UCAS Tip: Pick 12 Instead of 4 Medical School Choices

Lots of candidates apply to study medicine every year — but only about 9.5% are successful. It’s a very competitive course and to give you the best possible chance of getting a place you must have a winning application. Everything from your Personal statement, Predicted Grades, and UKCAT must be above-par.

Medical school is so competitive that you can only select up to 4 medical schools on your UCAS form. However, Instead of narrowing down your choices to 4, I’d recommend initially shortlisting 12 medical schools choices instead. Why?

Every candidate applying to Medicine will have good predicted grades and at least a half decent personal statement. The real differentiator is the UKCAT. I’ll recommend picking your university choices depending on the outcome of your UKCAT results.  You want to research into all the UKCAT universities, find out which ones rely heavily on the exam, the ones that don’t – if they do, do they look at overall mark or mark in each section? You want to find out as much information as possible about how they assess the UKCAT. You can download a free copy of the UKCAT Score guide for last year’s applications pool as a starting point; I urge you to  also look at each university website to get an update on how they assess the UKCAT.


Get Your Free Copy Of The UKCAT Score Requirement Guide


Once you’ve done your research you should have a good idea on the average UKCAT score needed; shortlist 12 medical school choices and make a call on the 4  you’ll apply depending on how well your UKCAT goes.

  1. First Group –  Ideal 4 Choices if UKCAT score is above my minimum target and above the UKCAT requirements for each university.
  2. Second Group –  My 4 choices if I score below my minimum target score. These universities take into account the UKCAT but do not rely heavily on it.
  3. Third Group – My 4 choices if I do not perform well.  These universities do not use the UKCAT or rely little on UKCAT. (Make sure you have a strong personal statement, academics, and good reference).

For more on my UKCAT plan and the strategy, get a copy of my eBook – ‘How To Score In the Top Percentile – UKCAT Plan and Study Guide‘.

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About Mike 114 Articles
My name is Michael and I'm a Pharmacology graduate from the University of Manchester, I was able to improve my UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) score from 2400 to 2840 and get offered a place at Warwick’s graduate-entry medical programme.