Where to apply with a low, average or high UCAT score?
Being strategic about which medical schools you chose to apply to with your UCAT score is very important and can make all the difference to securing interviews. University websites can sometimes feel like a minefield, full of information, but difficult to navigate and tricky to find the statistics and information you’re looking for. We’ve put together this guide full of key statistics to help you make an informed decision as to which medical school to apply to with your UCAT score.
Note this article is based on data that is valid up to the 29th September 2021. Please check each medical schools website for the most up-to-date information.
UCAT Test Statistics 2021 (for 2022 entry):
Number of candidates: 37,320
Mean overall score: 2499
Mean verbal reasoning Score: 572
Mean decision making score: 610
Mean quantitative reasoning score: 665
Mean abstract reasoning score: 651
Decile Rankings 2020 (for 2021 entry):
UCAT Scoring for the cognitive subsections is scaled to a total score of 3600. See our UCAT Scores Guide for more information. Your decile ranking correlates to your position within the overall cohort of applicants. For example, a score in the 1st decile is equivalent to a score greater than 10% of applicants. Conversely a score in the 9th decile means your score is greater than 90% of applicants – well done!
|Decile Rank||2021 Final Score (up to 29th Sept 2021)||2021 Actual Percentile|
Situational Judgement Test 2021 results (to 29th September):
High 2021 UCAT Score (above 2700)
If you scored above 2700 in the UCAT – congratulations! You’ve done very well and stand a good chance of getting invites to interview from medical schools.
It can be said that with a high UCAT score you stand a good change of gaining an interview at most medical schools However, it is still very important to apply strategically and consider how each university uses the UCAT in their admissions process. This is especially important if your previous academic performance (such as GCSEs) aren’t as strong as your UCAT score. If this is the case you’ll want to pick medical schools that rely heavily on the UCAT as this is going to be the main strong point of your application.
The list below details some medical schools that favour applicants with high UCAT scores, but if the other aspects of your application (such as GCSEs) are also strong you would likely be a good candidate for most medical schools on this page, so feel free to look further down too!
|Medical School||UCAT details||UCAT 2020 scores|
|Bristol||Applicants are invited to interview solely on the basis of UCAT. SJT is not used.||Average successful = 2821|
Lowest interviewed = 2690
|Glasgow||UCAT scores are used to allocated interview invites to students who have met all other screening aspects. The UCAT score is typically slightly higher for non-Scottish UK applicants.||Lowest interviewed = 2620|
|King’s||King’s use UCAT alongside GCSEs and contextual information to help shortlist applicants. A strict cut-off is not set but the average UCAT score of successful applicants tends to be high.||Lowest interviewed = 2400|
Average interviewed = 2745
|Newcastle||Newcastle use a threshold/cut-off UCAT score to invite applicants to interview. Please note that applicants with SJT score of band 4 will not be considered.||2021 entry cut-off = 2730|
|Sheffield||Applicants meeting minimum academic requirements and scoring over 2420 are ranked according to UCAT. Top scorers are invited to interview. Only applicants who score above this will be considered further. SJT scores are considered post-interview.||2021 cut-off = 2740|
|Warwick||UCAT scores are used to rank applicants who meet academic and work experience requirements. Note only graduate applicants are accepted.||Lowest interviewed = 2600|
Average interviewed = 2780
Good 2021 UCAT Score (2600-2700)
A score over 2600 is good, and will help secure an interview at most medical schools. The list below gives the details of medical schools that may be suitable to apply with this score.
Make sure to check how they use the UCAT and see if this plays to the strengths of your application. For example, if you scored 2600 and have very high predicted grades Bart’s may be a great choice for you. However, a score of 2600 with low predicted grades might mean that Liverpool is a better choice over Bart’s as the weakest part of your application (in this case, predicted grades) won’t be assessed. This is how to apply strategically and it is especially important as you can only pick 4 medical schools to apply to.
|Medical School||UCAT details||UCAT scores|
|Anglia Ruskin||Students 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 considered.||Lowest interviewed = 2410|
Average interviewed = 2607
|Aberdeen||There is no minimum UCAT cut-off score used. Shortlisting for interview is based on UCAT and academic score. They are also considered to decide who to make offers to after your interview. |
UCAT requirements are higher for UK applicants from outside of Scotland.
|Lowest interviewed = 2370|
Average interviewed = 2670
|Barts + London||UCAT is weighted 50:50 with your academic score (UCAS tariff). A cut-off score of the third decile is used, and any applicant scoring below this will not be considered regardless of academic score.|
The column to the right shows some typical UCAT/UCAS combinations. If you have a high UCAS tariff you may be able to compensate for a lower UCAT score and vice versa.
|Tariff 242 UCAT 2580|
Tariff 216 UCAT 2640
Tariff 180 UCAT 2720
Tariff 168 UCAT 2750
|Birmingham||There is no minimum UCAT cut-off score. Each decile of UCAT scores are converted to a score on a scale from 0-3.5. Your UCAT score is used in conjunction with academic score which is marked out of 4. The SJT section score of the UCAT will be used at interview stage.|
|Edge Hill||Candidates who meet the minimum academic criteria will be ranked according to their UCAT score. A UCAT threshold will be set depending on the number of interviews to be help. Candidates scoring band 4 on the SJT section will be automatically rejected.||2021 entry cut-off = 2500|
|Edinburgh||Scores are ranked and then candidates are divided into deciles (ten equal groups) and allocate points to each accordingly. These points are then added to your total score of academic performance to provide a final ranking of applicants. SJT scores are scored separately.||Lowest interviewed = 2030|
Average interviewed = 2770
|Hull York||UCAT scores are assigned points according to deciles as part of the selection procedure. SJT is scored separately to cognitive score. 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.
|Leicester||Those 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 strict 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.||Lowest interviewed = 2270|
Average interviewed = 2640
|Liverpool||Any 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.||Average interviewed = 2557|
|Manchester||Top scoring applicants 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. SJT bands 1 and 2 are prioritised and the cut-off will be lower for applicants meeting widening participation criteria.||2021 cut-off = 2640|
|Nottingham||UCAT score is allocated points. Verbal Reasoning subsection is weighted double.|
SJT band 4 automatically rejected.
GCSE grades are also awarded points and this is combined with UCAT to shortlist applicants for interview.
|Lowest interviewed = 2450|
Average interviewed = 2740
|Southampton||Applicants will be ranked by UCAT score to select candidates for interview at a Selection Day.||2021 cut-off = 2680|
|St George’s||UCAT score used to select students for interview and to rank post-interview waiting list students. You must have scored at least 500 in each section.||2021 cut-off = 2620|
Average 2021 UCAT Score (above 2400-2600)
If you have scored a UCAT score between 2400 and 2600, you can expect to be around the middle of the pool of applicants. You will need to make your medical school decisions very carefully and apply very strategically to universities that place emphasis on the strongest part of your applications. For example, Exeter only uses UCAT for 25% of the total application score so this may be a great choice if you have strong academics.
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 School||UCAT details||UCAT scores|
|Aston||There 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.||Lowest interviewed = 2110|
|Cardiff||There is no minimum threshold score for the UCAT. It is only used in borderline cases. Applications are scored on GCSEs and A-Levels, with achieved grades getting additional points.|
|Exeter||Interview shortlisting occurs based on UCAT and academic score. Weighting is 75% academics and 25% UCAT.||Average interviewed = 2599|
|Dundee||No UCAT cut-off or threshold in place. Other factors such as academics will be used alongside UCAT to decide the interview shortlist. Scottish and rest-of-UK applicants are considered separately.||Lowest interviewed = 2140|
Average interviewed = 2662
|East Anglia||No cut-off or threshold score used. 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 after interview to help decide offers.
|Lowest interviewed = 1970|
Average interviewed = 2716
|Keele||Applicants score in the bottom 20% (decile 8 or below) or SJT in band 4 are automatically rejected. |
UCAT scores are otherwise currently only used in borderline cases. Pre-interview, applicants are ranked by 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.
|Lowest interviewed = 2280|
Average interviewed = 2512
|Kent and Medway||The UCAT score of applicants will be used to rank applicants who have met the minimum entry requirements. A cut-off score will be used to determine which applicants will receive and invite to interview. The cut-off is different for those who have already obtained their A-Levels.||2021 entry cut-off = 2420|
|Plymouth||A cut-off score is calculated each year based on applicant’s scored. Any applicant meeting this cut-off score and meeting minimum academic requirements will be invited to interview.||2021 cut-off score = 2400|
|Queen’s, Belfast||Scores are sorted into bands and awarded points. This is combined with previous academic performance for interview shortlisting.|
|St Andrews||Applicants meeting the minimum entry requirements, will be ranked based on their UCAT scores. |
SJT banding will be used as part of the interview scoring process to help rank students after interview to award offers.
|Cut-off usually around 2400|
|Sunderland||Must be within the top 8 deciles of the cohort, plus SJT band within bands 1-3. UCAT score is then used alongside their “Roles & Responsibilities” form and academic performance to shortlist for interview.||Average interviewed = 2500|
Low 2021 UCAT Score (under 2400)
If you haven’t scored as well as you had hoped in your UCAT exam, and scored below 2400 there are still options available to you. Take a look at some of the universities that consider academics alongside UCAT (for example Exeter and East Anglia) as you may be able to compensate for a lower UCAT with some good GCSEs or A-Levels. You may also want to consider sitting the BMAT. The BMAT is a very different test to the UCAT and many applicants who struggle with the abstract skills required for a high UCAT score actually end up excelling at the BMAT.
If you’re a student from a widening-participation background, remember that some universities run schemes designed for you that often have lower entry requirements. Some universities also lower UCAT or A-Level requirements to their standard courses for students from specific backgrounds. If this is the case make sure to do your research as you may be surprised how many universities are still open to you!
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 that 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.