5th February 2021
Last year 28,690 people applied for a Medicine degree through UCAS. That’s the highest ever number of Medicine applicants – and a 21% increase in just one year. Simon Pedley, our Head of Academia, explains what this means for your application.

Application Statistics For 2021 Entry

Last year a record number of people applied to study Medicine.

Here are the top-line numbers:

  • There were 28,690 Medicine applicants for 2021
  • That’s a 21% increase on the previous year
  • In real numbers, that’s an extra 5,000 applicants in one year

Increase In Reapplications

There was also an increase in people reapplying to Medicine. 15% of all applications were people re-applying to Medicine, compared with 13% in the previous couple of years. A total of 4,700 people reapplied last year, compared with 3,050 the year before – that’s an extra 1,650 people!


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What Does This Mean For Your Application?

To put it simply, a compelling UCAS application isn’t enough to get you shortlisted for an interview.

Last year, A* grades were at a record high. Specifically, the proportion of students who got A* for key subjects was 29% for chemistry, 36% for physics, and 47% for maths, which far exceeds 2019 performance. Furthermore, there were 300,000 more 7+ GCSE grades last year, compared to in 2019.

If you combine this context with the application data above, it’s easy to see that Medicine is even more competitive than before.

With a growing pool of academically excellent applicants, universities seem to be increasing their focus on UCAT scores and BMAT scores to help shortlist candidates for interview.

We’ve heard from students who are predicted to do really well in their A-Levels, and got really strong aptitude scores – but didn’t get shortlisted for interviews this year. This all points to the aptitude tests becoming more important – and the need for an even higher score than usual if you’re applying for 2022 entry and beyond.


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What Should I Do?

Your A-Levels are important, and although there’s some uncertainty around the teacher based assessments that will happen this summer, you need to keep studying!

One of the best ways to get ahead is to start thinking about UCAT prep or BMAT prep as early as you can. That’s because students who prepare earlier tend to score higher.

The trick is to learn strategies for each exam, so you’re able to tackle any question that could come up. You can learn these through our UCAT online course now – or book ahead for our live UCAT courses in the summer. We’re working on updating our BMAT courses for later in the year.

If you want to really push your performance and score in the top decile, our UCAT Tutoring and BMAT Tutoring is the best way to prepare. You’ll get one-to-one tuition from an expert tutor, who’s been trained by a Doctor and knows how to ace the test. Plus, you’ll get a progress report so you can see just how well your scores are improving.

Once you know how to tackle the tests, you can then practice the questions. Our UCAT Question Bank emulates the real UCAT environment, so you can get realistic practice and tackle some mocks. We also have a BMAT Question Bank that does the same.

And don’t forget to make sure all other elements of your application are strong! You need to think about work experience and your Personal Statement, to make sure you’re a competitive candidate.


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