Currently listening to: Time - Pink Floyd
Sometimes I like to treat this blog like a sofa in a psychiatrist's office. I use it to reflect, debate, analyse and go over things in my mind to do with my future. I swear I'm not drunk when I make these posts, I just need somewhere to contemplate freely I guess.
Ten weeks have passed since I completed my BSc exams, got my grades, graduated, got accepted onto a masters degree and sorted out my accommodation for next year. The one thing that has constantly been on the back of my mind through all of this has been the UKCAT, which I have been preparing for. I have completed two revision books, a Kaplan pdf test, several free online tests, and hundreds of (paid for) online UPO questions, and now I've started them all again. I see patterns everywhere, I work out percentages whilst on the bus, and analyse newspaper articles for inferences and relationships.
Up til now I've been pretty laid back about the UKCAT, and I still am...after getting through the hell that is a biomed degree, I think few things will ever make me feel as nervous as my second year Immunology exam. But it would be silly to deny that - 12 days before the test - I'm getting nervous. I suppose it's because today it finally hit me just how important this test is. I was browsing some student forums (as you do) and stumbled on this post about the exam. The graduate in question had got 630 in his UKCAT and was wondering what he should do with this rather average score. The harsh, but honest, response?
"To be honest, that is quite a low score on the UKCAT for entry onto a 4 year program. I think you would struggle to get interviews for a 5 year program too. Your best bet will be to look at applying to unis that do not use an entrance exam ( Cambridge or Birmingham) or that use the GAMSAT. It does not matter how qualified you feel you are, the entrance exam plays a very large part in shortlisting for interview and with that UKCAT score I'm sorry to say you will be below the cut off for the majority (if not all) the UKCAT unis."
Of course I know that the UKCAT is important, I've never treated it less than seriously, but seeing this very honest advice 12 days before the exam finally crystallised what had been in the back of my mind for a long time: this exam is very, very significant and I really, really do not want to do badly, but what if after all this preparation I do?
Since getting my results, I've had nearly 8 weeks of un-nervousness. And now it's back. Is this life for me, forever? Stressing about my degree, stressing about my UKCAT, stressing about interviews, stressing about offers, stressing about rejections, stressing about med school yrs 1-4, stressing about MRCP 1, 2, 2A, stressing about registrar interviews...do I need to continue?
Sometimes I wonder whether it's all worth it. Whether it's even healthy. I'm not looking for sympathy in this post, I'm just hoping that all this uncertainty and edginess is a temporary part of my life, not permanent. Then again maybe everyone feels like this...