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Medicine Re-Applicant (1st time applicant to Cambridge) - Please help me out! Watch

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    Hey

    This might sound a bit strange because all of the people I've read about are re-applicants to Cambridge but I'm a bit different.

    I applied to Oxford, Notts, Sheffield and Leicester last October. My UKCAT wasn't good enough for interview at Notts or Sheffield (650) and my BMAT didn't go too well ( 4.4, 5.0, 3.5A ) because I was going through a family bereavement at the time.

    I know that I could've sent off a mitigating circumstances form but at the time I was so depressed and stressed that it didn't even occur to me and by the time it did it was too late.

    I got an interview at Leicester but unfortunately didn't get a place.

    My stats are:

    8 A* at GCSE
    1 Dist. in CiDA ICT
    2 A* in short course GCSEs (I went to a state school)

    AS level UMS:

    Maths - C1 - 100/100 - C2 - 97/100 - S1 - 83/100
    Biology - F211 - 88/90 - F212 - 150/150 - Coursework - 48/60
    Chemistry - CHEM1 - 88/100 - CHEM2 - 130/140 - Coursework - 58/60
    French - FREN1 - 131/140 - Speaking - 51/60

    So far I've gotten As in all modules bar 1 B this Jan.

    Pretty much guaranteed an A in A2 Chem (I only need a C in the summer).

    Realistically there is a good chance of 2 A* in A2 Biology and Maths if I work hard.

    I'm planning on doing an EPQ during my gap year, as well as volunteering, work experience, mentoring Year 7s, part-time job etc. to show that I've spent the time wisely (hopefully).

    I visited both Oxford and Cambridge last summer and loved both, but the summer school at Oxford tipped the scale for me. This year I want to apply to Cambridge and try for an interview (please don't think badly of me).

    The dreaded question is: what chance do you think I have and will being a re-applicant aid my application in any way?

    Thanks
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    Your academics are strong - what is the overall % UMS there? Make sure you get the best you can and don't sit back on As if you want Cambridge! Once again, a lot will come down to the BMAT though, and interview thereafter. Its hard to say more than that. Make sure your bereavement is noted by them. Good luck.
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    Sorry to butt in but I'm sort of in a similar situation and hopefully someone can give me some advice. I applied for medicine this year (Oxford, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Sheffield) and have three rejection and waiting for my fourth (most probably).

    Basically I was wondering if I applied to Cambridge next year, would they consider my overall ums or just AS. At AS I got 91 biology, 93 maths, 94 art but only 80 chemistry so only just scraped an a.
    Would it be worth retaking my as chemistry modules to bump up the AS ums or just go all out to trying to get the a* at a2. And if I did get much better AS scores would they even consider them towards the ums average or do they only consider the first sitting?

    Thanks!


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    (Original post by kapaaw)
    Sorry to butt in but I'm sort of in a similar situation and hopefully someone can give me some advice. I applied for medicine this year (Oxford, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Sheffield) and have three rejection and waiting for my fourth (most probably).

    Basically I was wondering if I applied to Cambridge next year, would they consider my overall ums or just AS. At AS I got 91 biology, 93 maths, 94 art but only 80 chemistry so only just scraped an a.
    Would it be worth retaking my as chemistry modules to bump up the AS ums or just go all out to trying to get the a* at a2. And if I did get much better AS scores would they even consider them towards the ums average or do they only consider the first sitting?

    Thanks!


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    Are you certain you'll take a gap year? Because you need to decide that before you get your A2 UMS, unfortunately.

    They will use all information available to them, which includes A2 grades and whether you've retaken. I suspect retaking won't be in your best interest - do really well at A2 and maybe you'll be in with a chance. Getting A*s won't exactly harm your chances at other unis either, but if you're thinking gap year etc, make absolutely certain the year is a productive one. Too good an opportunity to waste!
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Are you certain you'll take a gap year? Because you need to decide that before you get your A2 UMS, unfortunately.

    They will use all information available to them, which includes A2 grades and whether you've retaken. I suspect retaking won't be in your best interest - do really well at A2 and maybe you'll be in with a chance. Getting A*s won't exactly harm your chances at other unis either, but if you're thinking gap year etc, make absolutely certain the year is a productive one. Too good an opportunity to waste!
    Well if I get a fourth rejection I will have no choice but to take a gap year as I didn't apply to a fifth back up.
    That's what my teachers have said but I'm pretty sure I could get my as chemistry up by quite a bit, I'm just not sure if retaking looks worse than a low score in the first place :/


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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Your academics are strong - what is the overall % UMS there? Make sure you get the best you can and don't sit back on As if you want Cambridge! Once again, a lot will come down to the BMAT though, and interview thereafter. Its hard to say more than that. Make sure your bereavement is noted by them. Good luck.

    Thanks for this

    My UMS %:
    Biology AS - 95%
    Chemistry AS - 92%
    Maths AS - 93%
    French AS (not as important, but still) - 90.5%

    I haven't done my summer modules yet so I'm not sure for A2 - would they put a big emphasis on my A2 % as well?

    Also, they say that they interview around 80% of their applicants, but I'm assuming that this % is much lower for medicine, am I right?

    Thanks again.
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    (Original post by Anxious Owl)
    Also, they say that they interview around 80% of their applicants, but I'm assuming that this % is much lower for medicine, am I right?
    Cambridge medicine isn't particularly oversubscribed. 6:1 compared to like 5:1 for other subjects. I think ballpark 80% is about right still (just an impression, no evidence). .
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    (Original post by Anxious Owl)
    Thanks for this

    My UMS %:
    Biology AS - 95%
    Chemistry AS - 92%
    Maths AS - 93%
    French AS (not as important, but still) - 90.5%

    I haven't done my summer modules yet so I'm not sure for A2 - would they put a big emphasis on my A2 % as well?

    Also, they say that they interview around 80% of their applicants, but I'm assuming that this % is much lower for medicine, am I right?

    Thanks again.
    For your UMS average they will include all your science UMS at both A2 & AS. They also look at your BMAT result & GCSEs for ranking in medicine.
    I don't know the % they interview but the interview will be more academic than other medical schools. The interview is only part of the decision-the paper record is still very important.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Cambridge medicine isn't particularly oversubscribed. 6:1 compared to like 5:1 for other subjects. I think ballpark 80% is about right still (just an impression, no evidence). .
    Cambridge publish figures showing what applicants normally achieve and about half of medicine applicants get 3 A*s or more. If you don't have 90+ ums I'd say you were wasting an application. Of course if you do brilliantly in the BMAT you might still get a place.

    Sorry to be negative but you only get 4 choices of medical school and the reason Cambridge has a lower applicant/place ratio is because most of those applicants are very well qualified.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    Cambridge publish figures showing what applicants normally achieve and about half of medicine applicants get 3 A*s or more. If you don't have 90+ ums I'd say you were wasting an application. Of course if you do brilliantly in the BMAT you might still get a place.

    Sorry to be negative but you only get 4 choices of medical school and the reason Cambridge has a lower applicant/place ratio is because most of those applicants are very well qualified.
    Did you quote the wrong person? I was responding to whether they interview 80% of medicine applicants or not. I think that would be approximately right. Do you disagree?
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Cambridge medicine isn't particularly oversubscribed. 6:1 compared to like 5:1 for other subjects. I think ballpark 80% is about right still (just an impression, no evidence). .
    That's interesting. It also seems more fair as you get a more rounded view of the applicant. If I manage an A* I will probably consider Cambridge. Hopefully already having the grades will go down well with the admissions tutors!

    Thanks
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Did you quote the wrong person? I was responding to whether they interview 80% of medicine applicants or not. I think that would be approximately right. Do you disagree?
    Meant to reply to Kapaaw - but your comment about the low applicant ratio was also underestimating the difficulty. There is a freedom of information request saying that the median AS ums for medics was, I think, 96%.

    I don't know the percentage interviewed for medicine, it's about 90% for most subjects, could be less for medicine but still a high chance of interview. Some colleges don't place too much weight on interview. Some less popular colleges invited people to interview before BMAT results are out.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    Cambridge publish figures showing what applicants normally achieve and about half of medicine applicants get 3 A*s or more. If you don't have 90+ ums I'd say you were wasting an application. Of course if you do brilliantly in the BMAT you might still get a place.

    Sorry to be negative but you only get 4 choices of medical school and the reason Cambridge has a lower applicant/place ratio is because most of those applicants are very well qualified.
    Of course, thanks for the advice. So do you thinks it's worth retaking the AS Chem?


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    kapaaw consulted my teenager, who understands ums better tha I do and they said not to bother as you can get the A* with that.

    You did well to get such a high mark in art but I assume you'll be dropping that to concentrate on your other subjects. For medicine there is no advantage in taking art to A level and I assume it's as much work as AS.

    The percentage with 3A*s at A2 is less at Oxford than Cambridge and you have a good percentage for A*s at GSCE so Oxford might be worth considering if you get a lot of A*s at A2.

    AnxiousOwl Cambridge have a reputation for requiring higher grades from reapplicants. They will be comparing you with applicants they expect to go on to get 3A*s. You'd be looked upon favourably at a number of other medical schools, chose ones that value academics a lot. My impression is that reapplicants with good grades do very well.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)

    AnxiousOwl Cambridge have a reputation for requiring higher grades from reapplicants. They will be comparing you with applicants they expect to go on to get 3A*s. You'd be looked upon favourably at a number of other medical schools, chose ones that value academics a lot. My impression is that reapplicants with good grades do very well.
    So if I managed to get 2A* and an A this summer, rework my PS and get more practice in for the BMAT, hopefully I should have a decent chance?

    Thanks for the input, I appreciate it
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    (Original post by Anxious Owl)
    So if I managed to get 2A* and an A this summer, rework my PS and get more practice in for the BMAT, hopefully I should have a decent chance?

    Thanks for the input, I appreciate it
    http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/a...erformance.pdf

    If you get A*A*A you will have a good chance for a medical school if you apply wisely with good work experience. You will not have a good chance for Cambridge and it would be risky to use one of your four choices.

    74% of all NatSci entrants had grades better than A*A*A in 2010, the first year of A*. Medicine is more competitive than NatSci. Most offer holders are predicted 3A* or better. So for a "decent chance" you need 3A*. Work really hard and see if you can pull that third A* out of the bag?
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    (Original post by Anxious Owl)
    So if I managed to get 2A* and an A this summer, rework my PS and get more practice in for the BMAT, hopefully I should have a decent chance?

    Thanks for the input, I appreciate it
    Cambridge publish figures on the characteristics of those accepted. The median BMAT last year was 6. something. (I think 6.1, 6.0,) and 96% UMS. This year's BMAT was considered to be about 0.5 lower. If you got A*A*A I'd expect you to get an interview and after that it's hard to say. 3 A* grades and a good BMAT would give you a better than even chance. Some colleges invite for interview before the BMAT results are out. If you don't get at least one A* then I'd suggest you forget applying to Cambridge.

    Your BMAT would probably have got you an interview at Imperial, with a good chance of an offer. Check the applicants thread for this year's BMAT cut off.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    Cambridge publish figures on the characteristics of those accepted. ......If you don't get at least one A* then I'd suggest you forget applying to Cambridge.
    Have you got a link to recent stats for Medicine acceptances? I have only seen the ones for NatSci

    I assume you meant 2A* as no As would even meet the standard offer?
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    Cambridge publish figures on the characteristics of those accepted. The median BMAT last year was 6. something. (I think 6.1, 6.0,) and 96% UMS. This year's BMAT was considered to be about 0.5 lower.
    Can i get a link to that data? I'd like to be able to cite it in the future.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Can i get a link to that data? I'd like to be able to cite it in the future.

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reques...ti_30?unfold=1
 
 
 
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