Medical school applications can be a very stressful process. There are multiple deadlines to meet and a list of documents to prepare . Without proper planning, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
Crystallising the application process, we will discuss the primary stages of the application process for schools in Singapore, UK, Australia and Ireland.
Singapore Medical Schools
The application process to medical schools in Singapore has three main criteria: entrance tests, personal portfolio, and academic interview.
Some medical schools, such as Nanyang Technical University, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, require applicants to sit for the BMATs. Applicants are expected to schedule the tests on their own in the November of each year before they are to be enrolled.
The submission window for Singapore medical schools closes in February for students taking IB, and March for the A’ levels. Besides academic transcripts, applicants will also be asked to submit any additional test results.
After the submission of the relevant academic documents in March, applicants will be required to submit their portfolio. Inclusive in the portfolio is a personal statement and their curriculum vitae detailing their non-academic achievements. The submission window for this is between mid March to April.
Applicants will also be required to submit two referral letters via an online questionnaire.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview between the end of March and mid April. Most medical schools in Singapore utilises the Multiple Mini Interviews system. Under this format, interviews are structured as a series of 6-8 interviews, each approximately 5 minutes long.
The interview is the last stage in the application process. Successful applicants would hear back from the school by early May.
Applying to UK Medical Schools
With 33 medical schools across the United Kingdom, the application process across schools can differ greatly. The application process is relatively similar to that of Singapore.
Most universities require students hoping to get into their medical school to take additional tests, such as the BMATs and UCATs.
Applicants are required to sit for the UCATs between early July to early October. After sitting for the test, applicant’s UCATs results will be submitted directly to their choice university.
For applicants wishing to enrol into medical schools in Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College, UCL, Leeds, Lancaster, Keele, Brighton and Sussex University, the BMATs would be required instead. BMATs are conducted in the first week of November. After sitting for the test, applicants’ results would be submitted directly to their choice university.
For most medical schools, applicants apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, commonly known as the UCAS. Applicants are required to submit their academic transcripts along with their personal statements and referral letters. The application window for the submission of documents ends 15th October.
The format of the interview depends greatly on the university you are applying to. While top ranking universities are more likely to conduct panel interviews, other universities may utilise the Multiple Mini Interviews system.
Following the interviews, applicants can anticipate a response from January to April.
Applying to Australian Medical Schools
Enrolling for Australian medical schools is a diverse process. Some universities application cycles run all-year round while others have a specific application period.
Most medical schools would require applicants to sit for the ISAT, a computerised multiple choice test. This test is a staple for most undergraduate courses and is designed to assess candidates’ intellectual skills and abilities, such as critical reasoning and qualitative reasoning.
Candidates would have to sit for the test between April to May of the year they are submitting their university application.
Upon receiving results for their ISATs, applicants will be required to submit their results to the universities they are applying to.
The window for academic documents submission is open between March to April each year, and can be done directly through the universities.
While not a requisite for all universities, supplementary documents, such as a personal statement, curriculum vitae, and referral letters, might be required by some schools.
Most universities will invite shortlisted candidates for an academic interview. This interviews generally focus on applicants’ motivations to read medicine, and occasionally present ethical questions.
After completing the interview, successful applicants can expect to hear from the university from June onwards.
Applying to Irish Medical Schools
Known for their strong research faculties, Irish medical schools are growing to be a popular destination for international medical studies.
Unlike the previous three countries mentioned, students applying to Irish medical schools are not required to sit for additional tests. This shortens the application process to two stages: the submission of personal portfolio and an academic interview.
Students applying to medical school have to submit relevant documents, which includes the their academic transcript and curriculum vitae, to the schools directly. Along with these documents, some medical schools may also request students to submit a comprehensive portfolio.
Candidates applying to Trinity, UCD, UCC, and Galway University may also submit their application through the Irish Universities Medical Consortium(IUMC), in Singapore.
The IUMC conducts two rounds of interviews.
The first interview is a casual interview and is designed to get more acquainted with the interviewee. This interview is usually conducted in early March.
The second interview is a more formal round of interview. Interviewees will be asked questions based on current affairs and ethical dilemmas. This round of interview is typically held between mid to end March.
After finishing both rounds of interviews, successful applicants will be contacted between March to April.
|Documents Submission||Additional Tests||Interview|
|Singapore||March – April||BMAT:|
First week of November of the previous year
|End March – Mid April|
|United Kingdom||By 15th October||UCAT:|
July – Early October
First week of November
|December – March|
|Australia||March – April||ISAT:|
April – May
|May – July|