Keele University

Keele, like Sheffield, is very very personal statement heavy.  They have around 2100 applicants and interview approximately 500 people; luckily for me, I was one this year.  Out of these 500 people, 400 are selected based on personal statement quality and the remaining 100 are awarded for academic achievement.  Below is the criteria they use for the PS quality check:

  • Understanding of the role of a doctor
  •  Examples of regular hands-on caring work experience
  •  Depth of experience in a role involving personal interaction
  •  Reflection on what was learnt from these experiences
  •  Initiative/enterprise
  •  Work/life balance
  •  Working in teams
  •  Communication (particularly outside your peer group)
  •  Quality of written application
  •  Exceptional circumstances

The remaining 100 are awarded for academic reasons.  After endless scouring and searching, I have found the mark scheme for how they assess for the academics:

Click here

After the selection for interview, there is the interview itself.  The interviews take the form of multiple mini interviews (MMIs), where candidates undertake a series of short interview stations. The stations will examine a range of skills and aptitudes.  The format of stations may vary from a 1:1 traditional interview through to a role play. Interviews are scheduled to take place in late December, January, February and March.

All the best for any Keele application.

You can also see the full Keele admission statistics here.



Admission Statistics – Keele

Following on from Sheffield, Keele is the next university I’m going to blog about.  Keele has a surprising amount of applicants for places considering it isn’t the best med school in the country, but thats medicine I suppose.  See the Keele admission process in my next blog but find below the admission statistics:

Keele 2014 – so far:

Applicants:                        Interviews:                         Offers:                           Places:                                     Apps/Offer:
2100                                    500                                      260                                 129                                          8

Keele 2013 – big more accurate:

Applicants:                        Interviews:                         Offers:                           Places:                                     Apps/Offer:
2016                                    534                                       285                                 129                                          7


UKCAT, the horror!

If you speak to any medicine applicant, this will be the topic they mention first. The expensive, overrated and impossible exam that will crucify your intellect and fry your soul… Maybe a slight over exaggeration but you get my point!

It’s split into 4 sections, out of 900 each:

-Verbal reasoning: this years hardest rated section. It’s where you get given text passages and you have to identify where a statement about the passage is true false or cannot tell. There are also questions where you have to match the best statement to the passage which is even harder. But the main problem is the time, with around 30sec per question, there really is no time for messing around.

-Qualitative reasoning: for me the easiest, I was fortunate to get 800/900 so I was pretty pleased. It’s where you get given simple maths problems, such as bus timetables and tax forms, and you have to give the multiple choice answer, which sometimes is just a guess.

-Abstract reasoning: you’ll either get it or you won’t. 2 set of shapes, A and B, have one maybe 2 patterns and the third shape which you get given you have to match to A or B. Sounds quite easy, but wait until you see the patterns.

-Decision analysis: the highest average scoring section. You get given a code and a statement made from the code, it’s simply matching the statements. For me it didn’t quite quick, probably as my technique was quite weak, but a lot of people score regularly over 800.

Then there was the final section. It was used more as a trial run where the scores haven’t been used by my units, but there are some that do.

-Situational judgement: you get given an awkward scenario and you have to say whether an action by a medical student, or a doctor or anything, is appropriate or not. Quite hard to explain, but generally quite an easy, common sense station. Marked band 1 the best and band 4 the worst. Average is probably 2.

For me the best practice was the timed papers on the UKCAT website, theres 2 so you get a bit of practice. Any questions feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to answer them when I can.


Admission Statistics – Sheffield

Following on from my post about admission into Sheffield, I’d thought I’d finish the job and include the admission statistics.  Obviously I don’t know exactly the full figures, but these I’ve judged as the most accurate and promising.  Hopefully they won’t scare you, but some of them do look pretty big.

Sheffield 2014 – so far:

Applicants:                        Interviews:                         Offers:                           Places:                                     Apps/Offer:
2500                                    650                                      450                                 237                                          6

Sheffield 2013 – big more accurate:

Applicants:                        Interviews:                         Offers:                           Places:                                     Apps/Offer:
2873                                    542                                       376                                 237                                          8


Sheffield University

Sheffield is my favourite medical school.  Unfortunately in medicine that doesn’t really mean much.  But hey ho, for me I haven’t heard anything yet I could have an interview, I could not.  I could eventually have an offer, I could not.  I could even after that have a place, I could not… Only the future can tell.

Sheffields application process is very personal statement heavy and this is reflected in their applicant numbers.  In fact once you have met the academic requirements below, the selection for interview is solely on your personal statement.

Academically, Sheffield is quite low with a requirement of 6A’s at GCSE with at least a C in English, Maths and Science. Quite easy for a medical school.  ABBB in AS with then a prediction or achievement of AAA or above at A2.  Probably the hardest bit for most applicants is the minimum cutoff of 2600 in the UKCAT, where you either meet it or you don’t, there is no bonus for achieving anything greater.  Luckily for me I met these criteria so then it moves solely onto the personal statement.

They send your personal statement (PS) off to their PS assessors where they will give you a grade, just like school, between A-E with the following criteria in mind:

  • motivation for medicine
  • evidence of commitment for caring
  • work experience
  • understanding the nature of medicine
  • breadth and depth of interests, and linking these with ability to cope with stress
  • evidence of team work, leadership skills, communication skills, acceptance of responsibility

Candidates with an A in the assessment or a high very high B will be invited to interview.

The interview panel normally consists of three interviewers. These are drawn from medically qualified senior members of staff, biomedical scientists, junior hospital doctors, senior nurses, senior medical students and lay people. The questioning at interview is based around the following criteria:

  • knowledge of and interest in study in Sheffield
  • motivation for Medicine
  • evidence of commitment for caring
  • depth and width of interests (achievements in specific fields)
  • communication skills
  • understanding the nature of Medicine
  • medical work experience.

After the interview, they grade your performance, and after everyone has been interviewed, you will fond out whether you have an offer, rejection or are on the waiting list.  And then hey! It’s all over for another uni.]

Hope you have enjoyed the short read about what I have found out about Sheffield, feel free to message me or leave a comment, all is appreciated.


Welcome world!

Hi there! I’m a year 13 sixth form student aspiring to a career in medicine.  As cheesy as it sounds, I always have, as long as I can remember, wanted to be a doctor.  Despite this, the application process for medicine is long and with only being half way through it, I’m not going to lie and say I am a pro.  At the minute I have no offers, and, still at school trying to achieve the grades, I don’t have them either…  But I’m working on it, and working the hardest I’ve ever worked to achieve both of them objectives.

For me this blog is new, and I if I inspire or help one applicant to a career in medicine, for me thats worth it.  I hope you enjoy your stay and feel free to leave a comment wherever fits.