Science is popular at Emanuel, with many students getting involved in a wide range of extra-curricular scientific activities outside of the classroom.

Ima (upper sixth) has made particular use of the opportunities. Earlier this term, she successfully secured a place at Lincoln College, Oxford to study Medicine – following the incredible achievement of scoring in the top 5% in the country for the UKCAT exam. We caught up with her to discuss Science at Emanuel and beyond.

What extra-curricular activities can students get involved in with the Science department?

TSI Fridays (Thank Science it’s Friday) is popular. It runs every Friday lunchtime and is open to students from years 10 to 13. It’s a bit like TED talks – students create their own presentations and deliver talks on all things Science.

Students from year 9 upwards can also get involved in the termly Science Journal – this is written, edited and graphically designed by students themselves (Ima is the current editor of the Science Journal). Click here to read the latest edition.

There is also a Medics Society (another student-run activity), where students can receive help with medicine applications as well as discuss medical topics in current affairs and watch documentaries.

Congratulations on your UKCAT result! What is UKCAT and what does it involve?

The UKCAT is the UK Clinical Aptitude Test for medical and dental higher education courses. Some universities I applied to use the UKCAT as part of their selection process whereas Oxford used the BMAT, the BioMedical Admissions Test. Both were aptitude tests focusing on critical thinking and problem solving. The UKCAT was a two-hour computer exam that involved quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning and decision-making, abstract reasoning and situational judgement.The Science department helped guide me through the process and there were plenty of resources available.

What would you recommend to younger students who are looking to apply to Oxbridge?

Take advantage of the Oxbridge mentoring; anyone at Emanuel who is applying to Oxbridge is assigned a teacher who helps with their personal statement and interview practice (interviews take place between October and December of the year before entry). It was really useful and helped to dispel some of the mysteries and myths around Oxbridge interviews. Interviews at Oxbridge are quite different to other universities; they want to see how you can think and talk through your thought process and how you are as a person (particularly in a medical field, where you need to be people-orientated) so it was useful to be able to practice this with teachers.

For medicine, it also helps to volunteer outside of school to experience a role in caring for others and make sure that medicine is for you. I currently help out with disabled children, which I really enjoy and really motivated me to read medicine to be able to continue to help others and it has inspired me to consider a career in paediatrics.

What will your degree involve? What are the next steps, in the long-term?

For the first three years of the course, I’ll be studying pre-clinical medicine in tutorials, lectures, group seminars and practical classes. After those first three years, the clinical studies begin, which involve placements in hospitals.