Thursday, 8 August 2013

Going into Year 13 this year? Want to study medicine? Well listen up...

Well first of all, well done on coming to the conclusion that you want to study medicine! I'm sure it is a great opportunity but it isn't all fun and games! You should know that. Ever since you've confirmed to yourself that you're definitely sure you want to study medicine, you've been working hard to get there, but wait, the hard work doesn't stop until you retire! A levels is just a small part of the hard work, but I think it is definitely worth it (especially at your stage) when you see a conditional offer from one of your choices!

So here is my advice about year 13 and handling your UCAS application:

  • It is summer now, so make sure you have some form of work experience or voluntary work and extra-curricular activity you can put on your personal statement. If not, you can just state on your personal statement you do have some work experience lined up and write what you do hope to gain from it (and make sure this is the truth!). Work experience and voluntary work is very important as you do gain insight into the world of healthcare as it helps confirm that this is what you want to do. It also allows you to show your reflective skills in your personal statement - something you must do!
  • Start your personal statement early! I reiterate, START EARLY, as you should know the deadline for medical applications is Oct 15. And you do want your personal statement to be the best it could be so you don't want to be rushed last minute. It does carefully need to be checked over multiple times. This could be done by friends, family, teachers etc. Make sure you do not post bits and bobs of your personal statement online as UCAS do have a plagarism checker! But do take their advice with a pinch of salt, in the end it is your application and you should do what you feel is right.
  • Make sure you have done your research carefully on the medical schools you wish to apply to so do you want to go for a PBL (Problem Based Learning), traditional or integrated course? Do you want the option of dissection? Do you want the opportunity to intercalate? Do you want city-based or campus based? And also apply to your strengths! For instance, If you have a moderately low UKCAT score you wouldn't apply to Kings or if you are confident you would do well on the BMAT, apply to unis like UCL or Imperial. Definitely do research!
  • Well from Jan 2014, as you are all aware there are NO January exams (booo) but A2 does get harder especially when you have a lot of work and you have interviews to prepare for, extra-curricular activities, voluntary work etc etc but I would strongly advise you to stay on top of your work and continuously do revision. Since there are no Jan A2 exams, you will have more pressure to do well in June but I encourage you to stay calm and take it easy. Stressing out is not worth it and will cause you do not as well as you expected. Trust me, this happened to me this January. I was more worried about my interview at Bristol than my exams and came out with BBBCC which was disappointed. If you do become stressed out, take a break its fine to do so. Its not going to kill you! Remember you are still young, not everything is about work, work, work. You have to play too!
If there is anything you do want advice on or something you want me to discuss, I'd be very happy to do it! I couldn't think of anything else to talk about (it is like 11:22pm and I'm distracted by the TV, lol). So just leave a comment down below with a suggestion!  Next week (after results day) I'll will do a post specifically focussed on the personal statement for medicine and the structure. I'll do a dissection of my own personal statement! 

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Where have I been? Woah!


So I haven't posted on here since April, sorry! Obviously since getting the offer, I had to work really REALLY hard for the upcoming exams so I took a long hiatus from blogging but I'm back!! The week before results day (9 days left!) and I'm ready to begin blogging. I will be doing live blogging on the actual day so it will be a bit hectic.  I do have a few posts planned which I'll be doing over the next few days including tips for those heading into year 13 applying for 2014 entry and study tips and etc etc. So should be really fun for me and helpful for you! I really want to update the blog and the look of it and get more interactive so feel free to pass the blog on! 
(If you're a graphic designer or good with website stuff please get in touch! I'd love your help on how to improve my site, just comment below, thanks!!!)

So as everyone knows, A level results day is next Thursday (15th August 2013) and everyone I know is feeling the anxious and terrified. To be honest I don't know how to feel. One minute I'm calm the next I'm panicking and worried. But there is no point! It is far better to be chilled out (even though it is VERY hard) than worried because it does make it harder to make clear decisions plus it just wastes time. We will still be hurdling towards results day whether you worry or not!

But here is my plan for actual results day:

15th August

00:01am - Clearing lists are released on UCAS and the Telegraph's UCAS clearing app (really recommend you download it if you have a smartphone). I'll be definitely up all night (trust me, no one will be sleeping that night) and I'll be preparing my own list of choices just in case everything goes tits up! 

1am til 7am - Probably just be up thinking up my options, trying to get some sleep (if I can) and just trying to calm my nerves so probably praying lol.

7:01am til 8:30am - Start trying to log into UCAS track, it is very likely it will crash, as it usually does, so I will try to keep calm and I'll try and check Bristol's portal (my firm) to see if I've gotten in.

In the case I do get in - Cry, scream, roll down my stairs to my parents room. Celebrate and get ready to go into college to collect my results and go forth and part-ayyyyy!

In the case I don't get in - Check if I've gotten into my insurance and if I have be slightly disappointed but still try and be happy and grateful I got in.

If I enter clearing - Get my clearing list I had prepared earlier on, check my results online via the college website and start calling up the universities. I wouldn't feel comfortable going into college because I don't feel I'll make the decision considering the immense pressure I'd be feeling. I would only go in if I couldn't get my results online.

Hopefully I do get into study medicine at my firm so I can continue this blog. I would love to continue this blog up until I am an FY2 doctor! So I can look back on the journey I've had into medicine. If I don't, hopefully I still will be continuing this blog if I do decide to carry on trying to become a doctor. But as of now, I don't feel it is very likely that I would try for graduate entry medicine if I did another course. I may decide to change my career path. But hopefully it doesn't come to that!!

Thanks for reading, look out for those posts coming up this week!
Good luck for results day!! I wish you the best!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Firming my choice!!

Yeah so of course I firmed Bristol for medicine with the offer of AAA and my insurance is Queen Mary (University of London) with Biochemistry with the offer of ABB. So a lot of hard work needs to be put in for my journey to be officially complete! Wooo!

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013



I just received an offer from Bristol to study medicine!!!

I have never been so happier in my entire life!! I was literally so close to giving up as well, that is probably one of the reasons why I haven't posted on the blog in so long (and of course, revision stuff). Wow, I really can't believe this. Its dependent on me getting 3 A's, so a LOT of hard work is required. So my journey into medicine is quite close to ending! Hopefully it ends on a good note!!

Since I haven't posted in a while, I guess its time for a mini update as well!

So I'm not sure if I posted that I had an interview at Kings for their EMDP (Extended Medicine Degree Programme) course. It was an MMI (Mini-multiple interview) and I felt it went well but I received a rejection. It was my (essentially) third rejection from a medical school and I was feeling down because I assumed that I would get rejected from Bristol too. I was even beginning to plan my gap year, I was planning all sorts like whether I should apply for post-grad instead and such. I was so down I actually lost all motivation and my revision slowed down to a gradual halt. But I picked myself and thought if I did get rejected whatever like I should move on and focus on getting the grades then this happens!

I feel so good right now! God is good!!! So it looks like I'll be posting even less frequently (sorry guys!) but when I do have time I will post up some tips and advice for MMI's because they are a strange setup but quite good. So please be patient with that. I have 3 A grades to try and achieve!!

Thanks for reading and good luck with your own journeys!!


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Interview tips

So for interviews, the medical school that you have chosen to apply to, will have posted certain criteria they look for in their applicants - this will be in their admissions policy. ALWAYS look there to see if you are suitable for their course, sometimes they hid key pieces of information in there that is not on their website. So check here to minimise the chances of rejection in addition to doing loads of research. This is strictly what they will apply their questions on, and if you know it well, you'll be able to spot what they are looking for in their questions so you can "sell" yourself in a way that shows them you ARE what they are looking for.
Here is an example by using Bristol's criteria:
Criteria for assessing the candidate's performance at interview:
a) Why they wish to study medicine and attributes
b) Ability to communicate
c) Self-confidence and enthusiasm
d) Evidence of extramural activities
e) Awareness of current developments
f) Ability to develop coherent stance on a topical subject
g) Informed about University and course
h) Informed about career
i) Overall impression created by candidate.
This is what they will base their questions on. You can definitely tell what they are looking for in their questions (I did during mine). As long as you answer in a way that shows these things, you are doing really well. So here are my best tips:
  • Definitely know why you want to do medicine - be enthusiastic and genuine but obviously if you really want it, it will show!
  • Be prepared to discuss your work experience - examples too; be reflective
  • Prepare two or three medical/health stories in the news recently that you can discuss at length just in case (BBC News and the Guardian are brilliant!!) so do some extra research alongside the news story.
  • Discuss extra curricular - It would be fantastic if you could link what skills you've learnt from your extra curricular activities to how you could use them whilst being a doctor.
  • Make sure you know their course inside out! They asked me why Bristol (typical question) and then they asked what how the course is laid out ie what happens during the five years
  • Make sure you know what happens after medical school too ie, FY1/2 >>> SpT/CT etc etc; they asked me why do we do the foundation years and how long it takes to become a GP and paediatrician. So it would help if you knew about the progression to becoming a consultant after medical for really popular specialities such as GPs or paediatricians. You never know what specialist doctor could be interviewing you! (You'll find out on the day)
  • They also ask an ethical question; my question was on organ donation. So prepare and know typical ethical issues and be prepared to discuss pros & cons and even alternative solutions! So maybe things on organ donation, consent, compentency etc. If you have the popular 150 interview questions by ICS Medical they have some great ones in there.
  • Don't forget to SMILE!!!!

But overall, Bristol are extremely, extremely friendly and made me feel so at ease and comfortable. So don't worry and go in there confident (but not over confident, no one likes a cocky prick) and your passion will shine through. I hope this was really helpful.

Overall my advice would be make sure you do research CAREFULLY what medical school you are interested in and what THEY are looking for in an ideal candidate. They will usually post such information on their website if you can't find it do not hesitate to go on The Student Room or just google it up! Because they will tend to ask you questions based on their criteria and if you miss this information, it can come with consequences.

Ok so its been a longgg while!

Wow, it has been a while right?! 

The last time I posted was the 11th January, posting about the interview invite to Bristol and it is now the 6th March (the day before results day) and a lot has happened since then!

Plus I've had over 9000 views on this page! The last time I checked it was like 3000+! I'm really grateful, so thanks for reading! Even though I haven't been posting often. January and February were quite hectic to be fair and I didn't have enough time to post!

Heres a quick overview what happened in January and February:

  • Bristol interview on the 28th January! - Went very well to be honest, and I will be posting up some interview tips in the next post (as requested). The interviewers were very friendly and made me comfortable! I won't be hearing any news until mid-April since I've been put on the hold pile but at least there is hope! I can only hope and pray I do get good news in April! Wish me luck!
  • I quit my job at the GP, to be honest it was long and draining. It also took away time from my revision and studying, I was behind in nearly all my classes and wasn't doing as well as I should have in my class tests but I'm back on track now! If you're applying for medicine, I wouldn't advise having a job in this period even though money is something we need as teens, your grades are way more important and of course you want to do well to get into medical school! I couldn't handle it and had to choose between my grades and money and obviously I chose my grades which is sad because I need moneyyyy! But I guess it works out for the greater good, right?
  • I got rejected from Leeds for medicine a few days ago (4th March) and to be very honest, I was sort of pleased because Leeds is a long way from London, and I wouldn't be able to see my friends or family very often. I wasn't really into their course structure anyway, which is really silly. I shouldn't have wasted such an option.
  • I have an interview at Kings College London for their extended medical degree programme, which is 6 years in length (as opposed to the normal 5 year degree). Its on the 11th March which is really close! Its an MMI (Mini Multiple Interview) set-up so I'm really worried how that will pan out as I don't even know how to prepare for it as I've heard some really scary stories about the MMI.
I'm really grateful I've had two interview invites for this  UCAS cycle, I'm really lucky!! I just hope I've done well enough to get an offer this round. 

Good luck to those who have to pick up their results tomorrow!

Satta x

Friday, 11 January 2013


Sorry for the lack of posts! 

I've been so busy revising for exams, school and work so I don't have time to really post as frequently as I used to! But guess what?!!!



I have yet to book the actual date though. As I have exams up until the 25th Jan 2013 and the only dates available to book are the 18th and 28th which are a bit soon so I wouldn't feel comfortable or prepared doing it so soon. I received the email on the 10th Jan 2013 during my biology lesson (on my phone). I felt so shocked, I really wasn't expecting it so I didn't know how to react! It was really unexpected because my friend got rejected the night before so I was expecting one too but this is fantastic! Looking forward to it, after exams of course.
Heres the email (well part of it):

Dear Satta,

The admissions team have now considered your application, and I am pleased to invite you to attend an interview at Bristol for Medicine A100.

That feels so good to look at. I'm just really happy because I never really expected it. I assumed I would get rejected from all. Bristol was the last one I'd expect to invite me to an interview!

Then there is bad news (sort of) I got rejected from BSMS (awwwwwww) by letter. I received the later the day (9th Jan 2013) before the interview invite from Bristol so I guess I feel wanted! But they said my application was strong but due to the competition but they've offered me a chance to study an alternative course at either the university of Brighton or Sussex. I've decided to go for Neuroscience with Cognitive Science at Sussex because I really like the sound of it and I believe that Neuroscience is future (cliche, I know). So I have to reply to them by the 23rd Jan otherwise "Unsuccessful" will appear on my UCAS track.

I still have not heard back from Leeds A100 or KCL EMDP.

But fantastic news all in all!

I have to go revise now, so hopefully after exams I will be blogging more! Hopefully more interview prep stuff.