How to Get Into Medical School (Part 2)
In Part 1 we covered: Getting the grades, work experience and personal statement. Here a few other things you need to cover to get into medical school.
A number of universities require the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT), which include: Cambridge University, Oxford University, UCL University, Imperial College University, Brighton University, Leeds University (and others). Check out the BMAT website for preparation resources (past papers and the syllabus). It is advised that you spend at least 3 months preparing in order to maximise your chances of achieving a high score. Many Medical Schools will not look at your personal statement if you don’t achieve some sort of cut-off value (also applies to the UCAT), so it is in your best interests to prepare and practise as much as you can. When going through past papers make sure you understand why your answers are right or wrong: It is important to fully understand the principles and concepts being tested in the BMAT. Prepare, practise, prepare, practise!
There are many views on how to prepare for the UCAT, formerly UKCAT, (University Clinical Aptitude Test). Some say you can’t prepare for it at all because it’s some kind of intelligence test and your intelligence is ‘fixed’. This is far from the truth. I know so many people who scored poorly/averagely on early attempts and then skyrocketed in later attempts. The UCAT score is something you can definitely improve upon if you commit to regular practice. The more you practise the more you can improve your score. Check out the UCAT website and find practice questions. It is important to start preparation early to identify weaknesses because it can take a while for you to improve on your scores. Practise, prepare and practise and prepare some more – you get the point!
The interview is the ‘end game’. You must give enough time to preparing for it. ‘Winging it’ is the worst approach you can take. Read our previous article on how to prepare for medical interviews and become an applicant who stands out from the crowd.
You should feel a lot more confident about what to do if it is your dream to get a place at medical school. It is up to you to put in the work to maximise your chances of success. Don’t let yourself down by not doing the work you know you’re supposed to do to succeed!