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A Quick Guide to First Year Health Science

AUG 31, 2020

Overview of Medical Entry Pathways at Auckland

  1. First Year Biomedical Science
  2. First Year Health Science

The first two options are typical of the undergraduate pathway and are called overlapping first year one or OLY1 for short. This is because both courses share four papers. These for papers are known as the core papers.

Biomedical science is science heavy with a competitive atmosphere. It’s historically the most common entry pathway to medical school.

Health science is public health focused with lots of essays and assignments. The content is interesting for those interested in more than just the science side of healthcare.

Overview of Medical Entry Pathways at Otago

Otago has one pathway which is Health Science which is a combination of Biomedical Science and Health Science if you’re comparing it to Auckland. The content is interesting for students who want to study a more diverse range of topics.

How to Get into Medical School

Getting into The University of Auckland medical school involves three hurdles which make up your eligibility for med.

  1. GPA worth 60%
  2. UCAT worth 15%
  3. MMI Interview worth 25%

Getting into The University of Otago medical school involves two hurdles which make up your eligibility for med.

  1. GPA worth 100%
  2. UCAT over a threshold

Unlike our competitors we offer a holistic approach to medical school meaning we help you with every aspect in your journey to medical school and you will find no one else who does this. Meaning we help make sure you achieve 100% of the hurdles, not just one hurdle. We are here to support you to make sure you succeed without the stress. For more information speak to an Academic Advisor for free today!

Common Misconceptions of FYHS

A common misconception is that students do not enrol into biomedical science because they are afraid of the physics paper which is absent in Health Science, however this is not a core paper. Meaning the grade you receive in this paper is less important than that of a core paper. The paper is however just the equivalent of year 12 and 13 physics.

However as always we recommend students enrol in the pathway they feel they will enjoy the most.

A lot of students don’t take the progress tests seriously as they aren’t worth a lot of marks however every point counts in FYHS.


There are four core papers at Auckland University that determine your GPA success no matter what path you’ve taken and they are:

  1. BIOSCI 107 - Foundations of Biological Science
  2. CHEM 110 - Chemistry of Life Science
  3. POPLHLTH 111 - Population Health
  4. MEDSCI 142 - Foundations of Medical Science

The first three are offered in the first semester and MEDSCI 142 is in the second semester. Going from high school to university is daunting enough but with the added stress of completing three of four core papers in the first semester means you need to be set for success. We would recommend MedView’s Flying Start courses which is held prior to the year starting and involves hands-on, interactive and intensive lessons specifically designed for you to get ahead and maximise your GPA in advance.

At Otago, there are four core papers in semester one and three in semester two that determine your GPA’s success:

Semester One

  1. HUBS 191 - Human Body Systems I
  2. CELS 191 - Cell and Molecular Biology
  3. CHEM 191 - The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health
  4. PHYSI 191 - Biological Physics

Semester Two

  1. HUBS 192 - Human Body Systems II
  2. BIOC 192 - Foundations of Biochemistry
  3. POPH 192 - Population Health

Unlike our competitors MedView’s courses are guided by experts as we know you are more successful with help from a current medical student who knows what they are doing than relying on yourself for success.

How to Study

There are three main areas which students should prepare in advance to optimise their experience and chance of success.

  1. Pre Studying

This means completing content on a course before the course has started. A good example is pre-reading and taking notes prior to a class to make sure you have a basic level of understanding before the class begins. This is what is so effective about MedView’s flying start course. We help you accelerate your knowledge of FYHS papers before they have even begun, this means you essentially know content before your peers do. An hour spent pre studying can take off 10 hours in the long run.

  1. Staying Calm

Easier said than done I know. When there is a lot of information to cover in what feels like a short amount of time it is very easy to feel overwhelmed. In this situation it is essential to take a breath and determine what you are stressed about. Luckily each FYHS student with MedView is assigned an Education Coordinator, designed to take the stress away from you to make sure you can focus solely on your studies.

  1. Not Enough Practice

Most students fall behind because they rely on memorisation over a short period of time and not on how the content will replicate examples in real life as a medical student or doctor. MedView’s weekly revision or test and exam revision courses allow students to practice what they have just been taught in a small intimate setting delivered by students who scored an A+ or top in their respective subjects.

In summary being behind sucks so save yourself the stress and chat to the MedView team!


The UCAT is a two hour computer based exam, designed to assess the suitability of candidates for medical school. Suitability is measured by this exam through an assessment of a student’s critical thinking capacity, emotional intelligence and non-verbal reasoning.

The sections of the exam are Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Situational Judgement for more information on the UCAT check out this blog!

To succeed in this exam speed and autonomy is essential, meaning this is not an exam you can cram, study needs to be consistent over a long period of time. MedView can help with our 1:1 tutoring and our spiral learning curriculum delivered in workshops, online and in person, be sure to speak to an Academic Advisor for more information.

MMI Interview

The medical interview is your last step towards achieving your goal of becoming a doctor. Auckland uses the MMI format where the interview is comprised of many smaller interview stations. Otago doesn’t have an interview unless you are aiming for Dentistry.

During the MMI, each student spends between eight to ten minutes at each station, of which there are eight. Students have two minutes of reading time per station, with the remaining six to eight allocated as interview time. For more information on what the MMI Interview entails read this blog.

The most difficult part about the MMI is not just answering the questions - although that’s hard too - it’s about making your answer stand out. You have to have your own personal reason that you know the interviewer will resonate with and remember. Try doing that for 8 stations in a row! When it comes to crafting those 5-star MMI answers, there’s no better source than experts who have passed the MMI and study at whichever university you are targeting. Speak to an Expert today!

Your first month of FYHS determines your year going forward. Make sure you start on the right foot with advice and help from MedView’s FYHS workshops and courses.

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For more information, speak to the team today!