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 Post subject: Medicine at Birmingham
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Birmingham are now asking for A* in all GCSE Sciences!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:42 am 
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I think they were looking for 7-8 A* at GCSE over the last few years.

They don't look at the UKCAT so can be popular with those who didn't do as well as they might on that UKCAT (odd exam) - expect they get a lot of applicants and initially have to go for the GCSEs..


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:39 am 
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bromley mum wrote:
Birmingham are now asking for A* in all GCSE Sciences!!


http://www.bstubbs.co.uk/gcse.htm

About 20% of entrants get A* in the sciences.

Apart from "Other MFL", where the intake is distorted by weaker candidates not doing unusual languages and candidates taking MFL GCSEs in home languages, it's the easiest of all GCSEs to obtain an A* in.

I don't see how people who can't achieve this are credible candidates for engineering or science subjects ("you need to be in the top 20% to do a degree in science" hardly seems unreasonable), and even if it weren't a requirement, I would expect the number of successful applicants for Medicine who don't have this to be vanishingly small.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:55 am 
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I wonder if this requirement would be trumped by a first-class honours degree in Biomedical Sciences from their own university, for a graduate applying for the five-year course? Just wondering. :?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:25 am 
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I think you would find that the graduate would get shortlisted with that after all the GCSE requirement is just to get shortlisted.

However - I do know of one Biomed graduate who is likely to get a very high degree who has been rejected (is not shortlisted) for grad med on the basis that his chemistry A level was too low :cry:

From the B'ham site for the 5 year course:

Quote:
Achieved or predicted first or upper second class degree from a UK-based institution (normally). Very good results from school examinations (in appropriate subjects - see above) are required because you are in competition with school-leavers.


Implies you still have to have as good school exams as the non grads.... maybe better to head for the grad course who require min BBB and a fabbo degree.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:27 am 
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Interesting, Hermann - he did actually get AAB at A level the year before A* was introduced, including AA for Chem/Bio. Only one A* at GCSE though, but was one of the highest performers...the school was in special measures at the time! :o He probably should have made more of this on his application. Already applied for grad medicine last year but no success - going for undergrad again this year (3rd time lucky hopefully) but do you think with his 1st now in hand he should be having another crack at the grad courses? They do seem to be even more competitive than the undergrad ones. :(

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:56 am 
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the grad courses seem surprisingly competitive - can't understand why, surely more would apply straight from school and they are showing some commitment by actually applying!

I helped a couple of friends applying for grad med about 8 years ago - one got an offer for 5 year course (applied for a mixture of 4 and 5 - had a non bio degree) other got a 4 year offer on interview (degree and working in clinical post in NHS). Some places were asking for the GAMSAT and that seemed a total nightmare. It may be that things have changed over the years and the applications are more intricate.

Academically he would have no problem doing the course - just need a very good memory and the ability to juggle info. With a first in hand he really should have a very good chance and obviously has good A levels - he must however make it clear that the school wasn't great - they are quite hot on that know...

Re which to apply - my friend applied for both and was happy to be on the 5 year - has he spoken to the tutors at the university - am not sure how it would look having both on the form these days???


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:05 pm 
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B/Ham has always used GCSE A*s as the primary criteria - they don't like UKCAT

For the last 2 years the mimimum has been 8 A*s not 7

If you get an interview there is a very high probability (80%+) of getting an offer


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:15 pm 
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Don't mind what criteria they use as long as they give out the correct information to start with. Someone I know read the prospectus and thought he qualified so went along to see the university. Loved it. Then went to the talk where they said he couldn't apply as didn't have A* in all sciences! Has 8 A * and rest are all A. Was gutted!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:29 pm 
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wanting the best wrote:
Don't mind what criteria they use as long as they give out the correct information to start with. Someone I know read the prospectus and thought he qualified so went along to see the university. Loved it. Then went to the talk where they said he couldn't apply as didn't have A* in all sciences! Has 8 A * and rest are all A. Was gutted!


Agree completely - they need to be quite transparent about this kind of thing up front. And it needs to be in full view, not in the "small print" or hidden in a link somewhere else on the website. DD would never have wasted an application on Edinburgh if she had known there was such a low quota of places for English students (or even that there was a quota at all - the previous year we had been advised that there wasn't one!) having only discovered this information when it was published on their website long after the applications had gone in and rejections issued! :evil:

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