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I haven’t done Biology / Chemistry / Physics before…

What’s your goal?

As always, how much of a concern this is will depend almost entirely on what you are aiming to get out of your HSFY year. To simply pass the courses, you will certainly have a bit of work to do, but you should be able to get by if you work diligently and take advantage of the resources offered by the University.

If you want to gain high enough marks to obtain entry to the professional courses, it definitely is possible. However, you will need to really commit yourself to the cause from the outset and put in long hours to make up for the lost ground. We’ve seen many people who would have made great doctors brought down by these pre-requisites, sometimes by only a matter of a few marks. If you get a 68 in chemistry and the required minimum mark in all seven papers is 70 then you can no longer do medicine as a first year health science student, and maybe just added on several years to your time at university if you want to attempt again after another degree.

Chemistry and physics

Chemistry and Physics in particular assume a lot of prior knowledge, and in our experiences they just do not have the time to accommodate those who don’t possess it. If you don’t know then it’s your fault so catch up sort of thing! Not that these are bad people, this is just the system in place. Creating a competitive environment is kind of the point here, the university is looking for a course structure that strikes a balance between learning and being difficult enough to make sure they can separate out those who are the most academically inclined. Some people would argue about the necessity of this (i.e. “does this make for good doctors?” and we would argue: no) but this is nonetheless the system you have been given. You will probably need to consider private tutoring if you have already missed the opportunity to take one of their “catch-up” courses over summer, and want to move yourself to a level of understanding which will allow you to compete for a place in one of the professional courses.


If you haven’t done biology before, plain and simple buy our books. Many students haven’t done this topic so it’s not necessarily a disadvantage, and you can get by with prescribed lectures, tutorials, the odd youtube video, study groups and so on… but our book makes things a lot easier, will save you time, and get you a few marks along the way!

Physics and chemistry… for dummies

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