indiamycat
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
I'm in year 12 and want to do medicine. I loved Leeds uni (have also already visited Birmingham) and want to look at Nottingham, Liverpool, Southampton and Oxford (and potentially Cambridge). For Cambridge, in the 3rd year, you have to 'intercalate' which I'm not sure if I want to do. Could someone give me an idea of the clinical work and 3rd year because the website isn't that helpful! The open day is inconvenient so I don't want to go if I don't think I'll like Cambridge. Just want some pros and cons.




For some general info: eight 9s and three 8s at GCSE
Doing chem, bio, English lit and an EPQ predicted A*, A/A* and A
Generally, quite an anxious person who struggles with their mental health
Went to a state school but in an affluent area (parents are 'middle-class')
1
reply
Levi.-
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
(Original post by indiamycat)
I'm in year 12 and want to do medicine. I loved Leeds uni (have also already visited Birmingham) and want to look at Nottingham, Liverpool, Southampton and Oxford (and potentially Cambridge). For Cambridge, in the 3rd year, you have to 'intercalate' which I'm not sure if I want to do. Could someone give me an idea of the clinical work and 3rd year because the website isn't that helpful! The open day is inconvenient so I don't want to go if I don't think I'll like Cambridge. Just want some pros and cons.




For some general info: eight 9s and three 8s at GCSE
Doing chem, bio, English lit and an EPQ predicted A*, A/A* and A
Generally, quite an anxious person who struggles with their mental health
Went to a state school but in an affluent area (parents are 'middle-class')
https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics
If you look at this link you'll see the admission statistics for Oxford applicants and their GCSE/BMAT scores. Since they shortlist entirely on gcses and bmat the fact that you got 11A*s and 1.0 pA* means from the GCSE half of the algorithm you've already got a really strong chance of getting shortlisted for an interview and ultimately a place. Oxford and Cambridge both offer traditional courses which means you do the medical sciences and clinical work in different years whereas at Leeds you have some patient contact in all years. Cambridge is very research heavy and since you can do a second personal statement as part of the SAQ when you apply there you have to show evidence of wider reading and scientific research, even more so than other schools, the fact that you have to intercalate echoes this. With your GCSEs you have already cleared a major path towards Oxford as Cambridge are alot more inconsistent with who they let in when it comes to GCSEs so it may undermine your strong GCSE profile. I have the FOI data of GCSEs and BMAT scores for this years accepted students if you want it.
0
reply
Levi.-
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 month ago
#3
Wait if you're not doing maths your chances of getting into Cambridge are alot slimmer. "Please note that in the past three admissions rounds, 96% of applicants for Medicine (A100) offered three or more science/mathematics A Levels and, of these, 29% were successful in obtaining a place. Of the 3% of applicants who offered only two science/mathematics A Levels, just 3% were successful in gaining a place." - https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....urses/medicine Idk if Oxford is the same in that regard
0
reply
indiamycat
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#4
(Original post by Levi.-)
https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics
If you look at this link you'll see the admission statistics for Oxford applicants and their GCSE/BMAT scores. Since they shortlist entirely on gcses and bmat the fact that you got 11A*s and 1.0 pA* means from the GCSE half of the algorithm you've already got a really strong chance of getting shortlisted for an interview and ultimately a place. Oxford and Cambridge both offer traditional courses which means you do the medical sciences and clinical work in different years whereas at Leeds you have some patient contact in all years. Cambridge is very research heavy and since you can do a second personal statement as part of the SAQ when you apply there you have to show evidence of wider reading and scientific research, even more so than other schools, the fact that you have to intercalate echoes this. With your GCSEs you have already cleared a major path towards Oxford as Cambridge are alot more inconsistent with who they let in when it comes to GCSEs so it may undermine your strong GCSE profile. I have the FOI data of GCSEs and BMAT scores for this years accepted students if you want it.
Thank you this is super helpful! If you could give me the FOI data that would be amazing thank you! What does 1.0pA* mean? Do they count 8s and 9s equally?
0
reply
nexttime
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
(Original post by indiamycat)
I'm in year 12 and want to do medicine. I loved Leeds uni (have also already visited Birmingham) and want to look at Nottingham, Liverpool, Southampton and Oxford (and potentially Cambridge). For Cambridge, in the 3rd year, you have to 'intercalate' which I'm not sure if I want to do. Could someone give me an idea of the clinical work and 3rd year because the website isn't that helpful! The open day is inconvenient so I don't want to go if I don't think I'll like Cambridge. Just want some pros and cons.
You also have to intercalate at Oxford. In fact, Oxford considers its intercalation so important it actually starts in second year to give it more time! Nottingham also does a weird half-intercalation as mandatory, but it doesn't add time to the degree.

Intercalation is taking a year to explore a topic in more depth, and generally involves at least some contact with research. I do not know the details of Cambridge but it will involve some taught elements and some research work, no doubt. It actually used to be the case that you could do something weird with your 3rd year at Cambridge - like economics, or Law, but they are making that harder now. Normally people choose a topic from the Natural Sciences tripos. It is generally less intense than other med school years. It helps a bit with application points for FY1, ST1 and ST3, especially if you get a scientific publication out of it.
(Original post by Levi.-)
https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics
If you look at this link you'll see the admission statistics for Oxford applicants and their GCSE/BMAT scores. Since they shortlist entirely on gcses and bmat the fact that you got 11A*s and 1.0 pA* means from the GCSE half of the algorithm you've already got a really strong chance of getting shortlisted for an interview and ultimately a place. Oxford and Cambridge both offer traditional courses which means you do the medical sciences and clinical work in different years whereas at Leeds you have some patient contact in all years. Cambridge is very research heavy and since you can do a second personal statement as part of the SAQ when you apply there you have to show evidence of wider reading and scientific research, even more so than other schools, the fact that you have to intercalate echoes this. With your GCSEs you have already cleared a major path towards Oxford as Cambridge are alot more inconsistent with who they let in when it comes to GCSEs so it may undermine your strong GCSE profile. I have the FOI data of GCSEs and BMAT scores for this years accepted students if you want it.
This is all true, but bear in mind that at baseline Oxford is just much more competitive than Cambridge, with an application to offer ratio more than twice as high!
(Original post by Levi.-)
Wait if you're not doing maths your chances of getting into Cambridge are alot slimmer. "Please note that in the past three admissions rounds, 96% of applicants for Medicine (A100) offered three or more science/mathematics A Levels and, of these, 29% were successful in obtaining a place. Of the 3% of applicants who offered only two science/mathematics A Levels, just 3% were successful in gaining a place." - https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....urses/medicine Idk if Oxford is the same in that regard
You are less likely to get into Oxford without maths - just 7% vs 11.5% if you do have maths - but likely only because having maths correlates with a better BMAT. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6035254
0
reply
indiamycat
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#6
Thank you for all your help. How do I maximise my chances of getting into Oxford?
0
reply
nexttime
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by indiamycat)
Thank you for all your help. How do I maximise my chances of getting into Oxford?
Not bothered about the intercalation any more then?

You have good GCSEs, albeit only slightly above average - stats here. You just have to get a really good BMAT to get an interview, then do a good interview! Obviously, the offer will likely be A*AA, so will need to get that too.
0
reply
indiamycat
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#8
Aha! I don't know if Oxford would be my 1st choice or one of my choices at all but I'm sure that preparation for Oxford (excluding the BMAT) would be helpful for any of the other unis! I don't know if I want to intercalate or not, if I'm honest I just switching between the two! I'm anxious about seeing Oxford/Cambridge because I think it will negatively affect my mental health but I wanted to have a look at at least one of them and I can make the Oxford open day and the way the intercalation is talked about on the website is less weird? I really want to get 3 A* at A level so I need to work my butt off!
0
reply
Levi.-
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 month ago
#9
(Original post by nexttime)
Not bothered about the intercalation any more then?

You have good GCSEs, albeit only slightly above average - stats here. You just have to get a really good BMAT to get an interview, then do a good interview! Obviously, the offer will likely be A*AA, so will need to get that too.
(Original post by nexttime)
You also have to intercalate at Oxford. In fact, Oxford considers its intercalation so important it actually starts in second year to give it more time! Nottingham also does a weird half-intercalation as mandatory, but it doesn't add time to the degree.

Intercalation is taking a year to explore a topic in more depth, and generally involves at least some contact with research. I do not know the details of Cambridge but it will involve some taught elements and some research work, no doubt. It actually used to be the case that you could do something weird with your 3rd year at Cambridge - like economics, or Law, but they are making that harder now. Normally people choose a topic from the Natural Sciences tripos. It is generally less intense than other med school years. It helps a bit with application points for FY1, ST1 and ST3, especially if you get a scientific publication out of it.

This is all true, but bear in mind that at baseline Oxford is just much more competitive than Cambridge, with an application to offer ratio more than twice as high!

You are less likely to get into Oxford without maths - just 7% vs 11.5% if you do have maths - but likely only because having maths correlates with a better BMAT. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6035254
Of course the places are lower and the application number is higher but I think to be specific to OP its important to weed out how many of those applicants will actually be shortlisted realistically. Mean A*s for applicants is around 8 and then the accepted is 10.4 so there's a fair amount of people who increase the the applicant number statistic but fall considerably short of the shortlist band (considering their BMAT doesn't make up for it and by eye evaluation of the graphs that is probably the case). Idk if its completely fair to say Oxford is more competitive as a result, though even if you make up for those skews then it probably would still have a higher applicant to place ratio (potentially). I'd say with the FOI data for Cambridge medicine that its abit more consistent and safer applying to Oxford with OPs grades so long as they perform well in the BMAT as the Cambridge offerholders have a lot of variation in BMAT scores and GCSEs compared with Oxford. Bear in mind that Oxford's system is centralised whereas Cambridge is college specific and although they pool people undoubtedly many won't get in due to applying to the wrong college; something that I don't think happens at Oxford.
0
reply
Levi.-
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 month ago
#10
(Original post by indiamycat)
Aha! I don't know if Oxford would be my 1st choice or one of my choices at all but I'm sure that preparation for Oxford (excluding the BMAT) would be helpful for any of the other unis! I don't know if I want to intercalate or not, if I'm honest I just switching between the two! I'm anxious about seeing Oxford/Cambridge because I think it will negatively affect my mental health but I wanted to have a look at at least one of them and I can make the Oxford open day and the way the intercalation is talked about on the website is less weird? I really want to get 3 A* at A level so I need to work my butt off!
Idk how fair that is; I'm preparing for a Cambridge application and alot of the stuff isn't going to go on my generic medicine personal statement since it's not what other med schools want unfortunately. Good thing about Oxford I guess is that they shortlist entirely on BMAT and GCSE and don't use the personal statement until interview time but Cambridge view everything together to make a candidate profile. I got a lot of reading to do as well man ahaha. Obviously there's gonna be a fair amount of overlap but the extra reading and research is alot more Oxbridge material than other med schools which tend to focus a bit more on extra-curriculars.
Last edited by Levi.-; 1 month ago
0
reply
indiamycat
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#11
How are you preparing for Cambridge? Extra-curricular wise I do: dance, cross-country, orchestra, help to run a science club for year 7s, did World Challenge and bronze DofE and work experience of course!
Further reading: articles off sciencedaily, chemguide, med books (like this is going to hurt), and I want to read some books by authors like Adam Rutherford
0
reply
Levi.-
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 month ago
#12
(Original post by indiamycat)
How are you preparing for Cambridge? Extra-curricular wise I do: dance, cross-country, orchestra, help to run a science club for year 7s, did World Challenge and bronze DofE and work experience of course!
Further reading: articles off sciencedaily, chemguide, med books (like this is going to hurt), and I want to read some books by authors like Adam Rutherford
Well i mean for Cambridge you can do a separate personal statement in which I am going to focus largely on research work and reading. I went to the Cambridge summer school and made notes/researched the topics, I'm reading scientific books on evolution and the such and doing lab work experience and further reading surrounding that. EPQ and masterclasses too. Obviously the whole volunteering thing and work ex too but if you're more interested in the clinical/social side of medicine then applying to Oxford makes some sense as you don't do another personal statement and as they know you need to apply to other med schools they tend to accept less wider reading and research than they do for other subjects and than cambridge do. Read this: https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me.../anatomy-of-ps this goes into a good personal statement and as you can see its quite standard medicine stuff with little focus on subject exploration in an academic sense (that is actually a point for improvement but they still say its effective) Cambridge expect you to do much more and reference it in the SAQ. Good luck.
0
reply
indiamycat
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#13
Thank you. I'm also doing EPQ which I'm finding really interesting. I've applied for uniq but I probably won't get in. I'm more interested in the clinical/social bit than the research. Good luck to you and thank you.
0
reply
Levi.-
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 month ago
#14
(Original post by indiamycat)
Thank you. I'm also doing EPQ which I'm finding really interesting. I've applied for uniq but I probably won't get in. I'm more interested in the clinical/social bit than the research. Good luck to you and thank you.
Yeah I applied to UNIQ too, doubt I'll get in but you never know.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

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.

Personalise

University open days

  • University of Cambridge
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Thu, 2 Jul '20
  • University of Cambridge
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 3 Jul '20

How many uni open days have you been to/did you go to?

0 (16)
26.23%
1 (7)
11.48%
2 (9)
14.75%
3 (7)
11.48%
4 (7)
11.48%
5 (6)
9.84%
6 (2)
3.28%
7+ (7)
11.48%

Watched Threads

View All