Application

 Cambridge

 King’s

 Medicine

 2006 (deferred entry)

 offer made

Applicant

 Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Comprehensive School

 yes

Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

( predicted A; gained NA)

( predicted A; gained NA)

( predicted A; gained NA)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

( predicted A; gained A)

Details about the offer

 conditional

A (AH) in Biology, A (AH) in Chemistry, A (AH) in Mathematics

Didn’t have to achieve a grade in Physics higher.

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

I liked the traditional medicine course, and also thought it would be a good challenge to apply.

Visited both on an open day, much prefered Cambridge as a town, Oxford felt a little bland.

Because I want to be a doctor!

Visited it on an open day, felt friendly, liked the library (and the bar and the coffee shop…)

Preparation

yes

Just some help on filling in the CAF form.

Read around your subject, ie for medicine pop-sciency books such as Richard Dawkins, Matt Ridley and also New Scientist. Aside from being really interesting anyway it gives you something to talk about in the interview.

Interview

yes

BMAT exam… I got 6.2, 5.0, 12.0 (if I remember rightly). The practice book really helped me, esp. for the written section, getting used to writing in the time limit. Revise GCSE level science.

no

no

Seemed terrible at the time, but they mustn’t have been too bad as I got an offer!

Had 2, each 15 minutes or so, very nice warm pink waiting room to sit in before them and chat to the other applicants.

General biology-related stuff, all very medical and the sort of questions you had to think around rather than having an instant answer. There was some stuff about blood circulation and also mother/baby immune system interactions, and some questions about a skull.

A suit, thought it would be better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Impressions

Big and scary. Much more daunting in the dark than during the sunny open days.

Stayed for two nights as pretty far from home, room was quite big with good facilities (shower, sink, desk etc) nice view over a little quad.. decoration not exactly beautiful though. The corridor smelt funny.

Dinner was fine, breakfast was ehh.. watery scrambled eggs. Ugh.

Nice in retrospect. Terrifying at the time.

Only talked to a couple for a few minutes during which they seemed nice but obsessed with me being Scottish.

Final stage

Not too bothered up until a week or so before when I began to get a bit nervous. Was more nervous about getting an offer from any medical school at all, to be honest!

Got letter, felt it was pretty thick so knew it was good news, opened to have it confirmed, was very happy and phoned friends and family 🙂 Then started revising for my prelim exams 3 weeks later..

Looking back

Yep, nothing ventured nothing gained.

Just go for it, make sure you’ve thought around your subject a fair bit, and don’t get scared if the interview feels like it went terribly – you never know.