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
UKCAT website, app, and book.
Top tip: If you are from a state schooled background use this to your advantage – you’re more likely to understand the pressures on the NHS and speak honestly and passionately about this and your experience. Speaking honestly comes across better than learning by rote what you think the interviewer wants to hear.
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
When I was in year 7 (aged 11)
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
Based on where I liked on open days/ was a suitable distance from home. I preferred Northern universities as the cost of living was cheaper and I liked the cities more.
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Customer service role (voluntary), Volunteering with children who were disabled.
How much work experience did you do?
- 1 week hospital aged 16.
- 1 week hospital aged 17.
- 2 days GP aged 17.
- 3 years volunteering with different organisations.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement, 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/
Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT). Note that the BMAT will no longer be used after the 2023 application cycle.
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
I spent 2 weeks doing about 6 hours a day in the immediate 2 weeks before my UKCAT test. I relied mostly on past papers for both tests.
What type of interview did you do?
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?
I read the information provided by the med school and practiced with my pastoral tutor at college. I read books including “The Cure” “When Breath Becomes Air” etc. I also did practice interviews with my parents who are both doctors.
What happened in your interview?
We were provided with the questions for the stations in advance, some stations were ethical questions which were either related to provision of services in healthcare or ethical choices in a working environment. We answered questions about our hobbies, what attracted us to medicine and to Sheffield in particular. We also were asked to play a game of 20 questions.
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:
Mock interviews: Don’t worry if you didn’t have this opportunity. 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.
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.
Insiders: Don’t worry if you don’t know people like this. Most students don’t have friends who have already been through the process or healthcare professionals that they know who might be able to support them. You can meet current medical students to speak to at open days, or via free mentoring schemes, but it’s not a requirement for you to be successful.