Alex | Founder of Dentfully
22 Jun 9 min read

Plymouth Dentistry Interview Guide (2022) - Questions & Tips

University of Plymouth School of Dentistry: Overview

The University of Plymouth School of Dentistry is the only dental school in the beautiful region of South West England.

Plymouth's dental school has strong links with local health care providers in Devon and Cornwall, so students get hands-on experience working in real-life situations from day one of their studies. The school also offers courses with a foundation year so you can develop your communication skills, intellectual curiosity and critical thinking ability before entering the full-time programme.

Plymouth is a beautiful city with plenty to do for students. There are many clubs and societies on campus for anyone who wants to get involved in extra-curricular activities.


Selection For Dentistry Interviews at Plymouth University (A206):

🔢 Plymouth BDS Dentistry Interview Selection Process:

GCSEs & A-levels (or equivalent): The predicted and achieved grades don’t play a substantial role in the selection for interviews process at Plymouth. Plymouth will usually only check if you meet their grade requirements.

Personal Statement/Work Experience: Not considered when shortlisting students for dentistry interviews.

UCAT: Your UCAT score is one of the most decisive aspects in the selection for dentistry at Plymouth. Each year a cut-off score is set, depending on the mean score of the cohort that applied, the number of interview spots available and other factors. Those students who have met minimum grade requirements and whose UCAT score exceeds the threshold will be invited to a dentistry interview.


📊 What is the UCAT cut-off score to get an interview at the University of Plymouth?

Although in the past years Plymouth’s UCAT cut-off averaged between 2200 and 2300, for 2022 entry, it has been raised significantly to 2510. This is a consequence of grade inflation and a higher number of applications. It is hard to predict what the UCAT cut-off score will be this year, but based on the trends it will most likely stay high, in the 2500s.

📈 TOP Tip: Want to save yourself some time, stress and money preparing for a dentistry interview at the University of Plymouth? Be a top achiever and prepare with Dentfully: the best interview preparation tool for self-paced interview preparation.


💯 What is the GAMSAT cut-off score to get an interview at the University of Plymouth?

Graduate students applying for dentistry at Plymouth are required to sit the GAMSAT instead of the UCAT. For 2022 entry, the GAMSAT cut-off at Plymouth was set at 52 (overall score), although it has averaged around 54-56 in the past.


📤 When does Plymouth start sending invitations for dentistry interviews?

Soon after the UCAT results will be released to universities, the admissions team at Plymouth will start considering applications. This means that the first students will likely hear back from Plymouth around December 2022.


👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 BDS Dentistry Interview Statistics: University of Plymouth

Getting an offer to study dentistry is not an easy task. Below you can see the official statistics for the 2021 entry, which can give you a rough idea of the competitiveness:

🇬🇧 Home Students: 743 applications, 319 interviews, 150 offers

🎓 Graduate Students (Home): 54 applications, 10 interviews, 8 offers

🌍 International Students: 73 applications, 33 interviews, 7 offers


💡 How To Prepare for Dentistry Interviews at Plymouth?

Preparing for your dentistry interviews requires more than reading a few blogs and doing a mock interview. It requires intentional reading and practice over an extended preriod of time. To make that process simple and time-efficient for you, we’ve created Dentfully - an online platform where you can gain knowledge, draft answers, create flashcards and practice with interview simulations:


🦷 Plymouth Dentistry Interview Questions:

Motivations for Dentistry:

  • Why have you decided to apply for dentistry?
  • What are the 2 things about dentistry that you look forward the least?
  • Why should we choose you? Why would you make for a good dentist?

Realistic insight into Dentistry:

  • What steps have you taken to find out what being a dentist entails?
  • What are the main challenges that dentists face nowadays?
  • Why do so many patients feel anxious about visiting their dentist? How are you planning to prevent that phenomenon with your own patients?
  • What’s the single most valuable lesson that your work experience taught you?

Personal Qualities:

  • What would you like to have written on your gravestone?
  • What are your main strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell us about a situation when you showed empathy.
  • Tell us about a situation when you faced a challenge, but overcame it.

Dental ethics & Scenarios:

  • Argue for the following: smokers should cover the entire cost of their NHS dental care.
  • You are a 5th-year dental student on a surgical rotation in a new hospital. After shadowing a specialist dentist for a few days you realise that they notoriously forget to put on their gloves and wash their hands. How would you approach them?
  • During a routine checkup, you realise that a patient needs to have 2 teeth extracted. You explain that need to them and inform them about the cost, risks and benefits. The patient, however, reacts angrily saying he won’t wait so long and won’t be able to afford the next visit. He says he’ll do it himself at home with a string and a doorknob. How would you respond?

Other:

  • You are playing basketball in front of your house with a friend. You wanted to pass the ball to them, but they made a dodge and it hit your neighbour's new car instead. As you approach the car you see that the ball caused one of the windows to shatter. You don't know your neighbour very well but heard rumours about him being grumpy and rude. Break the news to your neighbour (the interviewer).
  • A patient weighing 72kg requires a 75mg dose of Ibunapratosan via an IV drip. You have a 0.1L bag with an Ibunapratosan concentration of 5mg/mL. What volume of fluid from the bag should you give to the patient? You aren’t allowed to use a calculator, nor pen and paper.
  • Grab a few sheets of paper and set a timer to 4 minutes. In those 4 minutes fold as many paper planes as you can. You’ll be evaluated both on the quantity and quality of the planes.

🚀 TOP Tip: Have a hard time answering any of the above questions? You’ll find insider tactics to tackle all of the above questions and formulate convincing and structured answers at Dentfully - #1 Dentistry Interview Preparation Platform!

Please note that these aren’t questions that have been asked at Plymouth University in past years. Publishing such information would be against Plymouth’s policy. The above questions are adjusted for the interview style at the University of Plymouth and are meant to give you a broad sense of the questions you may face.


University of Plymouth Dentistry Interviews (2023 entry):

🗓️ Plymouth Dentistry Interview dates (2022):

Based on how the selection process at Plymouth unfolded in previous years, this year’s dentistry interviews will most likely take place around January and February 2023.


💬 Plymouth Dentistry Interview format

To learn more about their candidates and their predispositions for dentistry, Plymouth conducts Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). These usually involve 4 stations, each with a different assessor and each testing a different skillset. The entire interview typically takes 50 minutes.

Although on their website the University of Plymouth emphasises that the purpose of the interview is to explore your attitudes, way of thinking and values, you may be asked about basic stuff related to dentistry, current issues in the NHS or dental ethics. In our comprehensive, online dental interview guide, we’ve included all the knowledge you need to ace your dental interviews.

In the Plymouth dentistry MMI, you’ll be assessed on the content of your answers, as well as your attitudes and soft skills. Below you can find a list of qualities and skills that the interviewers at Plymouth are looking for.


👀 What will the interviewers at Plymouth assess me on?

The MMIs at Plymouth are designed to bring up and evaluate you on a number of skills and qualities aligned with the core values of the NHS. Here are some of them:

  • integrity
  • veracity and honesty
  • flexibility
  • motivation and commitment
  • empathy and being non-judgmental
  • communication skills
  • potential for leadership
  • insight into the roles and responsibilities of a doctor, dentist, dental care professional or healthcare scientist
  • ability to be a team player
  • ability to deal with stress appropriately
  • problem-solving skills
  • students who know their limitations, their strengths and weaknesses
  • reflectiveness
  • students who demonstrate a suitable approach to life and people.


✅ Plymouth Dental School Interviews: 3 Tips

🍻 Approach it casually

Stress is your enemy number one. When we are stressed we forged, stiffen and lose confidence - we are not ourselves. Everyone will be stressed on the day of their dentistry interview, but it’s your responsibility to minimise that stress as much as possible. How?

Firstly, preparation is the best remedy for stress. If you’ve gone through many interview questions before, and learned about dental ethics or the NHS, you’ll feel confident. Secondly, although the word interview suggests something formal and significant, treat it as a casual conversation. Remember that the interviewers are there to get to know you a bit better and not to fail you.


👥 Practice with strangers

In your Plymouth dentistry MMI, you’ll face 4 interviewers, which can all have different jobs, backgrounds, and thus attitudes and reactions. To make yourself mentally prepared, don’t limit your interview practice just to your friends or family (with who you feel comfortable around). Go outside of your comfort zone and ask strangers to practice with you - reach out to aspiring dentists on TSR or Reddit. With that aim, you can also use our Dentistry Interview Simulations. This will give you a more realistic understanding of what a real interview feels like.


❓ Be prepared for follow-up questions

Each station in the Plymouth MMI will last for around 7-10 minutes. But this doesn’t mean you’ll have to talk for 10 minutes straight answering a single question. A more likely scenario is that you’ll face a few questions, all on the same/similar topic, in each station.

When practising for your Plymouth dentistry MMI, make sure to expose yourself to random questions that you haven’t seen or prepared for before. This will help you learn how to think on your feet, which is a key skill for your MMIs. You can use the Interview Flashcards Arena, containing over 200 interview questions and built exactly for that purpose.


Good luck with your Plymouth Dentistry Interviews! Fingers crossed that you ace them!

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