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Access to medical studies 2014/2015 (swap) stow college

Discussion in 'Access to Medicine' started by wynen15, May 11, 2014.

  1. wynen15

    wynen15 New Member

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    Hi,
    I was Just wondering if Anyone Is hoping to get on Stows Access to Medical Studies course in August?I applied in January.Received an email a month later to say my application has been received and processed.Last month got a letter requesting for a reference,which I did send ASAP!Haven't heard anything since.The wait is causing more anxiety :).
    Was wondering if someone who has already done this course can give me an insight of how Long the course applications takes and how long you will have to wait to be called for an interview?
    Also I wanted an advise on the course.The intensity of it.I have been reading a lot about it from previous student on here. Sounds like a great stepping stone to Medicine.
     
  2. James M

    James M New Member

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    Hi wynen15,

    I'm currently on this course, just winding down into our last 10 days now. I'm happy to answer and Q's you have and give you an insight to my experience.

    Cheers,
    James
     
  3. paulineb

    paulineb New Member

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    Hi James I too have applied for this year. Was hoping you may be able to answer a couple of questions I have about the course? Did you apply this year to Glasgow and how many have been successful from the course? Also I'm still waiting to find out if I have an interview this year. Did you come from a healthcare or science background - what was your experience. I read earlier a post on the Stow forum and someone said there is a mathematics assessment and essay writing assignment to complete on interview day. Is this true and if so what's it entail. My maths is not exactly fresh in my mature student mind! Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.
     
  4. James M

    James M New Member

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    Hi Pauline,

    Thanks for the message, certainly happy to help.

    Yes I did apply to Glasgow, along with 6 others to no avail. Despite averaging 80%-90% in assessments and respectable UKCAT scores, there was not one offer for interview. This being the first year to experience such a disappointment it’s not been easy to accept to be honest. I’m led to believe there has been a change of deanery at Glasgow and this has negatively impacted the chances of students this year, in that the relationship between Glasgow & Stow is not perhaps what it once was. I can’t speak of what the future holds but I can easily say there is absolutely no guarantees and from my personal view the only ‘partnership’ aspect would be for science degrees. Of which we were all offered very promptly. Like anything related to Medicine entry, it’s about chance, even if you work very hard.

    My background was originally in the Fire Service, although after that I worked as a HCA for 18 months, and I have to say that experience has been fundamental for me personally but importantly for my application clout. I recommend getting some substantial experience under your belt, if you haven’t already.

    Science wise I taught myself A-level standard sciences whilst working and seeing a tutor once a week or so prior to the course. This served me well as the course is taught at a fast pace and there’s not a lot of time if you’re struggling on a particular topic. Having said that don’t worry if you haven’t or not planning to, as the content does start off at a friendly level and pace, although by xmas it’s a steep learning curve when juggling all subjects to such high standards. Simply, if you want it enough, you’ll do it. I enjoyed the challenge and the pressure..at times!

    The initial tests are nothing to worry about, the usual standard grade/G.C.S.E level maths syllabus stuff. Get a standard grade aths book to practice. However, if maths isn’t your strong point I would recommend developing it. This year maths has been at higher to advanced higher level but the crux is the speed of teaching. You learn, digest, revise, and take exam. Then onto the next, this is every 2 weeks on average. It’s relentless and I’ve written off many a Sunday to 8hrs of revision, remembering there are no retakes aloud. Not to sound daunting but this is the reality, and it’s predominantly been the bugbear of most of us. Put it this way, you become very good at learning quickly and learning how to pass exams 
    In addition to this the other sciences are great, another element to this course is studying HNC & HND science units in the final trimester. I've loved this, especially biochemistry, it’s great experience for further study options too.

    My advice is do your research i.e. which medical schools, what qualifications you need on top. Ask yourself what and where you’re prepared to go to pursue this goal. For example, Brighton accept this course. Be aware of relying on staying in Scotland to make it happen.
    Also, prepare to change your life. So many people left or failed as they were not willing to make sacrifices? This course will be your priority, if it’s not, you’ll struggle. Off the top of my head we started with 26 - There are now 11 of us.

    As it stands, I have been fortunate to secure a place at Perth College UHI for pathway to Medicine – Lots of info on the web. There is one other from the course awaiting interview for the same. Aside this the other medics are pursuing science degrees as either an alternative route or with the aim of PG Medicine. It’s also worth mentioning there seems to be a reasonable success rate in people reapplying after a year out, so second time around.

    I relocated from Sunny Devon in pursuit of Medicine, this year has been tough, not just the outcome but in every aspect. However, I couldn't ask for a better experience in underpinning knowledge, dealing with pressure, and building confidence. You take and pass so many exams, its massive commitment but highly satisfying. I feel very equipped going forward. On the whole it’s been a good year, despite the outcome it’s not the end of the road. Next year may well be a success for you.

    Hopefully that gives you a clearer insight.

    Anything else just ask.

    James
     
  5. paulineb

    paulineb New Member

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    Hi James. Thank you so much for all your info - really appreciate your help.

    The problem I have is I really need it to happen for me here in Glasgow as I have a 1 year old and going forward childcare (shifts on placement etc) would be an impossibility if I were to up sticks and move away. So I really have no choice but to pin my hopes on Glasgow entry (eventually!).

    I'm sorry to hear that no one got an interview for Glasgow this year from the course - I understand why this would cause disappointment. It does make me a tad more nervous than even before knowing this...

    Hopefully the relationship going forward between Glasgow and Kelvin will change and become stronger.

    Can I ask what uni and what science degree pathways were your peers accepted onto?

    I have undertaken 6 months work experience with NHS in A&E and have only school (S.Grade) science and maths qualifications. My highers are Arts based subjects - wrong choices, bad advice way back when! I really hope that this will be enough to be considered for interview.

    When you say S.Grade maths for the initial tests is this something that would be undertaken on interview day? If so what kind of subject matter does it cover? Is it like basis area, volume, addition, subtraction or more complex than that? Is it calculator or not? Sorry but I only just found this out today so bit panicked by the idea of it at the moment!

    Last question what is the timetabling like? I read somewhere that it's three days then lots of independent study. Is this accurate?

    I really hope that you are successful with your Perth for St Andrews application. My understanding is that the top 5 are guaranteed places so I hope things happen for you this way.

    The college merger seems to be causing mayhem with interview decisions so I really hope I hear something soon.

    Again thanks James for all your help.
     
  6. James M

    James M New Member

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    Hi Pauline,

    That’s understandable, many students on the course have children and the relating geographical implications. You won’t be alone in your year I imagine. I do hope going forward the link becomes stronger, I feel they should run something similar to Perth, however that’s another conversation.

    So we've had offers for Glasgow for Neuroscience & Anatomy both great precursors for Medicine. We have had a couple over to Edinburgh for similar sciences and dental therapy. Plus ODP and pharmacy at Caledonian and Strathclyde. There are a lot of options even if Medicine initially is a no. I was all set for Anatomy and grad route until Perth came good last week.

    Yes with the maths it’s all the usual suspects, what you have stated plus ratios, percentages etc. Bring a calculator just in case. Whatever you do don’t panic, you can find basic comprehension tests online, they would help get you back in the routine.

    So our timetable has changed a bit throughout the year, but the breakdown will be roughly - full 9-5 Monday starting with 3 lovely hours of maths  Tuesday half day, Wednesday full day again, Thursday half day, Fridays off (always) Equates to around 20hrs. In addition, as you’ve said there is work to be done outside of class. I would easily say another 15-20hrs at home. That’s to be at a level where you’re smashing the exams and on top of everything. So it’s quite a commitment as I said. But important to remember, it’s definitely achievable..and worth it!

    It was also late coming for me, i didn’t find out until around now either so keep positive and use the time to practice interview questions. Make sure you can confidently speak about your aspirations and goals and prepare for - Why medicine, why the course, how do you think you would cope with workloads etc.

    Thank you, yes it’s an exciting year ahead. I feel confident, especially after this year. It prepares you for anything. Looking forward to a summer off. 1 more exam to go 

    Keep in touch and let me know how it goes,

    James
     
  7. paulineb

    paulineb New Member

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    Thanks again James - really do appreciate your knowledge and experience. I'll post when I know what's happening. Really want that letter to come soon!
     
  8. paulineb

    paulineb New Member

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    Hi Again James. Sorry to take up more of your time. Just wanted to ask if the mathematics assessment was anything like the assessment for nursing and midwifery? I've got a few past papers for these assessment days from the web and was hoping you may be able to let me know if they are complex enough to use as practice for the (hopeful!) assessment and interview day? They are from kcl.ac.uk and brighton.ac.uk. Seem to have all we talked about ratios, percentages, division etc. Also would you advise booking the Kaplan UKCAT course? Do you think it would help? Seem to be mixed reports about the effectiveness of these courses... I have the 2014 Kaplan book but my Abstract Reasoning is totally shocking! I'm not booking anything UKCAT wise until I know if I'm in or not - just would deflate me having to cancel it if I'm unsuccessful! Someone suggested a UKCAT tutor but I can only find these in London. Do you know of anyone in Glasgow who has knowledge of this? Again thanks for putting up with my endless questions!
     
  9. James M

    James M New Member

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    Hi Pauline,

    I have no knowledge of the nursing or midwifery assessments, although I would assume the test is the same for all students starting at Glasgow Kelvin to assess their literacy & numeracy. Again, don’t panic as it won’t help you. Just make sure you’re comfortable with standard grade/GCSE level maths. BBC bite size is a good place to start.

    Ok similar to other medical entry exams UKCAT is exploited by these types of overpriced courses, it’s a good business for them. It’s up to you of course but I didn’t consider it for a second. There are plenty of other resources to help, which for me are as effective.

    I used Medify, a great website that has a huge amount of practice questions, tips, and mock exams. You can recreate the exam pretty much, bar the on screen calculator. That’s around £30 for a month, which if you use it every night is worth it. Also, the well-known ISC 600 Q UKCAT book is very useful. Abstract reasoning is quite tricky, these books teach how to recognise patterns. It helped me greatly.

    For me UKCAT requires good technique, more so than being super academic (some friends with Maths degrees were rubbish, although very intelligent) and importantly mind set. If you go about things panicking and worrying, basically not believing in yourself then you’re not doing yourself justice. A winner’s mentality goes along way with this type of exam, alongside putting the required hours in, both build confidence to do well.

    If you get the ball rolling in these areas you’ll start to feel more confident in yourself, which will show in your interview. Don’t be afraid to call the college and give them a gentle reminder 

    James
     
  10. paulineb

    paulineb New Member

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    Hi James thanks for your advice. I'll have a good think about the UKCAT course but I'll wait like I say until I know if I've got in or not before booking anything. I've been studying (distance learning) Higher Biology and Higher Chemistry trying to recall long buried information so hopefully this will help if I am successful. Just been on the GCSE bitesize page and it seems pretty straight forward so this will be fine and the literacy thing won't worry me at all.

    I've been in touch twice with the college (last time was only yesterday) and spoken also with Kenny Anderson at SWAP a couple of months back. I was told that we won't know for at least another couple of weeks when I called yesterday. The staff member I spoke with was very nice and helpful - think she felt awful about telling me she couldn't answer my question!

    It's just a waiting game now - patience is a virtue and all that! I've waited 16 years for even a sniff at this opportunity so I can sit tight a couple more weeks I'm sure!...

    I'm just thinking that this year may not be my year as I'm sure there are way more experienced applicants than me who have applied. I know this is something that (rightly so) counts for a lot. Also I'm starting to doubt my application statement was strong enough. I've certainly had plenty of time for doubt to creep in since I applied in January. I am trying to be positive but not overly so to avoid heavy disappointment!

    I've learned one thing in my experience and that's that all things medical take time and patience. It's a long game. In my old life (as I call it!) we had a saying "It's a marathon, not a sprint"! This is one life lesson I've certainly found transferable to medicine!

    Thanks again for all your advice and support and I will post when I have a yay or nay letter in my hand...
     
  11. James M

    James M New Member

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    “I'm just thinking that this year may not be my year as I'm sure there are way more experienced applicants than me who have applied” ?? - You would have been more than qualified to be with us this year. Don't doubt yourself..

    This was a long time coming for me also and I've been in your shoes. As such, the things i can say you will need are belief and mental robustness.
    If you have the will to succeed then you're as good as anyone on that course, there's nothing stopping you from doing really well!

    I really hope you get the interview, Kenny & Gill are great. Honestly, do not worry.

    Anytime, fingers crossed for you.

    James
     
  12. paulineb

    paulineb New Member

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    Just to say letter for INTERVIEW (!!!) arrived in the post 5 mins ago. Next Wed. Cannot wait! So hope I can get through the final stage of this process. Spent hours yesterday on UKCAT. Did diagnostic test in the book - score not great! Will be putting in lots of work on this now I'm even closer. Still in a bit of shock really seeing the interview letter after all this time - just shows never give up hope!
     
  13. James M

    James M New Member

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    That's great news Pauline!

    Well done! Just shows, you're given an interview because they think you're good enough. Get practicing for questions :)

    Don't worry about initial UKCAT scores, until you get the book (600Q) etc that teaches strategy it's not representative.

    Any interview related Q's just give me a shout.

    Well done again!
     
  14. paulineb

    paulineb New Member

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    Thanks James. Will be practising all week for the interview. It's been a while since I had any sort of interview situation so will be brushing up on my technique! The Kaplan book is good - been looking at the strategy today for VR so hopefully going forward it will ALL fall into place.. My VR and QR are pretty much OK but the rest well least said the better! Guess it's not supposed to be easy though is it!? Thanks again for your support - really helps having someone with insider knowledge. Good luck with your LAST exam (if you haven't already had it) and I'm sure Perth will work out for you.
     
  15. paulineb

    paulineb New Member

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    Hi James hope all is well with you. Had my interview with Kenny and Jill today - not entirely what I expected! Quite informal. Came away not sure how I'd done! They said we'll all know in next couple of weeks so will be waiting for the postie again! Hopefully they think I have what it takes. We spoke about UKCAT and how it can be a real hurdle for mature students and my (distinct lack of!) biology qualifications. That seemed to be their main concern. Hope I came across well. Will find out soon enough I guess! How's the Perth move coming along?
     
  16. Jenni-2612

    Jenni-2612 New Member

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    Hello?

    Hello

    My name is Jennifer. Hope you don't mind but I have read all previous threads.

    Really great informative content for someone who has applied for this course.

    However
     

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