Hey guys! What’s up? Hope yr 13 is treating you guys well! I know during March, you’ll probably have heaps of internals and external info to learn (which tbh you’re probably just going to last minute cram in November 😬).Anyway, I was a really avid reader of the blog last year, and one of the things I wanted to know most, was about the course content and how similar it was to NCEA. Also about the timetable, and what the first few weeks were like. So I’m going to give you a run-down of the first two weeks so far 🙂

Week 1+2

Day 1 – And I’ve already started studying :'(

The first week is always the most hectic, we even had security guards at lectures to make sure no one was going to get hurt. However, you will be surprised at the amount of people who don’t show up to the lectures as you get further into the semester. I was really surprised to see that people attending the lecture had dropped by around 20%? The first few lectures were packed, but by the 4th lecture even if you arrive late, I can guarantee that there will still be seats.

If you’re aiming for med and taking health sci, you will be taking BIOSCI 107, CHEM 110, POP111, POP101 in the first semester 🙂

If unfortunately, my powers of persuasion have not worked on you by the end of the year, and you have decided to take Biomed, you will be taking  BIOSCI 107, CHEM 110, POP111, BIOSCI 101 in the first semester. Some the info below ↓ will still be relevant, as well as for any chem, bio or nutrition? science majors 🙂

Just before you continue reading( if you haven’t already gotten bored and decided to click the ˣ) I just want to say that what I have mentioned below might make you feel a bit overwhelmed. Please don’t! You have great mentors provided by your hall, help sessions provided by your paper’s co-ordinators, and the amazing PIAZZA (which sounds like pizza, but it’s not 😢) and friends! The workload isn’t as bad as many people will tell you, you have so much more spare time which will mean you have more than enough time to understand and memorise! And of course, go to your lectures…..(*wink wink)

🧠Biosci 107

6hrs = Monday (1hr), Tuesday (1hr), Thursday (1hr) + Lab (3hrs)

The Bio Lab

The most content heavy and interesting topic out of all the papers so far. The introductory lecture was pretty cool, but after that…. prepare. to. learn/memorise. The lecturer is really knowledgable and makes the content easy to understand, plus there are fun demonstrations of how cilia works (which include the song ‘Happy’, pizza pool floats, and wavy arms). Also make sure to do masteringA&P assignments, which are cool quizzes to test your understanding.

  • What you learn- The first block is on Cell Tissue and Function, and we learn about the four main tissue types; Epithelial, connective, muscular and nervous.
  • Lab – For this lab, we looked at a Rat kidney, trachea, and oesophagus (Histology- study of structures of tissues). Looked at mostly epithelial tissue.
  • Ncea – Nothing similar, this will be all new stuff. So don’t worry!

👩‍🔬Chem 110  

6hrs = Monday (1hr), Tuesday (1hr), Thursday (1hr)+ Lab (3hrs)

Snapshot of Chem Notes 🙂

Really good lectures and they have great notes in the course guides (which are really all you need, so you don’t have to get the textbook). Personally, I made sure to go to these lectures, as I could just fill out the stuff in the course guide as I go but also because I just really enjoyed listening to the lecturer. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS PAPER. Yes, it is comparatively simpler than Biosci107 and you’ve probably heard it’s ‘easier’.  In the lecture, you will mostly understand what is happening, however make sure revisit the content and still revise, because there is so much content that you will probably forget closer to exams! Do the lecture quizzes on CANVAS (online course stuff),Bestchoice (good website to test your understanding) and do old papers.

  • What you learn – The first topic is called ‘Foundations’ for a reason. You learn about bonding/physical properties, Drawing and naming, Isomerism, and Mechanism and Reactivity.
  • Lab – Chromatography (a little bit stressful, but still interesting)
  • Ncea – Similar stuff, but heaps of content will be new. The lectures spend some time on each topic, so you can definitely catch up 🙂


5hrs = Monday (1hr), Tuesday (1hr), Thursday (1hr) + Tutorials (2hrs)

is butter good for you 🤔

These lectures were ok (I have on occasion ‘might or might not’ have skipped ‘accidentally’). Personally didn’t enjoy them as much as Chem 110 and Biosci 107. However, still go because the first lecturer is a legend and you get to listen to his cool quips. Also DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS PAPER. I thought it was pretty simple stuff, but it’s kind of not. You have to really, really understand the notes given and be able to apply it to a context. Also, go so you can see what the lecturers eats for lunch (which is actually pretty kewl).

  • What you learn – The GATE frame, epidemiology, Alcohol and mortality among 18-19 year old Swedish conscripts
  • LabTutorials- These are just 2 hours compared to three hours a week. You will get put into a group (PREVENTION PIRATES ILY GUYS) and get assigned a problem, which you will look at and present to the class.
  • Ncea – All new stuff

🏒Pop 101 – people who take pop101 will get the emoji 😉 

3hrs = Wednesday (2hrs) + Tutorial (1hr)

The bus to Tamaki is always a good time 🙂

These lectures are ok too, I have on occasion, been very very tempted (not that I actually would….) to skip these lectures (and spend time studying biosci or just watching a cool movie). They are pretty informative and the lecturer makes the info easy to understand. A good tip is to write notes, and stay on top of your work. You will also take a 25 minute bus to Tamaki campus (possibly closing at the end of 2019?). Tamaki campus is a pretty cool campus to go to, it has it’s own library and cafe. I do admit that it is really annoying to go there once a week in semester 1 and 2. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

  • What you learn – Health systems and basic elements of health systems.
  • Tutorials- Pretty relaxed, you will also be assigned a group, and you can have some good yarns about life
  • Ncea – Yup, again, it’s pretty new

So there it is! Hopefully, you find this info helpful. Overall, 20 hrs a week at Uni which is pretty good compared to high school which is like 7hrs a day. Also, I really encourage you to attend the free events that are offered by student clubs such as SAMS(Student Association for the Medical Sciences). I went to the ‘Unity Convention’,at Grafton campus where there were 2nd, 3rd, 4th year med students talking about their experiences and gave some cool insight about being in the medical program. None of the first year papers are at Grafton, so it was amazing to see what the campus is like, and see the training grounds of becoming a doctor. Me and Daniel (the awesome biomed blogger) got to meet Sonna!!! 😀

Hopefully I’ll be here next year!

Also fyi, I know personally I was pretty stressed the first week, because I felt like I couldn’t keep up with the rest of the class and that I was pretty unintelligent compared to the rest of the class. However I realised that the more hard work I did the more I understood the lectures and really enjoyed them.  But in saying that, there will be times when you feel like just quitting, and feeling so disheartened when you don’t get full marks in a lab. In those times, pick yourself up and brush it off, because it’s not worth getting aggravated over.

Have a great week! And as always, any info you wanna know, flick a comment down here ↓

Lily Li

p.s Can I have a cheeky shoutout to my fam (thanks mum and dad for always sending me lovely cat pics) and my cats? Also to my friends back down in Chch. Also if you haven’t noticed by now, I absolutely love emojis and smiley faces 🙂

My regular skype calls to my cats 🙂