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July 29, 2021, 12:57:09 pm

Author Topic: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 591887 times)  Share 

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #375 on: November 16, 2017, 01:58:10 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MTH2010 Multivariable Calculus 

Workload: Weekly 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 2 hour computer labaratory (no computers involved just a tutorial where we would work on a problem set with others)


-5 quizzes (5%)
-3 Assignments (15%)
-Mid Semester Test (20%)
-Exam (60%)

Recorded Lectures  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: Yes, two exams. One with solutions and one without solutions.

Textbook Recommendation: 

Prescribed Texts: None

Recommended Texts:  Calculus : Early Transcendentals 8ed International Metric Ed
(not 100% required as a suitable amount of questions were already avaliable but if you are struggling early it might be good to get a copy for some extra practice)

A/Prof Todd Oliynyk
Dr Yann Bernard

Year & Semester of completion: 2017, Semester 2

Rating:4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

I probably should preface this with the fact i'm a biomed student who did this unit as an elective so my experience may differ from a science student.

As the subject name suggests it was all about multivariable functions (e.g. f(x,y))which may seem daunting at first but once you realise that a lot of what you are learning analogous to univariable functions (e.g. f(x)) it makes it a whole lot easier to understand and remember the content. Overall the subject content was not too difficult if you had a decent mathemtical foundation going into the unit.

The main topics we studeid were, revision of vectors from first year/specialist maths, basics of multivariable functions, partial derivitives, tangent planes, linear approximations, total differential, chain rule, implicit differentiation, directional derivitive, gradient vector, max/mins, iterated integrals, double integrals, double integrals in polar coordinates, applications of double integrals, triple integrals, triple integrals in cylindrical and spherical coordinates, vector fields, line integrals, Green's theorem, curl/divergence, paramterisation of surfaces, surface integrals, Stoke's theorem and Divergence theorem.

Whilst doing most of the questions isn't too hard the real difficulty lies in understanding the content properly which is needed to do the harder problems. Your best bet would be trying to get exposed to a lot of questions before the exam.

Tutorials: Basically a 2 hour session every week where we would work on a problem set on whiteboards with other students. A tutor was available for help if needed. These aren't compulsory but would suggest going since I found that this was the most useful part of the unit. If you can't go to your tutorial you need to complete the worksheets since they form the basis of your understanding and learning from doing is the usually the best for maths. My tutor, Simon Teague, was extremely helpful with tough questions and how to study for the MST and exam.

Quizzes: There were 5 quizzes across the semester each worth 1% for a total of 5%. These were basically less formal assignments and all 5 quizzes probably totalled to a single assignment. These were on the harder side of what you would expect to see on the MST or the exam but very useful for consolidating your understanding. It is very achievable to full mark these since you have a week to do them at home and hand them in the first 5 minutes of your tutorial during the week it was due. Which is different from past years which were done during the tutorial.

Assignments: There are 3 assignments across the semester and each worth 5% for a total of 15% of your total unit grade. They would usually be on the harder side, but you get a few weeks to complete them and usually a lot of people will work together and also ask tutors for assistance which probably justifies their difficulty. I found that the difficulty is due to us not having probably learnt and consolidated the material before doing the exam, so we were sometimes doing the assignment whilst doing the learning. These assignments were required to be handed in during the first 5 minutes of your tutorial of the week that they were due. Overall it is quite easy to do well on the assignments for the aforementioned reasons and good scores on these are a great boost to your score easily.

Mid Semester Test: It is worth 20% so a huge chunk of your total score. It was 40 marks and covered the first 4 weeks of content and was during week 6. I think the MST was harder than they had intended which resulted in a lot of people feeling that they had been cheated especially since there was many proofs on the MST. Overall, I thought the MST was on the easy side, no real tricks, but only because I had put the time in to learn the proofs for everything we learnt. There may have been a little lack of time since I wasn't able to double check my whole test.

Exam: It is worth 60% so you are really working towards this the whole semester. It was 9 extended response questions for a total of 123 marks. In contrast to the MST the exam was more about procedural working rather than proofs. There were no real surprises in the exam either but by no means was it "easy". All the questions were comparable to the exams provided albeit may be a little harder. As revision I would be doing and redoing the exams that you are provided with and any resources from any revision lectures.

Other/Overall: Overall a nice unit to do if you enjoy maths. The lecturers aren't compulsory or necessary imo I found that I learnt better by doing questions and watching videos on YouTube (khan academy, Professor Leonard, Krista King maths etc) were much more beneficial to my learning and a lot less time consuming. I also found Paul's Online Maths Notes to be very helpful to explain any topic from he unit. I would still read through the lectures and practice all the proofs since they do come up.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 02:33:49 pm by Sine »


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #376 on: November 16, 2017, 05:06:00 pm »
Subject Code/ Name: FIT1051 - Programming Fundamentals in java 

Workload: Weekly  2 * 1 hr lectures, 1hr compulsory tute and 2hr lab

- Best 10 out of 12 Labs each worth 10% (20%)
- Best 10 out of 12 pre-reading quizzes, each worth (10%)
- Best 10 out of 12 in-lecture quizzes for each week ( 10%)
- Exam (60%)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No past exams, but 2 sample exams were made by the teaching team

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook required, as everything can be found online

Lecturer(s): Dr Marc Cheong

Year & Semester of completion: 2017, Semester 2

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: HD (80)

Doing this as an elective with limited I.T. experience, I wasn't sure if I was going to survive the subject or not. However, although the workload was incredibly demanding, I liked the subject a lot. Marc, who carries out all the lectures, is very dedicated to the subject, so he knows his stuff and is able to help you whenever he can.

Basically what the subject is about is learning how to code small parts of things in java, like methods before building up to coding classes and covering topics such as inheritance and polymorphism. Originally, what you start off with is looking at the picture as a whole, as seeing everything come together on your screen, before diving in to the code to learn how to do it yourself.

I found the lectures incredibly useful, as they were able to cover all the questions which I couldn't comprehend in the pre-reading material given online. Marc has a unique way of conducting classes, so he can always make them entertaining and easy to understand. Also, they contain the in-lecture quizzes, so are important to attend up to and including week 12 which includes a revision quiz in the second lecture of week 12.

For me, the tutes weren't that important, as the main goal for them was to prepare for the labs. However, as your best 10 out of 12 labs prepared before the class counts, then it is critical to go to the tutes to ensure that your lab is up to scratch. Also, tute attendance ensures that you receive your lab mark, as it is a requirement that you go to the tutes before your lab takes place.

On Wednesday afternoon's, you are given online tasks to prepare for each weeks lab in the following week. As such, you've gotta be ahead of the game to ensure your lab is up to scratch before the lab the following week. Once you walk into your lab, your lab supervisor goes over some theory, then checks your work, after which you are free to go. Therefore, preparation for the labs is critical, otherwise you are ruining a potential 2% that you can add to your grade each week. For me, this was done by a combination of consults and working on them myself to ensure that everything was up to scratch.

Pre-reading quizzes
On Wednesday at 5pm (except in week 1 as the course is only just starting), the pre-reading quiz is made available for the following week online, which must be completed by the following Monday at 3am. You have 2 attempts for each quiz with unlimited time given for each attempt and they are open-book, but can tend to be a bit tricky unless you really understand the content. Each quiz consists of 10 questions, which are normally multiple choice, but can include some questions with writing in the answer box which are case-sensitive, so take care. However, preparation for them and taking your time on them should ensure you do well, as the averages for them tended to be around 75% by the end of the semester.

Every week the tutors and Marc run consults on 3 days to assist you with any questions or help with lab work. I always found that the one on Tuesday immediately after the first lecture was incredibly crowded, so take that in mind if you have any questions that you need to ask. However, they are beneficial so I'd recommend to attend at least one a week if you can.

I found the exam relatively decent, as it was the same structure as the sample exam with very similar questions. Basically, there are 5 sections on the exam.
Section A is MCQ's where you have 8 multi-choice questions that you have to answer. Section B has 12 questions where you select 9 to answer, which cover general theory about java. Sections C,D & E are all coding sections. C consisted of coding methods or small fragments of code, with 2 questions worth 5 marks each. Originally, I struggled to answer these, but after coming back to them at the end of the exam, I was able to get these parts done. D was coding a class, which starts off with coding the class shell, before dealing with methods contained within the class. All parts have to be answered separately, so take care when answering the questions as the code isn't meant to all be combined into one part.

Section E was coding a subclass that inherited directly from the class in Section D. Then you had to code some methods specific to that class to differentiate it from the class created in Section D. All in all, that was relatively straightforward, so if you're well prepared and have studied all the notes online and know them well then you should be fine.

All in all, this subject did take up a majority of my time, but it was worth it. Getting all the work done was relatively straightforward once you knew what you were doing, and the buildup of parts in each week helps to culminate everything into one section by weeks 11 and 12. Highly recommended, either as an elective or a compulsory I.T. unit.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 07:35:10 pm by Springyboy »


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #377 on: November 16, 2017, 08:06:42 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ATS2144 - Japanese intermediate 2

Workload (Weekly): 
1 x 1 hour Lecture
1 x 2 hour Seminar
1 x 1 hour Tutorial

5 x 1% Vocabulary Quizzes
3 x 4% Mini Tests
1 x 15% Mid-Semester Test
1 x 15% Project
1 x 13% Oral Assessment
1 x 40% Exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No, but we were provided a revision document.

Textbook Recommendation (Prescribed ):
Genki II Textbook: This textbook essentially provides the basis for the content that will be covered in your seminars, lectures and tutorials.
Genki II Workbook: The homework for this unit consists of chapters of the workbook.  75% of the chapters prescribed need to be completed to meet one of the hurdle requirements for the unit.

Lecturer(s): Dr Satoshi Nambu

Year & Semester of completion: 2017, Semester 2

Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

This unit is a language unit for the Japanese Studies major.  If you started Japanese in university, you may find this unit a bit challenging.

The bulk of the lecture materials can be found in the Genki II textbook, but Dr Nambu did go over a few ambiguous points in more detail in the lectures.

Tutorials & Seminars
The tutorial and seminar mostly consist of speaking exercises derived from the textbooks and revision of grammar points.  Sometimes, during the seminars, we also had some writing activities.  There was very little opportunity to practice conversational Japanese other than in the Visitor Session where, where Japanese exchange students visited us.  The only real way to get conversational practice would be to join Monash Japanese Club's Kaiwa sessions, make Japanese friends or join the Monash-Waseda English-Japanese SKYPE Partner Program.  To be honest, I found myself conversing to my partner in English during most of the exchange, so it wasn't particularly handy for me, but I attribute that to my inexperience with the Japanese language.

Vocabulary Tests & Mini Tests
The vocabulary quizzes take place in the tutorials and as in all the previous Japanese language units, the vocabulary you need to study can be found in vocabulary lists in the textbook.  The quiz itself consists of some multiple-choice, who/what am I and matching questions, but there are times where you have to write the keigo version of particular verbs.

Mini tests take place in the seminar class.  In these tests, you will be required to endure two listening activities, match kanji to english definitions, perform two way hiragana-kanji transformation and complete some grammar conjugations.  It should be noted that the kanji words needed to be learned for the kanji-related sections can be found in the Reading and Writing section near the end of the textbook.

Mid-Semester Test
The Mid-Semester focused primarily on the grammar patterns and particles relating to particular verbs, but there was a culture related question.  It should be noted that there was a writing section, where we were required to write in the appropriate keigo and I would say that the writing section was the most time-consuming section, so please do the easier stuff before touching the writing section.

Project & Oral Assessment
The project was an in-class comparison essay about one of the prescribed subtopics comparing Australian and Japanese university students to be written in class.  We were required to gather information by interviewing Japanese university students for this essay.  Since the visitor session was just a few weeks before the assessment task, I ended up just using my time during the visitor session gathering information for my piece.  As the topics are provided prior to the actual assessment, I suggest writing the piece before the D-day and actually memorising it if you want a really good mark. 

The oral assessment is similar to the general conversation and detailed study concept you encounter when you study a VCE language, except the twist is that there is also a 1 minute reading part, where according to Dr Nambu, you will be penalised for not completing the reading exercise.  It should be noted that the reading exercise will be derived from the Reading and Writing section of the textbook (Lessons 19-23), so you can actually prepare for it.

For those who don't know what I mean by the general conversation and detailed study concept, it is when you present your project topic and also have a conversation with the examiner, which takes 5 minutes.  The only advice I can give in regards to the project section is to know your essay well.  Other than that, all you can really do for the general conversation section is to find a Japanese practice/speaking buddy.

The exam consisted of grammar sections, a culture section and a reading comprehension section, which should be pretty doable as long as you have revised the semester's content.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 08:18:11 pm by Uranium »
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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #378 on: November 18, 2017, 11:01:16 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MTH1020 - Analysis of change 

Workload:  Per week: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 2 hour support class

The lectures involved the lecturer teaching the content via handwriting their notes under document camera while they taught (so no actual lecture notes are available before the lecture). The notes would then be scanned and uploaded towards the end of the week.

The support classes were not compulsory (except in weeks where you had to hand in an assignment, or do the mid semester test), and involves you working through a problem set (basically a worksheet about the previous week's content), with the tutor going through certain questions on the board, and walking around to see if anyone needed help. Note that your experience might be different, since I got stuck in an 8am class, a timeslot which doesn't have the best attendance rates (my tutor said there was literally a week or two where no one turned up  ::)). Detailed solutions to selected problems from the problem sets are posted on Moodle the week after.

3 x assignments (10% each; total 30%)
The 3 assignments are relatively well spread out during the semester, so they fit quite well amongst my other assignments. In my opinion, the problems in the assignments (as well as some in the problem sets) are probably the hardest that you will encounter in the entire course, so if you can understand and complete them, you should be fine for the end of semester exam. You are required to hand them in at the start of your support class in the week it is due, and I found that they were generally marked before the next week's support class (marks are uploaded to Moodle). You are also able to collect your assignment and keep it.

Mid-semester Test (10%)
This is a closed book which went for around (or a bit less than) an hour, and was done in the week 6 support class. There was a practise test uploaded on Moodle a week or so beforehand - if you can do this, you'll be fine for the mid-sem test. I found these were marked before the next week's class as well (although I heard some other tutors took a bit longer).

End of Semester Exam (60%)
This is a hurdle, with a 40% mark in the exam required to pass the unit. It is non-calc and closed book, and went for 3 hours, with around 9 questions and 140 marks (from memory). The past exams were a very good indicator of what was on the actual exam (although there was some content difference between semesters, which I think is worth noting). Andy himself said that the difficulty of the exam will be harder than the mid sem test, but easier than the problem sets, so take that as what you will.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, the past exams from the 2 previous semesters were uploaded, but only one with solutions. Apparently this is the policy of the School of Mathematical Sciences, so I expect it to be the same in other maths units.

Textbook Recommendation:
  • Calculus – Early Transcendentals (6/7/8e) by Stewart. This textbook isn't compulsory, but contains some extra problems (which I found useful for some topics, especially limits) if you want extra practise. The textbook is also a source for recommended reading, and relevant readings will be posted on Moodle weekly. Apparently this is also used in further calculus units, so there's that to consider as well I guess.
  • Paul's Online Maths Notes are a second source for recommended reading, with relevant links posted on Moodle weekly. I also found this to be a useful resource if you want extra explanations, or want a guide as to how to set out your mathematics.

Lecturer(s): Dr Andy Hammerlindl (unit coordinator)
Andy provides consultation hours a few times a week. I never went to any, but they might be useful if you're struggling with any of the content.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2017
Note that this review may only be applicable to semester 2, since there is a different coordinator for semester 1

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Not yet available

Comments: The content in this unit is pretty similar to some of the topics in VCE Specialist Maths, but with more depth, and some more content as well. The general topics are: complex numbers, vectors, functions, limits, differentiation and its applications, integration and its applications, differential equations. I found the approach to teaching the content in this unit was quite different than VCE - the lecturer (Andy) starts with a problem (such as wanting to find the square root of 1), and then introduces a way we can solve it (the imaginary number, i). Even though I did spesh in VCE, I still found this unit to be interesting and engaging. Probably the most important thing it aims to teach is your ability to set out mathematics - in VCE, I think that you can get away with starting a line of working without any justification, but in uni, they're looking for justification of essentially every step that you take. Overall, I think that this unit provides a pretty solid foundation for further units in calculus/mathematics.
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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #379 on: November 20, 2017, 07:26:35 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ATS1904 - Reading the City: Literary Genres

Workload: 2x1 hour lectures, 1x1 tutorial

- Annotated Bibliography (Worth 25%)
- Research Essay or Creative Writing (Worth 40%)
- Exam (Worth 35%)

Recorded Lectures: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No. You are given a practise exam, I can’t remember if this is made up, or if its questions from last year’s exams. Either way, it’s practically useless. The questions aren’t on the texts you’re allowed to take into the exam, but on the texts studied earlier in the semester, which I didn’t study in-depth enough to be able to formulate a response that might mimic what I should be doing in the exam.

Textbook Recommendation:
- Unit Reader
- Broken Teeth by Tony Birch
- The Fall of the House and Usher and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe
- A Not So Perfect Crime by Teresa Solana
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The Unit Reader has most of the texts you will study inside it, along with literary theory and criticism. I’d recommend picking it up, they’re usually quite cheap anyway. Neither Broken Teeth, or Poe are examinable. If I remember correctly, we studied Broken Teeth for a week, and only two of Poe’s short stories. So, I’d recommend borrowing these instead of buying it. A Not So Perfect Crime, and Persepolis are examinable. Although you can borrow these, I’d recommend purchasing them. I found it more convenient having these with me, rather than having to worry about how many copies are available. Also, you’re allowed to annotate, highlight, etc., your texts in the exam, which you obviously cannot do if you choose to borrow your books instead.

The Unit Guide also recommends John Frow’s Genre. I think it might have been quoted a couple of times in lectures, but other than that, we didn’t use it. Unless you’re interested in it for personal interest, or further reading, you definitely don’t need it.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Ali Alizadeh, and various others.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Whereas ATS1903 is an introduction to the study of literature, ATS1904 is much more focused. Its focus is solely the city, and is divided into three modules:
1. Writing Melbourne
2. Walking the City
3. The Transnational City

The first module is self-explanatory, but also very fascinating. In this module, you read poetry, short stories, articles, and literary non-fiction.

Walking the City primarily focuses on London, but it also covers French writers, and Paris. In this section, you’re introduced to literary theory, and although the texts are not examinable, the literary theory is.

The Transnational City studies texts translated into English, as well as texts outside the West.

The unit is comprised of two assessments, plus an exam. I’ll briefly explain and comment on each below:
Annotated Bibliography
The first assessment, and worth 25%. This assignment should have been relatively easy, and straightforward. However, it was poorly explained, the marking criteria wasn’t clear, and basically, everyone struggled with it. To give you an idea of how confusing it was, even the Skills Advisor told me she spent ages trying to get her head around what we had to do. I still did pretty well, but I mostly put that down to (a) starting early, and (b) seeing the Skills Advisor for advice, and getting feedback.

Major Research Essay, or Creative Writing
This is the second assessment, and is worth 40%. You have the option of either writing a Research Essay, of which you are given five, or six topics, and you choose one. The word limit is 1500 words, and you need to cite at least four sources, two of which must be from the Unit Reader. The other option is a Creative Writing piece. I chose the Major Research Essay, so I can’t commend much about it. But, you produce an original piece of work, drawing on literary techniques, themes, and styles of the texts studied in this unit. You can write in any form, e.g., poetry, fiction, or literary non-fiction, etc. The word limit is the same as the Major Research Essay, however is broken up into two components; 1250 words of prose, and a brief exegetical statement of no more than 250 words. You must cite at least two sources, of which one must be from the Unit Reader. There are three streams within the English major; English Literature, Literature in Translation, and Creative Writing. If you’re interested in the latter, I’d recommend choosing the Creative Writing piece over the Research Essay, however, it is of course optional.

The exam is worth 35%, and is 2 hours long. You’re required to write one essay, either on Virginia Woolf, A Not So Perfect Crime, or Persepolis. The exam is open book, which means you can take both examinable texts, as well as the Unit Reader. The texts can be annotated, highlighted, etc., and you can also use page-markers, or sticky notes.

The essay is not a close-analysis of the texts, but much more general, and you’re also required to cite in the exam.

The prompts are related to the text, but also incorporate literary theory, or other ideas, depending on the text. For example, I did Woolf and I wrote on the idea of the Flaneuse in Literature. All topics brought up in the prompts were covered in lectures and tutorials, so be sure to go over those in preparation for the exam.


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #380 on: November 21, 2017, 12:47:22 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ATS1321 Nations at War: The Twentieth Century

Workload: 1x2 hour lecture, 1x1 hour tutorial

- Online Moodle Quizzes (Worth 20%)
- Primary Source Analysis (Worth 15%)
- Major Research Essay (Worth 35%)
- Take-home exam (Worth 20%)
- Tutorial Participation (Worth 10%)

Recorded Lectures: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No.

Textbook Recommendation: The Unit Reader is all you need. It has each week’s readings, which you’ll need to refer to in assignments, and extensively in tutorials.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Johnny Bell, and various others on occasion.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2017

Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA


ATS1321 picks up where ATS1320 left off, although it requires no previous knowledge, so you won’t be at a disadvantage for not having done ATS1320.

The four main themes of the unit are:
1. Centrality of war
2. Ideological confrontation
3. Old and new empires
4. Beyond the West
And, the overarching theme of the unit is (obviously) the twentieth century.

Each week covers a new area of history, which I’ve outlined below:
1. End of the Nineteenth Century world, and Defining the Twentieth Century
2. Empires, Nations, and the First World War
3. Russian Revolution, and the Aftermath of World War I
4. Italian Fascism
5. Nazism
6. Global War
7. The Cold War
8. 1949 Revolution
9. Dissolution of Empires
10. The Iranian Revolution
11. Collapse of Communism in Europe and the USSR
12. Imperial Struggles, Nation-States, and Modernity in the Twentieth Century

This unit is really fascinating. Each week goes by a bit like rapid-fire, so you don’t really study anything too in-depth, but that is to be expected of a first-year unit. The assessments do allow you to focus on what you enjoy though, so I guess that makes up for it.

The assessments are almost identical to those in ATS1320, with the addition of Moodle Quizzes this time around. Tutorial participation is also marked, and a take-home exam is due in the exam period. I’ll briefly comment on, and explain each below:
Online Moodle Quizzes
These are on-going throughout the semester, and are completed on Moodle. Each quiz is comprised of ten multiple-choice questions, and cover Weeks 1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-11. Each quiz is worth 4%, and collectively worth 20%.

The quiz must be completed in 60 minutes, although most people didn’t need that long. The quizzes are based on the readings, and lectures. I’d recommend doing your readings, otherwise you’re going to struggle. While some questions were quite easy, others asked you more specific questions, e.g., “In the discussion of the meaning on fascism, Robert Paxton metions recent research which suggests that the social support for fascism…,” or, “According to Hobsbawm, which two decisions did more than any others to decide the result of World War II…”.

Primary source analysis
You are required to write 1000 words, and critically analyse a primary source from either Week 2, 3, or 4. The instructions were clear, and it’s fairly straightforward.

Major Research Essay
You are given a choice of questions, one for each week. You write on one of them, I chose Nazism. It’s important to read widely, and begin early for this assignment. You need to use both primary, and secondary sources. You need a minimum of three primary sources, and a minimum of seven secondary sources. Like ATS1320, you are given a number of sources, both primary and secondary, to use in this assignment. I used some of these, but to be honest, I didn’t really look at them all that much, I preferred to research my own sources.

Take-home exam
The take-home exam is due in the exam period, but if you have an exam on the same day, you can upload it to Moodle, and submit it earlier.

You’re required to write 1500 words, in response to a question that considers the themes of the unit as a whole. You’re required to engage with at least two of the themes of the unit, and you must discuss at least three of the weekly topics. You also need to use at least three primary sources, and seven secondary sources. Unlike the Major Research Essay, you are not expected to go searching for extra readings. It’s fine to use just the Unit Reader. To quote the Unit Guide:
“Doing so would be a waste of time – you will be much better off reading material on the Moodle site, synthesising it and making an argument in response to the question.”

You also don’t need to submit a bibliography, although you did need footnotes.

Also, unlike ATS1320 which has an unseen take-home exam, the prompt for the ATS1321 take-home exam is actually given to you at the very first lecture. This is way, way less stressful; rather than having to complete it in 48 hours, you can really start whenever.


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #381 on: November 23, 2017, 07:26:23 pm »
Subject Code/Name: CHM1022 - Chemistry II

Workload: Per week: 3 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour tutorial, 1 x 3 hour lab (most weeks)

Note in 2018 the teaching style will be changed - there will be 2 lectorials rather than 3 lectures.
The final lecture in each week is actually called a 'workshop', which typically involves the lecturer going through questions (sometimes exam style) about the week's lecture content. There are also some live experiment demonstrations some weeks.

In tutorials, a tutor will go through exam-style questions based on the previous weeks' content. They are not compulsory, except in the weeks you have an assessed tute (see under 'Assessment'). Suggested solutions are eventually uploaded onto Moodle.

There are a total of 8 weeks of lab work, split into half organic and half inorganic chem. The final experiment in each topic was an 'IDEA' (Inquire, Design, Explore, Answer) experiment which ran over two weeks. The first week would involve an introduction to the problem, and then working in teams to design an experiment and do some initial analysis that would help you to answer the question (for example, in the first IDEA experiment, we had to identify the structure of an unknown white powder). In the second week, you would carry out the experiment (for example, try to synthesise the powder).

4 x tutorials (10% total)
4 of your tutorials in the semester will involve an assessment - 2 for organic, and 2 for inorganic chem. One assessed tute per topic is an individual worksheet, while the other was team-based, where you would work through a worksheet with the people sitting on your table. The individual assessments are open book, while the team-based ones were closed book.

8 x online quizzes (10% total)
Each of organic and inorganic chemistry consisted of 2 pre and 2 post lecture quizzes (8 total). The pre-lecture quizzes involved you watching an introduction video about what you will learn in the next 3 weeks or so, and then answering some quiz questions on Moodle. The post-lecture quizzes were similar to the pre-lecture ones, although a bit more difficult, since they are done after you have already learnt the content in lectures. The pre-lecture quizzes totalled 2%, and post-lecture quizzes totalled 8% of your total mark. These are relatively easy marks, so be sure not to forget to do them!

Laboratory work (30% total)
Before each lab, you are required to complete a pre-lab quiz (worth a small amount of marks), so some preparation is required before you come to lab. I would advise you to read through your lab manual as well, so you have a general idea of what you're doing. The remainder of your lab marks come from a pro forma which you complete based on the experiment and your results (it is essentially a guided lab report), as well as things such as whether you were late, and if your handwriting is neat. You upload this onto Moodle, and your lab demonstrator will mark them. Some of the questions on the proforma can be easily answered if you read the introduction material for the lab carefully, so once again, be sure to read your lab manual! :P The lab component of this unit is a hurdle (need 50% to pass).

End of semester exam (50%)
This was a 2 hour, scientific calculator-allowed, short answer exam on all lecture content. You are provided a 'formula sheet' of sorts, which had the structures of amino acids, and chemical shift values for different types of environments in NMR spectra, but note that IR spec data wasn't on there! Lab content was not explicitly assessable. The exam is also a hurdle (need 30% to pass).

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture. However, there was an unrecorded revision lecture during SWOTVAC.

Past exams available:  Yes - two 'mock exams' were uploaded to Moodle, both with answers. They were pretty indicative of the content in the final exam, although I would say the exam was slightly harder.

Textbook Recommendation:
  • Chemistry (2/3e) by Blackman et al. Most of the lecture content can be found in this text. This text isn't 100% required - the lecture slides were sufficient for understanding. I found that this text was useful if you wanted some extra detail, and there were also some problems/questions if you wanted extra practise on certain topics. Answers to the problems were also uploaded onto Moodle.

Organic Chemistry:
A/Prof David Lupton
Prof Patrick Perimutter
A/Prof Toni Patti

Inorganic Chemistry
Dr Victoria Blair
Dr David Turner
Prof Cameron Jones
Prof Stuart Batten

There were 4 lecture streams - with generally a different lecturer taking each per topic.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2017

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The unit was relatively well-organised - the flow of lecture content was well set out. However, I think that there are some areas of improvement. For example, I found it disappointing to find that there was no detailed feedback available for the IDEA experiments or the tutorial assessments (you can't see what questions you've done wrong, you are only given your mark). I also thought there should have been some form of peer assessment for the IDEA experiments.

Your Mark/Grade: Not yet available

The lecture content in this unit was divided into organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry (6 weeks of each), and can be summarised as:
Organic: nomenclature, interconversions/reactions (addition, etc.), isomerism, spectroscopy, proteins, carbs, nucleic acids and synthetic polymers
Inorganic: d-block (transition metal) elements, transition metal complexes/compounds, ligands, isomerism, crystal field theory (colour, magnetism), and a small section on bioinorganic chemistry.

While there are some aspects of this unit that I think could be improved, I think that this unit provides a good introduction to organic and inorganic chemistry, as well as how they can be applied to our everyday lives.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 10:48:21 pm by VanillaRice »
VCE 2015-16
2017-20: BSc (Stats)/BBiomedSc [Monash]


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #382 on: November 28, 2017, 06:51:40 pm »
Subject Code/Name: SCI1300 - Climate Change: From Science to Society

Workload:  3x1hr lectures, 1x2hr support class/tutorial

40% Projects (two assignments worth 20% each, due in weeks 5 and 8 respectively)
Do not underestimate these projects! They will definitely take longer than you expect, and some of the questions are really difficult. Because there is no exam for this subject, the assignments and essay are worth more than probably most other science subjects, making them more important. These two assignments involve downloading a program/excel files from moodle and fiddling around with the values to help you answer questions.

20% Essay (1500 word essay due in week 10)
This essay is about comparing the impacts of climate change on two different countries and how they responded (policies, mitigation/adaptation etc.). When the essay was first explained it shocked a lot of us because Wikipedia was initially allowed to be used as a reference… but I don't think anyone actually did, thankfully. A lot of information can be found in the IPCC reports (which is recommended), the World Bank, CIA Factbook and other resources like those. The essay itself is quite straightforward because its structure is very formulaic and what information is required is made quite clear.

20% In-semester tests (two tests worth 10% each, held in the last lecture of weeks 6 and 12)
The two tests basically acted as mid-semester and end-of-semester assessments. They went for about 30 minutes and had mostly multiple-choice questions (like the tutorials) and two or three short-answer questions. The best way to revise is probably to re-do the tutorial questions or watch some of the important parts of lectures again (like how the greenhouse effect works or the ice-albedo feedback loop). Note that none of the content from the first six weeks is in the second text, so you can forget it all if you weren't really a fan of it!

20% tutorial participation and attendance
There are 11 tutorial classes in the semester (none in the first week). Each tutorial class had 2% allocated to it, so you could miss one and still get full marks for participation/attendance. 1% is attendance (being there and having your name marked off on the roll) and 1% is answering a question. It's very easy to get these marks (although I had a great tutor, apparently there were some who were harsher in giving out marks if you tried to answer a question but got it wrong, and checked attendance by collecting answer sheets at the end of class).

Three of the tutorials were used for explanations of the projects and essays, where the tutor goes through the instructions, marking criteria and any questions, and you can start the assignment during the class. The other tutorials during the first half of the semester had multiple-choice questions to answer (all of the answers are in the lecture notes). The tutorials during the second half had less multiple-choice questions and involved reviewing some climate science blogs for credibility/bias etc. The further into the semester it got, the longer the classes seemed to drag out and the more it seemed like a one hour class was more appropriate, simply because there was too little to do.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No past exams, because there is no exam

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook required

A lot of the information/images in lectures, at least in the first six weeks, seemed to come from a textbook called 'The Earth System', which I found the first three chapters of online (this could help if you need a different explanation of ideas/processes, and for the first assignment): http://talleylab.ucsd.edu/ltalley/esys10/text_chapters/

Lecturer(s): Prof. Christian Jakob (weeks 1-6), A/Prof. Julie Arblaster (weeks 7-12)

Year & Semester of completion:  2017, Semester 2

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

A lot of the people I talked to who chose this subject as their elective said they did it because it didn't have an exam (fair choice), but many did not expect the assignments to be so difficult. So, while initially this was expected to be a cruisy elective unit, it turned out to be quite time-consuming and stressful when the projects were due.

The unit is split into two parts. The first six weeks focus on the science of climate change (reasons behind it, energy, the greenhouse effect, climate drivers, atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns, climate variability). A lot of this stuff is covered briefly in EAE1011 which is great if you've done that subject. The second half looks at projections of climate change (using the IPCC reports), impacts on the world, ways to prevent and adapt to climate change, different organisations involved in this process, economic and ethics. I definitely found the first half more interesting and engaging. Like with the tutorials throughout the semester, I felt that the lectures seemed to become more boring and it was difficult to focus during the last few weeks. This is no fault of Julie's - she is very kind and helpful, I think it was just the content that was a bit dry, especially the week about international and Australian organisations.

So, this unit is not bad, but could be improved, especially in the later weeks of the course. Take it as an elective if you are interested in climate change or climate in general and want to know more about how processes/cycles in the ocean, air and ice work. I really enjoyed learning about the climate, but the complexity of the assignments (and lack of clarity/differences between tutor instructions) and the dragging out of some aspects of the course made me enjoy it less than I otherwise would have.


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #383 on: November 28, 2017, 06:57:40 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ATS1309 - The Global Challenge

Workload:  1x2hr lecture every week (except for the field trip day), 1x2hr tutorial in weeks 2, 4, 8 and 10

20% Essay (1500 word essay due in week 9)
An essay with three topics to choose from - one about population, one about urbanisation and one about consumption (the first three topics of the unit). I struggled with this task as I lacked motivation and left it to the last minute. However, the three topics were interesting and there was a lot of information to be found for all of them.

15% Tutorials
There are four tutorials run throughout the semester, in weeks 2, 4, 8 and 10. Each tutorial had a different kind of activity - one was about answering questions on a sheet, one involved group work and a mini presentation, one used ArcMap and the other involved a group discussion and answering questions. Not having tutorials every week made it difficult to get to know people, but a lot of people also enjoyed having few classes because their contact hours were reduced. The tutorials are usually quite enjoyable, and my tutor was really helpful in her explanations. Marks are received by handing in the tutorial sheet at the end of each class.

20% Field trip
There was a full-day field trip done on the Tuesday in week 5 to Port Melbourne. The field trip was related to the urbanisation section of the course and involved firstly walking around the streets of Port Melbourne, looking for signs of redevelopment, gentrification and similar processes. Then, there were questions about land use in Collins Street and sketching a block of the street. The field trip went for almost the entire day (9:30am-4:30pm) and it was very tiring because there was a lot of walking.

A really important thing to remember is that you give in the sheet with all your answers at the end of the day. Yep, you don't get a chance to go home and neaten up your handwriting or have time to research anything afterwards. This can be good, because it means once it's done, it's done and you don't have to worry about it anymore; it can also be bad, because it's worth 20%. Having some basic background knowledge of the areas would help in this aspect.

40% Exam
Ten short-answer questions and two (short) essays in two-hours. Most questions are pretty accessible, it's just difficult to study due to the large amount of content and no real clarity as to what is most important to know (eg. there were a number of different frameworks/models/perspectives presented for certain processes, such as city growth and resource consumption, that were confusing/complex and had very few questions focussed on them).

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  None (because the past exam database was taken down). The final lecture included 2-3 sample questions for both short-answer and essays, with no answers.

Textbook Recommendation:  An Introduction to Human Geography 4th edn (2012) or 5th edn (2016) by Daniels et al.

Not really necessary because a lot of the lecture material comes from this textbook, just presented in a different way. I did have it and use it for consumption/economics because I had never studied topics like those before and wanted a bit more information about some things. However, I had difficulty reading the textbook, because at times it seemed like it was giving really long-winded explanations of things that could've been explained just as well in a simple sentence.

There were lists of suggested texts to read in the unit guide/library reading list for each section of the unit, from both this textbook and chapters in other textbooks. I only read the recommended textbook so unfortunately I cannot comment on what those extra readings were like.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Michele Lobo

Year & Semester of completion:  2017, Semester 2

Rating:  3 out of 5

This subject is broken up into four 'blocks' that run for three weeks each - population, urbanisation, consumption, economics.

Population included a lot of things studied in VCE geography, such as birth/death rates, migration and population distribution, and introduced challenges involved (eg. refugees, spread of HIV/AIDS and development). Urbanisation looked at how we understand cities, how they grow, re-urbanisation and gentrification, how to classify cities, and challenges such as homelessness. Urbanisation also included the field trip to Port Melbourne, which was fun but tiring. I definitely preferred the first half of the course because I found the topics much more interesting. The second half of the course was a bit dry. Consumption looked at what resources are, the types of resources, peak oil, renewable energy, food, consumerism and waste. Economic geography included what the economy is, growth vs progress, the informal economy, production chains and globalisation of companies and production.

Being more science-oriented, I much preferred ATS1310 and only really liked population and urbanisation because I was a bit more familiar with them and had studied parts of them before. The number of different complex theories/frameworks in the second half of the course, and my previous lack of knowledge about the topics, is what caused my lower rating of this subject.


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #384 on: November 30, 2017, 11:41:00 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MED5091 - Advanced clinical practice 1 and MED5092 - Advanced clinical practice 2

Varies between rotations and sites, but expect to be at your site the same hours as your intern or junior doctor. That generally means 8am - 5+pm for medical rotations, 7am - 5+pm for surgical rotations, and 8-10 hour shift rotations if in the emergency department.

- Pre-Intern Appraisals (PIA) (hurdle): there are five of these that need to be filled out by a supervising consultant doctor, one for each rotation (none for the elective rotation) and each worth 18% of Year 5
- Clinical Knowledge Test (CKT): the only exam for the year, is MCQ/EMQ format and is done at the end of the year, not a hurdle to pass but a hurdle to attend (which is unusual), worth 10% of Year 5
- Modules: a variety of paper, online, and in-person module tasks aimed to supplement clinical learning, many of which are hurdles, for each rotation; the sites and supervisors choose how exactly they want these done (more on this later), none of these count towards the final Year 5 score
- Attendance: a very strict expectation of 100% attendance, although technically the lower bound is 80%

Recorded Lectures: Yes.

Past exams available: Yes there is a practice CKT available from the Faculty.

Textbook and Website Recommendation:
This is a year where textbooks should be utilised only if you really need to, as most of the learning should be occurring during working hours and not at the desk (unlike Year 4!). Personally, I'd strongly recommend at least having a look at the Australian version of "Marshall & Ruedy's On Call: Principles & Protocols", as it is a relatively succinct text on everything practical than an intern will be doing for patients on the ward (minus the paperwork!). As for other resources, as per my reviews of previous units and years, I'd also recommend utilising UpToDate, eTG, and http://radiopaedia.org/ as much as possible.

Lecturer(s): Many, depending on the series of lecture

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 and 2, 2017

Rating: 5/5

These units are code for a "pre-internship" year. In my opinion, I found this to be the best year of medicine, but undoubtedly, it comes with many challenges. I'll try to order my comments here in a logical fashion.

Structure of the year
So Year 5, of which these units account for the vast majority of (so I'll use them synonymously with 'Year 5' for my ease), is divided into 6 rotations, each 6 weeks long, with a week of lectures (and the CKT) at the end of the year. There is a three week gap after the first three rotations, for reasons that will become apparent later in this review, I wouldn't call these a holidays. There is only the weekend in between each of the other rotations.

The six rotations are:
1. Medicine
2. Surgery
3. Emergency
4. Aged care
5. Specialty
6. Elective

Obviously, these rotations are not necessarily in this order. Speaking of which, it's worth touching upon how you get to choose your rotations and what my tips and tricks are. The Faculty sends out an email with your rotation allocations towards the middle of Year 4, this will be a generic email saying that you got your Medicine rotation (for example) at Rotation 5 and so forth. These rotations are not set in stone, and you can swap them. My tip is to NOT have your elective in the first two rotations of the year, and ideally not in the first half of the year. This is because, internships, which I'll touch upon towards the end of my review, need referees and these need to be from Australia (preferably: Victoria) so best to have some Victorian rotations before those intern applications are due.

After this initial allocation you are allowed to preference for individual rotations, which occurs towards the end of Year 4. The exact process has escaped my memory, but I think you get to preference 10 rotations for each allocation, but only a maximum of two rotations from the one site. So for example, you can only preference The Alfred twice for a medical rotation. As with any preference system, the highest one should be the one you want the most. The specialty rotation I'll talk about later, but it's essentially a mix of the more obscure medical specialties, surgical specialties, and other specialties (including the weird and wonderful such as a rotation at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine). The Elective rotation is left for later,and can essentially be done anywhere that offers a 6 week rotation with a single supervisor.

The only caveat with rotations for domestic students to be aware of, is that if you haven't done a rural year in Years 3 or 4, then you have to do a least one 6 week rotation in a rural area. What I'd advise is, choose which of the 5 rotations you would want to do in a rural area, and for preferencing in that rotation, ONLY list rural sites. For the other 4 rotations, list NO rural sites unless you want to do more time rurally. The rule of thumb is: if you preference it rural anywhere in your list, you'll get it, so be aware of this. Personally, I chose to do my Surgical rotation in rural Mildura to escape early wake-ups and Melbourne winter, and I also did my Aged care rotation in Bendigo in the brand new hospital - I loved both rotations and would therefore recommend rural rotations to everyone.

As for what preferences most people got, I think I got four first preferences, and one that was somewhere else on my list. Most people probably aren't so lucky, but generally do get at least one top preference in their final allocation. These final allocations are revealed to you via email in late September.

Before starting each individual rotation, it's worth checking the handover sheet. This is a Google spreadsheet that students are encouraged to fill out once they have completed a rotation, and provides tips and tricks about the rotation. Ideally, every student would fill this out, but in reality it's probably less than 25% per rotation, which is a real shame. Regardless, hopefully you find that some decent soul has filled in something for your upcoming rotation, so you know what you're heading into.

Medical rotation
Medical rotations are my love, so I thoroughly enjoyed my rotation. I was fortunate enough to do a rotation at one of the large tertiary networks in an area that I am super interested in, and I tried to make the most of it. Obviously detailing my rotation would be of very limited use to most of the people in the degree, so here is my general advice:
- This is a rotation where you can really hone in on your intern skills. There will be plenty of opportunities to make the intern's life easier by doing procedures on the ward, doing discharge summaries, writing the ward notes, making referrals, etc. Try and do as much of this as possible as you'll inevitably have to do a Gen Med rotation next year where all of this is bread and butter. Should be noted, that anything you do should be run by your intern and should be checked by your intern, especially official hospital documentation. Technically, you should not be writing on drug charts or writing scripts, but definitely try and get some exposure to them.
- Just to reinforce this: for all the above, it's unlikely you'll have an intern who will hand you these opportunities on a platter. You have to seek them out, you have to be keen. I promise you that it will pay dividends for not only your transition into next year, but also how the consultants are registrars will view you. You want to be viewed as a member of the team, not another medical student. This is the key. I tended to stay doing jobs until 7pm some days, and as a result I had an amazing rapport with the team and was always invited to join out-of-hours rounds on interesting cases, Friday evening beers, extra clinics, and so forth. Be keen and helpful, and you'll learn way more.
- With that said... you are still a student. So don't be a slave. You're there to learn, not do all the boring work while your intern deals with the fun stuff. It's a fine balance between pulling your weight and learning. One way to make sure you get enough of the latter is to do what med students do: see patients. Try and be at the admissions (or do them yourself!), report back cases to your registrars when they have time, and ask questions. This is the last time you have to ask questions without feeling too stupid, so make the most of it!
- Do your pre-readings. It should be obvious, but if you're entering a rotation on Lung Transplants, and you haven't got a clue what they're about, you should really smash out some readings on the weekend before. UpToDate is my personal fav for seeking out information in a rush, so that's what I'll recommend. But seriously, you'll look like an idiot if you can't answer the basic questions you may be asked, and you'll also be lost for a good chunk of the rotation which negatively impacts on your learning opportunities.
- Onto something particular: discharge summaries. These are something that I wasn't taught how to approach, and it really took me reading a lot of summaries and doing heaps myself until I developed a format which I found to be reproducible across simple and complex patients in multiple medical and surgical specialties. Here's how I like to go about tackling these pesky beasts:
Mr/Ms <name> is a <age> year-old male/female, from <home situation>, who presented to <hospital> emergency department on <date> with <presenting complaint>, this is in the setting of <anything recent>, and on an active background of <relevant past medical history>.

- In dot points, briefly describe the presentation
- Include a dot point of pertinent negative findings (eg. clinically ruling out sepsis, or APO, or an ischaemic limb, etc.)
- In dot points, describe what was done in emergency, including summarising relevant examination (including vitals) and investigations
- Sample line 1: "Although previously well, developed sudden-onset weakness of L) hand and arm while driving at 12.14 pm"
- Sample line 2: "Immediately pulled car on side of road, and called for an ambulance, which arrived at 12.35pm and brought him to hospital"
- Sample line 3: "He reported no infective symptoms (cough/dysuria/neck stiffness/fevers/rigours), no pain, no headache, no loss of consciousness, no visual symptoms, no recent surgery or trauma"
- Sample line 4: "Notably, he had not been taking his aspirin or antihypertensive medications for the last week"
- Sample line 5: "At presentation, he was haemodynamically stable with a regular pulse and manual blood pressure of 150/85 mmHg, he was afebrile and emergency doctors only noted 4/5 weakness in his L) upper limb with an otherwise unremarkable examination"

- In dot points again, just describing what happened when your team met the patient, I don't always include this section but do if it's a complex case
- Include any new findings on the physical examination (relevant only) and what management took place from your team
- Sample line 1: "On examination, Mr Smith was haemodynamically stable with a regular pulse, and afebrile with a GCS of 15; as noted earlier, he had reduced 4/5 power in his L) upper limb across all movements when compared to the contralateral side, accompanied with brisk reflexes and a subtle increase of tone, notably his cranial nerve and lower limb neurological examinations were unremarkable, as were his chest/heart/abdominal examinations"
- Sample line 2: "Given his presentation suggested an acute stroke, a CT brain was performed which was unremarkable, followed by a CTA whcih demonstrated an occlusion of the R) M2, and a CTP which demonstrated a perfusion mismatch in the R) hemisphere with a large penumbra, features which all suggest an acute ischaemic stroke"
- Sample line 3: "After consultant discussion, it was decided that alteplase be given as per protocol, and this infusion was started at 1.06 pm when Mr Smith's blood pressure was 140/80 mmHg, he tolerated the infusion well in the emergency department" 
- Last line of this section should be "Admitted under <home team> on <date> after discussion with consultant Dr <name>"

# Issue 1
- Dot points again, just detail what happened for each individual issue, give the issue the best medical name possible (eg. Hypertension is better than "Increased blood pressure")
- Include clinical improvements, deteriorations (eg. MET calls, code blues), trends in investigations, impressions by allied health staff
- Sample line 1: "He/She progressed well on the ward, tolerating the increased dose of frusemide well, with a clear chest noted by 29/11 and a clear CXR noted by 30/11."
- Sample line 2: "Allied health input was sought, and Ms Smith began hand exercises and rehabilitation with the physiotherapists on the ward, her strength in that R) hand improved to 4+/5, which was close to her reported baseline"

# Issue 2
- Same deal, for as many issues as is required

- Brief, stating discharge rationale, destination, and plan for patient and the GP
- Sample line 1: "With good progress from Neurology and Allied Health points of view, Mr Smith was discharged home"
- Sample line 2: "Several changes were made to Mr Smith's medication regimen, including the addition of <medications and doses and frequency>, and these were explained to Mr Smith by our pharmacist on the ward"
- Sample line 3: "Mr Smith is to follow-up in our Stroke clinic in 4 weeks time and is to have a brain MRI beforehand, and is advised to follow-up with his GP in one week to reassess his hypertension"

There are often other sections of the discharge summary form, depending on where you are, but at some point (after all the above if there isn't a specific area for this), you should mention:
- All the medications to take upon discharge: name, dose, frequency and why
- Which medications have been ceased and why
- Past medical history - often this can be copied from a previous summary, but obviously read and update this
- Actual results, I personally liked to attach scan results verbatim, the latest bloods, and any other important investigations (eg. nerve conduction tests, EEGs, HbA1c, etc.)
- Smoking and alcohol status
- Relevant social history
- Your name and role, your registrars' and consultants' names and roles
- A final note about the modules for this rotation: it depends on your team. There are NO hurdle modules for medicine, so do whatever your supervising consultant wants you to do. Keep in mind, that if you do need to do some, they're quite time-intensive so don't leave them until the last day because you'll struggle.

Surgical rotation
An area of medicine I appreciate, but not one I enjoy at all. As aforementioned, I did this rotation in a rural setting, and for someone who doesn't love surgery, I think this was ideal for seeing a good variety of things, and to nail some of the basics. Obviously again, detailing my rotation would be of very limited use to most of the people in the degree, so here is my general advice:
- Again, be keen. This is how you get things done, this is how you learn heaps, this is how you score well on your PIA. In surgery, the best way to show you're keen is to make it into theatre. I probably scrubbed up more in this single rotation than in the entirety of my previous medical schooling! On some days I was in theatre helping out with cases until 9.30pm. Even though I'm not a fan of surgery, this was enjoyable and the surgeon could see that I wanted to learn and as a result, got me involved in whatever she was doing. Because I was so keen, I even got to present at the Grand Round with my ward partner which was a great experience. Awesome.
- Again, this is another perfect rotation to nail down those basic intern skills. Get the procedures in, get the ward notes in, get the discharge sumamries done. I was a bit of a discharge summary fiend in this rotation and probably did around 35. Amazing practice for the next year, I feel really comfortable about efficiently doing them now. Oh, and the intern was super thankful because it was a very busy unit.
- I feel like I'm repeating myself here a bit, but do your pre-readings! The first and foremost in surgery is the anatomy. Look at the list of cases the day before they happen and read up on the procedures that will happen, and read up about the relevant anatomy. Don't be that guy that walks into a lap cholecystectomy and doesn't know what Calot's triangle is... Never be that guy. As with my advice in third year, worst that happens is that you don't know and say "Honestly not too sure, how about I read up on it tonight and briefly tell you the answer tomorrow?". A response like that shows initiative and shows a certain desire to improve and learn.
- A final note about the modules for this rotation: they are all hurdles. This means you HAVE to do ALL of them. They are actually quite time-intensive so don't leave them until the last day because you'll struggle.

Emergency rotation
- This rotation is the traditional favourite for medical students. Wasn't my favourite, but that's not because it wasn't amazing (it was!), but just because I felt I had so many great rotations that this one didn't manage to top the list. Students love it because you get freedom to actually practice medicine. Generally, shifts are 8-10 hours long, and 3-4 shifts per week, although if you're keen you can do more shifts as long as it doesn't impede on the learning of others.
- Just a note on the format of EDs, each is different (of course), but generally there are different streams, some more acute than others. Get a good taste of each stream as you do your rotation. Personally, I found the acute streams (but not the super acute/trauma) streams really good for learning as I did a lot there.
- That leads me what you do in the ED. I think what you do exactly depends on where you are. If you're at a fancy big tertiary centre, you'll be doing a bit of ED work and a bit of shadowing work. If you're at a smaller centre, you'll be doing way more ED work.
- The other factor that alters how much freedom you have is what your consultant thinks of you. If your consultant rates you highly, you'll have free reign, if they think you're a bit of a battler, you'll be reeled in a bit. I think that judgement is made over the first few shifts, and is generally a fair assessment. Nothing wrong with more supervision so don't take it the wrong way.
- Personally, I was fortunate to be treated like a resident. I would pick up my own patients (letting the in-charge consultant know of course!), clerk them, examine them, and report back to the in-charge consultant with my management plan. This is not dissimilar to what any junior doctor would be doing, and is a really good chance to learn. Again, a great chance to refine your procedural, history, and examination skills; you should be busy doing something all the time in the shift!
- As part of your management plan, you may be required to make referrals or ask specialties for advice. I always volunteered to take this job on, because again, it's great learning and experience. There are ways to handover patients, and ways to handover patients, and we're all pretty pathetic at it when we start off (and perhaps I'm still not great!), but what is essential is that you're prepared and have a format. By prepared, I mean have the patients' details and results in front of you and ready to go, know the case, know what you're asking of the person you're talking to, and realise that their time is valuable. By having a format, I mean something like ISBAR. This is great, and I use it often. However, there are variations, and I'll attach a couple of useful slides below to guide you. Practice makes better when it comes to referrals.
- A final note about the modules for this rotation: they are all hurdles. This means you HAVE to do ALL of them. They are actually quite time-intensive so don't leave them until the last day because you'll struggle (see the pattern yet?).

Aged care rotation
- Not going to post much advice for this rotation, because it's essentially just a medical rotation with elderly patients. The same rules apply.
- Where this rotation differs is in some of the extra-hospital placements you have to do. This includes a visit to the Alzheimer's Association, attending a VCAT hearing, an Aged Care Services visit, and a visit to an aged care facility. Each of these has a worksheet to complete, and these are all hurdle tasks.
- In addition to these extra-hospital visits, there is also the "Interprofessional Learning Day" which is a full day where you learn some aged care bread and butter alongside nursing students. I actually found this day to be pretty useful, despite the doubts I had about it beforehand. So keep an open mind and be kind to each other. It's a good initiative from the Faculty and also a hurdle task.
- The modules in this rotation are also all hurdles, and require you to seek out patients and present them to a consultant. So naturally, these need to be planned in advance with your supervisor. Worth getting on top of finding cases early, especially if your rotation is at a specialised service.

Specialty rotation
- Specialty rotations can be anything from a medical rotation, to a surgical rotation, to psychiatry, to paediatrics, to radiology, to pathology, to the weird and wonderful like the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. Hopefully you're allocated something that you enjoy. :)
- No specific advice for this, it all comes together with the advice from the previous rotations.
- The modules for this rotation are odd. Regardless of whatever you do, there is a Women's Health quiz that needs to be passed on Moodle; this isn't an easy quiz and there are pre-recorded lectures you should watch before attempting it. There is also an essay on HIV that needs to be written, this can be an opinionated piece or a creative piece (I chose the latter) and is quite an interesting task if truth be told. Both of those tasks are hurdle requirements. There are other non-hurdle modules that you may be asked to do by your supervising consultant, such as dermatology and so forth. Fortunately, I wasn't required to do any of that.

Elective rotation
- Hopefully you've left this towards the back half of the year as per my earlier advice! Why will become apparent in the next section.
- This is a rotation with a lot of freedom, you can go virtually anywhere in the world that offers a 6 week rotation with a single supervisor. If you're not keen to travel, that's more than fine, Monash offers many rotations that students can choose from in order to do their elective in Victoria.
- If you're going overseas, plan it early. Many places, especially the UK, have very early deadlines for applications, often before the year has even started. So get organised early to avoid disappointment.
- If you're choosing a Monash elective, a list of available rotations will be emailed to you and you then choose which one you want. Time is key here as these are offered on a first-come-first-serve basis.
- No modules for this rotation and no PIA for this rotation, but there is an "Elective Report" that needs to be submitted as a hurdle. This can literally be be on anything as long as it's relevant to your experience. Furthermore, instead of the PIA, there is a "Supervisor's Report", which needs to also be submitted before a deadline date.

Back-to-base and the CKT
- 'Back-to-base' describes the phenomenon of coming back to Monash Clayton for some lectures that contain useful knowledge for any junior doctor. In general, I found them to be worthwhile and high-yield.
- These happen on the last Friday of every rotation for a half-day. If you can't make them, they're recorded, however the expectation is that you will be there.
- These lectures also occur at the end of the year for one week, known as the 'Back-to-base week'. This is a jam-packed week, with lectures from a variety of senior and junior doctors on core topics. Excellent revision, lunch included, and note that the roll was taken one day so be sure to turn up!
- During the back-to-base week, there is the CKT. This is really just like the Year 3 exam, but includes more pre-intern knowledge. It's a hurdle to attend, but not to pass (which is strange!). I didn't do any particular study for it, and I think I did fine. Wouldn't lose sleep over it.

That three week gap and internship applications
- I've left this to last because technically this isn't part of the units, but it's part of the year, and is arguably the most important part of the year.
- Three weeks off between semesters sounds like a great time to jet of to Europe to discover yourself, right? Wrong.
- This three weeks isn't for holidays, it is when intern interviews occur.
- Now let me back-track a little to explain how this process works. The whole process is mediated by an organisation called the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria (PMCV). Consider this the VTAC of medicine. PMCV provides a medium where you can upload your CV and order up to 15 hospitals in a list of preferences. But this is not all you have to do, as each hospital network ALSO requires you to apply to them as well. So it's like VTAC and if you had to apply to each uni as well. It's annoying, I know, but it's what it is.

- So firstly, what does PMCV require. They need: a standardised CV, your InternZ score, your two referees, and your list of preferences.
- 'Standardised CV' refers to a CV that follows a template created by PMCV. It has fixed sections that need to be filled in and no part of it can be deleted. It can become pretty long (mine was 7 pages I think) if you fill it in correctly. My advice: fill this in at the start of the year, well before any of the internship applications actually open. Refine it as the year progresses. One tip I have is to add subsections to each of their templated tables, for example under the "Leadership roles and extracurricular achievements" section I divided that into the four sections of Leadership, Professional development, Professional memberships, and Extra-curricular; which I felt helped a reader to understand everything that I had done. You can do this, but do not delete anything. The CV also requires a photo (god knows why...), so get this sorted too, it should look professional.
- The 'InternZ score' is hopefully something you're already familiar with. In short, it's calculated using your MED2000 and MED4000 marks such that you're fit along a normal distribution curve that has a median of 3.5. Hopefully, for your sake, you're above 3.5! You get your score towards Rotation 3 time, which is when all the applications start to open up for each hospital.
- The two referees are a source of much stress. PMCV recommends that these be consultants (and indeed some health services will not accept them if they are 'just' Fellows or Registrars!) who have supervised you CLINICALLY in the last 18 months. So basically, from the start of Year 4 until applications are due. Most people get their referees from Year 5, and from Rotations 1-3. This is why I strongly suggest having your exotic elective AFTER these rotations, so you can maximise your chances of having great referees. How to choose a referee is tricky, but generally your consultant supervisor is the best bet. My approach was to ask them towards the end of the rotation if they'd be willing to be your referee (they invariably say 'yes' if you did well on the rotation), and ask for their contact details and ask if they don't mind you sending them a reminder email closer to when applications are due (again, they say 'yes'). I'd then email them a couple of weeks after the rotation is over to thank them profusely and to also attach a mock-PMCV referee template. This template is essentially the assessment that they'll fill out about you once you nominate them as your referee in the PMCV system. The assessment has boxes to tick but also has a comments section, strongly recommend them to write in the comments as health services love the comments. Sending them this early allows them to know what to expect, indeed some keen beans actually printed out the mock template and asked prospective supervisors to fill it out in front of them to see how well they'd give them. Personally, that latter approach is too far, but the email is a nice courtesy. Following this, email them again just before you officially nominate them in the PMCV system, telling them that they'll receive an email from PMCV shortly with a link to a similar form, if they could fill it out promptly AND fill in the comments that would be much appreciated (or something along those lines!). Once they've completed the official form from the PMCV link, you will be notified via email. You do not get to see what scores or comments they gave you, and that's probably for the best. You cannot un-nominate a referee, so choose wisely! To repeat, you need two such referees.
- Finally, the list of preferences. This is straightforward. Essentially just list up to 15 health networks (I did 12) that you'd like to work in. No tricks here, preference the one you want most as #1, the next at #2, and so forth. Victoria has a merit-based system so there's no way to give yourself an advantage of getting a job anywhere through your preferences. The individual hospitals do NOT know where you have preferenced them, and they don't ask either. I wouldn't volunteer the information to them as well.

Health services
- Ok that's the PMCV side of it. Now let's talk about the hospital side of it. Each hospital network will have their own online application. You must submit an application for each hospital you preference in PMCV (otherwise... why bother?). The applications vary considerably; some require cover letters, some require you to answer questions, some have extensive forms, etc. You need to actually take some time with each application, and especially take time with the cover letter. Ensure your cover letters are addressed to the right people from each hospital, and ensure that they actually address what the hospital is looking for in an intern. What they're looking for is generally obvious - look at the position descriptions and look at the values of the health service. This all takes a LOT of time, so get onto it when it opens. Worth noting that once you have submitted an application to a health service, you can edit and change it until the deadline, so don't worry too much about getting it perfect the first time, just make sure it's perfect by the deadline.
- One thing to note for the hospitals is that they each run an information session and/or have a stall at the AMA Careers Expo. Worth going to these if you can, you'll have a chance to talk to current staff (senior and junior), learn about the health service, and get tips about applications from them. Some of these require booking in advance (and do sell out!), so be on top of things.
- This whole application process take a LOT of time, and is quite stressful. The best tips I have is to be organised, understand the process, and do things earlier rather than later. When you think you're done with an application, double-check it, and then triple-check it, and then finally check that you've actually submitted it (hint: you'll get an email saying you have).
- Once all of this is due, which is usually towards the end of Rotation 3, you have a peaceful few weeks until interviews are offered. Those few weeks are not a fun time.

- Onto the interviews. Not all hospitals have them, those that do all do them differently, and they each have mysterious selection criteria. Here are a few hospitals that do them (with style of interview in brackets): Alfred Health (panel interview with HR and consultant doctor, followed by SJT), Austin Health (MMI-style interview with two one-on-one stations, one with a consultant doctor and one with HR), Melbourne Health (group interview), St Vincents Health (panel interview with HR and consultant doctor), Monash Health (video interview, 1 min per question with 2 mins reading). These are generally announced in the first week of the three week break, and depending on the health service, you may get to allocate an interview time slot or it may be auto-allocated. For the interviews, dress formally (more formal than med school interviews in any case), know the health service, know why you want to work there, and have an armamentarium of personal anecdotes that you can slide into answers (eg. about leadership, teamwork, working with difficult staff/patients, etc.).
- Job offers come out towards the end of July, and the wait is generally an unpleasant one!

Overall impression
What a year it is. What a fantastic year. You really do feel like you're practicing medicine and making a difference. Yes there are the stresses associated with intern applications and interviews, but I really do think I learnt a great deal from that experience. I think I was fortunate to have a stellar year in terms of rotations, not a rotation I didn't love (even Surgery!), so no complaints from me. That was coupled with me getting decent grades throughout the year, getting the internship spot I wanted at a competitive health service, and even winning an award at graduation. What a damn good year to be part of. It's been an absolute privelege to end my time at Monash Uni on such a high note. Hopefully you have a similarly amazing year too :)

Feel free to ask me any questions!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 11:57:58 pm by pi »


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #385 on: December 01, 2017, 12:39:25 am »
Subject Code/Name: MED5102 - Contemporary developments in clinical practice: Patient safety

Workload: Not much at all; just simulation sessions, three half-day lectures, and some time dedicated to online tasks.

- Simulation sessions: these are a hurdle to attend, not worth any part of Year 5
- Eight Moodle posts: four posts per semester, hurdle to complete to a satisfactory level, but not worth any part of Year 5
- Four lectures: a half-day each and a hurdle to attend, not worth any part of Year 5
- Attendance: a very strict expectation of 100% attendance for all the sessions and lectures

Recorded Lectures: No.

Past exams available: N/A.

Textbook and Website Recommendation:
None needed (what a change!), all readings are provided via Moodle.

Lecturer(s): Several, as described.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 and 2, 2017

Rating: 5/5

This unit is a bit of an odd-ball. A mix of bits and pieces that the Faculty thinks are useful for internship that don't fit into the nice rotations of MED5091 and MED5092. Given it's not a major player in Year 5, I'll keep this short.

Simulation sessions
These are amazing sessions. There are a minimum of two full days of simulation sessions, although depending on where you are allocated to do them you may get more time (especially in rural centres). In these sessions you work as teams in a variety of acute scenarios, using a fancy dummy as a mock patient. This dummy has signs on examination, can speak, has an ECG trace, can take intravenous therapy, and so forth. It's got all the bangs and whistles, which is pretty awesome for learning. The scenarios themselves are supervised by consultant emergency and ICU physicians, who provide detailed constructive feedback. The sessions are honestly one of the best parts of Year 5 without a doubt, I wish we had more of them!

Moodle posts
What can I say about Moodle posts that hasn't been covered in my previous views? I'm not a fan. The Faculty means well by making us do these tasks, but honestly as per the ones in Year 4, I found them to be a bit mind-numbing and dull. Thankfully, there are only a handful to make per semester so it's not too demanding. In all honestly, some of the readings are actually quite interesting, so that's one positive.

The lectures I found to be of mixed value. The lecture I enjoyed the most was regarding Prescribing, and was run by consultant doctors as well as hospital pharmacists. That day was particularly memorable because it was filled with lots of really good advice about how to be a safe and efficient prescribed - traits that are obviously valuable as a junior doctor. Another memorable lecture series was the Palliative Care lecture day, again filled with very practical information and delivered by superb presenters.

Overall impression
A nice unit to supplement the workhorse units MED5091 and MED5092. Definitely gained some key pearls of wisdom while completing this unit, and particularly enjoyed the simulation sessions which turned out to be one of the (many) highlights of the year for me.

Feel free to ask me any questions!


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #386 on: December 01, 2017, 12:46:24 am »
Subject Code/Name: MED5100 - Final MBBS grade

Workload: N/A, this unit is essentially a grade for the entire degree.

- MED2000 (30%)
- MED4000 (60%)
- Year 5 (10%)

Recorded Lectures: N/A

Past exams available: N/A

Textbook Recommendation: N/A

Lecturer(s): N/A

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 and 2, 2012-15, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Similar to my memorable MED4000 review, not sure how to feel about this unit given it's just a grade. Like your ATAR, this is one number that signifies how you did in the degree. The caveat: you've already got your jobs so no one really cares too much! As you can see, the bulk of the grade is in the work you've put into MED4000, which further highlights the importance of Years 3 and 4, however Year 5 is still important to do well in. Indeed, the vast majority of awards presented at graduation involve Year 5 in some way or another, so doing well should be your focus :)

From me, it's been a pleasure writing these reviews for ATAR Notes :) If you're reading this, hopefully this means you're towards the end of the degree, so best of luck with it and hopefully we run into each other one day on the wards :)
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 12:51:15 am by pi »


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #387 on: December 01, 2017, 03:22:00 pm »
Subject Code/Name: BMS1062 - Molecular Biology

Workload: Weekly 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 3 hour lab session (labs weeks 2-11)

-Practical course (labs) (30%)
-Mid Semester Test (10%)
-Exam (60%)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: None, some practice quizzes available.

Textbook Recommendation: 

Prescribed Texts: Molecular Biology of the Cell 6ed

Recommended Texts: None
Textbook is definitely not needed to do well I only had pdf copy of it and never thought of buying a hardcopy since I rarely(never) used it.

A/Prof Fasseli Coulibaly [unit co-ordinator] (Structure & Replication of DNA; Manipulation of DNA & Gene Cloning; Translation)
Dr Marina Telonis-Scott (Manipulation of DNA & Gene Cloning; DNA Recombination, Repair & Mutations)
Prof Christian Doerig (Molecular Genetics)
A/Prof Anna Roujeinikova (Gene Expression & Regulation)
Dr Terry Kwok-Schuelein (Gene Expression & Regulation)
A/Prof Robyn Slattery (DNA and the Immune System)

Year & Semester of completion: 2017, Semester 2

Rating:5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Arguably the best first year biomedicine core unit at Monash. Although I didn’t find the content that engaging **cough**DNA lab techniques and lab sessions**cough**. The unit is the best run unit and you can really see the staff is trying their best for it to run smoothly and for all the students to have an enjoyable experience in their learning.

I generally didn’t find the lectures that useful they are okay for a introduction to the topic (although you can get this from reading the lecture slides) you really need to be putting in your own time and effort in to do well.

The beginning of the unit is quite familiar if you had done 3/4 biology in VCE or the equivalent in highschool. A lot of the content here was just an extension of VCE. The topics that were "new" were the ones where I would put more time into in order to properly understand the content.

Make sure to be continually revising throughout the semester (something I didn't do well) and don’t slack in the first few weeks even though the content may seem easy because even the easy things form part of your assessment and they tend to be very specific on the easy portions of the course to make it not too easy for us. Also proper management during the first few weeks helps you when multiple MSTs occur in a small time frame (common if you do straight biomed). Thi is so that you don't have to revise/learn half the course in a couple of days. For my year this unit was a relatively early exam so you won't get a whole deal of time to study for it.

Laboratory Course: Labs are worth 30% of your total unit grade. There are 4 pracs run across 10 weeks of labs and each week is generally “worth” 3% for most labs except for microbiology which is a test. So basically, just another MST. This test was not too difficult as long as you revised the right things, but given the breadth of this lab it was difficult to study for since a lot of content could be assessed and  a lot of people were not quite sure what the focus of the lab was. The labs were very boring usually pipetting/gel electrophoresis/PCR for a couple hours and it felt like we did the same prac multiple times through the semester. Be very grateful if you ever finish early and get to leave. The best practical in my opinion is the immunology prac, this one is only a single week worth 3% but was taught very well and the questions associated were quite difficult and required a very high level of understanding of the whole course. Usually some lab questions can be done at home but sometimes you need to specifically use your lab results. Your tutors will generally send you in the right direction but won't give you the answer. Sometimes I would ask my tutors to "check" my work when I finish in order to make sure I got the marks. The large grade associated with labs (30%) can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what type of tutors you get. Some of my friends got very lenient ones whilst others got very harsh ones which was reflected in the marks we all received. This can really bump up or drag down your score plus/minus 2-3 overall in my opinion.

Mid Semester Test: The MST is worth 10% and consists of 34 MCQs. The MCQs were on lectures 1 through 18 which is weeks 1 -6. This test was done online either on campus or at home. To avoid “cheaters”, we had to use a lockdown browser and those who didn’t do the test under supervision was required to use a webcam. Overall the test was very fair and not overly difficult. As all biomed tests are you needed to know a high level of detail of the content. For example one MST question was on a small specific part of the diagram on the lysogenic and lytic virus cycles on one of the lecture slides which was generally skimmed over in the lecture lucky for me I vaguely remembered seeing the diagram.

Exam: It is worth 60% so a large chunk of your overall grade. The exam consisted of 130 marks which consisted of a variety of MCQs and EMQs. EMQs are basically just MCQs but 1 general scenario with multiple questions this was used a few times for laboratory questions. Sometimes the EMQs involved 5 questions and something like 5 "answers" which you can choose from but each answer can be used 0,1 or multiple times. Remember to revise all your lab content it can be quite tedious and boring but made up ~40% of the exam. Again there is a high level of detail required and also a lot of content so you generally need to be somewhat organised during the semester. However, there was no real trick questions (except a few dodgy questions) which made the exam relatively manageable. If you know all your content you should be very confident going into your exam.

Other/Overall:It is quite a difficult unit with respect to the amount of content covered although a relatively standard difficulty for a  first year biomed unit. One of the best ones I have done to date, at university and it was extremely well run by the faculty. You will definitely get a score that is a reflection of the work that you have put in throughout the semester.


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #388 on: December 03, 2017, 05:47:59 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ECC3690 - International economics 

Workload:  Weekly:
2 hour lecture (I didn't go to a single one and they were not recorded!)
1 hour tutorial

10%: 2 homework tasks worth 5% each
25%: Mid-semester test
5%: Tute participation
60%: Final exam

Recorded Lectures:  No.

Past exams available:  One mock exam is provided although IMO it was not indicative of the actual difficulty in the final.

Textbook Recommendation:  Textbook completely unnecessary. Don't bother with it (library has copies if you really need it).

Lecturer(s): Christis Tombazos

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2017

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 80 HD.


The meat of this subject is in the first ~6-7 weeks, where you will be introduced to three distinct models of trade: the Ricardian model (which anybody who has microeconomics will already be familiar with), the Specific Factors model, and the Heckscher-Olin model. Understanding the ins and outs of these models is central towards succeeding in this unit. The rest of the unit is mostly extensions of these models (e.g. what happens if you relax the assumption that labour is immobile across countries, welfare analysis, the effects of tariffs and quotas in these models, etc) and tacked on during the final 2 weeks is a discussion of exchange rates and capital flows.

 Lectures: As I said above, the lectures weren't recorded and I didn't attend any of them. The slides were quite detailed and the lecturer made great efforts to link the material to the content covered by the powerpoint. The lecturer was quite good (I had him as my tutor as well).

 Tutorials: Discussion of the assigned questions for the week. Tutes were very valuable; I would highly recommend you attend them.

 Homework tasks: Pretty straightforward, very similar to the tutorial questions. They gave you a few questions and marked one of them at random. You should definitely try to get 100% on both of these because it's a free 10% up for grabs.

 Mid-sem: Multiple choice, about 30 questions. Not too bad in terms of difficulty, just make sure you have a really good grasp of everything on the slides. The lecturer directly referred to content from the lectures for nearly every single question.

 Exam: This was really, really difficult this year. I kind of expected it to be similar to tutorial/homework questions, but it was much more detailed than that. Luckily, it seems that the exam was scaled up a lot because I really didn't think I got more than 50% on it but somehow ended up with a HD. My advice on the exam would be this: don't skip over some topics just because they haven't been assessed in other tasks. You need to have a strong intuitive grasp on the content to succeed on the exam; do not rote learn the formulas or the models!

 Overall, this was a worthwhile unit. The material covered in this unit has a lot of real world application, particularly in the current political climate where protectionism seems to be making something of a comeback in the United States! The unit is pretty chilled out in terms of workload, just make sure you don't fall too far behind because it can be difficult to catch up.

 Also, some people might be concerned about how much maths the unit uses. This unit has easier maths requirements than intermediate micro and other 3rd year economics units like monetary economics. Pretty much just algebra, so you should be fine.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 05:55:20 pm by extremeftw »


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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #389 on: December 04, 2017, 10:58:09 am »
Subject Code/Name: BFC1001 - Foundations of Finance 

1hr lecture (pre-load) per week - compulsory for attendance marks
2hr workshop (compulsory) per week

6%: Out-of-class learning tasks
6%: In-class learning tasks   
5%: Team Business Presentation
18%: Mid-Semester test   
15%: Team Assignment   
50%: Exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, 2016 Sem 2 and 2017 Sem 1 exams provided

Textbook Recommendation:  Foundations of Finance 9th edition Global Edition (Keown, Martin & Petty) - Booklist says it is compulsory but since it is an American version that is used in an Australian finance topic, I would not buy it unless you need some consolidation of your work that is covered in the pre-load.

Lecturer(s): Dr Jason Choo

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2017

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 85 HD


Course Structure:
Topic 1 - What is finance - gives a brief introduction to finance as well as calculating the most important ratio, the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)
Topic 2 - Financial markets and regulation - gives an introduction to the RBA, APRA and ASIC
Topic 3 - Value, time and money - a calculation topic that shows that money today is worth more than money in the future, via discounting. Also shows how to calculate present and future values and EAR
Topic 4 - Wealth, time and money - Gives an intro about annuities that are either ordinary or annuity due, as well as how to find the present value and future value of each. Further, provides background to an equivalent annual annuity (EAA), which is a lump sum that is broken down into an annuity with equal payments or receipts for a finite time, which can then be compared to a regular annuity by looking at payments received or paid per time period.
Topic 5 - Financial choices and decisions (Capital budgeting) - Key topic as it looks at how to calculate Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR), which are the extra cash flow you would earn if all cash flows are discounted back to time period 0, as well as the discount rate that would lead to your NPV being 0. Seemed to be understood well by most students, as it was the first question on the short answer on the exam, reflected by an average mark of 16.5/20 on that question.
Topic 6 - Applications of finance - Applies annuities to mortgages and superannuation, as well as provided a discussion into managed funds.
Topic 7 - Financial Institutions - A theory based topic that expands on topic 2 especially in the are of the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), which is the minimum amount of capital that the banks must hold in reserves to cover for unexpected situations
Topic 8 - Debt and markets (Debt securities) - Highlighted differences between money and bond markets, what securities to use for each and relevant formulas for calculating both. Was covered on the exam through calculating bonds with 6 month coupon rates.
Topic 9 - Stock and markets (Equity securities) - talks about differences between ordinary and preference shares, what formulas to use to calculate present value (PV) for each as well as using the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) as a relevant discount tool for calculating share prices. Was reinforced in the exam through calculating CAPM and PV of shares
Topic 10 - Risk & financial protection - Explains differences between option, future and forward contracts. Mainly provides background knowledge for BFC2751 (Derivatives) as to how to calculate preferred contract choices. I found this to be the toughest topic of the course, as with it being the last question on the exam, it was difficult to cover and understand all the information being provided from it. This was reflected by the average mark of 7.6/15 on that question on the exam. Mainly compared between if you hedged or speculated or did not.
Topic 11 - Finance & Globalisation - Focused on foreign exchange and whether or not to use the buy/sell rate in calculating exchanges. Originally I found this to be a difficult topic, however after repetition made it seem far more simple. Helps when doing BFC3240 - International Finance.

I found this subject to be a really good introduction for BFC2140 - Corporate Finance, as it provided a background knowledge of finance which was compulsory for my finance major.

Overall, this subject was structured incredibly well. Basically it utilised a flipped learning approach, where you attend a lecture, learn content for half of it and for the remaining half answer multiple choice or short answer questions that appear from the projector to your device - via the learning catalytics website. Then you head home and take part in self-study quizzes which form part of your out-of-class learning tasks, which were normally very simple and offering unlimited attempts, so it was easy to do well in the first place in regards to those quizzes. Then you went to your workshop the following week, (as lectures were held on the Thursday and Friday of the week before, so workshops the following week covered that week's topic). That then consolidated the information learnt in the pre-loads from the week before, as it enabled me to correct all my information learnt in the previous pre-load.

Team Business Presentation: Groups (of max size 4 but not less than 3) were formed outside of class, or by posting on Moodle requesting team members. There were no restrictions on groups coming from the same workshop, so you could have formed a group with anyone in the unit. Once your team had registered, you were given a topic which you had a couple of weeks to prepare for, and then presented this in front of a tutor from the BFC1001 staff panel, which a group representative booked your team into. Since this was a finance faculty unit, you had to dress in full business attire when presenting, which was kind of a pain but no issue in the first place to deal with. This was a nice way to get an introduction into working with a team and my topic worked out well, so a great introduction into a first assignment.

Mid-semester test: The mid-sem mimicked the final exam, by having the same structure with 10MCQ's and 6 short answer questions, but only covered topics 1-7. I found myself to be a bit rushed for this, as I barely finished in time, which was reflected by my overall mark. However, it was a great way to get into calculation questions and ensure that we were well prepared for the final exam.

Team Assignment: Using the same groups as the team business presentation, we had to record a 5 minute video and post on YouTube or other online sharing websites, as well as write a 2000 word report as to whether or not the RBA would change the cash rate, by providing 3 factors which influence the RBA's decision to change the cash rate. Doing this in the mid-sem break, I also found there to be not be enough time to prepare for this, which led to a rushed video and report, also contributing to my lower mark than predicted. Additionally, I found very little relevance with this assignment compared to the topics being taught, however it was an interesting way to take an outside look at how finance can impact the Australian economy.

Exam: As said previously, same structure as the mid-sem with 10MCQ's and 6 short answer questions. I found the 2hr timeframe to be just enough time to get all the questions done, however I managed to do really well in this which contributed to my higher than expected unit result. Therefore, I would say that it was a fair exam as it was able to piece together all the knowledge taught throughout the semester, especially with Topics 8-12, and bring them all together into a well-structured exam.

Overall, I would recommend this subject if anyone is looking to do a finance major or just wants a brief intro to finance, as it provides a good breadth of knowledge into what most of the units in the finance faculty would cover, such as BFC2340 or BFC3241 (Debt markets and securities & equities and investment analysis).
« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 10:07:07 am by Springyboy »