I done my UKCAT and flopped! Got a 647 for GEP. What are my options?

Discussion in 'UKCAT' started by zaf1991, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. zaf1991

    zaf1991 New Member

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    I have just done the UKCAT and my breakdown is as follows:

    VR 430 <------ (Dont know what happened, feel like dying!)
    QR 710
    AR 720
    DA 730

    Avg. 647

    To be honest I dont know what I am feeling.

    My previous academic background is not amazing to say the least so I dont know if I should give up. I am scheduled to take the GAMSAT but I dont know if I should do it or not now.


    Can anyone enlighten me on cut-off scores please.

    :(
     
    #1 zaf1991, Aug 31, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  2. jcak

    jcak New Member

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    I'm afraid I don't think that score will make it for any GEP program using the UKCAT as they are so competitive and do require much higher scores. However, now you can concentrate on the GAMSAT uni's and if needs be, sit the BMAT and apply to Oxford. In addition there are some uni's which don't like any entrance exam (I'm not sure if that's for A100 or A101 though). This isn't the end of the line, there's always GAMSAT or next year, with pretty solid scores other than VR you know where to improve, so if you were to take a year out, make your application look better and then re sit the UKCAT, you could come out with one hell of a good score!
     
  3. zaf1991

    zaf1991 New Member

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    Thanks for your reply. Hmmm. I guess it's full steam ahead with the GAMSAT then.

    Really really disappointed, I cannot believe it. I was not doing amazing at home on the practice tests but still I do not get how I did so bad. Part of me thinks I can actually do it but I am starting to lose hope especially after the roller coaster of a ride that was A-levels.

    I think I am going to give the GAMSAT a go and see what happens...

    :(
     
  4. jcak

    jcak New Member

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    You are above the threshold for several under grad courses if you have the funds and fancy giving that a shot?
     
  5. zaf1991

    zaf1991 New Member

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    Do you know of any in particulars? Sorry to trouble you so much. Plus they will probably inclined towards looking at my GCSEs and A Levels which to put blunt are rubbish.
     
  6. jcak

    jcak New Member

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    You'd have to phone them up as I'm not sure about any in particular, I just know the average is 620ish and under grad courses require less. They might ask more for graduates, but you might still be in with a shot.

    Once you've sat the GAMSAT, apply to GAMSAT uni's as they have nearly no emphasis on A levels and a lot more on the GAMSAT.
     
  7. ellie.c

    ellie.c New Member

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    Leicester don't have a UKCAT cut off score for the GEP. They offer interviews based on a points system covering grades, work experience, UKCAT, and personal statement. A low UKCAT score means fewer points in that section, but you may still end up scoring higher overall than someone with a great UKCAT score but no work experience. Check out their criteria properly to make sure you qualify, but its definitely an option.
     
  8. Snowflake

    Snowflake New Member

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    Hey zaf1991, I'm in a similar situation as you (got a really inconsistent set of UKCAT scores of 570, 800, 650, 740 in VR, QR, AR, and DA respectively).

    Does anyone know whether this huge inconsistency will be problematic for most medical school admissions, even for those who don't consider individual sections and/or have cut-offs?

    If it happens to be problematic, should I mention it in my PS or something?

    Sorry for the worry, I'm just really scared that I'll get all rejections because of my UKCAT scores.

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
     
  9. applicationsupport

    applicationsupport New Member

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    Don't make any references in your statement to the test. It's bad form and immediately gives the impression of someone who makes excuses for a minor short coming. Look at your score and be realistic. In only one domain did you score below average, and that was only marginally below. The rest are well above and exceptional. Focus on the GCSEs, A levels, work experience and wider reading you've done. Then build a personal statement that reflects your ability and determination to succeed.

    Additionally, look carefully at how each individual medical school recruits, and if possible speak to students from them. The more research you do the better equipped you'll be at interview.

    Good luck

    Athena Admissions
     
  10. jcak

    jcak New Member

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    As this is a GEP thread, I presume you're applying to A101 Snowflake? If that is the case, I disagree with Athena Admissions above - don't focus on GCSE's/A levels, they can see that from your UCAS application as a whole. They do not belong in your personal statement unless you are trying to explain why you performed poorly in them. Even then it's not something to orient your statement about.

    However, the rest of the advice is sound, ask individual schools how their application criteria/selection process looks at the UKCAT sub sets. For example, Imperial GEP want a min of 640 in each sub set, whereas Leicester rate your overall score on a sliding scale between 1 and 5 and don't look for sub sets.

    Best of luck!
     
  11. applicationsupport

    applicationsupport New Member

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    If this is a GEP entry Snowflake you're in an even stronger position assuming you have a decent degree? One should certainly never orientate a statement about GCSEs and A levels as jcak points out. However, references to elements of excellent performances in the past are exactly the sort of thing that will make a personal statement stand out amongst the dross of homogenous statements typically submitted.

    Try this - pick assessments you've done well in. For example we had an applicant who had 100% scores in multiple biology AS and A2 levels. Their personal statement made reference to the fact without overt self praise. I recall it reading; "My dedication to the study of physiological systems was rewarded by full marks in Biology A level papers, results I have taken as a reward for the effort and sacrifices I have started making as I embark on the career path toward becoming a doctor".

    Highlight your strengths without over selling yourself, and if your application is less strong in a certain area i.e. UKCAT, then that's something that they already know and don't need reminding of in a statement.

    Both yourself and jack are doing exactly the right things to submit a great application this UCAS cycle.

    All the best to both of you

    Athena Admissions
     
  12. Snowflake

    Snowflake New Member

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    Hi guys

    Many thanks for your help Athena and jcak!

    Actually Im still doing my degree atm (moving onto my final year this September!), but yep I'm considering applying to some GEPs (alongside 1 or 2 UG ones). The main worry I've is that although some universities will just look at the average/overall UKCAT score, they might look down at really inconsistency between subsections (e.g. Warwick seem to be like this).

    I'm not sure if I'd be in a more advantageous situation for the GEP courses than the UG ones really, as I've done much better at school than at uni so far (got all A*s throughout GCSEs and A-levels, but had some "dips" in my uni modules and got a 2.1 for second year D=. Though I've spoken to my tutor about it and he'd most likely predict me a first ignoring the bad modules that dragged my average down. Anyway, you get the image!). I'll look around and may be even phone some of the admissions up to ask. I do have a feeling I might actually apply for only one GEP course though, considering all the fierce competitions involved.

    Cheers for the help regarding the PS. I certainly won't talk about my UKCAT (it really does sound bad after thinking about it lol). Also, I probably wont mention most of my academic achievements either, apart from some good ones like the science olympiads and etc I did before. The plan is to persuade (and will make sure!) my tutor will talk about my academic achievements in his reference, e.g. some of the 100%s and top marks I achieved in my degree so far and etc so hopefully that'll demonstrate my ability better (and we can just avoid the "dips" in my UKCAT and degree.....). Just have to choose my unis wisely now!

    Anyway, thanks a lot again!
     
  13. zaf1991

    zaf1991 New Member

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    Hey Snowflake, to be fair your UKCAT score is much better than mine lol. Frankly, I really do not think I stand much of chance. I asked a few universitites about cut off scores in previous years. Warwick said we are unlikely to offer an interview to a candidate with a score of below 2660. I have 2590 so I do not think it's safe for me although they tried to reassure me by saying we cannot predict the cut off this year. Newcastle were very pleasant in conversation and sent me this:

    GEP
    September 2012 entry - 2810
    September 2011 entry - 2760
    September 2010 entry - 2740

    5 year
    September 2012 entry - 2660
    September 2011 entry - 2670
    September 2010 entry - 2600

    So If I stood any chance, it would be for the 5 year but it would be a total gamble.

    Barts were very vague and did not tell me anything that I did not already know.

    Kings have not replied. :S

    Southampton said for the 4 year and 5 year you need 2500 which is probably my only chance but they do not interview so the chances of getting an offer are extremely slim to begin with.

    I have not contacted anyone else. To be honest, I think my only remote chance of getting an interview now is the GAMSAT if not then I have confidence that I can tear the UKCAT to shreds next year because it was my first time sitting it and all I need to really do is prepare a little more, plus I know what my weakness is now. To be fair, with you it is no where near as hard as the GAMSAT but I really did not know what to expect. I sat the 11+ at three different schools 10 years ago and got into all three so I know I have the ability to do this aptitude stuff but it has just been a long time. It is slowly coming back to me now. Also the 600Q book simply was not accurate enough for my liking but I cannot complain too much about that.

    If everything goes pair-shaped with the GAMSAT now, then UKCAT again next year, Lord willing. I'd also like to touch up on my application, which could do with a bit of spicing up anyway lol and apply again. I'm one to believe everything happens for a reason and I have learnt to deal with disappointment during my dreaded A-level saga so I have managed to develop some tough skin. Missing out on such a narrow margin and gaining such a poor score on VR just does not make an awful lot of sense to me. I like to think it was just a bad day lol.

    You on the other hand, have a 2760 which puts you safe for Newcastle 5 year, maybe their GEP. It should be okay for Warwick too, maybe Barts because they have a similar application process. Ummm... I think it may not be enough for Kings but I cannot give you any concrete information about that one. You'll be safe for Southampton too, but it is a lottery ticket to a person like me but I may have to put it down as a 4th choice. I would be content with your score lol. Don't worry too much about it just play your cards right and apply strategically.

    Sorry for the essay lol.
     
    #13 zaf1991, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  14. Snowflake

    Snowflake New Member

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    Hey zaf1991

    Wow, thanks for the help (and btw, sorry for posting in your thread with my problem, I just thought since we're in the same situation, why not post our thoughts)!

    I think you should definitely try Southampton. I know everyone says it's like a lottery but they really do put a lot of emphasis on the PS, and to a lesser extent, on the reference. I was told that years ago when I was a school-leaver and considering medicine (long story why I didn't apply back then!).
    Someone I know got in with not so great grades, but enough work experience where he was able to reflect a lot on, both on what he's learnt and his reaction, emotions towards certain things. He was able to relate them to his situation (like dealing with family and loved ones) and it was a really good read (that nearly made me cry!).
    I'm not saying you should write a emotional/tragedy of a PS but just want to illustrate that you can definitely defeat the lottery like nature of the Soton application process with a fantastic, not cliched PS! Go for it!
    Also, have you considered Bristol? Theyve similar requirements to Soton so you can easily gear your PS towards both fo them. Also, have you thought of other non-UKCAT GEP courses? =]

    Also, dont worry about your GCSEs/A-levels, if that's what's been putting you off UG courses. At least at King's, they say if you're a graduate applying for their UG course, they do look at your application slightly differently: all they want is seeing you being predicted/achieved at least a 2.1/1st in your degree and "passes" in GCSEs and A-levels. When I asked specifically whether someone with A*s in them wold have an advantage over someone with just Bs or whatever, they said no, as long they fulfil their requirements, that's all. =]

    I've asked the King's admissions office about the GEP course and their say the cut-off for last year was 717 (and I think it's likely going to be higher this year) so not for me unfortunately. =/ all other GEP place do sound good but I think I'd taking too much of a risk trying a few of them.
    So for me, I think Im going to try a GEP and 3 UG courses in the end. I don't mind UG courses (just want to study medicine!) so I hope it works out.

    Good luck with the GAMSAT and believe in yourself, you can definitely get into a med school you like. =]
     
  15. DReamer93

    DReamer93 New Member

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    i averaged 613 last year but still got called to interview..... so i guess you haven't done that bad. It isn't a determining factor, i know someone who averaged above 740 but got rejected from a couple of med schools...
     
  16. Puggy

    Puggy New Member

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    If you don't mind me asking where was the interview for? and was it for GEP?

    The UKCAT is used differently for each university and whether you are applying for the 4 or 5 year courses. For a majority of the 4 year course it may not be a determining factor of you getting an offer, but for most it will get you an interview. If you look at zaf1991's post about his enquiries to Warwick and NCL admissions, then it obviously plays a huge part in the process.
    Other factors are involved like previous academic achievements: making sure they accept your degree and if you need certain A-levels, and if people don't check that they meet these requirements then they will most probably get rejected regardless of their UKCAT score.
     
    #16 Puggy, Sep 15, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  17. zaf1991

    zaf1991 New Member

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    I the DReaner93 is talking about the standard 5 year courses which have an average of around 620 so they did well to get an interview. We are GEP applicants i.e. graduate entry so all of us are either in our final year of a degree or have already completed one hence the UKCAT threshold is a lot higher for graduate applicants.....
     
    #17 zaf1991, Sep 15, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012

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