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How to apply to Medicine in 2016 (for 2017 entry)

Applying to Medicine is a long process that requires a lot of perseverance! It begins with the submission of your UCAS application in October and the completion of medical entrance tests, followed by interviews, and ends with the achievement of your A-level grades. Hopefully this blog will give you a better understanding of the application process and enable you to anticipate what your journey through these treacherous waters might involve.

UCAS

Applications for any course at university are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The deadline for applications for Medicine for 2017 entry will be 15th October 2016. Your UCAS application includes all your academic qualifications, your personal details, your personal statement and your reference.

After you send your application through UCAS, you will have access to a service called UCAS Track where you can check the status of your application. Track will show which universities you have applied to and from where you have received offers or rejections.

Personal statement and reference

As part of your UCAS application, you are required to write a personal statement in which you explain why you want to study Medicine, reflecting on what you have learnt from your work experience. You should also mention your extra-curricular activities and how these activities have allowed you to gain valuable skills that will help you as a medical student and as a doctor.

Your UCAS application also has a section for your reference; a document often written by a teacher which describes you as a person and highlights your main qualities and achievements, as well as your contribution to school life.

Medical entrance tests

The main medical entrance test that you need to complete is the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT), which is required by most medical schools. The UKCAT is an online computerised test which has 5 sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, decision making (which doesn’t count for 2017 entry) and the Situational Judgement Test. The UKCAT must be completed by 5th October 2016, before the deadline for submission of your UCAS application.

The other main medical entrance test is the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) which will be required by Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, Keele, Leeds and Brighton and Sussex Medical School for 2017 entry, and will take place on 2nd November 2016. The BMAT has three sections; the first section assesses your problem solving skills, the second your knowledge and application of GCSE biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, and the third assesses your ability to write a coherent and balanced essay on a medical topic. Good news for those of you who hated GCSE physics- the BMAT is not compulsory so you don’t have to force yourself to struggle through those complicated physics topics again!

An additional entrance test for graduates is the GAMSAT, which is required by Liverpool, Nottingham, Swansea, Cardiff and St George’s medical schools for graduate entry. The GAMSAT can be taken in March or September of each year and the test result is valid for two years, unlike for the UKCAT and BMAT.

Interviews

Some universities begin their interviews as early as November, and some continue until as late as May. The months in which the interviews are expected to take place and the style of interview for a particular university are often listed on their website.

There are two main types of medical interviews; traditional panel interview and Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). The traditional panel interview often consists of a panel of two or three doctors or staff that teach the course, and sometimes a medical student. Typical questions are often asked such as “Why Medicine?”, “What skills do you have that will make you a good doctor?” and “What did you learn from your work experience?”

MMI interviews are often more unpredictable and consist of a series of stations that assess your communication skills and your ability to deal with unexpected scenarios, amongst other skills. However, MMI interviews also include more traditional questions.

A-level results

The medical school journey finally comes to an end once you achieve your A-level results in August 2017. If you hopefully achieve the grades you need to meet your offer, as well as the non-academic conditions (such as a satisfactory DBS check), you will be accepted by your chosen university and you can finally fulfill your dream of studying Medicine!

Uploaded by Maria on 27 July, 2016

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