This student applied in the 2019/20 application cycle and therefore the selection process at Southampton 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 and attended a grammar or selective state school in the UK.
Course: Standard undergraduate entry
In-person panel interview with group task
Admissions Tests: UCAT, BMAT
Before I made my application…
Choosing to study medicine
When did you decide to apply to medical school? Year 12 at school (October time before beginning applications in June)
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Based on the type of course (preferred integrated) the location of the university and how it felt when visiting, the societies available in the wider university, the support options available as a student with a disability.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Customer service role (voluntary), Customer service role (paid)
How much work experience did you do?
2 x 4 days hospital shadowing
Job as lifeguard and on tills for 2 years prior
Volunteering at a children’s swimming club
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/
Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT): Southampton doesn’t use the BMAT to select applicants and the BMAT won’t be used after the 2023 application cycle!
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
For the UCAT I had a Medify subscription which meant I was able to do practice questions. I would do up to two hours a day in the month before the exam. Closer to the exam date I also did the official practice papers on the UCAT website. For the BMAT I used the official study guide off the BMAT website for the knowledge based section and then just used the official practice papers and past papers
What resources did you use?
Medify – very useful!
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.
Group task: At Southampton, most interviews have a group task, where multiple candidates are interviewed together.
How did you prepare for your interview?
I had two mock interviews at school. I also had a medical school interview book which was useful in what sort of questions and answers you could get. I also read up on NHS values I made sure to read through my personal statement as I knew that would come up in the panel interview.
What happened in your interview?
First I had a panel interview which mainly focused on my personal statement, motivations to study medicine. These were mostly general questions or questions asking for more details on aspects from my personal statement. The interviewers were friendly and it felt like it went much faster than 20 minutes. Then we had a group task where we were given a topic to discuss as a group. We had 5 minutes to initially think of our own ideas before we had a discussion and were then asked to reflect on this task.
Integrated teaching: Most universities use an ‘integrated’ style of teaching where they teach the scientific topic alongside the clinical skills. This means when you learn about a specific aspect of the body, they will teach you all the science, and the clinical skills to go with it, rather than teaching you all the science first, and then giving you the opportunity to learn the clinical skills at a later date (traditional teaching).
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.
Paid-for resources: Some students choose to pay for courses either online or in person to help them prepare for admissions tests and interviews. There is no evidence that they give you an advantage. There are good, free alternatives for preparation for admissions tests and interviews, and some offer bursaries and discounts to students who come from low income families. Check out our guides and uni websites for more details.
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.
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
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.
Books: Don’t worry if you’ve not been able to find this particular book or afford to pay for it. 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.