One of the most common questions I get asked on my most popular post - GCSE requirements for Medicine - is "are my GCSE results good enough?"
So I thought I would write a post covering this area, so maybe I won't have to individually reassure quite as many people!
Universities that like GCSE's:
- Aberdeen (AS's do not form part of their academic requirements)
Universities which think AS's are more important:
- Brighton and Sussex (BSMS)
This list is from my personal knowledge, if I become aware of the preferences of more Universities I will post them on here!
People who shouldn't worry: Those with 10A*'s and above, whether you are from a state or independent school, these results are excellent.
People who shouldn't REALLY worry, but if they want to go to Oxbridge, London Unis, Edinburgh or Birmingham should: 6-9A*'s with the rest A's - these grades are GREAT, the the majority of medical schools will look upon them favourably. However the places listed are a bit more fussy, and you made need to up your game during your AS's if you wish to impress them.
People who need to check out the universities their applying to for policies on GCSE's: 4A* / 5A* with the rest A/B - you still have a good chunk of A*'s grades there, so don't worry too much, but do expect to have to have a little bit more work experience etc than your 10A* colleagues. Some Universities won't interview people without a certain number of A*'s at GSCE, so check policy (I'm thinking Birmingham and Newcastle).
People who need to apply to universities in which the UKCAT (or other admissions tests), work experience, extra-curricular activities and AS's and looked upon favourably: 3A*'s and under, with the rest A/B's - whilst you still have good grades, they really aren't up to par for what you need to get into medicine. You need to make up for this slight downer in your application with great work experience, volunteering, EC activities and of course a stellar personal statement with AAAA at AS to back you up.
DO NOT apply to universities which require higher GCSE's than this - it is stupid. They will not change their admissions policy, even if you have grade 8 in cello, are an Olympic rower and have been a carer for 2 years - the admissions policies are there to weed people out, and reduce the volume of applications they need to look over, and people that need interviewing.
Okay, hopefully this has answered many peoples worried questions, and I am sorry if you fall into the last category of this list.
My last nugget of advice is that preparation is the key - do everything early and do everything well.
Good luck with interviews (especially this time of year) and for anyone who has exams or resits.