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May 16, 2022, 02:57:05 pm

Author Topic: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed  (Read 9699 times)

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Billuminati

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2021, 01:43:39 pm »
+4
Update at end of week 2: So lockdown 6.0 happens (thanks a lot for ruining our WAM/GPAs Dan, transitioning into and out of lockdowns and adapting my study habits to these oscillations is literal torture, are you trying to make us all into Jack from The Shining with the cabin fever mate?).

During my bioinformatics workshop yesterday, my TA was complaining about why the uni doesn't make all of S2 online or on campus instead of dipping into and out of lockdown. I can't agree with her enough. Also it makes no sense whatsoever that we had SFR aka WAMnesty last sem when we didn't have in-sem lockdowns whereas this sem is riddled with them and yet the uni decided to cancel it. But on the bright side, BMS2062 is pretty well run and the assessments are very easy, and my TA is extremely nice to us despite the fact that I overslept during my week 1 Zoom workshop (screwed up circadian rhythm) and totally missed it.

BMS2052 started us on the microbio group project that got us to build our own pathogen. I was kinda bummed that the pathogen had to be bacterial to demonstrate our knowledge of virulence factors cuz I was going to build rona-22, but it is what it is. My group members are pretty decent, they're all the kind who had to carry their past group projects so I won't have to deal with freeloaders again. Not that I'm afraid to, but it's nice to have hard working people on your team for a change. At this stage we divided the work such that we can do however much we want in this 1st week, and I made sure not to take everything again to allow some democracy which is something my past group members have complained to be inadequate

BMS2042 is all over the place (mostly my fault for not applying the knowledge I learned from my lectures which seem straightforward at the time). Just handed in a virtual lab that tests our knowledge on Punnett squares and associated probabilities (we had to do tetrahybrid crosses). I think I did decent on it, but not outstanding.

CHM2922, being as disorganised as it is right now, turned out to be more work than I thought (just handed in an introductory lab report that was poorly run which was due one day after the lab, I mean, bruh). The computer simulations of molecular movements made no sense at all and the TA refused to give us much pointers on it (we do have another nicer TA though). However, I do understand that Jie and Mike are trying their best despite being caught in Dan's mercurial mood. Chris from 1st year chem told me recently that the chem department including staff activity is subject to lockdowns whereas a lot of biomed teaching activities aren't due to being within the medicine faculty. Maybe that's why our biomed lecturers have the time to organise our units to adapt them for lockdowns? Although at the moment CHM2922 would rank worse than BMS2011 (which already received a 0 on my unit review), I'm not going to be harsh on them because it's apparent they're doing everything they can to help us pass the unit. I still don't regret transferring out of CHM2942 cuz from what I can tell it's even worse.

Sorry for being a negative Nancy, but it really relieves me to get this off my chest. After all, no uni journal is complete without a mental breakdown rant and a journal without it would be too good to be true. It's really sad that due to my workload and the tremendous effort required to transition my learning style effectively in and out of lockdown, I can only check the ATAR Notes subject help boards once a day instead of 3-4 times a day during my semester break
« Last Edit: August 06, 2021, 02:01:32 pm by Billuminati »
VCE 2016-2018

2017: Biology [38], Further Maths [44]

2018: Methods [37], French [38], Chem [40], English [44]

UMAT: 56/43/80, 57th percentile (LLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL)

ATAR: 98.1

2019- : Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash (Scholars), minoring in Chemistry

GAMSAT September 2021: 65/67/86, 76 overall (98th percentile)

Billuminati

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2021, 10:11:57 am »
+6
Update at end of week 6: Now weíre officially past the half way mark and census date of sem 2. A lot has happened since the last update and the never ending lockdowns. I failed my first ever assessment task in bioinformatics (42%) due to a combination of inadequate study and poor wording of the questions (one of the correct answers had a typo in it so I didnít choose it). Itís only worth 2% and I heard of people failing the BMS1052 midsem in the year (worth 10%) I did it (2019), but still end up scoring better than me in the overall score, so not all hope is lost.

Motivation has returned somewhat to normal levels since my other assessment tasks are in the mid-high 90s. Just had my CHM2922 midsem on Tuesday and while I think it was a pretty straightforward exam, I felt I didnít do too well in it, probably in the low 80s as I pulled an all-nighter cramming for it. Iím predicting genetics and microbio midsems in a few weeks time to be absolute pains, because while Iím able to apply and understand the content in open book lab quizzes, doing an hour-long closed book midsem is a whole new level.

There is an obligatory Monash Student Association shitpost attached. It seems that whoever we vote for to represent us when dealing with the faculty, they donít get any real sh*t done at all (such as getting SFR back during these disruptive times) and instead they are too self absorbed in grabbing more power. While I didnít use SFR last sem as my WAM improved a little, I still feel like SFR is a confidence boost and peace of mind
VCE 2016-2018

2017: Biology [38], Further Maths [44]

2018: Methods [37], French [38], Chem [40], English [44]

UMAT: 56/43/80, 57th percentile (LLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL)

ATAR: 98.1

2019- : Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash (Scholars), minoring in Chemistry

GAMSAT September 2021: 65/67/86, 76 overall (98th percentile)

Billuminati

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2021, 11:05:19 pm »
+3
Update at end of midsem break: Well it's been quite a while since I've updated my journal. I'm sorry that I didn't really find the time to help on the ATAR Notes boards because I was absolutely loaded with assignments and tests in all of my units, as well as keeping up with the lectures.

BMS2042: I had the most horrible midsem ever (it was called a lab test), it was so pushed for time, I think I only got like 60% on it. Luckily, the genetic counselling project worth 10% went super well with 96%. You are given a pedigree and basically you need to play the part of a genetic counsellor. It was open for 3 days only in week 7, I interpret it to be some kind of open book midsem as opposed to the closed book lab test we sat in week 9 as it examines a lot of the content covered in the labs up to that point. I'm now in a group project which involves delivering an oral presentation on why an assigned model organism (ours was the mouse) is the best for modelling human disease. So far, it's going really well, my group has finished our scripts and by Saturday, everyone will have completed their slides.

BMS2052:: I handed in my build a pathogen group project and we actually got our mark back today. To say my group was disappointed was a massive understatement, we only got 12/15, with the peer-review accounted, my final grade for the project was 16.9/20. I initially thought the assessor was lazy because they exclusively gave us marks in the 2nd column of the rubric, but on closer inspection of their provided feedback, they justified why they gave us this mark. It is apparent that they have high standards for our reports, although I don't think they were unreasonably high. Only <10% of the cohort managed to score 90%+ on the report according to the grade distribution, and no, I don't think they attempted to mark us on a bell curve like the psych faculty.

Luckily, the postlab/workshop tests weren't overly difficult, they were easy 90+s. I had mixed feelings about the midsem. While it had a lot of accessible marks, some questions required extensive detail of memorisation, I ended up with 42/48 (87.5%) because I didn't memorise the answers to some questions in enough detail. The Peerwise system set up by my profs was a lifesaver, the peer-generated MCQs were even better than Anki flashcards. When I wrote my own Peerwise questions (we have to write 5 for 5% of our final grade), it really made me get into the heads of the assessors and think about what is actually examinable from the lectures.

BMS2062: I have a love-hate relationship with this unit. On one hand, Mariah (my TA) is so helpful during the tutes and always makes sure we have gathered all the info we need to ace those workshop results sheets. On the other hand, the theme tests are atrocious. After failing my first ever assessment in biomed (theme 2 test, worth 2%), I failed my 2nd, which was theme 3 test (also worth 2%) at 47%. They put some really unreasonable trick questions on there not elaborated on adequately in the lectures. I got so mad I made a polite and logical forum post about it, as well as a more informal rant in Monash Stalkerspace. Then some anonymous guy on the forum decided to roast me for posting on Stalkerspace, I dunno why they did that since both of my posts had quite a lot of students agreeing with me. The unit coordinators responded that they actually intended theme tests to be formative to mimic the exam style, they only made them worth marks so people will take them seriously. Apparently, they are allowed to expand on the learning outcomes (which felt kind of out of scope for me, but oh well) because we have access to the internet. I had open book tests and exams before, while most of them are conceptually harder than closed book tests, I never had to confront anything as crazy as the BMS2062 theme tests.

I was panicking after hearing this, but they did assure me that they will release a practice exam which is exactly on par with the real exam difficulty. I haven't finished all the lectures, but as soon as I did, I will be attempting this. From my mates who decided to have a crack at it, it actually isn't too difficult. In addition, a plus is that the unit coordinators made the theme 4 test really easy, I got 90% on it. The dev bio major student rep, with whom I have chatted to before about our academic journeys, saw my Stalkerspace post and kindly told me that it was normal to do poorly on the theme tests, as they were as insanely hard as mine when her boyfriend took the unit.

MAT1, a patient brochure on an assigned genetic disease (I was assigned PKU), was marked very reasonably, it's worth 10% of our grade and I got exactly what I was expecting to get (18.5/21, 88%). Now my MAT2 task is to make a website on PKU. I will finish this by the time midsem break ends so that I can do a beta run of it at the week 10 workshop for some peer and TA feedback.

CHM2922: The midsem I sat in week 6 turned out way better than I expected, I somehow scored 47.5/50 on it, I swear they must have scaled it. I must admit that the mass spec + electrochem section of the course is super difficult, but heading into week 9, the fluorescence stuff is super cool. I finally nailed how to report sig figs on my most recently submitted lab report. For labs, I'm averaging in the mid-high 90s, and I've been full marking the lecture theme quizzes which were open time and open book. I initially thought the maths and physics involved in this physical and analytical chem unit will kill me, but it wasn't too bad.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 04:00:56 am by Billuminati »
VCE 2016-2018

2017: Biology [38], Further Maths [44]

2018: Methods [37], French [38], Chem [40], English [44]

UMAT: 56/43/80, 57th percentile (LLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL)

ATAR: 98.1

2019- : Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash (Scholars), minoring in Chemistry

GAMSAT September 2021: 65/67/86, 76 overall (98th percentile)

Billuminati

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2021, 09:46:38 pm »
+2
Geez it's been a while since I've updated my journal. My last in-semester assessments and the exams went by without any incidents and now I'm just stuck in the limbo between my last exam and results release, which will be on the 5th as I've signed up for early SMS results. I'm currently doing PHY3990 which is a research project unit and I also have an oral and a lit-review all due within the next 2 weeks. All scholar's program students are required to do a 3990 unit in a biomedical science discipline, and I chose PHY3990 in Julia (Choate)'s educational research group because her expertise is in education and teaching has always been my backup option to medicine. Additionally, I really enjoyed the 2nd year physiology unit (BMS2031) she coordinated last semester. Her style of supervision is very motivating since I'm constantly intellectually engaged and stimulated by my project, which aims to use job ads to identify the generic transferable skills employers expect from biomed graduates. Ari who is cosupervising me even showed me how to code a web scraping bot to extract relevant info from job ads, which would've been impossible by hand. This was a very interesting experience and I can already see that the volume of data has exceeded expectations, which may complicate processing, but I think I'm up for the challenge.

I have gotten my GAMSAT results back which I'm extremely stoked about the day before my last exam for the year (chem), it was 65/67/86 for a 76 overall. This was up from 62/62/70 for a 66 overall in March. With that said, I will not be sitting it again in March 2022, which means this was probably my last ever time writing non-scientific essays (I thought my VCE English exam was my last only to find out that the GAMSAT has an essay section). I will be available via DMs for free S3 help should anyone need it cuz I believe that's the only section I can conclusively offer quality advice for.

PS will be writing unit reviews for BMS2042, 2052, 2062 and CHM2922 after the 13th which is when my lit review is due
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 10:08:46 pm by Billuminati »
VCE 2016-2018

2017: Biology [38], Further Maths [44]

2018: Methods [37], French [38], Chem [40], English [44]

UMAT: 56/43/80, 57th percentile (LLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL)

ATAR: 98.1

2019- : Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash (Scholars), minoring in Chemistry

GAMSAT September 2021: 65/67/86, 76 overall (98th percentile)

Billuminati

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2021, 02:29:50 pm »
+5
At this point I have been awake for almost an entire day waiting for my sem 2 results. It's a bittersweet feeling. I should be happy that I successfully defended my GPA against a horrible lockdown semester. But then again, my semester average is only 90.25%, which dragged my WAM down from 92.063 to 91.458, making it my worst semester academically. With that said, I will not be SFRing this sem just in case Monash or any GEMSAS don't like seeing pass/fail grades on transcripts. My impressions on each mark are as follows:

BMS2042 (genetics): 90 HD (expected more than this based on my in sem average which was ~95%, but the exam must've been significantly harder than I thought. It was pretty manageable when I sat it)

BMS2052 (microbio): 86 HD (about where my expectations are, very memorisation heavy and a different style of exam than any of my other subjects which I shall elaborate in the unit review)

BMS2062 (bioinformatics): 90 HD (slightly above expectations, probably guessed a few more questions than expected correctly on that exam, but dragged down by some horrible in sem theme quizzes)

CHM2922 (physical and analytical chem): 95 HD (super happy that chem is carrying my WAM again, and the fact that I got the unit prize + a $250 associated scholarship from the School of Chem for this unit)

Edit: turns out that the scholarship was only $250, the $625 might be actually pay for the PHY3990 unit
« Last Edit: December 06, 2021, 04:07:04 pm by Billuminati »
VCE 2016-2018

2017: Biology [38], Further Maths [44]

2018: Methods [37], French [38], Chem [40], English [44]

UMAT: 56/43/80, 57th percentile (LLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL)

ATAR: 98.1

2019- : Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash (Scholars), minoring in Chemistry

GAMSAT September 2021: 65/67/86, 76 overall (98th percentile)

Chocolatemilkshake

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2021, 10:52:53 pm »
+1
Congrats on the amazing results this semester Bill! I hope you are taking some time to relax after a tiring last few months  ;D
2021-2025: BMedSci/M.D @ Monash

Billuminati

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2021, 11:10:58 pm »
+1
Congrats on the amazing results this semester Bill! I hope you are taking some time to relax after a tiring last few months  ;D

Thank you for the kind words! Unfortunately, I'm not able to as I'm completing the summer research project unit, but it's super interesting so far
VCE 2016-2018

2017: Biology [38], Further Maths [44]

2018: Methods [37], French [38], Chem [40], English [44]

UMAT: 56/43/80, 57th percentile (LLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL)

ATAR: 98.1

2019- : Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash (Scholars), minoring in Chemistry

GAMSAT September 2021: 65/67/86, 76 overall (98th percentile)

Billuminati

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2021, 12:55:47 pm »
+3
My New Year's resolution was to get my unit reviews done, and now I have posted them before 2022 has started. I know this isn't how New Year's resolutions are supposed to work, but that's just my method of beating procrastination since I have the 2nd half of my PHY3990 project to do as soon as the clock strikes midnight.

BMS2042 (genetics): https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=43048.msg1200607#msg1200607
BMS2052 (microbio): https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=43048.msg1200610#msg1200610
BMS2062 (bioinformatics): https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=43048.msg1200592#msg1200592
CHM2922 (physical + analytical chem): https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=43048.msg1200576#msg1200576
VCE 2016-2018

2017: Biology [38], Further Maths [44]

2018: Methods [37], French [38], Chem [40], English [44]

UMAT: 56/43/80, 57th percentile (LLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL)

ATAR: 98.1

2019- : Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash (Scholars), minoring in Chemistry

GAMSAT September 2021: 65/67/86, 76 overall (98th percentile)

KenW

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2021, 09:27:24 pm »
0
Hey Billuminati, it's been very interesting reading your blog! I assume you're 3rd year biomed in 2022 because you took a gap year?

Either way, good luck for next year, and I'm rooting for you to get into medicine! ;) (Or to excel in medicine if you did get accepted.)
Class of 2021
2022-2026: BMedSc/M.D @ Monash

Billuminati

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2021, 09:48:37 pm »
+1
Hey Billuminati, it's been very interesting reading your blog! I assume you're 3rd year biomed in 2022 because you took a gap year?

Either way, good luck for next year, and I'm rooting for you to get into medicine! ;) (Or to excel in medicine if you did get accepted.)

Yeah it will be my 3rd year. Hope you ace your interviews and get admitted to undergrad med as well!
VCE 2016-2018

2017: Biology [38], Further Maths [44]

2018: Methods [37], French [38], Chem [40], English [44]

UMAT: 56/43/80, 57th percentile (LLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL)

ATAR: 98.1

2019- : Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash (Scholars), minoring in Chemistry

GAMSAT September 2021: 65/67/86, 76 overall (98th percentile)

Billuminati

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2022, 04:35:37 am »
+3
Not related to biomed but I felt may help to talk about it to get it off my chest. Mental health has been in the dumps ever since around 2 weeks ago when one of my cats passed away from acute renal failure. It's has not gotten much better since then, it appears as if my mental state can't physically improve at all. I've had him for 8 years and it wasn't easy saying goodbye. In the days immediately after his passing, I literally cried the whole day and ate nothing since I felt I took him for granted and never realised that the day he would leave us was so soon. No matter how much I distract myself with my research project, I still can't avoid missing him or blaming myself for seeing his calls for attention when I'm studying as a nuisance.
VCE 2016-2018

2017: Biology [38], Further Maths [44]

2018: Methods [37], French [38], Chem [40], English [44]

UMAT: 56/43/80, 57th percentile (LLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL)

ATAR: 98.1

2019- : Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash (Scholars), minoring in Chemistry

GAMSAT September 2021: 65/67/86, 76 overall (98th percentile)

beep boop

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2022, 08:38:52 pm »
+2
Hi Bill,

I'm sorry for your loss.
I know what's it like to loose a pet. We always think that they're there forever and then before we know it they're gone. We also blame ourselves for not noticing things from them. The thing is, death is inevitable for everything. Such is the cycle of life.
I hope you get better soon.

beep boop
class of '22
'21: viet sl [36], bio
'22: psych, methods, spesh, chem, eng lang
"Distance makes the heart grow fonder and proximity makes the heart want to barf."-Mr K, Never have I Ever
yr 12 stuff :)

KenW

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Re: Bill's Ride through Monash Biomed
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2022, 01:19:48 am »
+2
Not related to biomed but I felt may help to talk about it to get it off my chest. Mental health has been in the dumps ever since around 2 weeks ago when one of my cats passed away from acute renal failure. It's has not gotten much better since then, it appears as if my mental state can't physically improve at all. I've had him for 8 years and it wasn't easy saying goodbye. In the days immediately after his passing, I literally cried the whole day and ate nothing since I felt I took him for granted and never realised that the day he would leave us was so soon. No matter how much I distract myself with my research project, I still can't avoid missing him or blaming myself for seeing his calls for attention when I'm studying as a nuisance.

I'm so sorry. I really want you to know that it is ok to feel how you feel, but at the same time, please be kind to yourself, because you know that you truly loved your cat. I hope that you never lose sight of your dream of becoming a doctor, and I hope that you know that everyone on AN is here to support you.
Class of 2021
2022-2026: BMedSc/M.D @ Monash