Tag Archives: Med School

Southampton Interview

Some of my most frequently asked questions about interviews.

How do they decide who to interview?

For BM6:
If you meet all the criteria, they will review your PS and rate it on the non-academic entry requirements.

Non-academic entry requirements In addition to academic entry requirements, you will be assessed against our non academic criteria.Applicants must be able to show they:

  • Are self-motivated and resilient
  • Have reflected on and learnt from life experiences (this may include, work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and socialcare settings)
  • Can communicate effectively
  • Are able to interact successfully with others
  • Can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution

For BM4 and BM5:

If you meet all the criteria, they interview in order of highest UKCAT.
When are interviews?
BM6:  6th of March and 13th of March 2017. Check on the website if this is out of date next year.

BM5 and 4: Various dates. Check the website.
When will I hear?
You will get 2 weeks notice.

How will I hear?
The uni send out invites via email.

How many interviews will there be?
120 for BM6.

Someone has an interview but I haven’t heard yet, what does that mean?
Nothing at all. They decide who is getting one and everyone in that lucky list will get one eventually.

How should I prepare for interview?
Read your personal statement.
Read it.
No seriously, read it.

Read the news starting now. Read BBC News Health section if you don’t buy a paper regularly. Check NHS Behind the Headlines to get the real understanding.

THIS is how I prepared and is a good place to start. And then here is what happened at my interview.

DO NOT search out people to tell you what you will be asked. It will not help. You’ll be too rehearsed or you simply won’t be asked those questions and wont be prepared for that whey do ask. No 2 interviews are the same.

Where can I practice?
Your college should offer mock interviews. Ask anyone who can read your personal statement and a list of potential questions!

What will happen on the day?
You will have 2 interviews. 1 on your own with 2 interviewers and one in a group. These can happen in either order and you’ll spend the rest of your time there in your group with some current medical students relaxing and chatting.

Who are the interviewers?
These are lecturers, doctors, teachers, admissions staff. Huge variety.

What is the individual interview?
This is a 20 minute interview based loosely on your personal statement with 2 interviewers. You can be asked a range of questions depending on what you have written. Expect – Why medicine? Why here?

What is the group interview?
This is also 20 minutes but you’re also given 5 minutes to prepare. You’ll be given a topic for discussion and after having 5 minutes to think about it, you will discuss it as a group in front of 2 interviewers. It is relaxed and friendly. Don’t worry about it! It is not a knowledge test, and you can’t really practice for it.

What questions will come up?
I’ve listed 2 almost universal questions above. Otherwise the rest will vary enormously from person to person depending on what they say and what is in the PS. People get asked about the history of medicine, the future of medicine, books they mentioned they read, hobbies, ethics, law. Each interview is totally unique and so there isn’t any point in trying to work out what you’ll be asked.

Just practice answering anything (use the link to my blog on how I prepared) because that is the best way to a) come across unrehearsed and b) be able to answer complete curve ball questions.

What happens after interviews?
You’ll get a letter saying if you have been successful or unsuccessful. If this is going to take a while you may get a “further consideration” letter that says you’re still in the running. This may not happen until March/April, even if others hear before you.

How do they choose?
After each task, you will be listed as “suitable” or “not suitable” ad marked on their assessment criteria. This is then taken into consideration with the rest of your application before an offer is made.

How will I get an offer?
This is an update on UCAS Track and then a letter follows.

What is the offer?
The offer is the same for everyone – for BM6 it is BBC in any of your subjects (ie you don’t need to get B’s in specific subjects). BM5 it is AAA and BM4 is a 2:1, plus A level requirements.

Is it conditional or unconditional?
Last year a few people got unconditional offers but these are reserved for people with their A levels in hand and proven. Everyone else gets an unconditional offer until they get their results or prove old results.
If it is conditional and you send in your certificates, they may not update your status until August Results Day.

Update on Southampton Selection Process for Medicine BM4 BM5 & BM6

Things are changing at Southampton! Here is a quick rundown of the latest info I have:

BM6
No real changes. Entry grades are BBC with interviews decided on personal statement. Graded on interview and personal statement and offers given to the highest scorers. Interview will also have a group task.

5A*-C grades at GCSE,

BM5
Big big changes. GCSEs 7A*-B grades, and A levels now required AAA. In addition, applicants will be ranked by their UKCAT. Those scoring the highest in the UKCAT will be invited to interview. The selection day will be a group interview and individual interview.

BM4
Still 2:1 in any subject, C grade now required in Chemistry A level though if your degree contains a lot this can be waived. All applicants will be ranked by their UKCAT. Those scoring the highest in the UKCAT will be invited to interview. The selection day will consists of a written component, group interview and individual interview.

BM6: Getting the grades

Just wanted to outline the importance of getting the grades. This is vital to all medicine applications and seems obvious, however in my class many people got turned down who had not quite made the requirements of CCC. This included those with CCD (and extenuating circumastance) and even those with BBD.

This was a little overshadowed by the fact that 33 people did make it, 3 over the normal class size already, however in the class of 2011 only 29 students made it. This goes to show that even when there is space, those without the minimum grades are no longer considered, even if only missing out by one grade in one subject.

Although this is not great news, it just reinforces the idea that once they’ve given you an offer, if you meet it in, you’re in. If you don’t, you’re not. It’s clear cut and simple, no confusion of will I won’t I.

So to those applying good luck! And those lucky 29 who made it this year, congratulations! It was all worth it in the end.

Southampton Uni UKCAT

So I helped out at the open day the other week. I met a proportion of the 25000 people or something that visited. Lost my voice completely but found out interesting things about the UKCAT!

– BM6 requires the UKCAT to be taken but they DO NOT USE IT!
– BM5 requires the UKCAT and they discount those with scores that are below 2500 (when added together). This will be going up.

I don’t think “they”, you know, the scientists, know if it is effective in determining who is going to be a good doctor but oh well.

Here is a link to a list of hints that I found useful when doing the UKCAT!

Southampton Uni Open Day

So a quick shout out to those I met at the open day. The hundreds of you that I spoke to for hours and hours. Oh and did I mention the hours? But seriously, I was the one in the yellow shirt (ha) with the misbehaving fringe. It was lovely to meet you all and have a little chat and I look forward to seeing you in the future when you join our fabulous establishment! 😀

Any further questions you have or forgot to ask or want to know, feel free to pester. I do so love getting emails!

BM6: Semester I Results

Exam results are up and somehow, quite astonishingly, I have an A in professional practice and an A in human structure and function. This teamed up with the A in my portfolio and the overall B for my essays gives me AAAB for the first semester. They say aim for A’s and B’s so this is good!

We get a meeting with our tutors to go over the exam papers which I am not really looking forward to as I know there were some questions which I answered in a ridiculous way, but it can’t be too bad considering I did well! Hopefully I will pick up more info on exam technique and get a better understanding of how this works.

BM6: HSF Paper I

Really odd. You can sit wherever you like, there is no silence on entering, we were just chatting. Some is written in the exam paper and some in a workbook, and you have to lick and stick part of it to cover your name e.t.c. for anonymity. I think it went ok but am picking up on more and more that I did wrong.

It was in 2 parts, multiple choice and short notes. The short notes is basically bulleted notes on the questions asked. It was really straight forward you just needed to know the material! If you didn’t know it, it was very hard to blag (you can only chat rubbish about nucleotide uses for so long before you run out of stuff to say…).

BM6: Exam prep

Human struc/funct revision is awful. I am so worried that I am going to fail marginally or something that I am struggling to do the revision in the first place. They keep repeating that if it is in the powerpoint presentations then it is fair game so I am just going through and learning those. Writing it all out onto cue cards with questions on the front and answers on the back. It seems to be a good way to do it as I seem to know a good chunk of the cards, but I am still worried.

Not going to revise PP until the Tues/Weds we get before the exam after HSF is out the way.

The Application: Clarification…

So the word on the street (haha I am so with it) is that your interview and personal statement get graded. The top scorers (or those who get nearly 100%) are offered early, and the rest follow after. If this is true then I must have done very well at interview etc so am feeling quite pleased with myself!