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Can i get into oxford medicine?

I am very keen and hopeful to get into medicine at Oxford, but am not sure if I will be able to make it to the interview stage

GCSE grades: nine 9s, however about 30/180 other students in my school got the same results, and I have heard that the golden number of A*s at GCSE for oxfod is 10, and that Oxford weigh GCSEs very highly along with the BMAT. Is it worth doing another GCSE whilst in year 12 to increase my chances of a spot?

A-levels: Chemistry, biology, psychology. ALICE grades of A*AA, but realistically I think I could achieve A*A*A. Will doing psychology A-level instead of triple sciences damage my chances of getting in (other than the BMAT. I cant tell as in 2022 about 12% of applicants only did chemistry and only one other science whereas about 8% got in.

I have planned to enter an essay competition, however it is run by the university of Cambridge, which is Oxford's rival, will this damage my chances of getting in by making it look like I am confused as to where I want to apply?

Other parts of my application is that I am a part of St. John ambulance, have done a MOOC on dementia, run medsoc club at school, am about to start volunteering at a care home, hospital and football matches (as a first aider), and have work experience in a surgical unit (didn't see any surgery tho) and am entering another medical related competition. My EPQ was on a neurodegenarative disease so is medical related.

Also, do you have any recommendations to strengthen my application (other than reading books and olympiads) and make me stand out

I am quite average in terms of my school, all the students are very academic and many apply for Oxbridge, but only about 1 or 2 get accepted for medicine per year, and those who do often say it is for widening participation reasons which I do not qualify for (selective state-school)
Realistically, do I stand a chance?
Reply 1
Original post by oxfordhopefulxx
I am very keen and hopeful to get into medicine at Oxford, but am not sure if I will be able to make it to the interview stage

GCSE grades: nine 9s, however about 30/180 other students in my school got the same results, and I have heard that the golden number of A*s at GCSE for oxfod is 10, and that Oxford weigh GCSEs very highly along with the BMAT. Is it worth doing another GCSE whilst in year 12 to increase my chances of a spot?

A-levels: Chemistry, biology, psychology. ALICE grades of A*AA, but realistically I think I could achieve A*A*A. Will doing psychology A-level instead of triple sciences damage my chances of getting in (other than the BMAT. I cant tell as in 2022 about 12% of applicants only did chemistry and only one other science whereas about 8% got in.

I have planned to enter an essay competition, however it is run by the university of Cambridge, which is Oxford's rival, will this damage my chances of getting in by making it look like I am confused as to where I want to apply?

Other parts of my application is that I am a part of St. John ambulance, have done a MOOC on dementia, run medsoc club at school, am about to start volunteering at a care home, hospital and football matches (as a first aider), and have work experience in a surgical unit (didn't see any surgery tho) and am entering another medical related competition. My EPQ was on a neurodegenarative disease so is medical related.

Also, do you have any recommendations to strengthen my application (other than reading books and olympiads) and make me stand out

I am quite average in terms of my school, all the students are very academic and many apply for Oxbridge, but only about 1 or 2 get accepted for medicine per year, and those who do often say it is for widening participation reasons which I do not qualify for (selective state-school)
Realistically, do I stand a chance?

Hi, I'm a graduate of Oxford and have tutored a couple of students who have gone on to receive offers, so I thought I'd answer some of your questions.

Your GCSEs are perfect and there is no need to take an extra one. Don't worry about your A-level choices, they are also fine - you have Biology and Chemistry which is the main thing, and taking Psychology is a good option as it probably involves more essay writing than Maths/Physics.

The biggest thing that will affect whether or not you receive an interview or not is your BMAT score as this is the main tool they use to differentiate applicants who all have amazing GCSEs/predicted A-level grades etc. - you need to make sure to do your best and aim to score in the top percentile of candidates. You also need to make sure that your UCAS personal statement reads well, conveys your interest in medicine as an academic discipline as well as a career path, and that you get your personal voice across, but I'm sure you're very capable of doing that.

Beyond this, there isn't much else that is going to affect your chances of receiving an interview. I would certainly say it would be valuable for you to get care home experience as it shows you've made an effort to get a real insight, but it's not something that is going to sway your application versus students who have a higher BMAT score. Reading various medical books, doing olympiad etc. is fine too and worth mentioning in your statement, but ultimately the BMAT will be the deciding factor when trying to sort between so many amazing applicants. The US university process gives more weight to extracurriculars, awards etc. but in the UK that just isn't the case and there's far more emphasis on just grades and the admissions tests.

Final point on the Cambridge essay competition - there is no way at all that this could possibly damage your chances, and if you were to win or place as a runner-up in the competition, it would only be seen as a positive. Yes Oxford and Cambridge are rivals but only in a playful, competitive spirit - there is no animosity at the student level and certainly no favouritism/bias on an admissions level.

In summary, my advice would be to 1. Make sure you prioritise your A-levels first and foremost, as you need to get A*AA or higher regardless of how your applications go this year 2. Practice BMAT early and diligently, and get some help from students who have done it before if you can, and 3. Also make sure you write a decent personal statement during the summer holidays too. Also take the care home role and it's going to be valuable for medical applications in general, but beyond that only do stuff you genuinely want to do in your spare time and will enjoy. Make sure to double check the volunteer experience requirements of both Oxford and other universities so that you know that you've done enough hours.

If you have any questions feel free to reply or drop a DM, happy to help :smile:

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