BMAT Hot is it used by Medical Schools?

(50 Posts)
Stokesay Fri 15-Mar-13 18:38:10

My DS is currently keen on applying to 3 BMAT Med schools. It seems pretty high risk as he won't take the test until after his application has gone in.

I read on here somewhere that the 4 BMAT unis use the scores in the 3 sections in different ways, which might spread the risk I suppose.

Does anyone mind sharing how Ox, Cam, Imperial or UCL use the BMAT scores?

Yellowtip Fri 15-Mar-13 19:38:42

Hello again. My DS applied to two BMAT schools (Oxford and Imperial), and two which didn't use either the UKCAT or the BMAT. Two posters on MN have said this was remarkably arrogant (specifically the not taking of the UKCAT) so what they'll make of your DS heaven knows! (my view is that if those are the ones he wants to apply for, wing it, but it certainly is high risk). Clearly he has full or nearly full marks in all his public exams up to now, which will make it a modified risk (that's reading between the lines, apologies if I'm wrong).

Oxford explains in detail how it uses the BMAT on its website, and the explanation is very clear. In outline, it feeds the BMAT results, deconstructed, into the computer along with the GCSE A* results as a percentage of the number of exams taken (and modified for school). The top slice make it to interview and the bottom slice are rejected and the middle band are looked at by a human being and additional factors may, for some of those applications right on the cusp, come into play.

Cambridge, Imperial and UCL are different (and invite many more to interview), but others on here will explain those better than I can myself.

alreadytaken Fri 15-Mar-13 21:29:01

It is high risk. This year I'm aware of an applicant with excellent GSCEs and a reasonable BMAT who wasn't interviewed at Oxford. It also means 2 London universities. There have been some interesting discussions on mumsnet about being a student in London now. Of course if you live in London the high accommodation costs may not be as much of an issue.

Cambridge colleges vary in how they use the BMAT but it's one part of a process that places a lot of weight on AS results. The median AS score for medics last year was, if I remember correctly, 96%. Some colleges probably the less popular ones issued invitations to interview before the results were out. Others place more weight on the BMAT than on the interview. Some colleges do not seem to pay attention to the essay section, others do. Kings has its own essay. One college likes high maths scores. There is quite a lot of published information on the characteristics of those who get places at both Oxford and Cambridge and that includes information on their BMAT scores.

Imperial have a cut off for the BMAT and applicants who exceed that are interviewed. They interview in stages with applicants who have the highest scores normally interviewed first. There is a cut off for each section but the cut off for the essay section doesn't exclude many applicants. The cut offs vary from year to year. The BMAT requirement is likely to be less than that required for Oxbridge. Imperial have a high ratio of interviews to offers.

UCL don't have a cut-off and applicants have claimed to have offers with below average scores. They ask questions about the BMAT essay at interview.

Medical admission procedures have been changing recently and may change again next year. A new section was trialed for the UKCAT this year (but not used in the selection process) and that may change both how it is used and who uses it. University websites didn't keep up with the changes this year. At open days you will soon discover that what medical schools really expect from applicants exceeds the website basic requirements. If you can't attend open days the most up to date and accurate information is likely to be on the Student Room application threads.

alreadytaken Fri 15-Mar-13 21:42:42

sorry I'm tired tonight and not clear. Imperial don't actually interview a lot, if they do interview you have a good chance of an offer.

Yellowtip Fri 15-Mar-13 22:32:05

Tbh *Stokesay two BMAT unis is probably the sensible route if you're in the highest achieving bracket. DS was considering Oxford, Imperial, UCL and Birmingham/ Bristol for some while but reckoned that that was just a soupcon too edgy. He had no particular designs on any UKCAT uni above Birmingham and Bristol so saw absolutely no point messing up the last few weeks of a summer prepping for it. A close friend of his opted for exactly the same unis and got four offers out of four and DS got three out of four (Bristol rejected very early, before interview). If your DS has super stellar results and ticks most of the obvious boxes then there's no particular reason why he should be a UKCAT sheep. He needs one offer only, but it should be a uni where he really wants to study. The better he's done so far along his educational route, the less he should need to compromise.

alreadytaken Sat 16-Mar-13 09:07:03

OP the BMAT is an exam aimed for high achieving young people and the average standard is therefore still very high. Therefore in aiming at 3 BMAT universities your son could be perceived as over-confident and possibly arrogant. In fact it's not quite as much of a risk as people might think because UCL don't require a particular score and the Imperial cut-off tends to be about the average for the first two sections and below average for the essay. However there is no guarantee that an able young man will do well on the BMAT, it's still a risk.

What sort of doctor does he want to be? Young people, encouraged by their schools, can focus on a university's reputation to the exclusion of all else. Sorry being called away, will return later

Yellowtip Sat 16-Mar-13 09:44:35

Stokesay you are going to encounter strong opinions on MN from those who diss Oxford and Cambridge as med schools on the grounds that they aren't 'hands on' initially, in the way many other schools are. This spirals downwards into accusations that those who opt for one or other don't have any genuine vocation, but are merely seduced by dreaming spires, or their Cambridge equivalent. Often there's a bit of a background to the most vociferous though, so it's wise to ignore smile

It beats me how these adults can't give credit to these very bright young people for knowing their own minds. Certainly the students I see at these places are far more mature and far better informed than the vast majority on MN....

The point alreadytaken makes about London was more germane for me: I'm very keen for all my DC to avoid London for uni if at all possible (that said, it's their call, not mine).

alreadytaken Sat 16-Mar-13 10:14:39

If your son goes on the unistats website
he'll see that Imperial doesn't have a very good satisfaction rating compared to, say, UCL, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Peninsula (although who knows how that will change with the split). Kings were something of a disaster area.

For academic medicine it's still an advantage to have been to Oxbridge but for other medicine the name doesn't matter. He'll meet people who believe the lack of patient contact in the early years is a disadvantage and they may be interviewing him for medical posts. Is he so competitive that if he finds he is no longer the star pupil he'll lose heart? Will he thrive with PBL or would he prefer a different teaching style. Try to get him to see beyond the academic reputation to how a school will suit him.

I don't have much faith in the UKCAT as a selection method but it was needed this year for many medical schools, including those that value good academics. My own child's long list included UKCAT universities and we vistied to see how they liked them.

Yellowtip Sat 16-Mar-13 11:20:47

alreadytaken what on earth has OP done to deserve the comment about star pupil? You know nothing about her son other than that quite reasonably, he's considering three BMAT unis - presumably because he's a high achiever and likes the look of those unis. Seems fair.

If you stopped for a moment and thought about it then you'd see that a student going to Oxford or Cambridge is vastly more likely to move down the ladder of stardom relative to his peers than those of the same ability going elsewhere.... And Oxford ranks the medical students university wide after each set of exams (even the termly collections), so the rank order thing can potentially hit home early and hard. I think you may need to invert your argument; it isn't sound.

Stokesay Sat 16-Mar-13 12:14:24

Thanks for your replies: you have given me some food for thought.
My DS is definitely not arrogant but probably rather naive at this stage. He does have good academics and is particularly interested in research, anatomy and surgery at the moment, although that could all change. He is not too keen on the concept of PBL and would love to experience big city life in London. Putting these together he simply came up with the BMAT choices, not through a belief that he is better than any other applicant or would actually get in to any of them.
I personally feel it would be a mistake not to include at least two non-BMAT options but he seems to have discounted the rest of the UK as less exciting!
One of the advantages of Oxbridge, in his opinion, is the opportunity to go to London for Clinical years.
I know nothing of student life in London so would be interested to hear of any advantages/ disadvantages you envisage (in addition to the obvious additional expense).
We have only ever visited as tourists.

leosdad Sat 16-Mar-13 16:06:07

BMAT medical schools are a little more traditional in their teaching - theory first then get let loose on patients, some of the PBL schools the students are with patients right from the start.
Also the UKCAT is a bizarre test great if you are good at puzzles.

Some of the med schools outside london have placements/clinical sessions quite a distance from the main med school in places that do not always have great public transport. I have heard that students feel the need to learn to drive and get a car to get to these placements. London students have the advantage of being closer to all their clinical placements which can make up for the expense of london living

If your UKCAT score is not great then it is a good idea to stick to the BMAT unis DD did this and applied to Oxford, Birmingham, Ucl and imperial, and is now part way through the intercalated BSc (compulsory at the BMAT med schools)

Yellowtip Sat 16-Mar-13 17:45:11

DS wasn't up to speed with the finer details of the application process for Medicine in Y12 either Stokesay, but that's par for the course. Of course there will be those whose controlling parents have trawled obsessively through The Student Room and every available website etc etc and e-mailed dozens of tutors and won't leave their poor kids alone (a trait which sometimes spills over into uni life from what I hear), but there must be merit in young people finding out at least some of the info themselves. I didn't have a clue myself before DS dug out the info, except for general Oxford and Cambridge related things such as the different selection criteria and how tough it was to get in and what a crazy workload it was. And I knew of the existence of the BMAT and the UKCAT but I've still never looked at a paper because it would be all Greek to me.

It sounds as if your DS has very a very strong academic background. If you look at the Oxford website for Pre-Clinical, you'll see the profile of those who have got offers for 2013. This data is useful in showing what % of A* are required as a minimum to have a realistic prospect of interview, remembering that the figure is adjusted up or down according to the individual school at which the GCSEs were taken. And alreadytaken has mentioned the sort of AS scores that Cambridge offerees have in their three best subjects: it's high smile It may be that he has straight A* as so many do and AS results in the high 90s as so many do, in which case he's spoilt for choice. But the general rule for success seems to be to play to your strengths, within the unis that you think you'd genuinely be happy at. It's worth saying too (since you mentioned the clinical years) that you can transfer out of Oxfrod and Cambridge but you can't transef in. Something to think about if there's a danger you might get sick of the smoke.

Yellowtip Sat 16-Mar-13 17:48:22

Sorry about the very repetition and the Oxfrod and transef stuff smile But I expect you get the gist.

alreadytaken Sat 16-Mar-13 20:08:40

the mumsnet thread I ws thinking of is here

but I have a vague memory of other discussions.

Medicine applications are different to other subjects. There are between 10 and 20 applicants per place at most medical schools and they are often well qualified. 60% of applicants get no offers and that includes some with excellent grade predictions. Perhaps your son has done his research, realises this already and has decided that he will have a better chance of an offer at the BMAT universities but he may need to be warned. It's a stressful process with students in other subjects receiving offers while your son may still be waiting to hear if he will have an interview. If he does get interviews he may wait months to hear the outcome.

This is a link to universities that students consider to have good nightlife Your son has to live with his choice but could be encouraged to think about what he finds exciting. London is so expensive he might find he wasn't able to enjoy himself as much as he would in other cities. As Newcastle is considered one of the party universities he should know it requires a high UKCAT. Birmingham university has its own train station and is one stop from the centre of a rather large city smile. Talking to students at other universities is something he might want to do and the Student room website is an ideal place to start.

Leosdad made a good point about transport but where students outside London are required to visit distant locations they are sometimes provided with accommodation. If not they may get transport grants, although students complain they don't always cover the costs.

Although intercalated degrees are compulsory at BMAT universities they are increasingly available elsewhere to those that get good marks/want to do them. As your son is academically able and interested in research you should budget for 6 years wherever he goes.

Stokesay Mon 18-Mar-13 13:28:31

Leosdad- it is good to hear that applying to 3 BMAT Unis worked out well for your daughter. The transport cost during clinical years is interesting - maybe London won't be as expensive as I fear.

Yellowtip- the fact that your DS received offers from Oxford, Imperial and Birmingham but didn't get as far as interview in Bristol shows how variable (random?) some of their criteria must be! DS already has a pretty good idea of which courses are out there, but wants to stick to the 3 BMAT and probably another London one on the basis that those are his ideal choices.
If he gets 4 rejections this year, he'll reapply more cautiously next year. He does like Bristol (good anatomy apparently) but it seems a bit hit and miss on getting interviews from what he has heard. We'll see...
I will try to let him get on with it himself!

alreadytaken- Many thanks for the links, I've passed them on to DS, they look very useful. I'd only come across a Guardian one before. His school has warned the aspiring medics that there is only a 50% chance of them getting in this year, but that most get in on the second attempt provided they get the grades. He is the only one of his group of friends applying for Medicine but hopefully the fact he has a 2 year plan for getting in will alleviate some of the stress ahead.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Mar-13 14:26:28

Stokesay I'm not sure that there's much which is random. I can see a good deal of method in the madness.

leosdad Mon 18-Mar-13 18:02:14

DD said someone in her year got offers from Cambridge and UCL but not even an interview at Keele so I wonder if some of the "newer, less well established med schools" go for students with less academics so any offers they make are more likely to be taken up and not just insurance places in case they miss a grade by a mark or so at A2

Yellowtip Mon 18-Mar-13 19:52:08

I think the med schools towards the upper end have to make shrewd guesses too leosdad. The numbers game is complex.

alreadytaken Mon 18-Mar-13 20:47:38

leave your son to get on with it, Stokesay and one thing you can be farly sure he won't think about is the cost. Newcastle private rent examples here In London you could be looking at 150 pounds a week and up. Over 6 years this mounts up. Students can borrow a little more in London but it won't cover the extra costs so unless they get bursaries they will require either increased parental contribution or a job. After the first couple of years there isn't much time for a job.

When students apply for their F1 posts the name and reputation of their medical school count for nothing, although that could always change. It may influence how other doctors see you but how you perform on the job has much more impact. For other subjects university reputation matters more than medicine, the extra cost of being in London is less because courses are shorter and there may be more time for part-time work. Parents are older, hopefully wiser, and sometimes need to encourage their children to consider things they haven't thought about.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Mar-13 21:47:23

My own view is that it's a long journey alreadytaken and that some universities offer things which other unis don't. Personally, I wouldn't wish to grind my own kids down with financial calculations and emotional stuff of that sort. No uni is impossible financially, nor any course (at least not here in the UK).

And I don't subscribe to the older is better/ wiser mantra either.

Goodness, they've got enough on their plate getting an offer - the other stuff will sort itself out.

funnyperson Tue 19-Mar-13 05:53:59

Here is my twopence worth:

The BMAT isn't particularly hard for a student who is v good at science A levels. Its main purpose is to introduce a level playing field when students have done a mixture of A levels or the IB etc.
If your DC wants to apply to BMAT medicals schools there is no point in doing the UKCAT unless he/she needs the exam practice and motivation to revise.
Apply where one is going to be happiest. Some people like the big city. Others don't.
However London is expensive. Imperial medical students in their clinical years can get into academic trouble if they are not managing financially- and this is not uncommon. The loans and bursaries do not cover the cost. It is very very important for parents to think through the financial support they are going to be able to give their child.

Peninsula, Keele, Sheffield, East Anglia are all less famous and well thought of.

The students all go into the matching programme for jobs at qualification and it is worth looking at where the students from the chosen university get placed and thinking about whether DC would like those places.

Yellowtip's son is vvv bright and totally deserved his place. I just dont understand why some people think it is arrogant to choose good medical schools. And of course some medical schools are better than others.
As to the concentration on science at Oxford/Cambridge/UCL etc. This is fine. Anyone who says any student at an outstanding medical school doesn't get enough clinical experience is most likely suffering from sour grapes.

Stokesay Tue 19-Mar-13 11:41:31

This is all so useful and not information DS could get from a prospectus, or even open day- thank you.
In chatting with DS it has transpired that it was the surgeon DS spent a week with (after much tenacious letter writing) who suggested DS should apply to the BMAT schools. Interestingly, the surgeon said he had some reservations about the local med school's anatomy teaching for medical students interested in surgery.
Out of the various great doctors DS has encountered in work shadowing/ volunteering it seems to be this particular surgeon who has really inspired him and boosted his confidence to apply.
Funnyperson- where could DS find information about where clinical students from a particular medical school get placed? Does it tend to be in the same region as the medical school or can they go anywhere in the UK?

funnyperson Tue 19-Mar-13 13:29:27

Stokesay usually on the medical school website. Alternatively the 'deanery' linked to the medical school will list all the hospital rotations in that area.

Studies have showed that the proportions entering general practice vs, for example, surgery, vary between medical schools.

alreadytaken Tue 19-Mar-13 17:37:18

a study you don't have to pay for - concentrates on surgery but that is the area that seems to interest your son

Clinical training at medical school is in a specific geographic area, F1 posts may be anywhere in the country.

Helspopje Tue 19-Mar-13 17:58:56

I have interviewed for Pre-Clin Medicine at Cambridge for some years - the applications are by college, not for the whole uni and they all reserve the right to structure and score their interviews as they please. We used the basic BMAT score to generate a cut point and interviewed all above, assigned places to those who were clearly at the top of the tree and re-reviewed sections such as the essay/ethics when trying to decide between applicants for the last few places.

If unsuccessful at the chosen college, the applicants details and scores can be put 'into the pool' so that other colleges can consider them as many unsuccessful candidates have awesome scores, predicted A levels >99% across the board and amazing application forms. Some years I am confident that I wouldn't stand a chance of getting a place were I to have been applying now.

Re. London Schools - it is very expensive to be a clinical student in London and I am not convinced by the standard.

Would recommend he also consider Edinburgh and Bristol if he likes a traditional-style course and considers St Andrews if he is stuck on the concept of transferring for clinical years as a decent number go to Camb/Ox/London schools too, not just the well trodden path to Manchester.

I have to say though, I have been very impressed by the F1s/2s I have met who have come from the 'newer' style schools - partic UEA and Penninsula. For a totally random suggestion, the students and young doctors I meet from the Czech republic schools (which actively recruit from the UK and around Europe and study in English) are downright amazing! Many local students (and many post graduate junior doctors) know a fraction of what these guys seem to consider core knowledge.

funnyperson Tue 19-Mar-13 19:20:38

Thats interesting that admissions are decided by each Cambridge college, even for medicine.

London medical schools teaching standards vary. UCL is the best. St Georges is vv good.

I dont agree with what Helspopje says about the Prague students. Their knowledge of neurology is often terrible. Indian students are far better if from one of the better Indian medical schools.

Helspopje Wed 20-Mar-13 09:54:50

true - I have worked with some from CMC Vellore and AIIMS who were outstanding.

Stokesay Wed 20-Mar-13 15:26:10

Thank you for the links funnyperson and alreadytaken - it does seem to broadly endorse his own views which is reassuring.

Its interesting to hear of your experiences working with graduates of overseas med schools. I think I'll avoid raising these with DS however, unless he gets to the stage of needing a plan c, as it would add a whole new layer of complexity (and poverty for us).

I am somewhat concerned about living costs for UCL/ Imperial though. I'll have to do some research and see how much more it is likely to cost.

I would really appreciate any thoughts in response to one last question, a bit off topic I'm afraid:
DS has taken himself off and is currently organising a Summer project (bench research) in an area that really interests him at a commutable RG uni having blithely written to the relevant research Professor. His school is not involved in any way.

As it is bench research, would this be seen positively, neutrally or negatively by the London BMAT schools if he mentioned it on the main statement on the UCAS form? I assume Ox / Cam would quite like it but could UCL/ Imp infer that he is not sufficiently patient-focussed (which isn't the case at all)?

He has plenty of patient volunteering and work shadowing and definitely wants to be a doctor but just really enjoys the pure science as well.

Yellowtip Wed 20-Mar-13 17:57:55

The personal statement for any subject, but for Medicine in particular, is obviously going to be a balancing act if one of the choices is Oxford or Cambridge. In that respect applying to three BMAT unis is less problematical than applying for a varied clutch of schools. A personal statement which is overtly academic is clearly going to be a flag to the Birminghams and Bristols that this applicant is applying to Oxford or Cambridge and is likely to accept an offer from one of those two first. In DS's case although Birmingham did make an offer, it asked for A*AA rather than AAA, clearly to rule out any chance of DS holding it an insurance, since it was clear from his grades that he didn't need a push, or to prove himself (he got full marks in every AS exam, had 12A* at GCSE etc etc). I don't think his profile or personal statement would have left the selectors in any doubt that he was applying to one of those two, but that's where he most wanted to go so that's who he directed his personal statement at. Your DS will have to make a judgment call based on how strong an applicant he thinks he is (I'm guessing he's very strong!)

funnyperson Wed 20-Mar-13 19:18:08

Well bench research is an interesting one. On the one hand it demonstrates the ability to work with scientists and lab technicians and can also help a student decide whether he/she wants to do a lab based intercalated degree and if the student is curious he/she might read up on the general research direction of the lab. On the other hand if all one has done is the modern equivalent of southern blots all day and without any appreciation of what a southern blot is or what the clinical relevance might be then it might not be useful.
The Cambridge experts might have a view.
I went to Cambridge the other day and I just want to mention that it is wonderful that all the colleges now take women. Some of the central colleges are truly lovely. In my day there was Newnham, Newhall and Girton, and one had to go to London for the clinical years. Also I have a lot of student friends doing medicine there, having a wonderful time.
Also I met a medical director of a very famous hospital today, who is female, who mentioned how family friendly medicine is as a career. She has 4 children. Just saying, though not relevant to OP.

Yellowtip Wed 20-Mar-13 20:23:41

Well I'm now completely out of my depth now with the introduction of southern blots.

Very interesting indeed though that this medical director considers Medicine family friendly. I'm concerned that Law may not have moved on that much; I'm hoping I've got that wrong.

funnyperson Wed 20-Mar-13 21:19:17

Yes I thought what she said was interesting, though her career path appears to have been smoother than most, doubtless because of excellent interpersonal skills. But the fact is that there are opportunities for flexible training, job shares and so forth in Medicine that simply didn't exist before. Also there is the opportunity to really reach the top of the tree, for example to be a president of a Royal College, if so desired. Intriguingly, a male/female pay difference still exists in the higher echelons, possibly because women take time out to have babies.

Stokesay Thu 21-Mar-13 10:07:50

I read somewhere that more than half of all medical students are female, so its good to hear that it is a family friendly career. Thanks for your thoughts on the bench research.

mum141 Fri 21-Jun-13 18:22:22

In terms of BMAT prep - any recommended books or courses?

Have heard good things from friends about the blackstone tutors med courses - any other opinions or experiences?


LittleFrieda Tue 25-Jun-13 09:49:04

Why would you not at least sit the UKCAT and then decide if you want to sail the same (reckless in my view) course?

Stokesay Fri 20-Sep-13 15:41:41

Just wanted to add a postscript to say that DS decided on 2 UKCAT and 2 BMAT med schools after all. Can't say I'm really looking forward to this UCAS process. I hope the next few months don't prove too stressful- I want to make the most of the time we still have him at home.

alreadytaken Fri 20-Sep-13 17:42:19

unfortunately it is a stressful process but at least the BMAT results are out quite quickly and if they are good then he can expect two interviews and be reasonably confident at them. If they aren't quite so good he sounds to have done some interesting things so he just needs to plan how to talk about them. Although there are a lot of variations the standard questions (why medicine, why here, describe a doctor patient interaction, where do you want to be in .. years time) come up quite often. Perhaps they open with predictable questions to relax the interviewee.

Some people do get 4 offers but not many, he needs to be prepared for rejection. I've heard of people with a Cambridge offer but no others, an Imperial offer and no others and of course some people with hard choices to make. There can be a long wait to hear about interview and a long wait after interview to be told the outcome. Interviews are often arranged at short notice so not only stressful but expensive if travelling by train. We ended up driving to one interview as the train was exorbitant. They also dont always consider students travelling time (so arranging an early morning interview for a student who then has to stay overnight). Some schools are very huffy about a request to rearrange a date, one (London) simply tells you you can't. Dont plan any family holiday this year, interviews can be offered out of term time.

The student room threads for applicants to each school may be e.g UCL medicine applicants 2014) are often supportive. It's possibly an advantage to have no friends applying as it can become a little awkward when one has offers and others don't.

If he gets enough offers to choose encourage him to be sensible. One Cambridge applicant (at least) only firmed Cambridge as his other offer was the same grades. While there was little doubt he'd make the offer (and he did) had there been some disaster the schools may have taken different attitudes.

Should the unthinkable happen and he miss his grades don't panic, he may still have a place.

[wine glass] - I needed it!

TootsFroots Tue 24-Sep-13 00:58:48

I guess he got a decent UKCAT score then grin.

Stokesay Fri 27-Sep-13 09:08:25

Yes he did smile I think the fact he was quite laid back about whether or not he applied to a UKCAT school helped. The BMAT might be a different story though, he knows some very bright students who came seriously unstuck last year.
The UCAS form has gone. One of his classmates has chosen 3 of the same med schools as DS so that will only add to the stress I suppose. I hope that unis don't have an unwritten rule about not wanting to take more than one student from the same secondary school.

Stokesay Fri 27-Sep-13 09:26:00

Thanks for your tips alreadytaken.
DS, at least on an intellectual level, realises he may well get no offers at all. That doesn't mean he won't be upset of course and I think the real challenge will be staying upbeat throughout the long long process and remaining motivated for A2s. DS said that one of his choices doesn't usually give out any offers until March- only six months to go!
I hope all goes well for your DC - they must be off in the next week or so?

YouHaveAGoodPoint Fri 27-Sep-13 12:25:27

The wait is agonising and not just for the kids blush. My DS was the only one applying for medicine and had to wait while all his friends had all their offers. My son was more stressed about it than he thought he would be. He was confident of getting offers but it didn't make the waiting much easier sad

BTW I would be 100% confident that the Uni's don't have unwritten rules about where their applicants come from.

Becks14 Sat 28-Sep-13 07:27:21

My son was in a very similar situ last year and decided to apply to 2 BMat and 2 UKCAT. He has a what I believe are great results so by march this year he had no offers and dealing with him feeling rejected was very tough especially when all of his friends where making plans for uni but I kept saying its okay getting the conditional offers but you have to make the grades , also trying to explain to him that Medicine is such a hard course to get into but at 17 they know everything. So when a late interview came through he was delighted and today we are off to take him to start his course in London. As for the cost we will just have to support him and it really didn't come into the deciding factors it was more about the feel of the uni on the one days.

alreadytaken Sat 28-Sep-13 21:01:48

another week to go, Stokesay. It's quite strange when their friends have disappeared off to uni and they are still waiting (and haven't seriously started packing). Some of the friends were late starters but more went today so the next week is going to be wierd. At least it means they have earned a far amount so can afford to enjoy themselves.

There were interviews in August this year for at least one medical school, although I don't know if it was only for those who had previously applied to the school. We know more than one person who got no offers this year. I expect them to get places next year but its tough on them.

The BMAT seems a bit less peculiar than the UKCAT but there is still an element of luck. It's also an exam for high achievers so even very good students may only get average results.

One important message I forgot - there is no evidence that an early interview increases your chance of an offer. At one medical school, maybe more, I suspect it's the other way around.

helen343 Sun 19-Jan-14 17:02:51

Re. Mum141

I've heard similarly good things re. blackstone bmat and ukcat courses, although can't find ukcat details - do you have a link?


mindgone Mon 20-Jan-14 13:56:06

Stokesay, how is your DS getting on? Any news? I have been reading this thread with interest, as my DS2 is planning on applying this coming year. Sounds like we have a tricky year ahead!

mum141 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:53:26


I don't think the UKCAT course details have come out yet.....if it's any use this is the link I used:

Stokesay Sat 15-Feb-14 15:27:53

I though I'd pop back now that the admissions round is over for DS. He was very fortunate to have offers from his top 3 choices by the end of January so withdrew from the 4th choice, particularly as it doesn't give out any offers until March anyway.
His two firm/ insurance choices are Cambridge and UCL with a UKCAT heavy London school as third.
The process has seemed a lot less painful that he anticipated, apart from the Cambridge interviews, one of which left him feeling completely baffled about what they thought of him and make me think that the interviewers were a bit sadistic really!

For anyone about to go through this, from DSs discussions of the fellow applicants he knows I would say don't underestimate the importance of the UKCAT and BMAT, even if you have stellar GCSE/ AS grades. DC scored in the top 2-3 % of test takers for both UKCAT and BMAT (though not in the essay part) and I think this really helped get early interviews at schools who put a lot of emphasis on these tests.
He practised material from each website before each test and bought the relevant book for each.
He seemed to do virtually no specific interview prep (!) but instead took the view that he was genuinely interested in what he wrote on his personal statement and didn't want to come across as false by learning questions off by heart. As his school offered only one shared mock interview, a friend of DH's gave him a general interview but putting him under a bit of pressure.
So he just needs to get the grades now (A* AA for Cam or AAAE for UCL).

If anyone has any questions let me know!

Stokesay Sat 15-Feb-14 15:58:04

And one afterthought- DS and I disagreed about the need for him to ask a question at the end of the interview to look keen. He thought it would look over keen, so point blank refused to, except for one practical query he had about Cambridge. It mustn't have been detrimental, or perhaps as DS thought, they may have been grateful to not have to answer contrived questions dreamt up to make candidates look good and instead have a longer lunch break grin

mum141 Sun 25-May-14 23:56:43

Last time I checked, details weren't even up yet - now there's only a handful of spaces left.....amazing how many students apply each year.

Apologies Helen343, I don't think the previous link is correct....this is the link I used

aloinlee Sun 06-Jul-14 13:51:08

Thanks for the link mum141.

I wasn't able to get a space for my DS on the Blackstone UKCAT courses, so I ended up emailing them to find out what could be done (turned out to be a blessing in disguise....)

I didn't realise this but apparently they go around loads of schools in the country giving Med courses. Spoke to the school and they were happy to host (and subsidise!) so in the end saved on half the course fee, travel and a long train journey from Leeds to London...

For anyone thinking of booking on any of the courses, I would check first if they are able to come to the school.

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