This student applied in the 2021/22 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!
Course: Standard undergraduate entry
Online MMI interview
Admissions Tests: UCAT
Top tip: Doesn’t matter how much experience you have, just how you reflect on it!
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?
I wanted an intercalated degree, looked at the structure of teaching, looked at my likelihood of getting an interview, opportunity for full body dissection
Completing work experience
What types of work experience did you do?
Hospital shadowing, GP surgery, Care work (e.g. in residential care), Other healthcare setting e.g pharmacy, physiotherapy
How much work experience did you do?
I did work experience in a gp practice, volunteered at a nursing home and a children’s charity, I took a gap year and worked in a hospital for that year
How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through asking someone I knew to take me on, Worked in a hospital
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 practice questions, went through solutions, did practice exams and reviewed questions I got wrong, I read about different ethical scenarios for the Situational Judgement Test.
What resources did you use?
Medentry, it was a paid resource which was very helpful in my opinion. There were plenty of practice questions and solutions
* There is no evidence that paid-for resources give you an advantage! There are plenty of ways to prepare for UCAT for free. We recommend the official UCAT past papers.
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 used lots of online resources including The Medic Portal to find information about interviews and practice questions. I practiced answering sample questions with my friends. I read books and blogs online about about topics that could have been discussed in the interview. I kept up to date with developments going on in medicine and in the NHS.
What was your interview like?
I was given information to read and asked questions about my thoughts on it. I was asked about personal experiences which I discussed. There was an icebreaker question and I had to interact with actors at one point.
Do you have any further advice?
Reflecting on your experiences and learning from them is more important than the amount of experience you have, learning lots from a short amount is experience is as good as having a large amount of experience.
Don’t doubt yourself!
Intercalation: Intercalation happens when a medical student takes a year away from their medical degree studies to study for a related degree. For example, some students complete Research Degrees (e.g. MRes) in a topic of their choice, or undertake a Bachelor’s degree (usually a BSc) in a specific medical interest. Not all universities permit this, so if you think you might want to intercalate, this might affect where you choose to apply.
Dissection: Some universities use full-body dissection as a teaching method. This is when you personally get to dissect and be involved in the removal and looking at certain aspects of the body. Some students like the idea of this, while others don’t. This might inform where you choose to apply to medical school, so check out the universities you’re considering to see whether this is part of their teaching 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.
Gap year: Some students choose to take a gap year and apply after receiving their A-level grades. They might work or travel in this gap year. Some re-apply to medicine during their gap year. You should do whatever feels right for you.
Situational Judgement Test: The Situational Judgement Test is a part of the UCAT, but is not about academics or reasoning. The SJT tests your ability to judge and make decisions in real-life scenarios – think of it like an ethical test. There are ways to prepare for this, so check out some free online resources which might help you understand how it works a bit better.
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.
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.
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.