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Graduate medicine: Calling all applicants with an offer to study medicine. watch

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    How did you do it? Share your tips

    I didn't get into medicine for the 2nd time running and I want to be third time lucky.

    I haven't even started yet, I should stop thinking to far, but I'm afraid I'll be a failure in life.
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    I got in on my third application but only had one offer.

    I'm afraid I don't have any tips. I was very, very lucky at interview.

    I'd suggest you sit the GAMSAT - if you can master that and get a mark in the top 20% then you are guaranteed an interview at Nottingham / SGUL.

    Don't even think about giving up. You can fully do it!
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    I sat the GAMSAT on Saturday and someone had brought along UKCAT practise questions. The group I was cueing with actually laughed at how easy it is in comparison.

    Only take the GAMSAT if:

    1. You get a 2.2
    2. Do a BA
    3. Really want to go to one of the unis that require it.
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    I sat the GAMSAT on Saturday and someone had brought along UKCAT practise questions. The group I was cueing with actually laughed at how easy it is in comparison.

    Only take the GAMSAT if:

    1. You get a 2.2
    2. Do a BA
    3. Really want to go to one of the unis that require it.
    It is a lot easier than the GAMSAT if you can train your brain to be good at answering those types of questions. Personally I could never get a UKCAT score quite high enough.
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    UKCAT looks like the lesser of the two evils definately!
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    I sat the GAMSAT on Saturday and someone had brought along UKCAT practise questions. The group I was cueing with actually laughed at how easy it is in comparison.

    Only take the GAMSAT if:

    1. You get a 2.2
    2. Do a BA
    3. Really want to go to one of the unis that require it.
    The UKCAT questions are certainly easier individually. but it's a test where you're not necessarily expected to answer all of them, and one where you will be judged not just on attaining a certain grade but against how well other people do on it. you can safely laugh about how easy the UKCAT is when you get 800+, because the "difficulty" in terms of getting a competitive score for medical school will depend on how well everyone else does.

    I'll definitely agree with you on avoiding gamsat at all costs, though. Not because of the difficulty, because of the cost. Absolute gouging.

    oh, and not that there's any irony in this, but... "queueing".
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    (Original post by thisismycatch22)
    The UKCAT questions are certainly easier individually. but it's a test where you're not necessarily expected to answer all of them, and one where you will be judged not just on attaining a certain grade but against how well other people do on it. you can safely laugh about how easy the UKCAT is when you get 800+, because the "difficulty" in terms of getting a competitive score for medical school will depend on how well everyone else does.

    I'll definitely agree with you on avoiding gamsat at all costs, though. Not because of the difficulty, because of the cost. Absolute gouging.

    oh, and not that there's any irony in this, but... "queueing".
    GAMSAT questions are also weighted on the percentage that get it right too and you're expected to do far more in the same amount of time.

    It's a harder test, end of. They're both reasoning exams, both highly time dependant, both cover humanities and science except you don't have to construct a essay in UKCAT and it's much shorter. There's also 1st year medical school exam questions in there (maybe not intentionally, but two student friends I showed it to were surprised just how similar questions were to their first year exams)
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    GAMSAT questions are also weighted on the percentage that get it right too and you're expected to do far more in the same amount of time.

    It's a harder test, end of. They're both reasoning exams, both highly time dependant, both cover humanities and science except you don't have to construct a essay in UKCAT and it's much shorter. There's also 1st year medical school exam questions in there (maybe not intentionally, but two student friends I showed it to were surprised just how similar questions were to their first year exams)
    So if it's a harder test, everyone will score less, and medical schools will account for this. I don't really know what you're trying to say.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    well, actually I have a pretty good idea what you're trying to imply, and doubt it's true given why many people take GAMSAT, but rhetorically I'll give you the benefit of the doubt

    No one gets 100% on UKCAT. No one gets 100% on GAMSAT. Both tests have a range of scores, and applicants are judged against each other.

    Saying UKCAT questions individually are "easier" is totally meaningless because a) it's about how many you can do and b) the difficulty in any real sense will be how well you do against other people anyway. The GAMSAT asks you to "do far more in the same amount of time"? Have you actually done UKCAT? Most people don't manage to complete all the questions! It's not a test that is designed for everyone to finish. People work to capacity. I certainly didn't fill out every single question, and I got a very competitive score. If you did take UKCAT, got 900 and spent the last twenty minutes twirling your thumbs then feel free to correct me!

    UKCAT doesn't have any science or humanities knowledge sections, it's an IQ style test. Questions might use science or humanities style language but it's about critical thinking, comprehension and reasoning speed, not testing acquired knowledge. Really the only way you could tell which is "harder" is to look at a large number of people who do both the GAMSAT and UKCAT and see which they tend to do better in, compared to other people. You certainly couldn't tell by looking through 600Q for five minutes.
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    GAMSAT is a harder test, there's no debate to be had here. It's 6 hours+ requiring a broad level of academic knowledge. UKCAT is pretty tough, but one to two weeks prep is enough to get 650+, perhaps 700+ average. GAMSAT to get a good grade will require a solid month.
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    "650+" is not a good UKCAT score for graduates (or even for school leavers) by any means. To get into courses that take it seriously, you really need at least 700. And the preparation is definitely on diminishing returns since it's an IQ style test and not a knowledge test, where anyone can just cram. So talking about periods of revision is really a red herring; that's nothing to do with difficulty of the test, for UKCAT you've either got it or you don't, after a short period of prep to acclimatise to the question style. People who don't got it will find it hard no matter how much prep they do. They measure different things, and people will find different components of them more or less difficult based on their individual strengths.
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    The GAMSAT frightens me.

    I think I'll stick with the UKCAT should I take the plunge a fourth time. :mad:
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    It depends on the university, but 650 is enough for many. Most of my to-be course mates got well under 700.

    The idea that you've either got the UKCAT or you don't is a ridiculous sentiment. You can practise any test whatsoever, and the more you practise the better you get at EVERY type test. If you're insinuating that people can't become better at verbal comprehension and basic mathematics, you then must logically believe we need not teach it at primary school because they'll never get better at it?

    I'm not insinuating the UKCAT is easy by any stretch, but you can prepare for it. I jumped from 660 average to 760 average this year through commiting more time to it.
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    "Enough" isn't the same as "good" when you're talking about something that governs your future. And if it's laughably easy, like Wintermute said he thought it was (despite apparently never having taken it or ever really knowing what it involves), there's no real reason why the supergeniuses taking GAMSAT wouldn't play it safe and go for 800+ rather than gambling with 650, which may be perfectly fine for Imperial but shuts them out of UKCAT selection heavy courses like KCL full stop. Why shut yourself off from certain universities just because of not preparing enough for a supposedly easy test? Of course, there is actually a reason why they don't do this; revision may work but can only get you so far on an aptitude test. And, of course, even if it does and everyone revises, then the "good" mark gets higher and therefore harder to get. So we're back to the inherent and obvious problem with your argument which is that everyone in both GAMSAT and UKCAT is competing against the score of other candidates, not the test, and therefore the difficulty is going to be a function of everyone else's ability, not the "difficulty" of the test.

    Say they make the UKCAT QR section into a test of PhD level quantum physics calculations that takes 24 hours, with 6 hours to do it in. bam, everyone's scores drop way down. does that mean no one gets into med school because the test is now so "hard"? no, it means they design a new cutoff and the same candidates get in because they still do better relative to everyone else.

    "the more you practise the better you get at EVERY type test."
    While that's true at least to some minor extent, there is obviously going to be a different relationship between practice time and score with different types of tests. Achievement tests are known and deliberately designed to be more readily revisable than aptitude tests. Talking in absolutes like you're doing is something a prospective student of sciences should be wary of. A test like GCSEs where you know every potential piece of content that can be asked about is prima facie going to be more easily revisable than a test attempting to measure calculation speed and mental fluidity. If you read the UKCAT reports you can see that people repeating UKCAT don't generally do that much better the second time;
    http://www.ukcat.ac.uk/pdf/Annual%20Report%202008.pdf
    Here we have a score of, say, 625 one year going up to 650 the next, on average, after cohort increase was removed. So there is a practice effect but it's a pretty poor practice effect for people who as reapplicants have a hefty incentive to practice as much as they possibly can. There is supposed to be a paper somewhere specifically looking at practice effects on the UKCAT, but I couldn't find it.
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    I've sat both and they're both hard in different ways. I found they also different bits of brain power.

    That said, I think you can only prepare so much for those sorts of tests/exams. Those who have sat GAMSAT will know exactly what I mean!
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    (Original post by DexterM)
    I got in on my third application but only had one offer.

    I'm afraid I don't have any tips. I was very, very lucky at interview.

    I'd suggest you sit the GAMSAT - if you can master that and get a mark in the top 20% then you are guaranteed an interview at Nottingham / SGUL.

    Don't even think about giving up. You can fully do it!
    what med school will you be going to? did you take the GAMSAT or UKCAT. if you took the GAMSAT, what books did you read and what was your score in either.
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    (Original post by rattlingdog)


    what med school will you be going to? did you take the GAMSAT or UKCAT. if you took the GAMSAT, what books did you read and what was your score in either.
    Why the angry face?

    I have an offer from Swansea I took both tests. My GAMSAT score was in the mid-fifties (epic fail), and my UKCAT score was 660ish (not really good enough).

    I recommend this book for the UKCAT and this website for the GAMSAT. But you may want to take advice for people that did better on these tests!
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    For the GAMSAT, get the practice books from Acer. They'll give you a feel for the style of the test (though I do think they've toughened up section I since they published the red and blue books).

    It's split into 3 sections:
    I - Reasoning in Humanities - They give you extracts from essays, novels, poems, pieces of art and ask multiple choice questions on it. They toughened it last year, but it's still pretty straightforward textual analysis.

    II - Written Communication - They give you a couple handfuls of quotations and you have to write 2 essays in 1 hour (I don't think quantity's much of an issue, as I got 62 on this bit and only wrote a page and a half for each, and my writing's quite big).

    III - Reasoning in Physical Sciences - If you're from a scientific background, you shouldn't be too worried about the content of this section. At its toughest, it's A-level Chemistry, Biology and Physics. Most of the info you need to get the answers are is in the questions. Having said that, the GAMSAT website now refers to it as "Reasoning in Biological", so maybe they've recently changed it.

    It's a tough exam, but it's not testing for esoteric knowledge. They're more looking at your ability to analyse information. Practice textual analysis, essay styling, read a lot and you should be fine. I understand that people from non-science background may have to do a fair amount of revision, but if you're from a science background, there's nothing to cram. It's all about applying the linguistic and problem-solving skills you've developed over the years.

    Bear in mind, it's not cheap (£195).
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    (Original post by I<3LAMP)
    The GAMSAT frightens me.

    I think I'll stick with the UKCAT should I take the plunge a fourth time. :mad:
    Yes.
    What if next year is the year you get in. If you dont take that chance you could miss it
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    (Original post by anon2010)
    Yes.
    What if next year is the year you get in. If you dont take that chance you could miss it
    This is exactly the reason why I don't want to give in yet. I know I have it in me to make it.



    EDIT: I'll probably be making threads in the medicine forums like a mad-woman.
 
 
 
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