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How can I make my application seems more...magical?!

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    Now that the odd title has got your attention, read on! :ahee:

    So most of you guys have probably heard me whine on about how I've ruined everything blah blah. I know, my options are limited now but there is still a chance I will be applying for the 2012/14 UCAS Cycle with grades in hand.

    Really would appreciate any criticism/advice on my application!

    Work experience:

    - 6 months in a elderly care home.
    - around 8 months in a hospital, Adult Medicine wards
    - Young Enterprise
    - avid swimmer
    - First Aid certified

    Thats about it for voluntary stuff. I didn't manage a single offer this time what else can I do that will help me look amazing?
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    Find a way to work unicorns into your PS.
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    (Original post by BeanofJelly)
    Find a way to work unicorns into your PS.
    I know most of it will cone down to how I present it on the PS. Problem is, my PS imo was much better this time, compared to last time...yet no offers? I was really detailed, said exactly what it taught me :/
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    Do a distance learning course from Hogwarts.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    Do a distance learning course from Hogwarts.
    Already done, sadly the head master was....unavailable to sign my degree


    But yeah, in all seriousness - what else can I do?

    I feel as if I've checked all the right boxes but clearly I am not 'standing out' in order for the admissions tutor to say "oh she looks awesome, let's invite her back!"
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    (Original post by Doctor.)
    I know most of it will cone down to how I present it on the PS. Problem is, my PS imo was much better this time, compared to last time...yet no offers? I was really detailed, said exactly what it taught me :/
    I'm confused by what's going on with you. Have I got it right:

    You did A levels once, and your first results were CCCb. Now you're retaking an A-level year, but you've got a few resit exams left.

    So which are the BBCb grades? Are they your average grades going on the exams you've done so far? How can you know yet when A-level results day hasn't happened?


    Have you applied for 2012 entry? In which case, in what sense are you applying "grades in hand"? Or is it just that you also plan to apply for 2013 entry, with grades in hand?

    Anyway, for 2012 entry the reason you have no offers is your grades, no question. The unis can see what you got first time round, there's very few which will accept resit candidates at all - I doubt you'll be getting any offers until you're holding some As and A*s, and even then you'll have to be pretty selective (because you've resat a year).

    In this regard, Liverpool aren't a bad choice - but it's still probably going to be extra hard as a resit applicant (especially with your first-sit grades just being on the borderline of what they will accept), and even those with apparently "perfect" (as if) applications can expect to get some rejections. It's tough - their rejecting you shouldn't really be much of a surprise. It was always a long shot

    What are your predicted grades?


    EDIT: I assume your sickness hasn't been officially classified as extenuating? Without (probably fairly extreme) extenuation, you're only (undergrad) hope is to apply to Liverpool again, with grades in hand, or possibly Cardiff or Keele - for 2013 entry. And it's looking pretty/very shaky at that. I normally don't advise it but I would consider grad entry to actually be a better (if much more expensive and lengthy) hope for you to get into medicine.

    EDIT2: Ofc if you do have extenuation for that first sit, it's very different.
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    I am a firm believer of 'quality over quantity'. I think in a personal statement, it all comes down to what you have LEARNED from the experiences, not HOW MANY expriences you have done.

    It doesn't really matter how much experiences you have. If you only write the things you've done but not relate it as your transferrable skills, all you've done is just list all your experiences, much like a resumé.

    In your case, you've done 2 or more hospital experiences and I can see you've done 2 for a very long time. Write about what you've learned from these experiences and how it can act as transferrable skills in your future career

    Best of luck and pm me if you have any questions.
    K2
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    (Original post by BeanofJelly)
    I'm confused by what's going on with you. Have I got it right:

    You did A levels once, and your first results were CCCb. Now you're retaking an A-level year, but you've got a few resit exams left.

    So which are the BBCb grades? Are they your average grades going on the exams you've done so far? How can you know yet when A-level results day hasn't happened?


    Have you applied for 2012 entry? In which case, in what sense are you applying "grades in hand"? Or is it just that you also plan to apply for 2013 entry, with grades in hand?

    Anyway, for 2012 entry the reason you have no offers is your grades, no question. The unis can see what you got first time round, there's very few which will accept resit candidates at all - I doubt you'll be getting any offers until you're holding some As and A*s, and even then you'll have to be pretty selective (because you've resat a year).

    In this regard, Liverpool aren't a bad choice - but it's still probably going to be extra hard as a resit applicant (especially with your first-sit grades just being on the borderline of what they will accept), and even those with apparently "perfect" (as if) applications can expect to get some rejections. It's tough.

    What are your predicted grades?
    First time sitting Alevels CCCb (extenuating circ throughout)

    Then in the January mods just gone, I gained much better grades pushing my overall grades to BBCb.Retaking a few more to push them up

    I applied for 2011/12 got all rejections without interview. Now I am considering 2012/13. Which I will be applying with actual grades not predictions.

    So it was all down to grades? :/ predicted A*A*A
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    I think my conditions was considered to be extenuating. I had to send in written evidance, including treatment stuff regarding it all to Lancaster so I'm not too sure on that
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    (Original post by doctork2)
    I am a firm believer of 'quality over quantity'. I think in a personal statement, it all comes down to what you have LEARNED from the experiences, not HOW MANY expriences you have done.

    It doesn't really matter how much experiences you have. If you only write the things you've done but not relate it as your transferrable skills, all you've done is just list all your experiences, much like a resumé.

    In your case, you've done 2 or more hospital experiences and I can see you've done 2 for a very long time. Write about what you've learned from these experiences and how it can act as transferrable skills in your future career

    Best of luck and pm me if you have any questions.
    K2
    I wrote a fair bit about the experiance, but it just didn't work. I honestly tried my best with it
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    (Original post by Doctor.)
    First time sitting Alevels CCCb (extenuating circ throughout)

    Then in the January mods just gone, I gained much better grades pushing my overall grades to BBCb.Retaking a few more to push them up

    I applied for 2011/12 got all rejections without interview. Now I am considering 2012/13. Which I will be applying with actual grades not predictions.

    So it was all down to grades? :/ predicted A*A*A
    When you applied in October, were you applying with your CCC grades with the modules you were going to resit filled in as "pending" on your UCAS? Did you check that the universities you were applying to accepted A levels taken over 3 years?

    As BeanofJelly said, almost undoubtedly the reason you didn't get in were your grades. They may not have believed (rightly or wrongly) that there was a reasonable chance you'd pull your 3 Cs up to 3 As. So now all you have to do is prove them wrong!

    Stop stressing about voluntary work etc, continue with whatever you're currently doing but ONLY if it's not going to interfere with your ability to get those As. The grades need to be your priority because without them you will not be able to apply in October.
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    (Original post by Doctor.)
    First time sitting Alevels CCCb (extenuating circ throughout)

    Then in the January mods just gone, I gained much better grades pushing my overall grades to BBCb.Retaking a few more to push them up

    I applied for 2011/12 got all rejections without interview. Now I am considering 2012/13. Which I will be applying with actual grades not predictions.

    So it was all down to grades? :/ predicted A*A*A
    Okay so if you've got some hefty extenuating circumstances, it's different. Especially with the A*A*A* predictions. But I don't see how you're applying grades in hand for entry into the programme at Sep 2012 - that's not possible, that's this application cycle and you don't have your finished grades yet.

    Do you mean applying in 2012 for Sep 2013 entry? :p:

    With your extenuation, there's no need to give up hope just yet. Or blame your PS. You sound confident you wrote it well, and the experience you've done seems very good to me. Basically - it is your grades. It can be v difficult for any student to get an offer, and it must be much harder as a retake candidate - they are going to doubt you. That doubt will be gone if you have your grades in hand (for next year's cycle).

    The first time you were taking your A-levels, did you apply for medicine then, and which schools? What's the history of schools you have applied to? There are a lot of schools which won't consider you, even if you have extenuation, unless you applied to them during the period of extenuation...

    EDIT: Other schools say they accept extenuation, but the words "exceptional" or "very serious" "do not usually consider", "if there are ECs, might then consider" - it's all very no guarantees. Unfair if your extenuating circumstances would ruin anybody's A levels, but it seems that unfortunately many medschools don't really want to bother with this stuff. You'll have to be very selective where you apply (really reading through the lines, try to find some real-life examples of people accepted with 3 year A-levels) and you'll probably have to be a super special candidate too. Although your experience does sound especially good, so with grades in hands, maybe you'll get there. Not too suprising that this year it didn't happen for you though. Don't think it means you are a bad candidate, just it's an extra uphill battle for you.
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    (Original post by feverdream)
    When you applied in October, were you applying with your CCC grades with the modules you were going to resit filled in as "pending" on your UCAS? Did you check that the universities you were applying to accepted A levels taken over 3 years?

    As BeanofJelly said, almost undoubtedly the reason you didn't get in were your grades. They may not have believed (rightly or wrongly) that there was a reasonable chance you'd pull your 3 Cs up to 3 As. So now all you have to do is prove them wrong!

    Stop stressing about voluntary work etc, continue with whatever you're currently doing but ONLY if it's not going to interfere with your ability to get those As. The grades need to be your priority because without them you will not be able to apply in October.
    To be fair I can see that the university classified me as 'high risk' -although prior to applying they all said its fine...so long as I get AAA at the end of it :sigh:.

    Still it's rather...annoying. I get my hopes up, just for them to reject me one after another :/ is pretty disheartening tbh
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    (Original post by Doctor.)
    To be fair I can see that the university classified me as 'high risk' -although prior to applying they all said its fine...so long as I get AAA at the end of it :sigh:.

    Still it's rather...annoying. I get my hopes up, just for them to reject me one after another :/ is pretty disheartening tbh
    Hmm, if you checked with each of the universities that they would consider your application in the same way as they would any other candidate with predicted As, then perhaps it wasn't necessarily your grades. However, depending on their admissions policies, you may have gained much lower "points" for their academic screening side of things compared to applicants with A grades.

    There's no way of knowing for sure why you got 4 rejections. You might have benefited from asking for feedback, is it too late to do that now?

    Either way, of course it is disheartening, but it's not the end of the world and the best thing you can do now is focus on getting those grades and apply again in October.

    Do your extenuating circumstances still apply? If so, do make sure you get all of the extra help (extra time? Not sure what else it affords you) you are entitled to for these summer exams.
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    (Original post by BeanofJelly)
    Okay so if you've got some hefty extenuating circumstances, it's different. Especially with the A*A*A* predictions. But I don't see how you're applying grades in hand for entry into the programme at Sep 2012 - that's not possible, that's this application cycle and you don't have your finished grades yet.

    Do you mean applying in 2012 for Sep 2013 entry? :p:

    With your extenuation, there's no need to give up hope just yet. Or blame your PS. You sound confident you wrote it well, and the experience you've done seems very good to me. Basically - it is your grades. It can be v difficult for any student to get an offer, and it must be much harder as a retake candidate - they are going to doubt you. That doubt will be gone if you have your grades in hand (for next year's cycle).

    The first time you were taking your A-levels, did you apply for medicine then, and which schools? What's the history of schools you have applied to? There are a lot of schools which won't consider you, even if you have extenuation, unless you applied to them during the period of extenuation...
    Yeah that's what I meant! It's late, I've been working...It's a confusing day lol

    I applied and got 3/4 interviews and 2/4 offers. Non of them would consider me after the grades I got unfortunately (trust me I begged over the phone for ages ). So I was left with only 2 Medicine choices; Liverpool and Lancaster both which rejected me, early march'ish.

    I know there are hardly any that will even consider me, I was pretty shocked that they basically dont care if you get ill :/

    There are a few that said if I gained AAA I would be eligible to apply. Would I be at a disadvantage compared to school leavers? As I've had to resit....A LOT just to make the grades :/ which tbf, I ha e practically resat my entire Alevel in a year
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    (Original post by feverdream)
    Hmm, if you checked with each of the universities that they would consider your application in the same way as they would any other candidate with predicted As, then perhaps it wasn't necessarily your grades. However, depending on their admissions policies, you may have gained much lower "points" for their academic screening side of things compared to applicants with A grades.

    There's no way of knowing for sure why you got 4 rejections. You might have benefited from asking for feedback, is it too late to do that now?

    Either way, of course it is disheartening, but it's not the end of the world and the best thing you can do now is focus on getting those grades and apply again in October.

    Do your extenuating circumstances still apply? If so, do make sure you get all of the extra help (extra time? Not sure what else it affords you) you are entitled to for these summer exams.
    Thanks for the help

    My exams are fast approaching so I guess I should just make sure I do my best in them. Then worry about medicine after thats done!

    Yep I still get extra time etc Wouldn't need it if the many dematologists and GP could have diagnosed me years earlier lol (I'm a rare case :ninja: )

    Thanks again folks, I will Irritate you once more when my exams are over really appreciate it all :hugs:
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    Get like a gypsy fortune teller to bless it.
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    Medicine is about ticking boxes.

    Do you have the grades and interest in science, do you have examples of teamwork, leadership, communication, passion and commitment for medicine and have you shown that you understand these qualities that you have observed during your experiences and how can you prove you have these qualities, how do they relate to being a doctor? There's no magic ingredient unfortunately.
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    (Original post by Doctor.)
    Yeah that's what I meant! It's late, I've been working...It's a confusing day lol

    I applied and got 3/4 interviews and 2/4 offers. Non of them would consider me after the grades I got unfortunately (trust me I begged over the phone for ages ). So I was left with only 2 Medicine choices; Liverpool and Lancaster both which rejected me, early march'ish.

    I know there are hardly any that will even consider me, I was pretty shocked that they basically dont care if you get ill :/

    There are a few that said if I gained AAA I would be eligible to apply. Would I be at a disadvantage compared to school leavers? As I've had to resit....A LOT just to make the grades :/ which tbf, I ha e practically resat my entire Alevel in a year
    It's tricky, your GCSEs also aren't exactly on your side. I think that the best you can do now is to get the best grades you can, stick with your work experience, write another cracking PS, apply again to Liverpool, not sure about Lancaster - I can't see one of them giving you an offer and not the other (at first I was confused cause medicine at Lancaster is called A105, not A102 - which is philosophy and something).

    + Reapply to the schools which originally gave you offers, if they accept resitting candidates with extenuating circumstances.

    Then if you've got any more places, it's out of the following (looking also at GCSE requirements):
    Aberdeen (who sound very hesitant about resitters)
    BSMS (say that first sits can be "set aside" where mitigation exists - sound quite reasonable BUT they also mention "high GCSEs encouraging")
    Cardiff (sound hesistant, "exceptional" circumstances required AND they really rate GCSEs, yours would probably count against you)
    Edinburgh (not many details on resits, usually better GCSEs than yours)
    Hull York (on an individual basis - what does that mean? Not fussy about GCSEs at all, yours are fine)
    Keele (look only at those with grades in hand - probably encouraging, ALSO not fussy about GCSEs)
    Kings (vague, I doubt it somehow, they don't mention whether resits are taken within 2 or 3 years, they're also vague about GCSEs. I don't know about King's, really)
    Leeds (again, "exceptional" BUT good for your GCSEs)
    Newcastle (little detail on resits, get impression your GCSEs will count against you)
    Nottingham - only if you already applied to them the first time round, probably only if they gave you an offer the first time round, good for your GCSEs
    Oxford (the word "extreme" is used and your GCSEs make it v unlikely you'll get a place)
    Southampton ("exceptional" circumstances, good for your GCSEs)
    St Andrews (little detail, good for your GCSEs)



    From that list, I'd say Hull York, Keele, Nottingham (but only if you got an offer from them previously) are your best bets.

    Second best: BSMS, St Andrews, Southampton (but they don't interview, interview might be a strong point for you), Leeds


    Also - just noticed, Liverpool rank GCSEs and their cut-off is a score of 15. You score 17. Possibly your GCSEs are disadvantaging you with them, I don't really know whether they use just a cut-off, or whether they really rank - look at applicant profiles?
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    (Original post by Doctor.)
    Thanks for the help

    My exams are fast approaching so I guess I should just make sure I do my best in them. Then worry about medicine after thats done!

    Yep I still get extra time etc Wouldn't need it if the many dematologists and GP could have diagnosed me years earlier lol (I'm a rare case :ninja: )

    Thanks again folks, I will Irritate you once more when my exams are over really appreciate it all :hugs:
    Word of advice:
    GET OFF STUDENT ROOM. it is stupidly addictive when you have revision to be doing.

    You seem to be on here worrying about your application a lot, I've done this before, it just leads to you doing badly in exams and your exams should be your focus.

    Sorry if it sounds harsh, but your exams won't be for much longer so you should make the most of your time .

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