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!
Course: Standard Undergraduate
In person MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT, BMAT
The Medic Portal question bank
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
Debated since GCSEs, made the decision in year 12.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
A mix of location, course structure and curriculum layout and also feasibility with UCAT scores.
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Care work (e.g. in residential care)
How much work experience did you do?
I volunteered in a care home within school which was ongoing for a year. I also had worked in a GP practice but this was more administrative so I did work experience shadowing the healthcare professionals there for a week. Gaining hospital work experience was harder but managed to get a week with varied exposure across a few departments related to metabolic medicine as well as couple of days in a fertility clinic organised with my friend as well.
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/
Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT). Note that the BMAT will no longer be used after the 2023 admissions cycle.
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
It was mainly through doing multiple questions from different sources. I remember using a book at the time but I’m not sure I gained as much from that in comparison to repeating questions. For the BMAT however, using old GCSE revision content and CGP was recommended which is what I had used, although in the actual test I believe that I was pushed for time writing the essay and think a main point is to decide a topic quickly and run with it to the best of your ability as I felt the time spent choosing a theme let me down given the tight duration.
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?
Primarily read the guidance and questions provided by the medical school which we were informed would be a part of the interview. I then read around commonly discussed interview topics such as medical ethics, NHS values and GMC codes of conduct as well as keeping up to date with current affairs such as strikes. This collectively helped me to prepare answers for the interview questions as well as incorporating in personal experiences I wanted to highlight. Reading MMI scenarios on websites such as The Medic Portal and attending mock MMI stations that my school used to run helped me to to diversify my awareness of other station types for other medical school interviews as well.
What happened in your interview?
As Sheffield provides interviewees the interview questions before hand, this prior knowledge helped remove a lot of the anticipation for what to expect. It did add the challenge that everyone had the same advantage so it allows the focus to mainly be on letting your personality and individual achievements on a personal level shine forward. Although the expected stations were involved ethics, values and personal inclinations towards studying medicine, the extra questions I was asked tested the depth of your understanding beyond prepared answers. I felt that this was justified and appropriate as these extra questions were usually highly relevant and were opportunities to show what you knew and the doctors involved in conducting my interview were very receptive and understanding even if I didn’t know the answer for sure. The overall running of the MMI stations was smooth, although I couldn’t deny feeling slightly nervous throughout the whole process, in particular a more informal station that had a game format was a good reliever from hardcore content and helped lighten the process as this station was run by medical student during my interview. Overall, interviews are a nerve-wracking process but my experience with the Sheffield interview was positive as there was a sense that staff and everyone involved were on your side to help showcase your fit for medicine.
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:
Four pillars of medical ethics: These four pillars guide ideas about medical ethics. Knowing and understanding them can help you prepare for your interview and how you answer questions. Four Pillars
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 Good Practice Guidelines: 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
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.