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!