If you’ve submitted a medical school application before and missed out, you may be wondering where you went wrong. And if you’re applying for the first time you want to avoid the pitfalls, don’t you?
Why medical school applications are unsuccessful?
The process of applying for medicine has several steps and they’re all important but there are a few common mistakes that applicants make that reduce their chances of success.
So, where do so many applicants go wrong?
1. They don’t allow enough time for every aspect of the process
2. They don’t understand what the medical schools are actually looking for
3. They don’t get the fundamentals right when preparing for interview
How can you improve your medical school application?
Let’s look in more detail at each of the common mistakes students make when preparing their medical school application and how to avoid them.
1. Not allowing enough time
Many applicants underestimate how much time they need to allow to prepare for UCAT or GAMSAT and try to cram at the last minute. Written applications and portfolios are time-consuming and interview preparation needs weeks not days.
Whether you’re a school leaver or submitting a medical school application as a graduate, you’re busy with study and work and need to fit all the application stuff in around that. It’s really important to plan ahead and give each step the time it requires to give yourself the best chance of success.
2. Don’t understand what the medical schools look for
It’s hard to know how to prepare if you don’t have a good idea of what the medical schools are looking for. Everyone understands that you need a good ATAR or GPA and a great score in the UCAT or GAMSAT.
But there’s much more to being a good doctor than academic achievement. You need to understand the qualities that the medical schools are seeking in potential medical students so that you can make sure medicine is a good fit for you. You’ll also need to demonstrate in your medical school application and interview that you have those qualities.
3. Missing the fundamentals
Preparing for interview is not just a matter of getting hold of a few past questions and putting together some answers. You need to put in some work to get the basics right before you even get to that stage. What do you want to highlight about yourself? How will you structure your answers? How can you deal with the inevitable interview nerves?
If you’d like to understand more about how to avoid making these mistakes and set yourself apart from the pack, I’ve put together a short course that covers all this and much more. My Getting Into Medicine program is an information-packed series of 3 videos and workbooks to guide you every step of the way.