So it seems that medical school applications for 2017 are heating up! GAMSAT results were released and there were many happy and just as many disappointed hopefuls.
I’ll start off by saying that this post is only relevant to you if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you are applying to medical schools in Australia. I’m unsure as to how similar or different the application process around the world is, but I do know that regardless of which country you apply in, it WILL be competitive to gain a place.
I went through this process a long time ago. I was actually part of the last year that had only 3 preference limit for medical school applications, so the process will notably be different for you.
I completed the GAMSAT twice. The first as a practice run with no study and the second with so much study. Disappointingly despite all the study I did there was no improvement in my score. I remember feeling so disappointed, so for those who are going through that this year, I know how you feel!
Entrance to medical school these days is so very competitive and the minimum GAMSAT score you need seems to be at least 60 or above. So what should you do if you’re borderline but you are still going to apply?
I had a mediocre GAMSAT score, but what I had going for me was an extremely strong GPA and portfolio. Because of those I chose the medical schools based on where I could play to my strengths. Work out your averages and where you will likely get an interview and preference these schools first. If you want to give yourself the best chance of getting in you need to be prepared to move.
How did I work all that out? I was religiously on pagingdr. If you haven’t had a look at this forum I urge you to. It is very informative for all stages of your medical career.
Because I didn’t have such as strong GAMSAT, I worked hard on my portfolio and made it the best I could. All personal, professional and community achievements went in, leadership skills, and more! If you think it’s relevant and shows who you are and how you’ve become the person you are today then make sure you mention it. It’s hard to know exactly what they’re looking for, so you need to be honest and detailed.
Obviously my combination was enough to get me an interview. The interview is so important, and it is essential that you prepare for potential questions you might get. You don’t want to sound rehearsed but you don’t have a lot of time so you really can’t stutter and think about your answer. You might have a panel or MMI style interview, either way whichever school you get an interview for, be sure to know what type of interview they do and the types of questions they ask. Pagingdr is also good for this.
I thought I did well in my interview and although they weren’t supposed to give me feedback, I was told in passing I did well. However I waited for my offer letter and it never came. Instead I got a rejection letter. I was devastated. Then to make things worse I was rejected by my second and third preference school. I thought that was it and I was going to have to sit the GAMSAT again. I couldn’t face it again, and it got to January and I still hadn’t registered to sit it again nor had I started studying.
Little did I know that my rejection letter actually said that I was on the wait list for the school I interviewed at in case there were any positions that came up prior to the commencement of the year. Then one random day 2 weeks before the course started I got a phone call… I thought it was a joke! But no it was real, I was being offered a spot to study medicine! I felt so lucky. Late offers don’t happen often but they did in my case and I was so very grateful that I didn’t have to go through the whole process again!
That was how it all happened for me. I wish everyone applying this year the best of luck! If it doesn’t happen this year, don’t be disheartened. If it’s really what you want to do try again, and again until you get where you want to be!
If you have questions, I can try my best to answer them 🙂