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    Hello, fellow aspiring Cambridge medics!

    Here everyone who is applying to Cambridge and is currently in Year 12 can share tips, tricks and advice for certain questions and answers in applying to Cambridge.

    I, myself, am currently in Year 12 studying Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and French (AS) and I’m looking to apply to Cambridge at the end of 2018.

    The reason I don’t want to apply to Oxford is because for Medicine, they want around 9+ A*s... I’ve only got 6, so that’s an issue, and I always knew I wanted to apply to Oxford or Cambridge. Contextually my secondary school wasn’t good at all really, so I did well for my personal cohort, but I don’t want to risk it so I’m applying to Cambridge as they have a much lower focus on how many A*s someone got at GCSEs.

    This post can also be for a Medicine reading list directory for Cambridge, all of which you can include in your personal statement. One thing I’m doing is I’m noting down key points in every book or article I read, so I don’t have to re-read the entire things when going for the interview (this helps for any University Application with an interview involved) and I’m happy to post the notes of books I read closer to the time so if nothing, you at least have SOMETHING to show off in the interview - at the moment I haven’t finished any but closer to the time I’ll see what I can share

    Any current Medics/top university Medics are also very welcome to share advice!

    I’ll start off by recommending a couple of books to read: Fragile Lives (Professor Steven Westaby), Power. Sex. Suicide. (Nick Lane) and The Concise Human Body Book (available on Amazon) - you guys can continue recommending and hopefully by the end of it we’ll have a holistic list of books to read and things to occupy our summer with

    That’s enough essaying for me. I’m starting this because I thought it would be great to have a place where the 2019 Cambridge Medicine applicants can come together. Let’s do this together and create mindful medics!

    Remember, if you don’t get an interview don’t worry! There are three other universities considering you and at the end of the day you’ll be a great doctor from whichever university you go to!

    And now, over to you

    - Farhan Chughtai.
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    (Original post by FarhanChughtai)
    Hello, fellow aspiring Cambridge medics!

    Here everyone who is applying to Cambridge and is currently in Year 12 can share tips, tricks and advice for certain questions and answers in applying to Cambridge.

    I, myself, am currently in Year 12 studying Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and French (AS) and I’m looking to apply to Cambridge at the end of 2018.

    The reason I don’t want to apply to Oxford is because for Medicine, they want around 9+ A*s... I’ve only got 6, so that’s an issue, and I always knew I wanted to apply to Oxford or Cambridge. Contextually my secondary school wasn’t good at all really, so I did well for my personal cohort, but I don’t want to risk it so I’m applying to Cambridge as they have a much lower focus on how many A*s someone got at GCSEs.

    This post can also be for a Medicine reading list directory for Cambridge, all of which you can include in your personal statement. One thing I’m doing is I’m noting down key points in every book or article I read, so I don’t have to re-read the entire things when going for the interview (this helps for any University Application with an interview involved) and I’m happy to post the notes of books I read closer to the time so if nothing, you at least have SOMETHING to show off in the interview - at the moment I haven’t finished any but closer to the time I’ll see what I can share

    Any current Medics/top university Medics are also very welcome to share advice!

    I’ll start off by recommending a couple of books to read: Fragile Lives (Professor Steven Westaby), Power. Sex. Suicide. (Nick Lane) and The Concise Human Body Book (available on Amazon) - you guys can continue recommending and hopefully by the end of it we’ll have a holistic list of books to read and things to occupy our summer with

    That’s enough essaying for me. I’m starting this because I thought it would be great to have a place where the 2019 Cambridge Medicine applicants can come together. Let’s do this together and create mindful medics!

    Remember, if you don’t get an interview don’t worry! There are three other universities considering you and at the end of the day you’ll be a great doctor from whichever university you go to!

    And now, over to you

    - Farhan Chughtai.
    Moved to the medicine forum which has plenty of resources which it may help you to look through
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    Hi there!
    I’m a Scottish student in S5. I am doing five Highers: biology, chemistry, physics, english and maths (the majority of scot medicine applicants do the same). I am applying to Cambridge over Oxford because I’ve been told that oxford are very prejudiced against Scottish students, and I don’t want this to affect my chances.
    I am getting rly stressed out now - I can’t believe that we will be applying this year!
    I have ordered a couple of books from the library and am subscribed to the sBMJ - I will let you know if I find any good books! I know Cambridge don’t put much weight on the PS, but what work experience/volunteering/EC’s do you do? I have been putting a lot more work into this than I put into wider reading
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    (Original post by K8e.H)
    Hi there!
    I’m a Scottish student in S5. I am doing five Highers: biology, chemistry, physics, english and maths (the majority of scot medicine applicants do the same). I am applying to Cambridge over Oxford because I’ve been told that oxford are very prejudiced against Scottish students, and I don’t want this to affect my chances.
    I am getting rly stressed out now - I can’t believe that we will be applying this year!
    I have ordered a couple of books from the library and am subscribed to the sBMJ - I will let you know if I find any good books! I know Cambridge don’t put much weight on the PS, but what work experience/volunteering/EC’s do you do? I have been putting a lot more work into this than I put into wider reading
    I currently volunteer at a local hospital as a Discharge Support Volunteer and it’s fantastic work experience as you have direct contact with patients, so it trains your communication skills as a doctor. Work experience can simply be found by applying through a hospital’s work experience page, or if you don’t have one, find a consultant’s email address and request some work experience. I managed to get both Plastic Surgery and Endocrine, Thyroid & Parathyroid Surgery by doing this - start an email by formally introducing yourself, what you do at school, what you want to do in the future (Medicine, obviously) and making yourself available to their schedule, i.e. something like “If I am able to do work experience in this field we can arrange timings and dates”, and overall just seem polite and welcoming, but also enthusiastic.

    In terms of extra-curricular, I help run an Anatomical and Physiological society at my school and make presentations on the basis of that, and I also write articles for my school’s medical magazine. Do whatever opportunities you can find to include in your personal statement, but remember quality and not quantity - they’d rather 3 fantastic things over 10 okay things.

    Good luck and I hope this helped!
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    (Original post by K8e.H)
    I am applying to Cambridge over Oxford because I’ve been told that oxford are very prejudiced against Scottish students, and I don’t want this to affect my chances.
    Oxford's acceptance rate for Scottish students in 2016 was 19%, versus around 21.5% for all UK students

    https://public.tableau.com/views/UoO...showVizHome=no

    Cambridge's success rate was 16.6%, versus 20.6% overall.

    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....2016_cycle.pdf

    So a smaller difference when applying to Oxford.

    I really think you need to be more careful about believing things that you hear. Just friendly advice.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Oxford's acceptance rate for Scottish students in 2016 was 19%, versus around 21.5% for all UK students

    https://public.tableau.com/views/UoO...showVizHome=no

    Cambridge's success rate was 16.6%, versus 20.6% overall.

    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....2016_cycle.pdf

    So a smaller difference when applying to Oxford.

    I really think you need to be more careful about believing things that you hear. Just friendly advice.
    Thanks for the stats - I actually meant to put Scottish state school kids (I know there isn’t much in it but as far as I know Cambridge accepts a higher percentage of state school kids). Age is also an issue for me because my birthday is in December. I have checked all university websites and Cambridge seems to be the only English uni that I can apply to do medicine without deferring entry.
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    2018 post-interview reject here to answer some questions you guys might have. Not that I'll be that useful anyway :lol:
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    (Original post by FarhanChughtai)
    I currently volunteer at a local hospital as a Discharge Support Volunteer and it’s fantastic work experience as you have direct contact with patients, so it trains your communication skills as a doctor. Work experience can simply be found by applying through a hospital’s work experience page, or if you don’t have one, find a consultant’s email address and request some work experience. I managed to get both Plastic Surgery and Endocrine, Thyroid & Parathyroid Surgery by doing this - start an email by formally introducing yourself, what you do at school, what you want to do in the future (Medicine, obviously) and making yourself available to their schedule, i.e. something like “If I am able to do work experience in this field we can arrange timings and dates”, and overall just seem polite and welcoming, but also enthusiastic.

    In terms of extra-curricular, I help run an Anatomical and Physiological society at my school and make presentations on the basis of that, and I also write articles for my school’s medical magazine. Do whatever opportunities you can find to include in your personal statement, but remember quality and not quantity - they’d rather 3 fantastic things over 10 okay things.

    Good luck and I hope this helped!
    Thanks so much! These are all great things to write about/reflect on
    Oooh plastic surgery sounds good - have you done that placement yet? I managed to get one with a urology surgeon, and managed to sneak into a ovarian cyst removal. It was absolutely massive, about the size of a football! They looked at me a bit funny when I asked to hold it, but they let me anyway!
    Discharge support worker sounds good - I actually volunteer with the food trolley round the hospital wards. I find this also to be good for patient contact.

    I don’t have any EC’s that directly relate to medicine, but I do things like debating, public speaking and European Youth Parliament which are good for communication skills. I also chair the debating and eco committees and have won awards for filmmaking which is quite good for team-working and leadership.
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    (Original post by K8e.H)
    Thanks so much! These are all great things to write about/reflect on
    Oooh plastic surgery sounds good - have you done that placement yet? I managed to get one with a urology surgeon, and managed to sneak into a ovarian cyst removal. It was absolutely massive, about the size of a football! They looked at me a bit funny when I asked to hold it, but they let me anyway!
    Discharge support worker sounds good - I actually volunteer with the food trolley round the hospital wards. I find this also to be good for patient contact.

    I don’t have any EC’s that directly relate to medicine, but I do things like debating, public speaking and European Youth Parliament which are good for communication skills. I also chair the debating and eco committees and have won awards for filmmaking which is quite good for team-working and leadership.
    Currently I haven’t done any placements, but I’ll be doing them in Summer - gotta focus on A Levels so that I get the grades to even be able to apply!

    Maybe ask your school’s science department to see if you can make a medical society? You could host it and invite other people who are interested in medicine
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    Not applying to Cambridge, but I may as well be active on this thread anyway since you guys have me sh*tting myself

    I'm doing Maths, Biology and Chemistry (f*ck maths) and I'm considering an EPQ but I'm really not sure :/

    I've just started volunteering at a hospital, and I'm also going to be volunteering to do sports with disabled kids which I will start soon. I've read 1 book (Being Mortal) but I didn't make any notes :/ Might look around for some and base some opinions off them. Gonna read "Trust me, I'm a Junior Doctor next". I also did 2 years of St Johns Ambulance cadets from year 7-9 so I might rejoin soon so I can put it on my PS.

    I don't really have any extracurricular's other than football which I play occasionally Need to find some things to do.
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    (Original post by K8e.H)
    Thanks for the stats - I actually meant to put Scottish state school kids (I know there isn’t much in it but as far as I know Cambridge accepts a higher percentage of state school kids).
    They also get more state applicants.

    Again, nothing stopping you from running the numbers - Oxford gets 63.9% state applicants, and 58% state offers. Cambridge presents it in a more unfriendly way (?deliberate), but if you crunch the numbers you find that of UK applicants, Cambridge gets 70.3% state applications versus 65.0% state acceptances.

    So absolutely minimal difference in success rate.

    Age is also an issue for me because my birthday is in December. I have checked all university websites and Cambridge seems to be the only English uni that I can apply to do medicine without deferring entry.
    Now THAT is a good reason

    For Oxford anyway (frustratingly a recent change). However, you did not check said sites very well. I googled 'Birmingham medicine age requirement' - top link is this document which says Birmingham would be fine, for example. That was the first med school i checked. I'm certain there are others.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    They also get more state applicants.

    Again, nothing stopping you from running the numbers - Oxford gets 63.9% state applicants, and 58% state offers. Cambridge presents it in a more unfriendly way (?deliberate), but if you crunch the numbers you find that of UK applicants, Cambridge gets 70.3% state applications versus 65.0% state acceptances.

    So absolutely minimal difference in success rate.



    Now THAT is a good reason

    For Oxford anyway (frustratingly a recent change). However, you did not check said sites very well. I googled 'Birmingham medicine age requirement' - top link is this document which says Birmingham would be fine, for example. That was the first med school i checked. I'm certain there are others.
    I rly meant to say that, out of the uni's I was considering, Cambridge seemed to be the only one that would accept me. When I first found out that English universities had age limits for medicine I went through every website and made a spreadsheet of the minimum age requirements. I narrowed down all the universities I could attend and then did a bit of research into each one. I chose my favourites based on teaching style, layout of course and location. After this process I found that my heart was set on Oxbridge and, as Oxford have changed their age limit, that leaves Cambridge. Before this, my plan was to research English uni's to see if anything just clicked, but apart from that just apply in Scotland (money is also a bit of an issue).
    Sorry, I rly should have made my reasoning clearer
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    (Original post by FarhanChughtai)
    Currently I haven’t done any placements, but I’ll be doing them in Summer - gotta focus on A Levels so that I get the grades to even be able to apply!

    Maybe ask your school’s science department to see if you can make a medical society? You could host it and invite other people who are interested in medicine
    I have been thinking about setting up a society for a while, so I might ask my science teacher as you suggested.
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    In all honesty, everything is down to personal preference. Although my reasoning is that I didn’t do as well in GCSEs, I do have a personal preference over Cambridge in that they do really appreciate BME students and they provide a more welcoming atmosphere (from what I’ve seen since I’ve visited both). Stats shouldn’t deter you from applying to a certain university as they are simply numbers, and they are much more interested in your application - whether you come from a state school or not creates a minor factor in your application - I think they care more about a student that’s passionate about the course shown in A Level predictions, BMAT/UKCAT results, and their personal statement. That’s my personal perspective on it
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    (Original post by amaraub)
    I've read 1 book (Being Mortal) but I didn't make any notes :/
    Hi there!
    I was thinking of reading 'being mortal' - how did you find it? Was it good?
    If your having difficulty finding EC's, look at any lunchtime clubs at your school. If there aren't that many and you have an idea, set one up yourself (or talk to a teacher about setting one up) if you do your clubs at lunchtimes it doesn't cut into any study/down time.
    I do debating on Mondays, opportunities group on Tuesdays (we raise money for the school's pupil support fund and educate younger children on poverty awareness), I teach junior debaters on Wednesdays, I chair Eco committee on Thursdays and I go to film making club on Friday afternoons. I have built these up from S1 (year 8), and switched them out to find what I like. When I was a junior, I went to a science club where they did cool experiments and took us on trips. You could start a lunchtime science club like that to get kids interested in STEM, or help at one if your school already has one. Or take up a new hobby like a new sport or debating/public speaking. Or start a medsoc?
    Out of interest, what uni's are you considering applying to?
    Have you managed to find any work experience?
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    (Original post by MagicalMedic)
    2018 post-interview reject here to answer some questions you guys might have. Not that I'll be that useful anyway :lol:
    It's amazing to even get an interview!
    How did you find the application process and where else did you apply?
    What sort of questions did they ask at interview?
    What work experience/ volunteering/ EC's did you do and which ones did you talk about most in you PS and at interview?
    Do you have any general tips on applying?
    Thanks so much in advance
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    (Original post by K8e.H)
    Hi there!
    I was thinking of reading 'being mortal' - how did you find it? Was it good?
    If your having difficulty finding EC's, look at any lunchtime clubs at your school. If there aren't that many and you have an idea, set one up yourself (or talk to a teacher about setting one up) if you do your clubs at lunchtimes it doesn't cut into any study/down time.
    I do debating on Mondays, opportunities group on Tuesdays (we raise money for the school's pupil support fund and educate younger children on poverty awareness), I teach junior debaters on Wednesdays, I chair Eco committee on Thursdays and I go to film making club on Friday afternoons. I have built these up from S1 (year 8), and switched them out to find what I like. When I was a junior, I went to a science club where they did cool experiments and took us on trips. You could start a lunchtime science club like that to get kids interested in STEM, or help at one if your school already has one. Or take up a new hobby like a new sport or debating/public speaking. Or start a medsoc?
    Out of interest, what uni's are you considering applying to?
    Have you managed to find any work nexperience?
    Being mortal is good but it is dragged out quite a bit imho, a lot of it is telling stories about old people and how their lives degraded as they progressed in their lives which eventually lead to their death. As you can imagine it is quite despressing at times but it does highlight the importance of whether doctors are always doing the rigjt thing. Do you know of any good books?

    My school has a medsoc and I've been a few times but it was so boring, except for when they had speakers come in. On wednesdays I help the year 7s with reading which i guess i can put (bare in mind your PS is shprt) and I really need tp rejoin cadets haha

    I think I've got my w/e sorted, just need to set a date I think.

    I live in London and i'd love to go to UCL but I really don't mind where I go tbh, how about upu?
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    I don't think I'll be applying to Cambridge(most likely to AAA standard unis).
    I do maths biology and chemistry, and like @amaraub I am think of an EPQ. If my school will allow it, I'll definitely do it.
    I haven't started work experience yet, but I will within this year.
    For extra curriculars, I'm deputy head boy at my school (just started) , I run debate club as part of my prefect duties and am doing a youth Connexions health qualification.
    Out of my list so far, I've read "when breath becomes air" which I recommend you all should read.
    I know this is early, but good luck everyone!
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    (Original post by K8e.H)
    It's amazing to even get an interview!
    How did you find the application process and where else did you apply?
    What sort of questions did they ask at interview?
    What work experience/ volunteering/ EC's did you do and which ones did you talk about most in you PS and at interview?
    Do you have any general tips on applying?
    Thanks so much in advance
    An interview was indeed a nice experience!

    I applied to Leicester, Birmingham, and UCL. I had an interview at Leicester, withdrew my application from Birmingham (personal reasons), and am yet to hear back from UCL!

    My interviews were both purely scientific. I cannot discuss the details (signed a form and all), but there was little of the typical interview questions you'd hear. I had to discuss scientific concepts and ideas, and for this a very thorough background knowledge is needed. According to their feedback I was quite confident in my interviews, and I think the only reason I did come across as such was because I revised all of biology and chemistry that we have covered at school.

    I did a lot of random stuff to be honest I did a sort of an EPQ on medical synthesis and its implications on pharmaceutical costs, volunteered with disabled children, volunteered with kindergarten kids, and did a few placements (a bit over 2 weeks total) with plastic/hand surgeons (my personal interest). The type of interviews you receive differs depending on the college you apply to, so make sure to check out what the college you're interested in says. You might not be asked about your PS if the college doesn't have a general interview. For my ECs I talked a bit about my passion for languages (I speak four) and my interest in literature :yep: Nothing super crazy on that side, really.

    Work on your BMAT and just try to enjoy the thing would be my overall advice. I didn't get in, but I met so many cool and nice people both on TSR and during my interviews - I talk to some of them almost daily and they're such amazing people. I think it's easy to get caught up in the idea of getting into Cambridge, but it's honestly not be-all-end-all. For me Cambridge was a bit of a stretch, and I always wanted to go to UCL, so if I had gotten offers from both the decision would've been hard. But still, I put all of the effort I had into my application, and I don't regret a thing. The feedback I got from my college was positive, and was (ironically) a confidence boost - it's not I was awful and an absolute waste of their time ,it's just that others were a bit better here or there :yep:
    Also, wearing a huge smile always helps. Honestly the time flies so quickly in these interviews, it's crazy. I had such an amazing time and wouldn't mind going through the process again if I could (well, the interviews at least - they were seriously my favourite part!).

    Good luck guys! If I do take a gap year I might see you around. Who knows where this year will take me :lol:
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    (Original post by amaraub)
    Being mortal is good but it is dragged out quite a bit imho, a lot of it is telling stories about old people and how their lives degraded as they progressed in their lives which eventually lead to their death. As you can imagine it is quite despressing at times but it does highlight the importance of whether doctors are always doing the rigjt thing. Do you know of any good books?

    My school has a medsoc and I've been a few times but it was so boring, except for when they had speakers come in. On wednesdays I help the year 7s with reading which i guess i can put (bare in mind your PS is shprt) and I really need tp rejoin cadets haha

    I think I've got my w/e sorted, just need to set a date I think.

    I live in London and i'd love to go to UCL but I really don't mind where I go tbh, how about upu?
    Honestly, I haven’t read many books yet - I really should get started! I am reading ‘a very short introduction to medical ethics’ which outlines the basics and I thought it might be quite helpful for the situational judgement part of the UKCAT and ethics questions when it comes to interviews (if I get any!). I will post on here if I find any rly good books though
    I live in Edinburgh so, apart from Cambridge, I will be sticking to Scottish uni’s because they’re free! Honestly, I’m still wavering a little even when it comes to Cambridge because I could stay in Scotland and come out with the same qualification without having to pay a thing. I’ll have to go to all the open days and do some more research, and then decide nearer the time (there are only five medical uni’s in Scotland so there isn’t much of a choice!)
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