How do the interviewers mark you?

Most students assume that you’ll do well as long as you’re a nice person and you tell the interviewers about your achievements and qualifications—like if you’ve done voluntary work in a disadvantaged community, or if you’ve followed your parents around at their medical practice. Unfortunately, this is NOT what interviewers actually care about. 

To score marks during the interview, your answers need to show that you possess the traits that the university expects its students, as future medical or dental professionals, to have (e.g. empathy, decision-making, responsibility). Not only do you need to be able to express what those traits mean, but you also need to demonstrate that you personally possess those traits to a highly developed extent. (Read this article for a more detailed breakdown of what exactly interviewers are looking for.)

To give you a better idea of how interviewers score your answers, a sample mark scheme for an MMI interview is given below. Since different universities use slightly different mark schemes, this sample is a combination of the mark schemes used by several medical schools.

You are a fourth-year medical student who has just commenced a placement at a local hospital. You are required to observe the day-to-day tasks of doctors for clinical exposure in the workplace. However, as you follow Dr Olson, a registrar, and sit in on his consultations, you realise that he consistently acts in a condescending and dismissive manner to patients of Asian descent. In addition to constantly talking over the patients, Dr Olson also talks down the effectiveness of traditional oriental remedies. You have also heard him muttering indistinct comments after patients have left the consultation. What do you do in this situation?


  • Demonstrated compassion and respect, with a strong sense of care for others
  • Commitment to patients, the medical profession and society
  • Actions in professional activities promote high-quality clinical standards
UnsatisfactoryNeeds ImprovementMeets ExpectationsExceeds ExpectationsOutstanding
Very limited display
of compassion and
respect; little or no
evidence of a sense of care for others
Generally demonstrates
compassion, respect
and a sense of care for others
Demonstrates genuine compassion and respect with a very strong sense of care for others
Insufficient reflection on the interests of patients, the medical profession and societyDisplays a basic
understanding of the interests of patients, the medical profession and society
In-depth understanding and appreciation of the needs of patients and the interests of society and the medical profession
Reluctant attitude
towards participation in professional activities
Willing attitude
towards participation in
professional activities
Highly enthusiastic participation in professional activities
Very limited awareness and understanding of
clinical standards
Good awareness of
clinical standards;
evidence of reasoning on the professionalism
of themselves or others
Extremely aware of clinical standards and offers strategies that promote professionalism in themselves and others
Red Flags:

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ucat guide 2022