While students can and do change their subject choices early in the autumn term of Year 12, most do not and those that do are very unlikely to change more than one subject. Therefore, you will know which students are studying a combination of subjects that will allow them to study Medicine.
While there are very limited exceptions, the vast majority of Medical Schools will require A Levels in Biology and Chemistry. A good place to start building your Medical cohort is from the students who are taking both of those A Levels.
In addition, GCSE grades are important when applying for a course as competitive as medicine. While grade requirements do vary by Medical School, for most schools the higher a student has performed at GCSE the better their chances are of making a successful application – if only because they will have more choice in where they apply.
This year has been unusual in that teachers will have more idea of a student’s eventual grades than in previous years, so you may already have an idea as to which students are likely to have performed well enough to make a competitive Medical application
Once you have a cohort in mind, be proactive. Early in the year many schools meet specifically with students who might be in a position to make a successful application and directly raise the possibility of doing so with them and potentially their families.
While being too exclusive with such an event is probably a bad idea, and there are many other Medical professions other than being a Doctor that students without the grades may be successful in applying to, tapping up specific students to encourage attendance is worth considering.
With a cohort of interested students, keeping them engaged before the application process begins in earnest can be a challenge. Developing camaraderie through regular sessions with an in-house ‘Medical Society’ can keep students focused on their goal from the get go in September/October.
However, manning and planning even monthly sessions for a group of students can be a tall order. The Medic Portal has a range of materials that can form the basis of weekly or monthly sessions through our Med Soc programme. This programme gives students key insights into both the practice of, and application to, Medicine which is designed to keep them motivated, informed and engaged. Ideal for Year 12 students before they will need to start revising for the UCAT and BMAT in earnest.
The key point here is to ensure that you have a handle on who your potential Medics are before they need to start thinking about UCAT preparation in April. While they are settling into Year 12 they can also use their time to effectively develop their medical CV, ensure that they understand what the application process will be like, and to develop their knowledge of the study of Medicine in general.
As a teacher, the earlier these students are identified, the easier it will be to get on the front foot of the application treadmill before real preparation will need to begin. However, as well as preparing your Medics, it’s also important to ensure that you have a relaxing and enjoyable summer. We wish you all the best with both of these endeavours.
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