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    (Original post by HCAssistant93)
    Try and stay calm. You've worked hard and can only do your best.. The exam is meant to test you and is not meant to be easy. Don't try and compensate for one section with another. Just keep practicing but don't burn out. The algorithm for da is frustrating but it's the same for everybody.


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    What s this whole algorithm thing can someone explain?
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    Hi all. I am applying for Warwick, Newcastle, Notts and SGUL (the last two are a long shot as my GAMSAT revision has gone awry). My UKCAT is 750 and I have a 2:1 in Italian and a Masters by research in Modern Languages.

    I notice that a lot of people on here are HCAs- is that quite standard? I work full-time for a children's charity (focusing on education) and do healthcare related volunteering (hospice, hospital and have shadowed a surgeon) as well as mentoring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. I am worried that this is simply not enough when others have full-time jobs dedicated to building relevant work experience. Does anyone have any idea or know of people who have got interviews without HCA experience?

    Thank you
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    (Original post by Rose256)
    Thanks! I was hoping for a detailed response. Because I'm not sure if savings, scholarships etc can get 9000/yr for 4 yrs 😭😭
    There really is no detailed response. If you don't have savings or parental help, it's just not feasible unfortunately.
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    Hello everyone

    So my A-levels are A*AA in Biology, Chemistry and Economics.
    I've also just graduated with a Biomed degree from the University of Sheffield with a 2:1.

    I have 2 weeks experience shadowing 2 consultants, however I did these in sixth form (2010/11) so not sure how relevant they are now - planning to get a few more before applying.
    Currently also an NHS volunteer as a play specialist at Sheffield's children's hospital.
    Also have other random volunteering experience such as with adults that have brain injuries and in care homes that specialise in dementia however these were not long term so I kinda feel they are useless now :/
    Basically after reading lots of posts on this thread, I have come to the sad truth that everything I have to offer is pretty much the same as EVERYONE applying.

    Really really really going to aim to do well in UKCAT, booked my test on the last possible day - 6th october.
    If god forbid it goes terribly, my plan is to just apply to BMAT unis.
    Am I right in saying that I just apply via UCAS to BMAT unis by the 15th of October, and then do the BMAT on November 4th and the unis somehow get the results? Seems weird to me to do an admission test after I have applied through UCAS.

    (good luck to everyone!!)
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    (Original post by liam__)
    There really is no detailed response. If you don't have savings or parental help, it's just not feasible unfortunately.
    You can always work 8 hours a week - Assuming you get £6.50 an hour, that's £52 a week, which is £1716 considering you have a 33 week term... and then work a maybe 16 hours a week during christmas/easter holidays, and full time during summer, you can rack up around £5000 or more, obviously it's difficult to do whilst also studying but... compromises...
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    (Original post by LuceeeeeT)
    Hi all. I am applying for Warwick, Newcastle, Notts and SGUL (the last two are a long shot as my GAMSAT revision has gone awry). My UKCAT is 750 and I have a 2:1 in Italian and a Masters by research in Modern Languages.

    I notice that a lot of people on here are HCAs- is that quite standard? I work full-time for a children's charity (focusing on education) and do healthcare related volunteering (hospice, hospital and have shadowed a surgeon) as well as mentoring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. I am worried that this is simply not enough when others have full-time jobs dedicated to building relevant work experience. Does anyone have any idea or know of people who have got interviews without HCA experience?

    Thank you
    750 is amazing please could you tell me what you used to prepare and how you found each individual section in the actual test. I'm really struggling with the preparation and could really use the advice. And lots of people have got into GEM without being a HCA its just a quick way of getting the 70 hours that unis like Warwick require. The only reason I'm a HCA currently is because I'm training to be a nurse and I just needed the extra cash but your UKCAT will help your application a lot especially for UKCAT.
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    (Original post by daisyblah)
    Hello everyone

    So my A-levels are A*AA in Biology, Chemistry and Economics.
    I've also just graduated with a Biomed degree from the University of Sheffield with a 2:1.

    I have 2 weeks experience shadowing 2 consultants, however I did these in sixth form (2010/11) so not sure how relevant they are now - planning to get a few more before applying.
    Currently also an NHS volunteer as a play specialist at Sheffield's children's hospital.
    Also have other random volunteering experience such as with adults that have brain injuries and in care homes that specialise in dementia however these were not long term so I kinda feel they are useless now :/
    Basically after reading lots of posts on this thread, I have come to the sad truth that everything I have to offer is pretty much the same as EVERYONE applying.

    Really really really going to aim to do well in UKCAT, booked my test on the last possible day - 6th october.
    If god forbid it goes terribly, my plan is to just apply to BMAT unis.
    Am I right in saying that I just apply via UCAS to BMAT unis by the 15th of October, and then do the BMAT on November 4th and the unis somehow get the results? Seems weird to me to do an admission test after I have applied through UCAS.

    (good luck to everyone!!)
    It'll come down to how well you can reflect in your PS and how well your UKCAT goes! Then interview is where it matters!
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    Hit 2990 total in UKCAT: 820V, 770Q, 680A, 720D (is it bad that I'm sad I didn't get a round 3000?), A*AB in chemistry, physics and maths, on for a first in physiology and pharmacology. Applying for Barts, Kings, Newcastle and Southampton. Volunteer for a HIV charity and I'm a trolly dolly for the royal voluntary service in a local hospital. Also doing a clinically relevant lab project in third year, but I don't know if I should put that in my PS?
    UKCAT preparation for me was doing all the abstract reasoning questions in the 600 Qs book, but also buying the i every day and doing the whole puzzle page - apparently it improves your quick thinking!
    Good luck to everyone.
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    (Original post by Clunkles)
    Hit 2990 total in UKCAT: 820V, 770Q, 680A, 720D (is it bad that I'm sad I didn't get a round 3000?), A*AB in chemistry, physics and maths, on for a first in physiology and pharmacology. Applying for Barts, Kings, Newcastle and Southampton. Volunteer for a HIV charity and I'm a trolly dolly for the royal voluntary service in a local hospital. Also doing a clinically relevant lab project in third year, but I don't know if I should put that in my PS?
    UKCAT preparation for me was doing all the abstract reasoning questions in the 600 Qs book, but also buying the i every day and doing the whole puzzle page - apparently it improves your quick thinking!
    Good luck to everyone.
    Please please enlighten me on how you managed such an amazing score in VR and your technique! Well done!!


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    (Original post by tw781)
    Please please enlighten me on how you managed such an amazing score in VR and your technique! Well done!!


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    Thanks! I've been reading a lot of scientific journals for my dissertation/project, and they write in such a convoluted way you have to get good!
    Seriously though, the answer to VR is just to read. A lot. And think about what you're reading. The major thing about VR is that you're generally looking for a "buzzword" in the question to pop up in the text, and reading a lot helps you scan text a lot quicker.
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    (Original post by HCAssistant93)
    No a level requirements? I have a 2.1 in Physiology and a 667.5 ukcat? Thanks!


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    Well done on the score! I remember your name from the mega thread!
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    (Original post by PkT1991)
    Well done on the score! I remember your name from the mega thread!
    Thanks!!! Little gutted I didn't break 700 but I didn't in any of the mocks expect one so to be expected. VR really let me down. And so did the DA algorithm


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    I noticed a couple of people asked about the UKcat so I thought I'd post my advice for it (did it 2 weeks ago, average 777.5). Some of it might be a bit late, but I'll include it anyway.

    Preparation
    I used the Kaplan book and Medify. I bought the 600Q book too, but much preferred Kaplan. It's got excellent advice about how to approach each section. I read their advice and then worked through the questions in the time frame given. I had two weeks of Medify and would just have a play with it in between doing other things - basically, if I was at the computer and had five minutes free, I'd do some questions.

    What I practised most on Medify was my pacing and scanning for key words. Pacing is fairly self-explanatory. I still ran out of time in VR (my weakest section, 670), but I found the exam to be a lot more comprehension that true/false/can't tell questions. I had to kick myself into moving on to the next question if I couldn't find the answer. Be ruthless with this: pick a choice, flag, move on. Know your timings. The final 3 sets of questions might be easy but if you've spent half the time on the first few, you're not going to get a chance to get to them. Same goes for QR. if I felt that the maths were going to take me too long, I flagged and moved on. I got 890 in this, so clearly, this worked for me. By the end, I had plenty of time to get through the questions I'd flagged.

    AR baffles me. I got 830 on it, but I can't tell you how. I saw about 40% of the patterns in the exam and went with my gut feeling on the rest. Again, this was a timing thing. It's about a minute for each set, so I'd spend 40 seconds looking at the pattern, if I found it great, not guess. The same thing as above applies - don't miss the 20 questions because you spend your time on 5.

    DA my approach was the basic. Write down the code and then, if none of the options jumped to me, exclude. One option might have the plural in the wrong place, one might miss something. Eliminate as much as possible and then choose. In practice, I got about 90% on medify, so I was expecting to be better than 720, but them's the breaks.

    If you get Medifiy (and I can't recommend it enough), save the mock tests for the days before the exam. Four days before, at about the same time you've got the exam, sit down and do them with as few distractions as possible. This isn't always possible (work and stuff), but try to get your brain used to having to do a lot of work in one go. I've been out of uni for a while, so it was good practice.

    Exam Day

    Double check the pens and keep your writing as tidy as possible. Getting a new notepad is time you don't get back.
    Take the whole minute between sections. You should know them by the time you get to the exam, so spend it stretching and relaxing. I thought of songs to clear my head. I was convinced I'd botched AR and knew I didn't do marvellously on VR (or not as well as I wanted to anyway), and I psych myself out easily. But every section is different, and if 3 play to your strengths, you can balance out a mediocre fourth.
    Eat food and drink some water, but nothing too close to the exam. Again, bathroom breaks cost time.

    None of that is very original, but it's a summary of my experience with it, anyway. I'll answer any questions you've got about it or the Gamsat (sat it last year, got 68 overall - 69,66,69).
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    (Original post by Wanderlust&Tea)
    I noticed a couple of people asked about the UKcat so I thought I'd post my advice for it (did it 2 weeks ago, average 777.5). Some of it might be a bit late, but I'll include it anyway.

    Preparation
    I used the Kaplan book and Medify. I bought the 600Q book too, but much preferred Kaplan. It's got excellent advice about how to approach each section. I read their advice and then worked through the questions in the time frame given. I had two weeks of Medify and would just have a play with it in between doing other things - basically, if I was at the computer and had five minutes free, I'd do some questions.

    What I practised most on Medify was my pacing and scanning for key words. Pacing is fairly self-explanatory. I still ran out of time in VR (my weakest section, 670), but I found the exam to be a lot more comprehension that true/false/can't tell questions. I had to kick myself into moving on to the next question if I couldn't find the answer. Be ruthless with this: pick a choice, flag, move on. Know your timings. The final 3 sets of questions might be easy but if you've spent half the time on the first few, you're not going to get a chance to get to them. Same goes for QR. if I felt that the maths were going to take me too long, I flagged and moved on. I got 890 in this, so clearly, this worked for me. By the end, I had plenty of time to get through the questions I'd flagged.

    AR baffles me. I got 830 on it, but I can't tell you how. I saw about 40% of the patterns in the exam and went with my gut feeling on the rest. Again, this was a timing thing. It's about a minute for each set, so I'd spend 40 seconds looking at the pattern, if I found it great, not guess. The same thing as above applies - don't miss the 20 questions because you spend your time on 5.

    DA my approach was the basic. Write down the code and then, if none of the options jumped to me, exclude. One option might have the plural in the wrong place, one might miss something. Eliminate as much as possible and then choose. In practice, I got about 90% on medify, so I was expecting to be better than 720, but them's the breaks.

    If you get Medifiy (and I can't recommend it enough), save the mock tests for the days before the exam. Four days before, at about the same time you've got the exam, sit down and do them with as few distractions as possible. This isn't always possible (work and stuff), but try to get your brain used to having to do a lot of work in one go. I've been out of uni for a while, so it was good practice.

    Exam Day

    Double check the pens and keep your writing as tidy as possible. Getting a new notepad is time you don't get back.
    Take the whole minute between sections. You should know them by the time you get to the exam, so spend it stretching and relaxing. I thought of songs to clear my head. I was convinced I'd botched AR and knew I didn't do marvellously on VR (or not as well as I wanted to anyway), and I psych myself out easily. But every section is different, and if 3 play to your strengths, you can balance out a mediocre fourth.
    Eat food and drink some water, but nothing too close to the exam. Again, bathroom breaks cost time.

    None of that is very original, but it's a summary of my experience with it, anyway. I'll answer any questions you've got about it or the Gamsat (sat it last year, got 68 overall - 69,66,69).
    GAMSAT - How were you doing 3 weeks before the exam, how did you study the science section?
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    (Original post by ali.s1002)
    GAMSAT - How were you doing 3 weeks before the exam, how did you study the science section?
    Three weeks before the exam, I was probably freaking out of my mind. I like to make sure I don't miss any chances to panic. I spent quite a bit of time before the exam (this helps with the ukcat too) practising speed reading. There's a lot of little programmes online for this, as well as good old fashioned reading of books and magazines. About 3 weeks is when I got started really putting the real work in. I think it was on a Wednesday last year, so I spent the two previous Wednesdays doing the paper exams, on paper, in as close to exam conditions as possible (I saved the purple paper and didn't look at it for a month before so I wouldn't remember much). You want to know what to expect, and you want to know how tired you're going to be. You should have some experience with this from uni - whatever you used to boost your energy levels when studying, have on hand for exam day and have it at lunch (obviously, nothing illegal here. But if red bull works better than coffee, have some in your bag. if coffee's your thing, have money to buy some or a small thermos).

    So, back to the point. About three weeks before I was doing various reading comprehension tests (from the official practice material, whatever I could find online, including ukcat and mcat stuff). I also picked up a copy of The Meaning of Things, which you'll see mentioned often. Each chapter starts with a quote - I'd take the quotes from two chapters, write essays with the basic intro-point 1-point 2-counterpoint-conclusion in an hour, timed, and then read the essays themselves to see what points the writer had made and how it compared to mine. I could have been more imaginative with my essays, but it helped to have my brain wired that way in the exam. That was my second sitting and the first time I scored 54 because I tried to write a something good, not something on point. Try not to go overboard with this, one essay writing session a day is enough.

    Now's really the time to get your essay strategy down. In addition to writing essays, spend another half hour or so looking at quotes online (there's a myriad of apps for this too) and writing a summary. Quote, 5 minutes to figure what you're going to say. I did a few sessions a day - while waiting for dinner to cook, ad breaks.

    Recap: two essays a day, all the reading comprehension you can get your hands on. Now for the science part. Keep in mind that I have a science background (undergrad in Chemistry, and a lot of science in high school), so this might not be super relevant.

    I had a study group with two other people were we'd choose a topic, study it separately and then look through the official papers and do all the relevant questions. There's this series of videos (the Gold Standard Gamsat on youtube) where a guy works through the answers and how he got to them, so every time one of us couldn't do it, we'd watch those. He goes into quite a bit of background. Know why, not what the answer is. If you get a question right, check the back of the books or the videos anyway. There might be some more detail there that you hadn't thought of.

    My general science advice is to get the Griffiths guide and look at their list of things you should know. It's very general, but I found it comprehensive. I don't know how the exam is going to be this year, but last year's was very little knowledge based and a lot more reasoning (I think I used one formula in the entire science section). Still, have a few on hand: laws of motion, lenses, maybe currents. Anything else is probably not worth looking into, assuming the structure hasn't changed and it's still about 20% physics. You don't want to screw yourself out of all of that 20%, but keep it in perspective. I had an A level book I bought on ebay and I worked through the relevant sections.

    Biology was all reasoning, and it usually is (other than genetics, you don't need to know much.). Practice this though. You need to know how to get to an answer with the information given to you. How to read a chart accurately. How to interpret a graph. This is very big. We had a trick question in the exam that a lot of people missed because they misread the questions or the graph.

    Chemistry is again, about half reasoning and about half things you need to know. If you're going to practice something, it should be spinning molecules in your head and a lot of reaction kinetics. If you see something that pops up time and time again in the practice tests, it's probably going to be on the test itself in one form or another, so know it. A level books and online resources are super useful for this.

    Man, I'm wordy at 2am. Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by LuceeeeeT)
    Hi all. I am applying for Warwick, Newcastle, Notts and SGUL (the last two are a long shot as my GAMSAT revision has gone awry). My UKCAT is 750 and I have a 2:1 in Italian and a Masters by research in Modern Languages.

    I notice that a lot of people on here are HCAs- is that quite standard? I work full-time for a children's charity (focusing on education) and do healthcare related volunteering (hospice, hospital and have shadowed a surgeon) as well as mentoring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. I am worried that this is simply not enough when others have full-time jobs dedicated to building relevant work experience. Does anyone have any idea or know of people who have got interviews without HCA experience?

    Thank you
    (Nearly!) 1st year Warwick student here! Most people i know in med had some kind of hca experience but by no means all. At my durham interview i didnt even mention my hca stuff. Long as you have alternate healthcare related experience which is hands on i.e. not just shadowing, then shouldnt be an issue. Its about what insight you have and what you gained from the experience, not how long you've done it (within reason) or whether it was a job or voluntary. I was an hca but didnt use my experience in this much at any interview. First aiding, voluntary work in hospitals, first responder schemes, volunteering for health/disability charities e.g. with disabled kids can all count as alternatives to being an hca as they all involve health and care issues (these are illustrative, its not a closed list). You already have some of these.

    With your ukcat score youll def get a few interviews, maybe 4, so best of luck!
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    (Original post by Wanderlust&Tea)
    Three weeks before the exam, I was probably freaking out of my mind. I like to make sure I don't miss any chances to panic. I spent quite a bit of time before the exam (this helps with the ukcat too) practising speed reading. There's a lot of little programmes online for this, as well as good old fashioned reading of books and magazines. About 3 weeks is when I got started really putting the real work in. I think it was on a Wednesday last year, so I spent the two previous Wednesdays doing the paper exams, on paper, in as close to exam conditions as possible (I saved the purple paper and didn't look at it for a month before so I wouldn't remember much). You want to know what to expect, and you want to know how tired you're going to be. You should have some experience with this from uni - whatever you used to boost your energy levels when studying, have on hand for exam day and have it at lunch (obviously, nothing illegal here. But if red bull works better than coffee, have some in your bag. if coffee's your thing, have money to buy some or a small thermos).

    So, back to the point. About three weeks before I was doing various reading comprehension tests (from the official practice material, whatever I could find online, including ukcat and mcat stuff). I also picked up a copy of The Meaning of Things, which you'll see mentioned often. Each chapter starts with a quote - I'd take the quotes from two chapters, write essays with the basic intro-point 1-point 2-counterpoint-conclusion in an hour, timed, and then read the essays themselves to see what points the writer had made and how it compared to mine. I could have been more imaginative with my essays, but it helped to have my brain wired that way in the exam. That was my second sitting and the first time I scored 54 because I tried to write a something good, not something on point. Try not to go overboard with this, one essay writing session a day is enough.

    Now's really the time to get your essay strategy down. In addition to writing essays, spend another half hour or so looking at quotes online (there's a myriad of apps for this too) and writing a summary. Quote, 5 minutes to figure what you're going to say. I did a few sessions a day - while waiting for dinner to cook, ad breaks.

    Recap: two essays a day, all the reading comprehension you can get your hands on. Now for the science part. Keep in mind that I have a science background (undergrad in Chemistry, and a lot of science in high school), so this might not be super relevant.

    I had a study group with two other people were we'd choose a topic, study it separately and then look through the official papers and do all the relevant questions. There's this series of videos (the Gold Standard Gamsat on youtube) where a guy works through the answers and how he got to them, so every time one of us couldn't do it, we'd watch those. He goes into quite a bit of background. Know why, not what the answer is. If you get a question right, check the back of the books or the videos anyway. There might be some more detail there that you hadn't thought of.

    My general science advice is to get the Griffiths guide and look at their list of things you should know. It's very general, but I found it comprehensive. I don't know how the exam is going to be this year, but last year's was very little knowledge based and a lot more reasoning (I think I used one formula in the entire science section). Still, have a few on hand: laws of motion, lenses, maybe currents. Anything else is probably not worth looking into, assuming the structure hasn't changed and it's still about 20% physics. You don't want to screw yourself out of all of that 20%, but keep it in perspective. I had an A level book I bought on ebay and I worked through the relevant sections.

    Biology was all reasoning, and it usually is (other than genetics, you don't need to know much.). Practice this though. You need to know how to get to an answer with the information given to you. How to read a chart accurately. How to interpret a graph. This is very big. We had a trick question in the exam that a lot of people missed because they misread the questions or the graph.

    Chemistry is again, about half reasoning and about half things you need to know. If you're going to practice something, it should be spinning molecules in your head and a lot of reaction kinetics. If you see something that pops up time and time again in the practice tests, it's probably going to be on the test itself in one form or another, so know it. A level books and online resources are super useful for this.

    Man, I'm wordy at 2am. Hope this helps.
    Thanks for the info! I have a science background too, studying biochemistry and have done chemistry modules throughout - but I think you're right in the sense that it's a lot of reasoning, which is so hard to figure out and it's frustrating when they throw you oddball questions that are more to do with interpretation of the information than knowledge of that field!! I'm still on the edge of the 50% mark in practice questions for the science though and it's really frustrating, albeit I have hardly looked at any physics revision.

    Man it's gonna be a long three weeks...
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    Hi guys,

    sorry if this has already been asked, but I cant find it in the form.
    I just sat my first mock on the UKCAT website. A lot harder when on the screen and under pressure!
    Just wondering does anyone have any way of translating the marks into scores as it only gives the number of incorrect responses.

    Plus, I only scored 52% on QR and 40% on VR! is this normal?

    Cheers.
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    (Original post by JDarlo91)
    Hi guys,

    sorry if this has already been asked, but I cant find it in the form.
    I just sat my first mock on the UKCAT website. A lot harder when on the screen and under pressure!
    Just wondering does anyone have any way of translating the marks into scores as it only gives the number of incorrect responses.

    Plus, I only scored 52% on QR and 40% on VR! is this normal?

    Cheers.
    Perfectly fine as long as you know where you went wrong! I was averaging 20% on QR for the first 2 mocks and addressed my timing issues and got a good mark in the test
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    (Original post by ali.s1002)
    Perfectly fine as long as you know where you went wrong! I was averaging 20% on QR for the first 2 mocks and addressed my timing issues and got a good mark in the test
    Thanks, that is good to know. It is the tables and all the information present. Bit overwhelming as the clock ticks away and to be honest last 10 or so were a complete guess. didn't even get a chance to read the question.
 
 
 
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