The easiest way to increase your medical school chances

24/05/202412 minute read
The easiest way to increase your medical school chances

Getting into a medicine course straight out of high school is a goal pursued by thousands of students for only hundreds of places.

For an insight into just how competitive this has become, take a look at this breakdown from Monash University showing the various application hurdles and how they get from 3200 applicants to 234 admitted students - an admission rate just over 7%.

At CGA, being an online school that enrols by ability rather than age, we often see talented students aiming for medicine wanting to study advanced maths or science. But what many students don’t know is the huge advantage that students taking online Advanced Placement, A Level and IGCSE courses at CGA have over other students around the world. 

Understand What Medicine Students Need from a High School

We often ask aspiring medicine students what they really need from their high school when it comes to increasing their chances of entry into medical schools and we almost always get the same three responses. 

The best opportunity to get the top academic scores - without doubt, academic success is the number one priority. With even just a few exam errors, students are left looking for alternative pathways to medicine so it’s no surprise that a school must give students small classes and access to the best teachers.

Time to focus on additional requirements - applying for medicine is demanding and includes UCAT study, interviews and medicine related extracurriculars. Unfortunately, many schools already place a lot of demands on students outside of academic study including mandatory sport or studying subjects that don’t relate to a future in medicine.

Knowledge across all medicine schools and pathways overseas - lastly, students who are passionate about medicine will often apply to universities interstate or abroad so having a school with in-depth experience across all universities is key.

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Take the Right Courses to Help You Get into Medical School

For the majority of medicine courses, English completed to Year 12 is a requirement and chemistry is either a required or strongly recommended course. We recommend joining CGA’s online courses from Year 10 at the latest as this is the year where CGA students study a year of science subjects like chemistry or biology whereas some traditional schools only teach these subjects for a term in Year 10. Here are some of the top subjects that you should consider taking to improve your medical school chances.

Year 7-9: Pre-IG Stage Maths, Pre-IG English, Pre-IG Science, Pre-IG Global Citizenship, Pre-IG Computer Science

Year 10: IGCSE Maths, IGCSE English, IGCSE Chemistry, IGCSE Biology and a choice of IGCSE Physics or IGCSE Psychology

Year 11-12: AS / A2 Maths, AS / A2 English, AS / A2 Chemistry and AS / A2 Biology.

If your child loves their current school and can manage the workload of mandatory extracurriculars and studying 6 subjects, we recommend joining online after school classes part-time for the following subjects:

Year 7-9: Maths and Science

Year 10: Chemistry or Maths

Year 11: Chemistry

Year 12: Focus on UCAT and school curriculum

Get Good A Level Grades for Your Medical School Portfolio

It’s all well and good to take the right online courses needed for entry into medical schools around the world, but students also need to be well prepared for the exam component to ensure they receive top marks. The best way to do this is to study the A Level grading system and understand how your grades on the exam are scored.

A Level Grading System
A Level GradeScoreEquivalent Percentage
A* (known as A star)6 points+90%
A5 points80-89%
B4 points70-79%
C3 points60-69%
D2 points50-59%
E1 point40-49%
U ungraded0-40%

Some university courses look at the aggregate score across four A Level subjects and other universities consider your top three subjects.

Even better news is knowing that an A* is awarded to students who score 90% or higher not against the exam itself but against other students. So if the exam happens to be difficult for everyone, you still stand a good chance of getting a top mark. You can read more about the A Levels and the scoring at this link.

How Does CGA Help Students Get into Med School?

Let’s look at point one in more detail - how to get the top academic scores - and how studying at CGA gives students a huge advantage in applying to medical schools over students at any other school.

Four Subjects vs Six Subjects

While every student aiming for an ATAR or IB score is trying to manage the demands of six subjects, CGA students are studying four - most commonly English, maths, chemistry, and biology. This is a huge game changer and is a direct result of CGA students studying the International A Level curriculum.

The A Levels are a “gold standard” curriculum known for its in-depth science and maths courses - perfect for an aspiring medicine student. As a result, universities only ask that four A Level subjects be studied. Let that sink in as this is a massive game changer, saving hundreds of hours of study time and allowing students to focus on the subjects that matter most to medicine - a CGA student’s recommended subject selection is coming up.

Recordings of Every Class

Imagine you’re revising for exams and you have access to every single class that has taken place for the entire year. That’s exactly what CGA students have with the classroom recordings. This is a major advantage for A Level exam revision and relieves a lot of the stress students feel when they inevitably miss a day or two of class due to illness, travel, or family commitments. Additionally, the recordings are tagged with the topics covered in the class, making revision much more convenient.

Expert Teachers with Small Classes

To get those top scores, students need experienced teachers and a distraction-free classroom. At CGA, we’re fortunate to have passionate teachers from around the world and motivated students who want to be in class. In addition, CGA teachers don’t have to manage after school sports or lunchtime duties; they are solely committed to planning the most effective classes for their students.

Additional Support and Stand Out Tutors

Lastly, there’s plenty of support on hand all aligned with the mission of getting those top scores for medical school entry. Students can drop in for open sessions led by teachers in maths and chemistry, message their teacher, or take additional one-on-one classes with private instructors.

Gain Relevant Experience in Medicine Through Extracurriculars

While getting good grades and having strong academics is the key focus, extracurricular activities are equally important.

For students striving to get into medical school, differentiation among applicants is important. Students should take the time to explore various avenues within healthcare and medicine to find out which areas are of most interest to them. Not only will this help them find their niche, it also offers unique topics of conversation with their medical school interviewers.

Volunteering: Students can choose to volunteer at local hospitals, rural communities, and free clinics. These don’t need to be directly related to the medical field. To be a healthcare worker or doctor requires long hours and full-time commitment. Showcasing commitment to a volunteer project (of at least 100 hours) can add bonus points to their academic portfolio.

Shadow Professionals: The best way to learn is from the experts themselves. It's a great way for students to see how Physicians interact with patients, diagnose diseases and provide treatments.

Conduct Research: A study conducted by the AAMC, found that 60% of applicants had research experience listed in their application. While this isn’t a requirement for getting into medical school, research gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their analytical skills and understanding of complex concepts.

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Who Accredits Medical Schools?

Understanding who accredits medical schools can help students applying for schools internationally to ensure it meets a level of high standards. For more information on the accreditation bodies in each country visit their websites.

United States: The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) takes charge here, backed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA).

Australia: The Australian Medical Council (AMC) that handles the accreditation process.

United Kingdom: The General Medical Council (GMC) oversees the accreditation of medical schools.

Europe: Across various European countries, medical schools are accredited by national accrediting bodies which often align with the standards set by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME).

United Arab Emirates: The Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) is responsible for accrediting medical schools to ensure they meet the educational standards required for producing competent medical professionals.

It's Time to Increase Your Medical School Chances

When it comes to applying to university courses like medicine where the required scores are high and there are additional exams and requirements, you need to give yourself every possible advantage. The A Level curriculum allows med aspiring students to focus only on the subjects that matter most - chemistry, biology, maths and English.

On top of that, being at CGA allows students to rewatch classes for better exam preparation and dedicate time to medicine related extracurriculars and additional UCAT study. When given these clear advantages, the choice becomes clear - we look to helping you get into medical school through CGA!