Medicine 2021 - part 2

(996 Posts)
Millylovespuddles Tue 07-Jul-20 16:15:32

Following on from the first thread:
DD now has UKAT booked for mid-August. She couldn’t get a driving theory test booked until after the UKAT date, but will keep an eye out for cancellations.
Now, her big dilemma is Oxbridge it not....

OP’s posts: |
SirTobyBelch Tue 07-Jul-20 17:00:25

Following on from the previous thread...

@altmum - most of the entry requirement details are available at www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2701/msc-entry-requirements-for-uk-medical-schools-2021.pdf. Unfortunately, this doesn't include details of whether each medical school looks at predicted A-level grades. I know Keele doesn't (the one you identified as matching his strengths), so it won't matter what grades he's predicted if he applies there. It would be very risky only to apply to one medical school, though, unless he's comfortable with the idea of taking a gap year if he doesn't get in there, so it might be worth checking a few other medical schools to ask whether they exclude applicants with predicted grades below AAA. You can usually find this on their web pages.

bimkom Tue 07-Jul-20 20:17:18

Can I ask a question (from DS) about holidays. DS investigating Sheffield discovered that only the first holiday (ie the one between first and second year), is normal university holidays, and after that they seem to be busy right through what would normally be the summer holidays. Is this true of the other universities? I think DS thought he would work summer holidays, and save up, so obviously if there aren't many of them, he needs to rethink that. How are other universities doing it (he didn't realise this was a question he should have asked at the various open days).

SirTobyBelch Tue 07-Jul-20 22:21:39

Some medical schools will have a longish holiday between second & third year, too, but after that there are generally no long (i.e. standard university-length) holidays. Christmas & Easter holidays are likely to be quite short from third-year onwards, too.

There are exceptions to this, to some extent. If you go to Oxford, Cambridge or St Andrews you do two separate degrees: a 3-year medical science degree that includes fairly standard holidays followed by a 3-year clinical medicine degree with short holidays. If you do an intercalated degree (compulsory at Imperial, UCL and Edinburgh, pretty much compulsory at King's, optional everywhere else) you get fairly standard holidays that year.

altmum Tue 07-Jul-20 22:43:16

Thank you SirTobyBelch

goodbyestranger Tue 07-Jul-20 23:09:09

Millylovespuddles this seems to be a bit of a leitmotif: Now, her big dilemma is Oxbridge it not.... What exactly is causing the dilemma, because she seems to have been wobbling for a while? Time is marching on, so it might be good to knock this one on the nut. Only one choice out of four, but, equally, no point wasting a choice.

Millylovespuddles Wed 08-Jul-20 22:45:19

Goodbye, I’m sure there are lots in the same boat as my DD. I’m my opinion, she would be a strong applicant on paper- all A stars at gcse, 4 A star predictions for A2, plenty of extracurriculars, head girl.... but, I get the feeling that she would prefer a course with more clinical experience from 1st year. School is encouraging her to apply, and I’m telling her to apply where she would enjoy the whole medical school experience - course, academics, sport, hobbies.
Maybe it’s all to do with confidence? Navigating the application process is already quite a military operation even without thinking of Oxbridge.

OP’s posts: |

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goodbyestranger Wed 08-Jul-20 23:55:34

If it's about a less academic first three years then yes, maybe don't waste a choice on Oxbridge Milly, although arguably there's no hurry for students to get their hands on patients and at least as arguably those three years at Oxford or Cambridge can be used to do a whole range of extracurriculars and also have a good deal of fun. On paper, there doesn't look to be any reason whatever for her not to be confident - she must be reasonably confident in herself to be elected head girl - and the full house of A* at GCSE will help greatly in propelling her to the interview stage. I would say that especially for Medicine, an Oxbridge application adds little to the overall burden of the application process and on that basis why not give it a go - she's clearly academically very able. Good luck to her, whichever way she goes.

altmum Thu 09-Jul-20 16:58:47

Please may I ask what is likely to be a silly question? When a university asks for a ucat score within the top 8 deciles, is that the same as scores in decile 8 and 9 only (ie above 2690 and 2810 using 2018 testing data on medic portal)? Thanks

mumsneedwine Thu 09-Jul-20 17:48:31

@altmum I would say yes. Which Uni is that ? Cut of grades do vary quite a bit each year.

altmum Thu 09-Jul-20 17:52:52

Thanks mumsneedwine. It was Sunderland uni. I was hoping the top 8 deciles meant they accepted the highest 8 deciles and excluded the bottom two....

SirTobyBelch Thu 09-Jul-20 18:50:38

Sunderland require scores in the top 80%, not the top 20%.

mumsneedwine Thu 09-Jul-20 18:52:29

That was what I meant but phrased it v badly !! Sorry. So just need to be above bottom 20% I think. Nice one to have if UCAT goes wrong. Plymouth quite low too (or was).

altmum Thu 09-Jul-20 19:39:50

Many thanks for clarifying that 👍

GANFYD Tue 21-Jul-20 21:32:45

@altmum
There are some med schools that will consider an application with AAB predicted, though not many, and the offer is still likely to be AAA.
They are Liverpool, Lancaster, Cardiff, Kent and Canterbury (do not look at predicted grades at all), Birmingham, Aston, Sheffield if you offer an EPQ at A with it, HYMS if you have an EPQ and make them your firm (this would be your offer too, but the EPQ must be at least an A), possibly Sunderland (they say "It is likely that a number of applicants achieving AAB in the subjects listed will also be admitted" but don't specifically say they will accept AAB predictions, so call and check), Keele, who use the same admission criteria as Sunderland, though their offer will likely be AAA; and I think, Leeds (they certainly award a score for lower than AAA predictions in their selection scoring, but the marks given mean you would be unlikely to make the interview cut off if these were your predictions).
Oxford also apparently say they do not look at predicted grades.
You would also need to check carefully whether your son met any WA criteria (they are different for each med school, so will require a plough through websites) as this lowers accepted predictions and offers made, though I think you say he does not.
For most, if not all, of the others, predictions lower than AAA (or AstarAA for some) will result in immediate rejection, however good the rest of the stats are.

altmum Wed 22-Jul-20 12:43:52

Thank you GANFYD, that was very helpful. Will be back seeking your advice once he is actually given his predicted grades and has his UCAT score. Having been looking thru all the universities and their selection processes, he has too many variables unknown at the moment to narrow things down a bit. Thanks again. 😊👍

Millylovespuddles Wed 22-Jul-20 16:28:21

Looking for a bit of practical help re UCAT.... my daughter wears glasses when working, which fog up when she has tried a test while wearing a mask. We have tried the soapy water trick which has helped a little. Does anyone know if the driving test centre will allow a visor instead? Or, any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
GreyBow Wed 22-Jul-20 16:50:51

@milly, it's only recommended to wear a mask during the test as far I am know. That's what the guidelines are at the moment anyway?

"If you are testing in the UK, you are strongly recommended to bring and wear a facemask or face covering while you are at the test centre and throughout your exam to protect yourself and others. In some EU and international test centres, it is mandatory to bring and wear a facemask or face covering and candidates without one will be denied entry to the test centre. Any surgical or cloth facemask, including a homemade facemask, is acceptable as long as your nose and mouth are fully covered. Unfortunately, test centres are unable to provide facemasks to candidates."

Millylovespuddles Wed 22-Jul-20 17:13:10

If it ‘strongly recommended’ she might just have to give it a miss, if it’s compulsory, then that’s when she needs a solution. I’ll check with our local test centre and see what they say.

OP’s posts: |
Card1gan Wed 22-Jul-20 17:47:49

@Millylovespuddles It may be worth your daughter trying a couple of different styles of mask. My glasses steam up terribly with some types but not so much with other types. It's also worth noting that it settles down after a few minutes providing you don't fiddle with glasses or mask.

Thought it would be worth mentioning that my DD has just managed to complete 2 days work observation at a GP surgery. She'd given up hope of securing anything this summer, but this surgery were more than happy to have her. She's observed minor surgeries, baby clinics and normal appointments with different GPs and found it very worthwhile. It may be worth your DC trying again if their original plans were cancelled. DD has now completed 2 weeks observation (various hospitals and now GP) and has loved it all.

Her next mission is to prepare for UCAT which is not coming easily to her. Hey ho, practice makes perfect!

bimkom Wed 22-Jul-20 19:59:30

@Millylovespuddles I presume taking the test online from home is not an option for you? No requirement to wear the mask when sitting at home (one of the factors, along with distance to the testing centre and the need for public transport to get there, that has led my DS to book a home test). But you do need a computer with the right specifications and level of connection, and a room they can be in alone, which I know for a lot of people is a bit ask. We are still a bit nervous about whether doing it online from home will work OK, but here's hoping.

mumsneedwine Wed 22-Jul-20 20:58:03

@Millylovespuddles 2 options. Wipe shaving foam over glasses first and they then won't fog up. Or tie mask at sides (knot the ear bits as close to mask as possible). Then use a piece of tape (micro lore) on top of mask.

GreyBow Wed 22-Jul-20 22:39:09

@Millylovespuddles honestly, I really wouldn't worry. My teen wears a mask 100% of the time going shopping, etc.

She'll wear a mask to and from going into the test centre, but unless it's compulsory by then, she'll take it off to do the test as she'll be nowhere near breathing over other people.

bimkom Thu 23-Jul-20 00:28:22

The UCAT brochure FAQ for testing at a test centre www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/ucat-2020/ (click on link to download) says this regarding wearing a mask:

"If you are testing in the UK, you are strongly recommended to bring and wear a facemask or face covering while you are at the test centre and throughout your exam to protect yourself and others. In some EU and international test centres, it is mandatory to bring and wear a facemask or face covering and candidates without one will be denied entry to the test centre. Any surgical or cloth facemask, including a homemade facemask, is acceptable as long as your nose and mouth are fully covered. Unfortunately, test centres are unable to provide facemasks to candidates."
That does seem to suggest that while for the UK it is "strongly recommended", it is only in EU and international test centres that it is mandatory. I don't know if that rule will have changed by August given the new requirement to wear face masks in shops.

GreyBow Sat 25-Jul-20 13:40:49

What are your teens thinking about for the fifth choice?

My DD was pretty determined not to put a fifth choice as she wants to try again for medicine if she doesn't get in, but has now been reading up on straight biology courses.

What are people thinking about?

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