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Medical application advice?

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    I'm 17 year old in Scotland, at a state school. I'm hoping to apply to study medicine this year. I'm studying 6 Highers (one in my own time), and in all honesty it's not the grades I'm concerned about. As far as extra-curricular things go, I'm not so sure.

    I know this list sounds kind of stale, but bear with me please.

    I have 2 weeks of work experience shadowing doctors, and watching surgeries.
    I'm taking up voluntary work at a centre for the elderly.
    I'm a member of one of the top athletics clubs in Scotland.
    I play in several city-wide orchestras, as well as my own school's windband.
    I have the Chief Scout's Gold Award (I made the mistake of not doing DofE though)
    I'm a prefect in school.

    So as far as the whole "You have a life outwith school" area is concerned, how does this stack up? Are there any glaring holes I need to fill? Thanks.


    Also, first post!
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    You got LOADS for your personal statement

    Just be sure to write down what you learnt from them rather than just listening them and you will be fine

    GOOD LUCK!!!
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    (Original post by andydemba)
    I'm 17 year old in Scotland, at a state school. I'm hoping to apply to study medicine this year. I'm studying 6 Highers (one in my own time), and in all honesty it's not the grades I'm concered about. As far as extra-curricular things go, I'm not so sure.

    I know this list sounds kind of stale, but bear with me please.

    I have 2 weeks of work experience shadowing doctors, and watching surgeries.
    I'm taking up voluntary work at a centre for the elderly.
    I'm a member of one of the top athletics clubs in Scotland.
    I play in several city-wide orchestras, as well as my own school's windband.
    I have the Chief Scout's Gold Award (I made the mistake of not doing DofE though)
    I'm a prefect in school.

    So as far as the whole "You have a life outwith school" area is concerned, how does this stack up? Are there any glaring holes I need to fill? Thanks.


    Also, first post!
    Your extracurriculars are good, but get some more work experience if at all possible.
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    (Original post by andydemba)
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    Believe me, that's plenty. With work experience, it's quality and what you've learned from it, not quantity. Be able to reflect on all the stuff you've done and why it's made you a better person etc etc

    EDIT: Fair point by the person above, bit more work exp wouldn't hurt, although the care home is a good one.
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    Hey! I think you have enough extracurricular stuff. You only have an A4 page to fill in, so you might not even have enough space to write all of those down. The universities are very interested to see how you manage your activities and what you learn from each of them. So pick just a few of them and expand in your PS... the rest of them could be mentioned in a sentance somewhere at the end of your PS.

    Regarding work experience, I do believe that the work at the centre for elderly could be considered WE as well. They want to see you have had contact with possible patients/frail people. So if you simply cannot get more WE, don't worry - that's just enough. I think you can even avoid giving details i.e. write something like "Over the summer I have had the opportunity to shadow doctors etc etc" so you don't need to mention it was 2 weeks. You can then expand on the things you've learnt and there you go - half the PS already written. I think Dundee expects applicants to have a minimum of X weeks of WE (Can't remember how many, sorry) so if you can't get more WE, just avoid giving exact dates. It should be fine.

    I had about 3 months of WE and I could only write about a couple of things in my PS... too little space

    And the rest of the stuff you have are simply great!. If i were you I'd worry about my UKCAT right now, because the rest seems to be ok.

    You can try write a draft for you PS. You can then understand just how difficult it is to fit in a load of extracurriculars.

    Good luck !
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    Thanks, I am trying to get hold of some more work experience. My aunt is good friends with a cardiologist, and I'm hoping to get some with him over the summer holidays, and one of the doctors I was with before is willing to arrange some for me.

    As far as the UKCAT is concerned, is it similar to the logic questions you get in IQ tests and the like? I've ordered a book on it, but haven't really taken a look at it due to my exams (I have mock exams pretty much every week now).
    Is there any advice you could give me regarding the UKCAT (and I assume the BMAT is similar)? I'm very keen to become a doctor, so any information, no matter how trivial, is much appreciated.
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    (Original post by andydemba)
    Thanks, I am trying to get hold of some more work experience. My aunt is good friends with a cardiologist, and I'm hoping to get some with him over the summer holidays, and one of the doctors I was with before is willing to arrange some for me.

    As far as the UKCAT is concerned, is it similar to the logic questions you get in IQ tests and the like? I've ordered a book on it, but haven't really taken a look at it due to my exams (I have mock exams pretty much every week now).
    Is there any advice you could give me regarding the UKCAT (and I assume the BMAT is similar)? I'm very keen to become a doctor, so any information, no matter how trivial, is much appreciated.
    Advises:

    1. If you still have exams, screw the UKCAT and focus on the immediate exams.
    2. After you finish the exams, unscrew the UKCAT and start working for it. It could be called an IQ test, but to be honest, the more you work the better you get at it. I think you should buy/borrow a many books as you can and work through it. I know there are a couple of really good books, but try get hold of the less good ones. Just practice as much as you can. UKCAT is very important for most universities and I know 5 people so far who did not take my advise on UKCAT. they all got less than 615 (a guy who didn't work at all got 500 :O ) and none of them got into a uk med school. So from my own experience, I can tell you working a lot is very important.
    3. BMAT is tricky. there is a real issue with time, rather than with the difficulty of the exam. I practiced not too much for it and I got 5-ish in every section. Which was not enough for Oxford... The thing is, I'm an EU student - english is not my first language (though I'm very fluent in English), I was used to different types of mental exercises (as I come from an ex communist country) and I was used to work on really had exercises in a very long period of time, rather than easy ones in really short time. Also, I was not allowed to apply to Imperial or UCL where lower BMAT scores are accepted. Generally, for someone from my country, I'd advise not to waste money on BMAT, but you are obviously in a different situation. You probably have some advantages and you can start work at BMAT early on. So if you are keen on one of the BMAT unis - buy a book, do some work, if you think you can get a high score - try it. Never apply for more than 2 BMAT unis though, it's a bit risky

    Good luck. Any other questions, quote me
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    (Original post by andydemba)
    Thanks, I am trying to get hold of some more work experience. My aunt is good friends with a cardiologist, and I'm hoping to get some with him over the summer holidays, and one of the doctors I was with before is willing to arrange some for me.

    As far as the UKCAT is concerned, is it similar to the logic questions you get in IQ tests and the like? I've ordered a book on it, but haven't really taken a look at it due to my exams (I have mock exams pretty much every week now).
    Is there any advice you could give me regarding the UKCAT (and I assume the BMAT is similar)? I'm very keen to become a doctor, so any information, no matter how trivial, is much appreciated.
    BMAT and UKCAT are two completely different kettle of fish. Best thing to do is have a look at a practice test for both, which should be on their websites.
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    You have plenty of work experience. I had two weeks, didn't even mention the length of any of it on my personal statement, and I've got four offers. The unis know it's hard to get, and it's what you learn from it that counts. Of course, if you can get more and you think you'll enjoy it/ learn from it by all means go for it, just don't let it get in the way of exams or anything. Grades are important too
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    (Original post by Sui-Kinxtar_kitty)
    You got LOADS for your personal statement

    Just be sure to write down what you learnt from them rather than just listening them and you will be fine

    GOOD LUCK!!!
    Nope, this isnt loads. It may be enough, or it may not be enough, but it definitely isn't "loads".

    (Original post by Jamal B)
    Believe me, that's plenty. With work experience, it's quality and what you've learned from it, not quantity. Be able to reflect on all the stuff you've done and why it's made you a better person etc etc

    EDIT: Fair point by the person above, bit more work exp wouldn't hurt, although the care home is a good one.
    Some unis specify minimum work experience requirements for medicine, so they will realise you're trying to bull**** like this.

    (Original post by teafil)
    I think you can even avoid giving details i.e. write something like "Over the summer I have had the opportunity to shadow doctors etc etc" so you don't need to mention it was 2 weeks.
    Some unis specify minimum work experience requirements for medicine, so they will realise you're trying to bull**** like this.

    They will ask for further clarification, and may even then think you're lying and reject you.


    Really, all this thread shows is that it is unwise to ask people who know nothing for advice. In future, either ask in the medicine forum or do your own research - but most of the answers above will damage your application if followed. If you want straight rejections, that's fine, but I can think of better things to do with £21
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Really, all this thread shows is that it is unwise to ask people who know nothing for advice. In future, either ask in the medicine forum or do your own research - but most of the answers above will damage your application if followed. If you want straight rejections, that's fine, but I can think of better things to do with £21
    Damn... I guess those two offers don't really count for much then... OP asked about Extra Curricular, by that I assumed he was mainly talking about his athletics and such. My points were perfectly valid.
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    (Original post by Jamal B)
    Damn... I guess those two offers don't really count for much then... OP asked about Extra Curricular, by that I assumed he was mainly talking about his athletics and such. My points were perfectly valid.
    You can get offers despite your personal statement, not because of it. Doesn't mean you should tell everyone else to write a rubbish PS though. So yeah, your offers count for nothing in this sense.

    Anyway, you write a point and then correct yourself to say the opposite. Amazingly helpful :rolleyes:

    Run along and play, child.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Nope, this isnt loads. It may be enough, or it may not be enough, but it definitely isn't "loads".


    Some unis specify minimum work experience requirements for medicine, so they will realise you're trying to bull**** like this.



    Some unis specify minimum work experience requirements for medicine, so they will realise you're trying to bull**** like this.

    They will ask for further clarification, and may even then think you're lying and reject you.


    Really, all this thread shows is that it is unwise to ask people who know nothing for advice. In future, either ask in the medicine forum or do your own research - but most of the answers above will damage your application if followed. If you want straight rejections, that's fine, but I can think of better things to do with £21
    I had 3 interviews (didnt get an oxford one due to small bmat grade).

    Had 2 offers. I think my points were valid. I know loads of people who did not mention how many weeks of WE had and they still got offers. Each uni is differents, so it's obviously better to check what they want.

    Just because you are a PS helper that doesn't make our points invalid. I assume most of the people around here are medical students... we've all been through the process. I myself didn't got my first choice from my first application, despite being an international with little understand (at first) of the UK med schools.

    Please let us express our opinions. We do say things out of our own experiences, so we can't be completely wrong.

    the OP asked for opinions. Of course there will always be varied opinions from varied people. It's the OPs choice whether to take our advises or not.

    EDIT: Also good job negging everyone who spent time answering the OPs questions. That shows loads of maturity. I negged you back
    Are you even a medical student?
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    (Original post by teafil)
    I had 3 interviews (didnt get an oxford one due to small bmat grade).

    Had 2 offers. I think my points were valid. I know loads of people who did not mention how many weeks of WE had and they still got offers. Each uni is differents, so it's obviously better to check what they want.

    Just because you are a PS helper that doesn't make our points invalid. I assume most of the people around here are medical students... we've all been through the process. I myself didn't got my first choice from my first application, despite being an international with little understand (at first) of the UK med schools.

    Please let us express our opinions. We do say things out of our own experiences, so we can't be completely wrong.

    the OP asked for opinions. Of course there will always be varied opinions from varied people. It's the OPs choice whether to take our advises or not.

    EDIT: Also good job negging everyone who spent time answering the OPs questions. That shows loads of maturity. I negged you back
    Are you even a medical student?
    Yes, most of the people in the UCAS forum are medical applicants. That makes perfect sense.

    Or not.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Yes, most of the people in the UCAS forum are medical applicants. That makes perfect sense.

    Or not.
    Well you are obviously not. As you don't seem to know much ...
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    (Original post by teafil)
    Well you are obviously not. As you don't seem to know much ...
    Lulz.

    I wrote the wiki. I got thousands of people into uni, I've been quoted in The Independent Clearing guide and UCAS guides. If that's "don't seem to know much", lulz.

    That is all. Kthnxbai.
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    (Original post by teafil)
    Well you are obviously not. As you don't seem to know much ...
    Seriously, I don't even have to be on TSR. I can post on a forumI've never ****ing been on before and I will get "oh, Juno got me into uni"
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Lulz.

    I wrote the wiki. I got thousands of people into uni, I've been quoted in The Independent Clearing guide and UCAS guides. If that's "don't seem to know much", lulz.

    That is all. Kthnxbai.
    Unless it's medicine or a similarly challenging course, I don't see difficulties in getting in. I personally know tens of poor students who managed to get in unis in the UK and I was rather shocked, until I realized how easy it is to get in some courses...

    Anyways I'm glad you're not a future doctor.

    Honestly our points were valid. Let the OP get informed. And stop bring arguments such as "some universities". All universities are different. Some unis realize how hard it is to get WE, most will not ask for evidence of stuff you mentioned in the PS, only some mention how many weeks ok WE are needed... They all vary.

    So "some universities" is not helpful at all. IF you really want to prove how much you know, please state those universities so that the OP will know. I named dundee, you do the rest
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    Just remember guys there is life outside of getting into medical school
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    (Original post by teafil)
    Unless it's medicine or a similarly challenging course, I don't see difficulties in getting in. I personally know tens of poor students who managed to get in unis in the UK and I was rather shocked, until I realized how easy it is to get in some courses...

    Anyways I'm glad you're not a future doctor.

    Honestly our points were valid. Let the OP get informed. And stop bring arguments such as "some universities". All universities are different. Some unis realize how hard it is to get WE, most will not ask for evidence of stuff you mentioned in the PS, only some mention how many weeks ok WE are needed... They all vary.

    So "some universities" is not helpful at all. IF you really want to prove how much you know, please state those universities so that the OP will know. I named dundee, you do the rest
    I have better things to do with my time. Brb, watching paint dry.

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