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Hi! Currently well into my medical studies at UCL. Got all 4 of my offers and so hope I can help! Decided it would be easier to make a top 10 list on important things to note on getting into medicine. 1. Work experience. I've found that many of students I've helped get into medicine do not really understand why they are doing work experience, and tend to just do it for their personal statements. Getting good a variety of work experience is important for so much more than that! For me, it helped me understand what I was getting myself into, and trust me, you do not want to walk into an interview unless you are 10000% sure medicine is for you. I would also recommend also trying to get work experience in pharmacies, or other related fields, as this will help you make sure medicine is what you want to do. 2. Interview preparation. In principal, the interviews should be about getting to know you, and theoretically do not require practise. BUT in reality, thousands of people want to study medicine, and so coming across well is crucial. Practise will improve your interview outcomes significantly, I would recommend first thinking about how you should answer some of the questions that are obviously going to come up, what you want to say and what you definetly shouldn't say! Then practise will make perfect! Ask your teachers, parents, online tutors :) etc to ask questions, and take their feedback on board. This is a huge topic on its own, and so sorry I can't go into much detail on this answer! 3. UKCAT/BMAT - I have quite a lot of things to say about these. Firstly, make sure you practise, as practise really does improve your results. There are great online resources as well as books, and the more questions you do the better you'll do. Practise the timing, as timing is probably the most difficult part of the exam. Finally try to do your UKCAT early, as if you don't get the score you want, you may consider doing the BMAT to widen your options. Also your score may determine what universities you apply for, if it is very good it may be smart applying for universities that weigh heavily on your UKCAT score, and vice versa if you don't get a very high score! 4. Visit the univeristy before applying! This may seem obvious, but I couldn't count the amount of people I have met who had never visited UCL before their interview. You don't want to turn up to an interview and realise you don't actually want to study there! I hope this quick response helps people. My inbox is always open if you want any more advice, as I have so much more to say about this! Thank, Ben.
When they initially assess applications they look at GCSE grades, A-Level predicted grades and the UKCAT or BMAT depending on the medical school. If you fulfill their specific criteria for grades and admission test they may invite you for interview. The interview assesses communication as well as your motivation to study medicine. For the interview the best candidates have volunteering and work experience and other experiences such as part time work and extra circular activites too. Some medical schools send out additional questionnaires to fill out too in addition to a personal statement. The best source of information online is each medical school admissions website which outlines clearly the criteria. It is important to start thinking about medical school application early to enable you time to do lots of things outside of school and grades to show your commitment to medicine.
So basically for any top uni your grades and BMAT / UKCAT act as a cut off so they’re what you’d need to get an interview (along with a good personal statement). So other than grades you need a good personal statement and a good interview. To have these you basically just need a few different work experience placements, time volunteering and a few hobbies. They then want you to link them to medicine and talk about what you learned from your experiences in each of those 3 areas. That’s pretty much it tbh.
Good grades are quite essential in medical school application as a large number of medical schools will rank your UCAT (or BMAT), check your GCSE and your predicted grades. However grades are not everything. Experience is also an important aspect in medical school application. The most important thing is not what types of work experience you had. It is what can you reflect from those experience. I hope you find this answer helpful!!!
Hi Lauren. I think a key part for medicine applications are experience. You need to show that you are dedicated and also prepared for what the job entails. The best kind of experience tends to be hands on clinical work, but I understand that can be difficult to get. So, instead anything involving working and communicating with people can help. For example nursing homes are often very happy to have students come in and sit with residents for a few times a week. This will give you a good insight into patient outlook and how to speak with people who might be struggling with their health. I would also suggest looking at local SEN schools or hospices for the same thing. They are great for getting to meet children from all walks of life! Very important if you are considering medicine as a career. If you would like any more advice on medical applications feel free to message me!
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