Our Journey Through Life

Month: February 2021

UniMelb JD entrance requirements

The Law Entrance Exam (LSAT) is one of the hardest exams for entry into a post-graduate degree at Melbourne University.

It can be pretty hard to find any official requirements to gain access to the UniMelb Juris Doctor Course. After trawling through hundreds of posts on forums and talking to friends who have been admitted I can give you and idea on what score to aim for to get into the JD.

The Entry Requirements Change

Something to be aware of is that the entrance requirements change depending on the cohort applying. One year the minimum considered entrance might be an LSAT score in the top 25th percentile and the next year a score in the top 20th percentile, and the same applies for Weighted Average Marks (WAM)

LSAT Scores

There are three main types of entry into the UniMelb JD program. These are Full Fee Place, Bursary and Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP). As you would expect, you need a higher LSAT score to be considered for a position where you are financially supported.

On their website, UniMelb advise that a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of over 80 (H1) will mean applicants ‘have a very strong chance of being admitted’, and that a WAM over 70 (H2A) will mean applicants will be ‘competitive in the JD selection process’. They also advise that applicants with a WAM under 70 may be competitive if they have been affected by other circumstances or score very well on their LSAT.

I see entrance into the JD program as a sliding scale. The lower your WAM gets, the higher your LSAT score needs to be to compensate. On their same website, UniMelb advises that applicants aim for a score in the top 25th percentile. This translates to roughly an LSAT score of 158-159, however this can change depending on the year.

As far as I can tell, a score in the LSAT over 165 and a half decent WAM will put you in a pretty good place to get a CSP. Similarly, an LSAT score over 160 will put you in a good place to be offered a bursary as long as your WAM is more towards 80 rather than 70. In some cases, and depending on the year this may even put you in place to be offered a CSP.

It seems to be as long as your WAM is over 70 and you score 160+ on the LSAT that you put yourself in an ideal position to be offered a full fee place and depending on the year even a bursary or a CSP.

Famine: The Geography of Scarcity Subject Review

UniMelb’s Famine: The Geography of Scarcity is a fantastic subject for those interested in a Geography major either through the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts. It explores the driving factors behind famine through a variety of lenses.

How it is run

The subject itself is run with two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial. The tutorial is the only compulsory part of the subject. You should aim to attend the lectures, but the information is available through Canvas if you were to miss a class.

The assessment

The subject has two mapping tasks for you to complete, these are relatively easy and you can easily get H1’s in both. It is more of a checklist assessment than a subjective one.

There is a major essay, that in all honesty, can be quite challenging in first year university. It is a research essay that sees many struggle to find accurate and reliable sources.

The exam is multiple choice and is run in an online format. It is 25 questions over around 75 minutes – however this can vary year to year.

Recommendations

Try and get along to all of the lectures. In my opinion, this is a unique subject, in that every lecture covers off on a different area, completely different from the one before.

When studying, I felt as though it was better to absorb as much of the concepts in the lectures rather than take detailed notes, as many of the concepts require a macro view.

To get a H1, especially if you are unfamiliar with research essays, I would advise being extremely precise with maps, as these can easily bring your marks up as they are both worth a combined total of 30%. After you understand the concepts, I recommend going back through the course and taking tailored notes for the exam, focusing on any areas of weakness. If you have taken tailored notes and have understood the concepts of the course well, then the multiple choice online exam shouldn’t pose too many difficulties.

For the essay, if you haven’t already, get someone to show you how to use the library tool properly. It can be a lifesaver. If you are stuck for resources, go to the bottom of the provided research article and use the cited sources there as a starting point for further research.

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