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The Difference: UK Medical School vs. Australia Medical School

Learn about the differences between UK and Australia medical schools, including entrance exam requirements, application processes, and interview tips.

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Dec 15, 2023

The UK and Australia are known to have some of the best medical programmes in the world. While both share many enticing benefits, which attract applications of students from all over the world, there are some distinguishing features that may help you decide which destination suits you best.

Entrance Exam Requirements for Australia Medical School vs UK Medical School

For undergraduate medical programmes in Australia, most schools will require you to pass the ISAT or the UCAT ANZ. While the UCAT is also a popular requirement for undergraduate medical schools in the UK, the BMAT is another test that is conducted for select UK medical schools. While neither is harder than the other, there are many things to consider when deciding to take the BMAT, the UCAT, or both. Another factor to keep in mind is that the BMAT is a requirement for the NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.

In Australia, the GAMSAT is a requirement to apply for postgraduate medical programmes. This test will allow you to apply for medical courses including dentistry, podiatry, and optometry. In the UK, the UCAT, BMAT, or GAMSAT is required to apply for graduate medical programmes. At the Duke-NUS medical programme in Singapore, the GAMSAT can be used instead of the MCAT, which is the standardised test required by graduate medical programmes in the US.

Application Processes for UK and Australia Medical Schools

For international students applying to study medicine in Australia, each university has their own application process and admissions requirements that you’ll need to look into. In the UK, almost all university applications are submitted through the UCAS portal. You can only select up to 4 medical schools on the UCAS form and the international application is different from the local, so make sure to follow the correct steps. In case you were wondering, UCAS is used for both undergraduate and postgraduate medicine applications.

Pro Tip: Applications can also be directly submitted via organisations like IDP, which offers application and visa services for students applying to study abroad at universities in Australia, UK or New Zealand. They may also offer application fee waivers for eligible programs and institutions.

Australia vs UK Medical School Interviews

The interview process at medical schools in Australia and the UK are generally the same. For most of the programmes, being offered an interview means that you’ve been shortlisted as a candidate based on your test scores amongst other admissions criteria. The interview is often the most heavily weighted portion of your application, and so as with any interview, you will need to do your homework.

It would be wise to stay updated on current issues and debates in medicine, as well as getting a grasp on what your own opinions on these topics are. This shows an interest and willingness to learn to your interviewees. One great way to prepare for medical school interviews is to hear from practising medical professionals.

Both the UK and Australia conduct Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs), which consists of several stations led by different assessors. Unlike the traditional panel interview, the MMI stations have a short and strict time limit and can feel very rushed. In order to make your best impression, you’ll want to research past year questions and prepare answers ahead of time to get your point across concisely and efficiently. Read this article for more tips on how to ace your medical interview.

If you’ve already decided that you want to pursue medicine, choosing a programme that meets your needs and expectations will be a tedious but essential part of the application process.

Both Australia and the UK offer medical programmes consider your academic scores as well as your aptitude and interest to study medicine. Make sure you demonstrate those in your applications and reiterate your interest when you attend the interviews.

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