Friday, 23 December 2011

Now to my med journey so far. pre UCAS app sent off

So I decided to do medicine in about year 11, when I understood that becoming a doctor would be amazing, mostly from watching scrubs, house and greys anatomy. But after getting work experience I just couldn't see my self doing any thing else.

 The first step was GCSE's and unfortunately I was not very informed on how GCSE's are used in medicine (my school has never had a successful medicine applicant) and therefore didn't really revise much and came out with mediocre GCSE grades for a med applicant. 4A*'s 3 A's 2 B's and a C. Fortunately in maths and sciences I gained A*s, however in English Language I gained a B, which restricted me to apply to a lot of universities and might've been the reason why I got a rejection.

So I decided to take Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths at AS level. In year 12 I became more serious of my medicine application and I believe the trigger for this was a friend in year 13 gaining 3 early rejections for dentistry even when he gained 4A's at AS. This scared me and gave me the first taste of how competitive it is going to be to get into medical school. So I started researching a lot online about how I can get into medical school and where should I apply. I fortunately stumbled onto TSR which basically became my mentor on how I can gain a place into medical school. This is where I got to understand how my GCSE's have restricted my med application already and how I need to gain some voluntary and work experience, but also gain 3A's at A level.

So January exams were coming soon and I had 4 exams (chem, bio, physics and s1 maths), and I had to self teach my self chem and physics because our teacher left in september leaving us with a replacement teacher who was absolutely useless.  I was stupid because I underestimated how much hard work A levels is and mistaken it to be just a little harder than GCSE, and how I could cram all the information at the end like at GCSE's. This left me screwed and basically I came out with 2 A's in maths s1 and bio (low A) a B in chem and a D in physics. Yes I was quite upset with these results but this motivated me further to study.

The jan exams had finished and I started my pursuit of work experience and volunteering. For this I met up with my connexion advisor and wrote a couple of letters out to a couple of departments, from which I got a reply from the pathology and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontist department for work experience in the summer. Then I gained 3 voluntary placements (by calling up) at the wrvs shop in the hospital, a nursing home and a primary school. All of these experiences helped me to create a pretty good personal statement.

After this, the summer exams were coming up and this time round I started revision much earlier and prepared much more. I eventually came out with good grades in these coming out with 3A's (bio, chem, maths) and a B in physics at AS. This was the biggest boost to me for studying medicine as I finally thought I had the ability to get into medical school.

After the exams I embarked on all my work experience placements and volunteering weekly, but with this there was another exam I had to take to get into medical school and that was the dreaded UKCAT.

I procrastinated my UKCAT revision and ended up having to book the UKCAT in october whilst my A2 studies. I prepared for it in the end with the kaplan course, and the 600q book and in the end got 680. I was quite pleased with this as I was doing much worser on the mocks. However the UKCAT has quite a lot to do with how lucky you were on the day.

Whilst the UKCAT prep was going on so was my UCAS application prep, and I was writing draft after draft of my personal statement trying to get it perfect. But after my UKCAT I had decided which med schools I want to apply to and these were, Manchester, Barts, Peninsula and Leicester. In the end I sent of my application of on the 13 October.

I think I will end this post here and I just want to say if anybody has any questions or needs help for any of the above just ask it on here or pm on TSR.

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