Updated: Jul 2, 2020
1)Keep up to date with what is happening in the Medical world.
A really important aspect of most medical school interviews includes having a working knowledge of the NHS, recent medical developments and new medical treatments, which may have ethical issues associated with them. You are probably wondering what the best way to go about getting this information is.
At times the thought of something like this can be quite daunting. However, I would suggest starting with something simple like BBC Health news. If you are wanting to get a better scientific understanding of specific subject matter, then you can look to other sources to read more deeply but this isn’t always necessary. Often times it is the flavour of the story that you are looking to capture. More recently the team here at MRRevision, have also come to understand the usefulness of twitter. Therefore you might even find that if you follow a few people /health related organisations you can quite easily keep up with what is going on in a fun light hearted way.Through reading the various comments that people make, you can also start to see some of the underlying ethical issues associated with topics.
2)Gain an understanding of how the interview process works for your specific Medical School.
This is another really important aspect of preparing for your interview. Most medical schools prior to your interview will send you information on how the interview will be structured.
In addition to this, some of them may already have documents on their website pertaining to interview structure, so you don’t always have to wait till they send the information with your interview. It is important to have a good understanding of how the interview is going to take place. In our day, interviews mainly involved a panel ,meaning you would stay in a room with anything from 2-4 interviewers who would ask you questions: some relating to your personal statement, generic ones relating to you as a person, ethics and extra curricular activities.
Many of these types of questions are in the public domain. However nowadays, medical schools are moving towards what they call Multi-Mini Interviews (MMI), which involves doing circuits consisting of stations. In each station there is usually one interviewer.Each interview type has it's advantages and disadvantages, however the main advantage of the MMI is if one of your stations didn’t go well because you were nervous or warming up ,what happens in that station stays in that station.The next interviewer does not know about it.
3)Concentrate on revising and obtaining your predicted grades.
This seems obvious, but the truth is in year 13 there is a lot of distraction and a lot things that you have to do. Some of you might be doing the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) , which is an entrance exam for other universities which takes place once the school term has started. You might also find that you loose some time because you are still editing your personal statement. Then you also loose time because you are focusing your energies on practicing for your interview. The key thing is you must not loose sight of the goal and the ways that you can do this include: making a revision timetable accommodating for the fact that you are going to loose days due to prep for medical school, also keeping track of looming deadlines for class work is helpful. The key thing is not to neglect the grades.
4)Keep your mental health in check.
Your mental health is important, so look after it during this time. For many of you this is likely to be the most stressful time of your life. Therefore you need to take care of your well being. Plan breaks In revision, engage in group study, find encouraging friends and talk about the things that are worrying you with your friends and also family. It is normal to be stressed but you have to find a way to develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Make sure you sleep and you are revising and preparing effectively. During my time of A levels when I think back to it,we were not working smart. We spent hours in the library staring at lines, getting stressed, not taking proper breaks and probably not sleeping enough or relaxing enough. We were consumed with the goal, we all need stress to work hard but we have to be careful , as too much stress makes you ineffective and you find yourself feeling burnt out before you have even got to you interview or your exam.
5)Do not be DISCOURAGED!
Be encouraged, think positively.
Visualize yourself achieving your goals.
Applying to medical school, has it's high points for example obtaining an interview ,but it also has it's low points – for example not being able to attend your chosen medical school because you did not meet the conditions of your offer.
During A levels you find that you catastrophize a lot.The key thing is to remain positive, things do not always go the way you plan but with the right determination you will reach the end goal, which is getting into Medical School.
Finally, remember you can always send us an email about any questions you might have: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or send us a DM on twitter: @mr_revision.