Making The Most Of Your Summer!

Making the most of your summer before you apply for Medical or Dental school can really put you in a good position when you begin Year 13.

Here are our 5 top tips to make the most of your summer and maximise your success!

1. Organise work experience

  • Have a look at our previous blog on “Finding Work Experience” with all the top tips to secure yourself some work experience.

  • It is important that you have an insight into Medicine or Dentistry, and the qualities you develop from your observations can really frame your application.

  • Remember it is what you get out of your work experience that matters.

2. Prepare for the admission tests – UKCAT and BMAT

  • Dedicate some time over summer to get to grips with the different sections of the UKCAT and the BMAT.

  • Become familiar with the question types, what you need to know and identify your weaknesses early on.

  • Timing is key with these tests – this only develops over time. So practise lots of questions over summer and become speedy. Read our second blog on “Getting The Timing Right” with 6 top tips on managing your time well with the UKCAT.

3. Read over your Year 12 course material

  • When you begin Year 13, not only do you have your A-Levels to continue with which get more interesting and challenging. You also have the UCAS application, personal statement, interviews etc etc… these things will honestly take your time! You can’t afford to fall behind in your subjects so consolidate your Year 12 work so that you begin Year 13 on a solid foundation.

  • If you have time, you can also read slightly ahead (but relax too – see point 5)!

4. Begin university application preparations

  • Personal Statement

  • Start to write your personal statement – this is the first step and often the hardest as sometimes you just don’t know how to start it. My advice – get it all down on your paper and then make it flow and read well.

  • Write anything you think of down, even if it doesn’t sound coherent.

  • Also make note of what you’d like to include from your work experience and what you’d learnt from it (see our Work Experience section and download our logbook for free).

  • Interview

  • It’s never too early to start preparing. This doesn’t mean memorise answers for questions and have mock interviews over summer, it just means get up to date with what’s current in Medicine, what’s happening in the NHS and basically become 'switched on’.

  • Briefly read example of interview questions and consider how you’d approach them.

5. Relax

  • Take a break – physically and mentally. Applications can be exhausting but don’t let it bring you down.

  • Plan it wisely e.g. do a few hours a day and have rest of the day to chill, go see a film, play some sport and relax.

  • Take days off and enjoy your summer – you have the most important year ahead of you so you want to come back refreshed and recharged (of course you want to come back prepared too – hence tips 1-4!), but don’t burn out – come back refuelled!

If you need any advice in your preparation for medical or dental school, please feel free to get in touch at hello@step2med.co.uk and one of our tutors will be more than happy to help you. We’ve been where you are, and now we’re here for you!

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