Applying to medical school? Read our top 10 tips to maximise your chance of getting into medical school.
1. Research the academic entry requirements
Getting into medical school is competitive. However, the entry requirements for medical schools does vary. Some universities place more emphasis on GCSEs, others focus on A level predictions.
Many universities will have requirements about the subjects that applicants take at A Level. For example, Leeds University requires candidates to achieve AAA including Chemistry or Biology. If an applicant is not taking Chemistry then Biology must be offered with either Physics or Maths at A level. They also emphasise that Biology and Human Biology are not counted as different subjects when assessing applications.
2. Seek medical work experience
Work experience is essential for demonstrating commitment to a career in medicine. It is also important because it allows students to experience first-hand the challenges associated with the career to ensure that they are 100% certain about their choice before applying to medical school.
With work experience, think of quality rather than quantity. Focus on absorbing as much as you can when shadowing doctors and other healthcare professionals - a thorough understanding and reflection of your experiences will really set you apart during interviews. A student who has done just one work experience but who has taken the time to reflect on their experience will pique interviewers' interests more than one who has done many different stints but who has not thought about what they have learned.
It is essential to start arranging work experience early - many of the best candidates start doing work experience in the summer after their GCSE year!
The most important qualities that doctors have are empathy and good communication skills. Medical schools will be looking for students who can demonstrate that they have developed these skills. One of the best ways of doing this is by volunteering - many applicants volunteer in care homes, children's homes or on hospital wards. Experience volunteering shows that you are a kind student who is willing to compromise to develop the skills needed to succeed at a career in medicine.
4. Review your CV
It is true that medical schools look for students who can juggle different commitments while still excelling academically as this mirrors the life of a doctor. In order to ensure that you wow admissions panels, make sure you review your CV early to identify areas that need improvement.
5. participate in extra-curricular activities
While all medical school applicants are well aware of the need to attain excellent academic grades, it is also important that students demonstrate their other skills and strengths by participating in extra-curricular activities.
Music lessons, sports and clubs and societies are all valuable assets when applying to medical school as you will inevitably have learned skills such as time management, team working and leadership.
Many UK applicants also take on the Duke of Edinburgh challenge, which is an excellent source of discussion during interviews as students always experience mishaps and triumphs on their expeditions!
6. apply to a range of medical schools
Students often dream of studying medicine in Oxbridge or a Russell Group university. There are many tips that Apex Medicine are able to help students get into these top medical schools. However, it is always wise to apply to one or two "safety schools" that have lower requirements to maximise your chances of being accepted into a medical school. If you have doubts about applying to an alternative institution - bear in mind that the ultimate goal is to become a doctor, and students in all UK institutions receive a high standard of teaching and go on to enjoy themselves.
7. prepare your application early
Once you have made a decision to apply to study medicine in the UK, it is important that you look into the UCAS application process.
Familiarise yourself with the UCAS form and course codes (most undergraduate medical courses will be A100) to ensure that you have sufficient time to clarify any areas that you are uncertain about.
8. Give Referees ample notice
One of the most nerve-wrecking parts of the UCAS medical school application is the reference as it is dependent on your school teachers writing complimentarily about you and submitting it on time. You have the best chance of receiving an excellent reference by speaking to your referee about it early, especially if your school has limited experience with UK medical school applications .
9. Start preparing for the bmat/UKCat/GAMSAT early
If applying for undergraduate medicine in the UK, you will be required to sit either the UKCAT or the BMAT. Graduate applicants, on the other hand, take the GAMSAT.
These entrance exams form a major part of the assessment of your application - some universities specify that it constitutes 50% of points allocated. As such, early preparation is key to receiving an interview offer.
If you need UKCAT and BMAT coaching, contact Apex Medicine today.
10. be yourself!
Last but not least, be yourself! The medical application process can be extremely stressful, but it is important to keep in mind that medical schools are interested in who you are. Do not try to fit into a specific mould.