Applying to medical school is an exciting yet unsettling time, as the real possibility of not securing a place looms over the heads of all prospective students.
With an average of 9500 UK medical school places available and 29,710 medical UCAS applications in 2022, only 1 in 3 students will secure their spot. If you have missed out on your course, we understand that it is a disappointing time. However, you are in luck as most medical schools DO allow you to re-apply in the future years, which means your chance at a medical career is still ongoing!
We often get asked how many times we can apply for medical school. This is specific to each institution, but you are generally allowed unlimited attempts at securing a place. If you don’t get into medical school, you should follow the steps outlined in this article to ensure you gain that elusive spot on your next application. Continue reading to learn more.
Do all UK Medical Schools Allow You To Re-Apply?
In the UK, you can re-apply to most medical schools with a few exceptions to the rules, which are as follows:
- Aston, Buckingham, and Manchester – You are allowed to re-apply, but this is usually on a year-by-year basis, so it is recommended to check in with their admissions teams as to whether or not your application will be considered.
- Birmingham, Lancaster and Leicester – You can only apply again if you didn’t get an interview.
- Keele – Yes, but you can only try again one more time.
Unless specified otherwise, you can apply again to your chosen medical school if you are unsuccessful. There is also no penalty for having applied once and failed.
How Do You Re-Apply for Medical School?
The process for applying to a medical school you have been rejected from is exactly the same as your first application. The only difference this time is that you know where your application fell previously, meaning you have more insight into what your chosen institution is looking for.
You also have the option to apply somewhere new, with the UK offering 44 different medical schools to select from. Each time you start a new academic year application, you can apply for a maximum of 4 medical schools via UCAS, so you should choose your course carefully. If you were not quite right in one course, it doesn’t mean you will be unsuccessful in other ones.
The steps you will need to follow are outlined in our application guide. In short, you will need to pass each of the requirements, which are as follows:
- Create a unique and memorable personal statement which covers your passions, motivations, additional skills, and general background of why you think you are suitable. It is up to you whether or not you mentioned a previously failed application, but if you do, make sure it has relevance and shows personal growth.
- You will also need to retake and pass the UCAT exam, which expires at the end of each academic year’s end. Each annual test will contain slightly different questions, so you must understand the latest academic requirements.
- Pass either one or multiple medical school interviews. The process will differ depending on the institution, but you will not progress to the next phases without passing.
- Be able to prove your academic results from A-Levels. If you did not achieve the score needed, and this is where you fell down, you may need to retake a course.
You can learn more about the entire process in our blog,’ Medical School Application – What’s Next‘.
Do I Stand A Better Chance if I Have Already Applied Before?
Each time you apply to a medical school, the slate is wiped clean. While the admissions team will be able to see that you have yet to be successful previously, all they are concerned about is how you rank compared to the other eager candidates that want to study during the next academic year.
Showing a willingness to learn, adapt and try again will reveal your personality, creating a strong story to share. However, you will not receive any special treatment or consideration. Instead, you must stand out against the hopeful students with a set of better application criteria than the rest.
You will, of course, be able to undertake extra activities during your year, which will strengthen your application. Feedback will also be provided, which can be used to edit every part of your application. In this sense, you can stand a better chance as knowledge is power in medical school entry.
How Can You Improve a Medical School Application if Re-Applying?
Professionalism, communication skills and interpersonal excellence are all skills needed to work in medicine. These are also the strengths you will need to show when taking a second swing at the ball. When applying again to medical school, you need to improve on the areas you were lacking before and hit the process with the same positive approach you did the first time.
The main ways that you can improve your application are as follows:
Learn From Your Mistakes
You should receive feedback on the areas you were not successful in previously. This is brilliant, as it gives you lots of room for improvement!
Suppose you didn’t perform well in the interview phase. In that case, you should research the best questions and answers for medical school interviews. Knowing how to prepare for your medical school interview is essential if you want to make the best impression. This is even more vital if you have already experienced a negative outcome, as you are bound to be more nervous than before. Other factors you should consider for interview success include body language, covered content, and understanding what questions a medical student should ask.
Personal statements are also important to get right, and we have lots of great information on what makes a successful medical personal statement here. you mustn’t just use the same content as before and show that you have taken the year to grow as a person.
No matter what feedback you receive, ensure that you take it positively and do what you can to learn from it.
Choose Professional Support
Working with a medical school admissions expert is also a great idea. At The Future Medic, we have proven experience in helping students achieve their medical school places even if they have previously been unsuccessful.
With professional support, you can use the feedback from your failed application to ensure that you achieve the spot you want on your next application.
Get Prepared Early
We know that when your hopes are pinned on something, and it doesn’t work out, it is very disappointing. It is essential, though, to not spend too much time feeling sad or down.
Instead, look at it as an opportunity to go back with an even stronger application with even more knowledge, passion, and experience. The best way to handle it is to understand feedback at the earliest possible point so that a strategic plan can be implemented. Whether this is more study or mentoring to improve personal skills, the more energy you put in, the better your chance of success.
How Can The Future Medic Help Me?
Thousands of hopeful medical students do not achieve their spot every year. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to mean the end of a medical career, as most universities allow another attempt at application.
We are experts in helping prospective students start their medical journey. From our expert online application guides to our knowledge of how to study medicine in Europe, we bring lots of specialist advice to the table. Contact us to learn more.