Quick Guide to Medical School Applications for IB Students - Invictus Education
Today we’ll be talking about some things to consider as an IB student applying to medical school in the UK!
The IB is an excellent curriculum for those interested in medical school, as it truly prepares you for the rigour of the course, and will definitely teach you a thing or two about time-management and task prioritisation!
1. The grades
Make sure you check the minimum grade requirements of the medical schools you are interested in, including the higher level requirements (e.g. achieving 6s in all three HL subjects), and GCSE/Pre-IB requirements. Choose your universities with this in mind!
However, getting 45/45 will not guarantee you a place in medical school, and likewise getting the minimum IB score requirement set by the medical school doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance! Most medical schools try to evaluate students holistically, using both non-academic and academic factors in their decision to give you an interview or offer. Good grades aren’t the only thing that make a good doctor. Nonetheless, try your absolute best to achieve the highest predicted grades and final grades that you can! Usually, the criteria to meet the offer is the minimum requirement set by the medical school, so although it is ideal to ultimately achieve your predicted grades or higher, missing your predicted by one or two points isn’t the end of the world so long as you make the offer!
2. The subjects
Not all universities require HL Biology and Chemistry, but nearly all of them require HL Chemistry at the very least, as well as another Group 4 subject (e.g. Biology or Physics) or Maths.
Although most prospective medical students (understandably) choose HL Biology and Chemistry, if you are interested in a difference science subject and believe that you can make the required grade for it, then perhaps that would be a better choice than Biology! However, you should always check with the university if a subject such as Computer Science or Environmental Science and Societies (ESS) would be accepted as a science subject.
Your other subjects usually do not play a major role in your application, so long as your overall score meets the minimum requirement stated by the university. However, if you’re an international student, some universities require a minimum grade in English to demonstrate your proficiency in English.
3. CAS: Extracurriculars
The CAS outcomes align very well with the qualities possessed by a good medical student, so it is important that you do not neglect this aspect of the IB curriculum. It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate that you are developing your empathy, time-management, communication and teamwork skills, and also to show that you are capable of maintaining a work-life balance, which is a key skill for future doctors.
Additionally, you might also find it helpful (and enjoyable!) to participate in a healthcare-related settings such as hospitals or nursing homes to gain experience and exposure that will help you prepare for medical school.
When you mention these activities in your personal statement or interviews, don’t just say what you have done, but what you have learned from these experiences, as that’s what the admissions officers and interviewers care about the most.