine and Dentistry hopefuls tend be from the following: Science, Biomedical Science, Pharmacy, Optometry, Physiotherapy, Oral Health, Nursing etc

Many of you will be first-timers and so before we provide you with our own experiences, here are some FAQs.

FAQS
:
A few FAQs, some of which can be found in the stickies of the relevant subforum.


Q: What kind of degree is necessary?
A: Please note that you do not have to choose a science or health related degree. Contrary to popular belief, unless explicitly stated by the university, there are no preferences as to which degree has a better chance of being accepted. The degree is not part of the selection criteria, the grades you obtain from it are.

Q: How important is your GPA/WAM?
A: For non-standards your GPA/WAM is very important. As a non-standard or graduate-entry applicant most universities have a gpa cutoff between 5-6 (Credit-Distinction). This is high and cannot be achieved on intelligence alone. For some undergrad universities, the higher your gpa is the better. Considering many of us are taking this route because we didn’t do so well in the UMAT, it is essential you score high in this criteria. Is it possible? With diligence, commitment, determination, organisation etc. it most definitely is.

Q: What should I choose?
A:Read on for more but generally it’s best to choose something you enjoy and found you were good at because you will tend to be more successful in such an area. To find out more about different courses either ring up the admissions office at the uni and ask for suggestions (I did this) after telling them your likes and dislikes, or check the course profiles on the uni’s site. Ultimately the decision is up to you and if you find you don’t like your course you can always internally transfer. We would like to hear what you think, in this thread.

For undergrad courses that accept non-standard applicants, please see below for which universities. Depending on how many semesters you’ve completed at uni, some unis might take your ATAR into consideration.:
[box= Where can I apply as a non-standard?]+Non-standard Applicants:http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?11141-Non-Standard-Entry&highlight=standard
+Graduate-entry applicants: http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?6029-Graduate-entry-universities&highlight=standard

Where can I apply as a non-standard? (underlined are unis that require competitive gpas ie. not cut offs
UWA– dent and med (no longer applicable after 2011 as both courses are going the grad-entry route)
UAdel– dent and med (for med, need to be studying course at the university to be eligible as non-standard)
JCU– dent and med
La Trobe– dent
CSU– dent
GU– dent
UQ- dent
UNSW– med
UNCLE– med
UWS– med
UTAS– med
Bond– med
Otago– med and dent (special conditions apply for non NZ)
Auckland– med (special conditions apply for non NZ)
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[box= Additional Info. for Graduate Entry Med]+Graduate-entry applicants: http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?6029-Graduate-entry-universities&highlight=standard
+ How gpa for each year is weighed for each uni, click here.
+ For a table on each unis’ requirements including gpa, gamsat and interview and additional info, click here.


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Some of our experiences-

Hutcherson:
[box= My experiences: Why Pharmacy?]When I didn’t get into dentistry the first time, I needed to consider a course I would enjoy to study for a year or two until I successfully transferred. I wanted a course that would be as close as possible to dentistry and medicine. So why Pharmacy?

Pros:I wanted to study something that provided a health professional aspect, one on one patient contact and allowed me to learn medical conditions. I also wanted to study a course that would give me good preparation for GAMSAT, if I had to go postgrad. With these factors in mind, it all came down to pharmacy. Pharmacy focuses on medications and how our body reacts to them internally (Pharmacology & Physiology). The course also focuses on common medical conditions and the best course of action for that patient.

What I also liked about pharmacy is that I was able to do all my chemistry and biology with first year dentistry students, which would enable me to gain credit transfer. Pharmacy allowed me to understand the process and format of dental prescriptions and how local anesthetics work within our bodies. It also gave me an advantage for interviews, since we had to learn ethics for health professionals and how to approach a variety of scenarios in a professional and appropriate manner with patient.

Cons: The disadvantages to pharmacy are that some of the content can get boring and dull since first year is all theory. Working in a community pharmacy is terrible in my opinion. But hospital pharmacy is amazing and interested me quite a lot since you focus more on the patient, conditions and work on the wards. Pharmacy is a career/ profession I can’t see myself enjoying to my full potential , since my heart is set on dentistry. But I may grow to love it in second year. We shall see and find out. Overall, I recommend you to choose a back up plan you will enjoy but can also get a high GPA in. All I can say is that Dentistry is my passion and always will be. I will keep trying to transfer until I succeed.
[/box]
Gulls:
My experiences with Biomedical Science, essentially a science
As many of you probably are, I was unfamiliar with the concept of university and its subjects, the mechanics, the lifestyle and essential study ethics. I also wasn’t aware that to apply as a non-standard I didn’t necessarily have to study a science degree.

Due to my unfamiliarity and ever present disappointment, reading through the Med Sci threads on MSO I found I was afraid of the flexibility that Adv. Science or a general science degree would provide- I wanted my classes set for the most part. I have many other reasons for choosing Biomed including wanting to be close to the med folks at Grifftih, having to choose degrees that were offered at the Brisbane campus (booo Health Science at GC only!).

Having said that, Biomedicine was not my first choice, Herbal medicine was. I did however like that Biomedicine is practically identical to the MedSci course that Griffith provisional have to undertake in 2 years intensive mode before heading onto grad med. I also didn’t mind that the majority of the degree cohort are fellow med hopefuls. Hah.

Now I am contemplating transferring to a degree that has more flexibility- I adore Biochemistry and while Biomedicine has a fair share, I also want to get into the nitty gritty of Chemistry. By choosing a Science and then majoring in one of the many areas on offer, I get to choose some extra science courses that I would get to enjoy. Like Organic Chemistry![/box]

Pointers for Sciences

Here are some pointers because it is often debatable whether a characteristic is a positive or a negative, depending on the person. We know that many do not enjoy Chemistry, but gulls does.

[box=Pointers]
+Firstly, ditch the belief that you are above everyone else in these degrees. When at uni, it’s diligence that will get you through, not smarts. Sure, you may find the degree easy, you may find that first year is mostly a repeat or you’re cruising through. Do not, however, fall into the trap of then letting yourself go. You may well find that your gpa is not only sinking but jeopardizing your chances as a non-standard.

+Depending on which sciences you are experienced in, first year first semester and probably second semester, too, tend to be repeat.
If you found you enjoyed and were an active participant in science classes, chances are you will ease into a science degree.

+Biology and Chemistry enthusiasts– you will most probably enjoy a Health, medical or biomedical degree. There is little to no focus on Physics and Mathsin these degrees. Isn’t that great?! You may have a math unit, depending on the uni, but it mostly ends up being statistics or ( grade 12 math.)


+ If you’re a physics and/or Math enthusiast, usually a bachelor in science where you can choose to major in either of these or have the flexibility to choose will be suitable.


+ If you want to avoid Chemistry as much as possible, Health, Medical and possibly Biomedical sciences are ideal. Since all the sciences overlap, no area is entirely escapable. At least, not for the first year in sciences.


+ If you haven’t done biology before, that’s fine. I did Biology SL in IB so a fair share of the content taught was new to me, but repeat for others. You will be caught up.


+ I also like that we don’t have a lot of essays and have more, straightforward practicals. For someone who struggles with essay writing, I find that rather convenient for my gpa. However, in preparation for the GAMSAT, this probably isn’t such a brilliant point.


+ There are some accelerated science degrees with honours all in the 3 years, rather than having to take an extra year for honours.


+ Many people who had no prior experience in Chemistry or Physicsstruggled during these classes. However, the success rate was equal in both experienced and the inexperienced. In fact, one lecturer mentioned that the inexperienced tended to be more successful because they actually bothered with the classes.


+ You will end up covering some content that has little to no significance in your chosen career path. This isn’t necessarily a negative. I thoroughly enjoyed being lectured by different researchers about their own areas including plant science and forensics.

[/box]

Now it’s your turn. Please keep in mind everyone has unique experiences to share; there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong.

 

What’s your ideal back up plan? Why?

 

– If you’ve started on your alternate route, what are the positive and negative experiences you’ve had? -Are there any unique opportunities you’ve been provided with that you wouldn’t otherwise have gotten to experience?
-Which course do you think is the best for a preliminary degree? Why?

*ETA*

NOTE: IB students and credit transfer

You may be able to use your IB subjects for prior credit so you don’t have to do some of the subjects required in your degrees- this’ll make your semester lighter or can accelerate your degree. For more information, check ‘credit transfer’ sections of your prospective university’s website or call the university for more information. Such subjects are usually found in first year, mostly in first semester.


It's funny all the things I would like to have tried now. I got into medicine first time out, but just through reading for fun I can't help but think I would have enjoyed doing maths and physics at uni :/
    Hey everyone. I'd just like to illustrate a possible back-up plan that not many people seem to think of - applying for undergrad med in NZ. This is something that'd only be worth doing for a select group of people, but if you are in that group I'd definitely consider it:<br />
    <br />
    Undergraduate entry into med in NZ is NOT based on secondary school results. Instead, both med schools (Auckland and Otago) accept a large number of potential students into first year, then base the academic component of entry into second year (where the main cutoff occurs) on the marks achieved in first year. <span style="font-weight:bold;">Currently the requirement to be accepted into first year is an ATAR of 80 for Otago and 85 for Auckland</span>. Acceptance into 2nd year is 67% 1st year marks/33% UMAT (weighted 45/45/10) at Otago and 60% 1st year marks/15% UMAT/25% interview at Auckland.<br />
    <br />
    As a result, your academic performance is extremely important at both NZ med schools, and a high standard is required at both (generally around a 90-92% average at Otago and an 85% average at Auckland would be reasonable minimums). However, <span style="font-weight:bold;">provided you reach that ATAR threshold</span> and gain entry into first year, <span style="font-weight:bold;">your school exam results no longer count for anything</span>. Therefore, if you feel that you are academically capable and would be able to do well at uni if you put the effort in, but that your ATAR (for whatever reason) didn't go as well as it could have, the NZ med schools are a very real alternative. Because entry after a year of uni is the norm here, the majority of places in med school (e.g. 180/250 at Otago) are reserved for this category, unlike Oz, where such "non-standard" entry only has a small number of allocated spaces. Hence you'd be competing for a lot more places over here.<br />
    <br />
    The obvious downside to all this is the practical aspect, but I wouldn't think it that bad. If you're organised about it and prepared to travel cheaply it's quite possible to get return flights across the ditch for $500 or less, and the cost of living here is pretty good. In Dunedin (main Otago campus), typical rent for a room in a flat would be NZ$110, which right now is about $85 australian/week. Also, you would be treated as a domestic student for tuition fees purposes. It wouldn't be easy, especially considering you couldn't access a student loan, but I wouldn't rule it out.<br />
    <br />
    The other thing to consider (not that I'm trying to put pressure on you!) is that as soon as you take a single anatomy, physiology, biochem, chem, physics, or cell biology paper in oz, you can pretty much rule out Otago med, because it is extremely difficult to get in with an Australian tertiary record. You would however have a chance at Auckland, but you would have to start from scratch in biomed first year and apply as an undergrad, because neither of the NZ med schools will formally recognise australian university study for admissions purposes. This means that any advantages to study over here rapidly diminish once you start tertiary study in Australia.<br />
    <br />
    If you have any questions about this feel free to ask me here or by PM (or any of the NZers floating around).
      In addition to green's post I would like to point out that the UMAT is almost worthless in Auckland, they take 15% of the raw average eg 15% of 55.<br />
      <br />
      Also you can only apply to Auckland Medicine <span style="font-weight:bold;">twice</span> no matter what pathway.
    <blockquote>It's funny all the things I would like to have tried now. I got into medicine first time out, but just through reading for fun I can't help but think I would have enjoyed doing maths and physics at uni :/</blockquote><br />
    <br />
    On a somewhat off-topic (but somewhat on-topic as well) note, this is why I really like UQ's provisional course. <br />
    <br />
    My back-up plan, provided I didn't get into UQ Med, was to head down to either UQ and do Pharmacy or UNSW and do Adv. Science. My reasons for doing pharmacy pretty much mirror Hutch's up above: it provided a solid insight into a health career, gave me one-on-one contact with actual patients and covered a lot of the chemistry and sciences that I actually want to do - i.e. pharmacology, physiology, organic chemistry. Also, the PACE centre is <span style="font-style:italic;">beautiful</span> barring it's lack of cafe's and food, of course. It also set me up for sitting the GAMSAT in the future if I wanted to and if I liked it there were jobs out there for me.<br />
    <br />
    As for Adv. Science, I saw a lot of potential in it simply because it was so adaptable. I figured I could do the first year courses (which apparently give you a good overview of the subjects) and then choose a major from there and work on what I wanted to. I saw very little cons from this and was expecting (and actually got told today, not that it matters now!) that I made it into some 'exceptional scholars' group or something where I would've received a scholarship and a whole heap of benefits - including a one-on-one mentor that worked and/or taught in my chosen major, and the opportunity to overload and do a dual degree. I figured as well that if come second year I hadn't found anything that I particularly was drawn to - moreso than Med, that is - I could apply non-standard or apply as a graduate. If I did like it then odds are I would have chosen a major in which I was employable and thus I'd have a job (hopefully!) straight out of uni.<br />
    <br />
    Those were actually my back-up plans if I didn't get into Med at UQ and until late last year were actually in higher preferences than JCU Med... but, when I did my work experience and actually thought things through I realised that Med was undoubtedly what I wanted to pursue. So now things are a little bit different :)
      The reason why I was contemplating Herbal Medicine was partly because of the employment prospects but also because from a young age I have been fascinated with the effects of different plants on the human body. Particularly ginger root. Conducting a little research assignment in year 7 about Herbal remedies spurred me on. In a way, it's why I like Biochemistry so much. I love the chemical side to the human body. It's very peculiar but so logical, and at the moment it's unfortunate that my knowledge is quite limited.<br />
      <br />
      It also would've helped to have another window into medicine- I know many medical practitioners don't believe in herbal medicine. I do, for the most part.<br />
      <br />
      My plan from here in is to do this-<br />
      <br />
      - Hope that I at least achieve a 6.5GPA so I can still be admitted into the Griffith Honours College where I will be appointed a mentor, get to do leadership workshops, attend seminars and projects and whatnot. Ie. I'm hoping to get some light shed on research opportunities this way<br />
      - Perhaps transfer into Bachelor of Science then choose to major in Clinical Sciences with a minor in something else<br />
      - Take a lit class to help in preparation for GAMSAT section 2 (as was advised by another user who went through graduate entry med) and also because I want to improve my writing any way I can.<br />
      - Purchase Grade 11 and 12 Physics textbooks and/or consider taking a unit of Physics during first or second semester this year.<br />
      - Look into career prospects of a science degree.<br />
      - Keep that gpa high!<br />
      - Prepare for UMAT all the while<br />
      <br />
      *ETA*<br />
      <br />
      This is if I don't get in anywhere this year. It's kind of exciting because I have an idea- if I manage to kick it in UMAT I want to get into a med course where I can also take a BA to do a language. Defer that for one year while I complete my science degree, sit the GAMSAT as well to see if I can get into grad entry, during 3rd year that is. And see what comes up. I don't know if a doing an honours would be a good idea seeing as unis take the last 3 years and if I screw up during then, it wouldn't exactly bode well.
        My back up plan (which I ended up using since I didn't get in first time round) was Pharmacy at UQ. I enjoyed the basic sciences I learnt in first year but quickly grew to despise the job. At least the community pharmacy version. Horses for courses, but I didn't like it one bit and was very glad to get a spot in medicine at UWS the next year.<br />
        <br />
        If I had my time again I would have taken a gap year. If I didn't do that and did go to uni I'd probably give dual arts/science a go with a view to medicine. I actually can't think of any other career I can see myself doing other than medicine.
          I'm doing Oral Health in Dental Technology at Griffith, hoping to transfer into Dentistry. I start this year.<br />
          <br />
          Apparently the first year for the degree is exactly the same as health sciences/biomed etc except we don't do biophysics, and in its place we do something regarding Dental Tech. Woo! No maths or physics for me!
          The good thing about Biomedicine at Nathan instead of Gold Coast is that you don't do Biophysics. Heck yes!
          Hey guys,<br />
          <br />
          I'm thinking about taking a gap year to try for undergrad med again next year, but am still undecided as to whether this is the option I want to take. I have a UAC offer from USYD law (how crass, I know you're thinking ;) ) and was wondering whether I could accept this offer for the meanwhile while I review my decision over the next month? And if I finally make up my mind and do choose to defer sometime in February, I could apply online and they would remove me from my spot?<br />
          <br />
          So basically, am I able to defer later in February sometime BEFORE I start uni after accepting my offer now, or do I have to indicate that I want to defer by this Wednesday and reject my UAC offer?<br />
          <br />
          Cheers
          That's a very good question- one that would be best answered by the university itself. I'm not sure if they allow you to defer later, or if you were to defer for now but decided you wanted to go ahead with it this year- I don't know if they'd let you. So, tomorrow calling up the university would be the best.<br />
          <br />
          Are aiming to achieve anything during your gap year? Work and/or travel, work experience, re-sit UMAT etc?
          Mostly to gain some maturity and life experience (working and volunteering) that could perhaps produce an outstanding interview since my ATAR and UMAT scores were decent.<br />
          <br />
          How about postgraduate medicine at USYD? I know the process and requirements of graduate entry, but does anyone know how difficult/competitive it is to get into medicine from advanced science? Could anyone perhaps roughly guesstimate the success percentage of making it in?<br />
          <br />
          I'll call USYD up to follow up on whether I can defer and the postgraduate procedure but I can't seem to find the medical school's number on their website? Does anyone know their number?<br />
          <br />
          Sorry for all the questions, I left my decisions waaay too late haha. :)<br />
          <br />
          <br />
          edit: gulls, I noticed you took a gap year yourself. Any experiences/advice/random thoughts on doing a gap year? :p
          Actually, you're right on time. Second round and late round haven't come round yet so you still have time yet. So you're saying your ATAR and UMAT are completely fine (don't need to be any better), it's the interview that needs working? If so, yes work experience might help you a great deal. There are many threads about volunteering including suggestions and other members' personal experiences that you may want to look into.<br />
          <br />
          USyd only considers gpa as a hurdle- all they want is a gpa of 5.5, irregardless of the degree, after you've put in their weightings. <a href="http://info.pagingdr.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=150&Itemid=109">This</a> and <a href="http://info.pagingdr.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=149&Itemid=109">this</a> might help you have a better idea for graduate entry, the requirements for each uni and how the gpa is used for each uni.
          Thanks for your help. :)<br />
          <br />
          I've decided to take a gap year and hopefully gain a higher perspective of life that can enrich my experiences.<br />
          <br />
          Wish me luck I guess haha.<br />
          <br />
          (just realised an hour ago that I couldn't wait to decide between going uni and deferring because enrolments for law @ usyd start tomorrow at 11am lol)
          <blockquote>Thanks for your help. :)<br />
          <br />
          I've decided to take a gap year and hopefully gain a higher perspective of life that can enrich my experiences.<br />
          <br />
          Wish me luck I guess haha.<br />
          <br />
          (just realised an hour ago that I couldn't wait to decide between going uni and deferring because enrolments for law @ usyd start tomorrow at 11am lol)</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          A gap year to work or study or travel or something else?
          I've also decided to take up a gap year. Finished grade 12 last year in QLD and got an OP1 (99.15). <br />
          Start of last year I was pretty set on heading to UQ to study any degree, probably something like Exercise and Sports Science, <br />
          because I didnt think that I would an OP1 to get into Med and I didnt get the 50.50.50 on UMAT. Guidance officer told me not <br />
          too put all my eggs in one basket, and apply elsewhere. Which in retrospect I regret not doing, as I'm rural I should of been<br />
          able to get interview offers interstate, and I would of had a great chance at JCU. Decided against all of this as I thought <br />
          it was out of my comfort zone, as all my mates were heading to UQ. I missed out on Medicine, obviously, and got accepted into Bachelor<br />
          of Applied Science (Exercise Science and Nutrition). I then spoke with the parents and the guidance officer again, and I thought that taking <br />
          a gap year would be the next best way to get into Med, as i thought undergrad entrance was easier than postgrad. So I'm still waiting on second <br />
          round GU offers, but when I don't get that (hopefully get B Physio at UQ), I'll defer. <br />
          Hopefully by having a gap year I can prepare myself for UMAT better and smash it, preparing myself for interviews, and working and getting <br />
          some life experience. My main concern is that it's going to be hard to have a year with no study after 12 consecutive years with it. <br />
          But yes thats it!
          If you had problems with staying motivated even when things were tough, it might be a problem. But if you think you can dedicate yourself to preparation, even if you don't like it and find it rather challenging, you should be good to go. That and a gap year usually provides invaluable experiences that you don't get to experience everyday or didn't have the time to. Even if you are again unsuccessful, it'll still be a positive experience to cherish and therefore not a wasted year. ^_^<br />
          <br />
          Good luck and use the gap year for all it's worth! Don't be discouraged, be bold! ^_^ And I don't just mean in terms of overseas travel. It can be anything. Experience sounds good. What kind of experience are you looking for and how do you plan to go about it?
          I have been thinking increasingly about alternatives lately, as I am seriously starting to doubt my chances at med. I think I could get the ATAR of >90 for rural entry at UNSW but I would need a brilliant UMAT and interview for that. I am hoping I get an ATAR >91.4 for the JMP at UNE, but I don't know<br />
          If I don't get in, which is pretty likely I do not know what I will do.<br />
          <br />
          I have thought about Biomedical science at UNE but this leaves me with much concern about job prospects if I do not decide to continue to postgrad med. This leads me to the possibility of Medical Radiation Science. It is offered at UNCLE and has a high ATAR, but I am eligible for 4 and probably more bonus points. I think this would be an ok choice because it has the clinical side to the course, and if I decided to not do postgrad med then there seem to be good, and quite high paying job prospects as a diagnostic radiographer.<br />
          <br />
          On the topic of gap year, I still am unsure. If I got into med at UNE, I think I would consider a gap year as that means it will be 6 years out of school to graduating, which is the same as the UNSW course. If I did not get into med though, I don't know about a gap year. If I went down the postgrad road that means 8 years until actually graduating which is a long time. But if I did decide med wasn't for me and did radiography I would kick myself for not taking a gap year.<br />
          <br />
          I think I should try do some work experience in the radiography field. Theatre radiography and angiography interest me. <br />
          As you can probably see, this year will be the most confusing year of my life haha.
          I would speak to the uni(s) about some of the things I'm about to say because certain pathways do vary from uni to uni.<br />
          <br />
          - If you're dead set on med, you can keep trying. It's good that you're thinking about your options now. You're in grade 12 this year, right? There is still always a chance that you might just do really well at school and the UMAT if you put your mind to it. Hard work does pay off- it's just that 'hard work' has different meanings for different people. But it's good that you're thinking of a back up plan now. <br />
          <br />
          - You could always start a degree that you think you could handle, retake the UMAT and apply as a non-standard. If you're unsuccessful, you could do what I did and internally transfer. Of course, I don't know if a year in Biomedical Science provides you with the necessary classes that are also covered in Medical Radiation Science. I'd imagine it would, considering first year of most sciences tend to be quite similar. Still, I'd advise you to talk to the uni about it. And mind you, these are only suggestions. It's up to you. ^_^<br />
          <br />
          - A gap year provides great opportunities, some of which you may never find the time to undertake while at uni or after graduation. In the end, it's just a year you're losing. Sure you might want to be done with your degree as soon as possible, but it's only a year. I guess I might only be saying this because I've grown a little desensitised to the topic due to my multiple attempts at the undergrad med admissions process. Regardless, there are many gap year threads on MSO that I'd strongly encourage you to take a look at. If it's only your UMAT and/or interview performance that's brought you down, you could take a gap year. If you're successful in gaining a place, even better. You can defer with euphoria. :D However, if your school score is what make you an uncompetitive applicant, then perhaps it would be better to start uni straight away and obtain a good gpa. It's all up to you.<br />
          <br />
          - You might have a better chance at getting in if you apply all over unless you have other matters that would make this a very bad idea.- ie. personal life etc. Even then, special consideration in your home state might be possible for such things.<br />
          <br />
          - Going the graduate or non-standard route can sometimes be a great opportunity in disguise. You might discover interest areas that you may never have thought of if you went straight onto med. Anything can happen, really. That's all a part of the excitement of not knowing, I guess. That or I might be a little odd. ^_^<br />
          <br />
          Hope this helps and answers some of your questions. Good luck with grade 12 and the UMAT! I'd also suggest searching around for threads that discuss the dilemma or juggling grade 12 and the UMAT.<br />
          <br />
          *ETA* Please note that these are just suggestions and there to only guide you.
          <blockquote>*Wall of extremely useful text*</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Yes I am in year 12 now. I can see at a guess from the few assesments I have done in year 12 so far that I will probably end up with an ATAR of 90 + or - 2. Advanced maths is what will probably drag my ATAR down as it is my lowest subject, and doing 11 units I am stuck with it. It isn't that I am really terrible at it, more that I tend to make tiny mistakes in a lot of places and when my school decides to make the test out of 25 or 30 marks it makes a massive difference. <br />
          <br />
          I will probably apply all over for med, but where I get in is a matter of convenience really. If I went to UNSW it would be good because it is a 1 hour flight from where I live to Sydney and sometimes only $50. UNE would also be good because it is about a 2.5 hour drive which means I could go home for weekends if I wanted. Newcastle would be a pain because it is a 5 hour drive and no option of flying, so kind of hard to just duck home for a weekend...<br />
          <br />
          I really should not be stressing so much this early in the year! I am going to have to start seriously preparing for UMAT soon, all I have done now is done some spatial IQ puzzles in a book I got but it only had about 20 of them :huh:<br />
          <br />
          I have emailed UNE about how it works applying for non-standard and transfers and such too.
          A note on the IB credit transfer thing mentioned in the OP, be careful!<br />
          This year I could have got credit transfer for the subject 1005msc cell biology at Griffith (part of the health sciences foundation year), and while many of my friends from my school opted to choose this credit transfer option, me and a few other friends opted not to. Why? Because after looking at the course content for the subject, we found that it was exactly what we had done in years 11 and 12, making this a subject where we are likely to get a very high mark in, thus boosting - not hindering, our overall GPA.
          If you're just looking into getting easy grades, most definitely. :D Still, I would've liked to have eased up my latter years' load by taking some 2nd year subjects instead of the classes that I did not apparently have to do. This is for science, though, not my desired course. Ah well. It was good to refresh my memory and boost my gpa.
          Totally changing my back up plan now, if I don't make it into dent (god forbid), then i'll go for chiropractic/optometry/physiotherapy
          I'm into 'backup plan stage 2' as you might call it. I didn't get in out of school so I started a BSc at UNSW last year. I tried for non-standard entry but my academic marks pulled me down again. This year I'm starting second year and it's actually going really well - the subjects are much more interesting and I'm able to specialise into the areas I particularly enjoy (basically the medical sciences). My plan from here is to resit the UMAT (yay take 3...) and hope to improve upon last year and then apply EVERYWHERE for non-standard entry. <br />
          I'm also starting to think about applying for dent because although it's not where my heart truly lies (gosh I sound ridiculous), it's still really fascinating and I think I would enjoy it as a more permanent plan B per se. I haven't looked much into it though because it's only really occurred to me in the last week or so as a really viable option.
          Hey guys,<br />
          <br />
          I'm currently at the University of Auckland and I'm applying for medicine via undergrad pathway. I'm doing the Bachelor of Health science currently and so far its been interesting and handy because it comprises of courses in science, social science (population health) and psychology. <br />
          I'm seriously considering attending Auckland university of Technology next year to start the 4 year paramedicine degree, after which i plan on applying to medicine at AU or Otago via post-grad. I'm still not ruling out Non school leavers entry into Australia however.
          <blockquote>Hey guys,<br />
          <br />
          I'm currently at the University of Auckland and I'm applying for medicine via undergrad pathway. I'm doing the Bachelor of Health science currently and so far its been interesting and handy because it comprises of courses in science, social science (population health) and psychology. <br />
          I'm seriously considering attending Auckland university of Technology next year to start the 4 year paramedicine degree, after which i plan on applying to medicine at AU or Otago via post-grad. I'm still not ruling out Non school leavers entry into Australia however.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          sounds good. Will you enjoy paramedicine? Will it have more worth to you as a person then health sciences? Is there a reason you are not just going to finish health sciences first then apply for post grad med?
          Hey guys,<br />
          <br />
          Having walked out of the UMAT feeling like I failed, I'm already considering backup plans. Since UMAT and GAMSAT scores are available for 2 years each, am I able to take both the GAMSAT and UMAT during my 2nd year of an undergraduate degree? <br />
          <br />
          TY
          <blockquote>Hey guys,<br />
          <br />
          Having walked out of the UMAT feeling like I failed, I'm already considering backup plans. Since UMAT and GAMSAT scores are available for 2 years each, am I able to take both the GAMSAT and UMAT during my 2nd year of an undergraduate degree? <br />
          <br />
          TY</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Yup, you can sit UMAT & GAMSAT in 2nd year of your undergrad degree :)
          We should expand this. or at least make the non standard wiki a but more helpful/ in conjunction to this. I am thinking unis that allow non standard transfer. <br />
          I am having people ask me about non standard application with no real solid wiki to direct them to other then this one which is lacking some important info.
          What kind of info would you include which isn't here? I have some serious procrastination to catch up on if you want a hand writing stuff.
          Hi all, <br />
          <br />
          So I've got an under-average UMAT (77th percentile) and I'm starting to seriously look at Plan B, namely doing a year of an undergraduate degree and then applying as a non-standard. My question is this - what matters more? Your GPA or the course you do? Because if given the choice, I'd do an Arts/Languages degree for a year, and major in French, because from my HSC marks I do well with minimal effort. But would it benefit me if I did a science-y degree instead, in terms of eligibility? <br />
          <br />
          Also, do universities look kindly upon transfers from different universities? I'm aiming for Newcastle, but I'd prefer not having to pay to live there just to do an arts degree. =/ USyd looks more promising. <br />
          <br />
          Thanks in advance!
          • Cide
          • September 20, 2011
          <blockquote>Hi all, <br />
          <br />
          So I've got an under-average UMAT (77th percentile) and I'm starting to seriously look at Plan B, namely doing a year of an undergraduate degree and then applying as a non-standard. My question is this - what matters more? Your GPA or the course you do? Because if given the choice, I'd do an Arts/Languages degree for a year, and major in French, because from my HSC marks I do well with minimal effort. But would it benefit me if I did a science-y degree instead, in terms of eligibility? <br />
          <br />
          Also, do universities look kindly upon transfers from different universities? I'm aiming for Newcastle, but I'd prefer not having to pay to live there just to do an arts degree. =/ USyd looks more promising. <br />
          <br />
          Thanks in advance!</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Most graduate courses that I know of don't judge candidates on terms of their undergraduate degree. Most seem to be a mixture of GPA and GAMSAT. This is perhaps where a science degree becomes useful. GAMSAT assumes knowledge of first year uni chem, bio and physics (I think), and also contains an english section.
          He's actually going for the non-standard route so what degree you do doesn't matter one iota. Make sure it is a degree you'd enjoy to do though in case you don't get in after first year. As Cide mentioned, it's important to consider having the best background for GAMSAT which you would get a lot of help with from a science degree but I'm sure that if you're disciplined you'll be able to study this on your own anyway.
          Hello,<br />
          <br />
          I'm considering the option of taking a gap year, retaking the UMAT and applying for medicine again next year, should I fail to get an offer for medicine next year. My UMAT scores were decent, but not enough (in my opinion) to get a place at the universities that use them: 69, 42, 68 (86%). I did it without any practice, so I think I could improve, particularly section 2, considering how poor my result was! But my question is, which universities allow you to reapply for undergraduate admission after a gap year, because I know my preferred one (UQ) does not? I'd consider all that would accept me, with a preference for Monash, given the fact its program is 5 years.<br />
          <br />
          My hopes for beginning next year rest solely with Griffith at the moment and chances are good, but difficult to assess given the ambiguity of the QLD OP system and the conversion to ATAR (OP1= 99.00-99.95), which is frustrating to say the least. I appreciate your help :)
          <blockquote>But my question is, which universities allow you to reapply for undergraduate admission after a gap year, because I know my preferred one (UQ) does not? I'd consider all that would accept me, with a preference for Monash, given the fact its program is 5 years.</blockquote><br />
          Have you considered Adelaide? You'd have a pretty decent shot there I think. (even this year)<br />
          Also, for the griffith provisional med sci entry program, you'd need an ATAR in the range of 99.60-99.70+<br />
          If you take a gap year and resit UMAT (and improve your score), you'd also be able to apply for UNSW, UWS, UNCLE.
          UMAT is one of those exams where practice does not correlate to a better grade. Some degree of practice is warranted (to get you familiar with the test structure) but there is a huge diminishment in returns. So spending a whole year "studying" UMAT =/= getting 100% next time.
          <blockquote>Have you considered Adelaide? You'd have a pretty decent shot there I think.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Okay, because I haven't applied for University of Adelaide as of yet, thinking I had no chance. I'll definitely do that now, so thanks for the advice. <br />
          <br />
          <blockquote>Also, for the griffith provisional med sci entry program, you'd need an ATAR in the range of 99.60-99.70+<br /></blockquote><br />
          I am well aware of this, hence my complaint regarding the ambiguity of the Queensland system. Although I know I should (and probably will) get an OP1 (= ATAR 99.00-99.95), it all depends on my schools performance in the QCS. And how they manage to convert the OP's to ATAR scores when such ranges exist remains a mystery to me.<br />
          <br />
          <blockquote>Some degree of practice is warranted (to get you familiar with the test structure) but there is a huge diminishment in returns. So spending a whole year "studying" UMAT =/= getting 100% next time.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          I would never take a gap year with the intention to only study for UMAT. I have always thought about taking a gap year to travel and experience things I may never get another opportunity to do. So if it were possible to do so AND improve my chance for admission to a medical program, this would seem the logical choice. But if it were better to do something else (e.g. begin a degree and apply as a non-standard) to improve my chances of medicine, I would take that route. The main reason I brought this up is because on this forum I <span style="font-style:italic;">sometimes</span>see people talking of how they improved quite remarkably in their second attempts at UMAT. <br />
          <br />
          There's a lot to consider and I really want to ensure I make the right choice, because it's only in the last few days I have decided I definitely want to pursue a career in medicine (even though I have been saying so since the age of 8). Thanks for your help!
          <blockquote><br />
          I am well aware of this, hence my complaint regarding the ambiguity of the Queensland system. Although I know I should (and probably will) get an OP1 (= ATAR 99.00-99.95), it all depends on my schools performance in the QCS. And how they manage to convert the OP's to ATAR scores when such ranges exist remains a mystery to me.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          It's usually fairly obvious (almost all subjects >VHA6). If you're going to get a high OP1 then it's honestly not going to matter what kind of a school you're at - mostly because if you're at a dodgy school you'll be so far ahead of everyone else that they'll actually remove you from your cohort and judge you as if you were in a better school (what they did for me) or if you're in a good school then you'll be boosted anyway. It's the people on the border of OP1/2 that have to worry.
          <blockquote>It's usually fairly obvious (almost all subjects >VHA6).</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          [OFFTOPIC] <br />
          <br />
          So in a relatively decent school (just above average), with around 100 OP students, would these results be in the 99.70+ range (normally):<br />
          <br />
          Maths B (1st/60): VHA6<br />
          English (1st/100): VHA6<br />
          German (1st/12 - state ranked): VHA8-10<br />
          Chemistry (1st/35): VHA10<br />
          Physics (1st/30): VHA6<br />
          Biology (1st/40): VHA8<br />
          <br />
          These are from end of semester 1 and I think they will drop a little bit, but I should top at least 5 of the 6 subjects. Thanks for your help! [/OFFTOPIC]
          [offtopic]They look a lot like my marks, except replace Maths B with C and German with Engineering. I'd say if you maintain those marks you're in for a pretty damn good shot. To get your ATAR converted you have to contact QSA (I believe) and submit a form. Form can be found about halfway down the page on this thread: <a href=http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php/12774-OP-s-and-ATAR-s/page3>http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php/12774-OP-s-and-ATAR-s/page3</a>[/offtopic]
          <blockquote>[offtopic]They look a lot like my marks, except replace Maths B with C and German with Engineering. I'd say if you maintain those marks you're in for a pretty damn good shot. To get your ATAR converted you have to contact QSA (I believe) and submit a form. Form can be found about halfway down the page on this thread: <a href=http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php/12774-OP-s-and-ATAR-s/page3>http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php/12774-OP-s-and-ATAR-s/page3</a>[/offtopic]</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Sounds a little more promising then. Thanks for your help.
          W
          • W
            whitewillow
          • November 3, 2011
          What is everyone's opinion in choosing between UQ BSc (Biomed) or Griffith BBiomed? Both are 3 years long, both cover pretty much the same stuff, but UQ (So i gather) has a better reputation in the Health Sciences department, is a g08 and so therefore a GPA from UQ would translate higher to a Grad Med Uni than a GPA from Griffith? BUT THEN Griffith has the fancy "BBiomed" title and a higher OP cut off :S <br />
          <br />
          Oh and does anybody know how many ppl pass from either of these two courses out of their respective cohorts into med?
          <blockquote>What is everyone's opinion in choosing between UQ BSc (Biomed) or Griffith BBiomed? Both are 3 years long, both cover pretty much the same stuff, but UQ (So i gather) has a better reputation in the Health Sciences department, is a g08 and so therefore a GPA from UQ would translate higher to a Grad Med Uni than a GPA from Griffith? BUT THEN Griffith has the fancy "BBiomed" title and a higher OP cut off :S <br />
          <br />
          Oh and does anybody know how many ppl pass from either of these two courses out of their respective cohorts into med?</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Choosing between the two will depend on few factors which you need to consider <br />
          - Which one has easier transport?<br />
          - Does it have a research project your more interested in<br />
          - In regards to post grad med, if you work hard to get the GPA you need then its the GAMSAT score which will matter next<br />
          - I wouldn't worry to much about names <br />
          Thats just a few things to think about :)<br />
          <br />
          I suggest you ask [MENTION=4821]godoftoast[/MENTION]
          W
          • W
            whitewillow
          • November 3, 2011
          <blockquote>Choosing between the two will depend on few factors which you need to consider <br />
          - Which one has easier transport?<br />
          - Does it have a research project your more interested in<br />
          - In regards to post grad med, if you work hard to get the GPA you need then its the GAMSAT score which will matter next<br />
          - I wouldn't worry to much about names <br />
          Thats just a few things to think about :)<br />
          <br />
          I suggest you ask @<a href="http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/member.php?u=4821">godoftoast</a> </blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Thanks for you practically immediate replies! Well Griffith is way closer to me, and I don't even know how to find out about research projects for the degrees, just courses. Do you think that the larger the cohort, the more it'll "bring up" your GPA as there are more good ppl in your course? (Much like the OP system?). My main reason towards UQ is, as motivate suggested, the g08 GPA translation.. but um is that even real? <br />
          Thanks!
          <blockquote>I did it without any practice, so I think I could improve, particularly section 2, considering how poor my result was!</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Personally, I'd think S2 would be the section most would find hardest to improve through practice & preparation. Improving overall understanding, growing vocab and improving reading speed are all likely to improve results, but none of the above are easy or straightforward things to do. <br />
          <br />
          Equally, I think S3 is the easiest section to improve through practice & preparation.
          I understand what you are saying. I always knew section 2 was probably the hardest to prepare for, but at the same time, it's the only one I believe really requires much improvement on my behalf. I was quite happy with section 1 and 3 and understand from your post and many others, that section 3 is quite easy to prepare for and improve. So I believe with a bit of practice in those areas (not a whole year!), I could see enough improvement in my results to markedly increase my chances of gaining offers for interview and subsequently gain a spot in an undergraduate medical program. The only problem with the Griffith program is that they cram 3 years of courses into 2, which means no holidays. Obviously I'd prefer to have holidays :)
          Hey guys,<br />
          <br />
          So I'm a bit confused, wondering if anybody knows the answer to this question. Basically I am applying to dentistry all over Australia as a non-standard using my GPA from my current degree, though the uni's have come back and said I am not applicable for any offers as I have not completed a physics, bio or chem prerequisite (I didnt do any stage 2 bio, chem, physics). Is this correct? Did I need to do them? if so, could I use a health sci degree to complete those subjects or do extra subjects? (currently study a bach. of spts management).<br />
          <br />
          If anybody knows answer to this, would be greatly appreciated. <br />
          <br />
          Cheers
          Depends on the uni. You need to look at each uni and it's dental course requisite. Usually they require some science subjects, ie physics, chem and/or bio. So since you didn't do them in year 12, you can do a year at uni in a B. Health science or B. Science and get the pre-reqs done there, and it will count. They won't be year 12 level but first year uni level but they will satisfy the pre-reqs. So in sports managements if you can, take the pre reqs as electives if you can, or you may need to look into a bridging course (ask the uni). Good luck
          Just adding to the discussion with some questions guys. Am applying for JCU Medicine this year (along with GAMSAT schools and UMAT schools, but would prefer JCU as my family has just moved to Townsville - I am still in Brisbane) and was wondering how much they take into consideration your prior study in terms of content. I have already completed a radiography degree, work in a low socio-economic area and have been working for three years. The only thing holding me back is my GPA (5.553, just shy of the cut-off). I have been accepted into an Arts course at uni that I am fairly certain I should be able to achieve 6.5+ for. I am concerned however that this will be looked upon unfavourably by the staff of JCU when interviewing me. Is there anyone from JCU who could shed some light on this matter? Do they ask your motivation for studying what you have chosen the year prior to applying? Thank you so much :)
          [MENTION=7292]katiek[/MENTION]: That is exactly the pathway I'm trying to pursue.<br />
          <br />
          I asked my uni's admission officer about applicants who have more than 1 GPA and she said they'll look at it and choose the better of them. Also when it comes to interview they usually know nothing about you except you meet the requirments and your first name, otherwise there's potential for them to be bias or something like that so in fairness they only limit what the interviewers know.
          Would it be better for me to study Biomedical Science or Health Science (at UQ) to then get into the MD program that they will introduce in 2015? In terms of everything... ie. GAMSAT preparation, interview stuff, the course content... Which would better prepare me? Does anyone know? I really need to know which one I should apply for soon, because I think I can still apply through QTAC before 12th December. <br />
          <br />
          PS. I just finished a year of Physiotherapy.
          Hi i didnt get into Medicine at the University of Auckland last year, so now this year i am starting second year Pharmacology at Auckland. the reason partly to not getting into Medicine was because of my low GPA. Anyone recommend I try for non-standard entry in australia, but will they take my last year GPA also? Because is a GPA of 5.5 for Australia equivalent to New Zealand's GPA? Can anyone advise me on what options i possibly could do? <br />
          thank you :)
          My back-up plan was executed last year when i managed to get the atar i needed to get in, but screwed up umat and missed out by 3 points. :/ so i was torn as to whether i would take a gap year and resit umat before travelling, or whether I would go to uni. In the end I decided to go to uni, I did a year of biotechnology and medical research at utas. I chose to do this as they have six places reserved for internal transfer straight into utas med, so whilst there were quite a few people in my course wanting to transfer, these seemed like quite good odds. So i basically spent the year studying like a mad-woman for both med research and umat. and i tell you what, all the hard work paid off and i feel so much better than if i'd had a gap year as a lot of the lecture blocks we got the first year med students also got. I ended up getting 83% for umat and just above a 6 GPA and got a first round offer for utas at the end of november. <br />
          <br />
          In the end the reason i chose to go straight to uni was because i think that having to push myself all year to get where I want made it even more rewarding, and now i feel as though I have the additional advantage of having done a year at uni and knowing how it works and everything. :)
          <blockquote>Hi i didnt get into Medicine at the University of Auckland last year, so now this year i am starting second year Pharmacology at Auckland. the reason partly to not getting into Medicine was because of my low GPA. Anyone recommend I try for non-standard entry in australia, but will they take my last year GPA also? Because is a GPA of 5.5 for Australia equivalent to New Zealand's GPA? Can anyone advise me on what options i possibly could do? <br />
          thank you :)</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Yes it will take last years GPA. And yes AUS and NZ GPAs are equivalent (i.e 5 here in NZ is a 5 there the reverse might not be so clear cut). <br />
          <br />
          I would try for non-standard entry and defer for a year if you get in. Try for grad med in NZ in your final year.
          [MENTION=14945]Rey[/MENTION] thank you! So obviously it is the average of both years? Is there any downsides of applying for non-standard entry? like do i have a limited amount of times i can apply? Thank you again :)
          <blockquote>@<a href="http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/member.php?u=14945">Rey</a> thank you! So obviously it is the average of both years? Is there any downsides of applying for non-standard entry? like do i have a limited amount of times i can apply? Thank you again :)</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          I think it is an average over the two years. Most unis have a max number of times you can apply but there will be variations. <br />
          <br />
          Have a search of the forum, the Aussies will have more to say than I.<br />
          <br />
          Good luck Hun!
          [MENTION=14945]Rey[/MENTION] Thank you! I have emailed a couple of Australian Uni's :)
          H
          • H
            Hadhafang
          • April 4, 2013
          Cheers for all your replies! :D
          Hello! I was wondering if UNSW still have non standar entry?
          <blockquote>Hello! I was wondering if UNSW still have non standar entry?</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          I believe yes they do :) <a href=http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/content/unsw-medicine-entrance-information-278/>http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/content/unsw-medicine-entrance-information-278/</a>
          Thanks for the link! But I cant seem to access it! it says I dont have priveledges or i got blocked.
          <blockquote>Thanks for the link! But I cant seem to access it! it says I dont have priveledges or i got blocked.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Thats a little weird. I will try and figure that out for you :)
          <blockquote>Thanks for the link! But I cant seem to access it! it says I dont have priveledges or i got blocked.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          <blockquote>Thats a little weird. I will try and figure that out for you :)</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Sorry - my bad - try it now
          Thanks Isuru!!! <3
<blockquote>What is everyone's opinion in choosing between UQ BSc (Biomed) or Griffith BBiomed? Both are 3 years long, both cover pretty much the same stuff, but UQ (So i gather) has a better reputation in the Health Sciences department, is a g08 and so therefore a GPA from UQ would translate higher to a Grad Med Uni than a GPA from Griffith? BUT THEN Griffith has the fancy "BBiomed" title and a higher OP cut off :S <br />
<br />
Oh and does anybody know how many ppl pass from either of these two courses out of their respective cohorts into med?</blockquote><br />
<br />
Don't base your decision on the title of the degree or OP cut off. However your Go8 GPA higher translation is a good reason.<br />
<br />
So UQ 1, GU 0? Any other reasons? Perhaps consider which one is more convenient in terms of location.
<blockquote>Thanks for you practically immediate replies! Well Griffith is way closer to me, and I don't even know how to find out about research projects for the degrees, just courses. Do you think that the larger the cohort, the more it'll "bring up" your GPA as there are more good ppl in your course? (Much like the OP system?). My main reason towards UQ is, as motivate suggested, the g08 GPA translation.. but um is that even real? <br />
Thanks!</blockquote><br />
<br />
It's real for UQ admissions as far as I'm aware of. But some uni's, if not most, don't care if it's Go8 or not.<br />
<br />
On the other side of the argument you have: it is relatively easier to get a 6.5 at a non Go8 uni compared to a Go8 one, simply because the cohort at two universities vary in calibre; and hence the reason for the distinction. Whether this is actually the case, I'm not sure.
    W
    • W
      whitewillow
    • November 3, 2011
    <blockquote>it is relatively easier to get a 6.5 at a non Go8 uni compared to a Go8 one, simply because the cohort at two universities vary in calibre; and hence the reason for the distinction.</blockquote><br />
    <br />
    Whoa Griffith +1 if that's true ^^
    F
    • F
      frootloop
    • November 3, 2011
    <blockquote><br />
    <br />
    On the other side of the argument you have: it is relatively easier to get a 6.5 at a non Go8 uni compared to a Go8 one, simply because the cohort at two universities vary in calibre; and hence the reason for the distinction. Whether this is actually the case, I'm not sure.</blockquote><br />
    GPA doesn't work like your high school, the calibre of the cohort doesn't make any difference to your GPA.
<blockquote>GPA doesn't work like your high school, the calibre of the cohort doesn't make any difference to your GPA.</blockquote><br />
<br />
I think I need to clarify: by calibre I meant the competition at that university. If you are a very smart student and you do a normal maths course at a Go8 uni, then you might get a D, because you were ranked top 14% in that cohort. However, if you attended a non-Go8 uni and did a similar course, you may get a HD because you would be ranked say top 3% of the cohort, because the competition wasn't as fierce.<br />
<br />
Hence the higher overall GPA. However, this assumes that most high achievers attend Go8 uni's. While this may or may not be the case, I think there is a general trend that non Go8 uni's have a relatively weaker competition than a Go8 (according to friends who have transferred).<br />
<br />
And this would justify why UQ sees a 5.8 at a Go8 as equivalent to a 6.5 at a non-Go8 uni.
    F
    • F
      frootloop
    • November 3, 2011
    <blockquote>I think I need to clarify: by calibre I meant the competition at that university. If you are a very smart student and you do a normal maths course at a Go8 uni, then you might get a D, because you were ranked top 14% in that cohort. However, if you attended a non-Go8 uni and did a similar course, you may get a HD because you would be ranked say top 3% of the cohort, because the competition wasn't as fierce.<br />
    <br />
    Hence the higher overall GPA. However, this assumes that most high achievers attend Go8 uni's. While this may or may not be the case, I think there is a general trend that non Go8 uni's have a relatively weaker competition than a Go8 (according to friends who have transferred).</blockquote><br />
    Again, not how it works..... To clarify: GPA is how well you do in each paper. Unlike your HSC/whatever at high school, it's a raw mark (usually. Sometimes, like in HSFY, papers will be scaled if they were too easy/too difficult. But your cohort's calibre wont matter s**t).
      <blockquote>Again, not how it works..... To clarify: GPA is how well you do in each paper. Unlike your HSC/whatever at high school, it's a raw mark (usually. Sometimes, like in HSFY, papers will be scaled if they were too easy/too difficult. But your cohort's calibre wont matter s**t).</blockquote><br />
      <br />
      If this is the case, (and I'm not saying it's not), then:<br />
      1. Why do uni's such as UQ distinguish between non Go8 and Go8 grades? If theoretically, they're given on the same standards?<br />
      2. Also, if it is based on raw marks, then why is it that faculties have a set quota for HD's in courses? If 10% of people get the standard for HD, then how come only the top 3% get the HD mark?
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      whitewillow
    • November 3, 2011
    <blockquote>I think I need to clarify: by calibre I meant the competition at that university. If you are a very smart student and you do a normal maths course at a Go8 uni, then you might get a D, because you were ranked top 14% in that cohort. However, if you attended a non-Go8 uni and did a similar course, you may get a HD because you would be ranked say top 3% of the cohort, because the competition wasn't as fierce.<br />
    <br />
    Hence the higher overall GPA. However, this assumes that most high achievers attend Go8 uni's. While this may or may not be the case, I think there is a general trend that non Go8 uni's have a relatively weaker competition than a Go8 (according to friends who have transferred).<br />
    <br />
    And this would justify why UQ sees a 5.8 at a Go8 as equivalent to a 6.5 at a non-Go8 uni.</blockquote><br />
    <br />
    Dunno froot.. sounds logically legit ^_^
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        frootloop
      • November 3, 2011
      To clarify: I believed UQ to be normal, and work like any other uni, but apparently they (and possibly the other Go8 crazies, explaining the different required grades) do normalisation (certain % of people get a certain mark). Most other unis just look at what grade you actually got, and give you that.
        <blockquote>To clarify: I believed UQ to be normal, and work like any other uni, but apparently they do normalisation (certain % of people get a certain mark).</blockquote><br />
        <br />
        Yes, this is true. Same for USYD.
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            whitewillow
          • November 3, 2011
          So...<br />
          <br />
          If you plan to return to UQ for Med then choose UQ, but bear in mind your GPA will be lower because of the intense cohort competition and normalization<br />
          <br />
          If you plan to apply to all the other uni's, choose GU as your GPA will be higher as course content is a little easier and your graded on your own performance and not where you sit with others (assuming the top of the top kids flock to UQ Sci)<br />
          <br />
          EDIT: And in terms of GAMSAT prep, either is good, as course content is the same
          Its funny cause if your are a UQ student and apply as a non-standard to Griffith, your GPA stays the same. They don't recongize this whole Go8 business.I think got will be best to talk to, cause he knows more about this than me for sure. My uni is non-Go8 and we get scaled heaps and normalized. This happens in every uni regardless of whether it is Go8 or not.
          By 'got' she means GodofToast. Just clarifyng.
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            frootloop
          • November 3, 2011
          <blockquote><br />
          <br />
          If you plan to apply to all the other uni's, choose GU as your GPA will be higher as <span style="font-weight:bold;">course content is a little easier</span>and your graded on your own performance and not where you sit with others (assuming the top of the top kids flock to UQ Sci)<br />
          <br />
          EDIT: And in terms of GAMSAT prep, either is good, as <span style="font-weight:bold;">course content is the same</span></blockquote><br />
          Well, you've lost me....<br />
          <br />
          <blockquote>My uni is non-Go8 and we get scaled heaps in our cohort.</blockquote><br />
          I'm sure you know this, Hutch, but just to clear this up for high-schoolers: Scaling=/= normalisation. Scaling is where, within a course, one paper was done substantially better/worse (by the same cohort, OR between years (for example, if that paper usually has an average of 60%, but one year the average for that paper is 90%, then they may choose to scale the marks down)) than the other papers taken by that cohort, so the grades from that paper are scaled accordingly (eg: If, in health-science, the class average for 6 of the papers was 70%, but the 7th paper had a class average of 40%, then the 7th paper will be deemed to have been unreasonably difficult, and the grades for that paper will be shifted to look more like those from the other papers), *not* the same as normalisation, where only 'x' percentage of the cohort are able to get an HD, 'y' percentage get a D, etc.
          <blockquote>Well, you've lost me....<br />
          <br />
          <br />
          I'm sure you know this, Hutch, but just to clear this up for high-schoolers: Scaling=/= normalisation. Scaling is where, within a course, one paper was done substantially better/worse (by the same cohort, OR between years (for example, if that paper usually has an average of 60%, but one year the average for that paper is 90%, then they may choose to scale the marks down)) than the other papers taken by that cohort, so the grades from that paper are scaled accordingly (eg: If, in health-science, the class average for 6 of the papers was 70%, but the 7th paper had a class average of 40%, then the 7th paper will be deemed to have been unreasonably difficult, and the grades for that paper will be shifted to look more like those from the other papers), *not* the same as normalisation, where only 'x' percentage of the cohort are able to get an HD, 'y' percentage get a D, etc.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Well said :)
<blockquote>Again, not how it works.....</blockquote><br />
<br />
Hmmm can you please explain how it works then?
My advice would go something like this:<br />
1) High ATAR, High UMAT, failed interview: Gap year and re-apply<br />
2) High ATAR, low umat, no offers: Gap year, redo umat and apply to places like JCU and Flinders (+Griffith)<br />
3) Low ATAR, high UMAT: (depends how "low" ATAR is): Gap year and re-apply, especially to places where they use UMAT to determine who gets an interview**<br />
4) Low ATAR, low UMAT: graduate degree, Gamsat. As for Graduate degree, it's really up to you, I know a lot of people doing Medical science, which seems to tie in well. That said there are people in grad med from law, engineering etc., it's all a matter of how committed you are to GAMSAT study
    <blockquote><br />
    2) High ATAR, low umat, no offers: Gap year, redo umat and apply to places like JCU and Flinders<br />
    </blockquote><br />
    <br />
    You forgot Griffith.
      <blockquote>You forgot Griffith.</blockquote> haha it has been a while since I went through the whole application process, so yes, Griffith is another one :)
    <blockquote>My advice would go something like this:<br />
    3) Low ATAR, high UMAT: (depends how "low" ATAR is): Gap year and re-apply, especially to places like Monash where they decide interviews on UMAT.<br />
    </blockquote><br />
    <br />
    Monash looks at <span style="font-weight:bold;">both</span> ATAR and UMAT before giving out interview offers.
      <blockquote>Monash looks at <span style="font-weight:bold;">both</span> ATAR and UMAT before giving out interview offers.</blockquote> Ah ok, thanks for that, I'll update :) When I was applying (2010) it was only UMAT for first round interviews, must have changed a bit!
I