So, you’ve sent off your UCAS application to your four chosen medical schools (and probably one other choice) and now you’re waiting to hear about interviews. This waiting can be nerve-wracking, so here are some things that you can do (and should do!) to keep your mind off of checking your inbox every five minutes as you wait to hear from universities.
By sending off your application, you’ve just taken a huge step towards fulfilling your dream of becoming a doctor. Although there are still more hoops to jump through, you deserve to celebrate this step. Maybe get together with family or friends (particularly if they’ve just sent off their UCAS application too) and do whatever you all enjoy to relax and have some fun after all the hard work.
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If you’ve applied to any of the BMAT medical schools and didn’t sit the BMAT in September, you will be sitting the exam on 31stOctober. Use the two weeks in between the UCAS deadline and the BMAT exam date to do the last bits of your preparation so that you do as well as you possibly can on the day. Familiarise yourself with the type of questions asked in each section, check the official BMAT syllabus, learn/revise any topic areas that you’re unsure about, then start practicing questions. Make sure you do some full-length timed mocks when you’re preparing for your BMAT too.
Focus on studying
Keep your mind distracted from worrying about your application by focusing on your studies. It’s important to keep working hard on your studies throughout the year, even when you’re in the midst of university applications and thinking about interviews, because you will need to meet the conditions of your offer (which for Medicine is usually AAA or above). Many schools, sixth forms and colleges run mock exams around Christmas and these are a fantastic way to benchmark your progress and help you to know where to focus your revision for the real exams. So work hard this term so you are well-prepared for your mocks.
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Start interview preparation
If you know that some of the medical schools that you’ve applied to start to run interviews very early in the season, you might want to start preparing for interviews soon after the UCAS deadline. Some interviews at certain medical schools happen in November, so if this is the case for any of your medical schools it’s worth starting preparation in mid-October just in case you’re in the first batch of interviews. Overall, interviews run from November to March but each medical school has particular times that they interview. If the medical schools you’ve applied to don’t start interviews until December or later, it’s not necessary to start preparing for interviews straight after the UCAS deadline.
Life is busy and there are always lots of things you can be doing to keep your mind off of worrying about your application. If you’re sitting the BMAT at the end of October, BMAT preparation should be your main priority. If you’re applying to medical schools that start interviewing in November, begin your interview preparation in the next few weeks. Otherwise, your main focus should be on your A-Level studies (or equivalent) to ensure that you are on track to achieve your predicted grades. In reality, you shouldn’t be spending all of your time on just one of these things – you should be striking a balance between them, but with a focus on whichever is the most relevant to you at this point in time.