Millie Hocking, Karan Singh, Genelle Ong, Hamza Abid, and Aanya Kosgallana - Future Focus at St Luke's

Future Focus at St Luke's

Written by Journalist, Angela Norval - Bundaberg Today, Friday August 26, 2022

Deciding or preparing for your future can often be an intense time for those in both grade 11 and 12.

Thankfully year 12 students at St Luke’s Anglican School have been given that much more support and guidance, taking the University Clinical Aptitude Test.

This is an admissions test used by the UCAT ANZ Consortium of universities in Australia and New Zealand for their medical, dental and clinical science degree programs.

The test helps universities to select applicants with the most appropriate abilities and professional behaviours required for new doctors and dentists to be successful in their clinical careers.

It is used in collaboration with other admissions processes such as interviews and academic qualifications.

St Luke’s students Millie Hocking, Karan Singh, Genelle Ong, Hamza Abid and Aanya Kosgallana in year 12 who are looking for pathways into medicine, also used this as an opportunity to stand out from other applicants and demonstrate aptitude for a demanding programme of study.

The UCAT test is particularly challenging as it consists of 233 multiple choice questions taken over two hours with five different segments and a five-minute break between segments.

Questions cover areas like medical situations, correct actions and responses, math reading comprehension, logic puzzles, qualitative pattern recognition, and real medicine world scenarios.

Millie Hocking enjoyed a variety of interests when it came to career prospects, but always felt a desire in the back of her mind to give the youth of the future the best possible chance of a happy and healthy life, so was drawn to medicine.

Millie said sitting the UCAT exam ensured that she had the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of possible university courses both within Queensland and across Australia.

“It’s about widening my horizons,” she said.

“The UCAT exam and preparation taught me a little about myself, how to study, when to take a break, to be realistic of my expectations of myself and the importance of keeping grounded with friends and family because life goes on despite UCAT.

“Apart from helping you gain an interview which is the second step to a medical degree, the UCAT, while being an exam not many look forward to, has provided me invaluable exam techniques.

“Having to operate under such intense time pressure and still staying calm is hopefully helping me prepare for my upcoming external exams.”

One benefit for Millie has been growing up in a medical family and having the exposure to medical life, jargon and the inside running of the medical system.

“While this has allowed me to see how a medical career positively impacts on a person’s community, it is more my own life experiences which have led me to desire a career in medicine.

“I have battled with mental health for the better half of a decade and have experienced first-hand how caring medical professionals have such a significant influence on my journey.

“However, I have also seen the lack of regional services available for youth struggling with mental health.

“This is why I want to make a difference within regional and rural communities in the provision of mental health services. I hope through a medical career I can achieve this.”

For Karan Singh, a family connection to medicine has always been strong with his mother running her own medical clinic as an endocrinologist and his father who previously worked in the emergency department as an anaesthetist.

Karan said he was fascinated by the various forms of help each specialty can provide for each patient.

“I sat the UCAT in Bundaberg as opposed to Brisbane and it was a very easy exam to sort out and undergo,” he said.

“Through this exam and the program, I can clearly see that it will help me for my future university studies and postgraduate studies.

“I always was and continue to be fascinated by the various forms of help each medical specialty can provide for each patient.”

For Hamza Abid, being a part of this exam and program was clear.

“I am attracted to this industry because to practice medicine is dynamic and wholesome,” he said.

“It’s a lifelong journey that, if I’m fortunate enough to undertake, will feed my interest in science and allow me to serve the community.

“Taking the UCAT exam is an important step in the admissions process for many medical programs in Australia so, I wanted to try and open as many doors as possible by taking this exam.

“When I started to prepare for the UCAT, I was quite nervous with the time pressure, the abstract question types and so much more made it feel very daunting.

“But, on the day itself, I think the most positive lesson to come out of it is just to focus and try your best.”