UKCAT for grad entry

Discussion in 'Guy’s King’s and St Thomas’ (GKT) School of Medici' started by LP77, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. LP77

    LP77 New Member

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    Hi all, this is my first post, I have previously not felt I have had much of importance to say but I just got this email regarding how the UKCAT will be used at Kings and I could do with some advice!
    Kings grad entry was going to be my first choice for 2008 entry but now I dont know if I can take that risk,
    I emailed my UKCAT results to the admissions tutor and got this reply:

    'We will be having a cut off score for the graduate entry programme and we will only be interviewing the top scoring 150 applicants. We do not yet know what this cut off score will be as this is the first year we have used the UKCAT for graduate entry, I am subsequently unable to comment on your UKCAT scores below.

    We do not automatically consider graduate entry applicants for the 5 year
    programme. We only do this if you attend an interview for the 4 year and it
    is decided you would be more suitable for the 5 or 6 year programme.'

    My UKCAT scores were:
    Verbal Reasoning 670
    Quantitative Reasoning 630
    Abstract Reasoning 650
    Decision Analysis 690

    So pretty average but I have good A levels, a good degree in biology, have done alot of work experience and will have a masters. It seems madness that these will not be taken into account and the first screening will purely be on UKCAT results and anyone who is not in the top 150 is going to be ignored without a look in. Although I can see with the competition for places they are able to do this and still find perfectly capable applicants.
    This leads me to my dilemma, should I bother with the grad program, it is possible I wont even be considered for grad or 5 year courses, or should I play it safe and apply to the 5 years?
    Is it possible the admissions tutor was trying to scare away applicants who were not 100% keen on Kings and do you think competition for Kings will be less this year due to Imperials 4 year course and maybe with my unremarkable scores I do still have a chance?
    Either way im confused and seem to be spending loads of time weighing up pros and cons to the point that its making me miserable so any outside opinions would be great!
     
  2. Pammy

    Pammy New Member

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    I think your scores would probably be above the cut-off...but that's just a personal view from what I've heard! In Oxford, the person with the lowest UKCAT accepted last year got an average of 650 (says on their webpage), and I presume that's equally competitive...If you imagine that the results fall onto a normal distribution, with average 600 and 1 SD each side of 500/700 (since they say most people score between those numbers), you can plug your score into the equation for a normal distribution and guess how many people did better than you, and take it from there...not sure though that I'd rely on such theorising to make such a decision! Personally I would go for it since it would surprise me if the cut-off score were higher than your score, judging from the scores last year at other unis.
    Just realising my answer is not really very helpfuö but I guess I don't know more than you!
    Pammy
     
  3. Roseofjericho

    Roseofjericho New Member

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    Hello LP77,

    I hate to disappoint you, but i don't think your results will be high enough for interview. King's are massively oversubscribed, and they have always taken the cutoff route. I applied last year when they were using msat, and got rejected without interview even though i was in the top 20% of people taking the test.

    Unfortunately, i really doubt that competition at King's this year will be significantly less because of the Imperial course, because King's have much broader entry requirements.

    With a degree in biology, you have a lot of other options. Consider Warwick, definitely. You also have a couple of days left to sign up for GAMSAT, if you can face it! If you want to look at 5-years, your scores will definitely get you interviews - Queen Mary are good for grads if you want to study in London.

    Its really tough making these choices, but the benefit this year is that you can make an informed choice on your UKCAT scores instead of wasting UCAS places before you took the exams.

    Incidentally, Oxford don't have a set cutoff - their average score was 2850 (712), but they put a lot of emphasis on academic achievements, so i'm fairly sure the person who got in with 650 had PhD's coming out of their ears!

    Good luck!
     
  4. KKerr

    KKerr New Member

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    Those are very good UKCAT scores, but you may be pushed to be in the top 150 (that usually equals about the top 8-10% of those taking the test), however, why dont you apply for the 5 year program? With your A-levels, masters and good UKCAT - I think you have a good shot at the Kings 5 year program as a grad applicant. I got a 710 average last year, and got an interview at Kings and an unconditional offer. I had a similar academic background and the interview was very friendly and gave me the opportunity to talk about my past studies/research etc to my advantage (as compared to alot of the GEP programs that have a standardized interview format, making it difficult to bring up all of the information that you want to get accross to the interview panel). If you are still keen on the Kings GEP program, you can apply to both! I spoke to admissions about that this year, and they were very happy for people who qualified for both to apply to both - this does take up 2 places on your UCAS form though.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. chrisjimmartin

    chrisjimmartin New Member

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    Uh oh....

    Glad I looked on this forum before I applied for their 4 year course. It does seem incredibly unfair to place so much emphasis on the UKCAT when perfectly capable applicants may have been spending years doing everything they can to get a place only to be beaten to it by someone who gets an insanely high score on the day of the UKCAT but isn't really as committed (only a possible scenario I know but sure it'll happen in a few cases...)

    And doubly glad someone said about them only considering rejected people for the 5 year program if they're in that top 150.

    I will apply for the 5 year course now. Disappointing, but better than wasting a valuable choice on the UCAS form.

    Ceej :(

    Oh yeah btw to whoever said about admissions tutors trying to scare people off, I don't think this is the case. They say in their prospectus they encourage graduates to apply for the 4 year in the first instance which is scary considering how they DON'T tell you about how unlikely you are of getting a second look, even for the 5 year course.
     
  6. LP77

    LP77 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I can see its probably going to be a waste of a choice if I put the grad entry, now im having second thoughts about the 5 year course as if they are already interviewing 150 grads with killer UKCAT scores then will they bother interviewing grads who just apply to the 5 year course or will they just use some of the 125 rejected grads from the 4 year course to fill up the 5 year course and save on interviewing time?
    KKerr do you know if they save some grad allocated spaces separate from people who dont make the 4 year course?
     
  7. chrisjimmartin

    chrisjimmartin New Member

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    I have emailed them about applying straight off as a graduate for the 5 year course. Waiting for a response. To be honest though I think it's fine. They say in the prospectus you are assessed among the other applications for the 5 year course and they also say you can apply to both 4 and 5 year courses as a graduate to maximise your chances.
    I take this to mean that 4 year and 5 year applications are assessed independently of each other, probably with a small number of places on the 5 year reserved for the GEP overspill.
     
  8. Arch_Angel

    Arch_Angel New Member

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    "I presume that's equally competitive" - Referring to Oxford and Kings

    Not so. Kings gets 8 times the applicants oxford recieves. You should think long and hard before you put it down on your form, you only get 4 options. If you're hell bent on it, then do it, or you'll forever think "what if", however if you'd be happy to go anywhere then I wouldn't bother.

    Your score, while at the high end of the average band is just that....slightly above average. If kings have decided to go for the all out cruel applicant slaughter and ignore everything but your score to give an interview then it doesn't matter if you're PhD Dsc DD FRS VC they'll still reject you because they have to.

    On a lighter note 10 points for anyone who can name all those qualifications above :)
     
  9. LP77

    LP77 New Member

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    Hmm, more to think about, especiallly now that Kings seems to have changed its tune, interviewing 110 maybe on UKCAT merit and another 50 on the basis of UCAS form experience and achievements.
    They seem to have a very weird interview system with posts, im intrigued. Plus they seem to encourage everyone who is eligible to go for the 4 year course as 50ish places will be made on the 5yr course for fallout from the 4yr.
    Mixed messages but nice that kings seems to be taking other merits into account (see thread above)
     
  10. ead

    ead New Member

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    Just got my UKCAT results today. They are:

    VR: 650
    QR: 740
    AR: 710
    DA: 710
    Total: 2810
    Avg: 702.5

    Does anyone know if they will they be good enough for Kings?
     
  11. Thickshit

    Thickshit New Member

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    Hi

    I am just about to start year 3 of the GPEP course at Kings and thought I should give some encouragement! When I applied it was for only the 2nd intake so there were no applicant statistics which is just as well - if i had seen them I would never have applied! However I did and got in so please do think about applying - you never know! When I did it it was MSAT only but they are now selecting a certain number on UKCAT and some on wider merit which I think is definitely progress! As i understand it, interviews next year will be based on a number of timed stations where you have to rotate round when the bell goes (it is supposed to be similar format to our clinical exams) which to be honest sounds a bit naff! At least now some of the interview will be based on your UCAS form which when I applied they never even looked at!

    Have always thought the most important thing is to be honest with yourself - if your UKCAT scores are average then you clearly won't make the cut off but if your application is especially strong then you stand a good chance getting in this way. Also bear in mind that the course at Kings is very popular purely because of its broad (low) entrance requirements so if you have degrees suitable for elsewhere then maybe this is something to really think about! I know how hard it was choosing 4 places where I even stood a chance and even now I can't quite believe how lucky I was to get my place - just remember every year 24 people do succeed and get in!
     
  12. Pammy

    Pammy New Member

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    I think most of the cut-off score discussion is a bit pointless...E.g. if someone spreads the word here that for King's you'll need 700 or above, then only people with 700 and above will apply, meaning that the actual cut-off will probably more likely be around 750 or so...By this logic, all the cut-off scores this year would be higher than last year's, because only people with scores higher than the lowest-scoring person admitted to the respective unis last year will apply to those unis in the first place. This can't go on indefinitely...so, on the whole I am just very curious to see what will happen over the next few years!
    Also, it means that if it were me I probably wouldn't worry too much about all the speculations and just apply where I want to...
    Pammy
     
  13. Adibaba

    Adibaba Guest

    I took UKCAT yesterday and got a 725 average (810, 810, 630, 650). I was planning to apply for the Kings 5-year course, but am now wondering if it might be a good idea to apply for GEP.

    I have been told, however, that the cohort tends to be made up of Oxbridge-educated rocket scientists who write research papers for fun, in between running marathons for MSF.

    Do I, with a mediocre CV by grad entry standards (2.1, HCA job, hobbies include partying hard and sleeping), stand a chance?

    Also, is it true that by applying for GEP at Kings you are automatically considered for the 5-year course, and if so, are you treated equally to original 5-year applicants?
     
  14. Argh!

    Argh! New Member

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    725 average should be fine UKCAT wise to get an interview (one of my friends got a GPEP interview last year with one of just under 700), and my friends and I who applied (all of us got interviews) didn't have red hot UCAS statements in terms of experience (I am sure plenty of people had more). I did go to Oxford for my undergrad (but neither of them did) and none of us have ever run a marathon!

    The way the 4 year/5 year thing goes, you apply to the GPEP. They select the top 150 to interview. Of these, about 25 get GPEP offers and 25 get 5 year offers (what I and one of my friends got). If you accept a 5 year offer, you go on the waiting list for the 4 year course (I got bumped up after accepting a 5 year offer). The rest are rejected. So getting offered a 5 year place from applying to the GPEP course has WAY lower odds then getting offered a 5 year place if you applied to the 5 year course.
     
  15. Adibaba

    Adibaba Guest

    Thanks Argh!, that's really helpful.

    Maybe I will apply for the GPEP - the odds look a bit more attractive after the UKCAT decimation.
     
  16. BGG

    BGG New Member

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    I think with UKCAT 725 it's definitely worth applying for the 4-year.

    Providing the rest of your application is at least solid you should get an interview with that. One you get an interview you effectively start afresh as the interviews were doen blind (i.e. without them knowing your UKCAT/background etc etc).
     
  17. Hannes

    Hannes New Member

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    If you wonder why king's has a cut off like that, face it, probably half of the people applying would make excellent doctors so there is need for someone to get unlucky. At least they don't do it as at a company I heard of, they put all applications in two piles and threw one away, they were unlucky and shouldn't work there because of that.
     
  18. alisonitis

    alisonitis New Member

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    I also wrote to Kings about the cut off mark and go this reply:
    "We receive on average 1200 applications for the Graduate Entry Course to Medicine. In order to select 170 interviewees for our 24-28 places available each year we only select from those candidates who score in the top 25 percentile of UKCAT results achieved nationally for that application year"

    So this means they are taking the top 25% first and then interviewing from there - not a mixture of PS and UKCAT to decide on who they interview.

    Also - note they said the top 25% of UKCAT results achieved nationally, not the top 25% of those who apply.

    It's difficult to tell exactly what is the top 25% but I'm guessing that over 700 is probably in the there and even maybe the high 600s. But that's just a guess.... I would say if in doubt, apply. How much would you kick yourself if you found out afterwards someone with a lower score than you got a place and you didn't even apply!
     
  19. hoonosewot88

    hoonosewot88 New Member

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    Yeh i spoke to Kings admissions on the phone today and she said they pick about 150 people to interview based on UKCAT scores alone, ie the top 150. They then pick more for interview (didnt say how many) based on their whole application. Just saves them a lot of time i suppose considering the amount of applicants they get. With my score of 707.5 i dont think id make the top 150 and the insane competition makes me feel like i'd be wasting a choice, so im drifting away from Kings now.
    Thats not their fault though, their just too popular for their own good.
     

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