Is there anything in particular that should be included in my referee's reference? Also any top tips in making my reference good
Teachers reference for Medicine Watch
- Thread Starter
- 18-08-2013 01:46
- 18-08-2013 01:55
Anything academic based or school related which would sound arrogant coming from you is best included in the reference.
- 18-08-2013 02:11
You should carefully read the websites of other med schools you're interested in, to make sure that your referee covers all the bases. Good luck!(Original post by Keel Med School)
Your reference is likely to be written by your head teacher, college principal, head of year or form tutor. Applicants who are not currently in school or college should approach an academic supervisor whenever possible: a "character reference" is not sufficient. We do, however, want to know what the writer of the reference thinks about you as a whole person, not merely about your academic achievements and potential. Please ensure that whoever is writing the reference sees a copy of these guidelines.
The areas in which we require information are:
Commitment to medicine
While the length of time that you have been committed to a medical career may be relevant here, it is not the only factor. Equally important are the steps that you have taken to confirm this commitment (e.g. work experience in a caring role). Work experience in other areas which has convinced you that those areas are not the right careers for you could even be mentioned here. Some insight into your awareness of the realities, advantages and disadvantages of a medical career would be useful.
While we are obviously interested in whether you work at an appropriate level of intensity, complete work on time and are reliable, some insight into your interest and enthusiasm for the subject would also be useful. Late developers should not be disadvantaged by this process. We are keen to hear about students who have blossomed in their interest and commitment relatively late in their school career or as a graduate or other later applicant.
The ability to communicate is essential to the practice of medicine. However, communication is not merely about articulation and vocabulary but is also about listening. Thus whilst we are interested in students' contributions to class discussion and extracurricular activity, we would be very pleased to hear about how you relate to others, in particular the less gifted students or younger students, and how well you accept criticism.
Humanity, humility and responsibility
There is clearly some overlap here with communication but information in this section should primarily deal with how the referee feels about your ability to care and empathise (is there practical evidence of this?), and how you see yourself in the school and wider community or in the case of later applicants in the workplace or in higher education. Direct evidence of caring is likely to come from the personal statement, but the reference might add details of activities through which you have raised money for - or awareness of the plight of - less advantaged individuals or groups. It is an advantage if your referee can provide examples of your willingness to take on responsibility and ability to deal with it.
This is not only evidenced by your GCSE grades and achieved or predicted A-level grades or degrees. It is important for the referee to tell us about late academic developers, e.g. the student who achieves the bare minimum GCSE grade A passes but is likely to blossom at A-level and beyond. Other evidence of intellectual potential beyond merely the ability to pass exams is important here.
These skills may be demonstrated either within or outside school. We recognise that not all students have sporting aptitudes but participating in sport is not the only way in which students can excel in this area. Social and charity involvement would be relevant here as would membership of choirs, orchestras etc. The ability to work as a member of a team in class practices, field trips, hikes, expeditions etc. will also be important. Once again we recognise that not all schools and colleges will have equal opportunity to assess teamwork skills and therefore where such opportunities do not exist within school, we strongly encourage the referee to obtain independent information from other sources. Examples that involve leadership skills are particularly valuable, although part of successful teamworking is the recognition that everyone can't be the leader.
We strongly recommend that in addition to all the above sections, any mitigating circumstances which may affect not only academic performance but any aspect of the information contained within the UCAS form should be included in the referee's report. If you experience any extenuating circumstances at the time of your examinations, your school or college should report this immediately to the relevant examination boards so that any allowances can be made. If we consider that extenuating circumstances brought up in the reference should be taken into account formally in the assessment of your application, we shall write to your referee to request further details. Please do not send such details unsolicited.
- Thread Starter
- 18-08-2013 15:39