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University of Aberdeen Interview Questions

About Aberdeen Medical School (2023 Edition)

The University of Aberdeen Medical School provides its students with a dynamic course, taught using a systems-based, integrated approach.

The purpose-built medical school is based at Foresterhill; the largest health-care campus in Europe, providing students with patient contact from the very beginning of first year.

Thanks to the excellent relationship between students and staff and the high importance placed on student support, UoA creates an environment where students thrive and feel supported and encouraged by everyone.

University of Aberdeen Interview Information

🔍 How does Aberdeen University select candidates for interviews?

GCSEs/A-levels/Highers: Aberdeen sets standard entry requirements of five highers at AAAAB, then a conditional offer of BBB in S6. National 5 English and maths are required, and higher chemistry is required, alongside two of the following : biology, human biology, maths or physics. GCSEs at grade 6-9 passes in English Literature and maths are required, with biology and physics recommend. You must also achieve AAA in three A-levels . Chemistry is required, biology or human biology is required and either maths or physics is needed. Exam results are not used beyond minimum requirements. You need to just meet the entry requirements! Having a higher grade does not give you a competitive edge.The university of Aberdeen does not usually accept applicants who are resitting exams, therefore it’s important to achieve your desired grades in the first sitting.

Personal Statement: Your personal statement is added with your exam results and predicted grades to form 60% of your score pre interview. It is not used in the short listing however may be used in your interview. Your personal statement should reflect on your experiences and what you learnt from them. It is also a chance to emphasise the qualities and skills that would make you a good doctor. Use it as an opportunity to sell yourself and make yourself stand out.

UCAT: The UCAT score is only 40% of the total, therefore you can safely appply to Aberdeen if you are sitting at the average mark for UCAT. Aberdeen usually gives interviews to those with a medium UCAT score of around, 2500-2700, however there is no UCAT or SJT cut off scores for interview. Your UCAT score is combined with your interview score and other elements to determine if you get offer, it forms 20% post interview. There is no requirement to undertake the BMAT.

🧬 What is the interview format?

Aberdeen university use MMI interview format. This stands for multiple mini interviews. These will be held in person this year.

There are 6 different stations which students will rotate round. Each station will last 5 minutes, with the whole interview process lasting around 1 hour. Each station assesses a different area, these areas are kept the same for each interview round to ensure equality. The stations can be traditional question style or role-play style situations.

The interviewers are assessing how you answer the question, and each station will rate your communication and interpersonal skills.

📆 When will you get interview invitations?

Invitations to interview begin to be sent out in November, they are sent out in bundles until early march. You will be sent an invitation to interview via the email registered to your UCAS account. Once you receive your invitation you will only have a few days to book the date for your interview. It’s important to keep an eye on your email during this time, including junk mail.

👩‍💼 When are the interviews usually held?

Interviews begin the week commencing19th December 2022. They will run all the way until march.

📝 What are the main topics I will be asked at the interview?

  • Motivation to study medicine

  • Core qualities

  • Critical thinking and problem solving

  • Team work

  • Professionalism

  • Personal statement

  • Current affairs/NHS

  • Work experience

  • Role-play scenarios

☑️ How will my interview be marked?

There is no right or wrong answer to the questions, it’s instead the skills demonstrated in your answer. The interview will be marked on applicants ability to express ideas freely and coherently, ability to follow a reasoned argument and to formulate an opinion and discuss different aspects of a problem.

You will also be marked on how well you use existing knowledge to formulate answers to unknown areas, the degree in which you are prepared for questions and the degree of motivation, commitment, reflection and sensitivity demonstrated.

Each station also scores communication and qualities shown. You will be marked on confidence, eye-contact, body language and professional demeanour.

🏠 How many applicants are there per interview? (Home)

2.3 home applicants per interview.

🌎 How many applicants are there per interview? (International)

4.1 international applicants per interview.

✨ How likely is it that I will be given an offer after an interview?

Scottish student: Out of the 587 Scottish students interviewed, only 125 were offered a place. This is only a 21% chance of receiving an offer post interview, making it a fairly competitive medical school to get into.

The rest of UK: 80 students from the rest of the UK were interviewed and 49 were offered a place . This means there is a 61% chance of offer after interview

international students: 122 international students were given an interview, but only 31 got offered a place, so a 25% chance of receiving an offer.

  • All of the information you need for your interview at Aberdeen can be found on the University website- here you will find everything you need to know about the interview format and course curriculum!

  • Research the unique aspects of Aberdeen, specifically their curriculum relating to remote and rural options and how this would suit you. There is a shortage of medical practitioners in rural settings, so if this type of career is appealing to you, plan to communicate this in your interview.

  • Regularly read your personal statement and ensure that you know it well. You need to be able to summarise it, as well as highlight and elaborate on any point in it.

  • You should read up on the GMC’s Good Medical Practice

  • The interview is a serious part of the decision-making process, so candidates should give careful consideration about what they wear, and their general appearance, given the professional nature of the career they hope to embark upon.

Check out our Medicine Interview Course!

Example Interview Questions

🔥Motivation Interview Questions

  • Why do you want to study medicine?

  • Why at Aberdeen?

  • Is anyone else in your family a doctor?

  • What careers do your parents have?

  • Are you the 1st of your siblings to go to University?

  • How are you going to finance medical school?

  • What first made you realise you wanted to be a doctor?

  • Have you considered any other career paths prior to medicine?

  • What appeals to you about the course at Aberdeen?

  • What would you do if you didn’t get into medical school this year?

  • How will you adjust to University life?

  • How did you go about finding out about a career in medicine?

  • Have you considered a gap year/what are the advantages of having a gap year?

  • What do you want out of life other than being a doctor/are you considering any other professions?

  • What area of medicine do you see yourself in and how long will it take you to get there?

🤯 Values and Skills Interview Questions

  • Can you name 5 qualities you think a good medical student/doctor should display?

  • How do you cope with stressful situations/studying/exams?

  • What do you think are your worst qualities/weaknesses?

  • What do you think are your best qualities/strengths?

  • How would you cope being older than your peers (for mature students)?

  • How would your best friend/parents/colleagues describe you?

  • What personal qualities do have you to offer?

  • What are the main qualities of a doctor/build your ideal doctor/what qualities do you have which means you would make a good candidate?

  • Can you learn communication skills/how have you developed your communication skills?

  • What would you prefer in a doctor - Good communication skills and bad clinical skills or good clinical skills and bad communication skills?

📰 NHS Interview Questions

  • How doctor should treat patients?

  • What do patients expect from their doctor?

  • How long do you think it takes to become a consultant surgeon?

  • Where do you see medicine going in the future?

  • What problems exist in the NHS other than lack of funding/how could these issues be fixed?

🏢 Teamwork Interview Questions

  • Can you give an example of a time when you have worked effectively in a team?

  • What would you do if a member of your team wasn’t pulling their weight? What would you do if they did it again? Would you involve a 3rd party?

  • Are you a leader or a follower?

  • Do you have any leadership experience?

🎭 Roleplay Interview Questions

  • Consoling somebody who is emotionally vulnerable e.g. a new student who is feeling homesick or struggling with the course

  • A patient is lying in bed, his pulse is racing and his blood pressure is difficult to take, what's wrong with him and how would you treat him?

🏥 Work Experience Interview Questions

  • How has your work experience prepared you for the challenges of studying medicine?

  • How did your work experience make your choice to study medicine stronger?

🧐 Problem Solving Interview Questions

  • Prioritising task where you are given a list of tasks and asked to explain why you would do them in that particular order

  • 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

🗓 Current Affairs Interview Questions

  • Discuss a current medical topic that you have read about

Aberdeen Medical School places importance on early patient contact allowing students to develop clinical skills from the start of Year 1. Students receive a well-rounded medical education through their Remote and Rural teaching in Inverness and the Highlands and Islands, where students get to experience the importance of rural healthcare. Students have the option of intercalation, either after their third or fourth year. The Humanities block in third year encourages students to consider medicine from a different angle. This part of the course allows the development of new skills and is something students always find rewarding.

Situated in historic Old Aberdeen, the medical campus is just a 15-minute walk away at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the largest clinical site in Europe. Almost every medical specialty sits right next door to the Suttie teaching centre. There are gorgeous beaches and castles and lochs to enjoy just a short drive from the centre of town. The city centre has excellent bars, restaurants and shopping centres as well as plentiful train and bus transport links and an international airport. Most first year students decide to stay in university accommodation. Hillhead student village, only a short walk from the main campus, accommodates over 2000 students. The university offers a free bus service allowing students to get easily from Hillhead to the main campus and ARI throughout the day.

At Aberdeen University students are encouraged to mix with peers from all courses, e.g. through shared accommodation at Hillhead Student Village, or by joining one of the many student societies on offer. There are medic-specific sports teams and a medic choir/ orchestra to allow students to take part without feeling they have too much of a commitment away from studies (although you are more than welcome to join the main uni clubs and societies). Aside from the more typical Uni societies to join, there are also societies for almost every medical speciality from Emergency Medicine to Geriatrics to Aviation and Space Medicine! Aberdeen MedSoc also hosts many wonderful social events throughout the year which everyone can get involved in!

The University of Aberdeen Medical Society is the largest and oldest society on campus. Famous for its dedication to supporting Medics and its excellent social calendar.

Adoption Night is a yearly highlight, setting up first year ‘children’ with their new second year ‘parents’, serving as an excellent night out and instigating support from older students for years to come. Other events like SNIMS, BNF, and the Medsoc Ball are legendary.

The medsoc committee also serve as recognisable faces on campus. They are always easy to talk to and offer support.

In the year of Covid, Medsoc could not be stopped and adapted well to deliver the socials they were so famous for.

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