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: Relax and don’t compare yourself to others
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
Mid year 10
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I chose ones that played to my strengths within my application. My GCSEs were not the strongest, but I had done a fair amount of volunteering, so made sure that I picked schools that put emphasis on that.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (voluntary), Online work experience
How much work experience did you do?
I had 2 weeks in hospitals in year 10, and volunteered weekly for 1 year throughout sixth form at my local community hospital and at a local youth group for kids with additional needs.
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 used online practice question banks to practice each section independently (not to time to start of with) to ensure that I was familiar with all the different question types. After getting more confident, I started getting more strict with the timing, and only did full mocks once I was used to doing them all separately as I didn’t want to stress myself out!
I found that making a list of patterns that came up in the abstract reasoning sections very useful, as this was the area I struggled most in.
As for structuring my revision, I built it up to doing 2 hour blocks everyday in the morning, as this was when I had my exam booked for, so wanted to ensure I could focus for that length of time.
What resources did you use?
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 searched up online practice interview questions, and asked family members to ask me them so that I could practice answering them out loud.
After doing a few, I noticed similar topics kept cropping up, so made flashcards for each such as communication skills, teamwork, resilience etc. For each I added three things:
– examples of when I had shown the skill during volunteering,
– examples when I had seen doctors showing the skill while on work experience,
– why that skill is important in medicine.
I found them really useful, as when they came up in interview, I had already thought of some good examples and linked this to the idea of reflective practice- I had seen a doctor perform the skill, so used volunteering to improve it.
What happened during your interview?
I was given a topic to discuss that was not directly linked to medicine and that caught me off guard, so had to think on my feet. The interviewers were very supportive, and obviously knew that this was not something that students would have prepared, so helped me to develop my answers and gave me time to think through my answers. I think it goes to show that it’s just important not to panic, as the interviewers will help you out were possible!
Do you have any further advice?
Don’t compare your application timeline application to anyone else’s! People may well be getting interviews and offers before you’ve heard back from any universities, but it honestly doesn’t mean anything- don’t keep checking online forums as it will only stress you out more. Once the applications are sent, there’s nothing more you can do, so just chill!
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.
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.
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.