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Anyone from the UK? Help?

All right, I'm looking into applying to Cambridge University from the United States. But, I didn't realize there were so many colleges and things I'd never heard of!

1. What are the BMATs? I want to stab a guss that maybe it's similar to the US's SAT? Are they hard? What's on them?

2. Is there any specific 'college' in Cambridge that's known for it's medical program, or that is easier/harder to get into, more prestigious, etc? I know Cambridge itself is presitgious for medicine - but what goes on with the colleges? That's got me confused.

3. Will I have to fly in to take the BMAT?

I've been trying to look this up on my own for hours - I'm so confused! Eep!

Thanks for any help, guys!

Thu. Aug 23, 12:57am

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Also, can I combine Medicine with another couse study?

Thursday, August 23, 2007, 1:00 AM

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I'm from the UK

But, I know nothing about this. However, I have found this link about BMAT (bio-medical admission test). It's got a FAQ's page as well. It also tells you where the centres are. I can't help you with Cambridge colleges. The colleges are really where people live and socialise, as well as being taught, i.e. some colleges are known for being particularly sporty, or are women only (I'm not sure that there are any of those left), or have particular facilities. Each college does its own prospectus (or at least they used to) which will tell you about it. You have to pick the one that's right for you. They usually do open days, but if you come over beforehand, you could write to ask whether you could have a look around.

I don't know anyone who went to Cambridge, only Oxford, so I can't tell you about it or put you in touch with anyone useful.

Hope this is of some assistance.


Thursday, August 23, 2007, 7:42 AM

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Try emailing

Did you look on the Cambridge University website? Its
I didn't have a proper look around (and maybe you've looked there already), but they have info on admissions and courses.

Thursday, August 23, 2007, 10:43 AM

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OP back

I've tried emailing them, however, they suggested that I email the "admissions tutor" (we don't have those here lol) from the college I want to apply to - only issue is..I have no idea which I SHOULD apply to.

I was just wondering if "word" went around about the colleges. Which is the "best", the most "medically based", the most "prestigious", the "easiest to get into", the one that accepts the most international students, etc.

Since I want to go into medicine, I want to make sure I'm applying to the right school. *shrug*

So much confusion. :[

Thursday, August 23, 2007, 4:51 PM

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Thanks for the links 6.13, that opened my eyes up to more universities in the UK :]

I was just wondering about the colleges IN cambridge, I thought I could just apply to "Cambridge University", but ends up there's "mini" colleges within? Which of THOSE do I apply to, have the top medical rating, etc ?

Friday, August 24, 2007, 4:06 PM

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Hi Poster,

I am a Cambridge graduate so can explain the college system to you if you like? I was very lucky with my choice (Darwin) - but I was post-grad and knew what kind of ambience I was after... as an undergrad you have a HUGE choice. Unfortunately, I know some people who have got this wrong and suffered the consequences. I would recommend you look on Facebook for some of the College groups - it could help you assess what the people are like.

If you think of the University and its departments as those who teach you and encourage academic excellence, with the colleges acting as a family, friend and support group to keep you sane! Most of my friends were made at college, rather than through my course.

The thing with colleges which you can be quite clever about is researching into how many applications per place they accept for each department. There are VERY rich colleges (Such as St Johns) which can be VERY selective about who they select as they have many more applications for spaces. THis information should be in the prospectus.

My brother read Medicine in Oxford, which I believe is somewhat better known for its work in medicine as the Radcliffe (research hospital) is VERY good. he studied at St Edmund Hall (aka Teddy Hall) and had a wonderful time. Also, Durham and some of the London Universities (UCL, Kings College London) are very highly regarded.

Conhratulations on your potential move to our side of the pond - and I shall follow this thread in case this has sparked any more questions for you!

All the best,

Sunday, August 26, 2007, 4:17 PM

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Thanks 4.17!

I really have been looking into Oxford over Cambridge lately, only because they accept SAT II for US applicants (we don't take A levels), while Cambridge wants APs, and my school hasn't offered enough APs in "related" topics (Bio, Chem, Maths, etc) to medicine for me to even have the required grades.

I was wondering, does Oxford have the same "multi-colleges" set up as Cambrdige? And, what's the deal with applying with "expected grades"? Due to medical problems, I'm taking the tests I need to apply in Nov (1 mo. after applications are due), and I know Oxford has something where you can apply with "expected grades". How exactly does that work?


And yes, I'm looking foward to a potential move over the pond as well...I LOVE the UK!

Sunday, August 26, 2007, 5:49 PM

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4.17 here again!

As far as I'm aware (forgive me if I'm wrong!) Oxford and Cambridge (we call them 'Oxbridge') are the only unis working with the collegiate system. And I would DEFINITELY recommend St Edmunds iCollege in Oxford (but I'm baised because of my brother!)

As for expected Grades, I would contact the college and faculty you are interested in directly - explaining the situation in person will not only clarify the situation for you - it will also flag your name when you get your application in! (Always a good step!) One of your teachers/lecturers may have to write a letter confirming that you are up to standard!

Before I made my choice in College, I contacted each of the Deans (kind of like the Head of the College) that I was interested in, and asked if I could be shown around by one of the existing students. I know that this will be difficult for you as you're in the US, but approaching the colleges you are interested in directly will highlight your interest in them - but also let them know YOU are choosing them as you know it's very important to get it right. Of course, try and ask questions which aren't covered in the prospectus - then they may think you're just daft for not reading it properly!

Also note, there has been talk over here that Oxbridge may move away from the A-level grade system (too many students are passing with loads of A's). They may be asking to see ACTUAL grades achieved (I.e. - what % you got)

It might cost a fair few dollars in phone calls, but I really cannot recommend you call both the medical faculty (about expected grades) and the colleges (about the college) directly. Although expensive, the applications can be complicated (especially for international students) and I think the peace of mind/forewarning will be well worth the cost in the long run!

Keep us posted! :^)

Monday, August 27, 2007, 3:05 PM

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Thanks for the info, again, so much!

Well, I'm an EU citizen (Greece..dual citizenship), so I found out I only have to do the UK application and the UMCAT? Or something along those lines.

As for contacting them, I contacted the boards of admissions of Oxford thru email, and am currently waiting on a reply. If they don't, I'll just email the colleges I'm looking at.

Any more colleges you would possibly reccomend? I know some don't accept women, and some don't accept undergrads, so that narrows the list down - I just don't the "social ear" info for this.

Thank you SO much, the help you've given me is unbelievable!

Monday, August 27, 2007, 11:00 PM

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 11:42 AM

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4:17 here again.
It's really difficult to tell you more about the colleges... It is so easy to love each one for different reasons! ALL of them admit women, but some DON'T admit men. It sounds daft but something as simple as the distance to/from your department/grounds and facilities was important to me. If I was an undergrad I would try to get into Emmanual in Cambridge - as the food is so nice! :^D

Have you looked on Facebook and searched for colleges yet? Give it a whirl - there's loads of info on there!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 4:11 PM

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