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
I went to a comprehensive school that doesn’t regularly send students to study medicine.
Course: Standard Undergraduate
Online panel interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
UCAT Past Papers
This student’s advice:
This was not my first time trying to apply for medicine. It is a long a difficult process to the people that want to be a doctor make sure you 100% know what the course and degree entails. Don’t worry if you don’t get there the first time you can do it.
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
Type of teaching, location, prestige, clinical time and visiting them.
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (voluntary)
How much work experience did you do?
Abroad I spent some time in a general practice, and observed a surgery in the UK.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through asking someone I knew to take me on
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 used a paid website to continuously do practice and assess the questions I got wrong. I also borrowed a book from a friend and used that for understanding the types of questions and what they are looking for. Practice with friends and explaining why we chose the answered we did helped me in my weaker section.
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?
I read the interview topics given, made notes on my past experience and how I have garnered and developed these skills while researching outside of this topic. I have had numerous interviews for medicine before as this was not my first application cycle so had used my previous resources to prepare.
What happened in your interview?
There were 5 questions spanning from personal life, the course and the city. Having three people on a panel was daunting but they were very welcoming. It was hard to see one of the interviewers use to lighting issues so hard to gauge their reaction to my response. Also one of the interviewers phones went off while I was answering a question which threw me off. The interviewers were warm and easy to talk to it was more a conversation then an interview which I enjoyed compared to other interviews.
Clinical work experience: Not every student will complete clinical work experience before they apply to medical school. Don’t worry, this is not required to be able to apply. You can use non-clinical work experience (e.g. a caring role, like in a care home) or even reflect on paid work you’ve done (e.g. in customer service) in a productive way. See our guide to this here:
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.
Paid-for resources: Some students choose to pay for courses either online or in person to help them prepare for admissions tests and interviews. There is no evidence that they give you an advantage. There are good, free alternatives for preparation for admissions tests and interviews, and some offer bursaries and discounts to students who come from low income families. Check out our guides and uni websites for more details.
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.
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.