Get a quick overview of the pathways from schools to uni, TAFFE or into a gap year that can lead to work and travel from this PowerPoint. It is an overview of the information I provide in presentations to year 11 & 12 school students. Share it with students and parents so that they get a high level understanding of the options.
If you want to be a doctor but you live in the bush, your chances of winning a place in a medicine degree are improving. The Curtin Medical School Ambassador Alumni scheme engages current Curtin medical students to help students in rural, regional and remote schools who would like to apply to Curtin Medical School.
Schools that want to engage with the program should contact the Curtin Medical School Rural Academic Lead, Professor Keith McNaught.
Curtin Medical School support for future RRR students
Curtin Medical School (CMS) has a deep commitment to produce doctors to work in rural locations. CMS fully appreciates that the lack of doctors in many rural areas, a particular issue in Western Australia, results in poor health outcomes for rural residents. CMS is also acutely aware that there are real and significant challenges for rural young people, wanting to study Medicine, and being educated in rural areas, often with significantly less opportunities than city-educated students. Rural students often have less Career Guidance advice, and may not realise that Curtin offers a rural entry pathway to Medicine with additional ATAR score weightings for rural students.
In 2021, Professor Keith McNaught, the CMS Rural Academic Lead, worked closely with the President of the Curtin Rural Health Club, Jarrad Burgess, to develop and pilot the Alumni Ambassador program. The program was designed to have current Medical students, with a rural background, volunteer to promote studying medicine, in their home towns, or in towns and locations where they had connections.
Keith had generated a list of target rural schools across WA, and then Jarrad and Keith matched student volunteers to those schools and beyond. There were 26 volunteers, who will be visiting 35 secondary schools in 2021. The volunteers all do their school visits whilst they are at home on breaks, so there are no costs associated with running the program, except to visit those locations where an Alumni Ambassador is not available.
When the partner secondary schools agreed to be involved, they nominated a school contact person, who is the liaison person for each Alumni Ambassador. The school visits have commenced, and feedback has been resoundingly positive. Second-Year student, Ipsita, was involved in a school visit where she connected with an outstanding Year 11 Indigenous student, who is now linked to the Medical School’s Admission Officer, as she charts her personalised pathway to Medicine at Curtin.
Alumni Ambassador visits are most often to Year 10 and 11 classes, with schools usually aligning this to a science class. With Year 10 classes, the Alumni Ambassadors talk about the benefits of the rural entry pathway, and the subject selections recommended for Medicine. Year 11 presentations also focus on UCAT testing, so rural students are aware of the process and timeline, which will occur during Year 12, and also of the scholarships to assist with the costs of completing the UCAT testing in Perth. Importantly, secondary school students are referred to the website, where they are can obtain up-to-date information about Curtin’s Medical and Health Science programs and have links to access further information.
Whilst it will be some years before the impacts of the CMS Alumni Ambassador program are fully known, there have been immediate benefits noted. Secondary school partners have had increased contact with CMS staff, and applications for UCAT scholarships tripled from 2020 to 2021. There are few things as motivating for a rural student as seeing their peers, who they know from their school and community, studying Medicine, and being aware that it’s a real study and career option for them too.
This report has been supplied by Curtin University.
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Start learning about life at university in Year 9. Check out the food vans. Listen to the music. Go into buildings and see the latest tech tools, computer games and research. Find the library, the shops and the toilets.
Explore and Experience Try stuff. There will be people inviting you to engage with practical experiences in their subject. It could be VR. It could be checking out the latest medical research, making a short movie using their studio. All faculties will have practical experiences for you to engage with. Do it now.
Get an authentic experience. Engage with current students. Build on what you have learned in years 9 and 10 visits by asking questions of both students, academics and staff. Check out presentations and exhibitions to see what you will gain most from and register for them, or just make a schedule of where to be and at what time.
Year 12 Tips
This is it. You need to be able to build from your other Open Day experiences. You will know what faculties to visit, and you will have a range of questions to ask. By now you should have narrowed down your options and you will be able to ask specific questions about subjects, industry engagement opportunities, mentors, support programs etc. You will know which presentations and demonstrations you need to revisit.
Go for a smooth transition
Here is a guide for you to prepare for life after school. Start early and gradually build your ability to glide gradually from school into your chosen new life, rather than leap into the unknown.
Accredited Tutor delivers small group classes in most WACE classes, exam preparation and study skills.
Many semi-retired teachers continue to tutor in their specialty subject.
These teachers have a lifetime of knowledge of their subject, what examiners are looking for and tips for success.
Ask at your school front office to see if they know anyone you can contact.
ECU ATAR Free Program
ECU ATAR revision programs are run during the September holidays at the Joondalup and Bunbury campuses.
These are a free service to Year 12 students.
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I have found your material invaluable. The information you have put together is thorough – a one-stop-shop in a sea of information that is out there. I have utilised this information on a regular basis with others throughout the school.
I loved this month’s newsletter! There were so many useful links that I’m going to use, like the Logistics Training Council publications and the Future skills Framework infographic on our demographic. So much handy information – I even signed up for the Public Sector Commissions job search so that I can pass opportunities for traineeships onto students. (Northern regional Catholic Education School)
Curtin, UWA and Notre Dame universities all offer a medical degree course and UWA also offers dentistry. None of these universities has planned a 2021 information session although Notre Dame will probably do an online information session given the positive feedback they got for their 2020 online session which is still available online.
To get into medicine in WA you need to get outstanding academic results, get better results than most on an external University Clinical Admission Test and undertake a regime of Multiple Mini Interviews.
School students should apply for medicine at Curtin or Direct Entry at UWA through the normal TISC process.
This course is not available to International Onshore Students on Student Visas.
Length of Course: 5 Years
ATAR: 95 (there are conditions around this that need to be explored HERE.)
Essential WACE courses
Essential: Chemistry ATAR, or equivalent. (Contact the Course Coordinator to find out what to do if you don’t have chemistry.)
Applicants are required to successfully complete a First Aid Certificate (including CPR) or equivalent by the completion of the first semester of the course. Students are also required to obtain criminal record history clearance, Working with Children Check as well as relevant immunisations and health screening.
Desirable WACE courses
Mathematics Methods ATAR, Mathematics Specialist ATAR or Mathematics Applications ATAR
Desirable: Study in one of the following Mathematics ATAR courses is desirable:
Mathematics Applications, Mathematics Methods, Mathematics Specialist, or equivalent.
You can find my notes from the 2017 presentation with suggestions from students HERE.
Applicants must be Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand citizens who have successfully completed year 12 with a Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) or an equivalent senior secondary qualification and have an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), or equivalent.
Applicants will be ranked based on the following categories:
Non-school leavers (notional ATAR from previous tertiary studies and UCAT)
Curtin course switchers (Course Weighted Average from current studies and UCAT).
Top ranked applicants will be invited to attend a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). The interview process provides an opportunity for shortlisted applicants to demonstrate how they communicate, critically appraise information, and think about issues important to the medical profession. Applicants will be ranked and selected for offer based on their ATAR or equivalent, the UCAT score and the MMI score. Final selection will be made by this composite score. Applicants for this course should refer to the Curtin website for more information on specific admission requirements for Medicine. http://courses.curtin.edu.au/course_overview/admission-requirements/medicine.cfm
Multiple Mini Interview Those students who score highest on their ATAR and UCAT will be given an interview. See notes below on Multiple Mini Interviews.
A personal folio that demonstrates your suitability for medicine at Notre Dame.
Grade Point Average
Notre Dame says that successful applicants will already have a degree with a minimum Grade Point Average of 5. This score may be misleading as students usually have a Grade Point Average higher than 6.
Applicants must undertake the Graduate Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT).
Applicants are also required to undertake an interview process…. which is described below.
Notre Dame Folio
Notre Dame also requires a Student of Medicine Application Folio which demonstrates more about the student’s personal attributes and suitability for acceptance.
Notre Dame usually wants to know WHY you want to study at Notre Dame and WHY you want to study the course you have chosen for any course so you would need to be clear on that.
Notre Dame offers a Pre-Medicine Certificate that its students can take WHILE they are doing their undergraduate degree (and getting a high GPA!).
This pathway also provides students with a mentor from the ND School of Medicine.
Completion of this Certificate will guarantee an INTERVIEW as part of the medical course application process if your GPA and GAMSAT reach the minimal score. It does not guarantee a place within the program.
Multiple Mini Interviews
The interview process is made up of 8 Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). You move from each interview into 8 different rooms. You are given a question and have 3 minutes to prepare your answer, then you go into the room and give your response for 8 minutes. There are two rest breaks.
The MMI’s take 88 minutes.
I have heard this process described as an endurance test.
Interviews are done by trained MMI interviewers who are trying to determine your suitability for the medical profession.
YouTube videos and sites like MedStudents Online and Whirlpool will give you some ideas about what to expect BUT your experienced interviewers are not looking for rehearsed answers, they want to know about you and your suitability for the profession.
Curtin and UWA Direct Entry require a UCAT score as part of their application process.
This test may be taken from 1 July – 11 August.
There are thorough instructions, trial tests and videos available on the UCAT site.
I like asking questions on Whirlpool.net.au . It might not be any more reliable than Facebook but you get to ask people who are in the field for their thoughts. You can even ask what students at different unis think about their medical courses.
Medstudentsonline is similar to Whirlpool. You can join in discussion threads about the application process.
Being a doctor is a tough gig.
I have provided career advice to a brilliant ATAR student who said there was no way he was going into medicine. Both of his parents were doctors and he saw the emotional toll it was taking on them and on their family life. He thought he might become a physics teacher.
The health industry is the fastest growing industry in Australia and Australian health scientists are up there with the leaders in many fields of specialisation.
The application of AI to diagnostics and the use of robotics is creating a boom in new health related career choices. West Australian universities are onto this and competing to be leaders in new postgraduate health education fields.
Good Luck with Your Choices.
SCHOOLS PRESENTATION ON GETTING INTO MEDICINE
I bring together the key information you need about getting into medicine in WA in a one-hour presentation about West Australian medical degree courses.
If you want to go into a building trade the job prospects are great, the pay is a whole lot better than aged or child care and you have opportunities to go into design, running your own business or project management.
If you would like working in building trades start looking at the big companies first. They are the ones with systems in place that reduce sexism and they try to make workplaces fair.
Students who hate school might want to try their luck at getting an apprenticeship while the employer subsidies are available and the building industry is booming.
You are allowed to leave school early if you go into a job or into training. An apprenticeship is a job WITH training.
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I can talk about careers under water so if you would like to chat about how I can help you to improve your career or the services you deliver, give me a ring on 0434056412 or email me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au
Universities in Western Australia have started to make early offers to students. In the middle of Year 12 students can apply to go to university based on their estimated ATAR from Year 11 through to the end of semester 1 in Year 12.
Teachers must estimate your ATAR score based on what you have done to the middle of Year 12 and their estimate is forwarded to universities BEFORE you undertake your final exams.
Year 11s no longer have time to settle in, fail their first exams, get a shock and up their game. These tips can help you to improve your game before your exams.
Study Tip 1 Prepare
Go through your diary and mark out:
Important dates in sport
Other important dates in your year
Go through your diary and mark out your week
Mark in study planning every Sunday night for 10 minutes
Music lessons and practice
Your part time job
Hobbies and mucking around with friends
Where Does Your Time Go?
Discover where your time goes. Virginia Tech, in the United States, has created this study skills quick quiz to help students to become aware of how they use their time.
Do the quiz.
How many hours do you have to left study?
If you need more time to study modify your time usage to suit your needs.
Mark your diary with the study time blocks.
Mark your sleep time in your diary.
Schedule half an hour phone-free-zone before bed.
Create a pre-bed “sleep set-up” routine for that half hour.
Study Tip 2 Pinpoint Your (SMART) Goals
(Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Timebound Goals)
List each of your subjects
Set your specific, measurable goal for each subject e.g. English 75, Geography 64
Ask your teacher if this is realistic.
Ask you teachers to specify what you need to work on in their subject in order to achieve your goal.
Write down what they say.
This becomes your TO DO LIST
Study Tip 3 Prepare to be a Superstar
Plan Your Study
When you first sit down to study, make a list of the things you need to do.
Go through comments and suggestions made by your teachers. See if there is anything you can do to take their advice.
If you haven’t got anything to do, go to your “To Do List” that you created from the information your teachers gave you.
Start to work on items on your list.
Secret Sunday Superstar Strategy
You need to learn how to critically reflect on how you have done and what you can do to improve.
Each Sunday evening take 10 minutes to:
Plan what to work on in each study time block.
Plan your study time to complete assignments.
Focus on your weaknesses.
Reflect on how well you studied last week…
Does your study timetable need adjusting?
How accurate you were at guessing how long each assignment was going to take?
Can you do anything more to pay attention to your weaknesses?
Could you have asked your teachers for feedback or help on anything?
If you managed your phone.
What score out of 10 would you give yourself as a professional student?
You KNOW that you need to manage your phone. You can waste hours half studying and half messing around on it.
Complete calls and text messages BEFORE you go to your study area then remove your mobile phone from your study zone.
After an hour, take a break and check your phone messages, have a drink, talk to your family for 10 minutes.
Go back to your study zone and recommence the work you were doing.
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