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!
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?
Towards the very end of Year 12 & start of Year 13.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I mainly chose based on how close universities were to my home and also the support available at different universities for my individual needs. I also preferred universities with smaller year groups, and more clinical placements.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Customer service role (voluntary)
How much work experience did you do?
I didn’t do any clinical work experience, and had only been volunteering at a charity shop as work experience which I reflected on in interviews and my personal statement.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
I had attempted to get work experience through school but wasn’t too successful unfortunately.
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 tried to do a couple of questions from each domain on Medify (Medify) each day leading up to the UCAT. I had also received advice to not prepare for too long before the UCAT, so I followed this and gave myself no longer than 3 weeks which worked well as a balance between still having time to relax over the summer break and have time to prepare for the UCAT as well. I left the official UCAT practice papers for the couple days before my UCAT as I knew they’d probably be the most realistic practice.
What resources did you use?
I used Medify (which was paid), as well as the official UCAT practice tests on the week of my exam. The official UCAT practice tests were really helpful, and I can’t remember very much about Medify but I remember that some sections were easier and some were harder than my actual UCAT, although I know experiences vary between many. I think in particular I found Abstract Reasoning less challenging on the actual UCAT compared to some of the Medify ones although I’d still just say practice was the absolute best way for me to prepare.
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 found that practicing questions with friends at school was the most helpful thing for me, in terms of developing our confidence with interviews (as we hadn’t really had any experience with them in the past) – even though our interviews were online and we practiced in person, but you could just as well practice online too!
Also using Medic Portal questions was somewhat helpful to ask each other however they were quite repetitive so we liked to just come up with scenarios instead. Definitely going through the NHS Constitution core values was really helpful beforehand, and being able to relate answers back to these wherever possible.
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?
Don’t panic if you can’t get work experience, as I had still managed to get a couple of offers without any! As well as this, try not to leave yourself too much time preparing for the UCAT as you may end up making yourself panic from the stress so just give yourself a set time period after booking your test and try to get as much practice in during that period 🙂
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.
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.
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