*MEGATHREAD* - The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread [part 4 of 4]

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GANFYD
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#1
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#1
Read this before posting:

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/att...4&d=1594323463 Medicine 2021 Entry requirements

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/att...6&d=1594334950 GCSEs for Medicine 2021 Entry requirements


Shamelessly ripped from @Hygeia's post from the first part of this thread.

As it's getting closer to the medicine deadline, more and more of these threads are appearing in the forum and people are getting a little frustrated with the them so this thread is for all of those queries (the x uni or y uni questions, the where should I apply with these grades etc).

I'll start with some useful links:
What you might like to consider when deciding where to apply
The pros and cons of various universities
For all your where CAN I apply questions, have a look at the main medicine wiki page which contains links to the GCSE/A Level/UKCAT requirements of each university, allowing you to exclude those medical schools where you don't meet the requirements.
You can use the spreadsheet attached to the first post of this thread to input your data and find out at a glance where you are able to apply.

A couple of FAQs
Which medical schools are easier to get into?
The simple answer here is none of them, all medical schools are very competitive and those with a lower applicant to offer ratio one year are likely to have a much higher one the next year.
However, it is possible to apply smart - for example getting into Birmingham if you don't have the requisite number of A*s would be very difficult where the same number of A*s at another medical school are fine. Similarly, if your UKCAT is not brilliant, applying for medical schools which love the UKCAT might not be very sensible. You can make it easier for yourself by doing some research into the medical schools (using the links I posted earlier).
Should I apply to X university or Y university?
This is a very personal decision you have to make on your own as it is where you may be studying for 5 or 6 years. Do you have a gut instinct over which to go to? What is it you like about each? What don't you like? Have you visited both, if so, which did you feel more 'at home' at? Some people find it helpful to draw up a list of pros and cons for each if they're really struggling to decide. You can also have a look at what current students say about their medical schools in the link I posted earlier.

Any further threads on this topic will be merged with this one and hopefully someone (@meddad or @GANFYD) will respond to each giving advice, however, try to do some research on your own first! I'll add FAQs as and when they come up.

If you are wanting advice about med school applications, we need (as a minimum)
GCSEs and full grade/subject breakdown
A levels, subjects and predictions
UCAT and breakdown of subsections
SJT band
Brief mention of work experience
Any contextual or WP flags
The research you have done and any preferences

It also needs to be remembered that everyone advising here is doing so voluntarily and on top of other commitments, so manners and patience will receive a more favourable response!

Amazing table summarising a lot of advice by TCL :adore::adore::adore:

TCL and I have worked on this together, so most people can check their stats and come up with their own shortlist using this, but will otherwise just be directed back to here - GANFYD

Image
Last edited by ecolier; 1 month ago
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TCL
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#2
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#2
Hi GANFYD can I please have your opinion on Nottingham cut-offs. No crystal balls, but I would like your estimates for:
- safe to apply;
- reasonable chance;
- may be worth a punt depending how much you love it and whether you have safer options;
- would not recommend.

I have sent you a PM, but you may have a flood in your inbox. Is ecolier planning to pop in for the next couple of weeks of craziness?!
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ey2244
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Hi! I would really appreciate any help or guidance as to which universities I have the best chance of getting an interview at. My situation is a little complicated, as I am a reapplicant who didn't get any offers for this year. Last year I applied to Liverpool, Leicester, Leeds and UCL, and got interviews for Liverpool, Leeds and Leicester, but didn't end up getting a place at either one. I resat the UCAT this August (I am not planning on doing the BMAT again) as I want to reapply for 2022 entry.
On results day I found out I achieved A*, A, B, and will therefore have to retake Chemistry in October, and the results for the October exams come out around January (I think). So I think reapplying may be a little more complicated, as some universities might not accept applicants with an October resit.

Here are my stats:

GCSEs:
Maths IGCSE - 8
English Lit IGCSE - 9
English Lang IGCSE - 9
Biology IGCSE - 9
Chemistry IGCSE - 9
Physics IGCSE - 9
German IGCSE - 9
Geography GCSE - 9
Design Technology GCSE - 9
Further Maths AQA Level 2 GCSE - B

A levels:
English Literature - A* (achieved)
Biology - A (achieved)
Chemistry - B (achieved)
I am retaking chemistry A-level this October, and I'm predicted an A.
Will universities count this as a resit? Or will it be fine, because we didn't technically sit exams in the summer?

UCAT:
Overall - 2810
Verbal Reasoning - 610
Decision Making - 690
Quantitative Reasoning - 710
Abstract Reasoning - 800
SJT band - 2

Work Experience:
- 1 week at a neurorehabilitation ward at my local hospital
- working as a domestic assistant at my local hospital during peak of Covid, working in wards such as ICU and Emergency Department, completing rounds of healthcare training
- 6 months volunteering at a local nursery
- gap year: during my gap year I have got a job working as a Medical Laboratory Assistant at the pathology department at my local hospital, and I also plan to volunteer at a local hospital

Any contextual or WP flags:
No contextual points for my school as I went to a private school, but I live in a POLAR4 quintile 2 area, although I don't think this is taken into consideration unless my school also falls under a contextual flag.
No Widening Participation flags either.

Preferences and research:
Based on my research, I think I should be okay for Sheffield and Manchester, though I am not too keen on the PBL aspect of Manchester. Others I am not so sure about - for example, I calculated my score for Birmingham and it comes out as 7.611 - do you think it is safe to apply here? My Band 2 in SJT would be a disadvantage post-interview, so I'm not sure if it's a safe choice. Cardiff don't accept A-Level resits, but I'm not sure if October exams count as resits? For Newcastle, the UCAT threshold for 2021 entry was 2820 - 10 points higher than my UCAT, so I am not sure if it is safe to apply here, and I'm not sure if they accept October resits. For Liverpool - I emailed the admissions team and confirmed that I am OK to reapply there a second time, and they consider October exams a 'first sit' rather than a resit. I know Liverpool had a bad interview-to-offer ratio last year, but I think I have a good chance at getting an interview, so I'm keeping it as an option. For Leicester, I'm not sure if I can reapply, as I applied last year and was rejected post-interview. Bristol take any kind of resits, but I'm not sure if my UCAT is high enough, as the cut-off for 2021 was 2830. I don't think Nottingham will be a good choice, as I score 120 out of 152.

I welcome any advice or suggestions, and thank you in advance for your time!
Last edited by ey2244; 2 months ago
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TCL
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#4
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#4
(Original post by ey2244)
Hi! I would really appreciate any help or guidance as to which universities I have the best chance of getting an interview at. My situation is a little complicated, as I am a reapplicant who didn't get any offers for this year. Last year I applied to Liverpool, Leicester, Leeds and UCL, and got interviews for Liverpool, Leeds and Leicester, but didn't end up getting a place at either one. I resat the UCAT this August (I am not planning on doing the BMAT again) as I want to reapply for 2022 entry.
On results day I found out I achieved A*, A, B, and will therefore have to retake Chemistry in October, and the results for the October exams come out around January (I think). So I think reapplying may be a little more complicated, as some universities might not accept applicants with an October resit.

Here are my stats:

GCSEs:
Maths IGCSE - 8
English Lit IGCSE - 9
English Lang IGCSE - 9
Biology IGCSE - 9
Chemistry IGCSE - 9
Physics IGCSE - 9
German IGCSE - 9
Geography GCSE - 9
Design Technology GCSE - 9
Further Maths AQA Level 2 GCSE - B

A levels:
English Literature - A* (achieved)
Biology - A (achieved)
Chemistry - B (achieved)
I am retaking chemistry A-level this October, and I'm predicted an A.
Will universities count this as a resit? Or will it be fine, because we didn't technically sit exams in the summer?

UCAT:
Overall - 2810
Verbal Reasoning - 610
Decision Making - 690
Quantitative Reasoning - 710
Abstract Reasoning - 800
SJT band - 2

Work Experience:
- 1 week at a neurorehabilitation ward at my local hospital
- working as a domestic assistant at my local hospital during peak of Covid, working in wards such as ICU and Emergency Department, completing rounds of healthcare training
- 6 months volunteering at a local nursery
- gap year: during my gap year I have got a job working as a Medical Laboratory Assistant at the pathology department at my local hospital, and I also plan to volunteer at a local hospital

Any contextual or WP flags:
No contextual points for my school, but I live in a POLAR4 quintile 2 area, although I don't think this is taken into consideration unless my school also falls under a contextual flag.

Preferences and research:
Based on my research, I think I should be okay for Sheffield and Manchester, though I am not too keen on the PBL aspect of Manchester. Others I am not so sure about - for example, I calculated my score for Birmingham and it comes out as 7.611 - do you think it is safe to apply here? My Band 2 in SJT would be a disadvantage post-interview, so I'm not sure if it's a safe choice. Cardiff don't accept A-Level resits, but I'm not sure if October exams count as resits? For Newcastle, the UCAT threshold for 2021 entry was 2820 - 10 points higher than my UCAT, so I am not sure if it is safe to apply here, and I'm not sure if they accept October resits. For Liverpool - I emailed the admissions team and confirmed that I am OK to reapply there a second time, and they consider October exams a 'first sit' rather than a resit. I know Liverpool had a bad interview-to-offer ratio last year, but I think I have a good chance at getting an interview, so I'm keeping it as an option. For Leicester, I'm not sure if I can reapply, as I applied last year and was rejected post-interview. Bristol take any kind of resits, but I'm not sure if my UCAT is high enough, as the cut-off for 2021 was 2830. I don't think Nottingham will be a good choice, as I score 120 out of 152.

I welcome any advice or suggestions, and thank you in advance for your time!
Have you checked whether you meet contextual conditions for Birmingham and Newcastle? Birmingham includes most non selective state schools and Newcastle Partners can just be postcode, I think contextual at either of those might mean your offer would be unconditional with A*AB. Partners cut-off is lower for Newcastle and if you went to a school on the list you get extra points at Birmingham, making it safe.

You should email Leicester and ask as I think you can reapply as long as you were reasonably close. Liverpool and Leicester both accept A*AB, but I think one of them needs A for Chem.

With all the work experience you now have, have you considered Keele?

I think all universities treat autumn after TAGs as first sit.
Last edited by TCL; 2 months ago
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Surfio
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#5
Hi can anyone help me sanity check the appropriate Med Schoold in terms of getting over the UCAT hurdle / securing a chance of interview?

My recent UCAT score is as follows:
VR 570
DM 750
QR 690
AR 690
Total 2690 + Sit judgement Band 1

My GCSEs (7 A*s, 2A and 2B) are as follows:
Maths A*
Numeracy A*
English lit A*
Geog A*
RE A*
Double Sci A* A*
French A
English lang A
Welsh lang B
Welsh bac B

Predicted A levels are:
Chem A*
Maths A*
Biol A
Welsh bac A

Work experience - i qualified as a RNLI lifeguard and worked about 150 hrs over the summer, worked in 2 care homes, and recently shadowed doctors within a Hospital Nephrology dept for 2 days.

I attend a very avg local state comprehensive school in rural Wales - i assumed my postcode would allow me to get contextual offers but this does NOT look correct based on Acorn 3 and Polar 4 Quintile 4 score.

My immediate choices were Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Southampton (perhaps Plymouth as a safer bet). I dont want to go to London - too busy and expensive.

Q1. Do you think Soton and Bristol is too risky? Are the UCAT scores we learn about eg for 2021 the minimum cut off or the Avg?
Q2. Cardiff and Exeter more attainable?
Q3. Anywhere i should focus to leveage my Sit judgement band 1 to my advantage?
Q4. Any others i should reconsider?

All insights much appreciated!
Surfio
Last edited by Surfio; 2 months ago
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TCL
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Surfio)
Hi can anyone help me sanity check the appropriate Med Schoold in terms of getting over the UCAT hurdle / securing a chance of interview?

My recent UCAT score is as follows:
VR 570
DM 750
QR 690
AR 690
Total 2690 + Sit judgement Band 1

My GCSEs (7 A*s, 2A and 2B) are as follows:
Maths A*
Numeracy A*
English lit A*
Geog A*
RE A*
Double Sci A* A*
French A
English lang A
Welsh lang B
Welsh bac B

Predicted A levels are:
Chem A*
Maths A*
Biol A
Welsh bac A

Work experience - i qualified as a RNLI lifeguard and worked about 150 hrs over the summer, worked in 2 care homes, and recently shadowed doctors within a Hospital Nephrology dept for 2 days.

I attend a very avg local state comprehensive school in rural Wales - i assumed my postcode would allow me to get contextual offers but this does NOT look correct based on Acorn 3 and Polar 4 Quintile 4 score.

My immediate choices were Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Southampton (perhaps Plymouth as a safer bet). I dont want to go to London - too busy and expensive.

Q1. Do you think Soton and Bristol is too risky? Are the UCAT scores we learn about eg for 2021 the minimum cut off or the Avg?
Q2. Cardiff and Exeter more attainable?
Q3. Anywhere i should focus to leveage my Sit judgement band 1 to my advantage?
Q4. Any others i should reconsider?

All insights much appreciated!
Surfio
I am afraid you need to rethink your choices, but you do have options. Bristol cut off is likely to over 2800. Unless you are contextual, you probably need A*A*A* predicted for Exeter. For an English applicant we would say Cardif needs 27 for Admissions scoring, but it is different for Welsh applicants so you might be OK.

Would you consider Birmingham or is it too big? Most state schools get you on the contextual list, so worth calculating your score - https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools...interview.aspx. Band 1 helps post interview.

You would get interviews at QUB and Plymouth.

Worth calculating your score for Nottingham.

Look at Keele and Sunderland as they value work experience
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11OME49
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#7
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#7
Hi,

I'm having a difficult time figuring out which unis to apply for, given my stats. Please can anyone help?


GCSEs 3a*, 4a, 3b (English in b)
A levels BCC (maths, chem, bio)
UCAT 2570 600 vr, 610dm, 740 qr, 620 ar, b1
Currently work in NHS for 5 years now.
Gamsat is pending
The research i have done:

ARU - I live in essex so dont know how much they look into that, but cut off was 2600 last year so might be risky
Notts or lincoln - I cant decide either
Kmms - based off previous cut off I dont know if I'll be within this year
St Georges- applying with unknown gamsat results.

Any help is much appreciated.
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ey2244
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#8
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#8
(Original post by TCL)
Have you checked whether you meet contextual conditions for Birmingham and Newcastle? Birmingham includes most non selective state schools and Newcastle Partners can just be postcode, I think contextual at either of those might mean your offer would be unconditional with A*AB. Partners cut-off is lower for Newcastle and if you went to a school on the list you get extra points at Birmingham, making it safe.

You should email Leicester and ask as I think you can reapply as long as you were reasonably close. Liverpool and Leicester both accept A*AB, but I think one of them needs A for Chem.

With all the work experience you now have, have you considered Keele?

I think all universities treat autumn after TAGs as first sit.
Hi, thank you for your advice! Unfortunately I don’t think I meet any of the contextual criteria for most unis as I went to a private school. With this in mind, I’m thinking Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham, and I’m not sure about a 4th option. Thoughts??
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S.j.
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#9
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#9
Hi, I would really appreciate your help as to which unis I could apply to to get the best chance of an interview as I’m reapplying and don’t want to take another gap year. Thank you
My GCSEs are
Chemistry 9
Biology 8
Physics 8
Maths 8
Geography 8
French 8
RS 8
English language 6
English literature 6
Art 6

A levels achieved
Biology A
Chemistry A*
Maths A*

Ucat 2560 b3
590
620
660
680

Work experience- virtual ones
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CoochieMan
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#10
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#10
I think I'm just barely on the first page. Yay

I'm a little torn between my 4th choice. I'm not sure whether to go for Newcastle or HYMS. I know my band 2 disadvantages me, but I'd really like to go HYMS bc I like the uni. I get the contextual points so I was hoping it'd make up for my band?
EDIT:
Are my choices of Aston, UEA and KCL okay?

My stats are below
Spoiler:
Show
999998888766A* 6 in lang, 988 sciences, 9 in maths
A*A*A*A achieved (bio maths cs chem)
3100 band 2
I think I qualify for Newcastle partner program but I don't see a point in doing it. I also get full contextual points for HYMS


Thanks
Last edited by CoochieMan; 2 months ago
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m_bibi
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#11
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#11
I got really bad UCAT ...like really really bad.
2270...I'm stuck I don't know where it will be safe to apply to ? Anyone help plz?
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ath0303
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#12
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#12
I am a re-applicant, got rejections from 2 unis after interviews (Imperial and St. George’s) and 2 pre-interviews (Leicester and King’s). I would be grateful if someone could offer me advice as to which medical school to apply. Dear GANFYD I would really appreciate your help.

My stats below:

A level (achieved)
Biology- A*
Maths- A*
Chemistry- A

GCSEs
Biology -9
Maths -8
Chemistry- 8
History -8
Physics - 8
ICT -A
English language -8
English literature - 7
French -7
Drama -7
Religious studies- 6

UCAT
Total Score 2810
Verbal Reasoning 700
Decision Making 730
Quantitative Reasoning 740
Abstract Reasoning 640
Situational Judgement - Band 2

work experience
I am volunteering at a covid vaccination centre
St Luke’s hospice charity shop for 1 year

No contextual or WP flags

The research you have done and any preferences
I am thinking of Queen Mary London and Leicester. But I wouldn’t mind applying anywhere this year.

Thank you in advance.
Last edited by ath0303; 2 months ago
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saharali005
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#13
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#13
Med 2022 entry
my stats
GCSES
English Language-6
English Literature-6
IGCSE
Maths-8
Biology-9
Chemistry-8
Physics-8
Geography-7
Business-7

A-Levels
Maths-c at AS-im resitting but prediction is looking like a b/a (my maths teacher robbed me and they clocked)
Biology-A at AS-Predicted haven't gotten yet but a/a*
Chemistry -A at AS-Predicted haven't gotten yet but a/a*

UCAT
2710
VR-610
DM-730
QR-680
AR-690
SJT-Band 2

Ive done work experience at a pediatric A&E for 2 weeks during the summer (8 hour days)
Ive also been reading up on neurology and gave a seminar. Ive also volunteered with some refugees

main issue- firstly I'm living abroad but I'm British. I have a house and I travel back yearly and pay taxes. my dads contract is temporary. i haven't been able to come back due to covid. would this impact home status?
second- i don't know how maths is going to go ngl.
where I want to apply: kent and medway, Lincoln, UCLAN (idm international fees for UCLAN), Newcastle- if I'm in the 2nd percentile
what should I do any advice
Last edited by saharali005; 2 months ago
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saharali005
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#14
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#14
(Original post by m_bibi)
I got really bad UCAT ...like really really bad.
2270...I'm stuck I don't know where it will be safe to apply to ? Anyone help plz?
go for unis who only want bands? some unis don't look at the actual score and only SJT. If your sjt is band 2 or above then you'd be fine
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m_bibi
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#15
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#15
(Original post by saharali005)
go for unis who only want bands? some unis don't look at the actual score and only SJT. If your sjt is band 2 or above then you'd be fine
Hey, thank you. Do you know any unis which focus more on the band, thanks I would really appreciate.
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Mike Ikladios
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#16
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#16
Hello, would greatly appreciate it if someone could suggest to me which medical schools I should consider applying to

GCSEs and full grade/subject breakdown
Biology: 9
Chemistry: 9
Physics: 8
Maths: 7
Geography: 7
German: 6
English Language: 6
English Literature: 6
Creative iMedia: Distinction*
Health & Social Care: Distinction

A levels Predictions:
Biology: A
Chemistry: A
Sociology: A

UCAT and breakdown of subsections
VR: 640
DM: 550
QR: 690
AR: 710

Total: 2590

SJT band:
Band 2

Brief mention of work experience
BSMS + ObserveGP Virtual WE
MedicMind 6-month work experience
volunteering at charity shop, reading etc
(hopefully can get real work experience on hospital before interview period)

Any contextual or WP flags
Low Income
POLAR4: Quantile 1 postcode
UCAT bursary
First in family to go to uni

The research you have done and any preferences
- ARU: definitely down, I qualify for there widening participation as well

Not sure for other 3, anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you very much for your support
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saharali005
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#17
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#17
(Original post by m_bibi)
Hey, thank you. Do you know any unis which focus more on the band, thanks I would really appreciate.
i havent been able to find any so far but websites like this https://www.medentry.co.uk/ucat/entr...gically-part-5
https://www.medicmind.co.uk/medicine...my-ucat-score/ these could help
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020200
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Surfio)
Hi can anyone help me sanity check the appropriate Med Schoold in terms of getting over the UCAT hurdle / securing a chance of interview?

My recent UCAT score is as follows:
VR 570
DM 750
QR 690
AR 690
Total 2690 + Sit judgement Band 1

My GCSEs (7 A*s, 2A and 2B) are as follows:
Maths A*
Numeracy A*
English lit A*
Geog A*
RE A*
Double Sci A* A*
French A
English lang A
Welsh lang B
Welsh bac B

Predicted A levels are:
Chem A*
Maths A*
Biol A
Welsh bac A

Work experience - i qualified as a RNLI lifeguard and worked about 150 hrs over the summer, worked in 2 care homes, and recently shadowed doctors within a Hospital Nephrology dept for 2 days.

I attend a very avg local state comprehensive school in rural Wales - i assumed my postcode would allow me to get contextual offers but this does NOT look correct based on Acorn 3 and Polar 4 Quintile 4 score.

My immediate choices were Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Southampton (perhaps Plymouth as a safer bet). I dont want to go to London - too busy and expensive.

Q1. Do you think Soton and Bristol is too risky? Are the UCAT scores we learn about eg for 2021 the minimum cut off or the Avg?
Q2. Cardiff and Exeter more attainable?
Q3. Anywhere i should focus to leveage my Sit judgement band 1 to my advantage?
Q4. Any others i should reconsider?

All insights much appreciated!
Surfio
Further to TCL's advice, maybe also look at UEA. they did reject lots of people in the 2600s last year but they also interviewed a lot less people on account of the grade inflation which likely drove the cut-off up. Your B1 would help you post-interview as well since they look at it here .

EDIT: If you are eligible for contextual points, also consider HYMS since contextual points are available for 15% of their pre-interview selection. Your B1 would also help here also worth 15% pre-interview. Not sure what decile your UCAT is in though but I would assume it'll end up in the 7th decile somewhere. Your GCSEs seem pretty good too so they could be worth a shout
Last edited by 020200; 2 months ago
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020200
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#19
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#19
GANFYD Which of these 3 would you say is most advisable based on my stats for my 4th spot. I'd say my firm 3 choices are safe (HYMS, Leicester, UEA) as we outlined a while back but from the remaining 3 competing for my 4th spot, what would you advise. I've got all the data and info I need for them (they all consider grads and undergrads together) but seems like it's a coin toss :/

Manchester: My UCAT (2760 B1) seems okay but all depends on how much cut-off goes up (you're of the opinion that it'll rise to around Sheffield I think?)

Sheffield: Cut-off was 2740 last year. I meet all their requirements but may rise to/above my score so not sure

Aston: I score 31/36 (mentioned previously). However last year's cut-off was 29 and due to the fact they consider GCSE grades and there was grade inflation with these, cut-off may also go up, just depends on how much

Sorry for the pestering lol but if prodded which would you personally go for?
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mariaknightt
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#20
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#20
Hi, I would love some advice on which med schools to apply to :

13 GCSEs, 4 7s, 6 8s, 2 9s, 1 A*
Biology-7
Chemistry-7
Maths-8
Physics-7
English language-8
English literature-8
History-8
French-9
Geography -7
Latin-9
Greek-8
Italian-A*
Music-8

A-levels predicted: A*AAA

Biology: A
Chemistry: A
Maths: A
French: A*

UCAT
Verbal Reasoning: 570
Decision Making: 640
Quantitative Reasoning: 700
Abstract Reasoning: 620
SJT band: 1
OVERALL: 2530 Band 1 SJT

Brief work experience

BSMS and Observe GP virtual work experience
A variety of online courses, articles and lectures watched, some research done in 2-3 topics, I run 2 science clubs
Volunteering in Covid-19 vaccination centre
2 weeks work experience in a gynaecology department
Kissing It Better volunteer, talking to elderly in homes online
Many extracurricular activities, including music (went to a music college for 6 years, diploma in piano and grade 8 clarinet) and languages (bilingual as well, not sure if I should mention that?)
King's College Hospital Volunteer for a few months in neuro ward

Any contextual info: none

I have read Edinburgh/King's like SJT, is that a an option or is my UCAT score too low?
What other unis should I realistically consider, and what unis could I go for that may be possible?

Thanks so much!
Last edited by mariaknightt; 2 months ago
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