Being able to create a great Curriculum Vitae (CV) is an important long-term skill to have. Latin for “course of life,” it is a document that serves to represent you ahead of any formal face-to-face interaction, to tell the story of who you are and what skills and experiences you bring. Thus, making a great first impression on paper is very important.
When you begin to second guess your crucial documentation during your application process. When you misread the submission guidelines about what needs to be included. When you make the mistake of speaking to a classmate about his CaRMS application.
It. Changes. Everything.
In this edition of the mailbag, I will be going through questions about preparation work, stressful situations, and relationships. More to come.
Hi! My name’s Ridha and I am a 19 year old student living in Australia. I am keen to enter med school here in Sydney, but unfortunately my current abilities in the UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine Admissions Test) are affecting my chances of getting in. I sat the 3 hour exam last year and did very poorly, and despite doing more intensive prep this time round, I still feel inadequate, and that my marks are not improving sufficiently enough. What could I be doing wrong?
You are probably not familiar with this specific test, but I was wondering what your thoughts on these Medicine entrance tests are, and if you could kindly share some advice on how to generally approach this exam, which is on the 31st of July this year. (Just to give you some background,I am generally above average in academics, this may be completely irrelevant tho).I really enjoy reading your blog, and you make me more and more determined to try to turn every stone to be where you are at now.
Thanks for your message. You can check out some of my replies regarding taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) by searching the tag mcat on my blog. You can also find some more long-winded answers regarding the MCAT in the index here.
Having said that, I cannot claim to know how the test is compared to the MCAT nor do I know what you have tried in terms of studying. I think that it is alright not to feel ready. If you were overconfident that would be worse. Focus on taking a lot of practice exams. Get a feel of the questions, the style, and the pacing you need to work on. If you have the time, set up a mock exam and sit there, as you would for three hours and write a practice exam.
Part of the stress of writing these kinds of exams is being put into a very artificial environment, writing exams that are designed in such a way to be objective and may not be the easiest or best way to gauge your aptitude. It can be very stressful and cloud your thinking. The more comfortable you can make yourself before that test day, the better you can be as you focus on the task and not the situation.
At the end of the day, the exam is secondary. It is a proxy measurement that, in the real world context does not reflect who you are or what you are capable of. When you become a doctor or any professional, it is not how well you can decide between four choices but how you react to problems. So do not get bogged down by the test and let it ruin your day. Granted you still need to perform well enough to be competitive, but think of it as a hurdle to overcome and not as the end-all-be-all.
If you would like more clarifications or ask more questions, leave me a comment in the inbox. Good luck on your studies and take care.
Tom of the Medical State of Mind
That is a very broad question. It really depends on what you are looking for. Off the top of my head, I am thinking of possibly the British Medical Journal, New England Journal of Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the Journal of the American Medical Association etc.
For websites, you could maybe try the Science Daily or Medgadget.
There is more information than you can handle out there and if you know where to look they should be readily accessible to you.