DD1 has been turned down by all her choices and is taking a year out. How best to spend her year to increase her chance of success next year?(52 Posts)
That's it really. DD1 has been turned down for medicine by all 4 of her choices. We've been advised by friends that she would do well to work as a HA for a year to gain some experience in a real medical setting and some maturity before reapplying. Any advice gratefully received.
Yes I'm sure that's right creamteas, it was the implication that all it took was to be a 'state school applicant' to get in with BBC that irritated me! As you say, you'd need very exceptional circumstances and an extra foundation course. In the usual run of things, you do not get to medical school with BBC at A-level.
impecunious there seems to be a certain amount of chippiness about at the moment in certain less good quarters of the independent school sector, a blame culture even.
You have to be seriously clever and motivated to get into the top med schools from whatever the sector.
Some state school pupils will have got onto medicine courses with ABB - BBC but this is only in exceptional circumstances after completing either extra work alongside A levels or after passing and being put through their paces on a foundation year. Again this is only open to 'disadvantaged' pupils, the competition for the places are immense i.e 1 place to every 30 applicants and usually they have attended a state school in a non grammar area, where getting 3 A's at A level never happens.
Work experience, in some kind of health setting (old people home, hospital portering etc), from now unroll her next application.
DS is a current medical student and I know more than 60% of medical applicant don't receive a single offer. Many people now apply over 2 or 3 cycles to get a place - reapplication is easier than graduate application which people are often advised, wrongly IMO, to do if they are turned down on first application.
What was her ukcat score? With work, this can be improved a lot! It is far, far more important than you would think from the guidance the medical schools give - it is often the only differentiator between applicants who have fantastic grades and good PS!
Duke of Edinburgh award maybe?
At this point Moonin, probably not worth it unless she has a half finished one she could finish before next application cycle (which starts in only 7 months).
She's finished her Gold DofE! Completed this summer with a 5 week expedition to the Amazonian jungle.
Well that's good OP, as that's something new to add to her next application... Completed gold dofE.
Both my eldest 2 DS did mention "3 sections complete, hoping to achieve gold award soon", on ucas, but hardly impressive as actually having the award. Remember tho its any team work component that's valuable for talking about in interview or writing about... If it is in anyway medical, so much the better!
DS1 got s great interview tale out of his silver expedition, in driving rain one team member started to display hypothermia signs, which DS recognised, and the team then set about warming him in a tent while 2 team members went ahead to the next rendezvous point to get help - it all turned out ok thankfully, but there was much joking between from the team members about how kind their friend had been to get just sick enough to provide a great interview story. Great for all those "tell me about how you overcome a difficult situation type questions!
I was thinking that Yellow is right - and wonder how do med schools find who is seriously motivated? duchesse do you have a B plan? Some people consider graduate route.
Graduate route is possible but even stiffer competition than undergraduate application... Thestudentroom threads and wiki on med school application are well worth reading.
Yellowtip - samuel I think you may be overplaying the prejudice-against-indieschoolstudents card
Actually it was the opposite - I was trying to make the point that just because duchesse's DD is an A grade student, it isn't enough these days to get into medical school. As others have said, you need to be so well rounded, confident, high UKCAT, brilliant PS, references, eloquent, wide ranging work experience. If a state school student can get into med sch with a BBC, then they rightly show incredible potential - they must have done well at interview too. I am all for it - I have DCs at indy and state schools so see both sides.
It's all pretty academic- DD1 is at a state FE college but was at an independent school until she was 16. I don't know which she would assigned to to be honest- her current school, or the one where she received most of her secondary schooling?
duchesse the point about perceived prejudice may be academic to your DD but it's a wider debate elsewhere, which some think is hollow.
Your DD's GCSEs will be contextualised against her old school which is as it should be.
No doubt your DD chose to join the state sector for valid reasons but the whole idea of affluent parents jumping ship to gain an advantage is absurd. University admissions processes are smarter than that.
Yet again, she left her previous school because we could not afford to keep her there. No game, no plan. Simple economics.
Sure, I think you said that at the time. There has been stuff in the press about loaded parents thinking they could dupe the system that's all.
duchesse she's got really good grades even against her indie school: top of the year. She's clearly motivated. I reckon look at upping the UKCAT and if that doesn't work then home in on non UKCAT schools and relatively more BMAT ones. And of course do whatever she can on the work front pending interviews.
It must be very demoralising for such a high achieving hard working student but tell her to hang on in there and once she gets a decent offer as I'm sure she will then she can have her well deserved rest before starting up over again.
Could she do a different degree & then do medicine as a post-grad? I've heard that's an increasingly common route now. I know someone who's hoping to do that. She also looked into volunteering abroad in medical settings for her gap year but decided she didn't really want to leave home!
postgraduate medicine is even more competitive than undergraduate medicine. It's so competitive that some people with degrees still apply for the 5 year undergraduate courses. The funding arrangements could also be an issue. As she will have a good chance of a place next year a gap year seems the better option.
duchesse your DD had an interview at Cambridge and Bristol which is heartening. She might have interviewed very well and prob she had a good PS but consider that there are quite a few candidates competing for each place. This means it is worth she tries again next year.
There are still some substantial barriers in the recruitment process for disadvantaged young people. It's much easier to find out where to apply and to get details of the course if you visit. I don't think there is prejudice against independent schools but their students might have to work a little harder to show that they fully understand the implications of a medical career. The applicant has to show they understand that medicine is not glamorous but involves anti-social hours, continuous learning, too much paperwork, having to spend time in some places miles from your friends, periods of boredom and dealing with a lot of mess. Questions are sometimes asked about how the student would occupy themselves in a strange hospital miles from the medical school
(and in places the interviewer clearly thinks are undesirable).
I'm sorry I just saw this but wanted to say please don't doom your dd1 to phlebotomy.
Here is my opinion:
There is nothing wrong with phlebotomy or being a health assistant or being a hospital porter but these are good summer jobs or short term jobs for a would be medic, not jobs to take up a whole gap year because no leadership skills are involved and very little medicine as such. They are as good prep for nursing as they are for being a doctor iyswim. Also dd1 is a young person. What she does should be enjoyable, not just some dreary stepping stone.
Hence look at spending time in a hospital abroad or volunteering abroad, or indeed with a voluntary group in the UK . Make it a time which she can look back on and speak about with pleasure and with pride.
Some science work wont go amiss. Try the Wellcome or Nuffield for internships.
Obtain a copy of her reference from UCAS (small fee payable) and if it leaves out her strengths, go and see her main referee with what you perceive her strengths at school to have been. Explain about the gap year to school and get school support and obviously keep in touch with a contact person there all through next year.
I agree with the person who suggested contacting Bristol about a waiting list but it may be better to get her reference first and ask school to send in some extra positive info to the admissions tutor for medicine and for school to recommend that she goes on a waiting list there.
Hope this helps.
our school gave all the students a copy of their ucas reference - ask the school if they'll give you a copy before paying anything to ucas
My DS1 is in U6 at a state (grammar) school and lots have got accepted to medicine , most are people who are good at everything they turn their hand to , as well as being good with everyone.Some however you really couldn't describe as having either emotional intelligence or maturity.One has been suspended more than once for bullying younger children.Maybe some admissions tutors mistake arrogance for confidence.
Dd1 has relieved offers x3 for medicine - she did a Kaplan ukcat course plus an interview prep course both of which I think helped a lot ... But it is all a bit of a mystery . Good luck to yr dd whatever she decides
what were her as grades (and ums he you can remember them)
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