Medicine Preparation Course – UK

Jon Halden, University Counsellor at the International School, La Chatagineraie, has invited any Florimont pupils interested in studying Medicine, to a course in June.

He writes – We are planning to host a medicine course, run by Brighton and Sussex Medical School from the 11th to the 13th of June 2013.  This course is designed for students that wish to study medicine at university, though it is of particular benefit for those applying to the U.K.

Medicine in the UK – Various Bits of Info

Medical school which want BMAT

  • Bristol
  • Liverpool
  • Birmingham
  • Oxford or Cambridge
  • Imperial
  • UCL

Florimont’s recommended medical schools, worth visiting – 

  • Newcastle
  • Brighton & Sussex
  • Leicester
  • Hull-York
  • Peninsula
  • East Anglia
  • Keele


For details, check the website


Here is an extract –

What is in the test?

The test assesses a range of mental abilities identified by university Medical and Dental Schools as important. There is no curriculum content as the test examines innate skills.  Each subtest is in a multiple-choice format and is separately timed.

For candidates sitting the examination in summer 2012, the UKCAT will consist

  • Verbal reasoning – asseses logical thinking and reasoning about written information.
  • Quantitative reasoning – assesses ability to solve numerical problems.
  • Abstract reasoning – assesses the use of convergent and divergent thinking to infer relationships from information.
  • Decision analysis – assesses the ability,in complex, ambiguous situations, to deal with various forms of information, infer relationships, make informed judgements, and decide on an appropriate response.
  • Situational judgement test – assesses judgement regarding situations encountered in the workplace.

There are two versions of UKCAT: the standard UKCAT and the UKCATSEN (Special Educational Needs). The UKCATSEN is a longer version of the UKCAT intended for candidates who require additional time due to a documented medical condition or disability.  The timings of the two tests are detailed below:


Section Items Standard Test Time   Extended Test Time  
Verbal Reasoning 44 items 22 minutes 28 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 36 items 23 minutes 29 minutes
Abstract Reasoning 65 items 16 minutes 20 minutes
Decision Analysis 26 items 32 minutes 40 minutes
Situational Judgement Test 60 items* 27 minutes 33 minutes

*13 scenerios (each consisting of between 4 and 6 potential response options to rate)


Medicine and UKCAT

I recently met with the parent of a student applying for Medicine in the UK, who had studied the different attitudes of various Medical schools to the UKCAT test.  Here is what she told me –

Leicester, Sheffield, Manchester – UKCAT required.

Newcastle, Durham, Hull-York – UKCAT looked at

Keele, Brighton – UKCAT looked at but less important

Bristol, Birmingham – UKCAT not needed.

Visit by Cambridge University

Several 3ème pupils and some parents attended a meeting at the International School where Richard Partington (Churchill College) and Dr Caroline Burt (Pembroke College) gave a presentation.  Here are my notes from the meeting –

  • Advantages of Oxford & Cambridge – small group teaching – one to one tuition by world-leading academics.  Nowhere else in world; collegiate system – excellent libraires, social facilities, textbooks, Director of Studies. Resources – copyright libraires, large research grants, scientific equipment possibilities.
  • Outstanding students – top 3% of intelligence.  IB 42+.  Bac 16, 17.
  • Doesn’t matter which college you apply to.
  • Choose the right subject – curiosity, determination.  MUST BE THE APPLICANT’S OWN CHOICE, NOT THAT OF HIS OR HER PARENTS!
  • Excellent career prospects in ANY subject.
  • Results are the most important part of your application.
  • READING – crucial.  Successful applicants are pushing themselves OUTSIDE school, reading, thinking, listening to lectures etc.  If computing, you need to write code.
  • Revise for interview – see it as a test.  They are not interested in you as a person – it’s the academic side which is crucial.
  • Overall 5.1 for Maturité.
  • Interview – 25 to 30 minutes – problem-solving exercises in your subject. They want to see how far you can get, using logic, analysis etc.
  • In Maths, for example, they may want you to rethink something you have been taught.
  • They are well used to the French Bac.  Mention très bien minimum, particularly in the subjects most closely-related to the subject you are applying for.
  • Sciences – 17 or 18.
  • PPS & Archaeology-Anthropology – changing to HSPS & PBS.
  • Science is more general at the beginning whereas at Oxford you start immediately in specific areas.
  • Think about courses you have never heard of – History of Art, Land Economy.
  • Use the prospectus to look at other subjects – « related courses »
  • Arts – 3 years – Languages 4 years.
  • Oxford – November aptitude test, BMAT for Medicine – lots of practice available on websites.
  • Go to Master Classes for your subject – late June for Oxford, early July for Cambridge – subject-focused sessions.