The admissions procedure at Aberdeen involves the detailed assessment and scoring of a range of aspects of an application, including academic attainment/predictions (30%), UCAT (20%), and then subsequent interview performance (50%).
Applications are ranked against all the others received for that year's entry and those who score sufficiently well achieve an interview.
Interviews are conducted between November until the end of March using the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. For 2021 entry, interviews will be conducted online.
What is an MMI?
Candidates rotate around a number of different question stations each in turn. At each station, a selector will explore one question area/domain for 7 minutes and score the candidate's performance against pre-determined criteria. Communication and interpersonal skills are also scored at each station. The MMI experience will last approximately 1 hour for each candidate.
Interviewees will be offered a tour of the medical school, on the day of the interview by one of our medical student ambassadors. The medical student guide will be very pleased to answer any questions and discuss the Aberdeen MBChB experience!
Invitation to Interview
Candidates will be invited for interview by email and provided with details allowing them to book the most convienent slot available. Emails will be sent to the email address detailed on the UCAS form, and it is the responsibility of candidates to check their spam folders regularly during this time period. Alternative interview slots will not be arranged for missed emails.
Should candidates have any specific requirements in relation to the MMI please let us know at the time of confirming your intention to attend. Please note that there will be no additional dates available to the dates that are published therefore, candidates should make every effort to attend on the allocated time as we cannot guarantee that we will be able to reschedule.
Preparing for Interview
You may find the following information useful to help you understand what selectors look for in a good candidate and how you might prepare for interview.
What types of questions will be asked?
Many questions that will be covered in the MMI stations are available in the public domain. Although the exact wording may vary, candidates may find it a useful exercise to be familiar with some questions and to consider their own responses that are based upon their own thoughts and experiences, rather than quoting existing text and the opinion of others.
There are many ways that selectors may explore the domains that form part of an MMI.
Candidates may be asked to:
- Discuss their preparation for entry to Medicine e.g.
- Research into undergraduate curricula and postgraduate training
- Research then understanding of the implications of a medical career
- Experience of caring or other environments
- Consider a new situation and discuss their thoughts or suggest a solution to solve a problem
- Outline any learning points from previous experiences
- Reflect upon their own and others' skills and abilities
- Consider their potential contribution to the care of others
Candidates should be aware that for some questions there will not be a 'correct' answer – simply that the student's ability to reflect upon and discuss diverse aspects of the problem may be under scrutiny.
Given that the pre-interview scoring system selects candidates who appear to have sufficient academic potential, the interview is not intended to
- Test academic knowledge
- Include questions directly related to the school curriculum.
Are all candidates asked the same questions?
Not necessarily exactly the same questions, but the same categories/domains will be used on each of the MMI days.
How will answers be scored?
The student will be scored in several areas including:
- Ability to express ideas freely and coherently
- How well they use their existing knowledge to formulate answers to unknown areas
- Their ability to follow a reasoned argument and to formulate an opinion
- The degree to which they are prepared for questions
- Their ability to discuss different aspects (advantages & disadvantages) of a problem / situation
- The degree of motivation, commitment, reflection and sensitivity demonstrated
Each station will also independently score communication and interpersonal skills.
How can candidates ensure that they answer questions well?
The more research undertaken into a medical career using many resources, the better the student will be prepared to answer questions confidently and to interpret the unexpected.
Undertaking interview practice with different 'interviewers' will help build confidence in their ability to perform in unfamiliar circumstances, as will frequently practising answering different interview questions.
Below we have provided you with an example of what you might expect to find at a station.
Candidates were asked to imagine that they were a first year medical student and at the end of the year had found out they had failed a very important exam. The re-sit was in 2 weeks time and would establish whether the student could continue with the course. The student is also captain (and one of the top scorers) of the basketball team, with a very important match coming up that requires daily training sessions. On top of that, candidates were informed that they had just received a text from a friend that they haven't seen for a while, asking if they wanted to go out 'to party'.
Candidates had 2 minutes to consider this situation and think of possible questions that might arise and how they would go about answering them. They then enter the station and are 'interviewed' for 7 minutes.
The videos below show examples of both a poor and a good performance. (Please note that you may not be able to view the videos using mobile devices).
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving 1 - In this example (below), Mr Thomas plays the role of a candidate who does not answer the question well.
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving 2 - In this example (below), using the same question, Miss Murdoch demonstrates what a good answer might look like.