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!