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    Hi TSR. This is my first ever post, after browsing through the forum for more than half a year! I will be graduating this summer from a science degree. I have a great passion for medicine, which I know is immensely competitive (after receiving 4 straight rejections this year, low UKCAT ). I would like to spend my gap year time wisely. Besides from work experience, volunteering in a caring role, paid job etc, what I want to know is, what sort of achievements can I realistically obtain within one year? They are the things that I'm lacking right now, as in, I really can't think of anything special that I can put down in my P.S that will attract the medical admissions' attention. I have many hobbies and extracurricular activities (mainly sports) etc, but they aren't considered as achievements, right? Would volunteer in army help? Or maybe train as a trainee fitness instructor? Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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    Travelling? (Gap Yah in peraah)
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    I could, but what can I ACHIEVE that I can't in UK?
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    I can think of two options off the top of my head:

    a) Look into volunteer programs abroad. You may have missed a couple of the deadlines for some, but going volunteering in orphanages or helping children will be something you'll have a memory of for a lifetime. However, if you're wishing to apply again, you'd need to look into plausability of getting to interviews ect whilst doing it. I've heard of people that do 10 months volunteering, 1 month travel, it's up to you. Alternatively, you could do it for just one week or so if you're feeling less adventurous.

    b) Beat* the world record for most mastubations achieved in one year. *no pun intended
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    Haha thanks for your suggestion; option b) really made me laugh.

    As for the first option, I'm really not an adventurous person. Though, it does sound like a fantastic opportunity to do something that I've never done. Work experience and volunteering aren't real problems for me, as I know people whom I've contacted before, but that's not to say I won't do anything new for next year.

    The main thing that I lacked in my P.S (I think, although I will request feedbacks) was achievements, like the title itself. I know when people talk about achievements, they are normally refering to awards and certificates, and I'm just trying to think what awards and/or certificates that I can realistic obtain within a year, that are both meaningful for medicine application and myself.

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by Panda89)
    Haha thanks for your suggestion; option b) really made me laugh.

    As for the first option, I'm really not an adventurous person. Though, it does sound like a fantastic opportunity to do something that I've never done. Work experience and volunteering aren't real problems for me, as I know people whom I've contacted before, but that's not to say I won't do anything new for next year.

    The main thing that I lacked in my P.S (I think, although I will request feedbacks) was achievements, like the title itself. I know when people talk about achievements, they are normally refering to awards and certificates, and I'm just trying to think what awards and/or certificates that I can realistic obtain within a year, that are both meaningful for medicine application and myself.

    Thanks.
    Well adventure qualifications like DoE and millenium volunteers can be obtained within a year (just) You could train with the samaritans or the red cross. There are many things available to determined people
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    I didn't have any awards or achievements that I recall. Academics + reflecting on my volunteering + shadowing experiences = my application.
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    (Original post by TooSexyForMyStethoscope)
    Well adventure qualifications like DoE and millenium volunteers can be obtained within a year (just) You could train with the samaritans or the red cross. There are many things available to determined people
    Hey, thanks for your suggestions. I will look into those schemes.

    (Original post by JCM89)
    I didn't have any awards or achievements that I recall. Academics + reflecting on my volunteering + shadowing experiences = my application.
    Glad to hear that, my current P.S is pretty much the same; I tried to reflect on my work experiences and volunteering as much as I could (took roughly 60-70% of my entire P.S!). There's something clearly missing, though. Perhaps I didn't express my motivation well enough to the "why medicine?" question. Anyhow, I have a year ahead of me and I'm NOT going to stay at home and do nothing.
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    learn a language
    learn to play and instrument
    set up charity evens.

    All doable in a year.
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    You say you're graduating this summer? I wouldn't worry so much about "achievements", just get some paid work in the care sector, maybe volunteering (UK or overseas), so long as you are able to reflect on your experiences and show personal insight.
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    Hey dude, i am in my final year of a biology degree and applied for GEM courses (see below), my grades before uni were not great and I think my personal statement is what my universities liked, i love sports and so a lot of my achievments and extracaricular stuff was sports based, with a DoE here n there. I think the think that made my PS stand out most was that i did work experience abroad, which showed my language ability as well as a want to learn more about medicine in other countries. I got extensively asked on this aspect of my PS and the interviewers were really interested in it. Remember there is only so much things u can put in a PS so u dnt need to do a million work experience placements. If you would like to look at my PS then i will happily send it to you.

    Imperial (GEP): Offer (conditional - 2.1)
    Swansea (GEP): Offer (conditional - 2.1)
    Warwick (GEP): offered an interview but have withdrawn
    Peninsula (5 year): rejected befor interview, missed their GAMSAT cutoff.

    UKCAT: 735
    Gamsat: 61
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    (Original post by anon2010)
    learn a language
    learn to play and instrument
    set up charity evens.

    All doable in a year.
    I was thinking about an instrument too, as well as a language (although it isn't my strong point). Thanks for these suggestions.

    (Original post by omlette)
    You say you're graduating this summer? I wouldn't worry so much about "achievements", just get some paid work in the care sector, maybe volunteering (UK or overseas), so long as you are able to reflect on your experiences and show personal insight.
    Yup, I'm planning on doing that.

    (Original post by Huggsie)
    Hey dude, i am in my final year of a biology degree and applied for GEM courses (see below), my grades before uni were not great and I think my personal statement is what my universities liked, i love sports and so a lot of my achievments and extracaricular stuff was sports based, with a DoE here n there. I think the think that made my PS stand out most was that i did work experience abroad, which showed my language ability as well as a want to learn more about medicine in other countries. I got extensively asked on this aspect of my PS and the interviewers were really interested in it. Remember there is only so much things u can put in a PS so u dnt need to do a million work experience placements. If you would like to look at my PS then i will happily send it to you.

    Imperial (GEP): Offer (conditional - 2.1)
    Swansea (GEP): Offer (conditional - 2.1)
    Warwick (GEP): offered an interview but have withdrawn
    Peninsula (5 year): rejected befor interview, missed their GAMSAT cutoff.

    UKCAT: 735
    Gamsat: 61
    Hey, thanks a lot man. I see you have an awesome UKCAT score (makes the application process a whole lot easier, and I'm worried that I could mess up on that again :/ ). I love sports too, but only joined clubs at recreational level in the uni. I'm guessing it's a team sport that you play? Yes, please do send me your P.S, I'd love to see it. Thanks for your help dude, much appreciated.
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    Hey, thanks a lot man. I see you have an awesome UKCAT score (makes the application process a whole lot easier, and I'm worried that I could mess up on that again :/ ). I love sports too, but only joined clubs at recreational level in the uni. I'm guessing it's a team sport that you play? Yes, please do send me your P.S, I'd love to see it. Thanks for your help dude, much appreciated. [/QUOTE]

    I got a good UKCAT and only practice for a couple of hours before hand, i think the main thing to get used to is the timing. Be strict and make sure u dnt spend more than 30 secs (or what ever the length is) per question. Sooooooooooooo many people get low marks because they dnt answer all of the questions, due to the fack that they spend to long on some difficult ones and therefore miss out on the potentially easier ones. I played lots of team sports at first team uni level, but a lot of the things i wrote about could by just as easily talk about when u play recreational sport (plus u dnt have to say what teams u play in a uni)
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    You see, I practised for at least 3 months, and it went so unexpectedly that I literally was emotionless for the next couple of days, due to the time that I had spent so much time. I guess the reasons were either I didn't prepare properly (Yes, didn't stick to the time at all. My maths was particularly rusty as I haven't been using it since A-levels. I just don't know how to get better at VR, my worst section, by far), or I became increasingly tired of all the practice and the pressure just built up. I remember sitting in front of the screen for at least 5 minutes before I clicked to begin. I hope everything will change, hopefully I've become more mature and wiser.
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    I don't think "Achievements" as such are really necessary, but I would definitely recommend doing something like Events First Aid with the British Red Cross. Not only will you become a qualified first aider (achievement?) it's volunteer work (cue Brownie points) plus you get actual hands on first aid experience working as part of a team alongside ambulance crew and even paramedics (caring experience & observing allied health professionals). Well good! But please remember that no amount of work experience will make up for a crappy UKCAT score. This is your priority! Do every practice question you can find, become a maths whizz, get confidence. (Also, a can of Red Bull before you go in doesn't hurt).
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    You're asking what you can do in the next year, but realistically you've only got from say June (when you finish uni) to September, if you want to be able to write about it adequately in your PS. You can say what you intend to do in the rest of the year, but if it's definable achievements that you're looking for, you've got a pretty limited timespan. Get feedback from the unis - it may be something completely different that they're rejecting you for. You can also get your new statement checked over by our PS Help team on TSR here.
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    Thanks a lot for the tips, guys. I'm so glad I started posting on the forum.
 
 
 

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