What’s a Good UCAT Score?

Scoring

Each of the first four sections, Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, and Abstract Reasoning, are scored together. The lowest score you can achieve in each section is 300, and the maximum is 900. The scores are added up to give a total score out of 3600. You do not necessarily need to answer each question correctly to gain full marks in a section, as the scores are skewed slightly each year. This is similar to the way that grade boundaries work in GCSEs and A-levels. It is a useful method to ensure that the scoring is fair for all students, especially in case of particularly difficult papers. The Situational Judgement Test is scored in bands, as explained previously. After you complete your exam, you can compare it to the scores of others on the UCAT website here: 

https://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/results/test-statistics/

A competitive score is normally >2800, or an average of >700 in each section. This score will ensure that you exceed the UCAT requirements for the majority of UK universities, thus drastically increasing your chances of being accepted for an interview. It is important to remember that universities will use your overall average when assessing you. Therefore, if you happen to perform poorly in one section, you should stay calm, regain focus, and know that you can make up for it in the next section.

The average scores in each of the first four sections from 2016-2020 can be found in the table below.

 20202019201820172016
Verbal Reasoning570565567570573
Decision Making625618624647N/A
Quantitative Reasoning664662658695690
Abstract Reasoning653638637629630

Source: https://www.ucat.ac.uk/results/test-statistics/

The average score in the Situational Judgement Test is Band 2. A competitive application may have a score of Band 1, although many universities will not consider it as such. Below is a table showing the percentage of students scoring within each band of the Situational Judgement Test from 2016-2020.

 20202019201820172016
Band 130%17%21%28%26%
Band 236%40%34%42%44%
Band 324%33%32%21%22%
Band 49%10%13%9%9%

Source: https://www.ucat.ac.uk/results/test-statistics/

Universities

The majority of medical schools in the UK require applicants to undertake the UCAT prior to applying. An application missing a UCAT score, for a university that requires the UCAT, will automatically be rejected. Each university has its own unique admissions process, and therefore, each university will use the UCAT in a distinct way. Some universities may have a cut-off score, meaning only applicants above a certain score will be considered, but scores higher than the cut-off will not have additional benefit. Others may include a candidate’s UCAT score within an overall average of their other admissions criteria, such as GCSE grades, A-level predictions, and personal statement. This is often done by giving a set number of points for each of the criteria, then ranking candidates based on their points. This would mean that a higher UCAT score would provide an applicant with a greater number of points, thus putting them in a better position than others with a lower score. In other universities, perhaps UCAT score does not play a large role in admissions, but may be used to select one out of two similar candidates.

Tactical Applications

Universities usually describe on their website how they use the UCAT to score candidates, but if you are unsure, you should contact your desired university to ask their admissions staff directly. Knowing how your desired universities use the UCAT in their admissions criteria will help you to apply tactically.

  • If you achieve a very high UCAT score, you will be able to maximise your chances by applying to a university with a very high cut-off score. Many students will not be able to meet a high cut-off, so this can be used to your advantage. It would be unwise to apply to a university that places little emphasis on UCAT if you have a very high UCAT score, as you would not be using the highlights of your application to your advantage.
  • If your UCAT score is very low, you should stay away from universities that highly value the UCAT.
  • If you do not meet the cut-off score for a particular university, it is clear that you should not apply to that university.
  • Some universities may not consider the Situational Judgement Test, so if you scored poorly on it, look for these universities. Alternatively, if you did incredible on it, you can use your score to your advantage elsewhere.

We hope this article was useful for your UCAT preparation! It’s an excerpt from our popular UCAT resources, created by top 1% scoring candidates! Check out our other UCAT resources, such as full-day masterclasses, books, and one-to-one tuition HERE.

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