This motto, passed on year after year by medical students to those applying, is one that helped to keep us all somewhat sane during what can often be a stressful process. I think the scariest part of applying to university isn’t the application itself but not knowing whether or not you’ll be accepted, or – the glass half empty way of thinking – rejected. Either way, this whole mindset isn’t helpful at all. The med school application process is long. Different universities review applications at different times, the UKCAT and BMAT take place at different times and meanwhile you watch your friends who are applying for courses in other fields like engineering receive offer after offer before you’ve even heard back for an interview. BUT remember that everyone is in the same boat.
The overall period of applications runs from October through to March so it is very easy to fall into a worrisome state because you haven’t heard anything yet but not hearing anything doesn’t mean anything either. The important thing to remember at this point is… you’ve got it – “no news is good news!” You might think this is silly but the truth is that it’s very difficult to accurately predict how things have gone but having this constantly play on your mind will do nothing but hinder the rest of your studies. To secure your place you need to ensure that you’re on top of your subjects and that you meet grade requirements so don’t fall behind dwelling on the unknown.
Just because other people have heard back and you haven’t doesn’t mean they don’t want you! Just because you think you messed up an interview doesn’t mean that you came across badly! Just because you’ve been rejected by one or more universities doesn’t mean the rest will reject you too! The interview period runs over several months and different universities have different timelines e.g. some universities keep a certain period of time for overseas or graduate applications. If in doubt check websites of Medical Schools you’re applying to, but remember that you’re not at a disadvantage if you receive an interview far later than others. Your interview is your chance to shine and your way into a seat, so show them why they should pick you. I have come out of an interview thinking I had just blown my shot and received an offer the following day. I have friends who received rejections from 3 out of 4 of their choices and an offer from the last one, in some cases that was their top choice to begin with. Finally, I have friends who are doing well at their top choice despite being called for an interview towards the end of the selection period.
The motto “no news is good news” exists for a reason. It is so easy to dwell on lack of responses and latch onto fears BUT remember that if you haven’t heard back that means the door is still open and to be honest, that’s all that really matters!
Guest Blog by Piriyanga Kesavan, a Kaplan UKCAT teacher and Medical School student at Imperial College London