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Gain access to over 370 example UCAS Personal Statements covering a diverse range of subject areas. Every UCAS Personal Statement has been critiqued and edited by a UCAS expert, with every draft uploaded being improved upon until the final draft is ready for submission to UCAS.
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Our UCAS experts have over 20 years experience with university applications within academic institutions as full time teachers where they have been responsible for the administration of applications to university through UCAS, advising generations of students on course and university choices, on the completion of their application forms, personal statement, on their gap year plans, and on their preparation for interviews, including those at Oxford and Cambridge colleges.
After spending time revising and enhancing your essay with your editors suggestions in mind, you can upload a new draft for a second round of editing and critique for as little as £9.99 per uploaded draft. During this time you can ask your UCAS expert any questions you may have, and your Personal Statements will never be made public. This service is also packaged with over 300 example UCAS Personal Statements. Every UCAS Personal Statement has been critiqued and edited by a UCAS expert, with every draft uploaded being improved upon until the final draft is ready for submission to UCAS. As a a bonus, you will also receive a comprehensive 100 page 'E-Guide to Application to British Universities'.

Thank you so much for the help. My statement reads much more professionally and is now within word limits! I used your advice and added sentences where you suggested. I really appreciate the time you put aside to do this, thank you very very much! Sam

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UCAS Questions & Answers

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Applying for Medicine advice

Amber g.p
Q: hi how can i start my ucas statement on medicine? plus how do i show my ambition for being a doctor? far as i know...ive always been intrigued by the medical profession..when i used to visit the doctor when i was little....always wondered how it would be like to sit in the doctors place...and for once pull myself out of the patient's shoes...and become in charge!! moreover...i have been to the hospital quite a few times to visit my ill and old auntie...i feel like helping her in someway...want to do something...i guess i want to help people as i am interested in patients as people...but also i find that i also have team analytical self-motivated, responsible and what else can i say? how should the introduction start...and each paragraph and what they should gained (in an orderly mannner)...moreover are there any good websites avaliable for information on requirements of being a doctor (skills) and helpful information on clinical practise too? thank you very much...this is by the way going to my first try for writing a statement

First, some general points about Medical applications, and how the various institutions assess the application forms. I assume you are applying next September for 2008 entry. The 2007 entry is now closed, with all offers made.

Medicine is an extremely competitive degree course, with over 16,000 applicants (and 59,996 applications) for some 8,000 places for medical courses starting in 2006. Since 2002 the number of applicants has risen by about 6,000. The overall number of places available has grown by 55% in seven years, but the increase in the numbers applying has more than kept pace. A 22% increase in applications in 2003 was followed by an 11% increase in 2004 and a 15% increase in 2005. The offer at all of the 31 medical schools and colleges is nowadays almost always AAA or AAB; offers seldom fall below this level. Many have a strong preference for applicants to be sitting three science A Levels, while Chemistry and Biology are subjects stipulated practically everywhere. There are a few exceptions. They include Leeds, Leicester/Warwick, King's College, St. George's, Royal Free and University College (all London), Newcastle and Southampton, where the requirement is usually one science subject at A level (normally Chemistry) and another to at least AS level. Some places value a contrasting non-science subject at A level. While offers are invariably made on the basis of three A levels, several universities and all London schools normally look for 21 ‘units’ - in other words, an A or B grade in a fourth AS level subject. Entry requirements are, however, subject to regular change, and so is it advisable to consult all their websites (these can all be accessed via the UCAS website).

All institutions screen the UCAS forms, with those applicants not meeting the specifications appearing in the entry profile (again, on the institution's website) almost certain to be rejected. Applicants who overcome this first obstacle then often find themselves completing detailed admissions questionnaires (possibly over the internet), with their responses, together with the content of their UCAS Personal Statement, having a significant bearing on whether they reach the interview shortlist. Cambridge, Oxford, the Royal Free and University College, as well as others next year require applicants to sit a two hour Bio-Medical Admissions Test, which must be entered for by 30th September. It is sat at school in early November, and is designed to test subject knowledge, numeracy, essay skills, data interpretation and aptitude for science. Specimen papers for BMAT can be found at Applicants narrowly missing the terms of their offers are not often admitted to universities or schools, while there are seldom any places in the summer in Clearing. Applicants re-taking one or more A levels will have to present a very strong case if their application is to stand any chance of success, while many rule out re-takes altogether. An early application via UCAS is absolutely essential, for there is considerable evidence to suggest that early applicants tend to more committed and of better quality; they are certainly more likely to be called for interview and to receive conditional offers. In any event, for admission in September 2008, there is a deadline of 15th October 2007 for forms to reach UCAS; this year's application cycle is of course over. Even the very earliest applicants may wait a long time before receiving notification of interviews and decisions; it is far from uncommon for these to be delayed until February or March. Some good candidates are not made offers; rather they are put on waiting lists, which is one reason for the absence of places in Clearing. You are permitted to nominate a maximum of four institutions on your UCAS form. The remaining two choices may be left blank, or else you may make applications in subjects related to medicine, such as pharmacy or pharmacology.

You should try to read the UCAS Student’s Guide to Entry in Medicine, which offers extremely useful information and advice. As you are contemplating an application to read medicine you need to be aware that it is one of the longest courses of study for any degree. You should therefore be utterly convinced that this is what you want to do with your working life since, in selecting a medical degree course, you are of course also selecting a future career. A course in medicine is academically, physically and emotionally demanding, and you will need to be particularly robust to be able to deal with setbacks, crises and stress. Following the recommendation of the General Medical Council, medical schools have in recent years made quite radical changes to their courses. There is greater integration of the ‘pre-clinical’ and ‘clinical’ programmes, less reliance on factual information, and far more time devoted to communication skills and to practical clinical tasks; there is more ‘self-learning’, as well as more group and individual work. All medical schools now put an emphasis on contact with patients as early as possible in the course. Hence there is no ‘facts on a plate’ approach, and instead you will be exposed to problem-based learning, being required to discover quite a lot of information for yourself. You qualify at the end of your fifth year; and there are then two pre-registration years of general clinical training, one as a house officer in a general hospital and one of further training for general practice and hospital specialities. This is a period of very demanding work, very long hours and increasing responsibilities. On successful conclusion of this period application can be made for full registration with the GMC.

If you are called for interview you will face searching questions about your motivation, work at school and personal interests. A key issue will be your reasons for wanting to become a doctor, and whether you have the critical personal qualities of compassion, resourcefulness, boundless energy and perseverance that are required. There is greater uniformity in selection policies these days, though individual medical schools might still have somewhat different views about the qualities that make a good medical student and a good doctor. What they are all looking for is unambiguous evidence that you will ultimately be a valuable and successful member of a caring profession. Training a doctor costs about £300,000, and so institutions want the kind of people who will make a success of the course and who will stay in the profession.

Your suggested ideas would not in practice impress a selector! Forget all about being 'intrigued' - rather you need to be committed! Hospital visits to see sick relations won't cut much ice either. You ask what the requirements are - they are listed in detail below.

For your application to stand any chance of success you will need to demonstrate all of the following qualities, and so it is evidence of these qualities that you must provide in your Personal Statement:

  • A clear sense of vocation
  • Self-motivation and excellent personal organisation (with evidence from your present work and activities)
  • A willingness to learn at all times
  • Practical concern for the welfare of others (through, for example, voluntary or charity work)
  • Excellent communication and ‘inter-personal’ skills
  • Determination, energy, perseverance, resilience, enthusiasm and the ability to make a success of the course; tenacity in pursuit of a result
  • A curiosity about the scientific basis of medicine, and some knowledge of strategies for treatment of diseases, and for prevention of illness
  • Humanity, compassion and patience
  • Originality and initiative; creativity; flexibility
  • Honesty, integrity, modesty and a sense of humour
  • Evidence that you are a balanced individual, with hobbies and interests that will counter some of the stress
  • Leadership skills and an ability to accept responsibility, and to take difficult decisions
  • An awareness of current medical and ethical issues (such as abortion, euthanasia, embryology, HIV and AIDS, CJD, and cancer and circulatory diseases)
  • An ability to find solutions to problems and the confidence to rise to challenges
  • Evidence that you are a team player
  • ICT skills (at least at a basic level)
  • Excellent physical and mental health

What you write in your UCAS Personal Statement is therefore absolutely critical in the selection process. You should remember that it will be read by virtually the only admissions selectors who are recruiting students for a career as well as for a degree course, and so your passion for studying medicine must come across very clearly indeed. You will naturally need to be a gifted scientist, but academic strengths are only part of the picture; good scientists do not always make good doctors. It is vital that you study carefully the student entry profile published for each course, which outlines the skills and personal qualities that the selectors are looking for. While these profiles naturally have a great deal in common, you should ensure that your Personal Statement comes as close as possible to matching the requirements of your chosen institutions. You must therefore highlight any efforts you have made to discover more about the reality of medical practice, and emphasise any relevant work experience you have had. This should not simply be a catalogue of what, where and when; rather it should focus on your experience differed from your expectations, what you learned from it, and how it has reinforced your determination to enter the medical profession. You are at a very serious disadvantage if you have neglected to arrange plenty of work experience, and preferably in more than one location or context. There is no doubt that experience of the extended kind is the most useful and the most impressive, since it helps you to discover things about your own character (stamina, maturity, commitment) and represents an acid test of your conviction. The selectors are also looking for information about your interests, hobbies and achievements (both in and out of school), especially those that demonstrate qualities of teamwork, initiative and concern for others. Evidence of community service, such as voluntary work with the elderly or the handicapped, or involvement in local charity ventures, is often a critical factor. The introduction should probably be a short sentence, referring to the precise circumstances/reading/conversation/TV programme/meeting/school lesson when he first realised you had a mission to be a doctor. You must also be prepared for the fact that medical students tend to accumulate heavy debts over the course of their very long education and training – the average is now estimated to be more than £30,000.

I hope this is helpful. When you have completed your first draft, if you send it to me, I will gladly comment on it.

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