Interested in learning more about who we are? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ve got 3 main aims. Firstly, to run the best preparation courses and services in the world. Secondly, as a social enterprise, to ensure that our services are accessible to anyone regardless of money or background. And finally, to make the whole experience enjoyable for both ourselves and our students.
Preparation courses and resources are an interesting kettle of fish, in that the more students are coached for particular exams or interviews, the less useful they become as selection tools to separate the boys from the men, so to speak. However, as long as there are admissions requirements, there will always be companies charging extortionate amounts of money to prepare students for them. There’s no getting around that fact.
Our solution isn’t to reinvent the wheel – we’re simply attempting to disrupt this market dominated by exploitative corporations, by running courses that are both better and cheaper than the existing offerings. We also pride ourselves on offering an unlimited number of bursaries to students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford our courses. Intellectual potential and dedication should be the only barriers to entry into Medicine – not money.
From teaching 4 students in the suburbs of Essex to hundreds of students surrounded by the spires of Cambridge, 6med has grown exponentially over the years. Below you’ll find the story of our humble beginnings, our foray into the business world, and our quest for world domination.
In the summer of 2011, most of our team were in the same position that you are now. We were all applying to study Medicine at some of the top universities in the country, and were scared about what it would involve. We’d heard horror stories about personal statements, Oxbridge interviews and work experience. At the time, we had a lot of help from our teachers, and from students in the years above who had already gotten into medical school (and we’re very grateful to them). They gave us advice about interviews, explained the realities of studying medicine, and told us never to start our personal statements with a quote. Unfortunately, they couldn’t really help us much with regards to the entrance tests (BMAT and UCAT). Our parents (may God bless their souls) forked out a small fortune to send us on expensive BMAT and UCAT courses so that we wouldn’t be at a disadvantage compared to everyone else. In all honesty though, we didn’t find them particularly helpful. We felt that a lot of the time was spent waffling through things that everyone knew, and not enough time was spent on actually teaching us the things we didn’t know. Despite this, we all (thankfully) got a place at our chosen universities.
In 2012, when medical applicants from our school started asking us for help with their own applications, we realised we could do something about the lack of BMAT and UCAT tutelage, and (in theory) could do it properly. With not enough time to create a fully-fledged preparation course, we were content with offering private tuition for individual students and small groups every now and then. This was strictly small-scale though, and we felt that as the demand from our own school was so high, perhaps we’d be able to do something on a grander scale the following year.
We set up 6med in 2013 with the BMAT Crash Course. We expected to get around 20 students, make a bit of money in the summer holidays and leave it at that – the response though, was greater than we could have ever imagined. We ran 5 sold-out courses in London, Oxford, Cambridge and Essex, with overwhelmingly positive feedback, and parents phoning us every night in October asking if we had any more space on our course. By the end of it, we knew that there was a huge market for our course, our pricing and our philosophy, so we decided to make the BMAT course bigger and better for the following year to see just how far we could take it. After recruiting a few more team members who were experts in the exam, we also decided to create the UCAT Crash Course.
Emboldened by the success and reception of our 2013 BMAT courses, we ramped up the scale further still, and through many months of blood, sweat and tears, developed the materials for the UCAT Crash Course. We were initially scared about whether it would be as well-received as the BMAT Crash Course was – after all, isn’t UCAT one of those exams that you “can’t teach”? But our worries were swept away when we got the feedback from our first few courses, and realised that we’d created something that students genuinely found useful, informative and fun. That year, we had over 700 students for our BMAT courses, and over 400 for our UCAT courses. Towards the end of the season, we had climbed to the first page of Google for UCAT-related search terms, and saw a tremendous spike in website traffic and course bookings. We hadn’t quite planned for this, and ended up with over a hundred students on the waiting list for our last few courses, which wasn’t ideal. Although, as far as business-related problems went, this one was probably more on the positive side. We’d also been playing around with the idea of an Interview Crash Course for a while, and receiving many tens of emails enquiring about such a course, we decided to pilot a smaller-scale one. We taught 5 classes of 15 students in London over the Christmas holidays to glowing (but also helpfully critical) feedback. We modified the structure of the course a little each time, and by the end of the run, we’d hit upon a winning formula that students loved.
This was the year that we really began to reach an international audience. Aside from the BMAT Crash Courses we ran in Singapore and The Netherlands, we launched BMAT Ninja (www.bmat.ninja), our online BMAT preparation system containing revision notes and techniques, a tonne of practice questions, and lots of example essays. The website had over 1,000 users from all corners of the globe, and we received emails from students from lots of different countries thanking us for providing them with such an invaluable resource.
We also expanded our team of instructors, and taught just under 2,000 students across our BMAT, UCAT and Interview Crash Courses, with excellent reviews all round.
2016 was an interesting year for us. We were no longer a new startup in the medical admissions field, but rather one of the biggest players in the market. The scale we were operating at started to take a toll on our co-founders who were now in their clinical years with fewer holidays in which to work on improving the company. Thankfully though, with the help of the rest of the 6med team, we found some ‘young blood’ and trained them up to become amazing course instructors. We also streamlined our websites and administration processes to increase efficiency and customer support, and gave managerial responsibilities to some of our senior instructors to help things run more smoothly with large numbers of students.
None of this sounds particularly sexy, but it was necessary to ensure the continual improvement of 6med. With these new systems in place, we’re in a much better position to scale the company and to ‘refresh’ our instructor roster with new medical students as our original team begins to graduate and become real doctors.
Oh, and in 2016 we launched the online companion to our UCAT Crash Course – UCAT Ninja (www.ukcat.ninja). We had a few thousand students using it that year, with solid feedback all around. We’re improving the website and question bank for 2017, and hope to keep it a staple in the 6med family.
Meet the Team
Our team is made up of graphic designers, web developers, Taekwondo instructors, concert pianists, close-up magicians, stage singers, and so much more. Our friendship and love of teaching allows us to work together to run the best courses in the world. Below you’ll find profiles of all our current team members.
Interested in joining us? If you’re a current medical student with a passion for teaching and a skill-set that would add value to our company, please check out our Jobs page. We’d love to hear from you.