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
Online MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Top tip: Keep a work experience diary to reflect on your experiences
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I looked at how the course was delivered and if that suited me.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Customer service role (voluntary), Customer service role (paid), Online work experience
How much work experience did you do?
Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I was not able to go into the hospital or GP to shadow the healthcare professionals. Instead, I completed online work experience such as the Brighton and Sussex online work experience course and the Observe GP work experience to get some understanding of the different sectors within medicine. I also did volunteering at the vaccination centre.
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 attended The Medic Mind UCAT free webinars which were very useful since they went through some practice questions and how to tackle them. Also, I used the 1250 UKCAT book to practice the questions however the questions in the book were more difficult than the questions that came up when I sat the UCAT. The practice papers on the UCAT official website was helpful since you could sit the papers in timed conditions in order to get used to the time management during the test. I watched different YouTube videos such as Kharma medic who went through some example questions and he explained how he tackled the sections which was useful for me.
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 prepared by reading as many news articles on current topics such as advances in technology within medicine. I also looked at some well known cases such as the Harold shipman case and what could be learnt from those situations that have occurred. I practiced my communication skills using Medic Mind which was helpful.I think it is very important to explore ethics and have debates about certain ethical dilemmas to practice.
What happened during your interview?
The interview consisted of 6 MMI stations and each station lasted 5 minutes. I think that the 5 minutes went very fast so its best to say what you think is most important at the start so you don’t get cut off.
Do you have any further advice?
I think that it is very important to be able to reflect on the work experience that you have completed. Make sure that you keep a diary of the things that you have learnt when you were doing the work experience and the most important ideas that you will take from it.
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.
Brighton and Sussex Medical School Online Work Experience: This is a free ‘virtual’ work experience course that explores different roles within the NHS as well as six medical specialties. It also consider some of the challenges and wider issues doctors face. Find out more here.
Observe GP: This is a free interactive video platform providing insights into the role of a GP and the wider primary care team. Learn more here.
Medic Mind: Medic Mind is a company that runs paid-for application preparation services. Some of their online events are free. There is no evidence that using paid-for services gives you an advantage when you are applying. There are plenty of free resources to help you prepare available online. InsideUni Medicine is a great place to start!
Books: Don’t worry if you’ve not been able to find this particular book or afford to pay for it. You might be able to find secondhand copies online which are usually much cheaper, or at your local library (sometimes, libraries will order in books that you’ve requested, so check out this as a possibility too!). Bear in mind that some books may become out of date, so make sure you check when they were published, and if any changes to the relevant admissions tests/interviews have been made since then.
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.