The 2020 Medical Applicant Timeline and Schedule

Today we’ll run through the top 10 things YOU can do as a 2020 medical applicant in the months between now and the end of the year. We’ll try to keep this as up-to-date as possible, so keep checking back! Subscribe to the aspiring medical student newsletter to get the latest application advice and articles.

Applying for medicine or dentistry in 2020? I do not envy you my friend.

It has been a hard year for everyone, and I think that aspiring medical students applying for 21 or 22 entry have had it really rough. Not only are your preparations for A levels disrupted, but both of the UK’s medical entry exams (UCAT and BMAT) are changing their procedures and many work experience opportunities have been lost.

I hope that your school/college careers teams are working their socks off to help you stay on track with your application! For those of you still feeling a little lost, hopefully this will help:

My 10-Part Medical School Application Schedule for 2020

  • 1st July 2020: Book your UCAT exam slot – I recommend not waiting until the end of the UCAT exam period (3rd August 2020 – 1st October 2020) to sit your exam, so that you have some time to relax before September and can revise for the BMAT.
  • For the month of July and early August: Prepare for the UCAT exam – This should involve a crazy amount of practice questions, thousands of which can be found free online on the UCAT website and Passmedicine.
  • July and August: Virtual Work Experience – If you haven’t already completed the virtual work experience currently available to you, I recommend working through this during the month of July and August. You can learn more about virtual work experience and volunteering here.
  • 3rd August – 1st September: I would recommend sitting the UCAT in the month of August, so that it is out of the way before school starts again in September and you have time to start on your personal statement.
  • End of August 2020: First draft of your personal statement – try to have an idea of what will go into your personal statement by the end of July. Then, by the end of August, with your UCAT out of the way, write a first draft of your personal statement.
  • 1st September 2020: BMAT booking window opens. You can book the BMAT exam from 1st September until 15th October, but you will pay significantly more between the 1st and the 15th October as this is technically a late booking.
  • September 15th 2020: One month before the UCAS deadline – Have a shortlist of medical schools you want to apply to. You can only apply to 4 medical schools in your UCAS application, but try to have a list of maximum 6 medical schools that you are considering applying to.
  • End of September 2020: Final version of your personal statement. Have the final draft of your personal statement ready a week or so before the UCAS deadline, so that you are not worrying about proof reading for spelling and grammar the night before!
  • 15th October 2020: UCAS Deadline! This is the deadline for applications this year, when your UCAS online application needs to be confirmed.
  • 4th November 2020: BMAT Exam – This will be the only date for sitting the BMAT exam this application cycle.

So, there you have it, my top 10 ‘What To Do Next’ for 2020 medical applicants.

This list is not the entirety of what you could be doing. There is also preparation you could be doing for interviews, further reading around healthcare and ongoing work experience/volunteering.

As I said at the start, this post will be kept up to date throughout the 2020 application cycle. It was last updated on the 24th June 2020.

Are you applying for medicine or dentistry this year? Let me know how your application is going! Make sure to check out my guides on the UCAT, BMAT and Personal Statement. A lot of people seemed to resonate with my last post about taking a gap year, and I am very keen to hear all of your plans!

My YouTube channel is also full of admissions and medschool content, so make sure to go and subscribe!

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Please sign up for the Doctor Dibblin mailing list to keep up to date with the latest news and posts.

Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription.

Connor is a medical student at King’s College London. For the 19/20 academic year he is undertaking an intercalated iBSc in Imaging Sciences, also at King’s.


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