Training organisations that are not associated with UCAT offer additional training. UCAT has this to say about those organisations:
Commercial organisations will be using questions that are not necessarily of the standard you will encounter in the UCAT and this may distort your performance whilst practising. Screen views may be different and commercial organisations are unlikely to include the new question types, which you may encounter in your test. They may also not replicate the UCAT scoring and banding accurately and may give misleading indicators of your anticipated UCAT score.
Good luck to all of you who aim to get into medicine.
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Curtin, UWA and Notre Dame universities all offer a medical degree course and UWA also offers dentistry. None of these universities has planned a 2022 information session.
Curtin accepts students straight from high school.
UWA wants you to have a degree first but you can be assured a place directly from school. Successful applicants who gain an Assured Pathway place will commence UWA undergraduate studies and progress to their postgraduate degree without the need to sit a graduate admissions test or undergo further interviews.
Notre Dame requires students to do a degree, and get great results first, before applying.
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.
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.
It is possible to gain a Assured Pathway (guaranteed place) into medicine or dentistry if you have an ATAR of 99. (You still need to complete your first degree prior to starting medicine or dentistry.)
There are 24 places Assured Pathway places available in Dentistry and 65 placed available in Medicine.
Year 12s should apply for a Assured Pathway place via the normal TISC process in August-September.
You will require a:
Minimum ATAR of 99 or equivalent (Applicants are also required to submit the Predicted ATAR form.)
Competitive UCAT score.
The UCAT testing will be open from 1 July to 12 August.
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.
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.
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 likeMedStudents 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 Assured Pathways Entry require a UCAT score as part of their application process.
This test may be taken from 1 July – 12 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.
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In Western Australia, three universities offer medical degrees.
Post Graduate Medicine at UWA and Notre Dame
The University of WAand University of Notre Dame offer postgraduate medicine. You have to do one degree and get outstanding results in order to qualify to apply.
The advantage of postgraduate medicine is that you have two degrees, and these can enhance your career prospects. For example, if you studied pharmacy or physiotherapy before undertaking medicine, you would have additional skills and knowledge when both studying medicine, and later when practicing medicine. With the huge competition for places for medicine, it’s critical to think about your first degree being an area you would want to pursue. For example, if you were genuinely interested in pharmacy or physiotherapy, and did not gain entry to medicine, you’d have a career path that you were already qualified and interested in.
To be competitive for postgraduate medicine, you need to choose an undergraduate degree where you can achieve top grades. Most postgraduate medical programs list the ‘grade point average’ (GPA) you need for entry. For example, UNDA requires an overall GPA of 5.4 or higher. Postgraduate entrants come from a broad range of discipline areas, not just science-based programs.Undergraduate Medicine at Curtin
Both post graduate or undergraduate pathways have additional testing and interview processes to narrow down the field to those who are accepted as outstanding candidates. Getting into medicine is competitive, in 2022 Curtin had 2700 applicants for 100 places.
In Australia, most applicants for medicine apply across the country to attempt to gain a place, often relocating to undertake their studies.
There are significant cost advantages to an undergraduate entry to medicine. You finish your degree in five years, and have a student debt for five years (not 7 or 8 years). Overall, that cost difference is in the vicinity of $20000 (5 years vs 7 years). You are also working two years earlier, so have an income sooner.
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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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.
During the summer holidays 30 students who were going into year 11 and 12 this year did a week long, hands on and theory course at the Harry Perkins Centre. The program is run by Scitech to help students to find out more about health careers in WA.
Candidates with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries may be entitled to extra time or accommodations when sitting the test, however applications for these arrangements must be accompanied by suitable official documentation and be approved in advance by the UCAT ANZ office.
Applications for Access considerations close on 10 May
(Go HERE for information about UWA Direct Pathway program.)
Curtin is focusing on providing medical services in rural, regional and remote (RRR) Western Australia so are using their Curtin’s Step Up criteria to help RRR applicants and students from outer metropolitan schools to apply. This Set Up list will be finalised for 2019 in July. You may qualify for an Equity Bonus even if your school isn’t on the list so keep an eye on the Curtin updates.
You can only get 5 bonus points even if you qualify on the Set Up list and for the Equity Bonus.
They are aiming to have 25% of students from RRR areas.
The Curtin course is only in its second year and there were 1511 applicants for the 70 places offered this year so even with the additional support it is a very competitive program to get into.
Most of the places were given to school leavers and only 6 places were given to course switchers or mature age students.
Studying medicine is just your first step in your medical academic career. After completing your internship you will take on further study to be a GP, surgeon, obstetrician or some other specialisation.
While most university courses have short academic contact years, the Curtin Medical School requires students to have 40+ contact weeks.
Applicants must have a minimum ATAR of 95. The lowest ATAR score for 2018 was 96.15.
Chemistry is an essential prerequisite for applicants.
Human biology is not a prerequisite as it is taught in first year, however those students who have already done human biol at school will find it easier to get good grades in this subject at uni.
Applicants who pass the UMAT must provide a predicted ATAR score from their school on the form that Curtin provides before the end of November so that Curtin can use that mark to shortlist applicants for interviews.
The ATAR is worth 40% of the application score.
Students must undertake the UMAT exam and score at least 50 in each of the 3 exams.
There are practice UMAT tests on the site and students need to do those in order to know what to expect.
There are private training organisations that provide UMAT coaching. ACER, which runs the UMAT says not to bother. Some students do…. You need to make up your own mind about whether to do the additional coaching or not.
The UMAT is held on 25 July. You must apply by 1 June.
TIP: If you have put Medicine at Curtin as your first TISC preference and you don’t achieve the requirements in the UMAT, change your preference with TISC. You can do that after the closing date by paying a fee.
The UMAT is worth 20% of the application score.
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)
These sound like torture.
All applicants who are shortlisted based on their ATAR and UMAT results are invited to undertake interviews.
That sounds harmless enough….
The MMIs are 8 consecutive interviews of 10 minutes each.
Students go to a room.
There is a scenario written on a page on the door of the room.
You have 2 minutes to read the scenario.
You are invited into the room and you have 8 minutes to talk about the scenario.
You leave and go to the next room.
This routine can vary slightly from year to year. Last year they were 6 minute interviews. Again, Curtin will let you know the drill if you qualify for an interview.
For the 2018 intake there were 350 interviews offered. As many of the applicants were from the eastern states and got offers from their local universities, 200 undertook interviews at Curtin.
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.
The MMIs are worth 40% of your application.
Teaching and Learning Approach
Curtin takes a problem based learning and evidence based teaching approach that is supported by clinical skills tutorials. Students learn to work as part of health care teams by problem solving in consultation with students in other health care courses.
Once students have developed skills in a classroom setting they take up full time placement in hospitals.
The academic demands of the course are high. Students need to be resilient to cope with the study demands and they need to be resilient to deal with the adversity that often faces doctors.
Check out the Inherent Requirements of Curtin Medical students to see the sort of attributes they are looking for in the interview.
You can watch a video of the Curtin Getting Into Medicine presentation HERE.
If you have any further questions about studying medicine at Curtin, please give the Future Students team a call on 1300 222 888.
You can find other blog posts about getting into medicine at:
Some speakers had chosen to specialise by doing a PhD, some were doing research in hospitals, while others had gone into management or were working on international committees.
One had used his science PhD as a pathway to found Exodus Space Systems which is developing systems for settling the solar system!!
There were presentations on biomedical science and biomedical engineering with some exciting and crazy talk about mechatronics and 3D printing of organs. The future for engineers in the health industries is changing at a dizzying pace.
Speakers in the various presentations across the Open Day made a few key points:
In order to get a broad understanding of the health industry speakers recommended that you choose a broad range of subjects in your first year which maximise your choices for specialisation. They suggested that you maximise your flexibility through a strong focus on maths and sciences that give depth as well as breadth.
One of the key underpinning skills mentioned by one speaker was the development of strong communication skills. She said that her capacity to formulate a reasoned argument quickly was a direct outcome of her science degree.
The need for communications skills was reinforced by others who mentioned the need to negotiate for clinical or resource priorities as well as the need to explain your decisions to patients, politicians and the public.
The message was that good communication skills would be your gateway to a range of opportunities across many industries. They said that is was easy to turn a health scientist with good communication skills into a business person in many interesting fields.
It is possible to do your degree online, from the comfort of your own home.
Don’t do this.
Uni life can be so much more than study. Use the campus. Join social clubs. Go on camps. Do sport. Through these opportunities you can make lifelong friendships.
A self proclaimed introvert on one of the panels said it took her significant effort to force herself out of her home and onto the bus to the campus so that she could meet and mix with people.
In addition to networking with other students it was advised that students take opportunities to volunteer and get experience through contacts at the university. All of the speakers had stories about how they had been encouraged to apply for scholarships, or present papers at conferences or had found part time jobs which led to other jobs.
This was a day of UWA selling its health science courses… and they did it well. It seemed that a strong, broad health science degree was your gateway to a million opportunities.
People on the panel didn’t know where their careers would take them and all praised UWA for providing the first step on the heath industry career.
If you are serious about a career in medicine you should also check out the range of undergraduate courses at West Australian universities:
Outstanding international year 12 students can apply for an assured place to study medicine or dentistry at UWA. To apply for this direct pathway international students must apply through the UWA International Centre by 31st May.
Students who succeed will have an assured place in the post graduate program as long as they have an undergraduate Grade Point Average of 5.5.
The process for getting a place in any medicine course in Australia is rigorous. The Australian Council for Education Research that manages the ISAT test and interview process provides a lot of information to guide you along the way.