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    lol the traditional advice of ringing the med school wont work here.

    ((((((ringring)))) 'hello, Queens, Girls and Thomasina's med school?'

    'err. hi. Are you guys gcse nazis?'

    '!!?!!#*!---'
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    QUB are also really tough on GCSE requirements. I think 8A/7A star was the lowest they went this year
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    (Original post by Straight up G)
    Well my GCSEs are 80%, so I'd need an high BMAT score (average for a successful applicant, which is undoubtedly pretty high, and an impressive interview performance).
    I'd definitely advise preparing early for the BMAT! If it's like last year, an average BMAT with 80% may not be enough. My GCSEs were 82%- 9A*s and 2As and BMAT was 62% if I calculated that correctly- high in one section, fairly average in the other two and after rejection (no interview), they sent an email saying that "a reasonably respectable performance in GCSEs and BMAT was often not enough" and since both my GCSEs and BMAT were quite close to the average, a very high BMAT score would be required to offset average GCSEs.

    So yes, GCSEs are very important for Oxford, but considering that only 30% of applicants are shortlisted, nearly everyone is going to have a high % A*s and even 100% won't be of much use to you without a high BMAT too.

    A high number of A*s can make it much much easier to get a place in other medical schools however- particularly the few that do not interview eg. Edinburgh and QUB (although this is changing for the 2012 entry). I know a couple of people who tried to go by the league tables to work out where to apply, hoping that those at the bottom would be easier to get into with lower grades- avoid trying this, it's definitely not the case. For instance, like someone already mentioned, QUB may be at the very bottom of the league tables but its selection criteria remains very high- this year, although the selection process is not yet finished, it appears that they have not been giving offers to those with less than 7A*s and above average (600) in all four scored UKCAT sections, or 8A*s and above average in at least 3 sections. Though, with the introduction of interviews for 2012 entry, this may change.

    Overall, examine the criteria for each university carefully- if you don't have many A*s, the most obvious ones to avoid would be Oxford, Birmingham but QUB, Cardiff and Edinburgh for example are also known to weight GCSEs quite heavily.
 
 
 
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