MEDICINE - *RESULTS DAY 2017* - GCSE Results Discussion & Advice

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Today's the day that our Year 11's will be receiving their GCSE results. I hope you received the results you wanted and are celebrating accordingly!


If you have come to the Medicine forum then we can assume that you are interested in applying to study medicine in the future. As such, you may be looking for advice on your results and what to do next. We ask that you read the information in this post and on the wiki before posting, as everything you need should be there:

-> Medicine FAQ
-> Medical school GCSE requirements

Are my GCSE grades good enough?GCSEs play a role in your medicine application; no-one can deny that. However, the role that they play can vary greatly depending on where you apply. Some universities will want you to have excellent GCSEs, whilst others place far less emphasis on these results.

To view current GCSE requirements, view this page.

Please be aware that these requirements are for 2014 entry, and could change by the time you come to apply.

What AS levels should I take?It is recommended that you take both biology and chemistry at AS level, as the majority of medical schools will ask that you complete chemistry to an 'A' grade at A2 level, with most also specifying that you complete biology to at least AS level. A third science subject is recommended, though not required by all, at AS level. See below for what subjects you could choose for this.

For the current A level requirements, please see this page. As with the GCSE requirements, this information could potentially change by the time that you apply.

What constitutes a science subject?Typically medical schools are talking about biology, chemistry, physics, maths (and further maths) when they talk about "science subjects". These can be further narrowed down to the "laboratory" or "experimental" sciences which are biology, chemistry and physics.

Do I need to take A level Maths?Absolutely not. This is a very common misconception given either by poorly informed lay people or careers advisors. There is no medical school in the UK that explicitly states it is essential to have Maths at AS or A2 level to be eligible for medicine.

Much confusion arises out of some medical schools listing acceptable combinations of science subjects by starting off with chemistry and then saying "and biology and/or maths and/or physics". This means one of the three subjects (bio/maths/physics) must be studied alongside Chemistry A-Level, but does not mean you have to take more than one of these.

For the select few Cambridge colleges that do require "3 sciences", this could very well be Biology, Chemistry and Physics instead of the usual Biology, Chemistry and Maths. Studying Maths/Physics as your 3rd A2 subject will confer no advantage or disadvantage on your application to any other medical school.

Some medical schools (notably, University College London) give preference to applicants with a "contrasting" (non-science) third A-Level.

How can I strengthen my application?Work experience

Work experience is vital when applying for Medicine. The admissions staff want to know that you have an insight into what it is you want to do from observational or hands-on experience, and that you can reflect on these experiences in your personal statement.

We have a brilliant resource on work experience for you to read, which can be found here. Please read that page before asking any questions about work experience.


EPQ stands for Extended Project Qualification and is a stand-alone piece of work that is equivalent to an AS level. It is graded from A*-E. More and more medicine applicants are becoming interested in the EPQ and are deciding to do one to help their application.

Whilst the EPQ will commonly not form part of your offer, it can prove beneficial to your application as it allows you to explore a topic through your own self-directed research and be able to talk about your topic in detail. This gives you something interesting to discuss at interview, as well as useful skills to reflect upon in your personal statement.

If you decide to do an EPQ then you should realise that this should not take priority over your A level work, and once started should be completed. If you enter your EPQ on UCAS but later withdraw from the qualification, you will technically be altering the information with which you provided the universities to consider your application and this can (but rarely does) result in any offers being rescinded.

Do I need to start revising for the UKCAT/BMAT?The short answer is no.

There is plenty of time to revise for the UKCAT and/or BMAT from March onwards next year. You should use this time to concentrate on your AS levels and get used to the transition from GCSE.

What about my personal statement?At this point in time you should be thinking about gaining experiences to form the content of your personal statement, but not writing it. When undertaking work experience, it is advised that you keep a diary or journal of your thoughts and observations (without any identifiable patient information) so that it is easier to remember what you did and how you felt at the time when you do come to write your personal statement in the summer after your AS exams.

The information in this post should hopefully cover everything you need to know. If you have read this alongside the wiki and it still doesn't answer your question then feel free to ask on this thread and someone will try to help you.

Well done on your results!
Badges: 21
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
Badges: 20
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
Report 4 years ago
Bumping for today's queries!

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Does school Maths prepare people well enough for the future?

Yes, it gives everyone a good foundation for any future path (21)
Somewhat, if your future involves maths/STEM (23)
No, it doesn't teach enough practical life skills (12)
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