This student applied in the 2021/22 application cycle and therefore the selection process at Cambridge 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 Asian man who went to a comprehensive school that doesn’t regularly send students to medical school.
Course: Standard undergraduate
Interview: Online panel interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT; BMAT
Before I made my application…
Choosing to study medicine
When did you decide to apply to medicine?
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Based on location and ranking
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Online work experience,
How much work experience did you do?
I did an online work experience course run by the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. It was an interactive experience that covered primary, secondary and palliative care.
I also did a FutureLearn course.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
By contacting a doctor who organised a future learn course on line – I just wrote to her for general advice but she offered me the clinical work exp. Definitely worth writing to people who inspire you!
During the application process…
What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT): https://www.ucat.ac.uk/
BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). Note: BMAT will no longer be used for medicine applications after 2023. If you are applying in 2023 and sitting the BMAT, you can find out about it here: https://www.admissionstesting.org/for-test-takers/bmat/
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
Went through question banks for each test and writing down common points of error in a book. Before my test I reviewed the list of things I commonly got wrong
What type of interview did you do?
Panel: This type of interview is a ‘traditional’ sit down interview where you’ll be interviewed by a group of people, usually academic tutors and doctors. This differs from an MMI interview, which is based around ‘stations’ which have themes or scenarios attached to them.
How did you prepare for your interview?
Read the provided material and watched an online example of the interview process provided by the University. I read up on topics I had mentioned in my personal statement – notably on the (then new) COVID vaccine. I also looked online for examples of previous interview questions.
What happened during your interview?
An image was presented to me and I was asked to identify what the image showed. Each image was followed by a series of science based questions relating to the image. Each subsequent question was based on the answer of the previous question. If I got a question wrong, the correct answer would be provided so the following questions could be asked.
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.
Insiders: Don’t worry if you don’t know people like this. Most students don’t have friends who have already been through the process or healthcare professionals that they know who might be able to support them. You can meet current medical students to speak to at open days, or via free mentoring schemes, but it’s not a requirement for you to be successful.
Online work experience: Some providers are now offering online work experience, such as the Brighton and Sussex Medical School online work experience, or the Observe GP experience by the Royal College of General Practitioners.