1. MCAT or GAMSAT scores
They are a critical component of the Duke-NUS Medical School’s admissions process and there is absolutely no added advantage in taking one test over the other. One thing’s for sure, you should definitely start planning to sit for either of these tests at least a year before you intend to apply to medical school. This gives you enough time to prepare for the other components of your application. The average MCAT score for the class of 2020 was 513/528. However a below average score can be compensated for with other attributes as applications are reviewed holistically.
All applicants must have completed, or be in the final year of, a bachelor or honours degree. The average GPA for the class of 2020 was 3.62/4.00. According to their website, there are no pre-set cutoffs for GPA but they should reflect an academic background that is able to withstand the rigours of a fast-paced medical education at Duke-NUS. Be sure to collect transcripts from all previously attended schools early on so that the documents are ready by the application deadline.
3. Recommendation letters
Duke-NUS requires 3 – 5 recommendation letters, typically from professors, mentors and/or employers. Students are required to provide at least 3 referee reports, of which at least one should be an academic reference. References should be carefully chosen from faculty or others (e.g. job supervisors) who know you and your character well. If you have undertaken research projects, try to include a letter from your research supervisor.
4. Personal statement and other essays
You will be required to write a 1-page essay detailing your motivations to pursue a career in medicine. Your personal statement should illustrate your high academic ability and relevant work experience, together with your passion and determination for your prospective medical career. There may also be supplemental essay prompts to choose from on topics such as overcoming adversity or facing ethical dilemmas. If you are applying to the MD-PhD program, you will also be required to submit an additional personal statement that highlights why you wish to pursue both degrees.
5. Applicant Day
If your application has been shortlisted, you will receive an invite for ‘Applicant Day’. Lasting one whole day, you will experience a mock-TeamLEAD session, go through the interview process, take a situational judgement test and attend a few talks. There are typically 2 interviews held for MD applicants and 4 interviews for MD-PhD applicants. The interviews are conversational and your interviewers might be medical consultants, professors or translational researchers. The questions may include a mix of personal questions, ethical dilemmas, and key medical issues and policies.