liaxoxo
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(Year 13) For my grades I believe I will get ABB which is enough to get me into my firm choice queen mary. My original plan was to then study biomedicine and eventually then go into medicine.

However I realised I could also take a gap year and apply for the reduced medicine offer schemes as my family is low income. Is it work doing this and risking not getting any offers and having to do biomed wasting a year? Or should I take this chance and not have to struggle as I know biomed to med is hard.

Any advice?
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medicnia20
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NEVER put yourself in the position to do graduate entry medicine when you’re a school leaver!! is it extremely competitive, because there’s basically half the number of places for the A18 course vs A10 course, but also because you’ll be competing with people who may have several degrees, or degrees beyond just the bachelor in biomedical sciences you’ll get. that already is completely reason to take a gap year, but as you say, it’s much more expensive paying £9.25k a year for 3/4 years just to apply for a course you have a very slim chance getting accepted into 😬

personally i would highly recommend you to just take a gap year and resit your a levels, or the ones you got a B in (considering most medicine offers are AAA) unless you’re not 100% sure about pursuing medicine in which case simply go for biomedical sciences- because if you’re thinking of pursuing medicine or anything else, 9/10 times you should choose anything else :rolleyes:

hope that helps
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Turning_A_Corner
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(Original post by medicnia20)
NEVER put yourself in the position to do graduate entry medicine when you’re a school leaver!! is it extremely competitive, because there’s basically half the number of places for the A18 course vs A10 course, but also because you’ll be competing with people who may have several degrees, or degrees beyond just the bachelor in biomedical sciences you’ll get. that already is completely reason to take a gap year, but as you say, it’s much more expensive paying £9.25k a year for 3/4 years just to apply for a course you have a very slim chance getting accepted into 😬

personally i would highly recommend you to just take a gap year and resit your a levels, or the ones you got a B in (considering most medicine offers are AAA) unless you’re not 100% sure about pursuing medicine in which case simply go for biomedical sciences- because if you’re thinking of pursuing medicine or anything else, 9/10 times you should choose anything else :rolleyes:

hope that helps
Where has this idea that any indecision is a sign you shouldn’t do medicine come from? I’d argue it’s a sign you have varied interests and you should strongly consider intercalation while doing a medical degree. I feel it’s likely a TSR myth that’s sprung up in a vain effort to try and reduce competition.

I’m doing medicine (hopefully) next September. Doesn’t stop my greedy brain wishing I could do master’s degrees or even a PhD in about five or six different things. But I’ve settled on medicine because it’s the one thing that aligns most closely with all my interests and career goals. I’ll settle for reading and be grateful that I’ve managed to do two degrees beforehand.

OP, if you have a genuine interest in Biomed for its own sake and you can see yourself being happy with a number of career options in this area, do it. If you think you’re very likely to still want to do medicine at the end of it, the sheer cost of doing another 5 year medical degree (which might be something you have to consider given competition levels and your own stats with GAMSAT, UCAT etc) should be enough to sway you toward trying to do as well as you can with your A levels and applying for medicine now.

If you are undecided, taking a year off to get work experience and maybe doing a couple of courses with the OU or similar might be something good to do to help you make up your mind. But please don’t think that your indecision means you’re unsuited to medicine. If anything, it will ensure that when you do make the decision, it will be a considered one. Too many people go for medicine without considering the other options available to them, blinded by the fact that medicine is, on the surface, the best paid but also, arguably, one of the least rewarding and most demanding in many respects in the early years.
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Incidentaloma
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(Original post by Turning_A_Corner)
Where has this idea that any indecision is a sign you shouldn’t do medicine come from? I’d argue it’s a sign you have varied interests and you should strongly consider intercalation while doing a medical degree. I feel it’s likely a TSR myth that’s sprung up in a vain effort to try and reduce competition.

I’m doing medicine (hopefully) next September. Doesn’t stop my greedy brain wishing I could do master’s degrees or even a PhD in about five or six different things. But I’ve settled on medicine because it’s the one thing that aligns most closely with all my interests and career goals. I’ll settle for reading and be grateful that I’ve managed to do two degrees beforehand.
Encouraging people to be as sure as possible about their degree choice seems more of a helpful way to reduce competition and stress for them, rather than a cynical way to reduce competition for other people. There are people who could get into A100 but who would really struggle to get into A101, and while some applicants might be able to afford a five-year course in med as a second or third degree, for lots of people (perhaps the majority) the cost would be prohibitive. Doing another degree first (however interesting they might find it) could put them in a position where they're caught between the unaffordable and the unattainable. A lot of people genuinely don't seem to realise how difficult GEM entry is; there are so many posts in which students are reluctant to resit lower than average A-levels, but who post about their biomed plans as if getting a first and a top UCAT/GAMSAT score and then a GEM place is a dead cert. It helps to encourage decisiveness in this situation. And unless I'm misremembering, you posted that you sat the UCAT several times and this application was you wanting to give medicine one last try? That suggests that you knew it was for you all along, and it was not getting in that was problem, not that your other interests were too strong.
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Turning_A_Corner
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(Original post by Incidentaloma)
Encouraging people to be as sure as possible about their degree choice seems more of a helpful way to reduce competition and stress for them, rather than a cynical way to reduce competition for other people. There are people who could get into A100 but who would really struggle to get into A101, and while some applicants might be able to afford a five-year course in med as a second or third degree, for lots of people (perhaps the majority) the cost would be prohibitive. Doing another degree first (however interesting they might find it) could put them in a position where they're caught between the unaffordable and the unattainable. A lot of people genuinely don't seem to realise how difficult GEM entry is; there are so many posts in which students are reluctant to resit lower than average A-levels, but who post about their biomed plans as if getting a first and a top UCAT/GAMSAT score and then a GEM place is a dead cert. It helps to encourage decisiveness in this situation. And unless I'm misremembering, you posted that you sat the UCAT several times and this application was you wanting to give medicine one last try? That suggests that you knew it was for you all along, and it was not getting in that was problem, not that your other interests were too strong.
You’re not misremembering but you are confabulating. I turned down an offer to do medicine once, withdrew once due and didn’t get in once because I was under-prepared. I’ve never scored less than in the seventh decile for the UCAT. I don’t really see how that’s relevant.

I don’t disagree that doing another degree first - whilst in the time before top up fees et al would have been a good idea - is now an option loaded with risk and should be discouraged in the first instance. My issue is with people saying “if you’re caught between medicine and something else, do something else”. What I’m saying is that there’s nothing wrong with applying for medicine whilst you have other interests. Given that virtually all medicine courses offer people an opportunity to study another degree via intercalation, having other interests as well as medicine is by no means prohibitive to exploring those other interests. As you say, I never lost interest in medicine. Whilst I’m glad I did other things as well, having those other interests doesn’t render me unsuitable for medicine, as my two offers to study it over the years would attest. Arguably the advice to “do something else” would have been (and actually has been) financially detrimental to me.

I agree also that, with the exception of people for whom money is no object, GEM should not be anyone’s plan from the outset as there are simply too many things that are beyond your control. I don’t believe I wrote anything that fundamentally contradicts this.

I agree also that the decision to apply to medicine should be an informed one. I don’t actually see what it is you’re disagreeing with me about.
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nexttime
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(Original post by liaxoxo)
(Year 13) For my grades I believe I will get ABB which is enough to get me into my firm choice queen mary. My original plan was to then study biomedicine and eventually then go into medicine.

However I realised I could also take a gap year and apply for the reduced medicine offer schemes as my family is low income. Is it work doing this and risking not getting any offers and having to do biomed wasting a year? Or should I take this chance and not have to struggle as I know biomed to med is hard.

Any advice?
Lots of factors here:

First, the reduced offer schemes aren't any less competitive as far as I'm aware. They might even be more competitive (medicine with a foundation year courses typically were). That would give you an approx 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 chance of being successful if you apply by this route, at a guess.

However, with your grades this could be significantly lower. Predicted grades correlate pretty linearly and substantially with getting in, possibly because people who do well at A-level also do well in UCAT, interview, etc. So it could be a lot lower than 1 in 3-4, but its hard to tell.

Second, you can re-take A-levels - some med schools do accept that these days. You'll need to do your research to find out which - the 'am I good enough' megathread can help with that (though obviously you'd want to re-check closer to the time before you apply).

And the final consideration is how much of a problem taking a gap year would be for you. What would you do? Would you look for a job? Would you find one? Will your parents want rent if you stay with them? And the question arises - if you do get rejected from all medical choices, the most likely outcome, what will you do then? Another gap year? You could do that right - get a non-graduate job like retail or something, keep applying until you get in no matter how many years it takes. That would be your best chance of getting into medicine.

Or... there are lots of other medical-related careers out there. And GEM - its a fair bit more competitive sure, but you could just keep reapplying every year from the position you otherwise find yourself - presumably a better one than if you were taking gap years. Its not your best chance, but factoring in life priorities that aren't just 'get into medicine at all costs' for many it is the best option

Its a big decision. Most people who get rejected from medicine (who might find themselves in a similar position to you) do not take a gap year and do not, in the end, apply to GEM - they find their calling elsewhere.
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becausethenight
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(Original post by liaxoxo)
(Year 13) For my grades I believe I will get ABB which is enough to get me into my firm choice queen mary. My original plan was to then study biomedicine and eventually then go into medicine.

However I realised I could also take a gap year and apply for the reduced medicine offer schemes as my family is low income. Is it work doing this and risking not getting any offers and having to do biomed wasting a year? Or should I take this chance and not have to struggle as I know biomed to med is hard.

Any advice?
This is a big decision and as said above lots of factors.
Other things to consider: why you want to do medicine and the work experience you have, how likely you are to make a competitive application (I assume you've looked into WP schemes carefully and know for sure you're eligible for the reduced offers, for example) and why you might get ABB (I recognise that this year is TAGs so the grades may not be representative).

If you can take a gap year and are set on medicine, that will be the easiest way into medicine. If you're not at all sure and can't take a gap year, just bear in mind that GEM is competitive, expensive, and not guaranteed, so it is worth having a backup plan that is acceptable to you.
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