Worried About Getting into Medical School? Find out the Lowest Entry Requirements for Medicine.
There are various requirements for Medical Schools that, of course, can vary at each university. It’s useful to check the websites to make sure. Here, we break down the lowest entry requirements for Medicine into sections, so you can see what you need to achieve to succeed.
What are the lowest entry requirements for Medicine?
Before asking “what are the lowest entry requirements for Medicine?” you must first ask “what are the entry requirements?”. Medicine is not all about the grades, you must be a rounded individual and impress the Medical School in more ways than simply academic.
Lowest Grades for Medicine
Although I mentioned that grades are not everything, academic excellence is normally assumed as a baseline for Medical School applications. That being said, what is the lowest entry requirement for Medicine with regards to academic achievement? That all depends on where you are applying. Medical Schools such as Cambridge will be unlikely to accept anything short of A*A*A with most students having three or more A* grades at A-level. So if you struggle academically, then Oxbridge may not be a sensible application for you.
Universities such as Cardiff and Anglia Ruskin are slightly more lenient with their entry requirements and may take lower entry requirements for Medicine based on other variables. For instance, Anglia Ruskin currently requires at least AAA.
An example of how Medical Schools can be slightly more lenient with their lowest entry requirements for Medicine is as follows…
If you have missed your requirement by one grade but have some other academic evidence such as an EPQ then the Medical School may still allow you your place. However, it’s important to be aware that this is rare and tends to only happen if you have been predicted high grades or already have your grades.
If you are predicted less than the minimum grade requirements then there is not often anything that you can do to improve this. In a situation where you are predicted something like AAB, it may be advisable to do your A-levels and then take a year out to reapply. It’s also a great opportunity to build on your work experience! If you already have your grades when you apply, then a Medical School is taking less of a gamble on you than someone with only predicted grades.
Work Experience for Medicine
Work experience is a simple and easy issue to overcome. Plan ahead and go and get some! It really is that simple. Medical Schools do not want to see that you have shadowed the best cardiologist in the world, or that you are personal friends with a consultant anaesthetist who let you into theatres once.
Admissions tutors want to see that you have gained something from your work experience, whether it be in a care home, a hospital, or at a local GP. What you gain from your experience is far more valuable than what you actually undertook.
In line with the article title, the pressing question is what are the lowest entry requirements for Medicine and medical work experience? The best thing to do is only focus on relevant experience that gives you an insight into the medical field. Remember to keep notes on what you do, your thoughts and opinions and what you learnt. It gives you something to talk about in an interview and is necessary for a Medicine Personal Statement.
But if, for whatever reason, you couldn’t get that much work experience and only had, say, two days of experience, identify what you gained from it and identify its limitations. For example, a limitation of two days of work experience is that you might not have a strong understanding of the medical profession and what it means to be a doctor. To remedy this, see if you can speak to any healthcare professionals. Although not as good as longer-term work experience, it proves to the Medical School that you can weigh up your experiences.
If you’re unable to get work experience, don’t worry, there is a newly released platform that allows you to gain a virtual work experience and show your interest in the field without having to physically be there (see the image below). This has become especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for more information on Observe GP, the virtual medical work experience platform.
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Lowest UCAT and BMAT score
The UCAT and BMAT are Admissions Tests that are daunting for a lot of applicants and understandably can be a source of much anxiety. The important difference is that you sit the UCAT before selecting your Medical Schools whereas you will sit the BMAT after selecting your Medical Schools. If you are in doubt as to whether you are likely to perform well, you should sit the UCAT first so you can select your Medical Schools more appropriately.
Identifying your weak points will help your application as Medical Schools often put emphasis on different sections. That’s why it’s difficult to answer the question of what are the lowest entry requirements for Medicine with regards to Admissions Tests.
Many medical applicants struggle with the Situational Judgement component, however, there are some Medical Schools that do not take this into account. It is all about being aware of what the Medical School wants and to play your cards right to give yourself the best chance of success. Some UCAT Medical Schools have strict cut-offs for certain sections or overall totals for the UCAT. For example, the University of Glasgow Medicine Degree admissions has a minimum UCAT score for interview selection of around 2680.
Also, remember that if you score badly through lack of preparation, there is always the possibility of taking a year out and reapplying. This gives you time to focus on the UCAT and BMAT where you might have struggled before due to exam stress.
When looking at which Medical Schools accept lower UCAT or BMAT scores, if you score around 610 on the UCAT, this is a low score but as we suggested earlier, some schools place less emphasis on the UCAT. For example, Keele University has a low minimum cut-off score of around 570 and Plymouth cut-off is around 590-600 and they currently do not use Situational Judgement scores. Also, at the interviews, Plymouth applicants are ranked only on their interview performance to make a final offer.
For the BMAT, lots of universities see it as a way to strengthen an application. Others, like Oxford, see it as 50/50 with your academic performance (GCSEs and UCAS points). A good score on the BMAT is 6.0/7.0 or more and an average score is 5.0. Due to the prowess of BMAT Medical Schools, scoring high is recommended with the BMAT to give you the best chance.
What Should Take Priority?
Grades, work experience, and Admissions Tests form the main bulk of requirements to meet when applying to Medical Schools.
The best advice would be to prioritise your A-level results over anything as these are the most difficult to redo. Work experience and Admissions Tests can be improved upon, whereas it is more difficult to do this with your A-level results. Here are some further tips:
Most of all, remember that if you don’t get into Medical School the first time, you can reapply. This gives you the time you need to re-evaluate your application and strengthen it appropriately. A Medical School will prefer to make an offer to someone who already has their grades.
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