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Graduate Applicants for 2011

Discussion in 'Oxford Medical School' started by allyboy, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    Hi everyone.

    This thread was going to get started soon enough anyway, so I thought I'd do it meself.

    Maybe anyone thinking of applying in October could put up their stats and we could drive each other mental rehashing each other's prospects of getting in. :) (Of course, if I bomb the UKCAT, I won't bother!)

    I've got a 1st from Glasgow Uni in physics. I have some personal experience of the NHS as a patient, am doing weekly volunteering in a hospital in China, where I am living right now teaching English, and once a month volunteer with kids with autism and cerebral palsy. I'm currently setting up some hospital work experience for when I get back to the UK in August.

    Okay, who's next?
     
  2. snoogles

    snoogles New Member

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    I guess I'm next :)

    I have a 2:1 from a Canadian university (mix of biology and philosophy), and I'm currently in the first year of a biology Master's at a French school, aiming for a 1st. Hopefully I'll have an article submitted for publication by the time UCAS forms are due.

    I've volunteered over a year at the long-term care facility of my local hospital. I've also shadowed a surgeon for one day, and will be doing at least 2 weeks of additional shadowing this summer.

    I just decided to apply to med school in England in February, and it's all I've thought about since then. Spending time here and on The Student Room probably isn't helping with that...

    Any ideas of who you're going to ask for recommendation letters?
     
  3. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    Nice one snoogles.

    I know what you mean about the med application obsession! I'm almost always reading around the subject now.

    I like your mix of philosophy and science, it'll show an ability to communicate I guess. The shadowing a surgeon sounds like excellent experience. How did you get into that?

    Yeah, three recommendation letters... I've got an idea for two. They're both lecturers at Glasgow uni. The third I'm not sure about. Maybe my employer in China. I'm thinking they'll want a balance of academic and work experience recommendations. I reckon a medical recommendation isn't necessary. My guess is the selectors just want a fair insight about you as a person. But it's all just educated guess-work right now...:confused:
     
  4. snoogles

    snoogles New Member

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    I got pretty lucky actually. I did a gap year in Peru after high school, and a friend's host father offered to take me when he found out I was interested in medicine. When I got to the hospital I had a nice chat with his boss, and he let me scrub in and assist. Well, when I say assist... I sucked up some smoke/blood and cut some sutures. Still one of the most memorable moments of that year though!
     
  5. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    Brilliant. It seems you can put in all the e-mails and letters you like, but sometimes ye just get lucky. woody allen said 90% of success is turning up. i just hope someone offers us an interview to turn up to...
     
  6. snoogles

    snoogles New Member

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    Perhaps this is me being extremely cocky, but I'm not actually that scared of not getting an interview, and it doesn't look to me like you should be either. I mean, as long as we get a good UKCAT score (>700?), it looks like we're solid candidates, right?

    Perhaps I'm completely deluded... You tell me!
     
  7. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    I keep swinging back and forth from thinking I'm a really strong candidate to seeing potential problems. But I think, yeah, 700+ on the UKCAT and a shiny PS, you're probably right enough. It's that thing when you set up to do something that's a good 6 months down the line, there's plenty of time for self-doubt to creep in. I always assume that everyone else applying is working as hard or harder than me at it.

    I just received delivery of the Med School Interview guide book, and the UKCAT 600 practice question book. I would recommend them if you don't already have. But I'm sick as a dog with a virus right now, so I can't do any of the UKCAT questions in less than 5 minutes!
     
  8. snoogles

    snoogles New Member

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    I have the UKCAT book, but I'm waiting until a month before my test date to start practicing. I'm scared of running out of practice questions and getting rusty! I've tried some sample questions though and the abstract reasoning is kicking my ass. I think I'll probably end up guessing on those questions and trying to make up for in on the reading comprehension and decision analysis bits. You know how they say that guys are generally better than girls at "spatial reasoning"? I am living proof that it's true!

    What other schools are you planning on applying to?
     
  9. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    Yeah I know what you mean about "using up the questions". That was an issue in my degree in terms of revision materials. You want to be prepared, but you also want to peak at the right time. I'm not even sure when I'm going to take it yet. Abstract reasoning can be a killer. I think you can learn how to do it to some extent, but just have to be sharp on the day too.

    I'm planning to apply for Southampton, King's, and Bart's, all GEP. How about you?
     
  10. snoogles

    snoogles New Member

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    I was thinking Oxford, Cambridge, King's, and Imperial if my UKCAT is decent. If not, Cambridge, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool. Obviously the UKCAT score isn't black/white good/bad, so it'll really depend...

    I don't know if I'm that excited about going anywhere other than Oxbridge and the London unis though. If I don't get in to one of them I might consider just taking a year off and reapplying next year.
     
  11. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    Yeah the prestige of Oxbridge and the excitement of london is hard to resist. Southampton is where I'll be living, so I'd be over the moon to get a place there, not to mention the added bonus of no interview. What draws you to B'ham, Liverpool and Bristol?
     
  12. snoogles

    snoogles New Member

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    Ha, nothing much really :)
    They're the only unis in the south-ish of the country that offer a GEP but don't require an entrance exam. It's basically my backup plan if I manage to bomb the UKCAT (not planning on it, but you never know!)

    Is Southhampton where you'll be next year? Are you still in China for a while?
     
  13. mbybak

    mbybak New Member

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    Hello,
    I'll be applying to Oxford if I do well in the UKCAT (700+) and Cambridge if I do badly! I'm currently in my final year of Biochemistry, but am doing an Msc in Immunology at Oxford next year...I love Oxford, so would love to be able to do gep medicine there!
    I'm a bit worried about the UKCAT, but it should be fine..it's just a bit worrying that my life almost depends on it.
     
  14. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    Hi mbybak. It is funny that a 90 minute test will have such a big impact on the chances of getting an interview! What's your work experience like?

    Snoogles, I'll be moving to Southampton in September: my girlfriend is taking up a place at uni there. I've never been before, but at the moment I'm about 1500 miles from the sea, so that'll make a nice change... fish and chips!
     
  15. mbybak

    mbybak New Member

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    Hmm, my work experience. I had a gap year prior to starting my degree, during which I worked as a RA
    at Imperial for a year. I have a couple of relevant publications, so hopefully that will help. I've also had 3 other summer placements during uni holidays - at Imperial, UCL and Kings.
    I've volunteered in a hospital for 2 years and a hospice for one year. I also volunteered abroad for 3 months last summer.
    I think that's about it. I have several months worth of shadowing doctors, surgeons, etc, but I don't think that quantity neessarily matters here.

    So do they only read the Oxford PS?
     
  16. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    mbybak, sounds like you're sorted for the W.E.! They only read the Oxford PS yeah. I'm thinking I'll just adapt the UCAS PS a little, maybe not at all. What do you reckon? Will your Oxford PS be that different from the UCAS one?
     
  17. mbybak

    mbybak New Member

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    Hmm, I think I'll just add a couple of sentences about 'why Oxford' at the end.
    I'm not that confident that my applicant is strong enough. I applied to Cambridge last year, and didn't even get an interview. They don't take UKCAT into consideration, so I guess it was only based on my PS, degree and references (which were the same ones that I used for all of my Msc applications).
    I guess the only thing that should help is the fact that I will have completed my degree and will be doing a Masters.
    I'm thinking of applying to Warwick (as a 'back-up'), but it's annoying that they don't differentiate between
    2.1s and 1sts and don't give credit for further qualifications such as Msc, PhD, etc.

    So what are you doing in China? I'll be heading over that way in August.
     
  18. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    It sounds like you 'tick all them boxes'. It must be hard to know what you did wrong when you're obviously well qualified...

    Why Warwick out of interest?

    I'm in China teaching English in a high school, in Sichuan, a couple of hours from Chengdu. Have you been to China before?
     
  19. mbybak

    mbybak New Member

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    No particular reason for wanting to apply to Warwick..they seem to have a decent medical school and take
    quite a few people every year. I just don't know where else to apply.
    I'm thinking Warwick, Oxford, Imperial and Barts. It all depends on the UKCAT, though. I might replace Oxford
    with Cambridge. How come you're applying to Kings and Barts, but not Imperial?

    Ah, that sounds like an amazing experience. How long are you staying there for? I haven't been before, but I'm
    supposed to be trekking along the Great Wall for 12 days (for which I still need to raise £2k - for charity) and then
    travelling around for a couple of weeks (probably on my own?!). Sichuan is definitely on my list, as I want
    to go to Huanglong&Jiuzhauglou. Have you been there? Should I be worried that I'll be on my own?!
     
  20. allyboy

    allyboy New Member

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    My degree is physics, so Imperial won't consider my application. The Londoniness of King's and Bart's appeals to me, but Southampton and Oxford are really my first choices since I'll be living in or near Southampton when applying.

    We're teaching until the end of June, then we'll travel around for a few weeks before heading home, hopefully via Oz and maybe NZ.

    Your great wall expedition sounds brilliant. I went there in Summer '08, to a steep section just north of Beijing. You get a cable car up to it, then there's a huge snaking slide back down. But it was raining so the slide was closed :cry: . Jiuzhaigou is on the hitlist for me too. Me and my girlfriend are planning to do a horse trek from SongPan, which leads through some of those parklands. I can recommend one hostel in Chengdu that does all kinds of tours, reasonably priced, trustworthy, all that. The staff speak really good English and are so friendly and helpful. <http://www.hostelchengdu.com/lxs/en/Index.asp> I don't work for them honest! Even if you don't speak Chinese, they'll make sure you have a great time. As far as being on your own, I've never felt in danger or intimidated in any way in China. People stare somewhat, and you have to be common sense about avoiding pickpockets, but it's great. Do you have any Chinese?
     

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