REMEMBER: the UCAS application deadline for medical schools is October 15! Apply here.
You’ve done your research and found your top schools. You’ve joined joined sports teams and helped the needy. You’re ready to start your application!
1. Go to UCAS.com and start your application
UCAS is the central organisation in the UK for processing applications to higher education like universities. Go to their website here, and make an account. Fill in as much information as possible and make your choices! Your journey has begun.
IMPORTANT: As a rule, one can only apply to four medical schools, leaving one last fifth choice for a non-medical course as a back-up. If you’re interested in applying to Oxford or Cambridge, you’re only allowed to apply to one or the other and not both, otherwise your application will be dismissed. However, an exception is made to those applying for the four-year postgraduate medical degree.
2. The grades section
Fill in all the grades you have obtained from all your courses. These have to be in English, and you can find the official translation for all your courses on Skolverket.
If you are in your final year of gymnasium, add the subjects you have yet to receive a final grade on, but leave your grades blank. Ask your teachers on those courses for your predicted grade (have them write your predicted grade and sign the sheet of paper with your courses with blank grades). Calculate your predicted average including your previously set grades and predicted grades. Click here for a tool to calculate your predicted grade average. Fill in your predicted average on the predicted grades section.
3. Do the necessary exams
As previously mentioned on my previous post, medical schools have varying requirements. After doing your research, you may have noticed that some require UKCAT, some BMAT etc. I will explain the necessary exams here. Remember, for each exam you have to do, you have to pay for it yourself and they’re not cheap!
- UKCAT: The UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) is an admissions exam used by the majority of medical and dental schools in the UK. Only a select few universities do not use this exam. The UKCAT is a computer-based exam like an IQ test, where you receive your results automatically once you’ve finished. You will receive a paper copy of your results and your results will automatically be added to your UCAS application. The score on the UKCAT is usually used as a cut-off for viewing applications. If possible, check the cut-off score from previous years of the medical school you are interested in. If your score is much lower than the cut-off, apply elsewhere, as they will not even look at your application. Aim for a score above 2500! It is possible to redo the exam to try and get a higher score. For more information on the UKCAT and registering for the UKCAT, click here. It is possible to do the exam in several major cities in Sweden. Do try their practice questions to familiarize yourself with the exam and to get some practice!
- BMAT: The BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) is used by a few medical schools as a part of the admissions process. This exam is especially used by Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London and University College London. This exam tests ones ability for scientific thinking, including ones current scientific knowledge. Currently, one can only do this exam in Malmö. For more information on the BMAT and for registering for the BMAT, click here.
- English requirements: Normally, an A on English 7 (or MVG on English C back in my day) should be enough to reach the English requirement, but some schools require you to take an English proficiency test like the IELTS or the TOEFL. These tests can be done in several centers in Sweden. Follow the links to take you to the IELTS and the TOEFL websites, for more information and to register.
4. Write your personal statement
Out of everything else in your application, this is the one which will take the most time and effort. Apart from achieving all your grades of course. Somehow, you have to convince those who will read your application that you’re the perfect candidate for medical school. And you have 47 lines or 4000 characters including spaces to do it. As this part is so important, I have written a separate post on how I was taught to structure my personal statement, from my teacher who used to work in admissions for Oxford.
5. Ask for a reference
A reference is required as a part of your application. Ask one of your science teachers to be your referee, and ask for a reference. Fill in their details, and they will get a link to their e-mail where they can upload their reference.
It’s nearing the deadline of October 15. All those days working on your application are now over, you’re ready to take your first step towards medical school. Cross your fingers and submit your application!