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 does regularly send students to study medicine
Course: Standard Undergraduate
In person MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Top tip: I was worried about my lack of clinical work experience; however any people-facing experience is great to discuss.
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
End of year 11.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I ruled out anywhere further away than a 2-hour drive, as I was told that it was important to have the option to go home for the weekend if I wanted to. I then looked at courses that taught using an integrated or case-based style. I also knew that I wanted to focus on one entrance test so ruled out anywhere else that used the BMAT.
What types of work experience did you do?
Care work (e.g. in residential care), Other healthcare setting e.g pharmacy, physiotherapy, Volunteer Brownie Leader
How much work experience did you do?
I did two hours a week in my local pharmacy for two years (paid). I also cared on weekend evenings for a couple of hours for an elderly lady in my village for six months (I made her food and sat and chatted). I was a volunteer brownie leader for 4 years. I had no hospital-based clinical work experience.
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 bought 1 month’s worth of Medify, did some in the first two weeks, and then used it intensively two weeks before the test. I found the style of questions very similar to the actual UCAT and found it useful to practice online in the same format as the test instead of using books. I scored very highly so this system worked for me.
What resources did you use?
I used Medify pretty much exclusively and it set me up very well
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?
Sheffield provided the interview questions to us beforehand, so I researched and discussed all the questions. I also watched videos of Drs and Medical students discussing ethical scenarios on Youtube to prepare me for any follow-up questions. I read Good Medical Practice guidelines. I also attended some free mock interviews hosted by my school and other schools. This was the most valuable thing I did, as although you know the questions and your answers, it’s very different from performing under pressure.
What happened in your interview?
The first few stations were general questions surrounding motivation for study and also a bit more about me. There were then a few stations with questions around ethical dilemmas both with in person and online scenarios. We had a station where we interacted with a real patient and also a station based around a game.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.