MARK SCHEME: Edinburgh Medical School Personal Statement

Everyone knows that applying to the University of Edinburgh medical school is tough. They do not use interviews for undergraduate selection and therefore the personal statement is of paramount importance. Until now, the crafting of this personal statement has been a relative guessing game relying on the information form the medical school webpages for an idea of what the screening panel are looking for. 

Applican have gained access to the selectors handbook from 2017 which details the mark scheme that the panel utilise to rank medical school personal statements. 


The General Selection Points

  •  There is one place at Edinburgh Medical School for every 12 Scottish students who apply. 
  • 46% of offers were made to those applicants who scored in the top UKCAT octile. 28% of offers were made to those who scored in the second octile. 
  • Undergraduate applications are split into 40 points - note that SJT is max 6 points and the top UKCAT octile gets you 8 points. For those scoring top academic points, the 6 non academic (personal statement) points are the differentiator. 
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  • Your Higher/GCSE grades are ranked based on your scores for the academic component. 
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The Personal Statement

Two selectors will read your personal statement and they will be looking for the level of reflection that you show across three areas. Only the top 10% of applicants of each domain will achieve an excellent grade and receive top scores.

  1. Personal Qualities
    Do you show you are suitable to be a doctor? Have you shown good interpersonal skills? Have you shown a high level of both written and verbal communication? 
  2. Career Exploration
    Have you shown an informed application? Have you shown interest in reading and science in the medical career? Evidence of work with 'diseased, disabled or disadvantaged' people.
  3. Non academic achievement
    A good statement will show a broad range of interests across music, arts or sports. Those applicants who have achievements at a local, national or international level seem to achieve more points. Furthermore, evidence of leadership, organisational abilities and social responsibility. 
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The selection process to Edinburgh Medical School is so competitive. Scoring top points in the personal statement section, for many, is the fine difference between an offer and a rejection. 

At Applican, our experts have been helping students to craft their personal statements for over 5 years through both our courses and our individual personal statement packages. To gain access to the selectors handbook and an Applican mentor's advice please feel free to get in touch!