Application to Sheffield University in 2020/21

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

Gender: Woman
Ethnicity: White
I went to a comprehensive school that doesn’t regularly send students to medical school.

Our Summary
Course: Standard Undergraduate
Online panel interview

Admissions Tests: UCAT

Recommended resources:
UCAT Question Book
The Medic Portal
GMC Good Practice Guidelines

Before I made my application…

When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
Around age 11.

How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?

In order of importance with top being most important:

  • UCAT score
  • GCSE weighting (didn’t do great in English)
  • Interview type
  • How much I liked the city

What types of work experience did you do?
Volunteering in a non-hospital/GP healthcare setting.

How much work experience did you do?
I volunteered on a geriatric ward for a year, did the Brighton and Sussex medical school online work experience and did shadowing at age 14 in an urgent care centre.

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal work experience placement or scheme.

During the application process…

What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT):

How did you prepare for your admissions test?
When I had free time throughout the school year I did practice questions online. Over summer I did around 400 questions from the UCAT book.

What resources did you use?
Very useful – get into medical school 1250 UKCAT practice questions
The Medic Portal- free online questions – amazing

What type of interview did you do?
Panel: This type of interview is a ‘traditional’ sit down interview where you’ll be interviewed by a group of people, usually academic tutors and doctors. This differs from an MMI interview, which is based around ‘stations’ which have themes or scenarios attached to them.

How did you prepare for your interview?
Sheffield gave you the questions, I then researched using the website, GMC guidelines and WAMS from Nottingham University. WAMS was available with my 6th form.

What happened in your interview?
We had a station on logical reasoning station. We also discussed an ethical dilemma and had questions about extracurricular activities


Brighton and Sussex Online Work Experience: This is a free ‘virtual’ work experience course that explores different roles within the NHS as well as six medical specialties. It also considers some of the challenges and wider issues doctors face. Find out more here:

Books: Don’t worry if you’ve not been able to find the particular book this student used, 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.

The Medic Portal:  The Medic Portal is a popular website that provides resources to help you prepare your medicine application. Medic Portal has some free resources online but some are paid-for. There are good, free alternatives for preparation available online, so check out our guides and the university websites for details.

GMC Guidelines: These guidelines describe what it means to be a good doctor. These can help guide you during your preparation for your application and how you answer questions in interviews. Find out more here: GMC Good Practice

WAMS Mentoring: WAMS are student-run groups at universities, in which current medical students work with schools in the area around their university to help applicants prepare. They might run in-school sessions or offer mentoring. Check out the University which is local to you to see if they offer any outreach events or WAMS support.

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