LIFE@SUNWAY AS AN AUSMAT STUDENT
Trying to get the best advice before starting college? I might not the best advisor but I do hope my experience enlightens you!
HOW I GOT INTO AUSMAT
I was still contemplating whether to choose science or arts, and AUSMAT was my best choice at that time. I had the freedom to mix-match the combination of subjects I wanted while leaving my options open. Additionally, the education system slightly differs, it consists of 50% school assessment and 50% external examination, rather than 100% examination. Personally, it was a new challenge too!
AUSMAT SUBJECTS AND MARKS
‘Every mark matters’.
Right from the beginning, every single assessment (no matter the form) is graded and it accumulates.
5 subjects was the maximum amount you can take. My subjects were Chemistry, Human Biology, Mathematical Methods, Accounting and Finance and lastly English as an Additional Language(compulsory). Speaking deep down from my heart, never once did I regret choosing these subjects.
One thing to take note about AUSMAT is, although the subjects are not as in depth compared to other courses, but there’s surely a handful amount of subjects to deal with, given the short amount of time in hand. Henceforth, from day one, ensure that you continuously revise whatever you have learned. At the very least have a certain degree of understanding rather than having an empty shell. Considering that you have 5 subjects to juggle, and each individual subject will have its own set of assessments, you just cannot afford to fall behind. Worst case scenario would be having numerous assessments bombarding you in one go.
The calculation to each assessment is quite complicated. On that account, I will try to give an overview to reinforce my previous point, ‘every mark matters’. All the internal assessments that’s conducted is only subjected to a 50% of your official ATAR(like your CGPA). So, imagine this, every assessment will surely amount to 100%, but the marks will shrink down to certain percentage. In the end, every single mark you’ve earned in all 5 subjects will perfectly sum up to 50%. Significant drop or jump in scores are fairly common.
HOW DID I DO FOR MY AUSMAT
Don’t switch page just yet! Because the good news is about to come. To assure you at this very moment, it’s not undoable. I have successfully completed my AUSMAT with an ATAR OF 96.70/100. I wouldn’t ignore the fact that it’s tough, but with great challenges comes with great fulfillment.
Right at the commencement of AUSMAT, I had to set my mindset right. What was my goal? What is the one thing I want to achieve out of this? What should be my priority? This incident that I’ve encountered was the game changer.
Chemistry was my weakest point since high school. So, since the first class, I paid extra attention to what the teacher was teaching. I did everything I was told to, and even finish all handouts given. I was one step ahead of everyone, eventually having more time to clear my queries with the lecturer while others were still trying to finish up the questions. ‘Effort will never betray you’. In the first chemistry internal test, I was awarded for being the highest in the cohort. Lesson learnt was as long as I am willing to put in effort, nothing is impossible.
There were certainly times where I slacked, and had to burn the midnight oil. You might be able to overcome it when the load is light, but as you get through the year, things will gradually become hectic. Thus, continuing this method would just be suicidal.
‘A good beginning is half the battle’.
It’s always harder to start something than to finish it. Since I was able to adapt well from the start, everything from then on was just a routine that I had to keep track with, using my utmost strength and discipline.
AUSMAT’S LECTURERS AND ADMINISTRATORS
With full assurance, I can vouch for the lecturers. They are superlative, always concerned on students wellbeing.
At least in my experience, all my lecturers were really proactive. We were clearly briefed on what to expect for each subject, what is the most effective way of preparing ourselves, in order to nail in every single assessment. With the ongoing digital learning, they dedicated most of their time for us.
However, for this system to be efficient, it must be a two-way interaction. First of all, you must try your best to finish up the exercises given. Only then would they be able to detect where your weaknesses are and clear whatever doubt you have. There are plenty of consultation time, so don’t be hesitant to contact them! They are more than willing to help as long as you are daring to ask.
The administration department was no exception as well. They often connect with students to get feedback on the classes and even the E-learning platform used during lessons. From there, they would do their best to improvise and improve, ensuring a smooth and effective learning is conducted.
There was also teacher advisors assigned to each student as well. This is a very personal consultation where you are required to meet them at certain set of time. Their role is to follow up with your current physical and mental situation, and guiding you through your career progression.
MY AUSMAT STUDENT ENVIRONMENT
As a matter of fact, my peers were the key factor in keeping me going. Undeniably, it’s common to find yourself breaking down at times. Maybe you are physically lethargic, but to be frank, it’s always a mental war. In the midst of this strenuous journey, I questioned myself a lot, ultimately discovering myself on the edge of giving up.
I’m blessed to have encounter a group of motivational friends. Multiple group study sessions took place and it was super effective. Surprisingly, studies wasn’t boring and dull anymore. While inputting information, there was fair share of fun. They were the cure to my panic, assuring me that I’m going to do just fine.
My advice is friends play a vital role. Having comrades in a battle is always better than fighting alone.
GETTING OUT OF THE ACADEMIC BOUNDARY
Mentor-Mentee programme was integrated into AUSMAT to promote peer-based learning. Basically, you meet your mentees once every week, guide and help them finish the task set by the lecturer. Speaking from experience as a Chemistry mentor, it benefits you personally as well, because it reinforce your understanding as you explain the concepts to your peers.
Besides that, there is a wide range of competition or quizzes to select, so there’s no harm in giving it a try! I participated in the Australian National Chemistry Quiz(ANCQ). It was a good exposure and great achievement.
Furthermore, the AUSMAT Student Council organised a wide range of events over the duration of the programme. The one that I personally took part in was the AUSMAT i-Care Run and Teacher’s Appreciation Day. There is also theme day almost every week, where you get an opportunity to dress up stunningly and have fun with your friends.
Finally yet importantly, there are tons of club in Sunway to browse and choose from! I highly recommend you to do your own survey and choose what best suits you!
THE ENDING OF MY STORY
I sincerely hope that you would find this article relatable or helpful in any way. Please do clarify and inquire more if you are interested in AUSMAT.
If you ask me, what is the one thing I would like to improve on, it would be finding a balance between academics and co-curricular activities. It is crucial to have good grades, but at the same time, this is a golden opportunity for you to unleash whatever potential you have as well!
Joy Chiew is currently pursuing ICAEW at Sunway College. In her free time, she loves binge-watching dramas and binge eating.