A little bit of a different post this time, I’m going to be sharing with you how I got an offer at my firm choice university to study medicine at an offer of ABB.
The secret to getting into med school at lower grades
So, the first thing that you should know is that I got this offer due to being selected for a course that I complete alongside my A-levels that my firm choice university ran.
I know that a few universities do this and I definitely recommend it! If you complete it, you get a guaranteed interview as long as your predicted grades are ABB and you got their threshold for the UKCAT, which, by the way, is probably the worst exam you’ll have to sit, hopefully, you’ll only have to do it once!￼￼
These courses are usually targeted for students that come from “low income households” or “deprived areas”.
The one I was accepted onto was called SOAMS which was ran by the university of Sheffield.
Anyway, I had an interview for my university, and due to my slightly lower grades, it was my only interview. I did have one for my 5th option but I didn’t want to do it. I decided to put that 5th one as I had to (have a backup). I did get into my 5th option but since my offer for medicine, I have declined it.
My interview was an MMI which basically means that you have small stations that you rotate around for the duration of your interview.
I did quite like this system as it meant that if I messed up on one part, I had a fresh start for the next. This was extremely nerve wrecking because even though I got the interview I was promised, it was all down to me then.
Since my interview, I found that even though a lot of people on the course get interviews, only 25% of them actually get offers which is extremely surprising and I’m just so grateful that I got my offer!
If your predicated grades are lower than AAA
If you’re not confident with your grades then I’d recommend searching for these courses or looking for medicine with foundation years or doing a degree before going into medicine. (Like me, I missed out on getting accepted by 2 marks!)
There’s so many ways to get in and you don’t always need straight A’s! It may take a little longer but if this is the career that you’re passionate about then it shouldn’t really matter!
My advice for the UKCAT is to practice lots, my score wasn’t amazing but it was above the average and I’m proud of that.
I think you should put more practice into the things you’re most confident in as those are the ones that actually surprise you most in the real thing!
The ones I felt very confident in were my 2 worst scores, and quantitive reasoning, which I barely practiced as I really hated it, turned out to be my best score!
The timing is very difficult but with practice you can finish with spare seconds at the end. Also, when you see that you’re running out of time, just go through the last questions and guess every answer because you’re more likely to get at least some right!
I had a teacher at school who helped me practice for the UCAT. He told me that for verbal reasoning, if you’re unsure of the answer, choose “not sure” as it’s the most common answer!
As for personal statement, make your first sentence stand out and include your personality. They want personality just as much as good grades because a good doctor needs to have a personality that’s easy to get along with and easy to trust.
This tip however does go for any subject, just make sure you stand out. Admissions look for those that they think the professors would like to teach and sometimes it’s the professors sifting through these themselves.
Make yourself stand out but do not lie even in the slightest and don’t copy from anyone, as you will get caught out and your application will be scrapped!
Please don’t stress over this though. For medicine, they often don’t look at personal statements due to the number of applicants they get.
Usually, they prioritise grades and UCAT score. That’s why these courses that I mentioned are so important!
Interview tips are pretty standard. Make sure you know about the university and how they teach the course. Make sure you know a little information about the location and have a good idea of what the job you want involves.
One of my biggest tips is make sure you have some hobbies! It’s a question asked for almost any job or subject. You need something that sets you apart from everyone else. Even if it’s just going to the gym!
Also, make sure you’ve had work experience in a hospital or care setting. Med schools look for this over everything else in applicants!
Luckily, my university sent every interview applicant the questions so everyone was equally prepared and it was fair. They were more concerned about personality and unbeknown to us, they analysed us the minute we entered and therefore I’m so glad I socialised with everyone!
So sell yourself from the moment you walk in, you could be being watched!
If you’re in year 12, make sure you revise from the start, it really will pay off!
Are you/have you been to university and if so, to studying what?