The benefits of BScing - Why you should do an intercalated degree

One of the biggest decisions you will face in your medical school life is whether to spend an extra year doing the intercalated BSc. Let me make that decision easier for you guys - JUST DO IT. Trust me on this one. If you get the opportunity to do one, cling onto it like you never have before. You can thank me later!

OK, so I'm not saying this because at UCL we HAVE to intercalate. I mean, we do have to. However, I think that I would be advocating this even if it wasn't compulsory. And only after finishing the year do I realise the true value of the iBSc, and how fortunate I am to have done it at such a great academic institution.

Therefore, I have made a list of a few reasons why I think you should intercalate if you have the opportunity to do so. The reasons I will write are varied and will appeal to the many kinds of people there are in medical school - some of you (myself included, to an extent) won't do anything unless it is truly useful in the future; others may simp…

Medical School Interviews - do sweat the small stuff!

So it is that time of year again, when all your friends seem to be getting medical school interviews, and you are just chilling there with a UCAS screen that has been unchanged since 11.50pm on October 14th. However, if you are lucky enough to have received an interview invite, you have probably Googled at least twenty times to find some last minute tips and preparation advice, and the majority of posts and articles focus on what you should be learning for the interview. And don't worry, I will mention that in this post. But the main reason I wrote this post is because I want to mention some small but key things which I think will help you gain an edge and really allow yourself to perform well at the interview.

How Oxford use the BMAT and GCSEs - a guide to undergraduate Medicine (A100) applicants

Whoever told you that getting loads of A*s at GCSEs don't matter when it comes to Medicine is probably right. That is, if they aren't applying to Oxford. Or Birmingham. Or Cardiff. I'm sure you get the picture by now, but if you are lucky enough to have a really strong performance at GCSEs, then read on for some more information about how Oxford will view your application.

Oxford mainly use the BMAT and GCSE performance in determining whether an applicant will be invited to interview. Therefore, if you have an amazing GCSE performance, such as having all A* grades, then your BMAT score does not need to be as high compared to somebody who has 80% A* grades at GCSE.

How Imperial use the BMAT - a guide for Medicine (A100) applicants

Imperial are one of the original 'big 4' medical schools that has been using the BMAT for many years. They are the only medical school that have a absolute BMAT cutoff and publish this on their website. In this post, I have explained exactly how Imperial use your BMAT score to decide whether you get an interview.

The advantage of knowing this information beforehand is that you can judge how confident you are for the BMAT and then decide whether you want to apply. However, it does mean that if the BMAT doesn't do as well as you would like, your other areas can't compensate as the cutoff is a strict one.

Alternative Medicine League Table - a ranking based on foundation programme score

Who even cares about rankings, right? Chances are that, however you feel about the validity of the CUG or Guardian tables, you will definitely be influenced by a universities rank on the league tables. Even the universities themselves pride themselves on strong rankings, whether national or international. But are the current medical school rankings reflective of the five years ahead? I decided to compile my own rankings based on foundation school applications, so read on if you are interested!

Right about now, you are probably doing some window shopping on what medical schools you would like to go to. Chances are, you have gone to a couple of open days and either loved/hated the place, and are trawling around the internet for any information that could help you pick exactly where you are going to spend the next 5/6 years of your life.

It's all in the numbers... A few things to think about with application statistics

Bonjour everyone!

Please excuse the French; I have just come back from a week-long trip from Canada for a short family holiday, and the last time I actually had any knowledge of the language was back in my GCSE days (how quickly the last five years have flown...)

I wanted to quickly say a big congratulations to those of you that received the A/AS level results you wanted this Thursday - I know how hard it is to get good grades in these exams! And to those of you that didn't get the grades you wanted, just remember that when one door closes, another one opens - you may not end up following your plan A, but if you keep working at it, you will end up loving it in the place that you do eventually end up. The important thing is to not let this stop you from working towards achieving your goals!

Some boring yet useful admissions statistics...

Hello everyone, hope you are all having a fantastic summer break!

Before I start with the main part of the post, I just want to say a huge congratulations to those of you who got A level and GCSE results recently. The media seem to be unable to not mention the falling pass rates and grade fixing, so getting the results that you have been aiming for really deserves a celebration.

For those of you concerned with Medicine applications, it is getting close to that time of year again and so I'm sure that those of you who recently got your AS results will be browsing around as to which medical schools you will be sending your application off to.