Published on 16th February 2017 by lauram

Applying to medical school for 2018 entry? Wondering what on earth the UKCAT is? You might not know where to start with your medical school application, but we’re here to help! This is Part One of this two-part series on preparing for your medical school application. You can read Part Two here.

Here are our top 3 tips on what you can do to prepare for your medical school application:

1. Get Clued Up on the Medical School Application Timeline

This is crucial – becoming familiar with these will help you to stay organised, so keep note of the following key dates in your calendar so you can prepare for each stage of your application.

  1. 2nd May 2017: The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) registration opens – so make sure you register before 19th September 2017! This is an aptitude test which assesses Verbal Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Situational Judgement and Decision Making. The test is required by most medical schools in the UK – you can see a full list of these, plus more info on the exam on our UKCAT page. You can get ahead with the UKCAT by signing up to our UKCAT 2017 Updates mailing list!
  2. 3rd July – 3rd October 2017: This is when the UKCAT exams take place – you can choose when and where you take it, so the earlier you register, the more choice you’ll have. Remember too that the longer you leave it, the more the price increases. We’d recommend booking the test during the summer holidays of Year 12, as when you go back in September you’ll be busy with A2 work and Personal Statements!
  3. 6th September 2017: UCAS applications open, so you’ll have a window of time at the beginning of Year 13 to work on this.
  4. September 2017: The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) applications open – the exact date is to be confirmed. This exam assesses your aptitude and skills for Medicine, your scientific knowledge and your written communication skills. Visit our BMAT page to find out more about the test.
  5. 15th October 2017: This is an important one – it’s when the UCAS deadline is for Medicine! This is earlier than other university courses, so make sure you get your application in on time.

2. Work Hard in Year 12

This is key! Good A-Level results are key to securing your dream medical school place, so make sure you try your best with your coursework and exams.

Make sure you understand each topic as you study it, so that when you reach exam season you’ll be familiar with each subject on the syllabus – and don’t forget to ask your teachers for help if you need it. We’ll be publishing plenty of Chemistry and Biology revision tips over the exam period, so keep your eyes open for these!

3. Think About Summer 2017 Work Experience

If you’re wanting to study Medicine, you’ll already know that work experience is key to strengthening your application.

This summer is a great period of time to think about gaining work experience – and it’s never too early to start looking for this, as many hospital or GP placements fill up months in advance. Try contacting your local hospitals, care homes or GPs to see if you can undertake some work experience this summer for a week or so.

If you’re lucky enough to gain a placement, don’t forget to keep a note of the tasks and activities you complete and oversee (think of memorable patient interactions, doctors demonstrating empathy or teamwork skills) – you’ll be very grateful by the time you come to writing your Personal Statement in September!

You can visit our Work Experience section of our Application Guide for more information on how to secure medical work experience – good luck!


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