This student applied in the 2018/19 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 comprehensive school that doesn’t regularly send students to study medicine
Course: Standard Undergraduate
In person MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT, BMAT
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
I had a vague idea when I was doing my GCSE’s.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to? Location and course structure (I wanted an integrated course). How much I liked the city and the student experience.
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Other healthcare setting e.g pharmacy, physiotherapy, Customer service role (paid)
How much work experience did you do?
5 days community hospital on ward and outpatients.
2.5 days major acute-care hospital on cardiology ward.
5 days surgical treatment centre (only pre- and post-op as I was under 18).
7 days residential volunteering at a holiday provider for disabled people and their carers (for gold D of E).
Also had a part time job as a sales assistant in a bakery.
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/
Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT). Note that the BMAT will no longer be used after the 2023 admissions cycle.
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
For the UCAT:
- Used Medify (Tag:Medify) and other sets of practice questions (UCAT question books). (Tag:Books)
- Read advice about overall strategy and strategy for each section (e.g. time management, how to approach questions efficiently).
- Started to prepare 2-3 months in advance, increased intensity of revision as my exam time came closer.
- Did not use any specific resources apart from looking at past papers.
- Practiced past papers
- Read advice on strategy and how to answer questions.
What resources did you use?
Medify – very useful to practice a range of questions (either by section or full mock exam) and get used to the online format of the exam.
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?
- Used information about the interview process from my medical school
- Sheffield gives you the interview questions in advance so I prepared and practiced answers to these (not memorising a script but I knew the key points I wanted to say)
- For other interviews I looked up common questions and prepared & practiced answers to these
- The Medic Portal website is a good free interview resource
- Familiarised myself with GMC / NHS values
- Had examples of recent medicine-related news articles that I found interesting
- Practiced with friends and family
What happened in your interview?
Sheffield gave us the interview questions in advance (unsure if this is still the case). Felt nervous and unsure what to expect from the interview format (MMI) as it was my first one. Instructions were clear and the interview ran smoothly. There was the opportunity to ask questions to current student volunteers. One station involved chatting to a volunteer patient about their condition and how it affected them. One question involved playing a problem solving game.
Other topics included extracurricular activities, the medical course at Sheffield and an ethical dilemma. I found it useful to give examples from my work experience to back up my answers.
Interview stations were quite long (8 minutes) and I felt pressure to have really good answers as I’d had the chance to prepare them. Tried to find a balance between preparation and reciting a memorised script.
Overall the interview went quite quickly. If I thought a station had gone badly I tried to put it behind me and move on in the next station.
Integrated course: Most universities use an ‘integrated’ style of teaching where they teach the scientific topic alongside the clinical skills. This means when you learn about a specific aspect of the body, they will teach you all the science, and the clinical skills to go with it, rather than teaching you all the science first, and then giving you the opportunity to learn the clinical skills at a later date (traditional teaching).
Support networks: While not every student will have a support network to help them prepare, there are plenty of other ways to prepare for your admissions tests and interviews, such as through free online resources, like on our website.
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.
GMC Good Practice Guidance: hese 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
NHS Values: The NHS Values guide healthcare education and careers. It’s important to know and understand these values to help you be as successful as possible in your application. They can help you answer questions in your interview, or guide what you write about in your personal statement. Find out more here: NHS Values