This student applied in the 2021/22 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
Ethnicity: White British
I went to a grammar or selective state school.
Course: Standard Undergraduate
Online MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
I worked in a care home and I loved the medical field and helping people. I had always had it in the back of my mind to apply to medicine since I was about 10, but working as a carer really solidified it for me.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I had to retake my A-levels so I didn’t have many options to choose from. A lot of medical schools didn’t consider retakes. I had very limited options and then after that I chose based off how good the students rated the university life. It was really important for me to have a balanced life.
What types of work experience did you do?
Care work (e.g. in residential care)
How much work experience did you do?
I had three days in a hospital but I didn’t find it very useful so in my interviews I never spoke about it! I volunteered in a care home for 2 years and then I worked in a care home for a year. This is what I spoke about in all my interviews.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
I emailed the hospital.
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 started 3 months prior to my test. I mainly used Medify and I would do it most days. I would say consistent practice (little and often) is the past way of preparing. You don’t want to burn out. It is crucial that you practice under timed conditions because I think the questions are fairly easy if you had all the time in the world, it is the fact the exam is super time pressured, is what makes it hard.
What resources did you use?
Medify was the best and most useful resource I used. It had timed conditions and such a wide range of questions. I also had a few books that were useful but I recommend an online site because you also need to get used to using online calculators etc. They also had lots of different practice tests which gave you a good idea of how prepared you were.
What type of interview did you do?
MMI: 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?
For Sheffield, we were given the list of questions they were going to ask us in our interview, so we were able to prepare our answers. But for all interviews in general, I used The Medic Portal, This was the greatest help when it came to interview prep, UCAS/BMAT help and general information. Note Medify was an extremely helpful resource for UCAT practice. I also practiced mock interviews with friends/ teachers/ family.
I also really recommend watching shows such as 24 hours in A&E and shows like that, immersing yourself in medicine really seemed to get me in the right mindset and also you see a lot of doctor patient interactions on the show and they (mostly) show you the right manner in which you speak to patients.
Also the Brighton and Sussex Medical School do a fantastic online work experience which I highly recommend reading and doing. Also read medical news on the BBC etc so you’re up to date on current affairs. Also I recommend reading the GMC main principles/guidelines/values.
What happened in your interview?
I had a station where we played a game where I took the lead and they answered with closed questions.
There was a station in which we were interacting with actors and you need to understand and put into practice the GMC values.
The interviewers across all my different interviews weren’t giving anything away. In my Liverpool interview the two interviewers were super smily and saying how good it was, but my other three wouldn’t say much after the questions. Don’t let that get to you!! They might not show much emotion but it isn’t to discourage you. The vibe is still relaxed though just don’t expected encouragement throughout.
Medify: Medify is a popular website which provides resources for helping you prepare your medicine application. Medify has some free resources online but some are paid-for. There are good, free alternatives for preparation available online, so check out our subject guides and the university websites for details.
The Medic Portal: The Medic Portal is a popular website that provides resources to help you prepare your medicine application. The 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.
Mock interviews: Don’t worry if you didn’t have this opportunity. Not everyone’s teachers can help organise this, and not everyone can afford to pay for a mock interview. Interviews are designed to take into account that not everyone has the same level of preparation. See our guides and blogs on interviews to find out more about free online resources.
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 consider some of the challenges and wider issues doctors face. https://bsmsoutreach.thinkific.com/courses/VWE
GMC Good Practice 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