What do I do if my Higher results don't go well?

Ultimately, if you really want to do medicine, you will find a way to do it. There are many paths which lead to the degree, it’s just about finding the one that’s right for you.

Last year, 94.4% of our Applican students nationwide received at least one offer for Medicine.

We specialise in advising students on how to shape their application strategically.

First off - DO NOT PANIC! Understandably, everyone gets worried about their exam results and the impact they may have on applying to medical school. I will never forget the sleepless nights before results day with worrying about what the text from the SQA would say, so I can completely empathise with all of you. However, I survived results day and I’ve got a few tips to share with you so you can survive it too!


1)  Your application isn’t all about your grades


While it might be great to get a clean sweep of As, just remember that your medical school application consists of so many more elements than just what you achieved in your exams. You can make up quite a bit for a slip-up grade in your UCAT and SJT, the way you craft your personal statement and even in how you perform in the interviews. 

The best way to give yourself a chance is to look at how different universities grade each aspect of your application, and apply to the ones where you can score highly in other sections. For many universities, if you can get to the interview stage, the next decision maker for them will be how you come across on the day. By that point, the thing that will differentiate you from all the other candidates won’t be your grades, but will be your communication skills and knowledge about the world of medicine. 

Our Applican course is perfect for helping you tailor your application to the correct universities and gives you a head start for interview preparation. Click here to see where the course nearest to you is!

2)  Gap years are great!


 If I had a pound for every time I heard someone in my year at uni say that taking a gap year was the best thing they ever did, then I could pay off my student loan right now! Taking a year out can allow you to gain so much experience of the health care sector which would look great on applications and allows you to experience what being a doctor might be like. While a lot of people may go abroad to work in hospitals in other parts of the world, staying in the UK is so valuable! There’s so many possibilities as to what you could do to gain both experience and earn money to help you through your time at uni. 

Working as a health care assistant on wards in the hospital would allow you to gain an essential insight into the work that goes on to provide holistic patient care on a daily basis- from chatting to patients about their lives, to helping them look after themselves while they get better and generally making their stay in hospital a more pleasant experience.

 Another great opportunity would be to find a job working in a GP practice. Administrative work allows you to understand the day to day running of the NHS whilst training as a phlebotomist could give you a head start to learning the skills you get taught about in medical school. If you didn’t want to work in a health care environment in your year out, you could gain more experience through volunteering in the community or finding more work experience attachments to go to. The possibilities are endless!

 As cheesy as it may seem, taking a year out also allows you to learn about life as an adult instead of just being catapulted into it as a student (trust me- suddenly having to look after yourself can come as a shock!). Think about practicing skills such as cooking, budgeting your money and even figuring out how to work a washing machine (finding out how not to shrink clothes is harder than it seems…).

So if you don’t get in first time round, ace your Advanced Higher grades in 6thyear and then try again once you’ve had a year of amazing experiences!

3)  Post-graduate medicine!


If you don’t fancy taking a year out or just want to keep learning, then doing a medical degree as a post-graduate may be the plan for you. Use your back-up option (I highly recommend using the 5thchoice on your UCAS form- you pay for it after all!) as an opportunity to go to university and see what life in higher education is like. Some universities offer an accelerated medical course if you already have a degree and some post-grads have told me that they felt going to medical school this way was easier as they were better equipped to plan their studies as they knew what worked best for them from their previous degree. Going from high school to university is completely different and learning to adapt your study skills can be difficult- so maybe this route would be the perfect one for you!