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 grammar or selective state school.
Course: Standard Undergraduate
In person MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Free online question banks
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
When I was in the second year of sixth form – at which point I was doing the wrong A levels, so I contacted my old school which had just opened a sixth form and asked them if I could completed Biology and Chemistry A level in a year with them.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
My top three uni choices were based on being in cities I was familiar with and enjoyed visiting. I can’t remember how I chose the 4th.
I chose my 5th choice as it was the top university for the course I had applied for
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care)
How much work experience did you do?
Medical wise – I spent one afternoon watching a cardiovascular surgery
I had been working for a respite centre for children and young adults with additional needs for 5 years as well.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
The head of my sixth form asked the parent of one of his students to allow me to shadow for an afternoon
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?
Did as many practice questions as I could!
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?
Sheffield sent me a list of the questions they were going to ask – I read through these and the other information that was provided to vaguely plan my answers. Mostly I just practiced with my mum. There were some questions about the values of NHS so I googled these and made sure I had a good understanding of them. I also did some research on the university so that when they asked me why I wanted to attend I could give them solid reasons why I would choose their uni over others.
What happened in your interview?
There were 8 stations which covered questions such as why I chose medical school, and why I chose Sheffield. They also tested my knowledge of medical ethics and the GMC, my communication skills, and personal qualities and interests. There was also a station testing my logic.
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:
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.
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.
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
GMC Guidelines for Good Medical Practice: These 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. GMC Good Practice