Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I’m currently in my first year of college. I’ve been thinking about taking a gap year next year before applying for Medicine, however there’s a few things that I feel uncertain about and would appreciate advice on. First of all, just to put it in content, I’ll tell you my GSCEs and predictions for my A2 grades.
    GSCES:
    English Literature- A*
    English Language- A*
    Maths- B
    Biology- A*
    Chemistry- A
    Physics - B
    History- A*
    French- A
    Religious Studies- A
    Regarding the B I got in Maths, I do acknowledge it certainly isn’t the best grade and may pose as a weakness. However, I do believe I’ll do better in my A level results.

    My aim for my A level results are
    Chemistry- A*/A Biology- A* Maths- A*
    Once again, I do acknowledge the difficulty of achieving these grades but I am prepared to work extremely hard. Next academic year, when I'm in A2, I won;t have to worry about university, possible interviews etc. This means I can spend more time solely focusing on my studies making it somewhat easier to achieve these grades.

    Just to make answering my questions and doubts easier, I’ll just list them below.
    1. I will just have 3 A levels at the end of college and no AS level fourth subject that I should’ve dropped in the first year. Would this be a problem in my application or possibly weaken my application?
    2. Regarding a Medicine degree, would taking a gap year do any harm?
    3. Should I still apply for Medicine this year?
    4. What does the BMAT entail and how exactly does it differ to UKCAT? I’m good at writing essays especially structuring arguments, so which one would be better for me?
    5. I’m extremely nervous about the lack of support that I’ll have while applying for Medicine in my gap year. Any advice?
    I apologies for having so much information but I’d rather ask it all in one question than several. Sorry!

    I’d really appreciate any advice/comments/feedback.
    Last but certainly not least, do I even stand a chance in being accepted for Medicine?!

    Once again, thank you so so much!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Getting into Medical School is far from guaranteed. Purely mathematically it is better to have 2 rounds of applications than one, I for example got 4 rejections the first time I applied and the experience and feedback helped me get a single interview and place the second time despite not having the best academic record.

    If you plan to take a gap year then you should apply this year, and explain in your personal statement how it will help you become a better doctor. The best case scenario is that you get accepted and it is a huge worry lifted, because that worry will not go away and you can enjoy your gap year knowing you will be going to Med School after. Worst case is that you get 4 flat rejections, but the feedback and application experience is invaluable and will help you become a better candidate the second time round and you show commitment by applying again and hopefully with more experience.

    Unlike GAMSAT which is 5.5 hours both UKCAT and BMAT are supposed to required little preparation, I would advise you to do both. If by chance you do terrible on UKCAT and amazing on BMAT you can increase your chance of getting an interview by applying to BMAT schools.

    Taking a gap year will have little impact on your chances, if you get relevant work experience it will actually be beneficial.
    •  Official Rep
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
     Official Rep
    Good morning!

    We've tried to break up your post and answer/give advice on each of your queries.
    (Original post by yellowblue897)
    my GSCEs and predictions for my A2 grades.
    GSCES:
    English Literature- A*
    English Language- A*
    Maths- B
    Biology- A*
    Chemistry- A
    Physics - B
    History- A*
    French- A
    Religious Studies- A
    Regarding the B I got in Maths, I do acknowledge it certainly isn’t the best grade and may pose as a weakness. However, I do believe I’ll do better in my A level results.
    Well - you've got fine GCSEs to apply to Medicine and you certainly fit the minimum criteria for most medical schools. Have a look at this page on TSR with all the GCSE entry requirements, and use our comparison tool. If you're really worried about your grades, perhaps apply to the unis with the lowest entry requirements.
    (Original post by yellowblue897)
    My aim for my A level results are
    Chemistry- A*/A Biology- A* Maths- A*
    1. I will just have 3 A levels at the end of college and no AS level fourth subject that I should’ve dropped in the first year. Would this be a problem in my application or possibly weaken my application?
    So, by this you mean you are going to be enrolled in the new Linear A level system? If so, check out this free blog, How Linear A Levels Affect Applications to Medical School. For this blog we rang up unis to ask them.

    Once you've decided which universities you'd like to apply to, or whittled down your choices to 5 or 6, phone up the admissions offices and ask them how they will consider your application if you don't have a 4th AS level subject. It shouldn't mean you are disadvantaged at all.
    (Original post by yellowblue897)
    2. Regarding a Medicine degree, would taking a gap year do any harm?
    3. Should I still apply for Medicine this year?
    Taking a gap year shouldn't do any harm at all. Many applicants do. However, it's sometimes unusual to take a gap year without having applied first time round. Many students who take a gap year are those who are reapplying, having been unsuccessful first time round.

    If you do decide to take a gap year with or without applying first time round (and this is entirely your decision of course), there are plenty of things you can do during your time out that can really strengthen your application. Have a read of this blog, written by a student we met here on The Student Room. Although in part it's focussed on what she did having been rejected from uni, it also gives useful advice on what to do during a Medicine gap year.
    (Original post by yellowblue897)
    4. What does the BMAT entail and how exactly does it differ to UKCAT?
    I’m good at writing essays especially structuring arguments, so which one would be better for me?
    Have a read of this free advice on the UKCAT, and this free advice on the BMAT. Normally, applicants apply to both UKCAT and BMAT unis (usually choosing 1 or 2 that require BMAT, and 2 or 3 that require UKCAT). This means that if you mess up one test, you can have the other to fall back on.

    You should try and score as highly as possible in these, as you're worried about your GCSE grades. The best way is to do LOTS of practice. Just get lots of past papers and questions done for both.
    (Original post by yellowblue897)
    5. I’m extremely nervous about the lack of support that I’ll have while applying for Medicine in my gap year. Any advice?
    Don't be nervous! You'll be fine - many students take gap years and are successful in applying to Medical School afterwards. You just have to make sure you stay driven. To do this, organise as much paid work, volunteer work and medical work experience as possible, so you stay busy and independent!

    We hope the above helps,
    The Medic Portal
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Has a teacher ever helped you cheat?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • 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.