This student applied in the 2021/22 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!
Course: Standard undergraduate entry
Online MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
In yr 13, after applying to a different course and changing my mind, my decision to apply to Medicine was confirmed and set in motion during a gap year after college, after I’d withdrawn from my previous course choices.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
Based on where I would meet the admissions criteria.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (voluntary), Online work experience
How much work experience did you do?
You don’t have to have all clinical work experience, the vast majority of my work experience came from volunteering experiences, you can do this over longer periods of time too, a couple hours a week, so you build up rapport with the people around that you work with and you are able to develop and evidence teamwork skills alongside this.
A lot of my exposure to the clinical side of things came from online work experiences and a little exposure as a result of volunteering on hospital wards at mealtimes
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 spent about a month preparing, practicing questions for couple hours everyday leading up to the exam
What resources did you use?
Medify – it was good, the UCAT is a hard exam to prepare for and i suppose hard to capture accurately in mocks, some sections were harder/easier on Medify than in the real thing for example and it can vary. The practice is invaluable regardless.
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 a range of free resources available to me, including YouTube, webinars run by charities/companies aiming to help students, reading up on NHS values, keeping up to date on current affairs. They were all useful as a cumulative, a range of resource use I think is important
What happened during your interview?
The interview, overall, was quite comfortable, I was no doubt nervous before hand and a little throughout, but I eventually relaxed into it.
I had opportunities to refer to my experiences in volunteering and other work experience I had undertaken throughout.
You are given clear instructions for any stations that may involve role plays and will be introduced to the structure of the interview from the beginning. Nothing to worry about there!
Do you have any further advice?
You don’t always need to use paid resources to prepare, there’s a lot of paid interview prep, UCAT coaching, personal statement checking services out there and when it seems like there’s so many people using them you may feel like you are at a disadvantage not utilising them too, but there are so many free resources and webinars that run that you can use.
That’s not to say they aren’t useful, I’m sure they are, but I say this to reassure people that if you aren’t able to access them, you can definitely make it without.
Believe in yourself too! This isn’t the be all end all, people start this course at various stages, and it’s a difficult application process!
Gap year: Some students choose to take a gap year and apply after receiving their A-level grades. They might work or travel in this gap year. Some re-apply to medicine during their gap year. You should do whatever feels right for you.
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.
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.
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