May 29, 2013 by Emedica
With The UKCAT over, it just feels odd not having another hurdle to tackle. I’d become so used to logging on to the internet and getting into the UKCAT frame of mind. I must say that online preparation really does make study easier, as it feels very familiar to our generation (regardless of what older generations believe / science might say!)
Then it was just a waiting game to find out how the universities respond via UCAS and carry on with life. It’s great that the United Kingdom has the UCAS system, because in my country (New Zealand) you actually have to apply to universities separately. UCAS is really easy to navigate, and I like that you can save sections of your application before having to send it through.
After a wait of over a 2 months after I sat my UKCAT etc, I had been waiting to hear from UCAS regarding my applications. Unfortunately, they all fall near the Christmas / holiday period, so I think it’s really important not to let this get you down amid the festivities. I have been relentlessly checking the website forums etc on the internet about medical applicants, just to see what universities are responding, and what their UKCAT cutoffs are. From what I understand, some universities just have a threshold, and some actually keep lowering the threshold and continue to interview.
Unfortunately, my applications were all unsuccessful. For one of the universities, I did not have the right chemistry, which is a real pain. I think that’s a great tip for those of you who are still in the stage of being able to choose subjects, make sure you check that the level of chemistry your doing is the right one for the course you are applying to. Although I personally really dislike that you have to do that, because it makes you predetermine what you are going to study at university approximately 2 years earlier than necessary. And let’s be honest, some of us are really not to sure. I felt a bit gutted as this university I had a good chance in regards to my UKCAT score. The others, unfortunately my score was below what they were wanting for this cycle.
Being a international student, the UKCAT thresholds can be a lot higher, especially with increasing competition and smaller allocation numbers. UCAS just send you an email to say that you have a response on your application, and then you can check the status of the application. Most of the universities don’t really give a great explanation, but rather a generic letter, so if you want more information, your best to contact the university directly.
After a few weeks of feeling a little bit lost, I have decided to take on another journey in life, and will be starting a conjoint Law and Business degree. Although I always wanted to study Medicine, I’m glad that I experienced the application process and the emotional journey alongside it. Who knows, one day, I might re apply as a graduate…. But let’s see how this degree treats me first.
If I could give any advice, it would be that UKCAT is truly a integral part of your application, don’t take it lightly, and give it all the best you can. It’s more than just the “edge” to your application, but your passport as well. Really give it all you’ve got, and make the commitment to it. And always remember that if it doesn’t work out, life still continues and there are lots more opportunities and experiences to come.