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If you’re preparing for a Birmingham University Medicine interview, check out this guide to the common interview questions you can expect.

Birmingham University Medical Interviews

Medicine interviews for Birmingham University usually take place in January and February. Birmingham anticipates that this will remain the same for 2023 entry too.

To shortlist candidates for interview, all applications are given a score, which is based on GCSEs, UCAT score and contextual factors. The GCSEs considered are Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Biology and Chemistry (or double sciences) and any two other subjects.

The score assigned for the UCAT is considered in terms of the decile ranking, with each decile obtaining a different score. Contextual factors are also each allocated a certain number of points.

The three individual scores are added up to give a total score out of 10. As it is the total score that’s considered when deciding which candidates to invite to interview, there are no individual GCSE or UCAT cut-offs.

The inclusion of a contextual element to the score replaces their previous method of assigning 20% of interview places to contextual applicants. The weighting will be: 45% academic, 35% UCAT and 20% contextual. It is important to note that these are different weightings to those used in the 2020/21 application cycle.

An in-depth explanation of the selection process can be accessed here.

For international applicants, no score is calculated. Instead, to be shortlisted, applicants must first pass the minimum academic results requirement. Next, students are ranked by UCAT score. The top-scoring students are then invited to interview, based on non-academic qualities from the Personal Statement.

For 2022 entry into the A100 course, there were 2852 applications for 329 places. Of those, there were 1229 interviews and 661 offers were made post-interview.

Birmingham usually sends interview invitations in December and January. They state that ‘there is no advantage to attending an interview early. Everyone has the exact same chance of being successful.’

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How Is Birmingham Interviewing For 2023 Entry?

Birmingham University uses the MMI (Multiple Mini Interviews) format for its Medicine interviews. There are usually 6 or 7 MMI stations, with 8 minutes allotted to each station. It is important to note that two of these minutes are for reading time.

As exceptions, for 2021 and 2022 entry, MMIs were adapted and held online. Birmingham anticipates that there will be a return to face-to-face interviews for 2023 entry.

International applicants should also be prepared to attend an interview, though there will be the option of undertaking it online via Zoom. The interview will be adapted to consist of two MMI stations, as well as a calculations assessment on a separate day.

Common Medicine Interview Question Topics At Birmingham Medical School

At Birmingham University, the following topics are typically covered in the Medicine interview questions:

Sample questions might include:

  • Tell me about a time that something went wrong? How did you deal with it?
  • What have you done to show your interest in Medicine?
  • When do you think it would be right to break confidentiality as a Doctor?
  • What did you learn from your work experience?
  • What would you do if someone was not pulling their weight in a PBL group?
  • What are the pros and cons of having health information accessible online?
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Tips For Answering Birmingham Interview Questions

Know which stations to expect

At your Birmingham medical interview, you will face MMI stations covering particular themes, as outlined above. Make sure you arrive knowing what to expect and having practised.

You will need to handle data in the interview. So, an important aspect of your interview preparation should include practising with data, because the University of Birmingham’s website says that you will need to undertake ‘very simple calculations in your head’.

Don’t be caught out on the day with something that you could have easily prepared for!

Keep up-to-date with medical news

Birmingham makes it very clear that it is not possible to ‘revise’ for MMIs. However, you should be able to prepare for your interview by reading about the latest NHS hot topics and issues that appear in the news and media. Discussing and debating them with friends and family is a good way to improve your communication skills for any station!

It is important to remember that you are applying to enter the medical field, in which keeping up-to-date with the latest research will become an important part of your working life! Get into good habits now so that you’ll be able to start your journey of lifelong learning.

Understand what happens after the interview

The decision to make an offer is mainly based on how well you did at interview. If, however, you feel that the interview didn’t go so well, the worst thing that you can do is panic!

Birmingham uses your scores for each station to calculate an average score. This is used to rank everybody. However, what is considered a high score will vary from year to year. If you found one station particularly challenging in your Birmingham interview, you may find that many other candidates did too!

For more tips on how to answer interview questions at your Birmingham Medical School interview, see this blog.

How Are Interviews At Birmingham Assessed?

The decision of an offer will be based on performance at interview and the SJT score from the UCAT. Each MMI station and the SJT score will be equally weighted.

For each individual MMI station, there may be a minimum required score that is set. These must be fulfilled, along with the total score being above the overall cut-off.

No other academic factors will be considered at this stage.

Birmingham anticipates that the majority of decisions will be communicated before March 2023.

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