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APPLYING FOR MEDICINE
Asked by Vishal

What GCSEs to become a doctor?

Hi there, medical school in Scotland don’t look at your GCSEs apart from you need to achieve a C grade in maths English and science so don’t stress too much if you don’t get them! X

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Kitty O'Leary
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All medical schools will require GCSE Maths, English and Sciences (some will accept double science as a substitute). Lots of medical schools state a minimum of grade 5/6 is acceptable however you'll realistically need A/A* (grade 7 - 9) in these subjects to put in a competitive application. Remember that some medical schools will place greater emphasis on GCSE results when weighing up your application than others (e.g. Leicester with a points-based system) Always apply with your strengths in mind.

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Zeinab Ruhomauly
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Strong Maths and Science and English You probably want As in all subjects

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Emma Berwick
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11.6k students helped

Medical schools require GCSE Maths, English and Sciences, and most require them at a minimum grade of 6. However, most medical schools stress that these requirements are minimum and most successful candidates will score 7s, 8s and 9s at GCSE. Many medical schools also have specific requirements for science subjects.

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Yasmeen Begum
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Key Stage 2: Since 2017 I have been working as a science and maths teacher in a specialist SEND school with primary school-aged children with a wide range of learning difficulties, including ADHD, Asperger's. dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia. This has involved planning engaging and fun practical science experiments in line with the KS2 curriculum, and devising interactive maths lessons to help the students grasp basic numerical concepts . - Case study: "I", aged 9, with ADHD, dyscalculia, Asperger's. Science: "I" had a keen interest in the 'messy' side of Science, so our experiments were generally Chemistry-oriented, involving chemical reactions that invariably produced interesting substances, explosions or slime. He learned how to write up observations in his exercise book independently, and further explore the 'theory' behind our experiments. Maths: "I" struggled with counting and subitising, so we worked on counting forwards and backwards to 20, and subitising groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10, using Dienes cubes and other objects. Eventually he could manage these tasks consistently and moved onto creating given monetary values using coins. Common Entrance: I have prepared numerous students for entry at 13+ at both normal and scholarship level for secondary schools including Eton, Westminster, King's College Wimbledon, Dulwich, Radley, Wetherby Senior etc, all of whom have successfully gained entry to their chosen schools. I have particular experience in the Eton King's Scholarship paper, and have coached 6 boys for this exam, 3 of whom are now current King's/ Oppidan scholars at the school/ college. - Case study: "A", Eton King's Scholarship exam. "A" was naturally very bright, but severely let down by poor exam technique, including badly structured 'long-answers' and extremely messy (often illegible) writing which prevented him achieving the high scores of which he was capable. We discovered that his handwriting deteriorated as a result of perceived time pressure, leading to him rushing his answers to the longer questions and spewing out garbage. Despite this, he invariably failed to complete a paper under timed conditions. We therefore focussed heavily on techniques for answering and structuring long answers appropriately and concisely. By understanding the proper way to answer questions, and that he could say more with less, his answers become both more legible and higher-scoring, and he was also able to complete the papers in time. He went on to earn the scholarship. GCSEs: My GCSE students have been by far my biggest cohort over the years. I am equally at home with Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at this level, and have already taken a number of students through the first round of the new 9-1 Maths specifications. I have also home-schooled at least 7 students in these subjects (from memory!), meaning I have often had to teach the entirety of the specifications from scratch, and set and mark regular homework in addition to providing exam preparation. - Case study: "R", home-schooled, IGCSE Maths and Sciences "R" had been excluded from his school at the start of year 10 for behavioural reasons. However, he had been offered a second chance to return to his school on condition that a) he provided regular proof that he was continuing to study for his GCSEs in the form of notes etc. and b) he could achieve at least an A in his IGCSE Maths, which he was due to take the following summer, a year early. I was contacted to work on maths and the three sciences with him. We met 3 times a week, allotting equal time for each subject. "R" had either mislaid or simply not made any notes for any of his subjects, so we had to start at the very beginning, ensuring not only that he had a comprehensive set of notes on each subject, but that he was keeping them sufficiently organised that he might send copies to his school. Come the end of the year, "R" achieved an A* in maths and was offered a place to return to his original school. A-Levels/ IB: My A-Level/ IB specialism is Biology. Most years I usually take on at least 1 or 2 students at this level. Biology is notorious for being one of the most 'content-dense' A-Level/ IB topics and there is a lot of factual learning involved, combined with some complex concepts. Invariably the topics that cause students the biggest headaches are the biochemical pathways of respiration and photosynthesis. I find the best way to help students learn these is to get them to focus on the bigger picture - what is the purpose of each step, and the process as a whole? What are the important outputs? How does it all fit into the grand scheme of things? Biology becomes a lot easier to digest when the interconnectedness of all life processes is appreciated. Everything is a cog in a big living machine. - Case study: "H", OCR A-Level Biology "H" was studying Biology alongside 2 non-science A-Levels. She required two As and a B to get into her preferred course at university, and whilst she felt As were attainable in her non-science A-levels, she was struggling to meet the B grade boundary in her internal Biology tests and exams, often dropping to a D. After reviewing her mock scripts, it became clear that, besides an insufficiently deep understanding of certain topics, "H" had shortcomings in her exam technique. We initially identified the topics in which she struggled (mainly 'pathway' questions) and focussed on breaking these down and learning them inside out and back to front. We then moved onto practicing related long-answer exam questions, and establishing a consistent approach to answering them. "H" eventually became confident in tackling these topics and questions unassisted. She gained her B grade and her place on her preferred course.

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