Thompsontwins
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Hi. I'm a doctor (for 20+ years). My daughter is in year 13 (and not even remotely considering medicine!) but several of her friends have been applying to medicine. It has made me realise how little many state schools know about this process. I've therefore offered to help support the application process in a couple of my local schools. I have spent weeks going through @ecolier and @GANFYD advice on here and am getting to grips with how things work nowadays (so different from my day!). But I have a few specific questions. Would it be possible for me to pm then or would it be best for me to ask them on here? Thank you!
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Helenia
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Feel free to ask on here, there's a few more of us around who can help out with answers sometimes!
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nexttime
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Just ask on here. Then the answers can help others too!
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Thompsontwins
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Ok thank you.
Some of these questions might seem daft!

1) This year it seemed that all the students doing BMAT did it in November after applying. But those who are thinking they might need to reapply next year are saying they are going to do it in August (presumably at the same time as UCAT). Did the August sitting not happen this year or have I misunderstood the process?

2) When do medical schools update their requirements, enabling students to decide which ones it's sensible for them to apply to?

3) I understand that there's a change happening at the other end of the process - I know how foundation places have been offered in the last few years - but I hear that this is changing. Can anyone give me any (brief) detail about this? One of the major issues for one of the schools I'll be dealing with will be managing the "snobbery" about some medical schools being better than others - I think it would help if I'm up to date with foundation school application processes...

Those are the questions I have for now. Thank you so much for any help!
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nexttime
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(Original post by Thompsontwins)
Ok thank you.
Some of these questions might seem daft!

1) This year it seemed that all the students doing BMAT did it in November after applying. But those who are thinking they might need to reapply next year are saying they are going to do it in August (presumably at the same time as UCAT). Did the August sitting not happen this year or have I misunderstood the process?

2) When do medical schools update their requirements, enabling students to decide which ones it's sensible for them to apply to?

3) I understand that there's a change happening at the other end of the process - I know how foundation places have been offered in the last few years - but I hear that this is changing. Can anyone give me any (brief) detail about this? One of the major issues for one of the schools I'll be dealing with will be managing the "snobbery" about some medical schools being better than others - I think it would help if I'm up to date with foundation school application processes...

Those are the questions I have for now. Thank you so much for any help!
Others may be better placed to answer. I think the August BMAT was cancelled due to covid this year but is due to return, and with regards to 2) - there isn't a specific time - hopefully before the deadline You won't have your UCAT result until quite close to application time though, so if you're looking at entry requirements after you've got that you're probably ok.

Re: 3) - no one knows yet! There are changes every few years and no doubt that will continue. The key recent/upcoming things are that 1) there is a trend away from awarding points for intercalated degrees and all additional points from degrees or publications are scrapped from 2023, barring a big U-turn. There is a public letter here. This is also being reflected further on in the career in other applications, though plenty do still use them as things stand. and 2) the UKMLA is coming from 2025. To my knowledge they haven't even said what time of year it will be taken though, let alone whether or how it might be used for Foundation Program applications. They have only said its going to be a standardized exam based on current med school curricula, unless others know more.
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ecolier
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(Original post by Thompsontwins)
...1) This year it seemed that all the students doing BMAT did it in November after applying. But those who are thinking they might need to reapply next year are saying they are going to do it in August (presumably at the same time as UCAT). Did the August sitting not happen this year or have I misunderstood the process?
Yes as said the September BMAT (the early BMAT is now in September and the late one in November) was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID.

The early one will not be accepted by Oxford A100 and BC98, so unless you are applying to one of these two always aim to take the earlier BMAT if possible.

2) When do medical schools update their requirements, enabling students to decide which ones it's sensible for them to apply to?
Depends on the med schools themselves, hopefully soon?

However the 2022 version of https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2...hools-2021.pdf will hopefully come online in June / July.

3) I understand that there's a change happening at the other end of the process - I know how foundation places have been offered in the last few years - but I hear that this is changing. Can anyone give me any (brief) detail about this? One of the major issues for one of the schools I'll be dealing with will be managing the "snobbery" about some medical schools being better than others - I think it would help if I'm up to date with foundation school application processes...

Those are the questions I have for now. Thank you so much for any help!
Yes as nexttime says we don't know this yet (I sort of assumed you meant Medicine with a Foundation Year courses there!). Currently we think that the UKMLA scores will not be involved, but 3 years is a long time in politics (yet a short time for med schools planning!) so who knows.
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Thompsontwins
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Amazing thank you both.
I had read that it has been said that the UKMLA wasn't going to be used for ranking for foundation schools but I find it hard to imagine its not being in the future if it is shown to be reasonably objective.
All your advice is so helpful; I'm really grateful. I'm sure I will have more questions over time. It has been quite a shock to me this year to see two of the would-be medics who have amazing grades and very good UCAT and BMAT and yet have possibly not even got an offer (hopefully they will have but from my observations on here it's looking less likely). But I bet none of them even know that there is one medical school which would give them extra points for going to a school in our county. Students on here have a huge advantage from those of you who are very knowledgeable!
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nexttime
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(Original post by Thompsontwins)
Amazing thank you both.
I had read that it has been said that the UKMLA wasn't going to be used for ranking for foundation schools but I find it hard to imagine its not being in the future if it is shown to be reasonably objective.
I dunno, if it does happen I think it will be because their arms were really twisted into it. I'd suggest their aim is not to make sure all the best students get their first choice and all go into the big cities - that is if anything counter-productive. I'd suggest their aim is actually to introduce a bit of randomness to make sure high achieving juniors are spread out nicely, but to do it without being directly unfair and without getting too many complaints. The current situation with the SJT having most of the weighting achieves that nicely!

But they do already seem to be preparing the audience for comparisons between med schools, and I wonder if that might lead to new pressures on them.

It has been quite a shock to me this year to see two of the would-be medics who have amazing grades and very good UCAT and BMAT and yet have possibly not even got an offer (hopefully they will have but from my observations on here it's looking less likely).
There's been a big jump in competition this year and we aren't really sure why. It remains to be seen if that is part of a continuing trend, or if its a covid one-off and things will be back to normal next year. Make sure those students consider all their plan B options, including gap year if they did that well!
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ecolier
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(Original post by nexttime)
...There's been a big jump in competition this year and we aren't really sure why. It remains to be seen if that is part of a continuing trend, or if its a covid one-off and things will be back to normal next year. Make sure those students consider all their plan B options, including gap year if they did that well!
I thought we have a pretty good idea why... we discussed in https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6766498

Grade inflation would have played a big part - people are reapplying because they have got much better grades than expected.

And potentially COVID inspiring more students to pick the medical career?
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nexttime
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(Original post by ecolier)
I thought we have a pretty good idea why... we discussed in https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6766498

Grade inflation would have played a big part - people are reapplying because they have got much better grades than expected.

And potentially COVID inspiring more students to pick the medical career?
I wouldn't say were were "sure", especially given the increase has been trending across multiple years, but that thread is a good place to read about possible reasons yes (and yes I should probably have mentioned CAGs above).
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Thompsontwins
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Thank you. It's there a reason that Oxford don't allow the earlier BMAT sitting? It's it just to avoid too many people applying? (Or to stop people NOT applying if they think their scores will be too low?)
But Cambridge are happy with the earlier sitting?
Thank you so much for this:
https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2...hools-2021.pdf
I will be looking at that before I meet with the students!
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Thompsontwins
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(Original post by nexttime)
But they do already seem to be preparing the audience for comparisons between med schools, and I wonder if that might lead to new pressures on them.
Sorry could I just check what this means? Do you think that the future is that there will be more comparison and therefore will be back to the days of higher tiers and lower regarded med schools? Or are you saying the opposite?
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nexttime
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(Original post by Thompsontwins)
Sorry could I just check what this means? Do you think that the future is that there will be more comparison and therefore will be back to the days of higher tiers and lower regarded med schools? Or are you saying the opposite?
A statement from here is:

"We recognise that others may use the data on schools’ results for ranking or league tables. We’ll discourage the use of simplistic measures to rank schools and make sure that when the data is used, it’s appropriately explained and put into context."

Makes me think they are anticipating there being 'rankings' of results being published.

And the relevance was that in light of that, especially if there is a big difference, if you're still using an EPM measure that is just decile within med school it becomes a little farcical at that point and they may find they are under pressure to change the way it works.

Its well known that some graduates do much better than others, even years after graduation, so this wouldn't exactly be new. It might bring it to the fore in terms of publicity and directness though.
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Thompsontwins
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Thanks everyone for your help so far.
I'm starting preparing for my sessions with the students...
Is there an easy way I can discover cut-offs this year for UCAT / BMAT for selection for interview for each med school?
And is there an easy way I can discover specific contextual criteria for each med school? (I had no idea how different they all were).
Thank you!
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Emily5243
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(Original post by Thompsontwins)
Thanks everyone for your help so far.
I'm starting preparing for my sessions with the students...
Is there an easy way I can discover cut-offs this year for UCAT / BMAT for selection for interview for each med school?
And is there an easy way I can discover specific contextual criteria for each med school? (I had no idea how different they all were).
Thank you!
Individual medical school websites will provide you with a lot of information about contextual criteria, selection processes and maybe some cut offs for this year and previous years although some medical schools don't publish their cut offs until after the application cycle is finished (so later this year). You could look at freedom of information requests for cut offs and other information if you can't find it on med school websites
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Thompsontwins
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(Original post by Emily5243)
Individual medical school websites will provide you with a lot of information about contextual criteria, selection processes and maybe some cut offs for this year and previous years although some medical schools don't publish their cut offs until after the application cycle is finished (so later this year). You could look at freedom of information requests for cut offs and other information if you can't find it on med school websites
Thanks Emily - I have found the information on individual websites but I was hoping someone might have collated it all in one place already before I spend hours doing that very thing - too much to hope for!
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GANFYD
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(Original post by Thompsontwins)
Thanks Emily - I have found the information on individual websites but I was hoping someone might have collated it all in one place already before I spend hours doing that very thing - too much to hope for!
TCL can you come with your magic fairy dust, please??

Easy links to all WP criteria (this year's should be out soon), just go to the bottom of each page and there is a link/more details
https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2...hools-2021.pdf
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Thompsontwins
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(Original post by GANFYD)
TCL can you come with your magic fairy dust, please??

Easy links to all WP criteria (this year's should be out soon), just go to the bottom of each page and there is a link/more details
https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2...hools-2021.pdf
Thank you very much!
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Thompsontwins
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Can I ask another question? - Edge Hill - is this really an absolutely tiny medical school with only 30 places a year? If so what are the advantages/disadvantages of applying here? Is there a plan to grow it?
Will the deciles for foundation programme apply at Edge Hill just like in the other med schools?
Thanks!
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Thompsontwins
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Sorry. More questions.
On the website about medical school applications it gives number of applicants per place and number of applicants per interview - is there any data on offer rates anywhere central?
And is there any value at looking at these sorts of stats?
On face value a very high UCAT score (and meeting the other basic criteria) when applying to, say, Lancaster with a 3.8 applicant to interview ration would seem to give better odds of getting to interview than applying to Plymouth with just 1.4 applicant to interview ratio (given that they have fairly similar ratios of applicants to places) but I can't help feeling it must be a little more complicated than that?
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