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There are 3 critical components to your application: your UCAS application, your BMAT score, and your interview. In all, admissions tutors are looking for one thing - that you have the intellectual prowess to complete the course. Therefore, all of these elements need to demonstrate that. Below I've outlined the ways this can be done. Firstly, your UCAS application needs to show strong academic ability. You need to be on track to meet the A*AA or 39 points requirement. You should have around 8 A*s at GCSE. Don't worry about if you're not perfectly higher than that! The UCAS stage is very much a minimum, rather than top percentile measure. Also, don't give up if you're lower than that. Oxford also takes into account your background, so if the academic performance of your school is significantly lower than your achievements, that is credit to your own academic ability, and proof that you will thrive in Oxford life. Your personal statement needs to demonstrate a clear commitment to medicine. This should be done with both evidence of interest in the subject (through reading, studies, and other academic pursuits) and the field as a whole (through work placements, if available to you). Volunteering is a good way to demonstrate your character if you are unable to obtain placements. Again, this is because admission tutors want to know that you will complete the course and not drop off, say to banking, halfway through. Your BMAT score is probably the most critical. Study hard, study early. Do preliminary reading of textbooks and online resources in the summer, attend revision classes if your school has them or keep taking practice tests, then use the October half term to study non-stop. Aim for above 6 in both tests. Use TSA papers for practice if you run out. The tutors see the BMAT as a fair, objective standardised test so they place a lot of weight on it. You'll likely have two interviews with the tutors of your college of choice. From there they'll either make a decision to offer you or they'll send you off to interview at a different college. Don't let any of that distract you, just be yourself in an interview and show them your own academic interest. An interview is supposed to be like a tutorial. DO NOT try and show off your revision knowledge; DO NOT try and insist you are right over what the tutor says. At the same time, do not be cowered by their method of questioning. You're there to engage with the stimulus they give you (usually a question or a graph) and offer analysis on any problems they give you to solve. Do that, explain your reasoning and respond to your questions. This is how undergrad tutorials at Oxbridge go too :) If you approach your application with these methods, it's sure to be successful.
What would an ideal application look like for a person applying to Oxbridge
Straight A* (or equivalent) in GCSE, and A*A*A predicted I’d say minimum for A-Level. You’d need to have an amazing personal statement, and also a lot of work experience, 2 weeks in hospital and 6 months in a care setting. But all in all, they focus on your academics, your grades, and any extra-curriculars which tie in for your passion in medicine.
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