Last summer (and still now) it was almost impossible to find work experience placements and in-person summer schools and talks, but I knew I needed something in order to boost my Personal Statement.
The Medic Portal’s Summer School offered a way of doing something from home and gave me a way to ask questions about the application process whilst simultaneously improving my application. Reading the descriptions online, it seemed to me that this was what I needed to do if I wanted to apply for Medicine.
I chose The Medic Portal because it seemed very good value for money compared with some of the alternatives that were much more expensive but offered less teaching time.
Personally, I found the Summer School very enjoyable, especially when it was one of the only ways I could properly look into and discover more about Medicine in lockdown. I felt like I learnt a lot more about the actual career paths of Doctors and enjoyed learning and doing the homework to find out more about what Medicine would mean for me.
Although three weeks sounded like a long time, it didn’t feel very long when actually doing it! I still had plenty of time to do all my schoolwork and even have a few COVID-safe birthday celebrations. It was nice being able to talk to the other students a bit as well, as we all were interested in similar sorts of things. It was also great to be able to speak to the Tutors who were already at University studying Medicine.
My favourite part was being able to try Problem-Based Learning scenarios and getting to research and learn more about medical ethics. It was amazing to be able to do this with people who were just as enthusiastic as I am. It’s really useful for anyone who is looking at a university that teaches with PBL. It was also great for looking at medical ethics and scenarios in which they would be important to consider.
Before participating in the Summer School, I only had a very vague idea of what my UCAS application would involve. Being able to talk through the process with others who had already been through Medicine applications was incredibly helpful.
I knew all the basic components and that I needed to ace the admissions tests as well as having a strong Personal Statement, but I didn’t realise quite how much it would all take! The UCAT and BMAT insights were vital in kickstarting my revision. And to help me do well in both, I learnt about the application process in much more detail than I was able to at school.
My advice would be to start preparing as soon as you can! Start your UCAT prep and BMAT revision as soon as you get the chance. I would recommend about six weeks for the UCAT and as much time as possible for the BMAT.
I also think it’s important to get your Personal Statement drafted early, so you have plenty of time for changes and corrections before your application is sent off. Try and get as much help with this as you can, by getting different people to read it through multiple times.
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