This student applied in the 2016/17 application cycle and therefore the selection process at Nottingham 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 a White British woman who went to a grammar or selective state school.
Course: Standard undergraduate
In-person MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Top tip: paid-for resources aren’t what they’re made out to be – you can do all the preparation you need with free ones!
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
Prospectuses; Websites; Open days
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery
How much work experience did you do?
1 week in GP surgery; 2 weeks in hospital (this was prior to pandemic)
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through asking someone I knew to take me on
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 Medify in the month leading up to the UKCAT. I did about 2h per day every day, and in the week before the test, increased this to maybe 4-6h per day. Prior to this month, I didn’t revise for the UKCAT – I did it all in this time period.
What resources did you use?
Medify– this was my main source of revision, and was extremely useful, especially with the histograms so you could compare how you were doing, and the fact it tested you on your weakest topics more
1000 UKCAT practice questions book – not particularly useful – Preferred the online content
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 looked up current affairs in medicine – at the time it was the 2016 junior Dr strikes – and created a notebook for my “revision” for interviews, where I noted down things like why the strikes were happening, and why I still wanted to be a Dr despite this. I also looked up local affairs to show I had interest in that particular medical school. I didn’t attend any courses or preparation schemes – they were not advertised to me and I didn’t want to go in with ‘prepared’ answers: it would feel wrong this way: less fluid and much more robotic.Then practiced answering some questions I expected to come up in the stations
What happened during your interview?
We had role play stations, exploring communication in difficult scenarios. There were also stations where you had to display efficiency at multitasking and explain your reasoning for decisions made. At first it was quite nerve-wracking, being in person and seeing everyone else there too who looked like they would probably be better than me, but eventually I relaxed into it: this was helped by a mock/intro station which didn’t count towards marks but got us used to how timings etc would work.
Do you have any further advice?
Paid courses often aren’t all they are made out to be: often it is students who passed the exam themselves, so think they are automatically qualified to teach others to do the same. The methods they will use and teach you can easily be found online, for free.
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.
Paid-for resources and courses: Some students choose to pay for courses either online or in person to help them prepare for admissions tests and interviews. There is no evidence that they give you an advantage. There are good, free alternatives for preparation for admissions tests and interviews, and some offer bursaries and discounts to students who come from low income families. Check out our guides and uni websites for more details.
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.
Role Play: Some interviews or interview stations may require you to engage in a bit of role play. You might have to act out being in a scenario where you might have to deliver bad news or a clinical decision.