Submitting to UCAS
Submitting your application to medical school via UCAS can be a scary (and exciting!) moment. You’ve been working towards this for ages and submitting your application takes you one step closer to achieving your career dreams, but you know that once you’ve submitted your application you cannot make changes. It’s important to get your application right before you send it off, so go through this checklist to make sure that everything is ready.
Check your spelling and grammar
As you read through your personal statement for the last time, make sure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. These are usually underlined in Microsoft Word automatically, so it should be fairly easy to spot any spelling mistakes.
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Read your personal statement inside UCAS
You’ve probably read through your personal statement countless times as a Word document or on paper. However, when you copy and paste it into the box on the UCAS website sometimes the formatting can change slightly. It is worth reading your personal statement one last time on the UCAS website before you press submit, just to make sure that nothing has gone wrong during the copy and paste process.
Choose medical schools tactically
There are so many different medical schools in the UK and their entry requirements and selection process are all slightly different. Although this may be confusing, it gives you the opportunity to apply tactically to medical schools that are most likely to accept your application. For example, if you’ve got very strong GCSEs but didn’t do so well on the UKCAT, avoid applying to medical schools which put a lot of emphasis on ranking UKCAT results as part of their selection process. Instead you could apply to medical schools which pay more attention to academic grades. If your application is strong all-round, this gives you more choice in which medical schools you wish to apply to. Read our article about how to choose which medical schools to apply to for more advice.
Select the right course codes
It’s so easy to click on the wrong University or course code in the drop-down boxes. Pay particular attention to whether you’ve clicked the standard programme, graduate-entry programme or foundation year programme. It sounds so obvious, but it’s worth taking 10 seconds to double-check, especially when it’s something this important.
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Include your educational and employment history
You should include any academic qualifications from secondary school onwards. This includes GCSEs, A-Levels, IB, Scottish Highers and so on. Double-check that you have entered the correct grades for each qualification. You should also enter the academic qualifications that you are currently working on that you expect to have finished by the time you start medical school – for example A-Levels. If you have ever been employed, you should include this in the employment history section.
Sort your reference
Find someone who is able to provide a reference in advance. If you are in education or have recently left education, this should be a form tutor, subject teacher or head teacher. If you left education a long time ago, the reference should come from your employer. Once you have found someone who is happy to write you a reference, note their email address down because you will need to enter it when submitting your UCAS application.
Make sure that your application is sent off by the UCAS deadline – 6pm on 15thOctober. Good luck!