1st Year HealthSci (HSFY) to Med at Otago University


I was just wondering, how competitive and rigorous is the HSFY course at Otago for those trying for medicine. And also, if you have any tips or general advice to bestow upon me. Thanks a million!

Oh and is the admission rates for Otago slightly easier than Auckland for med? Ty

3 Replies


Hi @tenlhazey16

The Health Science First Year (HSFY) course is very competitive - there are around 140 spots in medicine annually. For those who are coming through the HSFY pathway, which typically gets upwards of 1600-2000 students, most of whom are trying to gain entry to medicine.

Having said that, it is entirely achievable to succeed with the right dedication and support. Start preparing early, especially for UMAT which counts for a significant proportion of the admission criteria - and when compared to a standard paper is worth around 3.47x as much for a 3-hour exam (same as each of the papers).

Also regarding some more general advice, I would recommend being careful with which UMAT resources you use as there are many shady ones out there!

Hope this is helpful! Let us know if you have anymore questions :slight_smile:


Thanks Mark! Lol what do u mean by ‘shady’ umat resources? haha thanks btw :slight_smile:


@tenlhazey16 An example of “shady” resources includes the practice test papers that ACER provide themselves, which are famously much easier than the real UMAT exam and give a false illusion of security. Similarly, any questions practiced solely online/on a digital screen can lead to suboptimal preparation too, given the real exam is done on physical paper - so any resources which aren’t printable don’t allow you to simulate the speed reading techniques necessary for physical paper, which are quite different to those used for reading on a digital screen.


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