Graduate Entry Medicine: How do you balance my academic achievements with my other strengths in making decisions about selection?
Comparison of candidates who have very different academic and personal strengths is one of the most difficult aspects of shortlisting, and all graduate-entry courses have this problem. The Oxford course has a very strong academic emphasis, and so we look particularly for academic excellence in our candidates; but demonstration of this ability may be through a good performance in the entrance test (the BMAT), or through a history of good A-levels and a good degree, or a combination of the two. We also take very seriously your personal suitability for medicine and for this course, but those characteristics are usually assessed at interview in candidates who have already demonstrated their academic ability: we would not expect to interview candidates who could not demonstrate high academic ability, however good their personal suitability for medicine might be. In practice, we usually shortlist for interview most candidates who perform well in the BMAT (by which we mean scoring in the top quarter of the applicants); and also candidates who score slightly less well in the test (perhaps in the top 40 per cent of applicants) but who have a particularly strong academic history. Candidates whose scores in the entrance test are in the bottom half of the class generally are not interviewed.