Where to apply with a Low, Average or High UCAT Score?

Tamsin Dyer

Tamsin Dyer

Senior Writer at Medic Mind

Being strategic about where you chose to apply with you UCAT score is very important to make sure you secure that all important interview. University website can be a minefield, full of information, but difficult to navigate. This is why we have put together this guide to help you decide which medical school to apply to with your UCAT score.  

UCAT Test Statistics 2019:

Number of candidates: 29,375

Mean Verbal Reasoning Score: 565

Mean Decision Making Score: 618

Mean Quantitative Reasoning Score: 662

Mean Abstract Reasoning Score: 638

Decile Rank 2019:

Decile Rank2019 Final Scores2019 Actual Percentile

Situational Judgement Test 2019 results:

Band 117%
Band 240%
Band 333%
Band 410%

High UCAT Score (above 680)

If you have scored an average of 680 in the UCAT congratulations, you have scored highly and stand a good chance of getting invites to interview from medical schools, provided you meet the minimum entry criteria. 

Of course it can be said that with a high UCAT score you will stand a great change in gaining an interview at any medical school that used the UCAT as their entrance exam. However, it is important to consider how universities decide which candidates to invite to interview, especially as you are only able to apply to four schools. 

The big question now is, which medical schools should you consider applying to with a high UCAT score to give you the best chance of getting that interview. Below we have compiled a list of universities which will give you the biggest chance of gaining an interview with a high UCAT score. Most of these universities priorities UCAT score when shortlisting applicants for interview. 

Medical SchoolUCAT detailsUCAT scores
Barts + LondonAt Barts they use a threshold of the 3rd decile as a cut off for applicants, anyone scoring below the 3rd decile in the UCAT will not be invited to interview. As well as further weighting 50:50 you UCAT score with academic ability, this being either your UCAS tariff for school leavers or your degree classification for postgraduate applicants. Following this you are ranked and with comparative students (graduates against only graduates, and same for school leavers). 2855 average
BristolUCAT scores, without the use of the SJT subset are used in conjunction with academic performance to invite applicants to interview. In 2017/18 entry applicants that scored over 2660 (one subset was removed in this years sitting) were automatically invited to interview, based solely on their UCAT score. There is no UCAT cut-off score, but minimum scores for interview vary year-on-year depending on the strength of the cohort. 
Applicants for the gateway to medicine 6 year course has a lover UCAT score weighting for their application, counting for only 20% of the score used to rank applicants.
Not available
Edge HillCandidates who meet the minimum academic criteria will be ranked according to their UCAT score (alone), and a UCAT threshold will be set depending on the number of interviews to be help. Candidates scoring within band 4 of the SJT section of the UCAT will be automatically rejected. Not available 
Kent and MedwayThe UCAT score of applicants will be used to rank applicants who have met the minimum entry requirements. Therefore a cut-off UCAT score will be used to determine which applicants will receive and invite to interview. As this will be the first year that the medical school is accepting applicants, there is no previous data available as to what the cut-off score has been in previous years. Not available
King’sKing’s do not have a threshold UCAT score that candidates are required to reach to be invited to interview. They use the average overall UCAT score across all four subtests, as opposed to individual subtest scores, as well as the Situational Judgement Test score to help shortlist candidates for interview. 2828 average
NewcastleNewcastle use a threshold/cut-off UCAT score to invite applicants to interview. These fluctuate year-on-year, based on the number of applicants, UCAT scores of applicants and number of places available. Do have a look at previous years threshold UCAT results to check you reach above the average threshold before applying. 
Please note that applicants with SJT scores of band 4 will not be considered. 
Threshold for 2019 = 2720
EdinburghScores are ranked and then candidates are divided into groups of octiles, and allocate points to each accordingly. These points are then added to your total score of academic performance and personal statement to provide a final ranking of applicants. SJT scores are used as part of the non-academic requirements.
There is no cut-off or score that will automatically reject candidates. However, scoring highly is considered more competitive as scores may be looked at again when making a final application decisions. 
2680 average
ExeterStudents will be shortlisted for interview according to their academic profile and UCAT score. The UCAT overall score is used for this.Applicants achieving less than 2500 overall are unlikely to be invited to interview. 
All students predicted A*A*A* interviewed. In addition students predicted A*A*A with a minimum of 2670 UCAT score were interviewed for 2018 entry. This minimum fluctuates year on year, however is a good guideline to see if you are likely to be invited to interview. 
2670 minimum
GlasgowAchieved UCAT scores are used to allocated interview invites to students who have met all other screening aspects. These include minimum academic requirements and satisfactory personal statement and references. 
Currently Glasgow do not consider the SJT section results of the UCAT in any part of their application procedure.
2680 minimum
LeicesterThose who score highly in the UCAT will be invited to interview provided they meet the minimum entry requirements. Candidates who score lower in the UCAT will be considered on an individual basis, taking into account their whole UCAS application. This can include your academic performance at A-level and GCSE (or equivalent), personal statement and references. There is no cut-off score used by the medical school,making Leicester a great option if your application is strong, but your UCAT score is not as high as you would have liked. Not available
ManchesterApplicants are grouped based on educational and socio-demographic backgrounds and ranked in each group based on their UCAT score. Top scoring applicants from each group will be invited to interview. If your UCAT score is in the top third of national results then you should be within the cut-off and invited to interview, provided you meet the minimum academic requirements Please note the UCAT cut-off fluctuates year-on-year so this will vary. 2600 cut-off score
SouthamptonApplicants will be ranked by UCAT score to select candidates for interview at a Selection Day. 2580 minimum
St AndrewsApplicants meeting the minimum entry requirements, will be ranked based on their UCAT scores. There are usually around 400 places at interview, therefore the highest ranking 400 applicants will receive an invite to interview. In previous years the lowest UCAT score for applicants interviewed has been in the region of 2400, however, this fluctuates year-on-year. 
SJT banding will be used as part of the interview scoring process to help rank students after interview to award offers.
2400 minimum
WarwickUCAT scores required to secure a place at a selection centre day varies year-on-year.2709 average

Good UCAT Score (above 650-680)

If you have scored an average of 650 in the UCAT you have scored well and should be able to secure invites to interview, provided you apply strategically. 

Having a good UCAT score means you have a large range of medical schools where you can apply meeting any cut-off UCAT scores the schools have in place as part of their entry criteria. Below we have compiled a list of universities which will give you the biggest chance of gaining an interview with a high UCAT score. Most of these universities priorities UCAT score when shortlisting applicants for interview. 

Medical SchoolUCAT detailsUCAT scores
Anglia RuskinStudents who meet the minimum academic entry requirements will be ranked on their UCAT score, with additional shortlisting points for living or studying in the East of England region, with further points for being in Essex. Applicants with a SJT score of Band 4 will not be consideredTherefore scoring well in your UCAT is essential for shortlisting for interview at Anglia Ruskin. 2594 average
AberdeenThere is no minimum UCAT cut-off score used, however, your UCAT score is used to compare applicants. SJT scores may be used in offer making when candidates achieve similar scores. 
UCAT scores make up 20% of the overall score awarded to students, with 30% coming from their academic achievements, and 50% from interview performance. 
Lowest score interviewed: 2380
Highest score interviewed: 3150
BirminghamThere is no minimum UCAT cut-off score. Each decile of UCAT scores are converted to a score on a scale from 0-4. Your UCAT score is used in conjunction with academic achievements with a weighting of 60% academic to 40% UCAT score. This is then used to rank and shortlist applicants for interview. More information about conversion of UCAT scores can be found here. The SJT section score of the UCAT will be used at interview stage. 
DundeeNo UCAT cut-off or threshold in place. The use of the UCAT score of a candidate varies between school leavers and graduate applicants.
SJT band scores are only considered along with comments recorded by interview assessors at the final stage of the application process.
East AngliaNo cut-off or threshold score used in the selection process. However, it is unusual for an applicant with a score lower than the 3rd decile to be invited to interview. 
UCAT subsection scores are used along with GCSEs to rank applicants for interview. SJT scores are used as a component score post interview in deciding which applicants to send offers to.
Hull YorkUCAT scores are assigned points as part of the selection procedure. These along with other aspects of your application, such as academic performance, personal statement and references are also used to determine which applicants are invited to interview. 
SJT band 4 applicants are automatically rejected. 
KeeleApplicants score in the bottom 20% (decile 8 or below) or SJT in band 4 are automatically rejected. 
UCAT scores are currently only used in borderline cases. Pre-interview, applicants are ranked with scores from the roles and responsibilities form. Where the number of applicants with the same score exceed the number of interview slots available then the students are ranked based on their UCAT score. The UCAT score is also used in a similar way to distinguish borderline applicants post interview.
NottinghamThe UCAT results are awarded points in the following way. Each section of the UCAT is awarded points based on the score obtained:801-900 = 9 points701-800 = 8 points601-700 = 7 points501-600 = 6 points401-500 = 5 points301-400 = 4 points
SJT bandings are also awarded points as follows:Band 1 = 4 pointsBand 2 = 2 pointsBand 3 = 1 pointBand 4 = Applicants are not considered further
All sections are weighted equally and added to the points awarded for GCSE grades. A-levels attained or predicted are not awarded points. Students are then ranked and invited to interview based on this overall score. 
PlymouthThe University of Plymouth use a cut-off/threshold that applicants must achieve in order to be invited to interview. For 2018 entry = 2400For 2019 entry = 2330For 2020 entry = 2390The threshold moves year-on-year based on the number of applicants, the quality of applications and the number of places available.Threshold score = 2390
Queen’s, BelfastScores will be used in conjunction with GCSE results (or equivalent) to rank students for interviews. UCAT scores are awarded points, and added to GCSE scored points to rank students. 
SheffieldUCAT results are used in conjunction with academic performance to rank applicants for interview. For applicants applying for 2020 entry there is a cut off of 2420 overall UCAT score used. Only applicants who score above this will be considered further.SJT component marks are only considered for applicants who are invited to attend an MMI interview.Cut-off = 2420
St George’sUCAT results are used to select students for interview and to rank post-interview waiting list students. There is an overall score and section score cut off. The section score must be a minimum of 500 achieved in each section. However, the overall score fluctuates year-to-year and is calculated based on the cohort of applicants. The cut-off for the last two years is as follows:2018 it was 25902019 it was 2490Cut-off = 2490

Average UCAT Score (above 610-650)

If you have scored an average UCAT score of 620-630 average, you will need to apply very strategically to universities that consider not just UCAT scores to invite applicants to interview in order to give yourself the highest chance of gaining one. 

It is growing in popularity to review medical applicants with a more holistic view, therefore if you don’t score as highly as you had hoped in your UCAT exam, have no fear, there are still plenty of great options for you where you stand a good chance of gaining that all important interview.

Medical SchoolUCAT details
AstonThere is no cut off score for the UCAT or SJT score. Aston use the UCAT in conjunction with your personal statement and academic performance to invite students to interview.  
CardiffAll undergraduate applicants (A100 and A104) are required to sit the UCAT. Graduates applying for the A104 course are also required to site the UCAT too. There is no minimum threshold score for the UCAT, however it is used as part of the assessment process. 
LiverpoolAny applicant scoring SJT band 4 will be automatically rejected. The remaining applicants will be ranked based on their overall UCAT score and invited to interview. 
Competitive UCAT scores:17-18: 246018-19: 2420
SunderlandMust be within the top 8 deciles of the cohort, plus SJT band within bands 1-3. 

Low UCAT Score (under 610)

If you haven’t score as well as you had hoped in your UCAT exam, and scored below an average of 610 there are still options available to you. It is important to consider several options from the popularity of the university and its competition ratios, to the way that the admissions teams select applicants for interview. 

When it comes to popularity of medical schools, if you haven’t scored so well in the UCAT your best bet will be to apply to newer medical schools. Many students apply to well established and historic institutions, but applying to new institutions will give you access to the latest developments in medical education as well as brand new, state-of-the-art facilities (whos winning now!). For some reason, these new institutions have less applicants than the well established ones, meaning they often have a lower UCAT applicant average score. These universities include Edge Hill, Kent and Medway, Anglia Ruskin and Sunderland. It is still important to consider how these universities assess applicants, with weighting of UCAT results and academic results, as well as your personal statement and references. 

It is growing in popularity to review medical applicants with a more holistic view, therefore if you don’t score as highly as you had hoped in your UCAT exam, have no fear, there are still plenty of great options for you where you stand a good chance of gaining that all important interview. Aston university is a great example of a university who takes a more holistic view of its applicants. Therefore, it may be a great option if you haven’t scored so highly in your UCAT. 

Remember, a low UCAT score doesn’t mean you have no chance at gaining an interview at medical school. It may rule out a few of the options, but it doesn’t mean you stand no chance, it just means you have to be slightly more strategic in your application. For more information about entry requirements and assessments of applications be sure to check out our complete guides on each UK medical school.

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