Your Medicine interview may include a prioritisation MMI station when you’ll be asked to shortlist items or people for a certain scenario. These stations may seem strange at first, but they’re designed to test your ability to cope well under pressure in timed conditions, as well as your rational thinking.

What Is The Prioritisation Station?

A prioritisation station is when you’re asked to prioritise a number of things with a specific scenario in mind. For example, you may be asked to choose five out of 10 items to take camping with you – or be given details of six people and asked who you’d prioritise to take with you on a trip.

This type of station is designed to test your ability to cope well under pressure in timed conditions, as well as your rational thinking.


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Example Prioritisation Tasks

Some example prioritisation tasks include:

  • You’re told you’re going on a camping trip. Before you is a table of random objects. You have 20 seconds to pick five objects you deem to be of the most importance and value, and explain your choice.
  • You are given details of 15 individuals, including their age, sex and occupation. A nuclear attack is imminent and you are only allowed to save five of them from destruction. Which ones and why?
  • You are given details of six people, including their occupation and skills. You are asked which of them you would take with you on a trip to the jungle.

Want more examples? Check out our MMI questions and answer guides on our Interview Question Bank!

How Do I Prioritise Well?

Think rationally

The prioritisation station is really a test of your ability to think rationally under pressure – so take a moment to calm yourself and consider each object or individual given.

For example, if the station asks you to select five objects to take on a camping holiday, think about:

  • what you would need on the trip –  or what have you taken on previous camping trips?
  • is there something on the table that will keep you dry when it rains?
  • is there an object to help you cook, and some cutlery to eat with?
  • is there something to help you carry your equipment?

Ground your selections in rational thinking and make sure you consider each object carefully so you can explain your reasoning to your interviewer.

Another way to approach this, after considering each object you chose and explaining your reasoning, is to briefly explain why you didn’t select certain objects. For example:

  • were some objects particularly heavy?
  • are the objects you picked useful for most situations, whereas another would only serve one purpose?

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Voice your reasoning aloud

The best thing to do in these situations is to communicate your thought process aloud to show that you can think clearly in these circumstances.

For example, if you’re at a station asking you to select five people to save from nuclear attack, remember that you’re being assessed on your reasoning for selecting them. Be prepared to explain aloud why you chose each one – whether it’s their occupation or the fact that they may work well with another person on the list.

Don’t panic!

All stations during your MMI will be timed, but this one may feel particularly pressured. However, it’s important not to panic.

Don’t feel so overwhelmed by the time frame that you rush straight into selecting objects or individuals immediately without considering why. Taking a few moments to calm yourself at the beginning of the station will make your decisions much better.



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