Essential Tips To Turn 4 Medical School Rejections
Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists
Applying to medical school involves a series of hurdles which one must jump over to successfully secure an offer. There are several components by which a candidate will be assessed over the course of the application cycle, the major ones being the UCAT, interview and personal statement. Being weak in any one of these is not necessarily going to get you a rejection, however, not being able to perform to one’s maximum potential is a very unfortunate way of potentially losing an offer. Here are some useful tips to ensure you fulfil your potential.
Remember the first step to rectifying one’s mistakes is identifying them; Medical students are encouraged to reflect on their past actions because having that ability to learn and grow from old mistakes is an immensely valuable tool. Start by asking yourself some questions like ‘Is there some habit of mine which has caused me considerable distress at school etc.?’ (for example, being late, not completing your homework, etc.). Identify these areas and implement a plan of action to improve them. Everyone is changing and constantly growing even if they do not realize it. Often a lot of this growth occurs when you push yourself into new and strange situations, so try and think back to a time you were new to something. By actively reflecting like this you will come to notice personal growth, which you can then utilize to identify areas of weakness to improve on and areas of strength to promote during your application. If you are really struggling, ask someone close to you about how they think you have changed during the past few months/years/etc.
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The UCAT/BMAT practiced enough, sufficiently before the exam date is guaranteed to improve your respective scores. And there is no reason you should not be focusing on the UCAT or BMAT as these are one of the first things universities look at in students’ applications when trying to ‘thin the herd’. A big mistake students make is they leave the bulk of their practicing too late, so that, for example, 70% of their question bank remains undone the week before they are due to sit their UCAT– You should at the very least begin practicing 6 to 8 weeks before your UCAT and you should aim to do a consistent amount each day, for example, it is better to do 100 questions each day of a week than doing 300 the first and then none the rest of the week.
One important tip to keep in mind is to not be afraid to show your personality off in an interview. Sure, there is a necessity of being professional during the interview, but there is no reason you cannot be appropriately express full. It reminds the interviewers they are interviewing an actual person and not a robot who is trying to say all the right things. Also, as with many other components of the application, the more you practice these interview skills the more naturally they will come to you during the actual thing. Keep in mind practicing interviews does not mean to rehearse answers, it means to be able to talk about and express yourself concisely when asked about anything.
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When applying to a course like medicine it can become very stressful, however, you should be able to manage this stress in a healthy manner, as doing so would not only prepare you for the course and career you intend to go onto, it will also prevent you from rushing and ruining parts of your application. When doing anything stressful try to use tools such as mindfulness to ground yourself into doing the task rather than simply worrying about it. For example, meditating for 2-3 minutes before you go in for your interview can really help get rid of nerves. The importance of a stress-free mind should not be underestimated, not only will it drastically improve your ability to respond in a calm, collected and concise manner, you will also come across as more confident to the interviewer. Panicking will work against you and not help you perform to the best of your abilities in any parts of the application. Completely eliminating stress is not necessarily achievable either, there will always be a bit of anxiety before walking in to give your UCAT or interview, the trick is to limit it to a level where it is helpful rather than hurtful to you. Practicing meditation and mindfulness is genuinely one of the easiest ways to improve your performance in all parts of your application.