Application to University of Nottingham in 2020/21

This student applied in the 2020/21 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 in the UK.

Our Summary
Course: Standard undergraduate

Online MMI interview

Admissions Tests: UCAT

Before I made my application…

Choosing to apply

When did you decide you wanted to apply to medicine?
During 6th form when we were asked to think about where we wanted to apply to

How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?

  • Friends had siblings going to these universities which they enjoyed
  • Visits to some universities
  • Cardiff offered biomed with a route into medicine if you do exceptionally well in 1st year
  • Distance from home (didn’t want to be at home but not ridiculous travel)
  • Cost of unis in London/Bristol were too high for me personally

Completing work experience

What types of work experience did you do?
Online work experience

How much work experience did you do?
WAMS Nottingham online work experience (was also meant to do surgeon shadowing but cancelled due to covid)

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through asking someone I knew to take me on

During the application process…

Admissions tests

What admissions test did you sit?
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT):

How did you prepare for your admissions test?

  • At least one mock exam a day in the 2 weeks leading up to the exam
  • Don’t do a full mock too early on as you’ll remember the questions you’ve done before (there are limited mock papers available from the admissions test websites)
  • Repetitive practise
  • Revising intensely for a month instead of less revision over a longer period of time helped me to be able to spot patterns more quickly

What resources did you use?

  • Practise papers on UCAT website (free, very useful)
  • Medify (paid, useful as showed where i was stronger/weaker)
  • Range of websites for free advice
  • Youtube videos of advice


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?
Flash cards of NHS values and principles (eg 4 pillars of medical ethics)
*Note that Nottingham University does not expect applicants to know about the Four Pillars!

The Medic Portal free MMI interview preparation guide

What was your interview like?
There was a station with an actor where I had to discuss if their actions are ethical, a station discussing the traits I have and how this could apply in a career, and the ‘why medicine’ question.


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.

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.

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.

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. 

YouTube: There are many current and recent medical students who create videos on YouTube about their experience and advice about applying. Remember that their experience is personal and individual, and may not reflect yours. They might provide some useful advice but remember that they might be advertising paid for services. Take their advice as part of a more holistic approach alongside moderated advice such as ours, and official advice from universities and test providers.

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. 

Four pillars of medical ethics: These four pillars guide ideas about medical ethics. Knowing and understanding them can help you prepare for your interview and how you answer questions. Four Pillars

NHS Values: The NHS Values guide healthcare education and careers. It’s important to know and understand these values to help you be as successful as possible in your application. They can help you answer questions in your interview, or guide what you write about in your personal statement. Find out more here: NHS Values

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. 

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