2022 – The Hardest Year ‘In Living Memory’ to Enter UK Medical School

It’s August… A-Level Results Day is just around the corner and students are quaking in their shoes: “Have I done well enough? Will I get the grades to take me to my first-choice university?” These and a lot more questions pop up in the minds of those eagerly awaiting their grades. As if the stress levels are not already high enough, here comes a story in the national newspaper (The Guardian) forewarning us that 2022 could be the hardest year ‘in living memory’ to enter UK medical school!


Why so?

A-level students are expected to face challenges to get a place to study medicine this year. And if so, it means several thousand high-achieving applicants will be left without a place at all. Heads of the universities say the government has to increase the number of doctor trainee places in order to avoid NHS disasters in the near future. It is another burden for the NHS after many foreign medical workers had to leave the country because of Brexit, and the pressure on the system with two years of severe Covid. Today’s ‘not enough places’ for talented persons and brilliant minds for proper study means in 10 years the NHS will face disaster. 

Record-breaking competition

Medicine has never been the easiest subject for A-Level students to secure a place, but this year’s competition tends to be record-breaking, because many places are already allocated to students who were encouraged or paid to defer during the pandemic disruption last year, and due to a demographic surge in the number of 18-year-olds. With many universities ‘sitting’ on deferred students, this year will be the hardest year to get into medical school in living memory.

Devil is in the… funding

Figures speak for themselves: the UCAS admission service reported that less than 16% of applications for medical and dental studies resulted in an offer this year. And this is significantly down from 20.4% in 2021. The government says there is no funding for training UK students and the budget will fail to provide financing for extra places for the locals, while the students from other countries, who can afford to pay for their clinical training placement, as well as their tuition, are welcome.

Grades and aptitude tests

The “lucky” students, who have already received an offer for medicine, are now worried about what happens if they fail to achieve the needed and required A grades in the first high-stakes exams, having missed in-person GCSEs during the pandemic. Others feel they are not confident about their readiness for aptitude tests.

At least Cherwell College can reduce the burden of worrying about test preparedness, as the College Oxford provides a well-rounded approach to the preparation for aptitude tests to gain entry to medical schools: BMAT, UKCAT. Please learn more here: https://cherwellco-59r2e.sites.urbanelement.com/cherwell-college-oxford-courses/oxbridge-preparation-programme