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USYD First Year Dilemma (1 Viewer)

latersgee

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Hi I am going to be a first year student in the University of Sydney studying the Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Medicine pathway.
What is really baffling me atm is whether I should choose the advanced version of units instead of the normal units, for example Chem 1A vs Chem 1A (adv).

Is one unit scaled better? The advanced is a harder course so of course lower marks will occur in general. If I was looking for HDs would I choose Chem 1A or Adv.
I realise more people get HDs in the advanced course, but that's because brighter students take the advanced courses anyway. In other words will you have to work much harder to get a good mark compared to the normal pathway.

Also should I take the Dalyell Scholars course, it seems not to offer much extra academic units but a Science showcase project worth 6 credits and an engineering project also worth 6 credits. What other benefits do I get from joining, I am not really interested on that international exchange stuff either.

Last question is should I take all 4 math units in the first year?
 

sida1049

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What is really baffling me atm is whether I should choose the advanced version of units instead of the normal units, for example Chem 1A vs Chem 1A (adv).

Is one unit scaled better? The advanced is a harder course so of course lower marks will occur in general. If I was looking for HDs would I choose Chem 1A or Adv.
I realise more people get HDs in the advanced course, but that's because brighter students take the advanced courses anyway. In other words will you have to work much harder to get a good mark compared to the normal pathway.
I think a couple of better questions to ask yourself is 1. are you actually interested in chemistry? and 2. do you believe you're a capable student? If the answer to both questions are yes, then yes, you should take the advanced stream. If the answer to at least one of the questions is no, and you really just want to do the minimum to finish your qualification, then you're probably better off not taking the advanced stream.

Also, are you considering an honours year in chemistry (i.e. if at some point down the line you don't feel like continuing medicine or if you want to do more chemistry)? If yes, then definitely take advanced chemistry.

If you really want HDs, then of course, the normal stream is the way to go, especially if you're only taking first year chemistry to satisfy the prerequisites of another major. But if you're majoring in chemistry, then is a consistent HD in the normal stream really worth having? It tells people that you're more than capable of doing the advanced stream, but you're unwilling to, and that might be worse than getting low Ds or high credits in the advanced stream (especially in the eyes of potential academic supervisors, if you're considering honours/postgrad in the relevant field).

Also should I take the Dalyell Scholars course, it seems not to offer much extra academic units but a Science showcase project worth 6 credits and an engineering project also worth 6 credits. What other benefits do I get from joining, I am not really interested on that international exchange stuff either.

Last question is should I take all 4 math units in the first year?
I can't tell you much about the Dalyell Scholars program, since it's new. The showcase project is interesting (and worth it if you want to do something extra), but totally unnecessary in the grand scheme of things.

Most people take all 4 maths units in their first year. Of course you don't have to, but there are intermediate and senior science units which have first (and sometimes second) year maths units as prerequisites, so you're probably better off getting the maths units out of the way as soon as possible.

Finally, back to the advanced units dilemma, you really need to consider your cohort. If you take the advanced stream, then you'd be studying along with other advanced students who are actually motivated and genuinely interested in that area of study. That can be of a tremendous help, and you're more likely to meet people similar to your calibre as a student. Whereas in the normal stream, you'll mostly meet students who are there because they have to, not because they want to.

Good luck.
 

engineering

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Reading between the lines, the OP appears to be saying “what is the best way to get the highest possible mark so I get into medicine”

When students ask about “easy” subjects, they are more often asking “is it easy to get high marks”

The perception of hardness or easiness of a subject is a very individual issue. Notwithstanding that, it is influenced by

your level of understanding of assumed knowledge
your level of interest in the topic
your optimal learning style vs the teaching style of the lecturer

We know none of that about you

My anecdotal advice is that students who go into a course based on a misguided assumption that it is easy marks for little work, often do not go as well as they want.

Some subjects might be easy to get a pass, but actually difficult to get an HD.

The best advice is to do things that interest you, or their content is beneficial knowledge to your likely future career.
 

andrew12678

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Reading between the lines, the OP appears to be saying “what is the best way to get the highest possible mark so I get into medicine”

When students ask about “easy” subjects, they are more often asking “is it easy to get high marks”

The perception of hardness or easiness of a subject is a very individual issue. Notwithstanding that, it is influenced by

your level of understanding of assumed knowledge
your level of interest in the topic
your optimal learning style vs the teaching style of the lecturer

We know none of that about you

My anecdotal advice is that students who go into a course based on a misguided assumption that it is easy marks for little work, often do not go as well as they want.

Some subjects might be easy to get a pass, but actually difficult to get an HD.

The best advice is to do things that interest you, or their content is beneficial knowledge to your likely future career.
I think OP has guaranteed entry?-Please correct if wrong. So I would think they are primarily interested in ensuring marks to maintain a distinction for a scholarship. Regarding this, I reckon it's fairly straightforward provided you go about maximising your marks before final exams.

For the Chem 1A vs Chem 1A (Advanced) dilemma, I did Advanced last year and would say all the marks before the final exam can be achieved (and should be achieved) pretty easily without my effort. However, the final exam is different the story, all the past papers provided (up to 2014) were hard af and I probably would have scored 40% raw in any of them if they chose to reuse any of those papers/provide questions of same difficulty. Fortunately, the final exam was fairly straight forward (probs 100x easier) and I got a 'get out of jail card' :). If the final exam is going to be as easy then I definitely recommend Advanced since labs+content is fairly similar. If you reckon the exam is gonna be harder this year and want to play it safe then I recommend normal.

For maths subjects advanced. I would recommend doing Advanced Calculus and Normal Linear Algebra if you aren't interested in doing further mathematics in 2nd/3rd year. If you are then do both advanced. I personally did both Advanced and both subjects were fairly straight forward during the semester but the Linear Algebra exam was on steroids and I felt like I probs attempted half the exam only. I unexpectedly got scaled to a distinction but I felt like I could have achieved better than 50% raw in Normal Linear Algebra and would have got a higher mark lol

Hope that helps
 

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