With so many students dreaming of becoming doctors it’s not surprising that Medicine is one of the most popular courses available and thousands of young people apply to medical school each year.

The stiff competition, and the fact you’ll be spending the next five plus years at medical school, means that you’ll need to ensure you make the right choices and that your application is perfect.

Here are our top tips for applying to medical school:

Choose the right medical school

Just like any other university student it’s vital that you choose the right institution to study at. You can only apply to four medical schools through UCAS at the same time so research each medical school you’re interested in thoroughly to ensure it’s right for you.

You’ll be able to adjust your choices once you have your UKCAT/BMAT results, but it’s best to choose the right universities in the first place.

Complete work experience or volunteer

Being a doctor is a vocation, so you need to know that you’re up for the challenge before you apply. Admissions tutors want to see that you’ve got hands on experience and a work experience placement or volunteering is the way you’re going to get it.

Doing more than one placement will give you a wider range of experience in different environments and keeping a journal will enable you to reflect on your experiences in your personal statement and in interviews.

Perfect personal statement

Your personal statement should reflect who you really are, not just list your academic achievements or say things you think the admissions team wants to hear.

Discuss your reasons for studying medicine, your aspirations for the future, and show that you’re a well-rounded, balanced person who is ready for the challenges of a career in medicine.

Ace the admissions tests

Depending on which medical schools you apply to you’ll either sit the UKCAT or the BMAT admissions test. As with any test, if you prepare thoroughly then you’re more likely to have a high score. Use any and all resources available to you, whether that’s practice papers, courses, textbooks, and talking to those that have already passed the tests.

Be interview ready

If you get to the interview stage then this is your chance to demonstrate your integrity, your knowledge, and show you’re up to date with relevant medical news and breakthroughs.

The admissions tutors will already have read your personal statement and know your test scores, so although they might ask you questions about this, you shouldn’t just repeat what you wrote in your personal statement word for word.

Make sure you research the medical school you’re interviewing with, find out the interview format, and have answers ready for the most predictable questions such as “Why medicine?” and “Why this medical school?”

Failing to prepare for the interview could see you falling at the last hurdle. If you’ve gotten that far then it pays to be ready to shine when you get in front of the tutors.