When you’re applying to medicine, there are lots of ways you can prepare. The Medic Portal, an official partner of the Royal Society of Medicine, is used by over 500,000 aspiring medics and advisors every year – here they explain how you can get ahead.
A career in medicine is extremely rewarding, but there’s a huge amount of competition – so you’ll need to make your application stand out.
The Medic Portal will guide you through each stage of applying to medicine – from admissions tests to interviews – to help you give your application the boost it needs.
Deciding on medicine
Medicine is not easy. In your application, you’ll need to combine academic excellence with superb communication skills. Before applying for a medicine degree (usually consisting of five years of study and more training after that), it’s worth considering whether it’s the career for you.
The Medic Portal has compiled a list of questions to ask yourself, as well as a guide on putting together an action plan for your steps to medical school.
Choosing a medical school
Still keen? Great. Now, what are your next steps?
Most medical schools in the UK require that candidates study Chemistry and Biology to A-Level, with the most competitive schools requiring A* grades – so it’s crucial you do your research into entry requirements!
Our guide to Choosing a Medical School includes all the information you’ll need – as well as a Medical School Comparison Tool, which allows you to compare each university’s entry requirements and course structure, so you can choose the right course for you.
Most medical schools require applicants to sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT). UKCAT tests a range of skills – including verbal reasoning, spatial awareness and your ability to make decisions in high-pressure situations.
A high UKCAT score is key to a strong application – so it’s essential you practise! We recommend that you spend around four weeks regularly revising for the exam and then two weeks of intense revision and completing practice questions online under timed conditions. From there, you can identify which sections you are struggling with and then focus on those.
Our free UKCAT guide details everything you need to know about preparing for the exam, plus top tips for specific sections.
In 2017, 1 in 2 UKCAT takers used The Medic Portal to prepare for their UKCAT – take a look at what we offer here.
How can you make your personal statement stand out? Universities are looking for a demonstration of a range of qualities, including: teamwork skills, scientific interest, problem-solving and communication skills.
You’ll need to cover the following three questions: Why do you want to study medicine? How have you explored your interest? Why are you a great fit? It’s important to detail your personal motivation for medicine, how you have explored this interest through work experience or volunteering, as well as any wider reading you’ve done.
That’s not easy to communicate in a short personal statement, but The Medic Portal is here to help!
You can see tips on writing your personal statement on our free guide.
Some medical schools require students to sit the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). This assesses your mathematical skills and scientific knowledge - as well as communication skills in an essay-writing section.
The Admissions Testing Service’s Assumed Subject Knowledge Guide is a great resource to revise for Section 2’s Physics, Chemistry and Biology questions. Using past papers will also be a good way to prepare for Section 1’s problem-solving as well as Section 3’s essay question.
You can find out more about each section of the exam, and tips on how to prepare in our free BMAT guide.
Our one-day BMAT Course is packed with carefully tailored strategies – plus our trademark approach to the Section 3 essay.
Preparing for your interview
How much does a mountain weigh? How would you define empathy to someone who doesn’t know what it means? Does euthanasia have a role in modern medicine?
The medical school interview can be the most challenging aspect of your application – and can take the form of either a panel of interviewers or a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). The MMI is a series of stations testing a number of skills, including communication and empathy through a range of scenarios, including role-plays with actors or problem-solving activities.
No matter which type of interview you have, practice is key, so try running through sample questions with a friend or family member to familiarise yourself with vocalising your ideas.
We offer a range of free advice and tips for every type of interview question in our free medical school interview guide.
If you’re not sure what to expect at interview, take a look at our free Interview Question Bank. It has over 100 sample questions and answer guides (including example MMI stations) so you can try these with a friend.
Our unique MMI Circuit recreates a real MMI experience through 20 practice stations to help you improve your performance before your real interview.
The Medic Portal, officially partnered with the Royal Society of Medicine, is the leading resource for all aspiring medics – and those that advise them. Alongside our free guides, we also offer a range of in-person and online learning opportunities.
Have your say about this article on this thread.