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Grow Your Grades: Medicine Watch

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    (Original post by etudixnt)
    Hii I'm Amy. I'm 17 years old, a sixth form student currently studying for my AS level examinations this year and subsequently my A Level examinations next year.

    Within my GCSEs I obtained a total of 8 A* and 2 A grades. Currently I am studying for A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Spanish. I hope to study Medicine in the future, possibly entering the paediatrics field yet I'm still uncertain about what I would like to specialise in. I would love to study at Cambridge (although this is highly unattainable), Edinburgh, Manchester or Liverpool. Therefore it's extremely important that I aim for the highest grades possible

    Aspirational AS Grades:

    Biology - A
    Chemistry - A
    Maths - A
    Spanish - A

    December 2015 Mock Grades:

    Biology - A (highest in class, with 84% total)
    Chemistry - C (60%, DESPERATELY need to work on this!)
    Maths - A (81%)
    Spanish - A (100%)

    I'm aiming for high UMS, possibly above 93% in order to be ranked relatively high in my Cambridge applications. So I am working on Chemistry frantically, since ultimately this is essential for medicine!

    Extra Curriculars to boost Medicine Application:

    -World Challenge Volunteering Expedition to Sri Lanka
    -Volunteering at local hospital, 4hrs per week
    -Shadowing consultants at local children's hospital (useful paediatrics experience!)
    -Work experience placement at Women's Hospital in the gynaecology outpatient ward
    -Work experience placement at local neurology centre
    -6th form introduction to medicine course
    -Helping lower years in maths lessons

    Other programmes I've applied to (not yet received replies indicating failure or acceptance ):
    -Cambridge University Shadowing Scheme (lucky enough to receive a place during week 2 at Pembroke College to study Natural Sciences. Planning on attending numerous medicine lectures and visit a 'Life as a Medic' Course!)
    -Cambridge Genetics and Biochemistry Masterclass
    -Nuffield Foundation Research Placement
    -Sutton Trust Summer Schools
    -Unilever Work Experience Placement
    -Cambridge Magdalene College a Residential
    -Oxford Uniq Summer School
    -Liverpool scholars programme
    -Social Mobility Foundation

    I'm currently part of my school's More Able Programme. I'm also working towards 25 community hours, after which I will earn an employability award. I was a GirlGuide for 5 years where I completed numerous activities raising awareness of local charities.

    I did gymnastics and dance for many years yet I eventually quit due to school requirements.

    Revision Schedule:

    At the moment I am planning on revising for 3 or 4 hours per weekday, steadily increasing closer to exam time. During weekends I often revise more, depending on other responsibilities.

    I am hoping to finish writing my revision notes as soon as I learn the content in lessons, allowing me to have more time for exam preparation in which I will consolidate knowledge previously accumulated through revision and lessons. In this way I will have full understanding of the topics whilst also having awareness of the typical exam questions, their expectations and how to approach them. I will also attempt to teach myself further units in order to increase time efficiency so it's not all rushed near May/June. Exam season is stressful enough - I need to make myself feel as prepared as possible haha!

    In order to improve my chemistry grade, I'm planning on using numerous resources. Personally I enjoy using the ChemGuide website which I find to be very thorough and detailed, providing both difficult and simple examples of mechanisms and concepts, meaning the more complex exam questions are easier to approach. I am a visual learner, so I enjoy watching videos and looking at bright colours to help me remember important details. My favourite method of revision is drawing out mind maps, posters, diagrams... I also enjoy watching Tyler DeWitt videos on YouTube, as well as Allery Tutors and CrashCourse Chemistry. I find that this has helped me to ensure I fully understand the content. Revision for biology follows a similar pattern.

    As for Spanish, I plan to write at least one essay per week for each relevant topic. I currently attend a Spanish speaking session each week with a native in which I prepare for my Spanish oral exam.

    For maths, I plan on completing a past paper a week alongside Solomon papers. I enjoy watching YouTube videos by ExamSolutions which are extremely useful when revising the more difficult exam questions.

    During the summer I am planning on reading A LOT of medicine related books, as well as preparing for medical admission tests (BMAT/UKCAT).

    Medicine books I'm interested in:
    -A very short introduction to medical ethics
    -The Checklist
    -In Stitches
    -So you want to be a doctor: the ultimate guide to getting into medical school
    -The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a hat

    Motivation for studying:

    I honestly just want to make my parents proud. I'm so grateful to have an education so I might as well make the most of it
    All good that your working hard etc.

    Just some advice, whilst your at it - get a life while your at it, coming across as an interesting person rather than just an academic will improve your chances far more than all your work experience put together.
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    Revision/homework to complete tomorrow:
    -Rompe con la droga essay for Spanish
    -Los medios de comunicación essay also for Spanish
    -Redox and elimination notes for chemistry

    It's my friend's birthday meal tomorrow so I will be very rushed haha oh god
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    (Original post by etudixnt)
    Of course haha I'm very passionate about languages and I have been on a Spanish exchange which sort of shows my communication skills. I did a lot of competitive gymnastics which shows balance i think. I also was a girl guide which is non academic and I'm planning on doing St. John's ambulance which could be classed as non academic I think? Haha idk, but of course I spend a lot of free time with my friends. I don't think I could deal with all the pressure from school if I didn't have my friends supporting me, they're like my saviours. My best friend goes to a different sixth form so we always spend time together during the weekend
    1. Languages/Spanish exchange is all academic in my eyes
    2. You get a point for Gymnastics!
    3. St John Ambulance is academic as well.

    Not being harsh, just giving you sound advice. Simply having 'good friends' or 'chilling' isn't satisfactory, some sort of sport or some sort of hobby or something along those lines is good.

    All the best
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    Revision Timetable:
    Currently it is my half term. Over the past three days I completed a 6th Form Introduction to Medicine course which I found extremely interesting. I particularly enjoyed shadowing doctors within A+E because I had proper patient contact and took part in the diagnosis and treatment of their problems. I really enjoyed the high pressure environment so I am now considering a career in paediatric A+E! It was lovely meeting one of my friends from my previous sixth form since I didn't realise she also wanted to do medicine.
    However I still have an awful lot of both revision and homework to complete before Monday when I return to school so I'm making this timetable to organise my time efficiently. I am currently mentally exhausted after the past few days so I'm looking forward to catch up on my sleep and begin powering through my heavy workload.

    Thursday:
    • Return acceptance forms to Women's Hospital for my work experience placement
    • Maths 2010 and 2012 C1 papers
    • Chemistry practical write ups
    • Social Mobility Foundation Launch
    Friday:
    • Spending the day revising with my friend in the library
    • Biology notes on cell recognition and the immune system
    • Bilogy exam question booklet on exchange and mass transport systems
    • Hand my identification proof to hospital for voluntary work DBS checks
    Saturday:
    • Complete any biology notes or questions
    • Complete small Spanish sheet on the imperfect subjunctive tense
    • Write up chemistry notes on inorganic tests, Maxwell Boltzmann distribution curve, collision theory and the halogens.
    Sunday:
    • Write up chemistry notes on elimination, isomerism, electrophilic addition, alkenes structure and bonding.
    • Taking my mum for a meal and a concert as part of her Christmas present.

    I've also recently found out that I have been accepted onto the Oxford Pathways Study Days to study Biomedical Science which I'm really excited about!
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    (Original post by etudixnt)
    Revision Timetable:
    Currently it is my half term. Over the past three days I completed a 6th Form Introduction to Medicine course which I found extremely interesting. I particularly enjoyed shadowing doctors within A+E because I had proper patient contact and took part in the diagnosis and treatment of their problems. I really enjoyed the high pressure environment so I am now considering a career in paediatric A+E! It was lovely meeting one of my friends from my previous sixth form since I didn't realise she also wanted to do medicine.
    However I still have an awful lot of both revision and homework to complete before Monday when I return to school so I'm making this timetable to organise my time efficiently. I am currently mentally exhausted after the past few days so I'm looking forward to catch up on my sleep and begin powering through my heavy workload.

    Thursday:
    • Return acceptance forms to Women's Hospital for my work experience placement
    • Maths 2010 and 2012 C1 papers
    • Chemistry practical write ups
    • Social Mobility Foundation Launch
    Friday:
    • Spending the day revising with my friend in the library
    • Biology notes on cell recognition and the immune system
    • Bilogy exam question booklet on exchange and mass transport systems
    • Hand my identification proof to hospital for voluntary work DBS checks
    Saturday:
    • Complete any biology notes or questions
    • Complete small Spanish sheet on the imperfect subjunctive tense
    • Write up chemistry notes on inorganic tests, Maxwell Boltzmann distribution curve, collision theory and the halogens.
    Sunday:
    • Write up chemistry notes on elimination, isomerism, electrophilic addition, alkenes structure and bonding.
    • Taking my mum for a meal and a concert as part of her Christmas present.
    I've also recently found out that I have been accepted onto the Oxford Pathways Study Days to study Biomedical Science which I'm really excited about!
    Gosh! What a busy week, although with your motivation you are sure to do well

    Best of luck
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    (Original post by cookiemonster15)
    Gosh! What a busy week, although with your motivation you are sure to do well

    Best of luck
    Thank you very much!
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    Hi! Did you use the Specimen paper as the mock for Chemistry? If so it was a real killer. I think over the two classes in my sixth form the average grade was a U!
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    Hi!

    Hopefully potential medic here too your profile sounds amazing and I'm really struggling to work out how you have time for everything haha! But keep it up!

    My school used questions from the Aqa spec paper for our mock and they were really tough: enough so that the grade boundaries were lowered so 65% was an A! I only just managed to scrape an A but we're about two weeks from finishing our course so I think that'll give enough time to do more questions from the new specification.

    You've signed up for so many programmes! It's nice to come across someone so motivated about what they want to do.

    Good luck revising over the remaining weeks of Easter!


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    (Original post by ReputableChav)
    Hi! Did you use the Specimen paper as the mock for Chemistry? If so it was a real killer. I think over the two classes in my sixth form the average grade was a U!
    if you're talking about OCR Chemistry A....

    breadth paper honestly wasn't bad, the herd of 1 markers were especially easy except took more than 1 minute to work out to get the specific answer ffs.

    enthalpy change and titration "what if" questions took way too much effort, like I actually had to think fml.
    and question 22 was absolutely disgusting.

    depth paper : haven't done yet

    slightly offended by the fact that they decided to put organic in the breadth paper.... wish they'd separated it like f321 and f322.
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    (Original post by ReputableChav)
    Hi! Did you use the Specimen paper as the mock for Chemistry? If so it was a real killer. I think over the two classes in my sixth form the average grade was a U!
    Hi! No, my teacher just compiled a selection of past questions relating to topics we have covered so far. Honestly I don't think this is a very accurate representation of the exam, so I'm planning on saving the specimen paper until I have completely revised the content. So many people I know have done the specimen paper and they all agree it is horrendous. I am so nervous to start it... But yeah literally all of my class is struggling with chemistry, except for one girl who is an actual genius. I'm so jealous haha! I suppose with hard work we will make it
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    (Original post by Christina1999H)
    Hi!

    Hopefully potential medic here too your profile sounds amazing and I'm really struggling to work out how you have time for everything haha! But keep it up!

    My school used questions from the Aqa spec paper for our mock and they were really tough: enough so that the grade boundaries were lowered so 65% was an A! I only just managed to scrape an A but we're about two weeks from finishing our course so I think that'll give enough time to do more questions from the new specification.

    You've signed up for so many programmes! It's nice to come across someone so motivated about what they want to do.

    Good luck revising over the remaining weeks of Easter!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thank you so much! Honestly your comment has made me so motivated to keep going haha, I admit it's difficult to revise when I have so many committments and also procrastination is a killer! But so far I'm on top of my notes and should be finished within the next week so I can begin past papers. (Hopefully!)

    This specimen paper seems horrendous! I'm so scared to try it out... Hopefully once my notes are finished I will have a go... I think this spec is more practical based which terrifies me haha. I am awful at practical based questions because I have zero common sense

    Good luck to you too! Hopefully with hard work we will both receive our offers for medical school

    Hope you had a lovely Easter!
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    Exam progress:
    I did my maths C1 paper today, which I felt relatively prepared for. However I think my nerves got the better of me and made me mess up some presumably simple arithmetic, especially during subtraction of negative fractions (very weird fractions btw) in integration. The questions overall were easy enough to understand. I just made a lot of calculation errors, which is quite disappointing to be honest, because I was hoping my C1 grade would help push up my C2 and S1 grades. I have pretty much abandoned S1 revision so I am currently very worried, because I now know I need to aim for around 95/100 UMS in that exam to help push up my overall average UMS. I think I may have scraped around 80/85 UMS, although my mind is blank and I'm struggling to remember my answers to help work out a rough total mark now that unofficial mark schemes are available. To be fair, most people seem to be feeling uneasy after the exam so hopefully grade boundaries will be lower, although I doubt it. It's also annoying that I've been getting 73-75/75 in past papers so I feel like I could have done SO much better, and I haven't reached my full potential.

    Despite feeling disappointed, I am now really motivated to do well in my biology, chemistry, Spanish and C2 exams which are next week. I already know I am going to be an absolute mess next week. Exam stress is pretty much unbearable right now, I really want to do well and idk I feel like I'm not going to get the grades I've worked extremely hard for throughout the past year.

    After going over my notes for biology I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed since I am aware of how much content I still have yet to memorise properly. So even one of my easiest and most understandable subjects is stressing me out.

    In other news, I'm starting to improve in chemistry (FINALLY)! My teacher set us some practice papers in the new spec exam style:

    -Inorganic and Physical (set B): 57/80 71% B
    -Organic and Physical (set B): 49/80 61% C
    -Organic and Physical (set C): 63/79 80% A

    We also did specimen papers:

    -Inorganic and Physicsl (set 1): 52/80 65% C
    -Organic and Physical (set 2): 65/80 81% A (I was so shocked at this, I don't know how it happened aha!)

    Clearly I'm not very consistent in my grades so I'm quite apprehensive about what the actual exam will bring.

    Overall, I'm terrified for the next few weeks and I'm pretty sure I might have a meltdown at some point. It's not great having anxiety in general, so when exams come I basically turn into a wreck.
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    Hi,

    Me again! AGREED on the C1 paper, i was hitting about 73/75 on all the past papers i did before, and i've pretty much dropped 10 marks on the real thing which was just due to stupid errors and timing issues because the questions were slightly different to all the ones i'd done before and was therefore taking me a lot longer! Anyway, fingers crossed for kind UMS and error carried forward marks! Just remember that other people out there will have found it just as difficult or even more difficult than you! Besides, we only need an average of 80 UMS across C1, S1, C2 and our modules next year anyway for an A: and even for an A*, as long as your average is 80 or above, providing C3 and C4 you get 90UMS, you'll get that A*.

    Try not to panic too much! Well done on the progress in chemistry though, you should be really proud of yourself, and hopefully feeling motivated and positive about the exam: again, the closer I'm getting to exams, the more I keep just thinking about UMS and hoping that my best will be good enough.

    Exams next week are really bunched together, but i'm trying to get as much done in the remaining days until C2... Unfortunately, I'll also have history that afternoon, then biology the next day, and then chemistry in the morning after that! Just stay calm, and know that all your hard work is paying off, and that everyone is in the exact same boat and struggling through the questions! Don't worry about S1 just yet..you've got all of half term to work for it.

    Best of luck!
 
 
 
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