I am here....again!

Discussion in 'Mature Students' started by craigos25, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. craigos25

    craigos25 New Member

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    I have always wanted to become a Doctor. Always. But did not have the qualifications or belief that I could study Medicine. I therefore pursued a career in Mental Health Nursing. The 'itch' of wanting to study Medicine continued to taunt me, so I made the step and applied 2 years a go. And never got in....I guess my poor ability on the UKCAT did not help. So I decided to give up. 2 years later...I have decided to apply again. Am I crazy?!

    A little about me:

    -28 year old male;
    -Qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse in 2006 with an Advanced Diploma;
    -Worked as a Staff Nurse 2006 -2009;
    -Promoted to a Charge Nurse in 2009;
    -Promoted to a Ward Manager in 2010;
    -Completed a postgraduate BSc (Hons) Degree in Health & Social Care Practice whilst working full time - got a 2.1 (2% off a first, grrrr!).

    Realised I dislike management, and really really want to study Medicine. I honestly feel my downfall is the UKCAT....I just cannot do it!

    What do you guys think? GEP is my preference.
     
  2. craigos25

    craigos25 New Member

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    ...meant to add: I have booked my UKCAT exam. 5th October!
     
  3. kaodeve

    kaodeve New Member

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    Do the UKCAT on the October 5th and see how you get on! You might surprise yourself. Practice using the 600Q book and the online tests. Once you know your score then you can apply accordingly. Are you quite willing to relocate?

    GEP tends to want a higher UKCAT than 5 year courses but obviously it varies year on year and depends on how the rest of the cohort does.

    Was there a specific reason for you leaving it so late? Last year, I sat it earlyish so I knew whether it was worthwhile applying and to where...

    Good luck for October and for your application!
     
  4. new2newmedia

    new2newmedia New Member

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    Hi,

    My advice (please treat tentatively as I have not applied or sat the UKCAT before):

    UKCAT:

    What is it you find difficult? If it’s timing then practice in being ruthless definitely helps. If it’s doing the questions (when I started looking at it I could not do a single AR question) then I think you need to find a strategy/technique that works for you and stick with it in your practice. E.g. do you read the passage in VR first or not? Do you write out the code in DA?

    Both Kaplan and Emedica offer a few freebies to try and get you to pay for their service. They at least provide extra practice. There is a lot of good advice on technique from the forum too particularly with AR and DA as they are quite alien.
    However I do on the day, I am confident it will be a significant improvement on how I would have scored without practice.

    Did you apply to Leicester last time? I believe you need a certain amount of NHS experience to be considered (which you have) so that might be a good one for you.

    GAMSAT:

    Have you considered taking this exam? My impression from the forum is that it’s horrendous but fair. I also get the impression that GAMSAT unis such as Nottingham and SGUL are big on work experience which again you have in abundance.
    The draw back is that you need to revise for it and if you have your UKCAT in October it might all be a bit much. Only you can judge that though and clearly you are experienced juggling work and study.
    If your degree is a combination of science and essays then you may have a bit of head start.

    Good luck with it all.
     
  5. DrToBe?

    DrToBe? New Member

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    Mate, well done. I am also looking for a career change from nursing, but not quite at the stage you're at yet. Your CV looks very impressive from qualifying in 2006 to ward manager in 2010. Presumably from Band 5 to 7 in four years - that is very impressive stuff. Understand about not liking management though, that was what put me off my previous career (Accounting) it became less about the doing and more about dealing with staff issues and the chips they all had on their shoulders! Now I moved into nursing and feel that,whilst it is indeed a very worthwhile and rewarding career, my sights are set on medicine and having seen the two professions at work, feel that medicine definitely stimulates my interest much more. I just hope my intellect can match up. I haven't sat UKCAT or GAMSAT yet, but will do so next Sep/Oct if necessary for Grad entry. Good luck with UKCAT and your applications...

    PS, I know what you mean about 2% off a first. I am currently feeling bewildered by the subjectivity of university marking (particularly amongst the newer universities, who I am sure do not have the same academic rigour of the older well-established and highly academic ones) and, although I have gained an overall 70% for this year, am worried that next year will drop and the markers do not factor in the power they weild over your future options do they!
     
  6. craigos25

    craigos25 New Member

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    Thanks for the responses.

    @ Kaodeve: no particular reason for leaving it late, I guess it more to do with my uncertainty about applying. I am more than willing to relocate. Uni's I am considering applying to: Leicester, Warwick, Newcastle & possibly Kings.

    @newtonewmedia: I genuinely believe my brain does not work in the way that the UKCAT is designed. I am an academic individual, but I just cannot work out things like what shapes come next and so forth!! I did apply to Leicester last time, but I did not have my results from my degree, therefore they would not accept me.

    @drtobe: I see another nurse wants to leave the profession! I can totally understand why, i.e. its just not Medicine!. Yeah I have been quite successful, which hopefully will help with my application.

    The 'itch' of medicine drives me mad. My colleagues think I am crazy considering leaving nursing, but I am not happy, and I know I will live to regret not studying medicine.

    Good luck everyone :)
     
  7. Chwirkytheappleboy

    Chwirkytheappleboy New Member

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    Have you studied for it at all? There are a few books that explain how the different sections are designed, and a bit of work preparing for it should pay off big time. I don't think it's a case of your brain not being compatible with the UKCAT, I think it's just that you haven't learnt how to do it yet
     
  8. doctork2

    doctork2 New Member

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    I completely agree with Chwirkytheappleboy... I thought I was never going to get my brain accustomed to the UKCAT... But after constant practice and hard work, I was finally able to get some decent scores on my practice tests... The key is to get the 600Q book and download the Kaplan free sample exam (if you cant find it, pm me, ill give it to you). Don't forget to download the official mock exams from the UKCAT website, as it will give you some ideas on the test formatting.

    There are some changes to the UKCAT this year, noticibly 2:
    1. The VR section will now have a set where you will have 4 options and choose the best possible answer (just like a simple reading comprehension test.. I found it quite easy.)
    2. The QR section will now have an on-screen calculator instead of a physical hands-on calculator. This can be fully functional by a keyboard infront of you during the test. No worries there!


    Ask me more questions if you have any! :) I'll always be glad to help a fellow applicant.

    Best wishes,
    -Doctork2
     
  9. pmp

    pmp New Member

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    Look at how the different medical schools allocate points for the UKCAT. Leicester don't just score you based on your average. They score you on your lowest UKCAT score. E.g. if you scored 500 600 600 600 you would be given a score on the 500 say 3 points. If you scored 750 750 750 400 you would get a score on the 400 say 2 points. They want students who are good across the board not just ones you score highly in a couple of sections and low in others with a high average - better all round ability apparently!? This may work in your favour - or not.
     
  10. pmp

    pmp New Member

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    Oh yeah - and practice! Some peeps on the course nearly doubled their scores after their first attampt. I didn't but looking back I'm sure I could have scored more highly if I had.
     
  11. kaodeve

    kaodeve New Member

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  12. kaodeve

    kaodeve New Member

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  13. pmp

    pmp New Member

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    That's the chesnut!
     
  14. Polldoll

    Polldoll New Member

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    Hello! Just thought I'd add some advice too. I am another nurse switching to medicine. And over the years I sat the UKCAT 3 times. I ended up with the same average score each time, but each section varied! The one I found hardest was abstract.. and for the third test I practised, practised and practised! I honestly thought that nothing would help me, but i went from 570 in my first test, to 720 in the third! If only I had done the same for all the sections, my score would of improved loads! The 600 examples book is great, and the key for me was just reading it, and doing the examples as much as possible.
    You are leaving it very late to sit it, which gives you lots of practice time, but also only gives you 10 days to choose where you are applying to. Once you get your UKCAT results, then you can choose which unis suit your score best.
    Feel free to ask me anything else about the nursing to medicine switch, and I wish you the best of luck with your application!
    Px
     

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