This student applied in the 2020/21 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 an white British woman who went to a comprehensive school that doesn’t regularly send students to medical school.
Course: Standard undergraduate
Online MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Top tip – Don’t worry about how you enter (e.g. deferred; after gap year); it’s fine!
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I chose based on their entry requirements and location
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Care work (e.g. in residential care)
How much work experience did you do?
Through lots of pestering, I managed to get a lot of work experience (this was before COVID).
I wrote a letter to my local GP, basically begging her to let me shadow her for a day. So she let me do that.
The local hospital advertised work experience on their website, so I applied for that and got 5 days work experience at a Brain Rehabilitation Unit.
Through pestering consultants from the hospital, I also managed to get a day’s work experience on a renal ward in the hospital.
Finally, I also got work experience watching open heart surgery due to my friend’s mum’s friend being an anaesthetist – which was so coollllllll!
I definitely went overboard with work experience, you certainly don’t need this much! But it was very enjoyable and really gave me a flavour of what I was getting myself into.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement, Through asking someone I knew to take me on, Pestering doctors over email and writing GPs letters
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 over a span of 6 weeks. I initially did the 6med course (paid-for) which gave me lots of useful tips and strategies for each of the sections.
Then I watched YouTube videos on people doing practice questions. Then I invested in Medify and would do practice exams everyday on it.
What resources did you use?
Medify which I found very useful and very realistic to the actual exam.
I did a 6med paid UCAT cost. It cost me £90 I think but was well worth it as I was really stressed about the UCAT, so it really helped me feel more confident about it.
KharmaMedic also has some good videos on the UCAT.
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 MedicPortal to get an idea of the sort of questions I might get asked in my interview. I knew that Keele interviews are heavily based on work experience, volunteering and ethics so I made sure to focus on those aspects.
I made mind maps of each work experience placement I was on, choosing 4/5 main things I learned from it such as ‘the importance of good communication’, ‘being organised’ etc and used an example of what I saw on placement.volunteering to evidence what I learned.
I also made flash cards for popular topics such as the pillars of medical ethics, interesting medical topics I have read about and information about Keele.
I also made sure to do a lot of practice interviews with teachers and friends to make sure I was ready and proficient at answering interview questions.
What happened during your interview?
The first part of my interview was a maths test (I think they’ve stopped this now) which was fairly hard. After that we had the interviews which comprised of 12 stations, including one rest station.
Keele was definitely the most challenging interview of the ones I had as there were so many tough stations and lots of critical thinking and ethical situations to unpick.
2 of the stations were Roleplay, one of them was particularly challenging as the actor become very upset and angry.
I also had a station where I had to watch a video on a topic completely unrelated to medicine then speak about it with an interviewer.
There were quite a few ethical scenarios we were given and you had to discuss them with the interviewer. They were very good at catching me out and making me rethink my ideas and answers. Id recommend admitting if you know your original decision/answer is wrong, showing that you can accept you made a mistake and learn from it is paramount.
There was also a station discussing what I wrote on the Roles and responsibilities form.
Do you have any further advice?
Don’t worry about applying deferred entry. I applied deferred entry and was quite worried that medical schools would hold it against me or that I’d need to perform very well in the interviews to be considered for deferred entry, but it was actually fine! I was so thankful for that gap year before medical school. I definitely needed the break and to work for a bit before university.
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.
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.
Paid-for resources and courses: 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.
YouTube: There are many current and recent medical students who create videos on YouTube about their experience and advice about applying. Remember that their experience is personal and individual, and may not reflect yours. They might provide some useful advice but remember that they might be advertising paid for services. Take their advice as part of a more holistic approach alongside moderated advice such as ours, and official advice from universities and test providers.
The Medic Portal: The Medic Portal is a popular website that provides resources to help you prepare your medicine application. The Medic Portal has some free resources online but some are paid-for. There are good, free alternatives for preparation available online, so check out our guides and the university websites for details.
Four pillars of medical ethics: These four pillars guide ideas about medical ethics. Knowing and understanding them can help you prepare for your interview and how you answer questions. Four Pillars
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.
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.
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.
Roles and Responsibilities form: Applicants to Keele University must fill out a Roles and Responsibilities Form, which helps the university decide who to invite for an interview. In the form, you have to write about any experiences you have had working in a caring role or having supportive responsibilities, but these don’t have to be medical in nature.