I hear that the UMAT is hard, so why shouldn’t I pursue the graduate medical entry path instead of all this UMAT Preparation?
The graduate medicine entry route requires that you complete a degree first before applying for Medicine. This means studying hard for an additional 3 or 4 years (and paying the fees), with no guarantee of getting into Medicine. You also need to sit a test called the GAMSAT, which is a six hour test (compare this with UMAT which is a 2.75 hour test) as well as doing well in the interview. The GAMSAT has been described by most people as “the most horrible thing I’ve ever had to do in my life”. Do not make the mistake of thinking that if you do a Biomedicine or Biosciences degree, you will automatically be offered a place in Medicine. If you miss out on a place in Medicine, you may end up with a degree that is not useful for your future, and a waste of several years.
The median age of students entering graduate medical programs in Australia is 25.4 years. By that age, you would have completed your medical degree and probably working as a Registrar in your chosen specialty if you choose the Year 12 entry (UMAT) route. Imagine entering medical school at 25 via graduate entry, then trying to study for the specialist training exams in your early thirties with family to care for!
Further, when you apply through the graduate entry pathway, you can only apply to one university (with only three preferences) and you will be interviewed only by one university. The universities have colluded to make it this way, so that it is less work for them and easier for them to select students (although it imposes harsh restrictions on aspiring doctors).
Even if you are planning to enter medicine through the GAMSAT route, it is strongly recommended that you undergo UMAT Preparation and sit the UMAT test. This has numerous benefits: the thinking skills you will develop in the UMAT Preparation course will be useful for GAMSAT as well; one section of UMAT is similar to that in GAMSAT; you can assess your competition; the experience of sitting a unique test such as the UMAT gives you confidence in sitting GAMSAT later on.