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UKCAT / BMAT (UK) - May 7th 2009, 03:44 PM

Anyone else taken either / both of the above? What did you think? What kind of revision did you for them? I know they say you can't revise but I'm sure there is something you can do.

In levels of difficulty what would you rate them? 1 being the easiest, 10 the hardest (for both if you've done both).

For the UKCAT am I right in thinking you get your score on the day, just not how that score compares to other people?

BMAT you don't take till after you have applied via UCAS, ja?

Currently thinking along the lines of just applying to UKCAT schools to avoid having to do the BMAT.
   
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Re: UKCAT / BMAT (UK) - May 7th 2009, 09:44 PM

Have done them both. In my opinion, you can't really prepare that much for the UKCAT other than to familiarise yourself with the test. There are a few books about it, look on amazon. BMAT, however, can be prepared for - practice writing section 3 essays, brush up on your science (especially if you're not doing Physics AS) and practice critical thinking skills. Personally, I much preferred the BMAT, and believe that the UKCAT does seem to be down to a large element of luck whereas the BMAT is more "fair". In terms of difficulty, I would say that the BMAT was harder in terms of knowledge, but more familiar (if that makes sense) .

Since nearly all medical schools (bar Bham, Bristol and Liverpool) require UKCAT, you would perhaps be wise to sit it during your summer holiday to give you adequate time to think things through if your UKCAT score is not as high as expected. This happened to me, consequently I applied to non-UKCAT unis, (2 BMAT, 2 non-BMAT).

Yes, you're right in saying that you sit the BMAT after you've submitted UCAS (which is a bit annoying, but heyho). So defo don't apply to more than 2 BMAT unis, it's too much of a gamble imo.

Have you drawn up a shortlist of where you want to apply? Are you going for a lecture-based or PBL-oriented course?

Edit: I just thought I'd add, if you have any further questions regarding the applications process, feel free to ask me. I've been through it all and have come out the other end sucessful (now all I've got to do is get the A grades in June!)

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Re: UKCAT / BMAT (UK) - May 8th 2009, 07:09 PM

^ Where have you got into? Congratulations you must be really chuffed, I can't even imagine how happy I would be! I am going into this 60% sure I won't even get 1 offer but I'm willing to take the risk if the possible prize is my dream

I don't know what I'm thinking with regards to PBL/lecture based. I think I'd prefer lecture based but they're the more traditional uni's and so harder to get into. Do you think it's a bad idea to apply to a mixture? I'm pretty sure I could adapt to any situation I'm put in. UCAS doesn't tell Universities which other Uni's you've applied to, does it?

Currently I'm thinking ... Glasgow, Brighton & Sussex, King's College London and if I was going to apply for a BMAT University I'd apply for UCL. Also interested in Bristol, Leicester, Newcastle and Edinburgh but they don't interview and my interview will (I think) be my strongest part. So... haha, yes a mixture of PBL and lecture.

Physics is the issue I have with BMAT -- have not got a GCSE in it even (am doing it next year). Chemistry and biology, fine, maths, fine, physics? Hahaha... If I decided to apply for BMAT I'd work hard over the summer to cover as much as I can.

Too many decisions to make

Did you do the Kaplan course? I will check out Amazon.
   
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Re: UKCAT / BMAT (UK) - May 9th 2009, 08:52 AM

I know a number of people who applied for Medicine and chose a mixture of the teaching styles. I stuck to one style (primarily lecture based) because it has been known for interviewers to ask about your other universities (although it's strictly not supposed to happen) and I didn't want to be put into the difficult and embarassing situation of having to explain why I had chosen to apply to universites that teach by such contrasting methods! Obviously, I suppose it depends on which universities you've chosen - but that's my reasoning.

If you have a decent set of GCSEs and are lecture-inclined, take a look at Birmingham. Also, have you considered Leicester? I'd warn you that KCL and BSMS are very competitive in terms of the sheer number of applicants they receive and I believe the UKCAT may be integral to their decisions!

As for myself, I applied to Cambridge, UCL, Birmingham and Bristol and was fortunate to get offers from all four. Provided you can get 5,5,9 in your BMAT and fufill all the other requirements UCL guarantee you an interview (or they did for 09 entry, this may have changed) - I'm sure if you put your mind to it, you can crack the physics part of the BMAT. In the actual exam, there will probably only be about 5 questions or so that are physics - I could only answer one in my exam! I had forgotten pretty much everything from GCSE and had to cover it all again before the exam, so I'm not entirely sure if I had any advantage at all. If your other sciences and maths are up to scratch you should still get a decent score. Although you think you're at a disadvantage, if I remember correctly you're doing English Lit at A Level, right? Your section 3 essay will probably a doddle then compared to those who haven't written an essay since GCSE.

Hope that helps, I have waffled on a bit :
   
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Re: UKCAT / BMAT (UK) - May 9th 2009, 11:23 AM

^ That's fucking unheard of, four! I am officially impressed. What is your top choice?

I'm really not feeling Birmingham to be honest. Defintley am considering Leciester. I really wanted to apply to two London schools because your career prospects are so much better in London.

I did consider Cambridge but I ruled it out because medicine is hard anyway and at Cambridge even harder, I'm not sure I want to have that kind of stress. However I'm applying for the Natural Sciences degree at Cambridge for my 5th option

You've really made me thinking *ponders*

My list of potential applications is 6
- Glasgow
- Brighton and Sussex
- Leicester
- Kings College London
- Bristol
- Newcastle

Also considering
- Barts

If I were going to do the BMAT I would defintley apply to UCL and consider Imperial

God how exactly am I supposed to make this decision!?

Yes I am doing English Literature at A Level and you made a good point, that will help! In sciences you never write essays whereas I've been writing over one a week all year! Woo.

Alright, so I think my current plan is to take the UKCAT and see how I score on that. If I do particularly well, I'll stick to UKCAT schools. If I do average I think I'll apply for 2/3 UKCAT schools, 1 BMAT and then maybe Bristol/Liverpool. If I do awful ... hm, I don't know what I'd do then.

This is a mammoth decision I really don't know how I am supposed to make it. The issue is that it's not just about where I would like to go, you also have consider where you are going to get in and the entrance exams! Gah.

I know that I am defintley applying to Glasgow and Leciester. I defintley want to apply to a London school. There are five I think, St George's, Imperial, UCL, KCL, Barts. St Georges I won't get into due to the GCSE requirements (they aren't spectacular, all A's and A*'s just lacking a bit in numbers, but as I was very poorly when I did them so most places will give me special consideration). Imperial and UCL are BMAT (though I would LOVE to go to UCL, defintley would be my top choice!) leaving KCL and Barts. As you said KCL is so competitive I might have to reconsider Barts!

And you thought you were waffling

ETA: Forgot to mention, in the prospectus UCL said they give preferance to candidates offering an 'arts' subject. English Literature counts as an art subject, don't you think? Which offers a whole new (slightly more pressing) dialemma. Currently doing Chem, Bio, Maths & English Lit at AS. Have to drop one (college does not allow you to do four till A2). My plan was to drop English but literally everyone I have spoken to BAR Cambridge have said they'd prefer the English Lit. However I am more likely to get an A in maths than in English and for the Natural Sciences degree Cambridge would prefer Maths (although I still meet the requirements as I have done maths to AS level). Decisions decisions! If I get an A in AS English I'll keep going with that, if I get a B and get an A in maths I'll keep the maths. Which is sad because English is more fun.

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Re: UKCAT / BMAT (UK) - May 9th 2009, 03:44 PM

Yes, I think at this stage it would probably be most sensible to work extra hard for your AS levels, shorten your shortlist after going to open days, do your UKCAT, then reassess the situation. I think once you have your score, it will become a lot easier to decide where to apply (or not to apply, as was my situation) from there.

Not that I want to confuse you further, but what about Nottingham? Their course is lecture-based, they use dissection and you also get a bmedsci (even though the course is 5 years). Well, that's if you didn't get put off by Medlink haha.

NatSci at Cambridge requires an entrance exam as well, either TSA or similar (although I believe this varies from college to college - where are you thinking of applying?). Like you said earlier, you might be at quite a disadvantage if you're not doing 3 sci/math A2s... I have 2 friends who applied this year for bio NatSci who both got rejected - one who's doing 5 A2's (bio, chem, phys, maths and further maths), and the other is doing the same except physics - so it seems to be seriously competitive! And the interviews are like exams in themselves lol (good experience, though).

Enjoy!

P.s) In the meantime, make sure you keep up with swine flu stuff and keep newspaper cuttings (interview fodder) - also get as much work exp and voluntary work as you can between now and October.
   
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Re: UKCAT / BMAT (UK) - May 9th 2009, 03:53 PM

Not got much time right now -- but I don't want to go to Nottingham. It's only 25 minutes (max) from where I live, farrrr too close for my liking.
   
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Re: UKCAT / BMAT (UK) - May 9th 2009, 04:15 PM

I did the UKCAT test the other year. Its not too bad. If you go on the website where you can get a short test to see what its like. Its mostly fitting things into catagories and problem solving stuff.

I got an offer after doing so. Its not hard, just do your best!

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