You’ve done it! All the hard work, endless hours of volunteering and work experience, that gruelling five-day Gold D of E expedition – it’s all been worth it. You’ve received an offer! Now, funnily enough, is when the pressure starts to become apparent, as there’s only one thing stopping you from your dream place at university – your final A-Level exams.
An offer of a place at medical school is a huge achievement. It’s an amazing feeling – having put so much work in and finally getting your reward is worth celebrating, whether that involves a meal with friends or a night out (or several). As part of your celebrations, it might be a good idea to cut down on some of the extra-curricular activities that you will have no doubt been doing on a weekly basis for a long time. Reducing your voluntary hours and re-organising work experience for after exams are both excellent ways to gain more time to revise for your key exams.
In the week following your offer, you’ll almost certainly experience a dip in motivation or a ‘Do I really need to do this revision?’ sort of feeling. This is entirely normal; it can feel like you’ve finished and that the end of the road is in sight. However, you need to make sure you plan ahead – there’s a lot of revision you still need to put in to make sure you get the grades that the medical schools are expecting from you! Try organising your study into a revision timetable that you know you’ll be able to stick to every week, but ensure that you still make time for your hobbies and relaxing.
For most students, the deadline for submitting your firm and insurance choices is 4th May 2017 if you’ve received the last decisions from your universities on or before 31st March. You can read more about firm and insurance choices and deadlines on UCAS’ website here.
Most of you will have a firm first choice in mind, but if you haven’t been accepted there, reconsider your other choices. Ensure you take time out from your revision schedule to carry out further research into the medical school(s) who have given you an offer. Take into account other factors that you may not have thought about prior to the offer, for example, what sort of societies are active there? Is it easy to travel to and from that university? When is the start date?
Exams are a test of your knowledge; they’re not there to prevent you from getting into medical school (despite what you might think). Provided you’ve stuck to your revision plan, but also taken time off to do things you enjoy, you should be well prepared. If you’re feeling nervous, remember that the medical school has chosen you for a reason, so remain positive.
The summer after your final A-Level exams is the longest summer you’ll have, so make the most of it – take some well-earned holidays, try out some new hobbies, spend time with your friends and start preparing for life at university!
Words: Ben Fox
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