What Does VTAC Stand For?
VTAC stands for Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre and is a one-stop platform that processes tertiary course applications in Victoria.
What Is The Role Of VTAC?
VTAC's primary function is to collect, process and forward course applications to Australian universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges across Victoria. Although VTAC has no authority over which applicant gets admission into a course, the centre has an important responsibility to calculate the ATAR for Year 12 students.
Once the institutions have made a decision, VTAC releases the offer letters to successful applicants.
How Is VTAC Relevant To Medicine?
VTAC Undergraduate Medicine or the Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Doctor of Medicine degree usually spans over 5-6 years in Australia. This medical program is only available to applicants who have successfully finished their Year 12 studies no more than two years before the application commencement date.
VTAC Medicine: Eligibility Criteria
Most students in their current Year 12 or those who have completed their tertiary qualification are eligible to apply through VTAC. To begin with, you must meet the citizenship and residency requirements to apply for the VTAC courses. Therefore, you must be:
- An Australian citizen
- Australian permanent resident
- New Zealand citizen
- A temporary resident or someone with a student visa currently in their Year 12 (in Australia or overseas)
- An international student who is currently enrolled at The University of Melbourne and is applying to transfer to another UniMelb course.
- A temporary resident or someone with a student visa with no prior tertiary qualification, currently studying or has finished the NCEA in New Zealand
Once you determine your citizenship requirements, it is mandatory to meet entrance requirements to access a VTAC course. Entrance requirements are typically the prerequisite educational qualification required to succeed in a course.
Kindly note that the types of courses you are eligible to apply for solely depends on your qualification.
For VTAC Undergraduate Medical courses, the minimum tertiary entrance requirements include satisfactory performance in an Australian or overseas Year 12 education program. In addition, it also includes completion of the equivalent of VCE and Units 3 and 4 in one of the corresponding English studies, English Literature or English language. Completing the prerequisites must be in the same calendar year unless you are granted ‘interrupted study’ status.
Note that if you completed another qualification, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) for New Zealand applicants, or A-levels for students applying from the United Kingdom, you will need to supply original or certified copies of these documents.
Each institute has specific entry requirements that you must satisfy to be given a medical school offer. To find out more about the core subjects that each institute requires, visit the website of your preferenced medical school. However, if you do not meet the minimum tertiary requirements or the specific institutional requirements, consider applying to alternate pathways or bridging courses.
VTAC Undergraduate Medicine: Other Exam Requirements
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) and VTAC
The UCAT ANZ is a highly challenging medical entrance exam that tests your aptitude to pursue medicine, dentistry and clinical science degree programs within Australia and New Zealand. The entrance exam helps medical schools determine applicants with the most suitable attributes and professional etiquette to succeed during medical school and subsequent medical practice. Consequently, most undergraduate medical schools consider your score on the UCAT exam as one of the primary selection criteria, besides academic achievements and the medical interview process.
Achieving a score on the UCAT ANZ exam is a critical requirement for entry into undergraduate medical degrees in Australia. As of 2020, the UCAT exam replaced the UMAT for admission into undergraduate medicine, dentistry and clinical science programs in Australia. You can undertake the UCAT once annually, and the exam date is generally between July and August. However, unlike the graduate medical entrance exam (GAMSAT), the UCAT is a computerised test with five distinct sections:
To register for the UCAT exam, you must book your spot between the early week of March and mid-week of May. And be sure to check your preferenced university course requirements before applying to sit the UCAT.
UCAT International and Domestic Applicants
It is important to note that UCAT is for domestic students, whereas the ISAT is for international students which is administered by ACER, an organization that administers the GAMSAT exam in conjunction with the GEMSAS medical schools. Currently, only those international students studying Year 12 in Australia and applying for certain places in Medicine/Surgery at Monash University are allowed to sit the ISAT and apply according to the VTAC guidelines.
How Does VTAC Calculate The ATAR?
One of the critical features of the VTAC is to calculate your Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank or the ATAR. As the name suggests, the ATAR is not a score but a rank you achieve compared to other applicants. The ATAR is calculated by VTAC to help tertiary institutions compare the overall academic achievement of students who have completed different VCE study combinations. Once VTAC calculates your ATAR, it forwards the ATAR and application form to the selection panel at the institutions.
Students that are currently in Year 12 receive their ATAR through VTAC in December, whereas International Baccalaureate (IB) students receive a Notional ATAR. A Notional ATAR is also calculated by VTAC and compares the results of those applicants who have a different Victorian educational system. For instance, you will gain a notional ATAR if you have a Victorian secondary education other than the VCE. Additionally, a notional ATAR indicates that you meet the minimum tertiary entrance requirements in Victoria.
Only those students who have applied to the undergraduate medical program and have made necessary payments to process their VTAC application receive an ATAR statement by email.
The ATAR Calculation for VCE
VTAC uses the VCE results declared by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to calculate the ATAR. The ATAR is a percentile rank and not a score; therefore, it highlights the relative performance of an applicant compared to the cohort. The ATAR is a rank based on the student's aggregate generated by adding:
- The VTAC scaled study score in one of English, English Language, Literature or English as an Additional Language
- The following three best VTAC scaled study scores; and
- 10% of the available fifth and sixth admissible scores
How Can You Apply For A Course In VTAC?
VTAC Undergraduate Medicine applications open on 2 August 2021, and it allows you to apply for eight VTAC courses in order of preference. However, you only receive one final offer per round. Therefore, before you start applying through VTAC, keep relevant documents like educational history, proof of identification and reference numbers handy, and double-check whether you meet the minimum entrance requirements for the course that you are interested in.
Also, be sure to answer all the questions and provide appropriate information where required to prevent any mishap during your application process. Now let us go step-by-step to understand how to lodge your application to VTAC:
- You are required to create a VTAC account to login and submit your application form.
- Once you successfully log in to your VTAC account, select the 'Course application' icon to access all the available VTAC courses.
- Now you are expected to enter your educational history, both secondary and post-secondary studies, depending upon the course requirement. For undergraduate medicine, you must supply the location and study duration of your Year 12 studies and provide a list of all the enrolled units at your institute.
- The next step in the application process is to provide any admission tests you have previously undertaken; this can be the UCAT (domestic students) or the ISAT (international students). If you are yet to sit the entrance exam, provide your registration number to VTAC.
- Now using the course drop-down menu, you can enter up to eight-course preferences on VTAC. Kindly ensure that you meet the subject prerequisites and entrance requirements and enter a minimum of one and a maximum of eight courses on your application form. Furthermore, be mindful of the VTAC course codes and the course fees.
- After filling in all the necessary course details, you can now allow VTAC offers you receive to be published in metropolitan and regional newspapers. However, this is solely optional.
- The final step in the VTAC application process is to proofread your application form, cross-check all the VTAC course codes and medical school preferencing before you process the application fee.
VTAC Dates And VTAC Fees Information
Where To Next?
The VTAC application process is pretty straightforward, however, be cautious while preferencing your VTAC courses and institutions. Make sure you double check before lodging your application to VTAC.
We hope that the VTAC Admissions Guide was useful and provided you with useful information on how to apply to undergraduate medicine across Victoria. The Fraser’s team wishes you the very best in your admission process. Additionally, we wish to provide abundant Free resources and tools to guide you through your medical school journey! Visit Fraser's website and utilise our range of articles that can give you solid insights on the medical interview format and tips to ace it!