What Academic Services can In2MedSchool offer you?

UCAT Preparation

BMAT Preparation

A-level Advice, including A-Level Crash Course Weekend

EPQ Advice

Wider Reading for Medicine

UCAT preparation

60 Second UCAT Tips

60 Second UCAT

60 Second UCAT Tips

Rehaan Khokar
Y2 Medical Student and Regional Head (Newcastle) & In2MedSchool Teaching/Education Officer

  1. Stick to timings – set “benchmarks” for each section: Timing is the most crucial factor of the UCAT exam. In your mind you need to have a certain number of questions that you want to get done for each section by a certain time. When you have these “benchmarks” you know if you're keeping track of the time or not. For example, in Quantitative Reasoning I knew I had to get 30 questions done by the time I had 2 minutes left. I would then (smartly) guess the last few questions. This may sound risky but this solidifies the likelihood that I have the first 30 questions definitely correct. Thus, it is a wise idea to have benchmarks for each section.

  1. For Abstract Reasoning, make a list of every pattern you come across and try to memorise that before the exam (I ended up having a whole 100 page notebook dedicated to different AR rules!)

  1. Read long passages and try summarising them in one sentence while practicing for VR. The more you practice this in day to day life, the quicker you will be at reading (and understanding) the passages they give.

  1. Use the whiteboard! Scribble down things when doing the Qualitative Reasoning and Decision Making sections. It is so helpful! Draw Venn diagrams, sketches, figures etc.

  1. Don’t panic! Stay calm on exam day – you got this!

BMAT Preparation

BMAT Webinar 17/10/2020

We are proud to have hosted our first virtual event, the BMAT Webinar on 17/10/2020 - the event was well received, with over 120 participants.

Our wonderful speakers Charmaine Lim and Rehaan Khokar gave an insight as to how to prepare for the BMAT exam, with some useful tips and tricks and some practice questions along the way. You are able to access the slides and the session recording from this BMAT Webinar at the following link:

60 Second BMAT Tips

60 Second BMAT

60 Second BMAT Tips:

Rehaan Khokar
Y2 Medical Student and Regional Head (Newcastle) & In2MedSchool Teaching/Education Officer

  1. Start revising with physics! A lot of applicants will have biology and chemistry AS/A Level. However, the majority will have not done physics since GCSE. When revising Section 2, it is best to start with physics and then work through the specific parts of biology / chemistry you struggle with.

  1. Brush on up your knowledge of fractions, decimals and percentages! This is very useful as you can then easily convert between all 3.

  1. When unsure, make an educated guess! Eyeball the data you have been presented with and look at the options you have been given. Pick the option you think is most likely to be correct - more often than not it will be correct!

  1. Practice using the Oxford TSA papers and the OCR A Level Critical Thinking papers 2 and 3 for section 1 practice. The more material you expose yourself with the better!

  1. Look at past BMAT essay titles and write plans and essay skeletons for each. The more you practice this the more confident you will become in approaching

  1. Keep practicing! The BMAT is about application of knowledge rather than recall of facts. You can only develop this through constant practice.

A-Levels Advice

Check out some of the A-level related blogs produced by our 2020/2021 Teaching & Education Team members Alisha and Rehaan in the A-level Zone here. This includes:

  • Tips for A levels/ Sixth Form Adjustment Blog

  • Adjusting to A Level Sciences - How to Revise A Level Biology: Aiming for an A/A*

  • Adjusting to A Level Sciences - Revising A Level Chemistry

  • Adjusting to Online Learning

We also host various webinars to support our students with Biology, Chemistry and Maths including "A-level Revison Series". Many Mentees get individual support with these subjects from their own Mentors too!

EPQ Advice

Taking the Extended Project Qualification - should I do an EPQ?

Written by Gabriela Barzyk BSc (Hons), 24/10/2020

With the “EPQ” acronym floating ominously around many of your schools, here is a summary about what the EPQ entails, some advice about its’ value as an additional qualification, and reasons why you may choose to pursue it.

What is it?

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is an independent project which can be taken in addition to your A-levels. You have the choice of writing a 5,000-word essay or creating a “product” (e.g. an app, a piece of art, or hosting an event), with an accompanying report of 1,000-words. You are also expected to keep a logbook, which outlines your plans for the project, and helps you to reflect on your journey and consider ways to improve the project. Towards the completion of the qualification, you give an oral presentation where the audience (usually other students completing EPQ and some teachers) can ask you questions about your work. You will be assigned with a supervisor/mentor at your school, who will offer you support during the process.

When is it?

Some schools offer it in Year 12/S5, others in Year 13/S6 – speak to your teachers to find out more information. Most schools prefer students taking 3 A-levels, but EPQ falls outside of this and forms a great addition to your portfolio. Overall, it is estimated that the project should take around 120 hours total from start to finish (distributed over the academic year, with some students doing the bulk of their work during the holidays).

Who assesses it?

Likely one of the teachers will be an “assessor” marking the projects done by students within your school. The marks awarded will also be reviewed externally.

The project mark distribution varies between exam boards, but is roughly split into:

  • 20% project planning and time management evidence

  • 20% using resources and research skills evidence

  • 40% Development of an idea and producing an outcome

  • 20% Evaluation and presentation skills

Your assigned supervisor/mentor is also allowed to give you some guidance throughout the project i.e. support you with formulation of an appropriate question. However, this is an independent research task so there are limitations to this – you will be working on your own most of the time.

Why do it?

There are multiple reasons why EPQ is performed, which include:

  • EPQ gives you an opportunity to engage with university-style learning and allows you to move outside of the scope of what is taught in the classroom. You will independently research a project, which can but does not have to relate to an A-level subject you are studying. It will help to build on your organisation skills, time management, presentation skills, research, essay writing and teach you about referencing.

  • By doing an EPQ, you will be able to demonstrate breadth of reading and independent research which will be extremely handy, whether for writing your personal statement or during your interviews. Many universities like the EPQ - it shows you can undertake independent research, which is necessary for all students at university and helps to bridge the gap between sixth form and degree-level study.

  • If you are interested in an area, EPQ helps to evidence a genuine interest - it shows passion and self-discipline. Choosing what you are interested in and/or curious about will also motivate you to complete the project.

  • Although most Medical Schools do not consider EPQ for their offers, some universities go on to make special considerations. For example, Hull and York Medical School states the following: “If you are taking the EPQ alongside your A Levels, our offer is AABa. You will only be eligible to this offer if you choose Hull York Medical School as your firm choice in UCAS. This offer is not available if you are re-sitting A Levels or the EPQ.”. In this instance, the AAA offer was reduced to AAB, with the caveat of receiving A(a) in the EPQ component.

  • If you are looking to secure university options outside of Medicine, most universities go on to make special offers for EPQ students. For example, as of the time of writing this article, Birmingham University states the following (excluding Medicine and Dentistry): “At the University of Birmingham, applicants who take an EPQ and meet the offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice; PLUS an alternative offer which will be one grade lower, plus a grade A in the EPQ”, while Bristol University may make two alternative offers. Overall, EPQ is equivalent to half an A level, and is worth more than an AS. With an EPQ you are able to achieve an A* grade, unlike with an AS level, so it can be worth more tariff points (valued at 50% of a full A Level in the UCAS tariff).

What should I be aware of?

  • Beware that applying for Medicine means that any potential UCAS tariff points are not applicable as medical admissions teams do not use the tariff process when looking at applicants. However, admissions teams may use EPQ grades as part of forming a conditional offer, as in the example with Hull and York Medical School above.

  • The project will be quite time consuming – you will need to be good with your time-management while staying on top of the demands of you A-levels. Take the time to decide whether you want to take an additional commitment, alongside the need for work experience, volunteering, and entrance exams required for Medicine.

  • A lot of people complete EPQ for the purpose of enhancing their skills and due to genuine interest in the subject – if you are really interested in the topic, it may distract you from doing your normal A-level work.

  • On the other hand, if you are not as interested in a topic, the quality of your project may suffer as you will need to commit a lot of research and reading time and you may feel less engaged with the topic.

  • The mentors/supervisors can give you advice, but they are not permitted to interfere with your work – you will be working independently a lot of the time and will need to find the motivation to get through the project.

Final thoughts…

EPQ is a fantastic opportunity and a highly valued qualification, although you should carefully consider choosing this qualification in addition to your A-levels. I had the opportunity to perform my own EPQ during sixthform and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience, however some of my peers have struggled with their own work due to some of the factors mentioned above. I knew that I wanted to work on my skills, and my reading as part of my EPQ helped me during my interviews… However, the best piece of advice is to have a chat with people from the year above to get an idea about their experience as this may very in each school.

If you are thinking about starting an EPQ or want to learn some of the skills mentioned above, why not try writing something for our Mentee Blog? Please get in touch by emailing and we can get you started.

Wider Reading for Medicine

Check out the list of recommendations for wider reading around medicine:

Copy of Suggested Medicine Reading List.docx