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Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

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Name: Joe
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Posts: 431
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Join Date: January 23rd 2010

Trouble studyign and with applications - August 14th 2010, 11:54 AM

I'm applying for Graduate Entry Medicine and I'm freaking out a bit about it. I'll try and keep this structured, unlike my last thread, but I ultimately have two issues at had: 1. Study; and 2. Applications, particularly over Cambridge. Please do reply and say something at least on one issue, 1 is the most daunting at this moment in time.

1.

I've had to cover A Level Chemistry and Biology for this exam, the GAMSAT, which I'll be sitting in about a month's time. I covered them both in 3 weeks. Biology is fucking nailed. Thats not a problem, but chemistry still remains a slight mystery to me.

For instance a sample question might go:

The strongest base is:
A) CH3-CH2-OH
B) H2O
C) CH(triple bond)CH
D) CH2=CH2

And I know the answer is B, because its most likely to accept a proton. I can tackle all the isomer questions no problem...andything froma graph is ok too...but there's still a lot of stuff I'm not sure about.

Anyway, even though I have the equivalent of an AS level in physics that section I find really hard too. Its an absolute cunt, becuase it throws a really weird load of maths at you and asks you for the answer which really involves rearranging equations and shit...and with 1.5 mins per question thats really mentally hard.

Anyway, what I've found really daunting is that I downloaded one set of sample questions and I just flew through the biology, found the chemistry and physics ok - I got the majority of everything right. But I downloaded another set and holy shit, chemistry was really hard and physics was impossible, but at least biology remained easy. These questions, a friend and I deduced are unrealistic - they're too hard and requite rote learning (somethign the GAMSAT says isn't required.)

So that has scared me. I also don't have any official questions - can't afford them; so I have no more to practice and get a flavour of my chances of passing.

Anyway, theoretically you can get 100% in the GAMSAT without studying - all the information you need is in the paragraph before the question...but of course its a good deal harder not to study and only the most intelligent people could pull it off.

But so long as I get 35-40% in the humanities and essay questions (which I reckon I will) I only need to get 35 of the 75 science questions right to get above 60 points and get offered a place.

I have 26 questions of the science section of the BMAT, and a book told me to practice those questions too as they're not exclusively different to the GAMSAT. I got 75% right, but again I don't know what to make of it and whether to think that thats how I'll perform in the GAMSAT.

But, I'm really stuck. I've covered everything, I feel I knwo it all. Going over it doesn't help with anything....yet I really don't feel ready to sit the exam. What do I do? Without practice questions how can I learn more and be more ready for te exam?

2.

I'm applying to all the Irish universities, and thats not a complicated process at all - no interviews, covering letters, &c., &c.

UCAS I'm applying to:

St. George's
Nottingham
Peninsula

I am debating over whether to apply to Cambridge. I had underachieved massively in my equivalent of A levels through a series of events outside of my control and not all of them were due to myself. Anyway I took a place in a BA in Classics.

I'm hoping to get a 1st in this degree, but I could easily slip to a 2:1 as I had a rough last semester and only got a 2:1 GPA (a series of B's) which slipped me to hanging in just above a 2:1 degree.

I don't really want to tell my parents I'm appkyign to Cambridge because they're not very pro-education and just want me out and working. They're anti this whole graduate medicine thing too...so its bad enough having to tell them about this. I wouldn't tell them about Cambridge if I didn't need a cheque for 15 to send with the application and my birth certificate.

My mother does't think I'll get a place at any of the uni's she knows I'm applyign to, so she definitely won't think much of applyign to Cambridge.

The thing with Cambridge is that there is only an interview. Last year there were 183 applicants for 23 places. Thats about a 1 in 8 chance of getting a place.

My application will have a reference from the Head of the School of Classics, who had done his BA, MA and PhD at Magdalene College, Oxford (if that will add any weight to my application). He's awarded me a scholarship as well as hopefully being my dissertation supervisor this year. The other referee will be the doctor of my boxing club in which I'll be a coach in September and have been first aid officer of for the lat 18 or so months.

I've got a few other extra-curricular things - mainly boxing, but military experience and other things that show leadership, working under pressure, autonomous learning, published writing and so on and so forth. It'll all be useful for the interview if I am offered one.

I've thought about it and Cambridge is the place I'd want to go if I could choose. Not because of the name, but because its in Hughes Halls where I'd be in residence and the course is 48 weeks a year and often 6 days a week. Students are also required to live in Hiughes Halls for the duration of that time. Thats probably why it has fewer than expected applicants, but I would love that - a massive work load and being required to live in university.

I don't know if its a good idea to apply - and a good idea involves having a high chance of being offered a place. I'm a very proud person, unfortunately, and I don't want anyone to know I got rejected from a uni. I also don't know how to get around this 15 business...I could ask an uncle or my grandfather to do it which they would - but then I don't like asking people to do things for me.

It'd be a lot easier to tell my parents that I've been offered an interview at Cambridge and then they'd probably get quite optimistic and then go on a rage about how they'd fund it if I did get offered a place...but they wouldn't start saying no like they would now.


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