For me, one of the hardest things about applying to medicine was the endless waiting; waiting for BMAT results, waiting for universities to reply with an interview offer and finally waiting for A-level results. It can be tough when your friends are excitedly waving around their offers, and you’re still waiting on an interview from your chosen universities.
Don’t give up just yet! Here’s what to do (apart from refreshing your emails and UCAS Track every 5 minutes) if you haven’t received an interview offer.
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It’s much easier said than done, but it’s important to remember that many universities give out their interview offers multiple times throughout the interview period.
Just because your friend has received an interview for a particular university, it doesn’t mean they won’t interview you too. Your interview could just be at a later date. There is still plenty of time to get an interview; remember that some universities interview until April!
Although it can be stressful balancing A-levels with the uncertainty of receiving interview offers, it’s vital to make sure to take time out for yourself to do something you enjoy, which also helps to relax you and take your mind off your worries.
Although you might not have received an interview offer yet, some universities only give you a couple of days to prepare once they send out their offers. This means that it’s a good idea to be fairly ready for an interview at short-notice. Even if you spend just 15-30 minutes a day doing some interview preparation with your friends or family, it adds up and you will see yourself improving over time, such that you’re ready for your interview when you receive an invite.
It’s really important to keep reading the health news and stay up to date with any big advancements or high-profile cases in Medicine. For example, at the moment the most topical issue is possibly the future of the NHS as a result of the general elections. I know it’s difficult to keep up with this on top of everything else you have to do, but an easy way to do this is to set BBC Health as your Internet home page.
This way, every time you use the Internet to watch Netflix or google something, the first thing that will pop up is the latest medical news. It’s important to keep up to date with the news as this is a topic that students often don’t do as well on in interviews, but actually it’s much more essential for your future career as a doctor.
If worst comes to worst and you, unfortunately, don’t receive an interview offer, you can always take a gap year and reapply, or choose to study a related course and then transfer to or reapply to medicine. However, you will be in a much stronger position from the point of view of your application if you have already achieved the grades you need.
Don’t vent your anger and frustration at the universities or at yourself. Instead, channel your passion into your A-levels. As my science teacher once said “Half the battle of getting an A* is really wanting one, and that is what motivates you to work hard”.
Read more on How to Look After Your Mental Health During A-Levels
Words: Maria Ahmad
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