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Medical schools are looking for academically strong applicants who have demonstrated a great deal of effort finding out about what becoming a doctor entails and who show genuine interest in people and care. It takes motivated, compassionate, reliable and hard working people to become a doctor. There are many medical schools throughout the UK, all long established and with good reputations which have taken the role of training the future doctors to work within the NHS.
Choosing Where to Apply
Getting into medical school is highly competitive as many students apply and medical schools have a responsibility to be selective in choosing the doctors of tomorrow. The application requirements vary widely from one school to another, as do the selection formulae. This is a great thing for applicants as it means that even if you do not meet the entry requirement to a medical school program, you are very likely to meet the entry requirement to a different program. Many students apply each year to programs for which they do not meet the requirements while missing out on opportunities to apply to programs where their profiles are evaluated more favorably based on the schools selection formulae. For example, if you have not taken chemistry in your A levels, there is no point applying to a medical school that has chemistry as a required A level.
Undergraduate medicine links
This may sound very simple, but the truth is that many applicants do not know the detailed requirements of each medical school before they apply and thus many students with no chemistry at A level apply each year to medical schools that will not consider applications from students without chemistry at A level. This is for those students a waste of a UCAS choice as they may have been very good candidates for some other medical schools.
One of the most important element of getting into medical school is applying to the right place.
Another common mistake is applicants who have a B in their A-levels applying to medical schools who will not look at any applications that do not have A-A-A at A-levels. Unless you have extenuating circumstances for the "B", this would also be a waste of a choice in UCAS. Some programs consider applicants that do not have straight As at A levels and these are the programs that applicants with lower A-level grades should apply to to maximise their chances.
Looking at selection criteria carefully is important for students with very high academic credentials too. Some medical schools will give you an automatic interview if your UKCAT result is above a certain number or if your BMAT result is above a certain number. If you know you have done well in those exams or are likely to do very well (based on mock exam results), it is worth applying to medical schools that will give you an automatic interview based solely on these results.
When you are applying for medical school, a lot of your effort should be focused on making sure you know the entry criteria of every medical school you are eligible for and apply where you have the greatest chances. It is also worth spending time and effort in preparing for entry exams such as the UKCAT and the BMAT as these carry a significant weight in many selection formulae in British medical schools.
Where you have the greatest chances of getting in is for many people the main factor taken into account when thinking of where to apply. However, some students may also want consider the class size, if undergraduate and graduate students are together in lectures or in separate programs completely, the town the medical school is located in, the length of travel during clinical placements and the overall reputation of the medical school in national and international rankings.
A slight advantage?
Note that applying in 2012 offers a small advantage for students compared to previous years. Normally, a fraction of places are already filled by students deferring entry from the previous year, however, the jump in fees this year has reduced the number of students from 2011 who deferred entry, leaving more spaces open in many programs for 2012.
For A-level applicants, there are 42 programs available from 29 medical schools. Of these, 25 are 5 year programs and 17 are 6 year programs. For the full list of available programs, click the following link: The list of all medical courses UK,
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