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Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« on: July 19, 2016, 04:04:07 pm »
Greetings people of AN  8) ,

From the brilliant mind of buttarnotes comes Insight into University Enhancement Programs!

This thread is a place for extension students from different universities to share their own experiences about the subjects they did (kinda like the subject reviews thread, but specific to the extension studies) with hope that it will give insight and perhaps even interest future VCE students to have a go.

We'd love you speak openly about your experiences in enhancement studies (whichever unit), pros and cons, how you managed, how it helped in VCE, and how it's affected you after VCE!

For those who are interested and have questions, feel free to ask away as it would definitely help others! If you have any other questions, you may want to directly message one of the past extension students, or you can visit the IRC Chat where there may be past or present students who can help!

Just as a suggested template you can use the following code. Otherwise, you may just want to provide a paragraph or so!

Code: [Select]
[b]Subject Code/Name:[/b] [url=insert link here]SUBJECT CODE - SUBJECT NAME[/url]  Please insert the handbook link for the subject, and replace SUBJECT CODE - SUBJECT NAME with the appropriate details

[b]Workload:[/b]  (specify how many lectures, pracs, tutes etc. and their duration)

[b]Assessment:[/b]  (Outline the various assessments which make up the subject and how much each counts for)

[b]Recorded Lectures:[/b]  Yes, with/without screen capture

[b]Past exams available:[/b]  Yes, how many?  No. Was there a sample exam?

[b]Textbook Recommendation:[/b]  What must you buy?  What is "recommended"?  Do you need it?


[b]Year & Semester of completion:[/b]

[b]Rating:[/b]  out of 5

[b]Comments:[/b] Give your overall opinion of the subject, lecturers, assessment etc. and a recommendation, plus anything else which you feel is relevant.

Hope this helps people and best of luck to everyone with their studies!

Goin' with the flo'  8)

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2016-2018: Bachelor of Biomedical Science


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2016, 10:19:07 am »
MUEP Biology
Just to get things started, I'll post about my experiences in uni biology. This consisted of BIO1011 and BIO1022. For BIO1011, I have already posted a subject review which can be found here. I'll post up a BIO1022 review soon!

What was it like?
Monash Uni Extension Biology was a pretty large step from VCE biology. We'd touched on most of the important concepts in VCE, but in MUEP Bio there was a broad scope with little depth. In other words, memorising would work for a decent score (not that I'm recommending it). Similarly, BIO1022 was a large step from BIO1011, and I personally found it a bit harder, but more interesting.

Overall workload...
Depending on which school you go to, you may or may not be able to attend the lectures. For JMSS students, this helps because it's just next door and they can go to and from lectures as they please. For other students, this can be detrimental because the more you postpone watching the lectures at home, the greater the buildup towards the end of the year.
There were 3 hour labs every two weeks. For BIO1011, the pracs are manageable with a combo of VCE biol and the prac info which they give in your lab manual. For BIO1022, the pracs are (imo) significantly harder and you should definitely go over the lectures (Yes, I was one of those kids that postponed watching lectures at home), or even read the prescribed book. Most of these labs have a pre-lab quiz on these "quizzers" which are annoying af to use, but they only consist of a few questions! In terms of other assessments, you also have a weekly, timed quiz which you have to get like ~95%+ on to avoid having to do a revision activity. It's usually outta 30, so you can only lose about 1-2 marks max.

In BIO1011, post-lab (in last 30 mins), the TA would explain to you the answers to some of the questions which are due the following week by online submission. Alternatively, there was one lab report (VCE style will do unless specified by TA) and a oral presentation which is given in week 4 and due waaaaaaay later.
Important note: First years tend to procrastinate, so you'll may find yourself starting the presentation like one week before the due date.

In BIO1022, there were various types of assessments. The topic was genetic disorders (you'll be randomly assigned one) and you had to do a write-up about the disorder. Once again, there was an oral with the same amount of time as in BIO1011. Every so often there were tests in the final 30 minutes. Finally, there was also one lab report and multiple pre-labs. The labs for BIO1022 were annoying, HOWEVER, THE IMMUNOLOGY (FINAL) PRAC WAS GREAT. One last thing about BIO1022, the exam is like 2 days before the ENGLISH exam and so I winged it. IF YOU PLAN ON DOING BIO1022, DO NOT POSTPONE WATCHING LECTURES. For both exams they give you this revision superquiz and just repeating that about ~25 times would hopefully gift you a decent score.

How has it affected me after uni...
BMS1021 prohibitions include BIO1022. Thus, I got to skip that this semester, and do BMS2011. This saved me time whilst my friends did some dreadfully long essay. Saying that though, I would have rather done BMS1021 with the cohort since I didn't pay much attention in BIO1022.

Advantages of MUEP Bio:
- This is a bit cliched, but I definitely, DeFiNiteLy, DEFINITELY, stress that it helps to get an idea of uni. Unlike the other extension units, we were integrated with uni students. You get to meet a LOT of people!
- With the broad scope of topics, you get an idea of what you may like to pursue further. i.e. I loved immunology
- The weekly quiz was all multiple choice and majority of the answers you could uh... find in your textbook Google <-- some of the people in my labs did that.
- One less subject at school, so I had more free periods to "study"  ;)
- Monash also invite you to some post-exam celebratory events like watching a movie and stuff.
- There's a grading scale for extension, which takes into account your AVERAGE over the two units:
  • 90+ = 5.0 increments
  • 80+ = 4.5 increments
  • 70+ = 4.0 increments
and so on!
Note: Extension units count in bottom 2 iirc.

Disadvantages of MUEP Bio:
- Broad scope, not as much depth. I would rather prefer understanding over memory, so maybe like maths or chem in that case.
- Couldn't attend the lectures as they were at school times. This wasn't the same for MUEP maths/chem students iirc.
- At times, I preferred working with other extension students (first years procrastinate a lot). MUEP maths and chem I believe had no group assessments and their classes were exclusive to MUEP students.
- The weekly quiz is annoying af. They'll give you what looks to be like a few questions, only to see (a)---> (g) when you click on them. The time limit was about 30 mins.

Final Note:
Ultimately, the content is alright and it'll help you out in uni depending on what course you'll do. In all honesty, I would have preferred doing MUEP maths or MUEP chem due to the fact that they were less memory-based + they woulda helped with my year 12 units too. If you plan on doing VCE bio in year 12 though, maybe this would help! For those that are keen though to get an idea of what uni is like, this would probably suit better than MUEP maths and chem as you get to interact with other uni students during lectures and pracs.

Hope this helps  :)

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2016-2018: Bachelor of Biomedical Science


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 10:41:50 am »
Subject Code/Name: MAST10013 UMEP Mathematics for High Achieving Students

Workload:  1x2-hour class at a school centre per week

Assessment: 10 (?) assignments throughout the year, and 2 exams at the end of the year (usually late (20ish) November, after VCE exams are over). Exam 1 is usually on a Friday (3 hours) and exam 2 is the following Monday (2 hours).

Recorded Lectures:  N/A

Past exams available:  Yes, dating back to 2009 (not all relevant), all available in one of the required UMEP booklets. In addition, miscellaneous 'exam style questions' are also included in the booklet, but no answers (these questions are taken from numerous other university assignments/exams such as Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Linear Algebra, Accelerated Maths 1, etc.)

Textbook Recommendation:  No prescribed textbook, instructor provides materials/prescribed UMEP materials. This really depends on the instructor. I did UMEP at Melbourne Grammar, the instructor Ms. Goureeve (<- awesome) provided very comprehensive printouts for each class. If you're more adventurous, Paul's Math Notes for Linear Algebra provide very detailed coverage of topics (Ms. G's printouts were often from Paul's Maths Notes anyway). Other classes I've heard that they just go through the UMEP booklet summaries (which imo are quite dry and condensed), but I'm not certain.

Year & Semester of completion: 2015, Year long

Rating: 5 out of 5

Comments: This subject was absolutely great imo. It has a distinctively different feel from VCE Methods and Specialist, both because it's mostly concerned with pure mathematics (rather than the general application and problem-solving emphasis of VCE maths), but also due to the overall different feel of maths at uni. Whilst there is a reasonable overlap between UMEP maths and VCE maths, it's not extensive, because UMEP maths is mainly concerned with things above and beyond VCE level (which is why people do uni maths, right?)

What was it like?

UMEP Maths covers a wide range of topics, kind of picking up where Specialist leaves off. A major portion of the course is concerned with linear algebra which is a distinct field of mathematics (i.e. as opposed to calculus/analysis), not really touched upon in high-school or VCE level maths (apart from a little bit of vectors in year 12!)

In terms of difficulty, the content was a lot more conceptual and abstract than VCE maths, and is quite a step-up from VCE level maths... just think - four dimensional planes, systems of equations in five unknowns, and stuff like that :P. This, however, is compensated for in that the questions asked on assignments and exams were very straightforward - they'd simply ask you to perform an operation, solve an equation, or something like that which requires zero interpretation (unlike VCE exams, where figuring out how to approach a question is half the battle).

Overall, then, I'd say UMEP Maths is a lot more advanced conceptually, but practically simpler.

Note - I'm aware that the UMEP maths course is changing in 2016 to cover both Calculus 2 and Linear Algebra (previously it covered only Accelerated Maths 1). This means it now covers more content, but the final outcome (i.e. how much of a headstart you get on maths subjects in uni) turns out to be the same for certain reasons

The specific topics covered by UMEP mathematics are:
   - Techniques of proof, number systems
   - Complex numbers (in particular, the complex exponential and applications to integration/differentiation)
   - Solid geometry (basically vector algebra involving cross-product, lines and planes)
   - Matrices and linear systems (solving linear systems of arbitrary dimension using row reduction, determinants, inverses)
   - Multivariable calculus (one of my favourite parts of the subject, partial derivatives, gradient, double and triple integrals, tangent planes)
   - Vector spaces (vector spaces, subspaces, basis, span and dimension, coordinate vectors, polynomial and function vector spaces)
   - Inner products (basically a generalised form of the dot product)
   - Linear transformations (extends from the baby steps introduced in Methods, transformation matrices, kernel, Rank-Nullity theorem, etc.)
   - Eigenvectors and eigenvalues (used for finding arbitrary powers of matrices, diagonalisation)
Overall workload...
The actual classes were run once a week (every week of term for 3+1/2 terms). Each weekly class was 2 hours long, in which the instructor walked us through new topics, did examples on the board, and so on, just like in a VCE maths class except with more advanced material. So no, there weren't any 'lectures' per se for UMEP maths.

With my instructor, the pace of classes was moderate. Ms. G. was very relaxed, fine with doing an extra class here and there if people were particularly struggling with a specific topic, were super busy, or just too tired to pay attention.

In our class, at least, falling behind here and there was basically a given - it happened to all of us. Personally I don't feel that it impacted me, because the resources our instructor provided were super-comprehensive. Along with the prescribed UMEP resources (which are summary notes and practice questions), it's easy enough to catch up several weeks (the mild pace was also a plus here!).

Usually a good deadline to get up-to-date with course content is just before the assignment (one assignment per topic, given at the final class for that topic). Even if you don't fully catch up in time for the assignment, it's not the end of the world - the assignment is, of course, open-book and you can basically use whatever resources you need. Including your CAS calculator. But, as you'll see, the CAS becomes increasingly useless as you progress into higher level maths haha :)

As I was juggling 5 VCE subjects on top of UMEP maths, I naturally didn't have a lot of time to spare to study for it. I basically relegated all my study for the week for UMEP to three or four hours on Saturday mornings or afternoons. During those few hours, I'd go through the printouts, my own notes (if any) and online resources to get up to date with topics, compiling notes, and doing questions.

At this rate, I didn't find keeping up too difficult (although I'm not one to speak, I fell behind multiple times lol).

Overall, there is plenty of time throughout the year, so minor trip-ups for a few weeks don't mean much at all. Missing up to one or two weeks of class also isn't a massive deal, but more than that might cause major problems. Our instructor always provided last week's notes to students who missed the last week.

The exams were held on Nov 20 and Nov 23, but it was well after all my exams had finished (my last exam was English Language, and I had a week to prepare for UMEP), so there is ample time for exam preparation as long as you have actually tried for most of the year. The exception is people who do languages (e.g. CSL) which from what I hear has exams in late November. However, imo that's not a major issue as all mainstream subjects (e.g. maths, science, humanities) finish up around Nov 15ish from what I know, and then people only have to study for like 2 subjects.

How it affected me after VCE...

Doing UMEP maths was really cool in that students who get normal marks (iirc 70+) are given credit for MAST10008 Accel Maths 1 and then are given the option of doing MAST20009 Vector Calculus (a second year subject on multivariable calculus, a prerequisite for applied and pure maths as well as physics majors), before doing AM2 in second semester.

I was also to credit MAST10013 to a concurrent maths diploma, which means I have the option of (a) doing an extra subject in my degree or (b) not overloading for semester... somewhere :P

Advantages of UMEP Maths...
- You get to pursue more advanced maths in Year 12. If you're wanting to do more maths in uni (like me), this will give you a headstart in your mathematical career at uni. On the other hand, if you love maths but are preparing to kiss maths goodbye after VCE (like some of my friends), take advantage of this opportunity to get as much maths as you can before you need to leave. Go on :)

- Counts as an extra 5th or 6th subject for VCE, in which it's definitely statistically easier to get a 5.0 (equivalent 50) than it is in a VCE subject :P. UMEP served as my 6th subject (and... contributed 0.5 aggregate points lol). You get a 5.0 increment if your score is 90+, 4.5 if it's 80+, and so on. I got a mark of 94 for UMEP maths despite doing badly on the exam (compared to my practice), so that was 5.0. If I had done another subject instead (say Bio), I would definitely not have gotten anywhere near 50 with that type of underperformance :P.

- You get to be in a very, very high-performing environment. The UMEP maths cohort in particular is very high-achieving, and chances are you'll get to meet, make friends with, and get inspired by kids who are at the very top of their game.

- Special treatment by UniMelb (haha!), such as an invitation to VCE revision lectures hosted by UoM (for KLD and UMEP VCE students), pizza, a UMEP graduation ceremony (after VCE results come out).

- If you go to Melbourne Grammar, you'll get Ms. G as your instructor. She is SERIOUSLY AWESOME. You'll basically be able to chill through the year ;)

- You get to fall in love with UoM (I did!)

Disadvantages of UMEP Maths...
- Unless you're one of those fortunate kids who go to a school that offers UMEP, you'll have to travel to the nearest or most convenient school centre. In my case, I lived in an out-of-the-way place and had to travel for 1.5 hours each way to Melbourne Grammar in South Yarra. BUT DUDE WAS IT WORTH IT xD

- Be prepared to battle UoM admin before your first semester if you want to do any tricky things with the credit from UMEP (like doing MAST20009 or putting it in a diploma). This is fairly obscure for most uni staff and it won't be easy :P But again, it's worth it!

- Again, you'll get to know UoM (via various opportunities) in more detail than other universities (Monash remains highly mysterious to me!), thus making it a lot more likely that you'll end up preferring UoM above other universities. Depending on what you want to do, this may be a good or bad thing :3

I think I've written enough :P. Hopefully this will give future students good insight into what UMEP maths is really like. If I could encapsulate this post in two short points:

- It's not that hard.
- You should do it!
~~ rarely checking these forums these days ~~

2015: Specialist [47] | Methods [48] | Chemistry [50] | Physics [48] | English Language [46] | UMEP Mathematics [5.0] | ATAR - 99.95
Premier's Award Recipient 2016: Top All-Round VCE High Achiever
2016-2019: University of Melbourne : Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology), Diploma in Mathematics (Applied)
2019-: University of British Columbia


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 10:46:54 am »
Awesome work HighTide and zsteve!

I'll write one up for MUEP Chemistry when I have the time (soon, hopefully) - I've actually answered a lot of PMs about it so it only makes sense :P

Edit: inb4 someone else writes a review I shotgun lmao
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 10:48:30 am by grampasmith »


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 02:00:10 pm »
MTH1040 (Monash Maths)   

Workload:  This usually varies from centre to centre, I had mine at PLC which was 2-3 hours a week

Assessment:  40% - 6 assignments and 60% - Exams (mid year + end of year, so each accounts for 30%)

Recorded Lectures:  No, it was an in-class setting

Past exams available:  Yes, you get a 'practice' exam which contains like 60% of the questions (word-for-word) on the actual exam, so passing this is actually quite a breeze.

Textbook Recommendation:  You get a set of notes with the course which is pretty much all you need to be honest.

Lecturer(s): Dr Evans (absolute beast) and Mr Taylor (again, absolute beast).
Can easily say two of my favourite teachers from all of high school.

Year & Semester of completion: 2015, full year.

Rating:  4 out of 5

Grade: HD

Been cranking out an essay in formal language, so time to turn it really colloquial :)

Subject was pretty meh in and of itself, but the teachers who taught the subject were downright fascinating and inspiring. I wasn't overly immersed into the subject (possibly because the subject represented, at best, a 5.0 to my aggregate) and I think that may have affected my perception of the subject.

MUEP maths was definitely a step up from what you get from Methods and Specialist and sometimes the assignments can get incredibly tedious (think late nights at 2am trying to make sense of part a) of a 10 part question), giving you the feeling that there's no chance on earth that you'll pass the subject.

But then you get into the exam and realise that 60% of it is exactly the same as the 'practice' exam they give you and all your hopes and aspirations come flooding back in again.

In terms of workload, the actual subject is quite minimal, if you commit around 30mins to 1 hour per week, you should be able to get a nice 75+ end score (which is a 4.0 to your aggregate and quite nice to have). Of course, the exam definitely gets really tricky towards the end, I remember staring blankly at the last question (which was worth a solid 10 marks...) and i'm pretty sure I turned it in fairly blank (well, at the very least i had no clue what i was doing), so you'll probably need to study heaps if you want to dux the subject (but that's probably a given for any subject you take).
In terms of advantages after VCE, you get a nice subject's worth of credit wherever you end up (so even if you go to Melb, you can get a subject off first semester to ease your VCE-to-Uni transition a bit, or you can save that up). You also get a nice taste of how uni subjects run (although I found that this is pretty subjective since I didn't really get much of a taste, real uni was completely different to this). I felt Uni Maths was more like a Uni-difficulty subject taught by high school teachers and in a high school atmosphere.

You also get to be in a class with a bunch of nerds (i say this in a very good way). I think it's encouraging and motivating to be in a high-performing environment with people who aim high and have already got a swagload of Year 11 achievements. You also get tons of collaboration opportunities since the assignments are so dreadfully difficult sometimes a third of the class gets together and just discusses any potential inklings of any ideas that you might have in order to get closer to solving it. The assignments do get easier as the year goes by though (i'm still reeling from shock over my 1st or 2nd assignment).

Overall, I felt it was a very worthy subject to take in Year 12, and it is very rewarding :)

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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2016, 12:10:01 pm »
Monash Extension Chemistry

Subject Code/Name: CHM1011/Chemistry I (Semester 1) & CHM1022/Chemistry II (Semester 2)

Workload: Extension students have it significantly differently from their first-year counterparts (whether we have it easier/harder is subjective :P). So thereís 1 x 2 hour lecture per week (which usually finished 0.5 - 1 hour early), after school at around 4-6pm. A lecture in a small classroom solely for the extension kids, which kinda makes it more of a tutorial than a lecture - perhaps a lectorial of sorts. There are around 10 labs/pracs grouped into 2-3 x 2-3 hour lab days (during school holidays and all done in the new Green Chemical Futures building, Clayton campus). So again, solely for extension students. And yes, lab days are tiring but itís also a chance to interact (Ďcos it doesnít really happen during lectures), explore the Monash campus and.. meet the Scotch kids.. I guess? :P

Assessment: Iíll have to confirm this with my brother (whoís doing uni chem this year) as itís probably changed slightly. And Iím sure assessment weightings for Extension is different to that of first-year kids (we donít have an oral presentation). Wait, just asked him - it has changed, here it is:
1. Exam 50%
2. Practical work 30%
3*. Online quizzes 10%
4**. Participation/attendance 10%

*There are pre-lectures quizzes (worth 2-2.5% in total, 1 attempt each) and post-lectures quizzes (worth 7.5-8% in total, 3 attempts each). Untimed. No rules ;) 90% of answers on Yahoo Answers ;) Too easy.

**This would usually be for tutorial attendance but since Extension forego tutes, Iím thinking itíd be allocated towards lab attendance, so free marks essentially. They definitely do NOT count lecture attendance. Personally, I stopped attending lectures by week 7 of sem1 and for the entirety of sem2 (defs a bottom 2 subject lol).

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture. However these will be recordings of the first-year streams; different lecturers, just as good if not better *ahem* Chris Thompson *ahem* (heís the coordinator btw and will introduce himself to the special extension kids yay!).

Past exams available:  Yes, 3 sample exams with rather detailed answers.

Textbook Recommendation: Chemistry 2nd Ed. By Blackman. You can get a copy if you want, but itís not necessary Ė I ended up only touching it thrice: when I bought it, when I placed it on my desk and when I placed it into a cupboard never to be seen again. There are probably some good practice questions in there but again, not necessary as there are weekly tute worksheets that provide ample practice.

Lecturer(s): íTis here that I mention there are several locations where lectures are held for MUEP Chem Ė most notably Monash Clayton campus as well as Scotch College, Hawthorn. There are several other schools but these differ a bit year to year. I had mine on campus and had Dr. Jonathan Maclellan as my lecturer. Chill dude, amusing accent, but maybe expects a bit too much from extension kids (goes too fast at times haha).

Year & Semester of completion: 2015, Semester 1 & 2

Rating: 5 out of 5

I'll keep the unit descriptions brief as there are already very comprehensive and up-to-date reviews of these two units.

CHM1011 basically covers the stuff you learn in year 11 chemistry (2013-2016 SD) and then some. And then some. As examples, you'll look at bonding, periodic trends of the elements and most notably, the developing atomic model, with which comes increasing complexity. Trust me, you WILL be confused initially. You WILL be overwhelmed. But, again, trust me - you WILL manage in the exam. You're an Extension student after all ;) Thereafter you will go through Thermodynamics/Equilibria/Kinetics which will give you a decent headstart for Unit 4 of VCE Chemistry.

As for the exam itself, it was very, very similar to the mock exams provided. As long as you 'learn' the methods behind answering the questions you'll net an HD, easy. There's actually very little rote-learning involved which makes it (imo) one of the better extension units out there.

CHM1022 is all about organic chem - functional groups, IUPAC nomenclature, reaction pathways, spectroscopy etc. giving a good dose of revision for Unit 3. You'll actually use all those spectroscopic techniques you've hitherto been hearing about in high school.

Now, I'm (admittedly) probably not the best person to ask about the CHM1022 exam. It was a day before Methods Exam 1 and I couldn't give a damn about it - only problem was that I hadn't attended any lectures and never bothered catching up. So.. I 'learnt' the methods behind answering questions as much as I could but ultimately got hammered by pure recall questions. Still clutched it though HAHA. But in retrospect, so long as you keep on top of lectures, complete the tutorial worksheets and learn the mock exams - HD in the bag, son.
As previously mentioned, lab days are quite tiresome but you just get through the day and move on. You work in either pairs/threesomes/foursomes. They're pretty enjoyable (as long as you make friends), and you get to play with equipment/chemicals you would never be able to in high school. At the end of the (long) day, it makes you a much more competent lab worker. And that's a good thing. Oh, and you get to borrow Monash lab coats free of charge. That's already a $2 x 10 = $20 saving!!

The Advantages of an Extension Program

1. Particularly with Chemistry, workload is minimal content-wise. You can treat it as a pure bludge subject and still obtain that 4.5-5 increment. Some topics might seem bewildering to begin with (I'm looking at you VB/MO theory), but by exam time you should be pretty comfortable in answering those sorts of questions.

2. As a Monash Extension student you will be granted access to the Monash Uni internet (Eduroam, which also means free internet access at UniMelb, RMIT etc.), the library borrowing service and computers throughout campus.

3. You will be completing 2 level one units i.e. CHM1011 & CHM1022. These are recognised first-year chemistry units and as such can be credited to your uni degree (depending on the degree) even if it's not at Monash. For example, crediting these units to your Science/Biomed/Pharmacy degree gives you the option to either underload (i.e. 3 units in a semester rather than 4) in 1st/2nd year of your degree or take on 2nd year-level (level two) chemistry units during first-year. Taking myself as an example, I'll be crediting CHM1011/22 to my Biomedical Science degree which will allow me to underload in 2nd year (next year).

4. Although this next point may seem like a 'disadvantage', I'd like to think otherwise. Yes, the Monash Extension program is not free. Each unit costs $450, so $900 for the year (up-front, cannot be put onto HECS, although payment is due around May?*). However, this is actually MORE than a 50% discount considering first-year kids have to cough up ~$1000 per unit.

*This effectively means you can 'trial' the program for ~3 months before you have to pay. There's no fee or penalty if you decide to drop the unit before the payment date.

The Disadvantages

1. Itís a bottom 2 subject so if youíre only doing 5 VCE subjects it may force a weaker subject into your top 4. Then again, minimal workload means more time for VCE subjects. Just some food for thought.

2. Just to reiterate, the Monash Extension program is not gratis. Understandably, this may seem off-putting. However, I'm sure there are payment plans that can be negotiated and if not then there's always the UniMelb Extension program which is free. But like I've mentioned, you can have a good taste of the unit and if you realise it's just not your thing, you can drop it without incurring any costs.

To sum up, I'm glad I did it and you should do it too. Also I apologise for the convolutedness of this review.


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 05:04:02 pm »
Does anyone do UMEP Physics?
2017 Methods
2018 Specialist Math, Physics, Chemistry, English, UMEP Maths
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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2016, 12:18:34 am »
Just because I think there is a severe lack of Biomed Extension students on this board....

Monash Uni Extension Biomedical Science:
BMS1021 (Cells, tissues and organisms) - pretty simple, a lot of the stuff is also covered in VCE Bio 3/4
BMS1052 (Neurobiology) - A more difficult subject, but also a lot more interesting than BMS1052 in my opinion. Unfortunately, it also comes in the later half of the year where I was beginning the VCE practice exams grind, so that also contributes to the undoubtedly falling marks. Would recommend trying to get a high average for BMS1021 so that it brings up the overall average :)

This is probably the most important point to consider before choosing this subject.
Very high workload!! There are 3 1hr lectures every week, as well as a 3hr practical most weeks (although sometimes you can leave early) To put it in perspective, my school had maybe three ~1hr classes for a single subject every week (3hrs total), and with 6 contact hours, Uni Biomed doubles that already (not including time to revise content and read through the textbook as well) To be fair, I got lots of free periods in exchange for that, and most of the lectures were during a free/ lunch/ afterschool so I don't feel like I was spending that much extra time at school compared to a normal student. However, it is pretty much ESSENTIAL to keep up with lectures and revise them frequently because it is so easy to just feel lazy with it, so I probably ended up spending more time studying Biomed than some of my other VCE subjects  ;D And this was without reading the textbook (because I just couldn't be bothered- not to mention more time!!!!) although for BMS1052 the lecturers strongly recommend that you do so.

Because of all this, I think it's definitely better to do Biomed if you did two 3/4s in year 11, because while doing Uni Extension Biomed + five 3/4s is possible, you are much more likely to give up on it especially because of stress when nearing the end of year VCE exams like I saw some of my friends doing  :(

I know this sounds very negative already but there are benefits to Uni Biomed as well!!! It's just something I wish I knew before beginning it.

Keep in mind these may change in the future!! The courses are always being revised.
Practical quizzes (some of which can be done online in your own time which is very nice because it lets you read your notes while doing them :D)
Mid semester exam - BMS1021 multiple choice only, BMS1052 some short answer as well
Final exam - Multiple choice only
Written assessments - The most annoying!!!! Must research scientific articles (which can be very hard to understand) and write a 1000 word essay on a topic. I left it to the last minute which is probably why I didn't get the best score for it  ;D But reflecting back on it, research is a pretty essential skill if you want to go into the science field in the future, so I feel like I learnt something from it :)

More than enough time is given to complete all the assessments, so no stress about that at least :D Just pay attention to the stuff that lecturers really emphasize in their notes because unlike VCE, they want their students to succeed :D

Recorded Lectures:
Yes!!!! With screen capture :)
So if your school is far away from Monash Uni, it's only required for you to make it to the exams and pracs in person

Past exams available:
Yes, if the lecturers are feeling extra nice :)
They do give practice questions during lectures sometimes, and the questions are mostly straightforward so if you know your stuff I feel like it's not essential anyway.

Textbook Recommendation:
Did not use any textbooks~~
However, statistics apparently show a correlation between reading the textbook and those coveted HD marks (80%+) on average, and so while I managed to achieve them without it, it's just something to keep in mind :)

Year & Semester of completion:

Rating:  out of 5
In terms of gains to your ATAR? Probably 2/5
While it is might be easier to get a 4.5 (80%+ average) increment from Uni Extension than other VCE subjects, the amount of time needed to invest for Biomed is not worth it in my opinion.
In terms of what I actually learnt? 5/5  !!!!!!
I pretty much thought VCE Biology was the most boring subject in the world (THE HORROR) because of how much rote learning there was. No idea why I decided to do Uni Biomed then which included even more :D, but the content is 100000x more interesting because you can see how it translates to real life. Some of the lecturers are also very quirky and love to engage with the students which makes it enjoyable as well :)

So in conclusion, maybe a 3.5/5? Recommended but also not recommended!!!!
If you're willing to put up with annoying things like constant revision and pracs (yes pracs are the worst because they have assessments and you have to actually try hard at them D:), and you have a genuine interest in biology, I would definitely recommend it. It's a real breath of stale fresh air when compared to VCE just because of how differently the timetable gets laid out, so I enjoyed that aspect of it :)
The lecturers are also very understanding of the high workload, and so they always make sure that Uni Extension students can keep up, suggesting to email them directly if you have any questions about the program.
Also the credits to a Biomed degree are always a nice bonus :)
Not to mention experiencing Uni life and potentially making new friends !!!

It's true this subject is very competitive though. I'm not sure but apparently only 10 students or something are selected??? Not sure about actual numbers but something like that. And out of the 10~, 6 were JMSS students xDDD
To my knowledge, all Uni Biomed students DID get a 40+ study score in Bio 3/4, so that would drastically increase the chances of getting in successfully.

These are just my experiences though, but I think the most important thing is to go into it with a positive mind and you'll enjoy the learning experience :)
Overall, I have no regrets that I did Uni Biomed! Good luck to anyone that considers this! :D


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2019, 10:27:34 pm »
UMEP MAST10019 Calculus Extension Studies and UMEP MAST10018 Linear Algebra Extension Studies
Note that the subject underwent a restructuring in 2016 and now covers Linear Algebra in Semester 1 and Calculus 2 in Semester 2.

Workload:  1 2-hr Class per week (depending on School centre). It's your own responsibility to schedule time to go over lecture notes and complete the questions from the Exercise book. It's not VCE and no one is watching over you - you've got to be self-determined and conscientious.

Assessment: There are three assignments each Semester cumulatively worth 25%, and an exam each semester for the remainder of the contribution. Each semesterís marks are combined to produce the final score submitted to VTAC and ultimately responsible for your ATAR aggregate contribution. There's a table online from VTAC with the final grade to ATAR contribution, but the it goes roughly as follows: 90-100% = 5.0, 80-89%=4.5 and so forth...

Exams: Having completed past Calculus 2 exam papers and discussing with the subject coordinator - the UMEP exams are much harder. If you compare past UMEP Calculus papers to the Calculus 2 papers youíll see the discrepancy. The coordinator priorities genuine understanding of the subject and mastery over just being able to routinely answer the questions. The exams often have unexpected questions or different slants on traditional ones. Some kids really disliked this, but I honestly really enjoyed this approach as it provides an opportunity to demonstrate your mathematical ability and understanding over rote learning.

Recorded Lectures:  There is a set of 27 videos produced by the faculty for Semester 2 Calculus. I really recommend watching the videos, theyíre high quality and long form. Some might be confusing at first but keep coming back to them over the semester and they can be really useful for understanding, intuition and best practice for exams.

Past exams available: The coordinator did not put past papers up on the LMS, but the teacher provided us with countless old UMEP or equivalent UniMelb exams. There was a UMEP exam for each semester from 2016, 2017, 2018 including 1 Sample exam for each semester. All in all, there are lots of exams and plenty of opportunity to assess your knowledge and understanding.

Textbook Recommendation: Nothing officially required. Mrs G often gave us handouts from Paul Dawkin's notes (also available free online) and other sources. I personally found Elementary Linear Algebra by Anton & Rorres to be useful for Linear Algebra, but nothing really needed for Calculus. The faculty provides an exercise book for both semesters - which is your outline of all the examinable content, and a notes booklet for Semester 1. Thereís also lecture slides available on the LMS and the aforementioned videos for semester 2.

Teacher(s): Maths and Physics are different to the other UMEP subjects as they are taught at a school centre. This year there were ~6 school centres offering maths, but looking online it seems thereíll be 11 next year.

The teacher at my school centre (Mrs G) was incredible. She prepared and printed resources every week for the class, wrote her own worked solutions and printed past exam papers. The classes flowed smoothly with a short break to relax in between and the general environment was really chilled. It was honestly a highlight of my week attending the classes.

Year & Semester of completion: 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5

Comments: Give your overall opinion of the subject, lecturers, assessment etc. and a recommendation, plus anything else which you feel is relevant.

The assignments are simply put: brutal. Not in terms of the questions themselves which are generally straightforward, but in terms of the marking scheme. If you want to succeed, which is certainly doable, make sure to justify every claim you make, use words and sentences to explain what youíre doing and why, and be exacting and explicit in your working. To do well, expect to spend a decent amount of time on them throughout the year. There are bonus questions worth about 3-5 marks which are extra challenging. Youíll have to do research for the bonus questions and they might entail some coding if itís a simulation or something. I personally scored very highly in them, but I had equally talented classmates who did not because they simply did not justify or explain in the excruciating depth expected. If you take it seriously, they're quite fun and you can learn a lot from the bonus questions!

The subject matter is much more interesting than VCE level and expect the content to challenge you at first - especially Linear Algebra which is very conceptual. The subjects (barring a few caveats) covers content equivalent to Linear Algebra and Calculus 2. In Linear Algebra the only thing we didnít cover were Elementary matrices. In Calculus we omit Sequences and Series and Applications of Second Order DEs to electrical circuit analysis. Thatís it.

Thereís definitely a sharp curve at the beginning. My school group started with almost 20 and in the first few weeks a bunch dropped out. However, the administration team is wonderful and always there to lend assistance when necessary. It might seem overwhelming at first, but my advice is to stick it out and it will get significantly better!

Overall it was a challenging and extremely rewarding experience! I'd highly recommend it to motivated and interested VCE student's. If I haven't addressed something here then just send me a PM or make a new post on the Extension board.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 10:38:43 pm by Tau »
2020 - Bachelor of Science, The University of Melbourne

2019: UMEP Mathematics Extension [First Class Honours (H1)], English [44], Specialist [42 ~ 52], Algorithmics (HESS)
ATAR: 99.50
2018: Physics [46 ~ 48], Methods [41 ~ 46]


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2019, 11:26:04 am »
I donít know how helpful this review will be as most people seem to be after STEM subjects, and also half the course is changing next year, but Iíll still pop this here anyway.

UMEP Art History

Subject Code/Name:
AHIS10001 Art History: Theory and Controversy
AHIS10002 Modern Art: Politics of the New

From 2020 onwards AHIS10002 is being replaced by AHIS10003 The World in 20 Art Works. So my experience with the second semester is quite irrelevant, Iíll mainly focus on semester 1 for this review

Workload:  2 hr lectures per week, 1 hr tutorial per week

Assignment 1 is the short written exercise worth 500 words. It weighs 25% of your final score.
Assignment 2 is the long research essay which is worth 40% of your final score and is 2000 words in length.
Finally assignment 3 is a visual analysis 1500 words in length worth 30%.
(Per semester)

If youíre wondering why the assignments only add up to 95% thatís because class participation accounts for 5% of your final score too.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture. It wasnít really a big deal if you missed lectures as you could watch them at home.

Past exams available:  No, not necessary.
There are no traditional exams as all of them are assignments that you take home to do.

Textbook Recommendation:  N/A

Lecturer(s): Christopher Marshall (sem 1) and Anthony White (sem 2)

Year & Semester of completion: 2019 full year

Rating: 2.5 out of 5


I am an art/STEM person through and through but Art History in the other hand is hardcore humanities, so this was a challenge for me. I wanted to do either UMEP maths or physics but didnít fulfil the prerequisites, but I also wanted to give uni extension a go, hence I why landed here.

I found the most challenging thing about the subject wasnít the actual content but the assignments. Iím not the greatest writer (English is my worst enemy) and you need to write a total of 8000 words worth of essays in art history. In the second half of the year I found that writing did get slightly easier and even saw my English grades at school improving! So thatís one good thing to come out of it.

The content itself was very interesting and it was quite new for me. Having done a lot of art subjects in the past, my main focus had always been ďdoes it look aesthetically pleasing?Ē But through this subject Iíve started asking myself ďis the stuff I create significant in any way?Ē It does get me to think about art on a deeper level which was quite fun to do.

The history content in both subjects are very demanding and it was another area that I struggled in. Itís good to have a broad idea of different art periods throughout history before the subject starts. This does get covered in the lectures but learning it beforehand makes life ten times easier.

Overall I thought the subject has its ups and downs and Iíd recommend it if youíre actually good at humanities/English. There is A LOT of writing and researching involved. I didnít do too well in this (H2B average, 4.0 increment) and I found people who also do history/double Englishís or other humanities subjects for VCE had an easier time. Liking art isnít going to be enough.
ó 2019 ē 2020 ó
UMEP 4.0, Systems 41, Methods 47, Specialist 46, Physics 46, Viscom 40, English 37
ATAR 99.20

ó 2021 ē 2023 ó
Bachelor of Design (Mechanical Systems & Graphic Design)
University of Melbourne


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2019, 01:49:08 pm »

I just heard about this program, can I still apply for next year even if I'm in year 11 (I'm doing Bio 3/4 next year)
Advice to smash Biology ĺ:

2021 VCE - 99.35

Tutoring Bio, Chem, English, Methods 1/2 & 3/4 for 2022. DM if interested

Want some advice for VCE? 👇



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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2019, 11:13:08 pm »

I just heard about this program, can I still apply for next year even if I'm in year 11 (I'm doing Bio 3/4 next year)

Depends on the prerequisites and requirements of the subject youíre hoping to take and whether itís feasible for you to take it (e.g. to travel to the centre itís being taught at, having enough timetable space, having enough time to study for it). I know a few that specifically state ďyou must have completed VCE [insert subject] before taking this courseĒ and others let you take them either without doing the corresponding subject or simultaneously with the U3/4. That being said, itís usually most common to see it done when youíre in Year 12 (but not always).
VCE: Psych | Eng Lang | LOTE | Methods | Further | Chem                 
Uni: Bachelor of Science (Hons) - genetics
Current: working (sporadically on AN)
VTAC Info Thread


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2019, 05:26:50 pm »
Hello! I'm currently applying for Uni Extension at UoM and RMIT! For UMEP it's Planet Earth and Climate cCange, and for RMIT it's Science, Geospatial and Surveying, or Sustainability and Urban Planning.

Has anyone here done any of the listed subjects? If so, please tell me about your experiences, and tips on how to do well in it! :D
2019: Further Maths and Software Development
2020: English Language, Methods, Physics, Chemistry, and RMIT Extension Studies "Science" [?]
2021: Double Bachelors of Environmental Engineering and Chemistry Science @ Monash [?]

"Bless your soul and your generation"

"Time is money and I have debt to pay"

GeM of YSA Melbourne 2019
Elizabeth Blackburn Science School, UHS.


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Re: Insight into University Enhancement Programs
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2020, 02:53:59 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MAST10018 Linear Algebra Extension Studies and MAST10019 Calculus Extension Studies

Workload: About one 2 hour class per week, where the content is taught and some questions from the exercise book may be gone over(but you will be expected to do most exercises at home).

Assessment: Each semester is worth 50% of your overall grade contributing to the atar increment. In each semester, there are 3 assignments, which contain a mixture of exercise book style questions and a couple of tricky proofs but most are not impossible. Each assignment has about 5 questions with multiple parts per question, plus an extension question for bonus marks(although I don't know what the bonus marks were used for). The assignments are worth 25% overall. There is also a 3 hour exam at the end of each semester, counting for 75% of the semester grade. 

Recorded Lectures: Yes for MAST10019. Don't know how it worked every year but part of our learning at home was watching these online recorded lectures. Nothing available for MAST10018 though.

Past exams available:  Yes, about 4 per subject, plus my teacher provided older exams for us. The exam answers weren't always correct, but reading the answer key was valuable.

Textbook Recommendation: There were some things recommended but I don't think anyone even bothered. For MAST10018, there is Elementary Linear Algebra by H. Anton & C. Rorres, which I found online and never opened. For MAST10019, there were 3 possible textbooks you could get, such as Calculus: Sixth edition by J Stewart, but you don't need it.
The extension program people provide you with notes or lecture slides, plus exercise books and tutorial sheets so you never really need textbooks.

Lecturer(s): The people who provided the online lectures were Drs. John Banks & Anthony Mays but the person taking the lessons is dependent on the school centre.

Year & Semester of completion: 2020 semester 1 and 2

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Comments: Give your overall opinion of the subject, lecturers, assessment etc. and a recommendation, plus anything else which you feel is relevant.

I really enjoyed the subjects taught. My teacher was absolutely brilliant, providing all sorts of notes and examples, including worked solutions to the questions in the exercise book. During online learning, she would send us emails with a link to videos going through the notes she sent us(added up to roughly an hour in length).
Linear algebra is very challenging. There is a lot of matrices and proofs in there(two things I didn't learn in spesh 1/2), as well as a tonne of vectors. The notes provided are have a lot of new words that can be very confusing. It's just a new form of maths altogether. However, I enjoyed the challenge of it and it was definitely stimulating. The workload was very much a step up but once you understand how much you should be doing each week and get used to it, it becomes easier. Technically you don't have to do anything outside of class(no one will chase you up for not doing homework) but the exercises and any work the teacher gives you are there to do. I did not enjoy the repetitive nature of the proofs and there was one topic that I still don't understand. We were lucky to be allowed to bring in as much notes as we wanted into the exam which was a big help.

Calculus is a lot easier to understand and links very well with the specialist course. It is basically an extension of what you learn in specialist so nothing is too challenging. The overlap with the specialist course actually helped me because my uni maths teacher was better at explaining mixing problems in a way that I understood than my spesh teacher was. The lectures were also an enormous help. I ended up doing worse somehow on the final calculus exam but we only were allowed one double-sided sheet of notes(plus a formula sheet) and it was a lot harder to prepare for the exam while vce ones were also happening.

But honestly, being able to extend myself in my mathematical knowledge kept me both interested in maths and excited by pursuing maths further in university. I honestly might have stopped doing maths altogether(trying to learn spesh online was not a fun time) if it wasn't for me doing uni maths.

I would recommend this for anyone who likes maths and wants a challenge, particularly those who have already completed methods. The great thing about having uni maths taught at a school centre is that the teacher understands the methods/specialist course and so is better able to bridge the gap between high school and university level maths. If you are interested in doing maths at university, this is definitely a great(and cheap!) way to try it out before having to even commit to a course
2019-Methods [45], Psychology [41]
2020-English [38], Chemistry [43], Spesh [43], UMEP maths [4.5], ATAR: 99.05
2021-2024: Bachelor of Science - Advanced(Research) at Monash