I regret going to a top uni / can't do graduate medicine - my story.

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Anonymous #1
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So backstory: I did very well in my GCSE's, not so well in my A Levels. Although I got A's in my mocks, my final grades were not good due to personal circumstances and I was too afraid/anxious to seek extenuating circumstances help at the time. Ended up going to a university which was about in the 40-50's in the league tables - not the best. This is going to sound bad but the whole cohort were not that bright and a lot were international students from places like Cyprus and Poland. I found it extremely easy to achieve a 1st in all my assignments. So I ended up getting a 1st without even really trying and decided I wanted to switch uni's if I could. I ended up getting a place at a top 10 university, except that I would have to restart from Year 1, which I was fine with.

Here (same degree) I found the work much more difficult. I struggled but managed to get a 2.1 in my first year, which went down to a 2.2 overall. Albeit I did go through some personal circumstances which deeply affected me, the work was definitely more challenging. I had already anticipated this as I was around student's who had achieved high A Level grades to get in. I should have worked harder, but I know I could have easily got a 2.1 (or a 1st) at the other university I was in. Not to mention the grade inflation rates at some universities is ridiculous and unfair.

So maybe this was just my own personal karma for thinking I could do better? Although I was NEVER pretentious or rude to the students at the first university I was in, I quite liked it there actually - it felt like a close nit school. Sometimes I do feel like this is just karma for trying to go to a better university, not to mention losing a whole year of my life.

I had planned to study graduate medicine and now I basically can't with a 2.2 without doing a masters. I've seen people with 2.1's who have come from very low ranked/ low grade requirements get into graduate medicine. Although the UKCAT/GAMSAT does provide a benchmark of sorts, I don't think there is a correlation with a high degree score (from any uni) and high scores on both of those tests. I think anyone can do well in them if you just practice enough, because I have sat them both.

BUT I really do think graduate medical schools / universities that provide masters really do need to take account of the institution that the student has graduated from because I KNOW it is so much easier to get a 2.1 from a lower ranked university. It's a check box exercise.
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Anonymous #1
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Would love to hear your thoughts... esp from potential graduate medicine applicants who have graduated from a range of unis...
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TheStarboy
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So basically you regret taking the hard way and envy those who went to lower-ranked unis, worked hard and got into graduate entry medicine, while you took it for granted?

Well, that’s life. You made your bed now lie on it.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by TheStarboy)
So basically you regret taking the hard way and envy those who went to lower-ranked unis, worked hard and got into graduate entry medicine, while you took it for granted?

Well, that’s life. You made your bed now lie on it.
I don't envy them. I just don't think it's right/fair to treat a 2.1 degree from a top ten university the same as one from a university in the 50's. You don't have to work that hard at a lower ranked university to do well, that is my point.
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Anonymous #1
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I have so much respect for those who achieve 1st's and 2.1's from top universities however.
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MajorFader
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Wow this is serious karma...

Karma in a different form...
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I don't envy them. I just don't think it's right/fair to treat a 2.1 degree from a top ten university the same as one from a university in the 50's. You don't have to work that hard at a lower ranked university to do well, that is my point.
I disagree as someone involved in medical admissions and medicine interviews.

We are aiming to open up medical admissions and be welcoming for all.

Doing what you have suggested seem like a step back in time if you ask me.

UCAT and GAMSAT will have distinguished the candidates, and admission tests are what the GMC likes too.
Last edited by ecolier; 3 weeks ago
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TheStarboy
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I don't envy them. I just don't think it's right/fair to treat a 2.1 degree from a top ten university the same as one from a university in the 50's. You don't have to work that hard at a lower ranked university to do well, that is my point.
The Entry requirements are pretty clear. It's not the uni’s fault that you didn’t meet them, nor is it the other applicants. They worked hard to get where they are. Why should they have to suffer because you didn’t get in?
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Democracy
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(Original post by Anonymous)
So backstory: I did very well in my GCSE's, not so well in my A Levels. Although I got A's in my mocks, my final grades were not good due to personal circumstances and I was too afraid/anxious to seek extenuating circumstances help at the time. Ended up going to a university which was about in the 40-50's in the league tables - not the best. This is going to sound bad but the whole cohort were not that bright and a lot were international students from places like Cyprus and Poland. I found it extremely easy to achieve a 1st in all my assignments. So I ended up getting a 1st without even really trying and decided I wanted to switch uni's if I could. I ended up getting a place at a top 10 university, except that I would have to restart from Year 1, which I was fine with.

Here (same degree) I found the work much more difficult. I struggled but managed to get a 2.1 in my first year, which went down to a 2.2 overall. Albeit I did go through some personal circumstances which deeply affected me, the work was definitely more challenging. I had already anticipated this as I was around student's who had achieved high A Level grades to get in. I should have worked harder, but I know I could have easily got a 2.1 (or a 1st) at the other university I was in. Not to mention the grade inflation rates at some universities is ridiculous and unfair.

So maybe this was just my own personal karma for thinking I could do better? Although I was NEVER pretentious or rude to the students at the first university I was in, I quite liked it there actually - it felt like a close nit school. Sometimes I do feel like this is just karma for trying to go to a better university, not to mention losing a whole year of my life.

I had planned to study graduate medicine and now I basically can't with a 2.2 without doing a masters. I've seen people with 2.1's who have come from very low ranked/ low grade requirements get into graduate medicine. Although the UKCAT/GAMSAT does provide a benchmark of sorts, I don't think there is a correlation with a high degree score (from any uni) and high scores on both of those tests. I think anyone can do well in them if you just practice enough, because I have sat them both.

BUT I really do think graduate medical schools / universities that provide masters really do need to take account of the institution that the student has graduated from because I KNOW it is so much easier to get a 2.1 from a lower ranked university. It's a check box exercise.
You don't really "know" though, do you? All you have is one year's experience (first year at that) at another university. For all you know, your grades would have also declined if you'd stayed at your original university. Not really getting the relevance of Poland and Cyprus here tbh.

I think people on here (including you) forget that UK higher education is amongst the best regulated in the world and meets pretty high standards. Even a university in the 40s/50s of the league tables is still going to provide you with a very good standard of education. We are not talking about a diploma mill on a tropical island here - they don't just give out 2:1s for free.

Anyway what's done is done. You can sit around and obsess over league tables, grade inflation, karma, and what could have been or you can do a Master's and try to get into GEM.

This post is really a textbook example of why one shouldn't make big life decisions based on league tables.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by TheStarboy)
The Entry requirements are pretty clear. It's not the uni’s fault that you didn’t meet them, nor is it the other applicants. They worked hard to get where they are. Why should they have to suffer because you didn’t get in?

My point is that there is a CLEAR difference on how challenging a degree is depending on the university. Unlike GCSE's and A Levels, there are not exam boards that regulate the exams across the country. There is so much disparity between universities. My friend who went to a lower ranked university had said that her tutor basically hinted what was going to come up in the exam, something that would hardly happen at a top university. As well as grade inflation, I feel like this is a topic that needs to be addressed.

No, maybe some students worked very hard to achieve their grades, but I know for a fact it is easier to get a 2.1 at a lower ranked university. If there is any data on the type of university one went to for their undergrad and their progress in medical school, I would love to see it.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Democracy)
You don't really "know" though, do you? All you have is one year's experience (first year at that) at another university. For all you know, your grades would have also declined if you'd stayed at your original university. Not really getting the relevance of Poland and Cyprus here tbh.

I think people on here (including you) forget that UK higher education is amongst the best regulated in the world and meets pretty high standards. Even a university in the 40s/50s of the league tables is still going to provide you with a very good standard of education. We are not talking about a diploma mill on a tropical island here - they don't just give out 2:1s for free.

Anyway what's done is done. You can sit around and obsess over league tables, grade inflation, karma, and what could have been or you can do a Master's and try to get into GEM.

This post is really a textbook example of why one shouldn't make big life decisions based on league tables.
Sorry but that experience was more than enough to know. I kept in touch with the friends I made there and I asked them what they were leanring, what assignments they had to do and it was much easier.

To be honest, other than the grade, I did really appreciate my time at the second university because of the connections I had made and I was able to be inspired by the students around me who were doing amazing things. I had learn't many things which I wouldn't have if I stayed at the other university. It has opened a lot of opportunities as well for me, it's just that unfortunately for me I was just focused on GEM...
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ecolier)
I disagree as someone involved in medical admissions and medicine interviews.

We are aiming to open up medical admissions and be welcoming for all.

Doing what you have suggested seem like a step back in time if you ask me.

UCAT and GAMSAT will have distinguished the candidates, and admission tests are what the GMC likes too.

It's fine to be welcoming, but I think its a fault in the system to be honest. There is a clear disparity between universities and grades.I sat UCAT and GAMSAT both and got more than high enough scores to get to an interview. But I couldn't from the universities I would have liked because of my 2.2 which is much more challenging to achieve than a 2.1 at a lower ranked institution.
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
It's fine to be welcoming, but I think its a fault in the system to be honest. There is a clear disparity between universities and grades.I sat UCAT and GAMSAT both and got more than high enough scores to get to an interview. But I couldn't from the universities I would have liked because of my 2.2 which is much more challenging to achieve than a 2.1 at a lower ranked institution.
It's the same for post-graduate medical specialty training (i.e. which med school you graduated from does not matter), so why should it matter for GEM admissions?

The current selection procedures are fine in my opinion - it will obviously continue to evolve in the future as guided by the unis and the GMC.

I, for one, am glad that someone with an Open University degree is on an equal footing as someone who graduated from Oxbridge - as long as they achieve the necessary A-Levels / GCSEs / UCAT / GAMSAT scores (delete as appropriate according to GEM med school). It makes our profession much more open and welcoming.
Last edited by ecolier; 3 weeks ago
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ecolier)
It's the same for post-graduate medical specialty training (i.e. which med school you graduated from does not matter), so why should it matter for GEM admissions?

The current selection procedures are fine in my opinion - it will obviously continue to evolve in the future as guided by the unis and the GMC.

That's a good point, but I feel medical schools would be very highly regulated and up to scratch in terms of exams and teaching by the GMC - so that's an external factor regulating all medical schools (kind of like A Level exam boards). So for postgraduate training, it's fine. Whereas at universities for undergraduate degree's there isn't that sort of thing, not really. Again, there is a huge disparity between teaching and exams at universities as they are more just regulated themselves. Also just because its the same for speciality training doesn't mean you can extrapolate the same process for GEM, there are a lot of differences between those two processes.
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
That's a good point, but I feel medical schools would be very highly regulated and up to scratch in terms of exams and teaching by the GMC - so that's an external factor regulating all medical schools (kind of like A Level exam boards). So for postgraduate training, it's fine. Whereas at universities for undergraduate degree's there isn't that sort of thing, not really. Again, there is a huge disparity between teaching and exams at universities as they are more just regulated themselves. Also just because its the same for speciality training doesn't mean you can extrapolate the same process for GEM, there are a lot of differences between those two processes.
But there are other modalities of assessments for GEM though, it's not just purely because you have a degree - you'll get in.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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I can't comment on medicine admissions but you said you had a hard time even once you transferred unis to the "better" one. Did you at any point seek help/support for your issues? Did you claim extenuating circumstances or seek reasonable adjustments? Were your issues relating to a disability? I know there are some unis where such things wouldn't make a difference to degree classification, but I'd hope they are few and far between :moon:

It's very easy to sit around and wallow and be bitter about getting a 2.2. I'm still bitter about my own 2.2! That said, that won't get you any nearer to your goal. Stop looking backwards, as you probably can't get your degree classification changed. Look forwards: make a new plan and start it from scratch :yes:

Good luck
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2500_2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
It's fine to be welcoming, but I think its a fault in the system to be honest. There is a clear disparity between universities and grades.I sat UCAT and GAMSAT both and got more than high enough scores to get to an interview. But I couldn't from the universities I would have liked because of my 2.2 which is much more challenging to achieve than a 2.1 at a lower ranked institution.
Why don't you just apply to Nottingham where the minimum requirement is a 2:2?
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Democracy
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Sorry but that experience was more than enough to know. I kept in touch with the friends I made there and I asked them what they were leanring, what assignments they had to do and it was much easier.
Er...well, I disagree!

To be honest, other than the grade, I did really appreciate my time at the second university because of the connections I had made and I was able to be inspired by the students around me who were doing amazing things. I had learn't many things which I wouldn't have if I stayed at the other university. It has opened a lot of opportunities as well for me, it's just that unfortunately for me I was just focused on GEM...
Okay well that's good then. Problem solved.

I'm still not understanding why the GEM admissions system needs to change though: if your second uni was such a great learning experience then presumably your 2:2 is entirely down to you, in which case a) you can't ask for special dispensation on account of your university's ranking and b) it's not fair of you to denigrate the 1sts and 2:1s gained by students at other universities based on a supposition that they would have done worse at a higher ranked university.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ecolier)
I, for one, am glad that someone with an Open University degree is on an equal footing as someone who graduated from Oxbridge - as long as they achieve the necessary A-Levels / GCSEs / UCAT / GAMSAT scores (delete as appropriate according to GEM med school). It makes our profession much more open and welcoming.
I agree, it makes the process fair. But not allowing someone with a 2.2 from Oxbridge apply but letting someone with a 2.1 from London Metropolitan University is unfair.

(Original post by ecolier)
But there are other modalities of assessments for GEM though, it's not just purely because you have a degree - you'll get in.
Yes there are. I feel the a high grade on UCAT and GAMSAT can be achieved by anyone regardless of degree classification. A Level students as well as graduate sit UCAT, so it's not about how much you know. With GAMSAT there are students from non-scientific background sitting it and getting a high score, so ahain it's not about how much you know from your previous degree, although it does help. The other factors are work experience (again not based on how much you know - anyone can get this), personal statement and interview.

I would say the distinguishing factor is interview, but all interviews measure different things. Some do look at academics and ask you scientific questions, whereas most are just based on ethical questions, work experience and making sure they know the person knows what they are getting into. So even though there are other modalities of assessment, I think the institution that one went to should be taken in to account.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I can't comment on medicine admissions but you said you had a hard time even once you transferred unis to the "better" one. Did you at any point seek help/support for your issues? Did you claim extenuating circumstances or seek reasonable adjustments? Were your issues relating to a disability? I know there are some unis where such things wouldn't make a difference to degree classification, but I'd hope they are few and far between :moon:

It's very easy to sit around and wallow and be bitter about getting a 2.2. I'm still bitter about my own 2.2! That said, that won't get you any nearer to your goal. Stop looking backwards, as you probably can't get your degree classification changed. Look forwards: make a new plan and start it from scratch :yes:

Good luck
Sigh, yes I know, onwards and upwards. But I just wanted to hear thoughts on this as it was a significant experience and something that isn't spoken about a lot (different universities and grades etc)
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