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26 Oct

UK medicine admissions criteria
<p><strong>6 assessment criteria in UK medicine admissions</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><ol><li>Personal statements</li><li>Extracurricular (largely hospital work experience)</li><li>Aptitude tests (BMAT, UKCAT)</li><li>GCSE grades</li><li>A-Level grades</li><li>Interviews</li></ol><p>Our university selection should be based on the criteria above. Every university puts different weightage on the 6 criteria above and only a few will be perfect in each of the 6 criteria. The aim is to perform well with competitive edges in as many criteria as possible and avoid exposing our loops/weaknesses. This means the need to strategically apply to universities with relatively small emphases on our loopholes. We will talk about these criteria 1 by 1 (except the interviews).<br>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Personal statement</strong></p><p>In writing a strong medicine personal statement we want to cover the following 4 aspects in the personal statement:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><ul><li>Empathy</li><li>Teamwork</li><li>Leadership</li><li>Academic Potential<br>&nbsp;</li></ul><p>You don’t want to write “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor since I was young”. Once the admissions officers read this, you will be out because they want to see that you’ve seriously thought about becoming a doctor. If you’ve always wanted to become a doctor from a very early young age, this can suggest you’ve accepted that medicine is really your paths without knowing what medicinal career entails.</p><p><img src=""><br>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Extracurricular – Hospital Work Experience</strong></p><p>Work experience needs to be impactful (like shadowing surgery). UK is not so impactful and more likely to experience day to day, ordinary doctor’s life. It is definitely harder to obtain these opportunities in Asian countries as there isn’t such system in place for welcoming high school students to experience hospital work so largely relies on family and friend’s connections for finding one.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The kind of experiences you can get out include:</p><ul><li>Interaction with patient&nbsp;</li><li>Understanding the important of team work during surgeries<br>&nbsp;</li></ul><p>You will not need an official transcript or letter from the university to prove your hospital work experience - UCL is the only university that asks for official script of hospital work experience. The others don’t ask for it because hospitals normally can’t give out such transcripts but can check on the genuineness of the experience through interviews.&nbsp;</p><p><img src=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>For competitive application, we should be looking at 3 hospital work experiences, 2 weeks long each. Ideally not all in the year preceding UCAS application but over 2,3 years to show you’ve built up the interest in medicine over a long time period. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Aptitude tests</strong></p><p>There are three types of universities:<br>&nbsp;</p><ul><li>No aptitude tests required (e.g. Liverpool)</li><li>UKCAT (most medicine schools)</li><li>BMAT (around 6 including Oxbridge and Leeds)&nbsp;</li></ul><p><br>For applying to Oxbridge. BMAT is very important as this is one edge that we can excel against home applicants. Average BMAT score is 5.5 - from section 1 (9), section 2 (9) and section 3 (6) - while average BMAT score for successful Oxbridge applicants is 6.2 so this is where applicants want to be aiming at.&nbsp;</p><p><img src=""></p><p>UKCAT requires speed reading that requires very good level of English and therefore regarded as a lot harder for international applicants because of this. Relatively speaking UKCAT will require 5 times more preparation than BMAT. As an international applicant we want to make UKCAT our edge and therefore should look at 2800.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p><p>From the first ever UKCAT practice test we can expect to be able to increase our score by 800 max but on average 300-400.&nbsp;</p><p>………………………………………………..</p><p><i>Universities to choose if UKCAT is your edge: South Hampton</i></p><p><i>Universities to choose if UKCAT is your loophole:&nbsp;</i></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>GCSEs and A-Levels</strong></p><p>It’s easy to do well in A-Levels while it’s harder to do well in aptitude tests. So we want to make sure we get the basics well equipped. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Many international applicants won’t have GCSEs which means we want to avoid universities whose weightage on GCSEs is relatively high, e.g. St. Andrews.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p><p>For those who have GCSEs but not so good we want to avoid universities who rank their applicants by grading (i.e. the highest grade achievers at the top and lower graders at the bottom) and choose universities that assess GCSEs with cut-offs. By cut-offs we mean universities that will treat applicants with 7As above as equal. Grading is the usual method and the most popular amongst universities.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p><ol><li>In terms of difference between Cambridge and Oxford, we have two differences. Cambridge looks at UMS (where the average UMS mark of successful applicants is around 92). In contrast, Oxford doesn’t look at UMS and only looks at the grade bands.&nbsp;</li><li>For international applicants that don’t have GCSE qualifications, Oxford offers conversion system where fantastic BMAT score can be converted to count as GCSEs, compensating the lack GCSEs acting as the loop hole for most international applicants. In this respect, of course it’s obviously very competitive to be admitted to Oxford medicine but in terms of qualifying for the interview stage, you are more likely to acquire interview interview invitation from Oxford than a university like St Andrew’s.</li></ol><p><img src=""></p><p>The reason why Oxford and Cambridge (and Cardiff to some extent) don’t mind such GCSEs, A-Levels is because as world renowned universities they receive applications from a large population of international applicants with different academic qualifications and they view GCSEs and A-Levels as not so standardized.</p><p>………………………………………………..</p><p><i>Universities to choose if GCSE is your edge: St Andrew’s</i></p><p><i>Universities to select if GCSE is your loop hole: Oxford, Cambridge</i></p><p><i>Universities to select if A-Levels if your edge: Edinburgh, Glasgow</i><br>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>*FAQ</strong></p><p><strong>How important is English proficiency for international applicants?</strong></p><p>English proficiency is definitely important and you will need to achieve over the required IELTs grades. That’s to prove that you will be good enough to study using English for the next 6 years of medicine course because by the time you finish 6 years of medicine course, you will have no problem working as a doctor in English.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Is submitting IELTs score at the time of UCAS submission more advantageous than after obtaining the offer?&nbsp;</strong></p><p>No.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>If I am unable to find hospital work experience, will opportunities such as volunteering at care homes, disable children’s charities be able to substitute? If so what are the recommendations for starting point for search?</strong><br>&nbsp;</p><p>Barnados – Day-center for young people with learning disability</p><p>Three Wings Trust – Organisation for children with disabilities</p>