This student applied in the 2022/23 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 medical school.
Course: Standard Undergraduate
Online Panel interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
The Medic Portal
Top Tips: Stay on top of the news as they like to ask this in interviews. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t gain clinical work experience as doing volunteer work and working with the general public allow you to develop vital skills you can apply- do take the opportunity of clinical work experience though if you can get it! Also don’t be afraid to try again, so many people at medical school have taken a gap year so it’s always worth trying again if things don’t work out the first time around.
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
When I was about 13/14 years old.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?Proximity to home was a big factor for me. I wanted to do an integrated course and I wanted to only do UCAT. I also based a lot of my decision on where I was most likely to get in given my UCAT score, Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and predicted grades.
What types of work experience did you do?
Customer service role (voluntary), Customer service role (paid), Online work experience, Vaccine centre volunteer
How much work experience did you do?
I couldn’t get shadowing because of COVID. I did 3 volunteer shifts at a vaccine centre. I also volunteered at a children’s holiday camp and charity shop and worked as a lifeguard, all of which helped me to develop skills I was able to talk about despite not getting clinical experience.
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 for medical admissions after the 2023 admissions cycle.
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
I did the practice questions on Medify about a month before my test date. About 2 weeks before I started to do practice tests. I also had a book of questions which I would look through on the bus or on my breaks at work.
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 give the questions before hand so I had a good idea of how to prepare. Some of the questions just required researching on topics which were relatively straightforward to find out about. I also read through ethical cases on The Medic Portal in case I was asked about how I’d apply some of the guidelines I’d researched in a clinical environment. My tutor at school also gave me a mock interview at lunchtime which was very helpful.
What happened in your interview?
My interview was online with a faculty member and a medical student. Both were very friendly and made me feel relaxed. The questions ranged from personal experiences to questions about the city and an ethical discussion, all of which I had been told beforehand. They asked follow up questions that followed on from the answers I had given.
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).
Situational Judgement Test: The Situational Judgement Test is a part of the UCAT, but is not about academics or reasoning. The SJT tests your ability to judge and make decisions in real-life scenarios – think of it like an ethical test. There are ways to prepare for this, so check out some free online resources which might help you understand how it works a bit better.
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.
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.