Application to the University of Cambridge in 2022/23

This student applied in the 2022/23 application cycle and therefore the selection process at Cambridge 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 man who went to a comprehensive school.

Our Summary
Course: Standard undergraduate

Interview: Online panel interview

Admissions Tests: UCAT; BMAT

Before I made my application…

Choosing to study medicine

When did you decide to apply to medicine?
End of Year 11 when you had to decide what A Level subjects to pick

How did you choose which universities to apply to?
Based on curriculum mainly, then location

Completing work experience

What types of work experience did you do?
GP surgery, Customer service role (voluntary), Online work experience

How much work experience did you do?
2 days in GP, many hours of online work experience

How did you find your work experience opportunities?
Through a formal scheme or work experience placement

During the application process…

Admissions tests

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

BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). Note: BMAT will no longer be used for medicine applications after 2023. If you are applying in 2023 and sitting the BMAT, you can find out about it here:

What resources did you use?
Free online resources, Paid online resources, Practice papers from test website

Bmat ninja very good, Medify for UCAT very good, BMAT past papers on CAAT website are the best resource.

How did you prepare for your admissions test?

First familiarise yourself with the question types, sections and weighting. Learn the syllabus content if there is one, there are resources and guides online on how to answer certain question types. Then go through past papers, do as many as possible, especially to time.


What type of interview did you do?
Panel: This type of interview is a ‘traditional’ sit down interview where you’ll be interviewed by a group of people, usually academic tutors and doctors. This differs from an MMI interview, which is based around ‘stations’ which have themes or scenarios attached to them.

How did you prepare for your interview?
Since the Cambridge interview is quite different to most other universities, I did a lot more preparation for the scientific, panel-styled interview(tag panel interview). I first made sure I was vary solid on all the A-level biology and chemistry content I had done so far (particularly the topics I had put on the SAQ questionnaire) as interview stem from science that you should already know.

After learning the basics, the main thing is to practice thinking about abstract questions that you have never seen before. For example Blackstone Tutors website had a set of Cambridge questions (e.g. how would you measure the total volume of blood in the human body?). Often rough answers can be figured out from google searches or YouTube videos, but a lot of the time the answer doesn’t matter too much as long as you can come up with reasonable suggestions to their prompts in the interview.

Mock interviews are the best way to prepare by far, its all about coming up with logical suggestions when under time pressure, and integrate any clues the interviewer gives you. Finally, read you personal statement and any books or wider reading you have included. Usually they won’t ask too much about the personal statement as they prefer going into topic you’re not familiar with, but the worst thing that can happen is not knowing the basic principle of research paper you have read.

What happened during your interview?

I had a question about something I had written on my personal statement, and then various science questions on topics I had not really seen before. I was relatively nervous before the interview, but once you get into the actual interview you’re too busy focusing on answering the question. Atmosphere was quite calm, interviewers may laugh at some silly suggestions but it really is no big deal, saying anything is better than nothing (as long as it is not totally off topic or ridiculous).


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.

Volunteering: Lots of students do volunteering to help them prepare for their medicine application. This doesn’t need to be volunteering in a medical setting, but might be a caring volunteer position. Lots of students might do this during their Duke of Edinburgh Award, but there are plenty of other opportunities to become a volunteer – ask your school if they know anywhere that might be asking for volunteers, or the NCVO might be able to direct you to somewhere via their Volunteer Centres:–D6S3CYjcUbP2LqkMiCU0dCL31NURMPKkkaAqiiEALw_wcB#/

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.

Free resources: There are plenty of free resources available to help you prepare for admissions tests and interviews online and in person! For example, you might be able to get a free place on a mentoring scheme or session, find free support books at your local library, or search online for free resources to help you. It’s very normal to rely on free resources – not everyone can afford to pay for support, and it’s not proven to give you an advantage.

Paid-for 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.

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.

My Cambridge Application / SAQ: The My Cambridge Application form is a short form you complete after you send your application off to the University of Cambridge. The form has replaced the Supplementary Application Questionnaire in the last couple of years. In this form, you are asked to provide more information about the specific topics you have covered in your A-levels and some further information about you, to guide the selection process.

YouTube Videos: 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. 

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.

Rate this post


* indicates required
Select from the drop down.
%d bloggers like this: