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 Welsh woman who went to a comprehensive school that does regularly send students to medical school.
Course: Standard undergraduate entry
In-person MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Top tip: Don’t apply to medicine because your parents or your teacher told you to, it should be your choice.
Before I made my application…
Choosing to apply
When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
Summer/ early on between year 12/13 because I went on work experience in several areas and loved medicine.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I looked at the admissions requirements and where they placed most emphasis and applied to universities that placed emphasis on GCSEs and interview.
I didn’t really think about my 5th choice but whenever I’m giving advice to people now, I tell them to pick something that they really want to do, even if it’s nothing to do with medicine! If they don’t get in and want to do medicine, reapply next year rather than do 3 years of something you hate and then applying to GEM (Graduate Entry Medicine). (*this is one student’s opinion – applying for graduate entry might work better for you!)
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Customer service role (voluntary), Customer service role (paid)
How much work experience did you do?
2 weeks in hospitals
4 years swim teaching
2 years volunteering with science programs in early years
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
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 started 2-3 months in advance doing a few hours here and there and then ramped it up to 1-2 hours a day within the month of the exam.
What resources did you use?
The Medic Portal
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?
Read up on some famous cases in Medicine (for example: Andrew Wakefield& Harold Shipman etc)
Read the news around interview time
Prepared some extended answers giving more details/ examples about skills that were likely to be asked about- teamwork, communication, leadership etc
Made a list of all good experiences (from work, voluneering etc) I could talk about at interview
Mock MMIs with school, friends, family, and looked at mock MMI questions sent out by universities or on free websites.
What was your interview like?
Some stations contained skill based activities, some were role play talking to patients or doctors, some were competency based. Nottingham was a more skills based and role play interview.
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.
Graduate entry medicine: A pathway into medicine for students who have already received an undergraduate/Bachelors degree. Some universities require this previous degree to be related to medicine (E.g. Biomedical sciences or in another science) while others don’t. Graduate entry to medicine is available at less universities and is equally as competitive as undergraduate, but is a good option if you don’t get into medicine straight from school, or only decide you want to be a doctor after you’ve already received your degree, or later on in your career.
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.
The Medic Portal: The Medic Portal is a popular website that provides resources to help you prepare your medicine application. The Medic Portal has some free resources online but some are paid-for. There are good, free alternatives for preparation available online, so check out our guides and the university websites for details.
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.
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.
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.