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not enough extracurriculars for medicine at oxford

Hi, I'm currently in year 11 and about to finish my gcses but it feels I don't have a large enough portfolio for medicine. I have not done any work experience for medicine and the only things I have done is attend maybe 1 - 2 lectures that are vaguely linked to medicine. Outside of medicine, I dont have a wide range of extracurriculars either; I've achieved a silver in the ukmt once in year 10 and a bronze this year, and I used to play the piano from y7 - y 9 but I havent gotten far. But that's about it. I'm worried because I've seen so many people with like lists of achievements (dofe, ukmt, pink kangaroo etc) who also want to apply for medicine but dont believe they'll get into oxford, so considering I have much fewer achievements than them, do I even have a running chance? My gcse grades arent the best either. I know some of my classmates join cadets for medicine, etc but I cant find any opportunities near me. Is it pointless to hope for Oxford? And could I still have a chance of getting into Oxford if I start now? But then how much work would I have to do over the next year?
Hey there, thanks for posting a question in the Medicine forum. :biggrin:

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Megathreads
(Please read the first post, before then posting any further questions you have within that thread.)
The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread
The Ultimate 'Am I Good Enough For Medicine?' Angst Thread
Medicine A-Level subjects queries
Work Experience and Voluntary Work

2023 Applicants:
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2023 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2023 Entry
Medicine 2023 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2023 Entry
Medicine Interview discussion 2023 Entry
2023 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Index of Individual Medical School Applicants' threads 2023 Entry

2024 Applicants :
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2024 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2024 Entry
GAMSAT 2024 / 2025 entry discussions megathread
UCAT 2024 Entry Discussions Megathread
Medicine 2024 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2024 Entry
Medicine Interview Discussion 2024 Entry
2024 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Medical Schools Index 2024 Entry

2025 Applicants :
Official Thread: (Undergraduate) Medicine 2025 entry
Official Thread: Graduate Entry Medicine 2025 Entry
GAMSAT 2025 / 2026 entry discussions megathread
UCAT 2025 Entry Discussions Megathread


Other application years:
Official Thread: (Undergraduate) Medicine 2026 entry
Official Thread: Graduate Entry Medicine 2026 Entry

Useful Articles:
GCSE Requirements for Medicine
Everything you need to know about the BMAT
Work Experience as a Graduate or Mature student
Medicine Personal Statement Advice
Medicine Personal Statement Advice (Graduate Entry)
Interview Frequently Asked Questions
MMI Medicine Interview Tips
What to do after an unsuccessful first application
Funding medicine as a second degree

If your query is answered by one of the Megathreads or articles linked above, and you would like us to close this thread for you, please reply to this thread with just the words "thank you". A member of our team will then get it locked.
im in a similar position to you. oxford looks at gcse grades a lot so if they arent the best, it would be more stragetic to apply elsewhere. also remember that it isnt about quanitity or quality of what you do, it is how you reflect on it. smash ur a levels, UCAT, interview, do some volunteering and try ur best to do as much work experience as possible and u should have a solid chance. at the end of the day, as long as u get into one med skl then u can be a doctor.
make sure u r able to demonstrate these core skills one way or another:

motivation to study medicine
organisation
strong academic ability
problem solving
risk management
honesty
responsibility
conscientiousness
communication (spoken and written)
teamwork
empathy
resilience
treat others with respect

and its a lot abt how u reflect on what u do and what did u leaen from ur experiences rather than what experiences did u do
Original post by seagull11
Hi, I'm currently in year 11 and about to finish my gcses but it feels I don't have a large enough portfolio for medicine. I have not done any work experience for medicine and the only things I have done is attend maybe 1 - 2 lectures that are vaguely linked to medicine. Outside of medicine, I dont have a wide range of extracurriculars either; I've achieved a silver in the ukmt once in year 10 and a bronze this year, and I used to play the piano from y7 - y 9 but I havent gotten far. But that's about it. I'm worried because I've seen so many people with like lists of achievements (dofe, ukmt, pink kangaroo etc) who also want to apply for medicine but dont believe they'll get into oxford, so considering I have much fewer achievements than them, do I even have a running chance? My gcse grades arent the best either. I know some of my classmates join cadets for medicine, etc but I cant find any opportunities near me. Is it pointless to hope for Oxford? And could I still have a chance of getting into Oxford if I start now? But then how much work would I have to do over the next year?

u need to do stuff that is actually relevant to ur subject, such as extra reading and subject related competitions. i can assure u that oxford will not care about a grade 8 in piano or a gold dofe award, just saying
Original post by honeybadger213
u need to do stuff that is actually relevant to ur subject, such as extra reading and subject related competitions. i can assure u that oxford will not care about a grade 8 in piano or a gold dofe award, just saying


yes super curricular is a lot more important. extra curricular is purely to tick off some boxes that u arent some anti social freak, but if u dont tick these boxes of communication then ur interview wont go too smoothly.
Reply 6
Original post by honeybadger213
u need to do stuff that is actually relevant to ur subject, such as extra reading and subject related competitions. i can assure u that oxford will not care about a grade 8 in piano or a gold dofe award, just saying

I see. I've tried to apply for work experience opportunities like sja locally but I cant find any available onesin my area, only spaces available like 2-3 hours away by train. I know that's not an excuse but I've been looking through the internet for something but I really cant find anything. Although there are online work experience opportunities i feel it is not as effective as being physically there, so what should I do? I've briefly looked at local hospitals as well but it seems sort of intimidating working in a hospital and taking an interview, and I'm not sure if there's age requirements.
Reply 7
Original post by honeybadger213
u need to do stuff that is actually relevant to ur subject, such as extra reading and subject related competitions. i can assure u that oxford will not care about a grade 8 in piano or a gold dofe award, just saying

Also I haven't gotten either of those, I missed the application for dofe and havent gotten half as far in that in piano, so I'm assuming that won't help my case either
Original post by seagull11
Hi, I'm currently in year 11 and about to finish my gcses but it feels I don't have a large enough portfolio for medicine. I have not done any work experience for medicine and the only things I have done is attend maybe 1 - 2 lectures that are vaguely linked to medicine. Outside of medicine, I dont have a wide range of extracurriculars either; I've achieved a silver in the ukmt once in year 10 and a bronze this year, and I used to play the piano from y7 - y 9 but I havent gotten far. But that's about it. I'm worried because I've seen so many people with like lists of achievements (dofe, ukmt, pink kangaroo etc) who also want to apply for medicine but dont believe they'll get into oxford, so considering I have much fewer achievements than them, do I even have a running chance? My gcse grades arent the best either. I know some of my classmates join cadets for medicine, etc but I cant find any opportunities near me. Is it pointless to hope for Oxford? And could I still have a chance of getting into Oxford if I start now? But then how much work would I have to do over the next year?

you have tons of time, most people do the bulk of their supercurriculars during year 12! Just know the difference between supercurricular and extracurricular --> oxford doesn't care about sports or music for medicine, they only want to see that you listened to medicine lectures, read medicine books, podcasts, articles, etc. Get work experience for year 12 and good luck my friend😀

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