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 Black African woman who went to a fee-paying school in the UK.
Course: Standard undergraduate entry
In-person MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT, BMAT
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
In year 12.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
Ones that I liked at open days and word of mouth.
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Other healthcare setting e.g pharmacy, physiotherapy, Customer service role (paid), Volunteered at a hospital
How much work experience did you do?
6 months – a year all together
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement, Through asking someone I knew to take me on, I applied on the hospital website
During the application process…
What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT): https://www.ucat.ac.uk/
Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT): This is used by some medical schools to inform whether they might invite you for an interview. From 2024, the BMAT will no longer be used during the medical admissions process, but will be used if you are applying to medical school in October 2023.
How did you prepare for your admissions test?
I used the UCAT and BMAT books and did all the questions in them then found practice questions online too. A teacher at school helped read and mark my BMAT essay. I also did a paid BMAT day course at Oxford Uni that came with a book. I did those questions but gave them to a younger friend after I got into med school so I can’t remember the details
*Note that paid-for courses aren’t necessary; they don’t give you any advantage when you apply, and they’re not proven to be more effective means of preparation!
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?
Online resources, practice with my medical club at school.
What was your interview like?
We had around 10 stations that felt like OSCEs. So like 10 mins per station and 1-2 min break in between to read instructions. I felt a bit nervous because I didn’t know what to expect but once you start it flies by. A few station involved actors, some were tasks and some were classic interview style
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.
Paid-for courses and resources: 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.
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.
School clubs: Sometimes, schools may run specific groups, clubs or ‘societies’ to help prospective medical applicants prepare their application. Don’t worry if your school doesn’t offer this, there are plenty of other ways to prepare for your application. Ask your teachers if you might be able to set up a club with students from nearby schools, or if not, there are lots of resources available for free online to help you out instead!
OSCE: Objective Structured Clinical Examinations are forms of testing how healthcare students perform examinations and patient interactions. They are used throughout medical school to examine your ability to practise well as a doctor. Sometimes, Multiple Mini Interview stations may appear similar to these: you might engage in role play to make a clinical decision or deliver some information to a patient.