University of Nottingham Medical Admissions

University of Nottingham Medical Admissions

Sian, student recruitment officer from the University of Nottingham came in to provide mock interviews to our A2 students in the morning and in the afternoon, she gave a presentation to the AS students entitled ‘Medical Admissions’. In the presentation, Sian presented a useful timeline for students outlining the process they will follow: sourcing relevant work experience / extracurricular activities, UK CAT prep & test, UCAS application, BMAT test (alternative to UKCAT), interviews for Medicine (traditional or MMI), hearing back from interviews by 3 May and then finally receiving their A-level exam results.

She then set expectations on entry requirements; grades A*A*A to AAA at A-level and a wide range of GCSEs 6 or 8 As. Biology and Chemistry A-level subjects are a must and then Maths or Physics can be the third option. Following up by highlighting to students they need to research each individual university, as they will all differ in their specific entry requirements and it is important to know their unique application scoring process, i.e. personal statement, work experience, grades, subjects etc.

As an example, the Medical Admissions team at Nottingham will firstly look at: predicted grades and subject choices (must have Biology & Chemistry A-level), then they will look at those with the highest 8 GCSEs & UKCAT score. Only candidates with the highest scores will progress, from there they review the ‘personal statement’ and ‘references’. From 2,500 applications only the top 1,000 will be invited to interview. So 60% (1,500) are cut prior to that stage!

What is UKCAT? It is a 2-hour assessment that covers the following five areas:




Verbal reasoning



Decision making



Quantitative reasoning



Abstract reasoning



Situational judgement



Sian provided example questions in each of the five areas, she also advised there are 2 practice papers on the website that students should utilise and that they should be prepared to prep 25-30 hours for the exam. Whilst it is a test of aptitude not knowledge, practice will inevitably help.

Moving into, ‘What are they looking for in your Personal Statement?’ They are looking for what you have understood from your work experience or shadowing, any wider reading, taster events, extracurricular activities and so on. They want to see your knowledge and insight about the demands of a career in medicine, both positive & negative. That you can show empathy, leadership, have clear communication skills, are motivated and have lots of initiative.

So, if you get to interview, how will this work? Nottingham runs multiple mini interviews (MMI), it consists of 8 stations, you will be at each station for 5 minutes, 2 stations will involve role play and 6 will be scenario and instruction based. At each they will look to see if you possess the essential personal qualities for medicine.

All in all, a very thorough insight into what is expected of any future Medics during the application stage. It seems preparation and hard work are essential! Our thanks to Sian for giving us her time and advice!

For more information on UKCAT: