When shortlisting candidates for interview, some UCAT universities place more weight on the UCAT and have a higher cut-off score than others. If you got a low UCAT score and still want to apply to Medical Schools where the UCAT is a requirement, you’ll need to be very strategic with your four choices.
You can compare what different Medical Schools say about cut-off scores in our list of UCAT universities. However, for the most up-to-date information, always check university websites before making any decisions with your application.
If you got a low UCAT score this summer, you might want to consider sitting the BMAT and applying to BMAT universities instead. Or you could apply to a mix of BMAT unis and UCAT unis which don’t place as much emphasis on the UCAT.
This year, the BMAT test date is 18th October 2022. The BMAT consists of Section 1, which assesses your critical thinking and problem-solving skills; Section 2, which tests your ability to apply scientific and mathematical knowledge; and Section 3, which is an essay-writing task.
Some people find that even though the test itself might not be easier, the BMAT can be easier to prepare for than the UCAT, because it feels a bit more like a school exam and the time pressure isn’t as intense.
If you’re really disappointed with your UCAT score and have your heart set on applying to specific UCAT universities, you might want to think about taking a year out and applying for Medicine next year instead.
It’s important to come up with a realistic plan if you’re considering this route. What would you do with your gap year to improve your Medicine application for next year?
Try to pinpoint what went wrong with your UCAT test. Did you start preparing for the UCAT early enough? Would you have benefited from doing more practice questions and practice tests? Was there a particular section that you struggled with? Come up with a strategy to increase your UCAT score next year – and use the time to boost your application in other ways too, e.g. by doing more work experience and/or volunteering.
If you’ve hit a stumbling block in your application, it might be wise to think about whether studying Medicine and becoming a Doctor is truly right for you.
Remember that being a Doctor is not the be-all and end-all of working in healthcare and making a difference to people’s lives. There are lots of Allied Health roles, such as Podiatrist, Physiotherapist and Paramedic, which you might find just as fulfilling as Medicine. For some Allied Health courses, you even get a grant for your studies.
You might also want to consider applying for a Medicine-related course like Biomedical Science. This can leave the door open for you to transfer to Medicine at certain universities, or to apply for Graduate Entry Medicine after your degree.
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