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    My daughter has now been rejected by UCL, Kings London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to study medicine, she has an offer from Bath for Pharmacy. She has the following A levels: Biology A*, Maths A*, French A* and Chemistry A, I don't know her exact UCAT and BMAT results but I believe they were good. Only Edinburgh gave any feedback regarding why she was not offered a place, they advised that she was let down by her academic results. A*A*A*A seems to exceed the entrance requirements for all universities in the UK for medicine so why the problem. She has been working as a care worker at a special needs facility during her gap year and previously did voluntary work at an orphanage in Romania. I thought she had ticked all the right boxes. Can any medical students or other parents give me any advice as to where she may be going wrong? Thanks.
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    It isn't just about having the grades though. My friend was turned down with A*A*A*a* for medicine because her extra curricular's were 'sub-standard'. Plenty of people going in to medicine have done various, different, work experience placements, as well as various voluntary positions and play team sports, or a musical instrument (showing discipline and commitment to something).

    Also, you need a good personal statement as well. It isn't enough to just mention you did volunteering etc, you have to really go in to what you learnt from the experience and so forth.

    Simply having the grades just isn't enough these days.
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    All of those uni's value GCSEs quite highly in the admissions process, could those be a problem?

    If not then she's either got a sub par personal statement for those universities or she's not a spectacular interviewee.

    60 to 65% of medicine applicants in the UK don't get a place, so just because she didn't get in doesn't mean she's not an amazing candidate, it just means some people are better.

    She should now be thinking about whether to try again or do another degree, personally I'd give up after the second application and then if I still wanted to do medicine after that degree I'd apply for graduate entry.
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    (Original post by Stuart1883)
    My daughter has now been rejected by UCL, Kings London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to study medicine, she has an offer from Bath for Pharmacy. She has the following A levels: Biology A*, Maths A*, French A* and Chemistry A, I don't know her exact UCAT and BMAT results but I believe they were good. Only Edinburgh gave any feedback regarding why she was not offered a place, they advised that she was let down by her academic results. A*A*A*A seems to exceed the entrance requirements for all universities in the UK for medicine so why the problem. She has been working as a care worker at a special needs facility during her gap year and previously did voluntary work at an orphanage in Romania. I thought she had ticked all the right boxes. Can any medical students or other parents give me any advice as to where she may be going wrong? Thanks.
    First of all, what were her GCSEs? Cardiff, Edinburgh and KCL are all very keen on good GCSEs, so if hers weren't up to scratch compared with other applicants, that will have let her down - this may be what Edinburgh meant by "let down by academic results." Unless they explicitly say so, having excellent A-level results will not allow her to side-step the GCSE requirements.

    Secondly, was she interviewed by any of them? If not, then we must assume there was some problem with her paper application. This could be her GCSE grades, it could be her UKCAT or BMAT (for UCL) score, or it could be her personal statement. Applicants need to not just list lots of impressive-sounding work experience, they need to write mature reflections on what they learned and how it made them understand what life as a doctor is life. Laudable though her voluntary work is, you don't mention that she has any directly medical work experience - is this something she could improve?

    If she did get interviews and didn't get in, then her interview technique could maybe do with some work. There are some books available on this, and quite a lot of resources on TSR about interview preparation too. Of course, it may be that she's just unlucky, as medicine is crazily competitive, but there are ways of improving her chances.

    If your daughter is still keen to apply again next year, then I advise the following things: -
    1)Tell her to get on here so she can do some research and talk to people who've been through it.
    2) Apply to her strengths. Look at http://unireq.co.uk/ and the wiki on here about choosing a medical school - make sure she picks one for which she fits the profile, so if her GCSEs aren't brilliant, avoid places which are dead keen on GCSEs, or if her UKCAT isn't very strong, avoid the places which use it as a major selection criteria. It sounds quite cold and clinical, but no matter how much she loves somewhere, if she doesn't meet their requirements it's a wasted application.
    3) Get some medical shadowing/work experience.
    4) Use the TSR PS help service. There's a team of experienced helpers who've read lots of personal statements and can offer advice on how to make her statement tick a few more boxes.

    Good luck to her!
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    First of all, what were her GCSEs? Cardiff, Edinburgh and KCL are all very keen on good GCSEs, so if hers weren't up to scratch compared with other applicants, that will have let her down - this may be what Edinburgh meant by "let down by academic results." Unless they explicitly say so, having excellent A-level results will not allow her to side-step the GCSE requirements.

    Secondly, was she interviewed by any of them? If not, then we must assume there was some problem with her paper application. This could be her GCSE grades, it could be her UKCAT or BMAT (for UCL) score, or it could be her personal statement. Applicants need to not just list lots of impressive-sounding work experience, they need to write mature reflections on what they learned and how it made them understand what life as a doctor is life. Laudable though her voluntary work is, you don't mention that she has any directly medical work experience - is this something she could improve?

    If she did get interviews and didn't get in, then her interview technique could maybe do with some work. There are some books available on this, and quite a lot of resources on TSR about interview preparation too. Of course, it may be that she's just unlucky, as medicine is crazily competitive, but there are ways of improving her chances.

    If your daughter is still keen to apply again next year, then I advise the following things: -
    1)Tell her to get on here so she can do some research and talk to people who've been through it.
    2) Apply to her strengths. Look at http://unireq.co.uk/ and the wiki on here about choosing a medical school - make sure she picks one for which she fits the profile, so if her GCSEs aren't brilliant, avoid places which are dead keen on GCSEs, or if her UKCAT isn't very strong, avoid the places which use it as a major selection criteria. It sounds quite cold and clinical, but no matter how much she loves somewhere, if she doesn't meet their requirements it's a wasted application.
    3) Get some medical shadowing/work experience.
    4) Use the TSR PS help service. There's a team of experienced helpers who've read lots of personal statements and can offer advice on how to make her statement tick a few more boxes.

    Good luck to her!
    Thanks, the replies have all been extremely helpful and have given us some useful pointers if she wants to pursue medicine. Her GCSE grades were 8 A* 2A and B, (Art). From the comments on this thread I can see where she needs to focus and I think her preference of locations needs to take a back seat. Thanks again.
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    (Original post by Stuart1883)
    My daughter has now been rejected by UCL, Kings London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to study medicine, she has an offer from Bath for Pharmacy. She has the following A levels: Biology A*, Maths A*, French A* and Chemistry A, I don't know her exact UCAT and BMAT results but I believe they were good. Only Edinburgh gave any feedback regarding why she was not offered a place, they advised that she was let down by her academic results. A*A*A*A seems to exceed the entrance requirements for all universities in the UK for medicine so why the problem. She has been working as a care worker at a special needs facility during her gap year and previously did voluntary work at an orphanage in Romania. I thought she had ticked all the right boxes. Can any medical students or other parents give me any advice as to where she may be going wrong? Thanks.
    Just to add that i agree with the other posters. Medicine is greatly oversubscribed with great applicants - stories like yours are actually really common.

    Potential problems are: GCSEs, UKCAT, BMAT, a personal statement (PS) that doesn't jump the hoops, lack of work experience, doesn't come across well at interview. Plus also... bad luck!

    Its really easy to not realise how to maximise your chances in medicine. My application was a complete disaster in hindsight - i applied to places that would never have taken me. I was just very fortunate that one of my choices valued my strengths (academics) and ignored things like the PS and work experience, which were my weaknesses. Its all about playing the game ultimately.

    If applying again: get more work experience/volunteering, do everything to do well at the BMAT/UKCAT, apply to your strengths, and ensure a calm, professional attitude at interview and that you can say all the tick-box correct things. There is still no guarantee she will get in but that's how to maximise the chances.
 
 
 
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