31 Jul 2013

a bit of fun: styling my deco

Following on from my post about styling my Smythson organiser, I thought I'd style my Slimline Deco in amethyst too.

Dark purple is a colour I don't really have in my wardrobe but this was quickly rectified through a dress I purchased using vouchers (so, not breaking my 'no spend challenge'). The dress is an indigo colour (as close to dark purple as I will go) but with a whimsical dragonfly print.

The cream suede interior would be represented by a cream cardigan... Or my Mulberry bag:

The colour of my bag is actually quite similar to the hue of the cream suede interior. However, the Deco is such a versatile binder, I think it would go with all sorts of attire but if you want to dress as similar to it as possible, I think this would be the way I would go :)

Personally, I prefer my Smythson outfit. Do you match your clothes and/or bags with your binder?

28 Jul 2013

my week #67

The hot weather seems to have calmed down a bit into more bearable temperatures this weekend and I can that I am definitely grateful for this! My week has been full of life admin and London (not a bad thing to say the least).

I didn't get much time to re-cap some A-Level and degree level genetics and biochemistry but I can save that for another rainy day :)

A more subdued and plainer week than usual but I quite like all the blank space; especially when you compare to my week #25 from October 2012!

27 Jul 2013

a giveaway to celebrate my blog 3 year anniversary!

Can you believe that this blog has been running for three years now? At the beginning, my blogging habits were a bit flaky - posts were usually during my university holidays and they were rarely during term-time. I'm determined to stay dedicated to this blog once medschool starts, so I'm hoping that flakiness was a thing of the past (I have blog post ideas planned up until February of 2014!).
So, to celebrate this anniversary, I'm holding a giveaway to thank all of my lovely followers. To enter,

- you must follow my blog on Bloglovin' and then leave me a comment on this post with a link to your Bloglovin' account (so that I can check you do follow the blog)


- you must follow me on Google Friend Connect (in my sidebar). Leave a comment with a link to your profile so that I can check (your profile must be public and I have to be able to see the blogs you follow).

For a bonus entry, follow me on Twitter and tweet this about the giveaway:

" I've entered @paperlovestory's 3 year giveaway. Have you? http://bit.ly/13c3YIy "

The prizes are as follows (there will be two prizes!):

1) A Daycraft Handypick holder - comes with a diary insert (6 months' worth) and a notepaper insert.
2) A Life Canvas Purple Rain notebook and Chirp A6 organiser

The name that is drawn first wins prize 1) and the second name wins prize 2).

Terms and Conditions:

- As a bare minimum, you must follow my blog on Bloglovin' or GFC and leave me a comment on this blog post to enter.
- Tweeting and following on Twitter are optional activities to gain an extra entry; they are not compulsory.
- There are two prizes and the winners will be drawn through the use of Random.org.
- This giveaway is open worldwide.
- Closing date for entries will be 26th of August 2013 at 9am BST.
- Winners will be announced shortly after in a blog post. If you are a winner, it is your responsibility to email me your address. If you fail to claim your prize within seven days, I will draw a new winner.
- In the event of your prize going missing in the post, I will not be held responsible - I am holding this giveaway out of goodwill and the postal service losing your parcel is something I cannot control (I've never had a parcel go missing though, FYI).

To make things easier, please comment using this structure:

Country you live in:
Bloglovin'/Google Friend Connect account link:
Did you tweet? If so, give me the link please:

If you don't want to leave a comment, please send the completed form to my angela @ paperlovestory . com (remove the spaces) with the subject title Three Year Giveaway :)

Good luck! :) And if you miss out this time? Don't worry - I have a plan to hold another giveaway later in the year.

25 Jul 2013

review: paper republic!

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Paper Republic. They are only eight months old so you can be excused for not having heard of them :) Anyway, they are based in Vienna (how glamorous!) and pride themselves on using premium 100g/m2 paper that is FSC-certified and wood-free. Interested? Wait until you hear that... All notebooks are hand-numbered and there are limited numbers of each design. 

Onto the review. I was sent two notebooks - a Noto #2 and a Noto #3 (both in the middle-size) and a Grand Voyageur Leather Journal.

From left to right: Noto #2, Grand Voyageur Leather Journal and the Noto #3.

First up, the Grand Voyageur Leather Journal.

I was sent the one in dark blue leather with an orange elastic band. When I first saw it, I instantly thought 'Midori Traveller's Notebook!'. Having never possessed a Midori (though I have seen one in person), I cannot do a direct comparison but I would be willing to bet that this one is very similar.

My initial thoughts were that the dark blue and orange band contrasted magnificently. It is a lightweight journal and would be ideal for travelling with - and with a name like the Grand Voyageur, I would assume that is the point of this product. The leather feels supple, but also thick enough to be sturdy too.

According to their website, it is made of cow leather that has been vegetable-tanned in Toscana and hand-cut in Vienna, with the paper inside the pocket-sized notebook being hand-made cotton paper made in a Slovenian mill. With only a small number of companies opting to enlighten customers of where their goods are made, Paper Republic is refreshing in that they are quite open about how their products are made and also where they source them from too.

The interior of the leather journal is suede and in the sample I was given, there is a strip about three-quarters of the way down that is a bit lighter than the rest. This may be due to the tanning process or may just be an error - I don't know. According to the leaflet that came with the journal, it can hold two notebooks, a passport and a pen - but this does make me worry about how the elastic will hold up if it is constantly overstuffed. At the moment, the elastic is quite tight so this is more of a long-term worry than anything.

Each notebook has a gold lion embossed on the front and the paper inside is really quite thick (100g/m2 again!) with a twinge of ivory in colour. I like.

Each notebook is hand-numbered and the one I received is number 91 out of 150.

There is also the option of engraving of your initials onto the bottom-left of the back cover (for free!).

One thing to note is that the smell of the leather is amazing. When I unboxed this journal, there was a faint smell of leather - not dissimilar to the smell you get from premium leather handbags - and it immediately made me feel that this is a journal that will age beautifully.

Overall, a very well-made and aesthetically pleasing notebook. However, it is a pricey alternative to the Midori Traveller's notebook in passport size. The Midori version retails for £35 on The Journal Shop whereas this Grand Voyageur retails for 40, which according to Google, equates to £34.43. It must be noted that the colour options for both are different though.

The notebook refills retail at 14.95 for two.

Noto #2 and Noto #3 Notebooks

These notebooks really do look stunning in real life and the pictures really don't do them justice! They are hardcover notebooks with the covers being handcrafted Chiyogami covers. Each notebook comes with a leaflet that includes information about the notebooks: it says that the paper is fountain-pen friendly, the notebook always lies flat and also where the notebook has been crafted (Japan, Sweden and Hungary).

My initial thoughts were 'wow'. These notebooks are pretty without being overly girly or manly and they also look good enough to be used by royalty (maybe it's the gold causing me to think that?).

Inside, there is the Paper Republic logo:

And the same Swedish plain paper with that lovely ivory tint:

Again, each notebook is hand-numbered on the back page:

In terms of price v quality - they retail at 19.95 (approximately £17.17) each, which is on the pricier side of a notebook with only 96 pages of paper. However, the fact they are hand-crafted and so well-thought out in terms of quality justifies that price tag. With Paper Republic, you know how and where your notebooks are made but not only this, they pride themselves on using traditional paper-making, printing and bookbinding techniques.

Overall, if you're looking for something a little bit different and luxurious, Paper Republic is where you should be looking. The higher than average prices are also offset by the fact that shipping is free worldwide. You can also find them on Facebook :)

Thank you, Jerome, for sending me these products and affording me the opportunity to write this review :)

Note: Although these products were sent to me as samples, this does not affect my opinion in any way and I am still reviewing them as I would if I had paid for them.

24 Jul 2013

laura ashley a/w13 press day

Last month, I attended the Laura Ashley A/W13 Press Day. Having never attended a press day before, I had no idea what I was letting myself into! It was held at Il Bottaccio, near Hyde Park, so to return to an area I love so much (West London, I miss you!) had me in a great mood the moment I stepped off the train at Victoria and walked up Grosvenor Place. 

Anyway, I took plenty of pictures of my favourite Laura Ashley items and here they are for you all to see :)

First up; look at this rail of clothing! I wish every single garment was mine - the colours would fit in so well with my existing wardrobe and the prints are right up my street.

I also love this tweed jacket:

Leading from this small room of fashion-related goods were two larger rooms of things focussed on the home decoration category of products. And within these two rooms were some very beautiful items.

Just look at that chandelier (it had me thinking 'how can I persuade myself that this would be perfect for my bedroom?!'):

And the cute items in the next picture that could instantly spruce up a plain room. I just love the duck doorstop!

Because the Laura Ashley brand is sixty years old this year, there was a room dedicated to celebrating this. In this room, there was a board detailing the important events of the past sixty years and it sure did make a fascinating read.

There was a board dedicated to each decade and here was my favourite one:

But I also loved the board showcasing the more recent decades:

Another great feature was a display of prints from the past and the present:

More prints, candles and mugs (I want them all!):

Finally, my favourite display: the duck egg blue themed bedroom. I felt that the furniture really complimented the vintage-feel of the duck egg blue colour.

Oh, how I wish the bedroom on display was actually my own proper bedroom!

My favourite item in the bedroom just had to be this armchair. It's neutral in design and looks ever so comfy and I can just imagine sitting on it, on a warm summer evening, my legs curled up under my body with my Kindle in one hand and a cool drink in the other.

I have always loved and admired the Laura Ashley brand and products they have to offer. To see them like this, firsthand, was a pleasure and I'm pretty sure I fell in love with pretty much the majority of the items on show.

Thank you, Marin at Green Light Digital for inviting me to the press day :)

23 Jul 2013

my week round-up #29

Here was my week and here are the blogs taking part in this week's round-up:

{1} Filo Cuteness
{2} Life of Bubbi
{3} Lucy Wonderland
{4} She's Eclectic
{5} Star Gardener
{6} Miss Mai's Adventures
{7} Sailor Mouth
{8} Life of a Dreamer
{9} My Summer Touch
{10} Roses in December
{11} Pen and Paper Passion
{12} Coffee and Stationery
{13} Donna Ridgeway
{14} Everything IB
{15} Life of Kitty
{16} Properly Made Up
{17} My Purpley Life
{18} DIY Sara
{19} Nerd-Zilla
{20} Filo Cuteness

Want to join in? Click the button below for more info :)

NB: Inclusion on my weekly round-ups do not mean that I endorse any of the products or services sold by readers in the list and I do not get commission from any sales that may be the result of a click-through.

22 Jul 2013

applying for medicine: the GAMSAT

Following on from my post about 'applying for medicine as a graduate', I received a request to do a blog post about the GAMSAT.

Now, I know my score isn't brilliant but I'm quite proud of it considering I had only prepped for it for two weeks. I ended up registering late (as I was intending on applying once I had my degree results but my mum said I might as well give the UCAS cycle a go) which left me with little time to prepare. During these two weeks, I did about three hours a day for five days a week.

For those of you unfamiliar with the scores, you are given a score based on how everyone else did too - so each year, the scores can change. Your score is valid for two years after you take it (so mine was valid for 2012 and 2013 entry). In the past, a score of 55 in two of the sections (one of which has to be section II), and a score of 50 in the remaining section is what applicants should aim for. However, this can change from year to year - as for the year I actually used this result, one of the universities asked for 55 in all three sections with an overall minimum score of 56. 


Please bear in mind that I come from a science heavy background when reading this blog post. My A-Levels were Biology, Chemistry and Maths and my degree was in Biochemistry. Although I would classify myself as more of a science person than a humanities person, section III (the science section) of the GAMSAT isn't really anything like the science in my degree so I didn't feel like I was at an advantage.

I also didn't use any paid resources for the GAMSAT so I am in no position to endorse any of the guides out there on the market.

Quite honestly, I think a little part of it is luck. No way do I think I could get the same (or better) score if I were to do it again with only two weeks of prep.

Section I

For section I, I did as many practice questions as I could. Familiarising yourself with the questions is half the battle! Quite often, two of the options is definitely false and two of them could be true. After that, it's a 50/50 game so if you're completely torn as to what the answer is, mark the two you think it could be and come back to it.

In preparation for this section, I also read as many 'classic' novels and poems as I could. I'm not a poetry fan so this was very painful for me! However, reading novels by George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, etc, seemed to have helped.

Some of the questions in section I are based on comics or cartoons and to prep for this, I looked at cartoons in newspapers and used them to look for hidden meanings.

Section II

I have no advice for this but to practice, practice and practice. And make sure you practice under time pressure! Find quotes online for different subjects (there are loads of free resources for this - just Google it!) and then spend about 10 minutes brainstorming points you'd like to make. After this, number each of the points so that they will be logical when you come to write the essay.

Try and throw in real-life examples from current news or political issues, or even your own personal experiences if relevant.

Section III

I have to confess I didn't do much preparation for this section! I did the practice questions and also looked over an A-Level Physics textbook (as that was the only science A-Level I was lacking) and tried to learn as much of that as possible. Other than that, most of my efforts were concentrated on Sections I and II.

Again, I don't recommend this and if I did it again, I would definitely do more prep for section III. Apparently, Khan Academy is a good resource for videos on the different things that may or may not crop up in the exam.

On The Day

- The GAMSAT is a marathon and quite honestly, I think lasting the day is part of the challenge. It's designed to make your brain work hard and keeping calm is important.

- Bring a filling lunch! Section III is ridiculously long and without a break. Bring some sugar or a snack you can consume easily and quickly if you're worried your brain might need some energy midway through this section.

- Keep hydrated! I actually had a loo break at the beginning of section II and I still ended up with a score of 77. Sometimes, if you feel like your brain is fried, having a quick loo break can help!

- Cramming for section III at lunch time isn't advisable. Your brain will have endured a frying after section II so why fry it some more before the dreaded third section?

Overall Advice

- Do read broadsheet newspapers. This will help with section I and could be the grounding for some real-life examples you could throw into section II.

- Practice, practice, practice (if you can). I think I only had one example paper but I made the most of it (I did this twice - once at the beginning of the two weeks and once at the end).

- Keep calm!

- Try and build up your vocabulary. Free Rice is an example of an excellent resource for learning new words!

- Do a few hours each day, over a few months or a few weeks' (depending on how much prep you feel you need to do). There is no such thing as over-preparing but there is such a thing as working so hard that your brain won't take in anymore. Cramming won't work for you here!

If you're sitting the GAMSAT this year, good luck! :)

I know most of these tips are quite basic but I thought sharing my experience with the GAMSAT may help someone out there. Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments section :)

21 Jul 2013

my week #66

My week started off with an intense 90-minute session of fitness training. It was run by one of the lovely girls at netball and it was designed to get us into shape so that we would be ready for the new season that starts in September. Intense is one word for it - my thighs, abdominal muscles and shoulders were stiff the next day! So much so, I had to forego the planned work-outs for the next two days.

I had a weird stomach ache that spanned the whole of Friday and some of Saturday (no idea why!) but that disappeared eventually.

Next week? I'm hoping the weather becomes milder as otherwise, I might be in for some uncomfortable London underground journeys!

How has your week been? :)

19 Jul 2013

I just can't get enough: pantone notebooks

I fear I'm becoming a bit of a stuck record with my numerous posts about Pantone notebooks but I really do love them. Colour, fashion and functionality: all in one product - what more could you want? 

So, on a recent trip to my local TK Maxx, when I saw these Pantone notebooks, I couldn't help but run with them to the till. They are both A4 in size with one being ruled (black one) and one plain (green). 

I'm currently using the green one as my sketchbook and as a result, I can show some of the paper in the green notebook in action. The pens I primarily use in it are black fineliner and felt tips and here are pictures of how well the paper takes these pens:

Stabilo Cappi felt tips seem to be okay...

Until you turn over:

Fineliners also appear ok...

And are pretty much ok on the other side too. Also, felt tips are ok if you don't exert too much pressure it seems.

I really love the Pantone brand but these didn't blow me away. My favourite still has to be my Tangerine Tango (Colour of the Year) notebook :)

17 Jul 2013

review: three-barrelled pilot coleto

If there was such a thing as a school for pens, the Pilot Hi-Tec C Coleto would be the popular kid who is loved by all of the teachers (and maybe a little envied by other pupils). As pens go, I'd wager that the Pilot Coleto is one that is owned and loved by the majority of its users.

I had originally planned to jump onto the Coleto bandwagon in September of this year but then I won My Filo World's competition and that plan went out of the window.

When the prize arrived, I opted to put the inserts into the clear barrel and this is how it looked: 

Aesthetically, it has a very minimalistic design and is almost like the Muji multipen. The rubber bits at the bottom bit of the pen make gripping the pen easier and more comfortable than if they weren't there.

I do love a multi-pen due to how practical they are - carrying several ink colours in one, single pen is never a bad feature to have as pens go.

To slot in the refills, you just pop the top open:

And slip them in. Simple.

I know that some people complain that the Coleto refills are scratchy and I have to say, on this occasion, I agree. I received three 0.4mm refills and here is how they look on paper:

The ink flow is good and I think the refills are identical to the Pilot Hi-Tec C gel pen as the Coleto writes the same as my Pilot Hi-Tec C gel pens. I'm not a fan of how scratchy the nib is so maybe the 0.5mm is the one for me (I guess I will have to test out this hypothesis in the near future!) and the mechanism of popping open the top doesn't seem as sturdy as I would like on a feature that will inevitably see a lot of use. However, the barrels are quite cheap to replace so it's not like you'll be paying a lot for a new one if your current one were to break.

Overall, I like this pen but I don't love it. Will 0.5mm refills change my opinion? I hope so!

Have you tried this pen and if so, what do you think about it?

16 Jul 2013

my week round-up #28

Before I do this week's round-up, I thought I'd say that I've added a 'donate' button to the Custom Inserts page. Although it isn't compulsory to donate, I would really appreciate it if you did, especially if you have found some of the inserts useful because it does take up a fair bit of time to design, make and upload them :)

Anyway, here was my week and here are the blogs taking part in this week's round-up:

{1} Filo Cuteness
{2} Donna Ridgeway
{3} The Family Watt
{4} My Summer Touch
{5} Roses in December
{6} Life of Kitty
{7} Miss Mai's Adventures
{8} She's Eclectic
{9} Puddytat Purr
{10} The Wonderful Life of Alice
{11} Lucy Wonderland
{12} Nerd-Zilla
{13} Star Gardener
{14} Donna Ridgeway
{15} Coffee and Stationery
{16} Sailor Mouth
{17} Properly Made Up
{18} Red Lips 'n' Pearls
{19} Fitness and Filofaxing
{20} DIY Sara
{21} My Purpley Life
{22} The Simple Life
{23} Mzelle's World
{24} Wandrrlust
{25} Pen and Paper Passion
{26} Everything IB

Want to join in? Click the button below for more info :)

NB: Inclusion on my weekly round-ups do not mean that I endorse any of the products or services sold by readers in the list and I do not get commission from any sales that may be the result of a click-through.

15 Jul 2013

applying for medicine: as a graduate

I've had quite a few requests to do a blog post on applying for medicine as a graduate so here it is! I hope those of you interested in doing this find this useful :) In this post, I'll also briefly cover applying for medicine as a school leaver as I had also tried going down that route so I have experience with both :)

I also apologise if this post becomes ridiculously long. Applying for medicine is no walk in the park and I want to cover as much as I can.

Please note that I will refer to the five-year medicine courses as A100 and the four-year (graduate entry) courses as A101. I think the code for the four-year graduate entry course at King's College London is A102 so please bear in mind that these codes aren't universal and are used to make this blog post easier to read and write!

Also, I am not an expert in medicine admissions - I am merely writing about what I have found out through extensive research and my own experiences.

1) Different Routes

You probably know this already but there are at least four different routes to get onto a medicine degree: as a school leaver, as a graduate, through an 'access' course or if your university has one, through an intercourse transfer (for example, St. George's UoL do this if you embark on their Biomedical Sciences degree, you have the opportunity to transfer if you do well).

In this post, I will be focussing mainly on applying for medicine as a graduate although some parts will also talk about applying as a school leaver. Different routes will inevitably appeal to different candidates for various reasons but ultimately, it is your decision as to which route is best for you.

2) Work Experience and Volunteering

Work experience and volunteering is an important part of your application. Whether you like it or not, to have this experience is something you'll need as others will more than likely have it. Work experience in a hospital is hard to get and it does help if you know someone who works within one. However, you probably won't get to do much - it'll mostly be shadowing and just sitting or standing in the background observing. I loved my work experience because it allowed me to gain a knowledge of the work of various grades of doctors (consultant, registrar, junior doctors and even other important roles such as healthcare assistants, midwives, etc) and it really confirmed that my desire to do medicine were for the right reasons.

More often than not, volunteering is much more beneficial. Care homes are a good place to start (though I only had two weeks' of this as I preferred community volunteering) and it could lead to a job as a healthcare assistant (which is even better as you'll have that direct hands-on experience that medical schools love). There are so many types of volunteering in so many different environments that picking something that you'll be interested in is often the best thing to do. Look out for voluntary roles within a hospital and try and commit to, at least, a few hours each week to this role.

It is quite important that you realise that it isn't HOW MUCH you have but WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNT that is key. Commitment is also another thing that medical schools will look for.

In one of my voluntary roles, I had done it for four and a half years and I think that definitely counted for me, even though I didn't have much 'hands-on' experience.

3) Grades

I can't talk much about the grades needed as a school leaver (as times have changed since I applied at the age of 18 - four years' ago!) but as a graduate, there are quite a few variations. I think the majority ask for AAA at A-Level, with some medical schools specifying which subjects they prefer you to take.

For graduate-entry medicine, most universities ask for a 2.1 grading in your degree - but some emphasise that this must be in a scientific subject. For example, Imperial have a checklist of things they expect you to know. A few universities don't specify what the degree has to be in - for example, Warwick.

Some universities will require you to get a certain percentage in your degree - Liverpool is an example of this. They ask for 65% or above. And Birmingham ask for a first in a life science degree (but they do consider those with a high 2.1 too apparently).

Finally, there are some universities that will accept a 2.2 grading in any degree. St George's University of London and the University of Nottingham are examples of this.

Also, a little known thing is that some universities that ask for a 2.1 will also consider those who have a 2.2 plus a Masters to a merit level. King's College London is an example of this.

However, by the time you come to apply, some of the examples I have used may be out of date so make sure you do your research and if in doubt, email them asking for further clarification on their entry requirements. You only have four UCAS choices and you don't want to waste a single one if you can help it.

Most medical schools don't bother looking at your A-Levels and/or GCSEs once you are studying for/have a degree but you might want to email the medschools you're interested in to confirm this if you're bothered by your A Level and GCSE grades.

4) Entrance Exams 

Some medical schools will use an entrance exam, others won't. The three most commonly talked about entrance exams are the UKCAT, the BMAT and the GAMSAT.

The UKCAT is quite simple - I prepped for mine (in 2011) for a few hours each day, for two days, and I came away with an average of 737.5. This gained me interviews at King's College London (for both their A100 and A101 courses) and at Barts and the London for their A101 course. In essence, make sure you do a mock test (if possible) and practice as many questions from each section as you have time for or can find.

I did the BMAT in 2008 so I think my experience will be quite out of date by now.

Finally, the GAMSAT. This is a beast of an entrance test and I will be doing a blog post on it next week to talk more about each of the three sections, along with how I prepared for it.

5) Funding

Funding is a massive issue for graduates (not so much for school leavers) as we are pretty much limited to Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) courses because they are better funded in comparison to the 'A100-school -leaver' courses. For GEM courses, we are entitled to a tuition fee loan of £5,535 in each of the four years. In the first year, however, we have to pay the remainder of that ourselves (so £3,465 if the tuition fee is £9,000) with the NHS paying the difference in the next three years. For A100 courses, graduates have to pay the full amount of tuition themselves as they are not entitled to a tuition fee loan.

Maintenance loan-wise, we are only entitled to the loan and not the grants. This is true for both the A100 and A101 courses.

With Student Finance, it is important to start early as things are slightly more complicated for those studying GEM courses. Not all Student Finance advisors know this and sometimes, talking to them on the phone can be likened to talking to a brick wall.


I can't stress this enough! You only have four choices on UCAS - and you need to make each one count. If the medical school interviews and you can't get to the interview stage, you've wasted a choice. There are several things to look out for when researching which universities to apply for but you also need to make sure you apply to your strengths so, for example, if you have a high UKCAT score, apply for universities that invite applicants to interview based on UKCAT scores.

Things some medical schools could look for and rank candidates on are:

Make sure you do your research! The above are the different things a medical school
may 'rank' applicants on (some more quantitative than others). Apply to your strengths!

The above list isn't extensive and some universities are quite clear on how they invite their candidates to interview. An example is Leicester for their A101 course. They have a file (floating around on the internet somewhere) that shows how they score each part of a candidate's application, before setting a minimum score needed to be invited for an interview.

Quite a good resource for what different medical schools look for is The Student Room.

7) Medical School Features

Another thing to consider when choosing a medical school is the features it has. How is the bulk of the teaching done? Is it mainly lecture based? Or is there a considerable amount of group and independent work? For me, I really didn't like lectures in my first degree, so it's a good job I'm going to a medical school that has a considerable amount of 'problem-based learning (PBL)'.

The Student Room has a page dedicated to the different teaching styles you may encounter at medical school.

The location of the medical school may also play a part in whether or not it has a place on your UCAS form. As a graduate, you may have other parts of your life that may limit the schools you can apply to.

Other features could be the societies on offer, sporting life and even if they give bursaries to graduate medics.

But remember one thing with regards to prestige: there is no best medical school but there is a best medical school for you. When you come to apply for the foundation programme (F1 and F2 years, post graduation), the medical school you went to plays no part in your application so it is vital you select medical schools that you feel you're the best fit for (teaching style, clinical experience, intercalating opportunities, etc).


And with that, I wish you good luck if you're applying. I know how it all feels - to write your personal statement, to submit your application, to sit those entrance tests, go through interviews, offers and rejections - I can definitely empathise with you.

I know I haven't covered personal statements much but I honestly feel that I'm not the best one to give advice with regards to that aspect of an application!

Do you have any other questions? Feel free to email me or leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer them :)