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Getting into medical schools is one of the most competitive processes in the world.

A stellar academic record along with excellent standardized test scores is a prerequisite to even being considered for medical programmes. Furthermore, each medical school will have its own cut-offs when it comes to UCAT, BMAT, IB and A Level scores.

Scores alone, however, are insufficient. Medical schools are seeking aspiring doctors who demonstrate not only academic excellence, but also the personal qualities necessary for medical professionals. Therefore, there are many additional requirements for submitting a medical school application, each of which is equally as important as the next.

In this article by Prep Zone Academy, we will discuss the various components of a medical school application, along with guidance on how to improve your chance of success.

Important: Will You Work In Singapore After Graduation?

Prep Zone is a Singapore-based consultancy, so our articles are written from the perspective of a Singaporean student.

To practice medicine in Singapore after graduation, you must obtain a certificate from a school that is approved by the Singapore Medical Council.

In the event that you do not intend to practice medicine in Singapore, you will have a greater variety of study destinations to choose from. We recommend bringing up this point when speaking with our consultants so we can offer more appropriate advice.

Where Should I Go To Study Medicine?

Generally speaking, local students have 4 destinations to choose from: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or study locally in Singapore.

While each destination has their pros and cons, the most common option (and deisrable destination) is the UK. This is because their medical programmes are very competitive, and their certificates are globally recognised. In fact, 3 out of the top 5 medical schools are in the UK (Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial).

Below, you can find the guide to each destination and their notable programs:

What Do I Need To Apply To Medical Schools?

The requirements for applying to medical school vary from school to school, but the following are the basic components:

1. Academic Requirement

You are expected to have great academic performance to be considered for medical programmes. If your scores are not finalised by the time of submission, you can submit the estimated scores instead.

  • GCSE: to include Math and English
  • A Levels: A*, A*, A
  • IB: 36-40+ | 7-6 in HLs
  • Chemistry and other sciences

2. Standardised Test Score

For the UK and Singapore, you will have to take either the UCAT or the BMAT. For Australia, you might have to take the UCAT ANZ or the ISAT, depending on which schools you are applying to.

  • For the UCAT, you will want a score of 2800 and above.
  • For the BMAT, you will want a score of 6.5 and above

3. Personal Statements/Essays

Non-academic aspects of the application, such as personal statement and interviews, are just as important in gaining an admission offer from any medical school in the world.

The personal statement – an essay of 4,000 characters for the UK, around 500 word essay for Ireland & NUS, 300 word essay for NTU  – narrates your motivation for medicine as well as any academic, extracurricular, and professional experiences you had that make you a suitable and exceptional candidate for consideration.

  • Deadline for UK October 15th
  • Deadline for NUS & NTU: Mid-March
  • Deadline for Ireland: Throughout February

4. Extracurriculars & Relevant Experience

To provide an extra edge to your application, the following components are often recommended:

  • Volunteering
  • Job Shadowing
  • Extracurriculars
  • Teacher Recommendation

5. Interviews

Candidates with great scores and personal statements are then shortlisted for the interview stage. Each university conducts interviews differently. Some prefer panels of admissions officers and professors, while others like MMIs (multiple mini interviews), where students rotate around different stations, each with a different question and a time limit for your answer.

The questions generally test your personal motivation to study medicine at their specific university. They also care about your personal qualities such as empathy, leadership, and communication skills. Some universities ask factual, knowledge-based questions, and almost all want you to demonstrate your knowledge about current affairs in medicine and healthcare systems. Finally, interviews may test your ability to role play and analyse ethical scenarios that you may encounter as a doctor later on.

What Does The Timeline Look Like For Medical School Application?

The general timeline for medical school application varies slightly from year to year. To get the most up-to-date information, check our latest blogpost for more details:

Singapore's #1 Medical School Admissions Specialists

Get Accepted To The World's Top Medical Schools With Prep Zone

Formed in 2006, Prep Zone Academy™ consists of a team of dedicated standardised test prep trainers and admissions consultants. For 13 years, we have been helping and working alongside prospective students applying to medical schools in destinations such as the UK, Ireland, Singapore, and Australia.

As Singapore’s largest and most acclaimed test centre, we have the resources and expertise to help students with their Medical school aspirations. Our qualified trainers offer flexible UCAT, BMAT, ISAT, and PQA courses tailored to the needs of our students, while our admissions experts help you with your application, personal statements, and interview preparation.

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I felt that the consultation was really effective. The most helpful area and time-consuming one was practising for interviews. The deep bank of questions as well as Sooyeon’s ability to question and probe as well as give advice ensured that I always came out of the sessions with something better.
The help in the Personal Statement was also exemplary. The fact that there was more than 1 consultant looking at it made the quality of the Personal statement much higher than it had been initially.
Overall, I was very happy with how easy it was to get along with Sooyeon, which greatly helped my application and skills. Sooyeon also utilizing the concept of ‘homework’, where she gave me stuff to do also made me less lost and ensured that I was able to keep a track of what I was doing and ensure that I would meet deadlines.

DavidCambridge

I signed up with Prep Zone academy as I wanted to study medicine in the UK and I needed more detailed and focused advice which I could not get very much of in my own school. My consultants made my application process much smoother and less stressful. I definitely feel that they have helped me land my admission offers. They answered many questions about universities and the application process, answers which I could not find easily online. With so many different universities, they helped me pick the most suitable according to my grades and my own wishes. However, I think the biggest way my consultants helped me was through my personal statement, which was very challenging to write, especially with the word limit. They advised me on which of my experiences to write about and how to make my personal statement appeal to the universities. They were also very detailed in their advice, as we went through several drafts with a lot of meticulous editing before getting to the final draft.

ElizabethGlasgow

I signed up with Prep Zone in order to facilitate my application process in a stress-free manner, and this was carried out in exceptional fashion. Not only was I ahead of the curve, I was also well informed regarding university admissions to my preferred destinations by my consultants Lina and Nirali. Both of them worked with me on my personal statement quite extensively and this was a key factor in my success. Having a strong personal statement, as a candidate for both biomed and med I showed interest in both fields and this strengthened my application. This is solely attributed to the work put in by both my consultants. In finality, the organisation as a whole proved to be very helpful by providing the right guidance and support over the last few years.

VishaalTrinity College Dublin (Medicine)

I think both Lina and Nirali were extremely helpful in my application process, none of my applications would have been the quality they are without them. In addition to making my applications so well the consultants also encouraged me throughout the process especially when I was extremely nervous about my applications.

DevikaUCC (Medicine) and King’s (Medicinal Chemistry) (Medicine)

It's been a joyful experience of working with the two consultants. It's very nice of Sooyeon to ask Christy who is a law graduate to take charge of my interview preparation. The mock interview was of the most help for me because it trained me to remain calm, focused and analytical in a highly intense setting and the constant encouragement from the two consultants did boost my confidence along the way.

RuilinOxford

Both Tiffany and Simonas were very helpful with my med applications by guiding me towards what Universities expect from my application but also what makes me stand out as a candidate. During an interview preparation, Tiffany helped me develop my answers in a strategic way that would allow an examiner to understand me better as a candidate and a person. I truly believe that I landed my St George's offer because I did a mock with Tiffany a few days prior to the interview. Taking classes with Prep-zone Academy boosted my confidence and gave me realistic insight into what to expect.Thank you very much for your help!

LaurieAccepted to St George's University of London, University of Manchester

I heard about Prep Zone through a friend who was also at Prep Zone. I found Prep Zone’s advice for my Personal Statement and other additional questions very useful, my consultant was very reactive and sent emails to the universities to get information about the entry requirements. The different MMI preparations and the one-to-one interviews with different consultants were also very helpful, and it really helped me to be confident for the interviews themselves. I believe Prep Zone did help me efficiently throughout the application process, and my application would probably not have been as solid without Prep Zone’s experience and expertise.

A.G.Accepted to Royal College of Veterinary Science, University of Edinburgh

I signed up for this as I was applying to college in the UK, but being in high school in the US, I had no idea how to navigate the application process and how to choose what schools to apply to. I think one of the things my consultant, Nirali, was most helpful for in the beginning was shortlisting colleges. She helped me understand which universities I would have a better chance at and made sure my list had a good amount of safety schools, targets, and reaches. In addition to that, I think the interview preparation she provided made me feel a lot less nervous and more ready for the interviews.

DhritiAccepted to King's College London

I signed up for help for my overseas applications as I was not sure how to tailor them for the UCAS and I was not confident in my interview skills. The consultants helped me to craft my personal statements by providing tips on content, structure and flow while also helping me pick out relevant information. As for the interview preparation, the consultants simulated both MMI and panel interviews and gave expectations and points of improvement for both. They coached me in questions that broadly mirrored the style if not the exact content of the actual interview questions and made me realise how I should adapt my answers based on the question and how I should approach difficult questions in a methodical manner.

AnirudhAccepted to University College London, University of Sheffield, University of Birmingham

I signed up with Prep Zone as I wanted to get some help making my application stand out to the Admissions Team. Given that it was my first time applying to Med Schools and university in general, I also thought that it would be better if I had someone to guide me through it. My consultant was very helpful and I could tell that she really cared about me. She was very supportive throughout my whole journey and always answered all my queries in a very friendly manner.

S.D.Accepted to NUS

Prep Zone was recommended to me by a friend. I felt that my consultant, Nirali was very supportive throughout all the stages of application and preparation, particularly in finalizing my personal statement. I also found my mock interviews to be extremely helpful. I did several mock interviews with many different consultants prior to my college interview which made me confident and well prepared.

R.S.Accepted to University of Aberdeen

It was a very enjoyable and helpful process as my consultant was always there to answer any queries I had regarding the entire process as well as work well with me to set up a schedule so that I would remain on task throughout the duration and get practice to improve myself throughout. The advise and feedback provided was very detailed and played a huge part in allowing me to learn from my mistakes and improve to end up acing the admission process.

DaniyalAccepted to University of Leicester, University of Manchester

My consultant was there for me every step of the way and it was very helpful to have that support system to get into medical school! I also found the MMI sessions very helpful. It was really helpful to have someone to email at any time about any issue I have with my application or otherwise.

RakshaAccepted to NTU, UCL, Edinburgh, Manchester

Comprehensive Admissions Package

Our comprehensive package includes unlimited consultation from the time you sign up, till the time you receive your offers. You would be assigned a primary consultant who will schedule regular check-ups and keep track of your timeline and progress.

The comprehensive package includes the following services:

Timeline Management & Personal Advice Meetings

On top of the regular check-up meetings, your personal consultant will always be available to you via call, email, or WhatsApp messages. The personal consultant will ensure that you are on track with your applications, deadlines, as well as extracurricular and academic commitments.

Profile Building Help

Doctor shadowing, including virtual shadowing programs. Most of our students do several different programs. The shadowing can be supplemented with relevant independent readings (which we also recommend) to help develop your knowledge of the profession.

Demonstrated interest in sciences beyond your school science classes. We work with students to identify opportunities and determine what’s feasible for their schedules.

Relevant and sustained volunteering – We work with some organisations that help students do volunteering, including virtual options. The virtual volunteering activities have really helped applicants stand out and build great experiences for their essay and interviews. The main thing to keep in mind is that despite the pandemic, applicants need to keep working on this even if it’s online.

Online Application Support

If you have questions filling in the online application, we are here to help.

Referral Help (Where Needed)

We can give feedback on the content you’re going to give your teacher for the letter of recommendation.

CV & Resume Editing

Including all resumes required for volunteering, internship, or summer school applications.

Personal Statement Brainstorming & Editing

A competitive PS essay would demonstrate strong motivation, personal reflection, emotional IQ and soft skills, as well as learning lessons from prior medical experiences. Successful candidates would go through many revisions before writing the perfect essay. Our consultants help with all parts of the essay writing — from brainstorming, to drafting, revising, and proofreading.

And Many More!

  • Interview Preparation
  • MMI Simulations
  • Post Application Advices

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s covered during interview prep?

The mock interviews cover all the main topics that a real interview will usually cover, such as:

  • Motivation to pursue medicine
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Profile-based questions (things the applicant has done, experiences they’ve had, etc)
  • Knowledge of the profession (for example, what will the biggest challenge in medicine likely be for you, and how will you manage it?’)
  • Knowledge of ethics – including ethical scenarios (a scenario is given, and the applicant is asked to explain what should be done and why; these can be tricky!)
  • Knowledge of local health issues and healthcare system
  • Knowledge of diseases (for example, ‘tell me what you know about leukaemia’)
  • Science-based questions
  • Odd-ball questions (for example, ‘describe how to tie a shoe without gesturing’)
  • Knowledge of the target program – why pursue medicine at a particular school?
What’s included in the feedback?

We will provide written feedback to the applicant in a document after each session. This may also include additional reading materials to fill knowledge gaps. The various consultants will also have access to each applicant’s feedback document, so everyone is aware of the applicant’s progress.

Who are the consultants?

Our interview consultants include experienced admissions consultants, advanced medical students, and trainers with backgrounds in the sciences. All of them have gone through our training to prepare students for medical school interviews.

Get Into Your Dream Medical Schools With Prep Zone Academy

With the help of Prep Zone’s experienced trainers and dedicated admissions consultants, hundreds of students are able to achieve high standardised test scores and gain acceptance into their preferred medical schools each year.

Our well-rounded expertise allows us to provide students with fully customized preparation timelines which will ensure their score improvement. Our admissions consultants work closely with parents and students to handle the entire profile preparation process from beginning to end.

Looking for a way to gain admission to the best medical schools in the world? Get in touch with us today and let us help you realize your dreams.

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