This student applied in the 2020/21 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
Online panel interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Official UCAT website
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
In year 9
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
Researched the style of course and how they taught anatomy (dissection)
Compared via the Russell group / league tables
And then decided based on cities I had visited and liked
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Online work experience, Volunteered with children with disabilities
How much work experience did you do?
A couple of days for hospital shadowing
And once a week for a couple of years volunteering
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?
Lots of practice questions! All the example questions and sample tests on the official website, then as many on Medify as I could (couple of hours each day for the month pre exam).
What resources did you use?
Medify (online) – very useful paid for the month pre taking my exam
Official UCAT website – good however not enough practice questions on here alone
PassMedicine (online) – free but less representative of the real exam
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?
Read all information sent by my medical school, read around the topics that I knew would be discussed (internet, journal articles, books), practiced answering questions with family members.
What happened in your interview?
Online panel interview (due to COVID). We went through questions provided by the medical school in advance, with follow up questions prompted by my responses. There was a variety of questions; from university specific to ethical dilemma, to generic medical school.
Dissection: Some universities use full-body dissection as a teaching method. This is when you personally get to dissect and be involved in the removal and looking at certain aspects of the body. Some students like the idea of this, while others don’t. This might inform where you choose to apply to medical school, so check out the universities you’re considering to see whether this is part of their teaching style.
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.
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.