This student applied in the 2020/21 application cycle and therefore the selection process at Sheffield may have changed since then. You should read all the information a University sends you about the selection process to get the most up to date details!
Remember to check out the glossary at the bottom of the page for our explanations of all the jargon we medical students like to use!
More about this student
I went to a grammar or selective state school.
Course: Standard Undergraduate
Online MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Recommended Resources: UCAT Books
I entered medicine through the widening participation pathway with the University of Bradford doing a clinical sciences course. I just want to say that not everybody’s medical school journey is the same and that’s okay.
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I chose universities that I liked the city/ the atmosphere. I also factored in if they were UCAT universities because I didn’t do the BMAT. My 5th choice was the clinical sciences course at Bradford as it allowed for transfers into medicine at Sheffield.
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (voluntary)
How much work experience did you do?
I did a summer school for 5 days and we had 2 days that were hospital days. I also worked in a care home for 9 months (paid) and volunteered at my local charity shop for a year (this was when I was 16).
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement.
During the application process…
What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT): https://www.ucat.ac.uk/
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
I used any free questions I could find on the internet. I was able to also use the 600 Questions book for the UKCAT that I borrowed from my friend. I focused more on doing as much questions as I could.
What resources did you use?
UCAT Test papers, free questions on the internet.
What type of interview did you do?
MMI: Multiple Mini Interview. This type of interview usually includes several short interviews or ‘stations’ which may involve different types of questions and scenarios. This is different compared to a panel interview, which may cover the same scenarios/types of questions but be a more ‘traditional’ sit-down interview.
How did you prepare for your interview?
I read information about Sheffield interviews and Sheffield gives applicants interview questions prior. This helped in planning what I could say. I also watched YouTube videos, used The Medic Portal website, read up on NHS values using the GMC and also practised on friends and family.
What happened in your interview?
I felt really comfortable. I think this was because Sheffield gives the questions before hand so I didn’t feel like I was going to be surprised by anything. I wasn’t too prepared (so I didn’t write a script and just made bullet points) so my answers flowed naturally and not robotic. There was one station that was a role play style station – that you couldn’t prepare for but the interviews were looking more about your logical reasoning skills rather than getting the right answer. There were questions where you had to draw from your personal statement.
Dissection: Some universities use full-body dissection as a teaching method. This is when you personally get to dissect and be involved in the removal and looking at certain aspects of the body. Some students like the idea of this, while others don’t. This might inform where you choose to apply to medical school, so check out the universities you’re considering to see whether this is part of their teaching style.
Books: Don’t worry if you’ve not been able to find this particular book or afford to pay for it. You might be able to find secondhand copies online which are usually much cheaper, or at your local library (sometimes, libraries will order in books that you’ve requested, so check out this as a possibility too!). Bear in mind that some books may become out of date, so make sure you check when they were published, and if any changes to the relevant admissions tests/interviews have been made since then.
YouTube: There are many current and recent medical students who create videos on YouTube about their experience and advice about applying. Remember that their experience is personal and individual, and may not reflect yours. They might provide some useful advice but remember that they might be advertising paid for services. Take their advice as part of a more holistic approach alongside moderated advice such as ours, and official advice from universities and test providers.
Insiders: Don’t worry if you don’t know people like this. Most students don’t have friends who have already been through the process or healthcare professionals that they know who might be able to support them. You can meet current medical students to speak to at open days, or via free mentoring schemes, but it’s not a requirement for you to be successful.