UCAT Scores Guide: What is a good UCAT Score?

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James Gibbons

Senior Writer

UCAT Scores: Introduction

I know what you’re thinking – what are good UCAT scores? How is the UCAT scored? How do they decide the UCAT Scoring? I’ll answer all of this in this article, and hopefully you should have a better idea of what UCAT Score to aim for! Once you’ve sat the UCAT exam, you will get your score immediately.

Firstly, I would say it is one of the big positives about the UCAT. It lets you know how well you’ve performed and lets you apply to universities more strategically. This article is most relevant to UCAT Scores 2020.

For most of the sections; you will receive a score between 300 and 900, 900 being the highest attainable UCAT score, and 300 being the lowest. However, for the SJT section, you will receive a band instead, between 1 and 4, with band 4 being the highest scoring. 

In a nutshell:

  • UCAT Verbal Reasoning: Score between 300-900
  • UCAT Decision Making: Score between 300-900
  • UCAT Quantitative Reasoning: Score between 300-900
  • UCAT Abstract Reasoning: Score between 300-900
  • UCAT Situational Judgement: Band between 1-4

This means that you will receive a total score between 1200 and 3600 and a band between 1 and 4 as your overall test result.

UCAT Score Possibilities

When people commonly discuss UCAT Scores they divide the total score by 4 to get their average.

This is also used by some Universities when using a cut off for shortlisting, more information on this can be found below


UCAT Universities
Click here

So how does this relate to each section of the exam? Let’s break down each section one by one: 

UCAT Verbal Reasoning

44 questions, of which each question is worth 1 mark. Your raw score is then scaled into a score between 300 and 900. Our guide to scoring highly in this section can be found here

Quantitative Reasoning

36 questions, of which each question is worth 1 mark. Then, your raw score being scaled to a score between 300 and 900. Our guide to scoring highly in this section can be found here

Abstract Reasoning 

55 questions, with each question worth 1 mark. Again, your raw score is scaled to a score between 300 and 900. Our guide to scoring highly in this section can be found here

Decision Making 

29 questions. Questions with one correct answer are worth 1 mark and questions with multiple statements are worth 2 marks. Also, one mark is awarded to partially correct responses on the multiple-statement question. Raw score between 300 and 900. Our guide to scoring highly in this section can be found here

Situational Judgement 

68 questions. You can score partial points if your answers are close to the correct answer. Then, you are given a band depending on your raw score, and where your raw score falls within the banding categories ranging from band 1-4

Example-UCAT-Score-Report
UCAT Score Template

SJT Scoring
SJT Scoring: Banding

Our guide to scoring highly in this section can be found here

Now we have looked at how the score is made up from each section, what is actually considered to be a ‘good UCAT Score’? 

At the end of the testing period, UCAT will publish the test statistics. This will allow you to see how you have performed in comparison to the many other hopeful medical students. Additionally, you can use historic data to get an idea of how well you have performed, but you will only be able to work out your decile ranking once the test statistics have been released.

With no changes to the test, the results should be similar to that of previous years. In summary, I would say UCAT Scoring can vary a lot, so look out for the official statistics to help reassure you!

The UCAT is often one of the most stressful parts of the medical school application process. And not only is taking the test hard in itself but understanding what the results mean and how they affect your application is also tricky. So, hopefully this article has broken down how these results are calculated, what the mean, and what is a good score. 

On test day when you are given your results, having read this article, you should know exactly what they mean. And have a good idea of how you will rank among other applicants. And that you can then apply strategically to maximise your chances of medical school application success! 

Sources:

What is a good UCAT score?

Overall, it is hard to define a good UCAT score as this varies from year to year, but it can be generalised to say anything about a 650 average (2600 total), as most students score between 620 and 630, and anything above 680 average can be considered a high UCAT score. In addition, when it comes to SJT, a good score would be band 2 or above, with band 1 being a high score.

How do I compare my UCAT score with others?

At the end of the testing period, UCAT will publish the test statistics. This will allow you to see how you have performed in comparison to the many other hopeful medical students. Additionally, you can use historic data to get an idea of how well you have performed, but you will only be able to work out your decile ranking once the test statistics have been released. 

With no changes to the test, the results should be similar to that of previous years. In summary, I would say UCAT Scoring can vary a lot, so look out for the official statistics to help reassure you!

 

What are the UCAT scores of 2017?

The average score in 2017 was 635. The top 2 deciles scored 688 or more

What are the UCAT scores of 2018?

The average score in 2017 was 621. The top 2 deciles scored 673 or more

What are the UCAT scores of 2019?

These are the scores from last year’s UCAT in 2019. As you can see, the UCAT 2019 was a massive anomaly compared to previous scores like in UCAT 2018 and UCAT 2017.

Cognitive Subtests UCAT Scores:

The mean scaled scores of the cognitive subtests from 2016-2018:

 2019201820172016
Number of Candidates29,37527,46628,84423,359
Verbal Reasoning Scores565567570573
Decision Making Scores618624647N/A
Quantitative Reasoning Scores662658695690
Abstract Reasoning Scores638637629630
Total Mean Scaled Scores2483248525401893

So, by looking at the above results you can begin to get some understanding so to what a good UCAT Score may be. 

So, what UCAT scores do I need for medicine?

Ultimately, there is definitive UCAT score that you need to study medicine. As mentioned you can read our article on how Universities us it here (link). Some will place a lot of emphasis on it for shortlisting for interview. Whereas others will only use it as part of the overall picture of your application. This means that research is key so you can apply strategically, to maximise your chances. 

So, what is a good UCAT score?

Overall, it is hard to define a good UCAT score as this varies from year to year, but it can be generalised to say anything about a 650 average (2600 total), as most students score between 620 and 630, and anything above 680 average can be considered a high UCAT score. In addition, when it comes to SJT, a good score would be band 2 or above, with band 1 being a high score. 

Are the UCAT deciles the same every year?

So just because you got a score that was not quite in the top 30% the year before, it does not mean that the deciles will be in the same position this year. But, generally speaking you want your situational judgement to be Band 1 or 2 to give yourself the best chance with your application. 

If you want to look at all these statistics, including the ones for the 2019 cycle, then follow the link below:

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

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