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    (Original post by Wahrheit)
    As in science GCSEs and B in Maths will hold your application back unless you have a really good reason for it (ie mitigating circumstances). All through school we were told "don't apply if you don't have 6 or more A*s at GCSE," and indeed I've never met anybody who got less than 7 who has successfully got in for medicine. These places give offers to an extremely low percentage of their applicants (http://university.which.co.uk/search/course?c[q]=medicine), and the easiest way for them to determine who they're going to interview is with the GCSE/AS tick box.

    Absolutely some people get in with less, but if you rock up with As and Bs at science/maths GCSE then there will be big question marks. You can't offset this with work experience, because all realistic candidates offer this. If you get something like 800 on your UKCAT this might offset it, but still, to not get A* grades in these subjects, which compared to what you need to do in a medical degree is trivial, shows either that you're extremely unlucky, that you didn't prepare well enough, or that you're not clever enough. They don't normally take the chance that you were just extremely unlucky. They might if you offered a portfolio of A*s with an obviously anomalous slip-up, but not if your baseline is lower.

    I don't want to sound harsh or anything, but I've seen really quite a few people with majority A*s at GCSE, great work experience and extra-curriculars, strong UKCAT, all As at AS etc. fail to receive any offers for medicine. But you don't have to do medicine to succeed in life.
    This is a bit of a overreaction just because someone says they won't be getting an A* in maths at GCSE. Contrary to the popular myth, maths is not needed for medicine, nor is it a prediction for success in medicine. There are plenty of doctors who hate maths with a passion but are still extremely capable doctors.

    As for GCSEs being an indication for ability to cope with a medical degree. You're comparing 15/16 year olds to people in their early twenties. There is no comparison. People can be late bloomers academically, equally people can do amazing at GCSE and then fall at the next hurdle. It can take time to develop strong study skills. Just because someone doesn't get straight A*s at GCSE does not make them in capable of studying medicine. There are people with straight Cs and Ds studying medicine, either through access courses, foundation programmes or graduate entry.

    The reason people say you need 6A*s is because, for a lot of universities, GCSEs play a large part in selection for interview. But there are plenty of places that don't look at them past minimum requirements. Yes, it is competitive, and 60% of applicants, in each cycle, won't get an offer. But that is no reason to tell someone to give up because of one bad grade. A lot of it comes down to acing the entrance exams and then applying strategically.
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    (Original post by afghan-superman)
    Hey guys,
    So I am about to finish GCSE's and go off to do A-Levels (if i get the grades) and am confused about 'Mathematics' and 'Use of Mathematics'. I want to do Medicine university and was wondering if i do Chemistry, Biology and use of mathematics to choose in A-Levels, will it be likely for good uni's to accept me or do i need to choose Mathematics for studying medicine in Uni?
    Thanks
    Please ignore some of the myths circulating on this thread and take a breath! Medicine is so competitive that schools take into account many different factors and people with 100A*s may have been rejected for several reasons. High GCSEs but picked a UKCAT heavy school with a low UKCAT. Poor PS but applied to a school which ranks PS and other written materials. Some people have no A*s at GCSE and get into medicine because they picked a school where they could make a strong application.

    Focus on your application when the time comes and you have just as much of a fighting chance as anyone else!

    Firstly, as Forestcat has said, A level maths is not a requirement or advantageous for the majority of universities so only pick it if you're more likely to get an A grade in it because that's more problematic.

    To answer your question, use of mathematics should be fine as a third A level but I would email universities to make sure 100%.

    Good luck!

    Mel
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    (Original post by afghan-superman)
    Hey guys,
    So I am about to finish GCSE's and go off to do A-Levels (if i get the grades) and am confused about 'Mathematics' and 'Use of Mathematics'. I want to do Medicine university and was wondering if i do Chemistry, Biology and use of mathematics to choose in A-Levels, will it be likely for good uni's to accept me or do i need to choose Mathematics for studying medicine in Uni?
    Thanks
    I was told I needed Maths A level for Medicine... you don't. Don't take it, it's hard. Use of Maths would be ok, but unlikely to be seen as a 'good' substitute for Maths. I would recommend taking a different subject that you'll enjoy, especially if you don't like Maths at GCSE and are unlikely to achieve an A. You only need Biology and Chemistry A levels for Medicine, and will probably need 3/4 As for university so definitely choose other subjects you are likely to be good at, and enjoy. Good luck!
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    This is a bit of a overreaction just because someone says they won't be getting an A* in maths at GCSE. Contrary to the popular myth, maths is not needed for medicine, nor is it a prediction for success in medicine. There are plenty of doctors who hate maths with a passion but are still extremely capable doctors.

    As for GCSEs being an indication for ability to cope with a medical degree. You're comparing 15/16 year olds to people in their early twenties. There is no comparison. People can be late bloomers academically, equally people can do amazing at GCSE and then fall at the next hurdle. It can take time to develop strong study skills. Just because someone doesn't get straight A*s at GCSE does not make them in capable of studying medicine. There are people with straight Cs and Ds studying medicine, either through access courses, foundation programmes or graduate entry.

    The reason people say you need 6A*s is because, for a lot of universities, GCSEs play a large part in selection for interview. But there are plenty of places that don't look at them past minimum requirements. Yes, it is competitive, and 60% of applicants, in each cycle, won't get an offer. But that is no reason to tell someone to give up because of one bad grade. A lot of it comes down to acing the entrance exams and then applying strategically.
    To be honest I meant more because they said As in Bio/Chem rather than A*s, and B in Maths rather than at least A. If a propective medical student isn't getting A*s in sciences, it's hard to imagine them getting A*s in anything else, and if they do then that's probably an indication that medicine isn't the right choice for them.

    You're right though, GCSEs aren't always a great indicator (at all) of future ability, but it's one of very few indicators that admissions have. And of course, the further back in time GCSEs are, the less important they are. If you're applying for standard entry, either straight out of school or after taking a gap year, "underperformance" at GCSE must at the very least fit into a narrative of improvement. That's much easier when you're applying post A-level.

    GCSEs are, however, still a reasonably good indicator of A level performance, at least in the same subject. If you take somebody who has worked relatively hard at GCSEs and not achieved an A* in Bio/Chem, then there's fair reason to assume that same person won't get an A at A level (especially because there's quite a step up between GCSE sciences and A level). Without As in the sciences, it's going to be a real struggle to get in anywhere because most offers are, I believe, a minimum of AAA. Of course I'm sure you get people who turn Bs from GCSE to A* at A-level, but it's not that common and this person will need to really differentiate themselves from other applicants. I think UKCAT is the easiest way to do this (BMAT too but the places that use BMAT love A*s at GCSEs so they're best not applied to), as it's harder to differentiate with extra-curriculars as they're not quanitfiable and are easily exaggerated.

    I'm not too familar with the admissions process at many univeristies, so I can only talk about the ones I know, of course.
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    (Original post by alkaline.)
    oh okay that's fine
    GCSE maths is very basic that's all.
    Ok so you found GCSE maths basic. Tbh I did. But what on earth are you gaining by inflicting this on opinion this thread? Its not helpful
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    (Original post by Wahrheit)
    As in science GCSEs and B in Maths will hold your application back unless you have a really good reason for it (ie mitigating circumstances). All through school we were told "don't apply if you don't have 6 or more A*s at GCSE," and indeed I've never met anybody who got less than 7 who has successfully got in for medicine. These places give offers to an extremely low percentage of their applicants (http://university.which.co.uk/search/course?c[q]=medicine), and the easiest way for them to determine who they're going to interview is with the GCSE/AS tick box.

    Absolutely some people get in with less, but if you rock up with As and Bs at science/maths GCSE then there will be big question marks. You can't offset this with work experience, because all realistic candidates offer this. If you get something like 800 on your UKCAT this might offset it, but still, to not get A* grades in these subjects, which compared to what you need to do in a medical degree is trivial, shows either that you're extremely unlucky, that you didn't prepare well enough, or that you're not clever enough. They don't normally take the chance that you were just extremely unlucky. They might if you offered a portfolio of A*s with an obviously anomalous slip-up, but not if your baseline is lower.

    I don't want to sound harsh or anything, but I've seen really quite a few people with majority A*s at GCSE, great work experience and extra-curriculars, strong UKCAT, all As at AS etc. fail to receive any offers for medicine. But you don't have to do medicine to succeed in life.
    Not having lots of A*s doesn't rule you out of medicine, it just means that the op shouldn't apply to med schools that put a large emphasis on GCSEs

    Dependent on the OPs specifics at the time of application they could apply to heavy ukcat based med school, ones that look at PS alot, ones that value work experience a lot more etc

    Your example at the end is a typical one,
    1. having great work experience doesnt mean anything, its about how a person reflects on it
    2. Strong ukcat etc are going to be useless for unis that dont put that much weighting on it
    3. PS can be very important dependent on which med schools applied too
    3. the interview stage is incredibly important and you cant really say if it went well or not

    There are so many factors in applying to med school that great GCSEs and having great work experience (it isnt the having done it that is the important part) can count for little sometimes dependent on the places a applicant applies too
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    Don't do use of mathematics - its not a respected a-level and even if med schools did accept it, I dont think many of your science alternatives (should you not end up applying to medicine) would.

    Don't do maths if you're not good at it. It'll be torment and you need 3As for medicine.

    Do something else.

    (Original post by ForestCat)
    Do you actually want to study maths (in any form) at a-level? Maths isn't needed for medicine (unless you want to apply to Cambridge), nor are you disadvantaged if you don't have maths. What you will need is an A, so pick a subject you enjoy and will get an A in.
    Not for Cambridge either - just 3 sciences is fine.
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    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    Not having lots of A*s doesn't rule you out of medicine, it just means that the op shouldn't apply to med schools that put a large emphasis on GCSEs

    Dependent on the OPs specifics at the time of application they could apply to heavy ukcat based med school, ones that look at PS alot, ones that value work experience a lot more etc

    Your example at the end is a typical one,
    1. having great work experience doesnt mean anything, its about how a person reflects on it
    2. Strong ukcat etc are going to be useless for unis that dont put that much weighting on it
    3. PS can be very important dependent on which med schools applied too
    3. the interview stage is incredibly important and you cant really say if it went well or not

    There are so many factors in applying to med school that great GCSEs and having great work experience (it isnt the having done it that is the important part) can count for little sometimes dependent on the places a applicant applies too
    You make some good points.

    You're right, strong UKCAT is going to be less important for places which place little emphasis on it. But places rarely put emphasis on one thing, normally a couple of things at least, so if they don't care about GCSEs and they don't care about UKCAT, they're really putting an enormous amount into personal statement stuff, which is weird considering how relatively easy personal statements are. It's a few hundred words long and you have all the time in the world to write it, or get your doctor parents to write it, in many cases.

    I'd be surprised if any med schools based interview decisions entirely off PS without some consideration for the rest of the application, but again, there are places where I don't know a single person who applied there and I never looked at their website even, so I can't speak for them.

    But it's hard to stand out with a personal statement. 17/8 year olds applying for the same subject aren't that different from each other, and a great way of expressing your similar achievements isn't too different from a good way. To be fair, I've seen a lot of extremely poor personal statements, which is surprising, so maybe a good personal statement is rarer than I thought...
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    (Original post by Wahrheit)
    To be fair, I've seen a lot of extremely poor personal statements, which is surprising, so maybe a good personal statement is rarer than I thought...
    A lot of state schools have never got anyone into medicine or have very limited experience. For those that also don't have medic parents is pretty hard to know just how important this handful of words can be and what they're looking for. Definitely very common.

    It's a huge shame TSR's PS checker is gone.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    A lot of state schools have never got anyone into medicine or have very limited experience. For those that also don't have medic parents is pretty hard to know just how important this handful of words can be and what they're looking for. Definitely very common.

    It's a huge shame TSR's PS checker is gone.
    That is a shame. My school got around 15-20 people a year (out of 110 or so) into medicine, normally 1 or 2 people tried but got no offers. They also matched people with other people's parents who were doctors for work shadowing, and just generally made it quite straightforward if you wanted to do medicine with interview preparation sessions, information sessions, personal statement workshops and everything.

    One resource that I really wish people knew about more is university admissions departments. Obviously everyone knows they exist, but if you ring up, you can get some really, really good advice and it doesn't cost a penny. They're often extremely willing to answer any questions or just give general advice about the application generally, and also with regards to what they specifically want as an institution.
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    (Original post by Wahrheit)
    That is a shame. My school got around 15-20 people a year (out of 110 or so) into medicine, normally 1 or 2 people tried but got no offers. . .
    Wooow that's an incredible success rate - >90% compared to the less than 40% nationally. I hope you appreciate just how amazing your school was!

    We had no help whatsoever and no one had ever applied, let alone got in before.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Wooow that's an incredible success rate - >90% compared to the less than 40% nationally. I hope you appreciate just how amazing your school was!

    We had no help whatsoever and no one had ever applied, let alone got in before.
    Yeah I was extremely lucky to have gone there to be honest. Some of the reason for the success rate will be because they told us from about year 9/10 "if you don't get at least 6A*s don't apply, if it's 6 and not 7+ then don't expect much." I didn't apply for medicine in the end myself, but it was my plan for a couple of years so I went to the weekly application sessions at school and everything. The training will be the rest of the reason for the high success rate.

    That's awesome that you got in without help, in my opinion makes the achievement much more impressive.
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    [QUOTE=davros;65742807]Are you absolutely sure that Use of Mathematics is a FULL A level? I'm pretty sure that one of the teachers who used to post on here said it was only worth an AS level, so it's not going to count towards the 3 A levels you need for a medical degree.

    You certainly don't NEED A level maths for Medicine if you have Chemistry and Biology, but you DO NEED 3 FULL A levels [/QUOTE
    Ohh okay thanks, i got it now.
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    (Original post by annaj97)
    I was told I needed Maths A level for Medicine... you don't. Don't take it, it's hard. Use of Maths would be ok, but unlikely to be seen as a 'good' substitute for Maths. I would recommend taking a different subject that you'll enjoy, especially if you don't like Maths at GCSE and are unlikely to achieve an A. You only need Biology and Chemistry A levels for Medicine, and will probably need 3/4 As for university so definitely choose other subjects you are likely to be good at, and enjoy. Good luck!
    Okay, say i choose Bio and them. What other subjects are good to do in a levels for university except maths and physics? Because the only reason why i would choose A-level use of maths is because i don't know what other subject is good to choose in a levels.
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    You dont even need maths for medicine in most unis choose bio,chem and 2 subjects you enjoy
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    (Original post by Zakadoh)
    Ok so you found GCSE maths basic. Tbh I did. But what on earth are you gaining by inflicting this on opinion this thread? Its not helpful
    I'm sorry but what are you adding to this thread? Just seems a little hypocritical to tell him off for saying that GCSE Maths is basic while you also say the same thing while telling him what he said is unhelpful.
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    Do you know which units you'regoing to take for math? I want to do medicine too and am thinking about c1-c4 and either fp1, fp3 or fp1, s1.
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    (Original post by afghan-superman)
    Okay, say i choose Bio and them. What other subjects are good to do in a levels for university except maths and physics? Because the only reason why i would choose A-level use of maths is because i don't know what other subject is good to choose in a levels.
    If you're still talking about medicine, then it DOES NOT matter what A-levels you do, as long as you've got chemistry and biology (some uni's only need one of these.). It's much better to get three A's and doesn't matter what your third subject is. Take drama or PE or music, or whatever subject you think you can easily get an A in. Most importantly, check the individual university medicine admissions pages. Good luck with your GCSE's.
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    (Original post by MickeyMouse2)
    If you're still talking about medicine, then it DOES NOT matter what A-levels you do, as long as you've got chemistry and biology (some uni's only need one of these.). It's much better to get three A's and doesn't matter what your third subject is. Take drama or PE or music, or whatever subject you think you can easily get an A in. Most importantly, check the individual university medicine admissions pages. Good luck with your GCSE's.
    Thanks you. Made by decision much easier. P.S. sorry for the late reply
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    (Original post by afghan-superman)
    But for my schoo. You need A* in GCSE maths to do it in A level which i won't get. But, for use of maths, you only need a B which i will most definitely scrape. My question is would uni's still take me in for use of maths for medicine.
    Do not do Use of Maths. You won't get into uni for Medicine, sorry but that is true. You need to do 4/5 AS levels and 4/3 A levels. Nothing less. Pick biology, chemistry, psychology and maths or if you can't do maths pick perhaps physics. And only apply for medicine if you have minimum 5 A* at GCSEs (unless you have mitigating circumstances). Your A*s should be in the sciences and maths, or at least in academic subjects. If you are not getting A*s at GCSE in these, it might make you AS year difficult and you might struggle getting the 4/5 As in AS level which you pretty much need for medicine
 
 
 
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