14th February 2023
Waiting for Medical School offers can be a stressful time. The main thing to remind yourself is that worrying will not change the outcome – so you should try to distract yourself and avoid dwelling on it too much. Here are some dos and don’ts from a medical student at Manchester University to help you stay calm when you’re waiting for news after a Medical School interview

Don’t keep checking online forums

It can be tempting to do this, as I know from first-hand experience. I probably spent whole days refreshing The Student Room, but you should try to stop yourself! Remember that it won’t make you feel any better and it won’t change the outcome.

Forums like The Student Room can be helpful when, for example, you’re preparing for interviews. But once your interviews are done, make sure you don’t keep going online to compare yourself to other candidates – or to unnecessarily worry yourself when other people start receiving offers and rejections. 

When I was waiting for my Medical School offers, someone claimed in a forum that they had received an offer from a particular university, but this turned out to be a ‘joke’. It sent everyone who had applied there into a huge panic, when in fact the university hadn’t even started giving out offers. You should always take things you read online with a pinch of salt.

Don’t think negatively

It’s a waste of time and energy, and it won’t change anything. Just remind yourself that whatever is going to happen will happen, so it’s now simply a waiting game. If you do get an offer, it’ll be amazing. But if you don’t, there are still other options available to you – it won’t be the end of the world.

It can be easy to get into a negative cycle of thinking. Remember that you were invited to interview because the Medical School believes that you’re a good candidate.

Before one of my interviews, an admissions tutor told all of us that every applicant who’s been invited to interview actually deserves an offer for Medicine and would get one in an ideal world. Unfortunately, there is a cap on the number of students that each Medical School can take on. This is the reason why people get rejected at interview – because competition for places is so fierce.


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Don’t replay the interview in your head

Interviews are high-pressure situations, so no matter how well yours went, you’re unlikely to feel 100% happy with everything you said and did. Try to stay away from the trap of dwelling on it and thinking “I should have said x” or “I wish I’d answered x differently.”

The outcomes of interviews are unpredictable, and trust me when I say that you won’t be able to truly judge how good or bad your performance was. I got rejected by the Medical School where I thought I’d had my best interview, and I was placed on the reserve list for a Medical School where I thought the interview couldn’t have gone worse!

Do work on your A-Levels

When you were preparing for interviews, you might have fallen a little behind with your A-Level work, so now is the time to catch up. It’s the only thing you really have control over at the moment! 

Remember that even if you do receive a Medical School offer, you’ll still need to achieve those A-Level grades to get your place. The more preparation you do now, the more likely you are to be happy on results day. 

Do check your emails regularly

Make sure you don’t do this obsessively, but check your emails at least once a day. It’s a good idea to check your junk folder too, as I know students who have initially missed emails from Medical Schools in there. Whether it’s good news or bad news, you’ll want to find out as soon as you can.

The university might send their decision to you directly via email, or update it on UCAS Track. If it’s done via UCAS Track, you should receive an email notification about the change in status, so you’ll definitely be well covered if you keep an eye on your inbox. 

Do think about a possible plan B

Hopefully you won’t need it – but if ultimately you don’t receive any offers, it’s wise to be prepared.

There are multiple options available to you  – for example, taking a gap year and reapplying for Medicine next year, or getting into a different degree through Clearing and then applying for Graduate Entry Medicine later. It’s worth being aware of these options in advance, so you won’t feel completely lost if the time comes.

Having a back-up plan will also help to keep you a little calmer, because it should emphasise to you that getting no offers really isn’t the end of the world.

Find out more: What To Do If You Receive No Medical School Offers


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