Alex | Founder of Dentfully
02 Jun 8 min read

Ultimate Guide to Cardiff Dentistry Interviews (2022) | Questions & Tips


Cardiff Dental School: Overview

Cardiff Dental School is the only dental school in Wales and the only one in the UK to be based in a medical school.

Dental students studying at Cardiff Dental School benefit from having early clinical exposure, which enables them to develop their clinical skills before they qualify as dentists, easing their way into dental practice afterwards. Cardiff University Dental School also offers an excellent research environment with many high-impact research opportunities.

As well as being ranked top 10 for dentistry in the UK by, Cardiff Dental School has an excellent reputation nationally and internationally. In 2021 it was ranked top 60 in the world by QS World University Rankings.

Most of the clinical teaching at Cardiff is conducted in the University Hospital of Wales (UHW), one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country with over 3,000 beds, serving patients from across southeast Wales and beyond.


Selection For Dentistry Interviews at Cardiff University:

🔢 How does Cardiff select students for dental interviews?

Cardiff scores each element of the application, when selecting students for dental interviews. Firstly, to be considered for an interview your GCSE and your predicted grades need to meet Cardiff’s minimum entry requirements. Then, all candidates who meet the minimum grade requirements will be ranked against each other based on (in order of decreasing significance/weight) their GCSE grades, predicted/achieved A level grades, the UCAT score, the personal statement and the UCAT SJT score (lowest significance).


📊 What is the UCAT cut-off score to get an interview at Cardiff?

Cardiff aims to select ~240 top-scoring students for interviews. Since the UCAT is only one of the elements of the total interview score, the cut-off score can vary significantly from year to year. In the past years, the UCAT cut-off score for dentistry at Cardiff averaged around 2200-2400, while the mean UCAT score of students who have been interviewed for dentistry at Cardiff are usually between 2500-2700.

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📤 When does Cardiff send invitations for Dentistry Interviews?

Cardiff typically starts sending interview invitations in December and continues until all interview spots have been filled, typically until January.


👨‍👩‍👦‍👦  Cardiff Dental School Interviews: Number of interviews

Each year around 750-800 students apply for dentistry at Cardiff. Cardiff reserves around 250 interview spots for top-scoring students each year. This means that around 32% of students who apply for dentistry at Cardiff will be invited to an interview.


💡 How To Prepare for Dentistry Interviews at Cardiff University?

Since only the best students are allowed to interview, the bar is raised high and the competition is intense. To maximise your chances of landing an offer from your dream dental school we’ve made the preparation process simple, comprehensive and efficient:


🦷 Cardiff Dentistry Interview Questions:

Motivations to study dentistry:

  • Assuming everything goes to plan the way you want, what would you like to achieve as a dentist?
  • Why have you decided to apply to Cardiff? What do you think makes Cardiff Dental School special?
  • What aspects of dentistry appeal to you the least?

Ethics & problem solving:

  • You are a dentist specialising in Oral Surgery. During a complex procedure involving extractions and applying implants, you notice a worrying lump on the inside of a patient’s cheek. After the procedure is done, you wake up the patient to discuss the need for a biopsy. The patient consents but grows very anxious. The results of a biopsy show the lump is cancerous and very advanced. How would you break the news to the patient (that they have oral cancer)? You may offer them a treatment combining surgery, radio- and chemotherapy, but the chances for success are 30-40%.
  • How does excessive alcohol intake affect dental health? Follow-up: In the light of all that you’ve said, do you think that alcoholics should pay more for their dental care?

Data analysis:

  • Studies show that there are more female than male dentists. What do you think might be the reason for that?
  • Under this link, you can find a graph that shows how much fear different dental procedures induce. Please describe what you can see on the graph and analyse any visible phenomena.

Teamwork:

  • Tell us about a situation when you had to work in a team.
  • Efficient teamwork is a crucial part of every dental practice. In your view, what makes a good team?
  • How can dental schools teach their students to work better in teams?
  • Is there anything about your teamwork abilities that you’d like to improve on?

Empathy:

  • How can dental schools teach their students to be more empathetic individuals?
  • What does empathy mean to you? What are the situations when dentists have to be empathetic?

Practical skills (manual dexterity):

  • For the following task, please prepare a few sheets of A4 paper. Then set a timer to 3 minutes and within that time fold as many paper planes as you can. You’ll be assessed both on the quality and quantity of your constructions.

Personality:

  • What do you consider to be your greatest strength?
  • Studying dentistry requires a great deal of studying. What strategies and tools do you use to study more efficiently?
  • What is your proudest non-academic achievement?

🚀 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 - All-In-One Interview Preparation Resource.

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


Cardiff University Dentistry Interviews (2023 entry):

🗓️ Cardiff University Dentistry Interview dates (2022):

This year, dentistry interviews at Cardiff will most likely take place between January 2022 and February 2022, although that hasn’t yet been officially confirmed by Cardiff. You will certainly get more precise interview dates with the interview invitation (which we are sure you’ll get!).


💬 Dentistry Interview format at Cardiff Dental School:

Cardiff conducts standard MMI interviews, which usually consist of 10-12 different mini-interviews, with different interviewers (the exact number of stations varies from year to year). You can expect to have 2 rest stations where you’ll simply get to relax and summon some energy for the next stations. Each station in Cardiff’s MMI is around 7 minutes, with 2 minutes of preparation and 5 minutes spent in the actual interview. Depending on the number of stations, the dental interview should last between 50-60 minutes in total.

What will the Cardiff dentistry interview revolve around? The dental interviews at Cardiff are designed to test if you can think on your feet if you have reflected on your choice to become a dentist if you have data-analysis skills, as well as your communication. Besides, one of the main aims of the interview is to get to know you better - learn about your passions, your personality and your skills.


🏆 Cardiff Dentistry Interviews: How many offers are given?

Usually, Cardiff invites around 250 top-scoring students for an interview. After interviews around 160 aspiring dentists receive an offer. This means you have around a 64% chance of getting in, once you’ve been invited to an interview by Cardiff.


⏳ How long does it take to hear back from Cardiff Dental School?

Cardiff usually takes a few weeks to respond after the interview, but that may vary from candidate to candidate. Usually, most people receive interview responses in March of the application cycle.


✅ Cardiff Dental School Interviews: 3 Tips

🧠 Learn to think on your feet

Although there is a number of questions that come up in dentistry interviews over and over again, there is almost an infinite number of questions you can be asked, so there is no way you could prepare for all of them. You can expect some surprising, non-standard questions in your Cardiff MMI, which will aim to assess your ability to think on the spot.

How can you best prepare? Simply expose yourself to as many questions as you can. With time and practice, you’ll see that answering questions you haven’t ever seen before will come more easily and that your fluency will improve. To help you with that process, we have created a flashcard arena, with over 200+ dental interview questions, which you can use for free to improve your ability to answer questions on the spot. Simply head over to dentfully.co.uk and sign up for a free account!


📖 Know the 9 GDC Standards

The 9 Standards for Dental Professionals published by the General Dental Council are a set of principles that outline how a dentist should behave and what values should they follow in their practice. Not only is it valuable knowledge for an aspiring dentist like yourself, but the 9 Standards are also a great foundation for numerous interview questions around dental ethics or situational judgement.

Furthermore, making a reference to GDC’s Standards will also make a good impression on the interviewers, and demonstrate insight. Make sure to read it and take some notes before your dental interviews. You can also check out our online dentistry interview guide, where we break down and discuss each of the 9 Standards.


🍻 Take advantage of rest stations

During the Cardiff MMI, 2 out of the 10-12 stations will be devoted to rest. You’ll have around 7 minutes to relax and take a break from the nerves and time pressure of the MMI.

Make sure to use that time effectively. Have a glass of water, do some breathing exercises or some affirmation practice - whatever works best for you.

It’s normal to start thinking about what you could have done differently in the previous stations, but don’t waste that time crying over spilt milk. It can do more harm than good if you make yourself even more nervous before the next station.

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