This student applied in the 2022/23 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
I went to a fee-paying school, and I am an international student.
Course: Standard Undergraduate
Online panel interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
UCAT past papers
Before I made my application…
When did you decide you wanted to apply for medical school?
I wanted to apply to medicine because it gives a wide variety of experiences and there are many specialities in medicine. I especially like the human interaction part of medicine and how you can get to know patients on a more intimate level.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
Sheffield is a really nice and affordable city. It is also sounded by nature and that was something that attracts me. I chose Southampton because they offered an extra degree on top of your medical degree. I chose Leicester because I was guaranteed an interview based on their entry requirements and they offered a free iPad at the time. I chose Cardiff because the tuition fee is the most affordable (I am an international student).
What types of work experience did you do?
How much work experience did you do?
I did a 2 weeks A&E shadowing
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement, Through school
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?
I prepared for about 3 months prior to the real test. I started off by doing practice questions without timer to get a feel of the questions and familiarise myself with them. I think one thing I was really scared of going into practising UCAT was getting a lot of questions wrong and I think that is fine because mistakes definitely help you improve. When I felt more confident about the questions and getting them right, I would start doing timed practices (about 1 month before my test). I would practise my UCAT everyday and do a mock every 2-3 days. 2 weeks before my test, I did a mock everyday. One important thing is to create an excel sheet to note down your scores so you can get an overview of how you’re doing. Also, there’s a UCAT discord server that was extremely helpful for me because people are really helpful and willing to share their notes on that platform. There’s also a channel within the server where people share their actual test results so that really motivated me. On the morning of the test, I just relaxed and surprisingly I wasn’t nervous and I think that really helped!
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?
I would look up possible questions online for Sheffield medical school interviews (before getting offers) and type my answers out in a google doc. But after getting the questions, I would start practising to make my answers sound natural. I feel that one thing that interviewers hate is for students to memorise their answers and sound really rehearsed. I would also get my siblings to conduct mock interviews with me once every week/more frequently when my interview is coming up so that they can provide feedback from a different perspective. I would also sign up for free medicine mock interviews online.
What happened in your interview?
We were given questions beforehand so it went according to how I prepared but they also had some follow up questions which I managed to answer. I felt that I wasn’t nervous at all and the interviewers were really nice! Overall, it all went by really fast.
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:
Online forums: Online forums can be great spaces to find advice and first-hand knowledge, but remember that it may not always be the most trustworthy source of information. Take what you read with a pinch of salt.
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.
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.