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Should i apply straight away or take a gap year??

My predicted grades are A*AB (mock grades ABB). The problem is that I want to apply to medicine and there are only a couple unis with entry requirements lower than AAA, and I don't qualify for any contextual considerations.

I'm thinking of taking a gap year so I can spend this summer and Year 13 focusing on getting my grades up instead of practicing for entrance exams and interviews, but my parents are really not keen on the idea.

What do you think I should do??
Reply 1
I don’t do medicine, but I took a sort of gap year (I resat two a levels, and worked full time) and I can confidently say it was a great decision. I had the opportunity to get my grades up, and save money for university. It also gives you time to think about any future options, travel etc.

ultimately if you feel like there’s going to b a disparity between your predicted grades, and what you actually achieve 100% take a gap year and apply with your achieved grades. I was rejected by a uni I wanted to go to because of my predicted, but I ended up doing better than what they asked for lol.
Reply 2
Original post by whatwashecooking
My predicted grades are A*AB (mock grades ABB). The problem is that I want to apply to medicine and there are only a couple unis with entry requirements lower than AAA, and I don't qualify for any contextual considerations.

I'm thinking of taking a gap year so I can spend this summer and Year 13 focusing on getting my grades up instead of practicing for entrance exams and interviews, but my parents are really not keen on the idea.

What do you think I should do??

I would apply strategically during year 13 even if your predicted grades are not as good as you had hoped. Medicine is a highly competitive application process and many don’t get in even with the grades, so it’s better to give yourself the extra application cycle, even if it’s only a trial run for a gap year application. You may be lucky and get an offer or more, but worst comes to worst you’ll have experience of the process and hopefully it’s interviews etc so that once you have your grades if you need to reapply you have a slight advantage.
Why not both?
Reply 4
Original post by whatwashecooking
My predicted grades are A*AB (mock grades ABB). The problem is that I want to apply to medicine and there are only a couple unis with entry requirements lower than AAA, and I don't qualify for any contextual considerations.

I'm thinking of taking a gap year so I can spend this summer and Year 13 focusing on getting my grades up instead of practicing for entrance exams and interviews, but my parents are really not keen on the idea.

What do you think I should do??


I think focussing on getting good grades is very important. However, it is possible to do that alongside applying for medicine. But it is hard.

On the flip side, applying for medicine is hard whenever you do it and many people take more than one cycle to achieve their ambitions.

The challenge is that to apply this cycle you must do UCAT and or BMAT. Bookings for UCAT arenalready quite full. People generally do better on their second attempt (or so I understand).

If me, i would look to see when the best UCAT date would be for you this summer. It takes a bit of dedicated prep. Do the UCAT. Try your hardest. Then go on the what uni megathread and see what the experts say you can apply to. If its not many, thats your answer. If however its enough to give you a strong chance I would personally say have a go at it.

Many med schools dont actually look at predicted grades, some will accept the predicted grades you have. The trick is to combine them with your UCaT/SJT score enough to be strategic.

If you do the UCAT this way it will take up some of your summer yes, it might give you enough to apply, but if it doesnt then it will give you the experience to help you get a higher score next year.

Many many people take a gap year. Some do it through choice. Some do it because they have to resit their A levels. Some do it because they were unsuccessful first time around and have learnt from that and come back bigger and stronger with achieved grades and more experience and slay the interviews and get offers. A productive gap year for medicine is a great advantage.

It is also worth noting that getting the ps done and in can be a productive exercise to help you refine your application for next year. So not wasted work.

Lots of places dont even look at it. But i personally think its good exercise for you as an individual to aid reflection and self improvement. Plus it wont be wasted effort this year as you will be able to use it as a base for next.

Personally, if i was completely undecided about an application this year and next I wouldnt do both UCAT and BMAt. I would do UCAT first and see how it goes and decide from there. BmAT will take up more time and fitting it in around actual application prep is hard going.

The work for interviews. Yes that can be time consuming. But frankly, you dont know that you will get one so odd to say Im not doing it because it will be too much to prep for.

If you are lucky enough to get more than one interview - a lot of prep will serve both. Also if you have the choice/chance to ram the interviews in before christmas that gives much more focussed mocks /work time for A levels next year.

You do what works best for you. But I do think that your parents make a good point. Keep your options as open as you can. If that means exploring the UCAT this year, go for it. Equally a focussed and peoductive gap year can be a very good thing for medicine. Do understand though that this might extend to 2 gap years as lots of people arn't successful first cycle. So it will need to be a risk you are happy to take.

Good luck either way.
(edited 10 months ago)

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