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Should I sit the UKCAT or the GAMSAT coming from a non-scientific background? Watch

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    So after putting a lot of thought into it, I have come to the realization that I will do Medicine and I will do anything it takes for me to get into a GEM degree (mind you, if I get offers from five-year courses I will also consider them). However, I am now faced with quite the ordeal: deciding whether I want to sit the GAMSAT or the UKCAT or both. I am currently finishing my second year of my degree, and while I already have all my work experience sorted (BANK HCAS + volunteer in a mental health ward), I really need to decide which exam I sit, for I'm planning to go through the 2016/7 application cycle for September 2017.

    The thing is that, as I said before, I don´t come from a scientific background, as my degree is a BA with double honours (History and Archaeology) nor I have any science background other than GCSE + IB HL in Physics. If I sit the GAMSAT, I could apply to Nottingham, SGUL but if I don't , I simply won't be able to apply as require the GAMSAT. The problem lies that let's face it: sitting the exam in September is quite risky. I have a good work ethic, so I could really prepare quite well in these upcoming months to do it, but still, I also have exams inbetween and which at the moment are my main priority, as well as its price and the fact that the universities would only receive my results in November and that I may miss the deadline for Sepember 2017 is putting me off. However, I could actually do pretty great in sections 1 and 2, as they test all my strong points.

    On the other hand, the UKCAT is only a fraction of the 200+ price tag of the GAMSAT, but I would be restrained to a choice of 2 universities (Newcastle and Warwick), as well as seeing whether or not Southampton would take me in after I have emailed them asking them if I could mitigate my lack of A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry with my work/volunteering experience and IB Physics + GCSE Biology. But on the other hand, I could sit the exam whenever I wanted during the summer as long as it was September and as the results are given instantly and rely on two/three GEM + 2 non-GEM (5 years) choices.

    So that's why I'm posting this. Because both exams have their positive things and their drawbacks and I would actually be devasated if all the hard work I have put throughout my university degree and my work at the end will become worthless because I made the wrong decision when deciding which entry exam to sit.
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    Would you be open to Oxbridge? They require a BMAT! http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...raduate-course
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    (Original post by High Stakes)
    Would you be open to Oxbridge? They require a BMAT! http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...raduate-course
    I would love to, but I am afraid I will be rejected on the basis that even though I met their GCSE entry requirements (two single awards in GCSE Biology and Physics may be substituted for Double Award Science), I don't have A-Level Chemistry (or in my case, IB HL Chemistry). Also, I was planning on still being able to work at least two years of my GEM+ summers to fund my studies but if Cambridge is anything like Oxford, then they won't allow students to work during term time.
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    (Original post by bluepimpernel)
    I would love to, but I am afraid I will be rejected on the basis that even though I met their GCSE entry requirements (two single awards in GCSE Biology and Physics may be substituted for Double Award Science), I don't have A-Level Chemistry (or in my case, IB HL Chemistry). Also, I was planning on still being able to work at least two years of my GEM+ summers to fund my studies but if Cambridge is anything like Oxford, then they won't allow students to work during term time.
    Then I recommend applying after you graduate. This will give you time to work up and save money to fund your degree AND will mean you can focus on studying for the GAMSAT.
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    (Original post by High Stakes)
    Then I recommend applying after you graduate. This will give you time to work up and save money to fund your degree AND will mean you can focus on studying for the GAMSAT.
    The thing is, I will be 23 by the time I graduate. I was already planning on starting my degree, so as to finish at 27 and get done with the foundation years at 29. I lost two years where I could have been at university to a number of personal + health issues and by deciding to enter in September 2017 I would at least be able to catch up. My grades before my current degree are alright, but mediocre by Medicine application standards and it is at university where I have been getting high 2:is and 1st. I am terrified of seeing another year of my life going to waste.
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    (Original post by bluepimpernel)
    So after putting a lot of thought into it, I have come to the realization that I will do Medicine and I will do anything it takes for me to get into a GEM degree (mind you, if I get offers from five-year courses I will also consider them). However, I am now faced with quite the ordeal: deciding whether I want to sit the GAMSAT or the UKCAT or both. I am currently finishing my second year of my degree, and while I already have all my work experience sorted (BANK HCAS + volunteer in a mental health ward), I really need to decide which exam I sit, for I'm planning to go through the 2016/7 application cycle for September 2017.

    The thing is that, as I said before, I don´t come from a scientific background, as my degree is a BA with double honours (History and Archaeology) nor I have any science background other than GCSE + IB HL in Physics. If I sit the GAMSAT, I could apply to Nottingham, SGUL but if I don't , I simply won't be able to apply as require the GAMSAT. The problem lies that let's face it: sitting the exam in September is quite risky. I have a good work ethic, so I could really prepare quite well in these upcoming months to do it, but still, I also have exams inbetween and which at the moment are my main priority, as well as its price and the fact that the universities would only receive my results in November and that I may miss the deadline for Sepember 2017 is putting me off. However, I could actually do pretty great in sections 1 and 2, as they test all my strong points.

    On the other hand, the UKCAT is only a fraction of the 200+ price tag of the GAMSAT, but I would be restrained to a choice of 2 universities (Newcastle and Warwick), as well as seeing whether or not Southampton would take me in after I have emailed them asking them if I could mitigate my lack of A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry with my work/volunteering experience and IB Physics + GCSE Biology. But on the other hand, I could sit the exam whenever I wanted during the summer as long as it was September and as the results are given instantly and rely on two/three GEM + 2 non-GEM (5 years) choices.

    So that's why I'm posting this. Because both exams have their positive things and their drawbacks and I would actually be devasated if all the hard work I have put throughout my university degree and my work at the end will become worthless because I made the wrong decision when deciding which entry exam to sit.
    Couple of things. Background: I'm a classics graduate and 1st year gem student at Southampton.

    I was lucky to have 4 UKCAT options when I applied, because KCL still took arts students and because I took chemistry a level to be able to apply to Southampton.

    Firstly, Southampton will not accept anything without a chem a level or as levels in bio and chem. It's non-negotiable. If you don't have time to sit those then don't even bother applying.

    Second, I would recommend sitting both UKCAT and GAMSAT if you have the time and can afford it. Plenty of people with arts degrees have done well at GAMSAT and bear in mind that only one section is science! You'll have a massive advantage in the essay section with your background anyway!

    Take UKCAT fairly early so that you have more time for GAMSAT studying over the summer. If you do really well in UKCAT then definitely apply to Warwick and Newcastle as you're pretty much guaranteed interviews with a good score. Then you have 2 spaces left for GAMSAT unis, so it's less of a risk since you'll hopefully have UKCAT options sorted!

    Any questions, feel free to ask!


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    Take both. Comp Sci degree here and passed the GAMSAT and UKCAT. Just requires a good work ethic.


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