The University of Sydney, Doctor of Medicine Entry Guide (USyd 2021 entry edition)
The University of Sydney postgraduate medical application for 2021 entry is a separate process from the rest of the GEMSAS universities. The USyd school of medicine has fallen victim to a number of changes to admissions following COVID-19. This article will take a small deep dive into how to tackle your application for 2021 entry to the USyd Doctor of Medicine program.
1. What are USyd doing now? No interviews. Only GAMSAT.
To begin, USyd will not conduct any interviews for 2021 medicine entry. Instead, they will base your admissions purely off your GAMSAT score, provided you have made the 5.0 GPA cut off, as calculated by UAC. Those that make the ranking cut off will receive an offer to study medicine in 2021.
At first glance, this seems super regressive. However, the USyd faculty of medicine have decided to change how they view your GAMSAT in order to be a little more fair and take into account the lack of interviews.
This will ensure they do not simply accept those that have the highest GAMSAT score.
2. How will USyd look at the GAMSAT score for 2021? Different than usual.
Instead of simply looking at the highest overall or average GAMSAT score, the faculty of medicine at USyd will do the following when determining who will get a position for medicine in 2021:
i. First, they will shortlist all candidates that attained a 5.0 GPA or higher, and automatically decline those that have not.
ii. Next, they will decline all candidates that failed to achieve a score of at least 50 in each section of the GAMSAT.
iii. Now that they have a shortlisted pool, they will rank applicants as follows:
a. First, they will rank every section 1 GAMSAT score that they have received.
b. Next, they will rank every section 2 GAMSAT score.
c. Finally, they will rank every section 3 GAMSAT score.
iv. The Merged Rank is generated with these three ranks. This process involves averaging a given applicant’s rank to get one final rank.
For example, let’s say Suzie’s rank for Section 1, 2 and 3 is 58, 105, 209.
Her Merged Rank will be calculated as follows:
(58+105+208)/3 = 124
This tells us that Suzie is the 124th Merged Rank person, according to the USyd 2021 entry ranking system. Considering USyd will accept 162 people into a CSP spot, it looks like Suzie has been successful in gaining a position into 2021 medicine at USyd.
3. Why are the USyd faculty of medicine doing this?
Getting rid of interviews for 2021 entry clearly means there is a loss for applicants to demonstrate who they are as a person.
The new USyd ranking process does however place more emphasis on section 1 scores, and section 2 to a lesser extent. Why is this the case? The average and standard deviation for section 1 is a lot smaller than that of section 3. What this means is scoring high in section 1 will put you at a higher section 1 rank than it does for the same score in section 3, simply because section 3 has a higher average and also a greater spread.
In essence, we can crudely summarise this process as USyd valuing section 1 more so than section 3 for 2021 entry.
So in summary, USyd are using section 1 (and section 2 to a lesser extent) almost as a proxy for the skills we’d normally be able to identify from a USyd MMI. As a result, they are being more sensitive to higher section 1 scores than they are for section 3. Does this mean a high section 3 score is a disadvantage? Definitely not. It simply means it’s just not as much as an advantage as the same score in section 1.
Is it good process the USyd faculty of medicine have chosen? Who knows.
4. What we think scores will be like:
The first important point to make is that we can’t have an ‘overall’ or ‘average’ GAMSAT score in mind to completely guide our thinking. This is because scoring 70 in section 3 is great, but not as great as scoring 70 in section 1, according to the USyd 2021 entry scheme. Why? Although 70 in section 3 is a sweet score, many people score it, and so the rank for section 3 would not be astonishingly remarkable. In contrast, a 70 in section 1 is astounding as not many people at all can score that highly, ensuring an amazing section 1 rank that will place one in a good position when they do the Merged Rank steps.
Consequently, we can’t ask what overall/average GAMSAT score we need, but instead how we achieved it. And for that, we need to look at each individual section.
But if we need to make a massively hard and fast rule, we estimate that the scores will hover around 3-5 points more than the usual average GAMSAT score for attaining an interview at USyd, which is roughly 69. So, we expect most scores that get an offer to be around the low 70 mark.
That being said, it is a terribly hard and fast rule that doesn’t do the USyd 2021 scheme justice. To do it justice (and get an actual guide of scores), we need past data.
This is where our USyd 2021 Medicine Calculator comes into play.
5. The 2021 USyd Doctor of Medicine probability-of-offer calculator:
In short, our thousands and thousands of anonymous data points have allowed us to use meta-analysis techniques to determine the average and standard deviation scores for each section of the GAMSAT.
This then allows us to determine your rank for each individual section. Then, taking into consideration factors such as the number of people that apply to USyd and how many position they have on offer, we emulate the Merged Rank that USyd generate.
Finally, this emulated Merged Rank gives us a likelihood of you receiving an offer for the Doctor of Medicine at The University of Sydney for 2021 entry.