This student applied in the 2021/22 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.
I was a recipient of free school meals.
Course: Standard Undergraduate
Online panel interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
UCAT Past Papers
This student’s advice: Don’t assume you won’t be able to get into medical school because you have less resources or experience, there are always schemes and advice out there that can help you get your place 🙂
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
Just after my GCSEs when I began to care for my Gran I decided that I wanted to go into healthcare as a job
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
As I was applying during the COVID-19 pandemic, I was unable to visit any of the cities I had applied to, so most of what I knew about the medical schools were either from word of mouth or my own research. I knew I only wanted to take the UCAT entry exam so immediately could eliminate those only accepting BMAT students which also helped narrow down my options.
What types of work experience did you do?
Shadowing in a nursing home
How much work experience did you do?
We had an enrichment week at my school where we had to opportunity to shadow someone at work and I did mine at the local nursing home. It was only a week and I was able to shadow a nurse as they managed their patients.
In addition to this I was caring for my Gran so had to do things like make meals, wash her and manage her medications.
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?
The main resource I used to prepare was the practice question bank from the UCAT website. I started prep roughly 3 weeks before but mostly in the week leading up to it, and I would do as many practice questions as I could and try and pick up on things that I could improve on that could boost my score. I also made sure I was aware of every tip that UCAT gives you (e.g. keyboard functions), as I thought it was important to save as much time as possible as it’s so limited in that 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?
As we were sent a list of questions that were going to be asked in the interview, I made sure I was prepared and had thought about my answers honestly and to my best ability beforehand. I also reached out to the headteacher at my sixth form to see if he had any advice for interviews as our school didn’t give us much prep for applying to university due to there being so few who applied. Luckily, due to the nature of the interview and course, I was able to have a mock interview after reaching out. This helped prepare me as I had the chance to vocalise my answers and get my point across.
What happened in your interview?
Personally, I found this interview to be much more relaxed than the ones I did for my other applications, the panel were very reassuring and explained that they wanted it to be more like a conversation and that we didn’t need to be too anxious. There were a couple of ethical questions / dilemmas and I discussed how I would navigate them and what my thoughts surrounding them were, as well as discussions on experiences and a spoken parlor game.
Mock interview: 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.