This student applied in the 2018/19 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 British Indian woman who went to a grammar or selective state school.
Course: Standard undergraduate
In-person MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Top tip: Be keen. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Enquire about as many opportunities as you can!
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
In early years at school, I had never considered medicine as a career, but I started thinking about it in Year 10. I knew I liked science and people and I made my mind up after doing some work experience with a GP.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I knew I didn’t want to do the BMAT so I only applied to UKCAT (now UCAT) universities. My main factor was distance from home (London). I wanted to move out but I didn’t want to go too far so Nottingham seemed like a good choice for me.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (voluntary)
How much work experience did you do?
I did one week at a GP surgery, one week on an oncology ward, 2 days in the Emergency Department at my local hospital ended up volunteering for 3 years there.
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through asking someone I knew to take me on, I looked up the list of doctors at my local teaching hospital and emailed around 10-15 departments until I got a response!
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 did every single practice question from the 1250 questions book. I also completed all the practice tests on the UKCAT website. That is the only revision material I used and it worked very well for me.
What resources did you use?
Get into medical school UKCAT 1250 practice questions book by ISC medical. It was extremely useful and the only material I used to prepare for the UKCAT.
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 some sample MMI questions online and practiced answering them with friends and family members acting as interviewers. This helped me become more comfortable with the format of the interview and the types of questions that might be asked. I practiced answering questions within the allotted time frame, as the MMI typically involves several short stations with limited time for each question.
My school also helped by putting on mock interviews. I did not attend any paid mock interviews.
I made sure to keep up with current events and healthcare issues so that I could speak knowledgeably about them if they came up during the interview. Additionally, I researched the school I was interviewing at and familiarized myself with their values and mission statement, which helped me tailor my answers to align with their values and demonstrate that I was a good fit for the course.
What was your interview like?
Truthfully, I felt quite anxious before my MMI and it all happened so fast. It was in person and we rotated between a number of different scenarios.
There was role-playing, discussion of ethical problems and questions around my motivation to study medicine.
One thing I noticed about my Nottingham interview was that all the interviewers were quite serious remained very neutral throughout each station. This differed from previous interviews at other medical schools, where the interviewers were more encouraging and engaged with me while I was speaking. I thought I had done badly as I didn’t receive any positive signals from them, but it was all fine in the end.
Do you have any further advice?
Just be as keen as possible and remember that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I’d recommend looking up the list of different departments at your local hospital and sending out lots of emails explaining that you’re a student wanting to explore the world of medicine.
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.
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.
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.
Mock interview: Don’t worry if you didn’t have this opportunity. Interviews are designed to take into account that not everyone has the same level of preparation. See our guides and blogs on interviews to find out more about free online resources.
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.