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 a British Indian man who went to a grammar or selective state school in the UK.
Course: Standard undergraduate
Online MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT, BMAT
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
In year 10/11 of secondary school
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
Looked at UCAT score acceptance rates, went to open days. Looked at rankings and student satisfaction. Make sure you don’t apply to all really competitive schools, have some back ups. At the end of the day the degree you will be getting is the same regardless of where you go so the determining factors are what is the teaching style like, do they do dissection or protection, is it all theory in 1st 2 years or is it mixed practical and theory giving early clinical exposure, how are you assessed, what is the location like, is it a very busy city or is it a calmer type of place, how far is it from home, will you commute. You have to ask yourself these questions and see which medical school aligns with your preferences. Don’t just apply to ones your friends are, you will make friends wherever you go make sure you are giving yourself the best chance of getting accepted.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care)
How much work experience did you do?
Placement was a week in hospital, volunteering over a year
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): Keele doesn’t use BMAT for selection processes, and BMAT will no longer be used at all from 2024.
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
At least a couple of months in advance, you want to start as early as possible and build it up.
What resources did you use?
For UCAT I used Medify and this really helped improve my UCAT score. You should try to complete as many sets as you can and then do the practise tests closer to the actual exam. You will start to recognise patterns much quicker and analyse text quicker. It will also give you tips on how to be the most efficient and different methods to use so is definitely worth the investment. You have to practise for this so make sure you give adequate time beforehand, the earlier you start the better.
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?
For interview I reviewed the GMC guidelines and made sure I understood the key principles that they advise. Applying then how you have adhered to these principles throughout your work experience or volunteering will help to show that you are showing the skills they are looking for in a doctor.
Don’t revise or memorise things where it will sound robotic, try to be genuine when speaking and have scenarios/situations you’ve been through that cover multiple skills. (Be strategic! Have a situation where you may have shown good communication and leadership together in one, there’s are time constraints so be concise with the skill you are explaining)
Mock interviews do help as they can reflect how to improve your timing and show if you are waffling on or not. There are some you can find online that can help, sign up to one or two as it will give a good reflection of where you are at.
The more volunteering you do the better, try to do things of societies or outreach to schools or care homes. Even if it is little you can reflect on this greatly and talk about it in your interview.
Do not take interviews lightly, you shouldn’t go in without preparation as these are designed to pick out candidates who have shown they have a big insight into what medicine involves so you need to show the interviewers that you have put serious consideration into this.
Have some awareness on current big issues affecting the NHS like obesity, diabetes, cancer. Just a general idea is fine you don’t need to go into detail of how they are caused, just how they are affecting the NHS and how to improve this. It is useful to talk to people who study the course at the university you are applying to and ask what principles that medical school are particularly keen on.
Watch TV shows that are medical like GPs behind close doors, it can help you learn about different conditions how they are diagnosed and how doctors interact with patients. You can translate this into your own role plays.
Doing hospital placements are very good but may be hard to get so apply way in advance for this; take notes whilst you’re there on whatever you are doing so you don’t forget.
What happened during your interview?
Using examples of your volunteering and experiences is vital if you want to succeed. Make sure that you have reflected on your experiences before hand to see what you actually felt and learnt from it. Use the STAR method (situation task action result) if you get stuck. It is easy to feel nervous because there’s a lot riding on these interviews and it may be the first important ones you actually do, everyone will be nervous but the calmer you are the more clear you can think and perform so try and come up with a way to stay calm before you go in.
MMIs reset between each station, forget about the previous one and try your best on the next. There will be ones you are better at so don’t let the ones you struggled with impact your better ones.
Before the interview I would try not to arrive so early that you have to wait because for me it built up a lot of nerves seeing how many people were there, if it is online then this isn’t an issue, try to arrive early but not too early.
The timing of stations vary between unis but they will be the same for each station at that uni, could be like 8 to 10 mins per station but the uni should tell you this beforehand. Try to make your experiences unique to you and not too generic, also don’t lie about your experiences it is easy to pick up on.
Do you have any further advice?
Just be yourself. Keep up with latest medicine news and topics. Read basic GMC stuff. If you fail the first time, don’t be put down a lot of people don’t get in the first time. Reapply if you really want this and be even more determined. Try and put as much preparation as you can, treat this like another exam you have to do good enough revision to succeed. Other than that good luck!
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.
GMC Guidelines for Good Practice: These guidelines describe what it means to be a good doctor. These can help guide you during your preparation for your application and how you answer questions in interviews. GMC Good Practice
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.