Vulpes recently posted on the Questions part of this site to ask if I could review his website: UniReq. I have no personal associations with the site.
The basic premise of the site is to assist in ‘tactical’ applications to university. At present, there are a few courses available in the database: Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy. Personally, I didn’t really choose which Unis I applied to tactically, I just based my decisions on which courses I thought sounded best. Regardless, for those who are particularly worried about whether they will get in or not, this may be a useful tool for you.
First off, the appearance of the site is, quite frankly, brilliant, especially the home page. The tabs in the top right corner feel pretty natural and make navigation around the site easy.
The useability of the site is extremely simple also, which is a strength of this site. Simple type the course you want to know about into the search bar, pick the one you want to know about in more detail, enter your examination details and then it’ll tell you which websites you can apply for from the Unis within its database.
Once you’ve done this, there is a list of crosses or ticks down the left hand column which tells you where you could potentially be accepted or rejected. Overall, this is an extremely useful site which you could use to help guide your applications to medical school.
Perhaps the author could answer a couple of questions about the site, as I have a couple of questions and comments about it (the author has replied to this review, and so I will post his reassuring responses in brackets!):
1) Including Scottish school qualifications would help to widen the scope of the site. Also, international qualifications could perhaps be included at a later date. (We are currently designing a new backend system for UniReq which will enable us to easily add more courses. We aim to release a version for Scottish Qualifications by late August this year)
2) At the ‘results’ page, the colours are very striking. Perhaps they could be used on the left hand column to indicate whether or not you would be accepted to the university instead of the crosses or ticks. This is obviously the most important information, so would be great to draw attention to this first. Then, you could mark the breakdown for reasons why they passes or failed the criteria by green or red font on a grey background. I think this would really improve how easy the site is to use. (Regarding the results page, I will take a look into it and try to gain more feedback from current users)
3) I also worry slightly about the credibility of the criteria. For example, the UKCAT cut off scores aren’t always published by the university. I may be wrong, but some of this might be a bit of guesswork – perhaps the maker of the site could shed a bit of light on this? I would therefore just exert a bit of caution when using the site and don’t use it alone to decide on where you apply to medical school – use your own brain and if a course appeals to you, go for it! As I say, I wasn’t tactical and just checked the prospectus of the Unis I was applying to, to check I was elligible. (You may have noticed the “Click to Display More Information” button at the bottom of the results table. This will display all the requirements used to calculate eligibility. The data on the site is collected from various sources, including university websites and student forums, although I have made it a point to email as many universities as possible to find out about their exact cutoffs. Where UKCAT cutoff scores aren’t published / known, the system simply marks it down as “UKCAT required”. The data on UniReq is updated regularly as new information gets released. Starting this year, UniReq will also be introducing a team of contributors, responsible for checking, and cross-checking data on UniReq to ensure that we provide the most up-to-date and accurate information.)
All in all, a useful site! Well done to Jeremy, the maker for setting up this great resource!