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    I know questioning it isn't going to make my application easier, and better to revise hard, get a good mark and then ponder how unfair it is BUT

    Almost all the unis don't look at your a-level/IB grades. I'm predicted 43, which most of my offers being 36 , but they all say it doesn't matter if you're over, well over or just on the cusp, you will be well more heavily judged on UKCAT/BMAT

    I have been studying for 7 years! I put my heart and soul into my works, and worked so hard to get the predictions I got, but it doesnt matter. All that matters is a 2 hour aptitude test, which some people are more naturally tuned to than others!

    How is that going to determine whether I'm going to be a good doctor? And I know they look at other things (personal statement, gcses) but many say you need to do well in UKCAT before they even look at anything else

    sigh.
    What do you think?
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    If you had to choose between a bunch of students who ticked all the boxes with their academics and extracurriculars, how would you discriminate between candidates?
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    lol, just wait until you sit the SJT for finals.
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    (Original post by Tabris)
    If you had to choose between a bunch of students who ticked all the boxes with their academics and extracurriculars, how would you discriminate between candidates?
    This. Pretty much all medical applicants have high predicated grades, plus there's more to medicine than an ability to do exams. We had a talk a while ago about the basis for each of the tests in the ukcat and it actually made sense.

    Also bear in mind that each medical school uses the ukcat differently. For example, Newcastle have a high threshold and you only get an interview if you're over that, whereas Cardiff only use it after interview to distinguish between very similar applicants. Some don't use it at all! So if you do screw it up, it isn't the end of the world. Generally, most of the medical admissions process is unfair and extremely painful, but there's not much you can do about that.
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    (Original post by Flobie)
    This. Pretty much all medical applicants have high predicated grades, plus there's more to medicine than an ability to do exams. We had a talk a while ago about the basis for each of the tests in the ukcat and it actually made sense.

    Also bear in mind that each medical school uses the ukcat differently. For example, Newcastle have a high threshold and you only get an interview if you're over that, whereas Cardiff only use it after interview to distinguish between very similar applicants. Some don't use it at all! So if you do screw it up, it isn't the end of the world. Generally, most of the medical admissions process is unfair and extremely painful, but there's not much you can do about that.

    I know it's good for comparing students but weighting it OVER personal statments and grades annoys me a bit
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    I think if everyone took IB it would be less necessary and grades would get more weighting. A big part of the reason the UKCAT exists is because AS levels are so top-heavy - you need to find some way to distinguish between 10 applicants with AAAA for each place!

    (Original post by shiggydiggy)
    lol, just wait until you sit the SJT for finals.
    My thought exactly. At least the UKCAT feels like its testing intelligence.

    Get used to it OP!
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    I think if everyone took IB it would be less necessary and grades would get more weighting. A big part of the reason the UKCAT exists is because AS levels are so top-heavy - you need to find some way to distinguish between 10 applicants with AAAA for each place!



    My thought exactly. At least the UKCAT feels like its testing intelligence.

    Get used to it OP!
    Ah I'm looking forward to it
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    (Original post by NancyRoseC)
    I know it's good for comparing students but weighting it OVER personal statments and grades annoys me a bit
    Only a few do that. But also remember that there are several different stages to the application process, so they use different things at each stage.

    They tend to look at GCSE grades pretty closely, but not predicted A level/IB purely because about 99% of applicants will have the required grades! and there is a lot more to medicine than just exam grades.
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    (Original post by Flobie)
    Only a few do that. But also remember that there are several different stages to the application process, so they use different things at each stage.

    They tend to look at GCSE grades pretty closely, but not predicted A level/IB purely because about 99% of applicants will have the required grades! and there is a lot more to medicine than just exam grades.
    I know I know but when I'm being predicted 4 7s (A*s) and 2 6s (A) with 43 points in total and they mainly want 36 points (6s all around) it annoys me because people who just scraped 4 6s are viewed exactly the same

    I worked really hard maaan
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    (Original post by NancyRoseC)
    I know I know but when I'm being predicted 4 7s (A*s) and 2 6s (A) with 43 points in total and they mainly want 36 points (6s all around) it annoys me because people who just scraped 4 6s are viewed exactly the same

    I worked really hard maaan
    I know, it's hard. But think of how many people there are who also have 43 points, but have the social skills of a potato! You have to be generally well rounded.

    As I said previously, applying to medicine isn't really a fair process! I've seen people with 3A* predictions for A level, some of the most dedicated people I've met, who got 4 rejections, when lazy people who don't really care get in. It's harsh, it's crap, but it has to be done
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    (Original post by NancyRoseC)
    I know I know but when I'm being predicted 4 7s (A*s) and 2 6s (A) with 43 points in total and they mainly want 36 points (6s all around) it annoys me because people who just scraped 4 6s are viewed exactly the same

    I worked really hard maaan
    A friend of mine is studying dentistry, got A*A*A in their a levels and he only got one offer after 2 cycles.
    **** happens
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    (Original post by NancyRoseC)
    I know it's good for comparing students but weighting it OVER personal statments and grades annoys me a bit
    Personal statements and grades are just as bad IMHO.
    Personal statements are not personal at private schools, they pretty much write it for you. Two people with the same intelligence, one goes to a private school and scrapes AAA, the other gets ABB

    One becomes a dentist/doctor/vet
    The other becomes a bio med grad/pharmacist/optometrist.

    The system isn't perfect, you just have to play the system.
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    I fount it hard
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    (Original post by alevelzzz)
    Personal statements and grades are just as bad IMHO.
    Personal statements are not personal at private schools, they pretty much write it for you. Two people with the same intelligence, one goes to a private school and scrapes AAA, the other gets ABB

    One becomes a dentist/doctor/vet
    The other becomes a bio med grad/pharmacist/optometrist.

    The system isn't perfect, you just have to play the system.
    I'm ready to play
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    It is a stupid emphasis on these tests, but that's just how it is, alas alack etc. I applied to 2 from each test. Did horribly in the UKCAT but pretty well in the BMAT. No interviews from the UKCAT places (instantly sent a place for Biochemistry at Sheffield actually... thanks Sheffield....) but interviews from both BMAT places. If I were smarter to the fact UKCAT was used as insta-exclusion I wouldn't have applied to Sheffield. Anyway, basically try your best in both, being good at one apparently doesn't mean much about whether you're any good at the other (in my case anyway!) and pick from there. Try and find out how much each Uni uses the UKCAT and what their cut-offs are, if possible. They do sometimes tell you this stuff at open days or maybe people here will know.

    Personally I think it makes no difference as to how good a doctor comes out the other end, but as a UKCAT under-achiever, I really have no choice but to say that :P

    On a random note, I got the same IB grade as you. I think high IB grades do help a little bit in the sense that you're more likely to be interviewed, but they do come second to these extra tests.
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    I'm sure that all medical schools do look at your A-level/IB grades. However, some (I know Sheffield do) look at academics as just a hurdle to jump over. So you need 6 GCSEs at A, for example, and AAA at A-Level. As long as you have that, you're over the hurdle and into the next round, so-to-speak. So 10*s at GCSE will not put you in higher favour than someone who has 6 As. I think after that though, you start competing against each other - personal statement, interview and sometimes the UKCAT (depending on how/if the university uses it).

    The UKCAT just seems to be another way of narrowing down applicants from an already impressive pool of people. I know quite a few unis don't take the Situational Judgement section into consideration though, although I'm not sure why. I'm personally trying not to think about whether the UKCAT is fair or accurate or anything until I've done it or it will make me feel unmotivated.
 
 
 
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