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    I got my grades today and I'm pretty happy with them! I do Maths, chemistry and physics. So my dilemma here is that I've reacently descovered the awesomeness in medicine. I didn't have much knowledge of it before but now I'm sure I want to become a doctor!

    I know I've got the subjects to apply to some medicine courses but I want to take biology now to expand my choices... However, this would mean having to spend 3 years completing my A levels..? I'm going to continue on with A2 chemistry next year but I want to do Biology and Philosophy now instead of Physics and Maths. Do you think if I apply in my third year I'd have a chance of being accepted? Or should I fast track biology? The latter seems risky though and I'm not sure if I'd actually get in!
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    As long as you have a strong pass in GCSE Biology, you can still apply to some medical schools. Look carefully at the requirements and avoid taking three years to complete your study, since you don't have extenuating circumstances.
    Dropping a subject and doing Biology in one year is a valid option, too, but it will be difficult, and you will have to work very hard for it.
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    (Original post by Gogregg)
    As long as you have a strong pass in GCSE Biology, you can still apply to some medical schools. Look carefully at the requirements and avoid taking three years to complete your study, since you don't have extenuating circumstances.
    Dropping a subject and doing Biology in one year is a valid option, too, but it will be difficult, and you will have to work very hard for it.
    My gcse's are definitely not medicine worthy lol. I got 4 A's and 3B's... All B's in science. Um, I was looking at the entry requirements for Imperial and it stated that I must do the exams in one sitting. Aren't I doing that even if I have to stay an extra year in school? Also looked at Kings, UCL and Exeter and they don't seem to have mentioned anything about retakes...
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    (Original post by Yungen007)
    My gcse's are definitely not medicine worthy lol. I got 4 A's and 3B's... All B's in science. Um, I was looking at the entry requirements for Imperial and if stated that I must do the exams in one sitting. Aren't I doing that even if I have to stay an extra year in school? Also looked at Kings and Exeter and they don't seem to have mentioned anything about retakes...
    When they say sit an exam in one sitting it means normally they don't accept resits, I'm not sure about the 3 years thing though, email their admissions to check
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    (Original post by Yungen007)
    My gcse's are definitely not medicine worthy lol. I got 4 A's and 3B's... All B's in science. Um, I was looking at the entry requirements for Imperial and if stated that I must do the exams in one sitting. Aren't I doing that even if I have to stay an extra year in school? Also looked at Kings and Exeter and they don't seem to have mentioned anything about retakes...
    Imperial don't look at your GCSEs, so you're fine there. But I think you would have to do your A-Levels within 2 years. It may be worth e-mailing them to clarify, but I doubt the response would be positive.
    I think the best bet would be trying to do Biology in one year, but that is going to be very difficult, but if you're motivated, you can definitely do it!
    I'll tag in some people who will be able to give some better advice, though

    usycool1 Natalierm2707
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    (Original post by Gogregg)
    Imperial don't look at your GCSEs, so you're fine there. But I think you would have to do your A-Levels within 2 years. It may be worth e-mailing them to clarify, but I doubt the response would be positive.
    I think the best bet would be trying to do Biology in one year, but that is going to be very difficult, but if you're motivated, you can definitely do it!
    I'll tag in some people who will be able to give some better advice, though

    usycool1 Natalierm2707
    Oh yeah! I noticed, thank god ha ha.

    Yeah my first plan was to actually do biology next year but I'm unsure my school would let me fast-track it... I can't self study for it at home too because I need to have done the practices... I emailed Imperial but I got a direct message of some already answered questions and they couldn't reply personally because they were.getting too many emails! I've emailed UCL now but I don't think it was so smart emailing them on results day lol oh well... Thanks for tagging them! 😊
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    As a last resort have you considered applying for a foundation year? If you don't have as good grades and you don't have biology some may accept you but remember this is a may. Most unis apart from I think Plymouth and Exeter want your Alevels in a 2 year window but I agree with a poster above who recommended looking carefully at entry requirements as some will just want biology at GCSE
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    (Original post by Yungen007)
    My gcse's are definitely not medicine worthy lol. I got 4 A's and 3B's... All B's in science. Um, I was looking at the entry requirements for Imperial and it stated that I must do the exams in one sitting. Aren't I doing that even if I have to stay an extra year in school? Also looked at Kings, UCL and Exeter and they don't seem to have mentioned anything about retakes...
    Ok first of all your GCSE grades are slightly below average for medicine. My advice is you need to focus hard on getting a very good UKCAT score, some good voluntary work and work experience for your personal statement as well as those A2 AAA grades.

    GCSE grades are important to some schools, but to others they have little importance and you are just required to meet a minimum standard. The issue often is that because you have lower GCSE grades than the average med applicant your choices of medical schools will be limited, you will also find that they may require higher entrance exam scores or better personal statements in exchange for lower GCSE grades.

    Can I ask about this extra year in school? Most medical schools require your GCSE grades to be sat in year 10 and 11 and your Alevels to be sat in year 12 and 13, is this not the case for you as this may change a lot of things?

    Just going through the schools off the top of my head here is what I am finding:
    - Barts: barts requires AAABBB at GCSE to include bio, chem, english lang, and maths. further to this barts does not score GCSEs, instead it uses a combination of UCAS tarriff and UKCAT score.
    - Durham/Newcastle: Cs in maths and english and GCSE. they set a UKCAT threshold each year so all whom are above it get an interview.
    - Exeter: need 7 GCSE grades A*-C, once this is met applicants with a UKCAT score over the cut off are invited to interview.
    - Plymouth: 7 GCSE passes at A*-C which must include english, maths and science. if you meet this UKCAT scores over the UKCAT threshold for both sections and overall are invited to interview.
    - Southampton: minimum of 7 GCSE grade B grades or above to include english, maths and science. once this is met the best UKCAT scores and invited to interview.
    - BSMS: Grade b or above in english and maths, all applicants meething this are ranked according to BMAT score.
    - Imperial: no GCSE requirements, you must exceed the BMAT cut off for an interview.

    Hope this helps, I would go away and look at each of these schools and see what you think, have a look at their other requirements also and email them if your unsure on anything. All of the above are what I would class as UKCAT or BMAT heavy medical schools.
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    (Original post by Natalierm2707)
    Ok first of all your GCSE grades are slightly below average for medicine. My advice is you need to focus hard on getting a very good UKCAT score, some good voluntary work and work experience for your personal statement as well as those A2 AAA grades.

    GCSE grades are important to some schools, but to others they have little importance and you are just required to meet a minimum standard. The issue often is that because you have lower GCSE grades than the average med applicant your choices of medical schools will be limited, you will also find that they may require higher entrance exam scores or better personal statements in exchange for lower GCSE grades.

    Can I ask about this extra year in school? Most medical schools require your GCSE grades to be sat in year 10 and 11 and your Alevels to be sat in year 12 and 13, is this not the case for you as this may change a lot of things?

    Just going through the schools off the top of my head here is what I am finding:
    - Barts: barts requires AAABBB at GCSE to include bio, chem, english lang, and maths. further to this barts does not score GCSEs, instead it uses a combination of UCAS tarriff and UKCAT score.
    - Durham/Newcastle: Cs in maths and english and GCSE. they set a UKCAT threshold each year so all whom are above it get an interview.
    - Exeter: need 7 GCSE grades A*-C, once this is met applicants with a UKCAT score over the cut off are invited to interview.
    - Plymouth: 7 GCSE passes at A*-C which must include english, maths and science. if you meet this UKCAT scores over the UKCAT threshold for both sections and overall are invited to interview.
    - Southampton: minimum of 7 GCSE grade B grades or above to include english, maths and science. once this is met the best UKCAT scores and invited to interview.
    - BSMS: Grade b or above in english and maths, all applicants meething this are ranked according to BMAT score.
    - Imperial: no GCSE requirements, you must exceed the BMAT cut off for an interview.

    Hope this helps, I would go away and look at each of these schools and see what you think, have a look at their other requirements also and email them if your unsure on anything. All of the above are what I would class as UKCAT or BMAT heavy medical schools.
    Hi thanks for such an informative reply! If I were to apply I know now that I have to be very strategic.

    In terms of doing a levels in 3 years I meant that I will be continuing on with Chemistry next year and finish it with the 2 year limit. However, I want to swap Physics and Maths with Philosophy and Biology instead and start doin. These subjects at the beginning of year 13 and complete it by 2018... I emailed UCL about this and they made it clear that I would actually need to finish off the subjects I had chosen (Physics, Maths and Chem) within 2 years, so next year. Then I can take on Biology and finish that during the gap year when I can apply... That seems like a good route to take but I don't think I can stand Maths anymore so I've decided to just attempt to do biology in a year... Don't know how it's going to be possible though.
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    (Original post by Yungen007)
    Hi thanks for such an informative reply! If I were to apply I know now that I have to be very strategic.

    In terms of doing a levels in 3 years I meant that I will be continuing on with Chemistry next year and finish it with the 2 year limit. However, I want to swap Physics and Maths with Philosophy and Biology instead and start doin. These subjects at the beginning of year 13 and complete it by 2018... I emailed UCL about this and they made it clear that I would actually need to finish off the subjects I had chosen (Physics, Maths and Chem) within 2 years, so next year. Then I can take on Biology and finish that during the gap year when I can apply... That seems like a good route to take but I don't think I can stand Maths anymore so I've decided to just attempt to do biology in a year... Don't know how it's going to be possible though.
    Ok I understand your situation, the majority of medical schools will have the same stance as UCL, and some do not even require you to have biology at all and physics or maths can be a stand in for them, so have a look around and check the requirements on the websites in great detail to make yourself a shortlist.

    If I were you I would say bio in a year plus chemistry in a year plus A2 physics is a mean feet, you may struggle to complete it and it could cause your grades to really plummit, but its totally up to you. personally I would stick with the three you have and get AAA because if you do that you are eligible for some med schools and some medical schools foundation programmes (they dont all require biology), but if you drop maths and do bio in a year and it all goes wrong and you miss AAA you will have a very very hard time getting into undergraduate medicine, at least with the first route you have a chance!

    hope this clears things up a little more.
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    (Original post by Natalierm2707)
    Ok I understand your situation, the majority of medical schools will have the same stance as UCL, and some do not even require you to have biology at all and physics or maths can be a stand in for them, so have a look around and check the requirements on the websites in great detail to make yourself a shortlist.

    If I were you I would say bio in a year plus chemistry in a year plus A2 physics is a mean feet, you may struggle to complete it and it could cause your grades to really plummit, but its totally up to you. personally I would stick with the three you have and get AAA because if you do that you are eligible for some med schools and some medical schools foundation programmes (they dont all require biology), but if you drop maths and do bio in a year and it all goes wrong and you miss AAA you will have a very very hard time getting into undergraduate medicine, at least with the first route you have a chance!

    hope this clears things up a little more.
    Yeah that sounds like a good idea... It's just that with maths I don't think I will get decent grades ext year. I'm not very good with numbers and it took a lot of hard work this year just to get an average grade.

    The prospects of fast-tracking biology next year is very scary because I might fail. I also have the added pressure from my parents who want me to switch over to BTEC health & social care so I can apply for nursing next year as they believe I'll have a better success in it. I know I don't want to do nursing, although it is in health care which I am striving for, but there will always be a possibility of "what if". My parents have said that if I continue to take on a levels next year it will be my final chance to prove them, and if I fail then they're basically going to disown me as they can't look after me any longer (we come from a disadvantaged background). I have a light of responsibilities on my shoulder... However, because I have a job I will be able to afford tutoring and my strategy was to get tutors in Chemistry and Physics as I've heard Biology is mainly memorisation so I don't have to spend extra time understanding? I am really in a pickle and I know it's my ultimate decision but I don't want to make the wrong one.
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    (Original post by Yungen007)
    Yeah that sounds like a good idea... It's just that with maths I don't think I will get decent grades ext year. I'm not very good with numbers and it took a lot of hard work this year just to get an average grade.

    The prospects of fast-tracking biology next year is very scary because I might fail. I also have the added pressure from my parents who want me to switch over to BTEC health & social care so I can apply for nursing next year as they believe I'll have a better success in it. I know I don't want to do nursing, although it is in health care which I am striving for, but there will always be a possibility of "what if". My parents have said that if I continue to take on a levels next year it will be my final chance to prove them, and if I fail then they're basically going to disown me as they can't look after me any longer (we come from a disadvantaged background). I have a light of responsibilities on my shoulder... However, because I have a job I will be able to afford tutoring and my strategy was to get tutors in Chemistry and Physics as I've heard Biology is mainly memorisation so I don't have to spend extra time understanding? I am really in a pickle and I know it's my ultimate decision but I don't want to make the wrong one.
    I understand you, but can I say this. It is your life, your career and your future, although your parents want the best for you do not just give up on your dreams because of them, some parents are to overwhelming sometimes.

    You will be able to work it out, it seems that both maths and biology in a year will be tough for you, but you need to work out which you are most likely to get that A in, nobody else can tell you that.
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    (Original post by Natalierm2707)
    I understand you, but can I say this. It is your life, your career and your future, although your parents want the best for you do not just give up on your dreams because of them, some parents are to overwhelming sometimes.

    You will be able to work it out, it seems that both maths and biology in a year will be tough for you, but you need to work out which you are most likely to get that A in, nobody else can tell you that.
    Thank you so much for your kind words! I've decided that I should just continue with Chemistry up to A2 so I can actually finish it in time. However, I'm going to take AS Biology next year --- so I would be dropping Maths. This means that I will be completing my whole a level in 3 years --- but I will apply strategically to universities that don't mind this, such as Exeter and KCL. I think this is a better option for me instead of rushing to do all of biology next year where I have a possibility of failing! Then I can focus more on work experience and building up my personal statement. In the end I know that although I wanted to apply to universities such as UCL and Imperial, my goal of becoming a doctor is much more important than what university I go to. And if I don't get into medical school then I might have to just pursue nursing... Since it's the closest thing to becoming a doctor T_T
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    (Original post by Yungen007)
    Thank you so much for your kind words! I've decided that I should just continue with Chemistry up to A2 so I can actually finish it in time. However, I'm going to take AS Biology next year --- so I would be dropping Maths. This means that I will be completing my whole a level in 3 years --- but I will apply strategically to universities that don't mind this, such as Exeter and KCL. I think this is a better option for me instead of rushing to do all of biology next year where I have a possibility of failing! Then I can focus more on work experience and building up my personal statement. In the end I know that although I wanted to apply to universities such as UCL and Imperial, my goal of becoming a doctor is much more important than what university I go to. And if I don't get into medical school then I might have to just pursue nursing... Since it's the closest thing to becoming a doctor T_T
    If you don't like the idea of nursing, you could always go for some of the other allied health processions, such as ODP, Chiropractic, Paramedics, etc.
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    (Original post by Gogregg)
    If you don't like the idea of nursing, you could always go for some of the other allied health processions, such as ODP, Chiropractic, Paramedics, etc.

    Oh cool... I've never really researched these professions before. Thanks for the advice! I do still want to become a doctor so that's going to be what I'm going to focus on from now on, however I might consider these other options if all else fails.
 
 
 
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