This blog is a step by step guide for aspiring medics in years 11 and 12, and what you need to do if you are thinking of applying to Medicine.
As some students start to receive invitations to interviews, others, like yourself, will be at the beginning of the road.
To help you navigate your way through the application process, the following milestones lie ahead:
UCAS and Personal Statement
Now, some may see the above steps as terrifying obstacles. We think you should see them as a series of opportunities to prove your dedication to – and suitability for – a medical career.
Whatever you do, don’t bury your head in the sand. Failure to confront these key steps before they are right in front of you is a recipe for disappointment.
So, what should you be doing now? Here are some ideas for a med school training regime that will have you in peak condition for each and every part of the process.
Steps on Getting into Medical School:
1. Work experience
If you want to know how to get into Medical School, work experience is the best possible starting point. First and foremost, you should start as soon as possible! A great way to do this is via volunteering placements – be it at the old peoples’ home or the local cancer research shop. The longer you do this for, the more committed you will appear.
Some of you will be lucky enough to have connections that can help you get hospital placements. If so, use them. But if you don’t, do not despair. Try to keep going through people you know until you find someone who does. There is still hope and your proactivity in finally getting an opportunity will make a fantastic story at interview.
You can also try writing to local surgeries, doctors, or even MPs!
2. UCAS – Personal Statement
Although you might not be scribbling away writing the perfect personal statement just yet, start thinking about the kind of things you want to include in it. If you have work experience, keep a journal, or a reflective diary of what you have learnt so you can ultimately include it in your statement. We can help you do this through our free Personal Portfolio (to get one, you can sign up here for free!) – a page which helps you to document all of your work experiences, courses you’ve taken, awards you’ve won and all of your achievements.
Can’t prepare? Nonsense! The more you practise to make these somewhat unintuitive aptitude tests seem second nature, the better you will perform on the day. Plus, it will give you the edge over your peers on how to get into Medical School.
Head straight to the UCAT website and read what it’s all about. You can also learn more about what the UCAT entails and do practise questions on our website. Try some and identify areas of weakness early – there is no such thing as ‘too prepared’.
Again: practise, practise, practise. BMAT is required by Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial, Leeds, Brighton, Lancaster and an increasing number of other universities. You can read more about it on the BMAT website. Unlike UKCAT, you can download all the past papers! To help you even more, we can give you advice on what to expect, and we have a treasure trove of mock BMAT questions, waiting to be plundered.
“That’s ages away!” we hear you cry. “We know!” we cry back, but, if you want to avoid, well, crying after an interview shocker, try our Interview Question Bank and we can give you some practice on how to get into Medical School.
The best interviewees demonstrate a long history of work experience and have reflected on what they have seen while undertaking placements. If you don’t do this as you go, you will quickly forget key learning points. You can use your Personal Portfolio to help you remember and reflect on the experience you’ve had.
Importantly, you need to be really up-to-date with medicine in the news if you want to impress at interview. The best candidates don’t try to cram this all in two weeks before their assessment date. They read steadily over a year or two. Start with the BBC Health section and our Twitter feed, which will highlight the big issues as and when they come up.
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