You can now breathe a sigh of relief. All internal exams are finished and your attention can now turn to relaxing over summer. However, if you’re a prospective student to medical school, perhaps summer will not be as quiet as you would like with UKCAT preparation, work experience – and open days. Here are top five things to do on medical school open days!
Getting into medical school is undoubtedly hard. With around ten applicants per place for some universities, you need to be clear on what the universities are looking for so don’t be afraid to ask questions. The question that you ask might just answer other people’s worries too.
Be clear on whether the university that you are looking at uses the BMAT or UKCAT to select candidates, what their entry requirements are and what their teaching style is. After all, you don’t want to try hard to get into a medical school that doesn’t suit your application strengths, your personality or learning style – so asking questions is a great way to figure this out.
Studying your chosen degree at university will form a large chunk of time that you spend there. University isn’t just about the academic work, contrary to popular belief. For many people, the university is going to be your new home and so you want to make sure that you can make friends and socialise.
When looking around universities, always look out for different student groups that you may be interested in joining. Your outside hobbies can help you to relax after studying. If you’re a sporty person, why not ask around for information on the football or netball team? You could also be very surprised to notice the variety of clubs at medical school, which can help some people to make feel much more comfortable about moving away.
No one truly knows what the medical school is like apart from the people who are there now. You should talk to current students to give their perspective on life at university. You can ask simple questions like do they enjoy studying medicine or you can ask more personal questions like what they specifically do in their extra-curricular activities. This could include music, sport or debating. Don’t be scared to talk to current students – after all, they have volunteered to help and talk to you, and they’ll want to tell you all about how great their med school is!
Different universities teach in slightly different ways and you should know how you learn best. Therefore, attending sample lectures can help you to work out if the style of learning that the university uses will work for you or not. Also, attending the subject’s talk can describe how universities interview candidates and what modules the university teaches.
Therefore, if you’re in any doubt about medical school, attending an open day is important. You should also make sure that you learn as much information as possible from the day. If you’re struggling to find out when the different open days are, look on the websites of the universities that you’re interested in and you’ll find it easy to read the information there.
Looking for a list of medical school open days for 2017? Find them here.
Words: Matthew Heneghan
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