By Malahat Nazem

Some would say that applying to medicine is probably harder than medicine itself. It is a long and tedious process and one that you  have to somehow balance whilst doing your A-levels and life as a busy student. So here we have a student summary of all the important dates, tests and milestones along the journey of you becoming a medical student.

June Y11 – September Y12

After sitting your GCSEs, you really do need the well-deserved holiday you have been working towards. Make it count! Take an exotic holiday, go out with your friends and enjoy your summer away from your books. 

Which A-levels should I choose?

When considering which A-levels to choose, remember that Biology and Chemistry are two subjects that will prepare you with a juicy foundation. As for your third subject, decide on whatever you know you will excel at. Whether that be English Literature, Maths or Psychology. If you find a subject tricky then do not feel you have to choose that particular one just because everyone else might be! Sometimes it is worth checking with certain universities which subject they feel is more valuable to them.

Do I take three or four A-levels? 

Four A-levels may be something that can provide additional learning, personal development and breadth of subject knowledge but make you sure you have the time to truly achieve your desired result. Be careful not to bite off more than you can chew! 

Should I consider doing an EPQ?

Doing a research project can show universities that you are equipped with the skills to analytically and critically appraise literature articles. It also demonstrates a level of organisational planning, time management and your ability to communicate complex topics in a coherent way. If you manage to pull of this awesome feat, then remember to grasp the opportunity to talk about your EPQ in your interviews as well as your personal statement. 

How do I make the most of my summer?

In the summer of year 11 make sure you consolidate your GCSE knowledge for a good foundation of A-levels. If possible, try to get some valuable work experience or perhaps put some extra hours in to show your interest in Medicine. This could include attending lectures, webinars or reading a medicine-related book.

Find out more: This article has some really useful information about planning your summer!

September – June

At this point you will have started your A-levels or International Baccalaureate studies so ensure that you are staying on top of your academic studies and doing your best to get the grades you need to be able to apply to Medicine. If you need help with this do check out our Academic Tuition branch as we offer fantastic services to cover all your needs. 

Take this time to also start looking for work experience opportunities that will provide you with an insight into Medicine and an understanding of what exactly you are getting yourself into. Medic Launch offers amazing virtual work experience, jam-packed with clinical skills, surgical procedures, talks on medical ethics and patient stories. Check out our ‘Doctor for a Day’ online course here.

In your free time, you can listen or read medical related books to further your awareness of the profession and enhance your understanding in preparation for the application process. 

Click here to check out our top 20 reading list recommendations and to download free audible copies of the books. 

July 

Registration for UCAT opens in early June and you can sit the exam anytime from July through to the end of September. We recommend giving yourself six to eight weeks preparation time ensure you can master and put into practice all our tips and tricks for smashing the UCAT

Check out our UCAT Masterclass!

August

It is definitely time to take a much-needed break because the next 10 months are going to be fairly gruelling. Try to plan a holiday even if it means a few local day trips in the UK. Use this valuable time to organise yourself some more work experience, attend university summer schools and open days to get a feel of which university you like and where you want to apply. Attending summer schools is a brilliant way to network with fellow aspiring medical students and can be a beneficial thing to add in your personal statement or interviews. 

We recommend getting started on your personal statement in a graded manner as outlined in our ‘Complete Guide to an Outstanding Personal Statement.’

September-October

Spend September making any final changes to your personal statement and obtaining the advice from your family, medical experts and your teachers. Ensure that any aspects that you have not been able to include in your statement are mentioned in your teacher references. 

Take your time researching and contacting universities to ensure you have all the up-to-date information about their admissions process. This strategic approach will facilitate your university selection process and improve your chances of success. 

Do not forget the dreaded UCAS deadline for Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine in mid October. Working ahead of time will help you relax and cope more easily when it comes to the crunch of submitting your UCAS application.

November 

BMAT dates are released annually but there is an option to sit it in either September or November. Check with your respective universities with regards to when they prefer you to sit the exam. It is important to at least leave 6-8 weeks of preparation time in advance of the BMAT. 

December-March 

This is the academic period where you will be constantly waiting to hear back from universities and pressing refresh on your UCAS mail inbox. It is a period of your life where you may receive invitations for interview, offers and even rejections. Make sure you prepare from now to have measures in place to help you cope, people you can talk to and contact our experts too so that we can guide you through those challenges. Never take your eye off the ball when it comes to your academic studies in school or college. It can be very easy to prioritise the wrong things but you must stay balanced in your approach and remember that no university will take you on if you do not meet the required academic grades. 


April-June 

These are your last few months of school. You will be sitting your A-levels and it is therefore essential that your focus is sharp. Non-academic activities will all be on temporary pause right now because your main goal is to excel in your exams. At the beginning of June you will be firming and insuring your offers via the UCAS website. 

July-September
July is the month where you will officially graduate from your school / college / sixth form. It will be a momentous occasion. After all those homework exercises, friends that you have made along the way and years of making it from one lesson to the next – it is all over! Results day will soon come round but enjoy your time off and savour the break. All being well, you will confirm your place at university and finally start your medical school journey in September or October depending on your university.

What a journey! It may seem long and at times as though it is too difficult to continue pursuing. Never give up on your passions but be realistic about the hard work, dedication and commitment needed to succeed. You will soon fly through medical school and will live your dream of helping others in a profession that is gratifying and highly rewarding for the one who is ready to immerse in it.