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Old 02-12-2015, 01:15 AM   #1
aoisakura96
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Unhappy Retaking A Levels?

Hello!

I'm currently waiting for my A level results and... sigh, I do have a very bad feeling about it because this yr's papers were quite tough. So as an alternative, I considered going to Australia to study medicine instead and took my ISAT yesterday. Yet again, I don't think I'm going to fare too well in it... Skipped quite a few questions and it's definitely going to have a huge impact on my percentile....

So it led to me thinking whether it would be a good choice to retake my 'A's if I took like a gap year maybe? (If my As and ISAT results are rlly screwed) Is it advisable to retake my As and try for medicine again next year?

Also, if I retake, would I be retaking the British syllabus or can I opt to take the Singapore syllabus again?

Thanks!!
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:46 AM   #2
jedrek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aoisakura96 View Post
Hello!

I'm currently waiting for my A level results and... sigh, I do have a very bad feeling about it because this yr's papers were quite tough. So as an alternative, I considered going to Australia to study medicine instead and took my ISAT yesterday. Yet again, I don't think I'm going to fare too well in it... Skipped quite a few questions and it's definitely going to have a huge impact on my percentile....

So it led to me thinking whether it would be a good choice to retake my 'A's if I took like a gap year maybe? (If my As and ISAT results are rlly screwed) Is it advisable to retake my As and try for medicine again next year?

Also, if I retake, would I be retaking the British syllabus or can I opt to take the Singapore syllabus again?

Thanks!!
Wait for your A level results first,but I doubt it shouldn't be that bad as you may expect.Likewise,don't worry about ISAT first.

I am considering the Australian medicine pathway too,haha.

Alright,to let you know, University of Newcastle/Adelaide doesn't require ISAT to apply to enter~ It's based on shortlisting of academic results for interviews in MMI format.

Basically,let me share with you my planning route to medical school,hope it helps: 1.Apply to Australian universities(this year)
2.Fail application for this year=next year apply again(I am a boy)
3.Retake British CIE A levels with British Council(trust me,it's easier to score on this one,less competition and it's slightly less content heavy than Singapore A levels)
4.Go post graduate medicine( Do 2-3 years of NUS life sciences and apply to 4 years of Australian medical school/Duke-NUS)

My advice for retaking A levels is if you happen to fall below BBB/B,despite some students who are still eligible to get into Adelaide(I heard from Singaporean students that a few scored BBC/B and got a place there) The safest bet to apply is AAB/B but ABB/B( A for chemistry is probably enough to help you apply for 4-5 universities there)

Results are definitely paler in comparison to interviews.(right now,I am currently ordering an medical interview book online) It is through interviews,that competition becomes stiff.

You can take Singapore syllabus,but British syllabus is really more versatile.You can choose the subjects you want to take,without needing to care in the world about the compulsory 5 subjects you need to take in Singapore A levels to receive your transcript~

For eg. British International A levels allows you to take PCBM (no need to fret about humanities and english) As you should know,it's difficult to self-study these two subjects.

My two cents again:If you really want to know what is the minimum you need to score to apply then:

Adelaide:BCC/B
Newcastle:BBB/B
UWA:BBC/B
Flinders:BBC/B
derived from AUG sources~
To be safe,try to get one H2 grade above the mentioned scores.

Glad to know someone out there interested in medicine and having the conviction to consider taking a gap year for medicine.

If you want to share more with me,ask more questions,feel free to pm me your contacts
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:08 AM   #3
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@jedrek - thank you for that information about australia medical schools. did you apply to UK/Ireland as well? hope the A level results are good, all the best to everyone!
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:50 AM   #4
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Nope,will be taking postgraduate route to medicine instead

I was looking at UK/Ireland postgraduate medicine.

Will be taking a science degree before going for medicine
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jedrek View Post
Nope,will be taking postgraduate route to medicine instead

I was looking at UK/Ireland postgraduate medicine.

Will be taking a science degree before going for medicine
will you be taking UK A level? if you dont mind sharing, how did you do in the SG A level?
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:52 AM   #6
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will you be taking UK A level? if you dont mind sharing, how did you do in the SG A level?

I didn't take the UK A levels>>mainly due to the commitment in national service in the past.For instance,studying for science requires you to prepare for practical assessments. Unless,you are able to find tutoring during your free time,you will probably fumble on the day of the exams. This led me to decide not to consider taking Uk As.

Alternatively,you could take foundational programme for Australian universities.If you take that,you probably will excel in their assessments(some small tests that take 6-9months) However,admission is not guaranteed as you still have to go through interviews.I still feel that you will most likely enter as Singaporeans,whom I know,taking this route,got admitted. Higher level of communication skills compared to other international countries taking the programme,perhaps?

Now for A levels. I did well enough to get admitted to NUS sciences,but not to undergraduate medicine for Australia medical schools. Over a long consideration over the two(foundation,NUS),it was better to take NUS sciences as the foundation programme stretch slightly past the start of my NUS schedule term.(past August) On the plus side,I will graduate with a bachelors/honours(applying with bachelors whenever possible) and apply under post-graduate admission.(4 years after getting a degree)

I feel that time is really something you should not be so focused about,if you are wanting to chase medicine as your ambition.(5/7-8yr med school +1yr internship+5years of specialty) 2-3 years of extra studying for a degree,doesn't harm your future.In fact,it does actually prepare you for the medical world~

Anyway,just relax and wait for the A levels results.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedrek View Post
I didn't take the UK A levels>>mainly due to the commitment in national service in the past.For instance,studying for science requires you to prepare for practical assessments. Unless,you are able to find tutoring during your free time,you will probably fumble on the day of the exams. This led me to decide not to consider taking Uk As.

Alternatively,you could take foundational programme for Australian universities.If you take that,you probably will excel in their assessments(some small tests that take 6-9months) However,admission is not guaranteed as you still have to go through interviews.I still feel that you will most likely enter as Singaporeans,whom I know,taking this route,got admitted. Higher level of communication skills compared to other international countries taking the programme,perhaps?

Now for A levels. I did well enough to get admitted to NUS sciences,but not to undergraduate medicine for Australia medical schools. Over a long consideration over the two(foundation,NUS),it was better to take NUS sciences as the foundation programme stretch slightly past the start of my NUS schedule term.(past August) On the plus side,I will graduate with a bachelors/honours(applying with bachelors whenever possible) and apply under post-graduate admission.(4 years after getting a degree)

I feel that time is really something you should not be so focused about,if you are wanting to chase medicine as your ambition.(5/7-8yr med school +1yr internship+5years of specialty) 2-3 years of extra studying for a degree,doesn't harm your future.In fact,it does actually prepare you for the medical world~

Anyway,just relax and wait for the A levels results.

Hey there! (: understanding from your post, are you intending to take up the NUS Science -> Duke-NUS MD of Medicine option? (: care to share your NUS Science specialisation?

Duke-NUS has very limited intake yearly, so this worries me, although their programmes are indeed attractive.
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:35 AM   #8
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Yeah,I am considering that pathway as one of my choices.

However,that's not my main priority. I am actually looking at overseas medical schools too.(primarily Australia) The intake is higher,less demanding and you can apply with a bachelor's degree. Honours is just an added bonus in Australia,not everyone takes honours to apply to medical school,unless they didn't perform well enough in degree~

Indeed,Duke-Nus has a small intake. The greatest worrying factor will be that 1/3 of the cohort of students,is made up of Singaporeans/PR. The rest are foreigners from overseas. This is not to include that there appears to be a preference for locals studying in overseas universities in Australia,Uk in that 1/3 portion.If you don't believe me,you can check up the Duke-Nus facebook page from time-to-time and you will see local students who have graduated from an overseas university,being interviewed about their experiences in duke-nus medical school.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke-N...Medical_School

My intended NUS science specialisation is Life Sciences.(haven't entered Nus due to Ns commitments)

It's actually possible to take other majors that you like/enjoy over life sciences to apply to medical school. However,life sciences prepares you well for medical school and thankfully,it's my interest too~
https://www.duke-nus.edu.sg/competen...curriculum-pmp

You will realise in the above link,that majority of the module codes are LSM.(life science modules) Life sciences prepares you for the knowledge/research-intensive 4 years M.D. programme very well.
The main thing to look at is still what major you are passionate about rather than what you feel is best for medical school.
For instance,if you like the arts/humanities,don't hesitate to take the major and do well in it.

Last thing,I forgot to mention is duke-nus entry requirements. It's best to secure second upper's honours and a gpa of 33+. This is based on my friends who are in the campus,the mean(50th percentile) MCAT old results are 33-34. So,it's not as easy as it sounds.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:11 AM   #9
1977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedrek View Post
Yeah,I am considering that pathway as one of my choices.

However,that's not my main priority. I am actually looking at overseas medical schools too.(primarily Australia) The intake is higher,less demanding and you can apply with a bachelor's degree. Honours is just an added bonus in Australia,not everyone takes honours to apply to medical school,unless they didn't perform well enough in degree~

Indeed,Duke-Nus has a small intake. The greatest worrying factor will be that 1/3 of the cohort of students,is made up of Singaporeans/PR. The rest are foreigners from overseas. This is not to include that there appears to be a preference for locals studying in overseas universities in Australia,Uk in that 1/3 portion.If you don't believe me,you can check up the Duke-Nus facebook page from time-to-time and you will see local students who have graduated from an overseas university,being interviewed about their experiences in duke-nus medical school.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke-N...Medical_School

My intended NUS science specialisation is Life Sciences.(haven't entered Nus due to Ns commitments)

It's actually possible to take other majors that you like/enjoy over life sciences to apply to medical school. However,life sciences prepares you well for medical school and thankfully,it's my interest too~
https://www.duke-nus.edu.sg/competen...curriculum-pmp

You will realise in the above link,that majority of the module codes are LSM.(life science modules) Life sciences prepares you for the knowledge/research-intensive 4 years M.D. programme very well.
The main thing to look at is still what major you are passionate about rather than what you feel is best for medical school.
For instance,if you like the arts/humanities,don't hesitate to take the major and do well in it.

Last thing,I forgot to mention is duke-nus entry requirements. It's best to secure second upper's honours and a gpa of 33+. This is based on my friends who are in the campus,the mean(50th percentile) MCAT old results are 33-34. So,it's not as easy as it sounds.
congratulations on your Life Science admission! (:
without being offensive though, mind sharing your thoughts on how people think life science students have no future in singapore? in terms of job prospects, a fresh grad without any postgrad study plans wouldn't be able to do much in singapore. your thoughts?
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:12 PM   #10
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life science students have no future
If this statement is true,the programme will have 450(NUS) + 300(NTU) students staring into blank space after graduation. That statement is an over-generalisation.
Life science graduates go on to fulfill roles in the field of teaching Jcs,secondary schools.>> Education is pretty solid industry in Singapore
Some continue their field research in A*Star,HSA and hospitals as biomedical researchers.
For those,who are interested in the study of plants,they go on to Nparks and NEA.

Some graduates have taken up the study of law/business.>>There is a concurrent double degree programme in law and life sciences in NUS.
So students,in life sciences,can study law and life sciences at the same time.

As for business,some of the graduates have capitalise on their entrepreneurship skills to set up a biotech facility specializing in research.

fresh grad without any postgrad study plans

I think this applies to majority of the jobs in Singapore today. You can see a trend in students going for postgrad masters at least,to improve their careers.(healthcare,business,military too) Not having postgrad plans,will most definitely put you at a slight disadvantage in all fields,not just life sciences.

However,there is much claim that this effect is more prominent in the study of life sciences. That is certainly true only in the research sector,where there is a need for higher qualification(phD) to partake further research. I think it's only fair that research jobs require higher qualifications to fulfill higher responsibilities and you shouldn't be complaining about job prospects if you want to get a role that you can't fulfill straight-away. There's a reason why that role is suited for phD and another role is suited for bachelors/honours.

Let's be mature about it~ Life is not as clear-cut as it is. I first had that realisation,when I looked up duke-nus facebook page about 2years back.

There were students who did phD and masters applying to duke-NUS. There were students who worked for 2 years under a research lab before applying to graduate medicine.

There are students who can't cope in medical school too.

You can never be certain about the future,but what you can do now,is to plan and excel in your academics in NUS. If you put in that effort and get your first class,it's better than spending time worrying about the practicality of graduating with life sciences.

Don't need to worry too much as competition in life sciences is on a different level.You don't have many crazy students as in A levels. Most have went to med,pharmacy or pursued medicine overseas. So, just take heed of my advice,work hard and don't let others bring you down.
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