This student applied in the 2016/17 application cycle and therefore the selection process at Keele 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
Sometimes students share information with us about their demographics, which may help put their application experience into a bit more perspective.
This student identifies as a white woman who went to a comprehensive school that doesn’t regularly send students to study medicine.
Course: Standard undergraduate entry
In-person MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Top tip: It can feel really challenging applying to medicine when you are not from the stereotypical background. But please persist and seek as much help from others as you can!
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
When I was 12
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I attended open days and decided whether they would consider me as a graduate
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (paid), Access2medicine days during school
How much work experience did you do?
For my first application in 2013 (prior to my first degree) I had only managed to get one day volunteering in a day centre organised by access2medicine. I had applied to hospital but they never replied after I completed the forms and background check. I also did GP work experience but was only allowed to work in the reception.
During my first degree I then undertook paid HCA work during the holidays and term time. Probably around 100 hours or so in total as I worked several other jobs
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement
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 just practiced example questions from a book for around a week. Overall I felt quite badly prepared but felt there was nothing more I could do!
What type of interview did you do?
MMI: 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?
I used The Student Room to try and get a feel for what the interview process would be like. My previous university also tried to help by doing a practice panel style interview with one member of the career team. But overall I felt very underprepared compared to my peers
What happened during your interview?
There were lots of stations, several with actors, one was testing a simple clinical skill, and I also discussed my personal statement during one.
The interviewer focused on a sensitive topic which had affected my family. We did not talk about my achievements during my degree.
Most of the staff seemed friendly but a lot didn’t give much away (much like OSCEs which I knew nothing about at that point)
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.
Books: Books can be expensive! You might be able to find secondhand copies online which are usually much cheaper, or at your local library (sometimes, libraries will order in books that you’ve requested, so check out this as a possibility too!). Bear in mind that some books may become out of date, so make sure you check when they were published, and if any changes to the relevant admissions tests/interviews have been made since then.
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.
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.
Role play: some interviews or interview stations may require you to engage in a bit of role play. You might have to act out being in a scenario where you might have to deliver bad news or a clinical decision.
OSCEs: Objective Structured Clinical Examinations are forms of testing how healthcare students perform examinations and patient interactions. They are used throughout medical school to examine your ability to practise well as a doctor. Sometimes, Multiple Mini Interview stations may appear similar to these: you might engage in role play to make a clinical decision or deliver some information to a patient.