Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hello,

    I'm currently in my third year as a Biochemistry student set for a high 2:1 / first class degree. I'm taking a year to earn some money and get some experience working for my application so I would start in the 2017 rotation.

    I was wondering if there are any GEM medical students at Oxford or any thinking about applying who could answer a couple of my questions.

    My first is in regards to proof of "academic excellence". I have a few ideas in mind of how to go about this, but I thought that somebody currently at the university may have a more accurate perception of what is being asked.

    My second is in regards to preparation for the BMAT exam, and any advice regarding books, etc to get me started as I would be taking the exam this summer.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mindless Student

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    18
    Might get more responses in the University of Oxford forum. Carnationlilyrose, could you move it, please? :holmes:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I posted it a few weeks ago and got nothing, so it was suggested I posted here.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hydeman)
    Might get more responses in the University of Oxford forum. Carnationlilyrose, could you move it, please? :holmes:
    For GEM anywhere, medicine is the most likely to get a response, so we will try there first.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mindless Student)
    Hello,

    I'm currently in my third year as a Biochemistry student set for a high 2:1 / first class degree. I'm taking a year to earn some money and get some experience working for my application so I would start in the 2017 rotation.

    I was wondering if there are any GEM medical students at Oxford or any thinking about applying who could answer a couple of my questions.

    My first is in regards to proof of "academic excellence". I have a few ideas in mind of how to go about this, but I thought that somebody currently at the university may have a more accurate perception of what is being asked.

    My second is in regards to preparation for the BMAT exam, and any advice regarding books, etc to get me started as I would be taking the exam this summer.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mindless Student

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    For some reason, GEM Oxford don't seem to hang around on here!

    I've done the BMAT though, and a got a score enough to get me an interview (not at Oxford though). I looked over my GCSE Science/Maths for the scientific section as well as some A-Level stuff. The aptitude is harder to practise (but easier part in my opinion) as the questions are not really like the UKCAT but I made use of the past papers on the website and this book https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...O4CE4Q6AEILDAB.

    Essay is just practice to be honest. You need to have a clear intro and conclusion and make sure you address all parts of the question and both sides of an argument. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Preparing-BM.../dp/043504687X is not a bad shout either.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jenigma)
    For some reason, GEM Oxford don't seem to hang around on here!

    I've done the BMAT though, and a got a score enough to get me an interview (not at Oxford though). I looked over my GCSE Science/Maths for the scientific section as well as some A-Level stuff. The aptitude is harder to practise (but easier part in my opinion) as the questions are not really like the UKCAT but I made use of the past papers on the website and this book https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...O4CE4Q6AEILDAB.

    Essay is just practice to be honest. You need to have a clear intro and conclusion and make sure you address all parts of the question and both sides of an argument. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Preparing-BM.../dp/043504687X is not a bad shout either.
    Cool, thanks for the advice!

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Where are they asking for proof of "academic excellence"? Are they asking for something separate or is this just a domain against which they say they will mark your application?

    I would have thought that this is something you'll want to get across on your personal statement (if you can do so in a factual, understated way...) but principally through your academic reference. If necessary, I would sit down with your referee beforehand and present him/her with the course selection criteria and any pertinent facts you would like them to put across.

    Ideally they would emphasise your personal qualities but include a strong paragraph predicting you a first class degree, emphasising any high scores you already received, and comparing you to your peers. All admissions tutors love to read "XXX is the most academically able student I have taught in my XXX years at XXX University", although this obviously isn't something you can ask for!! You could certainly point out that they are looking for evidence of "academic excellence" in case that encourages them to use similar words when writing about you...

    Enthusiastic people (often) write the most enthusiastic references and bland academics typically write quite bland references. In my experience, you can't beat a positive reference written by an expressive Italian academic ;-)

    If you have scored the highest mark in any modules, won any prizes, or undertaken any other academic work, e.g. extracurricular writing or summer research, then those facts should also make an appearance.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    Where are they asking for proof of "academic excellence"? Are they asking for something separate or is this just a domain against which they say they will mark your application?

    I would have thought that this is something you'll want to get across on your personal statement (if you can do so in a factual, understated way...) but principally through your academic reference. If necessary, I would sit down with your referee beforehand and present him/her with the course selection criteria and any pertinent facts you would like them to put across.

    Ideally they would emphasise your personal qualities but include a strong paragraph predicting you a first class degree, emphasising any high scores you already received, and comparing you to your peers. All admissions tutors love to read "XXX is the most academically able student I have taught in my XXX years at XXX University", although this obviously isn't something you can ask for!! You could certainly point out that they are looking for evidence of "academic excellence" in case that encourages them to use similar words when writing about you...

    Enthusiastic people (often) write the most enthusiastic references and bland academics typically write quite bland references. In my experience, you can't beat a positive reference written by an expressive Italian academic ;-)

    If you have scored the highest mark in any modules, won any prizes, or undertaken any other academic work, e.g. extracurricular writing or summer research, then those facts should also make an appearance.
    I'm not sure whether to interpret it as getting a good mark in the BMAT or whether it's like you say, a different domain they're looking for. It's in the first section of this web page - http://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/med...ction-criteria

    Sitting down and discussing with my referee is a good point that I will take on board. It'd be good to let them know what kind of information I'd like to have coming across in the reference. They ask for 3 people of reference, and finding 3 who are equally as enthusiastic is a challenge in itself! My personal tutor is Nigerian and although a very competent academic with a great sense of humor, not necessarily the most enthusiastic haha

    The impression they give is to give 'late bloomers' a chance. I wouldn't say that my academic ability has been delayed, rather circumstances have drawn my attention away from academia and I'd like the chance to redeem myself. I'm not worried about the work load anymore, nor the dedication and motivation. My only hurdle now is the entrance.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mindless Student)
    I'm not sure whether to interpret it as getting a good mark in the BMAT or whether it's like you say, a different domain they're looking for. It's in the first section of this web page - http://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/med...ction-criteria
    I don't think it's really clear from that website how they will score academic excellence but it's safe to assume that it will be a domain by itself on their marking schema. They will probably have the whole application in front of them (grades, references, UCAS form, BMAT score) and the selector will assign a score using any or all of those things.

    There was a controversy a few years ago because a document was circulated showing the selection process for the graduate entry course at Oxford. "A" applicants were those with a first class degree or PhD from a research intensive university. "B" applicants were those with a 2.1 or MSc from a research intensive university or a 1st/PhD from a "second rate institution" (!!) etc.

    "Second rate" wasn't defined and naturally caused some upset at the time. I've looked but unfortunately can't find that document anywhere now. I suspect it is not currently in use (I would imagine that it was swiftly amended...) but it might give some idea as to what they are thinking.

    In terms of late bloomers, my guess is that they just want to see evidence that you can cope with their course. The easiest way to do that is probably AAA at A-level and 1st class honours from Oxbridge but they appear to suggest that they won't interpret this narrowly. For example, I would imagine that BCC at A-level might be mitigated if you are the highest scorer in a year group of 200 students on a tough course at a "first rate" institution!

    Ultimately, your chances of getting in are going to be determined by who else applies that year. They are likely to place more emphasis on the "academic excellence" domain that some other medical schools, though.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    I don't think it's really clear from that website how they will score academic excellence but it's safe to assume that it will be a domain by itself on their marking schema. They will probably have the whole application in front of them (grades, references, UCAS form, BMAT score) and the selector will assign a score using any or all of those things.

    There was a controversy a few years ago because a document was circulated showing the selection process for the graduate entry course at Oxford. "A" applicants were those with a first class degree or PhD from a research intensive university. "B" applicants were those with a 2.1 or MSc from a research intensive university or a 1st/PhD from a "second rate institution" (!!) etc.

    "Second rate" wasn't defined and naturally caused some upset at the time. I've looked but unfortunately can't find that document anywhere now. I suspect it is not currently in use (I would imagine that it was swiftly amended...) but it might give some idea as to what they are thinking.

    In terms of late bloomers, my guess is that they just want to see evidence that you can cope with their course. The easiest way to do that is probably AAA at A-level and 1st class honours from Oxbridge but they appear to suggest that they won't interpret this narrowly. For example, I would imagine that BCC at A-level might be mitigated if you are the highest scorer in a year group of 200 students on a tough course at a "first rate" institution!

    Ultimately, your chances of getting in are going to be determined by who else applies that year. They are likely to place more emphasis on the "academic excellence" domain that some other medical schools, though.
    I don't think it's clear either, but I'd like to see if I can come up with something I can do anyway as a project over summer. Can't really think of anything beyond just doing some sort of research project, possibly trying to visit various research places. Just trying to think a little differently to give myself a little more competitiveness as I'm coming from one of these "second rate" institutions.

    I don't see that being a huge deterrence if I get a solid BMAT score along with my voluntary work/experience and my extra-curricular. I came across another document not too long ago about admissions for GEM and which type of institution students came from. I can't find it again, but it seem to highly favor Russel group universities. But that may be because students from other universities don't apply or don't have the academic ability.

    My impression, from the content of their site, was "late bloomers" applied to graduation onward and implied that a priority focus was BMAT performance, as well as relevant experience of course.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: April 11, 2016
Poll
Favourite type of bread

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.