How Are UCAT Scores Used by Medical Schools

UCAT · September 05, 2019 Miss Shivani Sharma

Shivani is a Medical Student at Imperial College London where she has been on the interview panel and is involved in many outreach programmes. She won the Peter Medawar Prize awarded by Imperial NHS Trust. She is a Content Writer and Script Reviewing for theMSAG.

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test or UCAT is the admissions test most commonly used by UK medical schools. The UCAT focuses on exploring the cognitive powers of candidates and other attributes considered to be valuable for health care professionals. Therefore, it does not contain any curriculum or science content. 

how-are-ucat-scores-used-by-medical-schools

The UCAT is a multiple-choice exam, and consists of five subtests:

1)     Verbal reasoning: Assesses candidates’ ability to think logically about written information and to arrive at a reasoned conclusion.

2)     Decision making: Tests the candidate’s ability to apply logic to reach a decision or conclusion; to evaluate arguments and analyse statistical information.

3)     Quantitative reasoning: Assesses candidates’ ability to solve numerical problems.

4)     Abstract reasoning: Assesses candidates’ ability to infer relationships from information by convergent and divergent thinking.

5)     Situational judgment: Measures capacity to understand real world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them.

Although all medical schools are looking for applicants who will ultimately make good doctors, each medical school has their own selection process. Therefore, the way in which medical schools uses the UCAT score is variable, and cut-offs (if they are used) vary each year depending on cohort performance. Considering how well any given school’s selection process matches your own strengths and weaknesses is key to making sure you have the greatest chance of a successful application. 

So, this blog will focus on how are UCAT scores used by different medical schools! 

[Note: Although the UK Clinical Aptitude Test changed its name from UKCAT to UCAT in 2019, the exam content and format has not changed from previous years]

ucat-scores-for-undergraduate-medical-school

Medical Schools that use the UCAT

There are 29 universities that use the UCAT for undergraduate entry Medicine A100

  •   Anglia Ruskin University
  •   Aston University
  •   Bart’s and the London 
  •   Cardiff University
  •   Edge Hill University
  •   Hull York Medical School
  •   Keele University
  •   Kent and Medway Medical School
  •   King’s College London
  •   Newcastle University
  •   Queen’s University Belfast
  •   St George’s University of London
  •   University of Aberdeen
  •   University of Birmingham
  •   University of Bristol
  •   University of Dundee
  •   University of East Anglia
  •   University of Edinburgh
  •   University of Exeter
  •   University of Glasgow
  •   University of Leicester
  •   University of Liverpool
  •   University of Manchester
  •   University of Nottingham
  •   University of Plymouth
  •   University of Sheffield
  •   University of Southampton
  •   University of St Andrews
  •   University of Sunderland
There are 7 universities that use the UCAT for graduate entry Medicine A101
  •   Bart’s and the London
  •   King’s College London
  •   Newcastle University
  •   ScotGEM
  •   University of Sheffield
  •   University of Southampton
  •   Warwick University

Undergraduate Entry - How is the UCAT used?

Disclaimer: All the information below was verified in the last week of August, however it is subject to change. You are advised to confirm with the university of your choice before applying.

Anglia Ruskin University

Applicants applying to Anglia Ruskin have their UCAT score ranked. This rank is the key decider for shortlisting candidates for interviews. Therefore, attaining an interview is purely based on UCAT scores; although, there are bonus points given to those who have studied or lived in Essex/East of England. Please note that the UCAT score of those applicants invited to interview varies year on year.

Aston University

Aston use the UCAT as an additional parameter in their application process. They have not set a minimum requirement as they are evaluating the importance of the UCAT in the selection of students to study medicine. Their selection process is dynamic and will be refined over the next few years; consequently, it is important to check their website for the most up-to-date information.

Bart’s and the London 

The UCAT is used in shortlisting applicants for interviews. Academic achievements (as assessed by UCAS tariff points) are weighted equally with UCAT scores. Therefore, an applicant who is weaker in one category may still be offered an interview, provided they are strong in the other. It is unlikely to be given an interview if the UCAT score is below the third decile. The lowest UCAT score accepted in 2018 was 2,380.

Cardiff University

Cardiff University use the UCAT, however there is no cut off score, and it is normally only applied in borderline cases.

Edge Hill University

Applicants who meet the minimum academic criteria will be ranked on the basis of their UCAT score. This rank will decide who progresses to interview, therefore it is vital that applicants have performed well in this exam.

Hull York Medical School

HYMS use the UCAT score in the shortlisting process alongside other criteria: GCSE results (30 points), UCAT score (40 points), UCAT SJT (15 points), Contextual information (15 points). Applicants must achieve Band 1, 2 or 3 in the SJT subtest of the UCAT. UCAT scores will be allocated based on the overall performance of applicants, and so the levels are not set until after the application deadline. They do not release the scores given in previous years. HYMS also use the UCAT SJT as an extra interview station.

Keele University

Applicants with UCAT scores in the lowest two deciles or with an SJT in Band 4, will not be considered. For 2019 entry the threshold was a score of 2,280.  Keele also uses UCAT score in borderline cases. 

Kent and Medway Medical School

Kent and Medway Medical School has not released details of their selection process and therefore it is not clear how the UCAT score is used.

King’s College London

Students will be called for interview on the basis of their GCSEs, A-level grades, personal statement, references, and the score in the UCAT. However, the exam results and the UCAT score are the most important factors. King’s College does not have a threshold UCAT score in any particular year.

Newcastle University

The UCAT the only factor that influences whether an applicant receives an interview or not, so a good score is vital. SJT scores will not be used in admissions processes. Note that the UCAT result threshold can vary considerably year-on-year, depending on the results of the cohort of applicants in a given year. The UCAT score cut-off in 2018 was 2580 (the national average was 2540).

Queen’s University Belfast

UCAT will be scored and used in conjunction with the GCSE score to rank applicants for interview. The UCAT score is given the following points:

2900 – 3600 = 6 points

2700 – 2899 = 5 points

2500 – 2699 = 4 points

2300 – 2499 = 3 points

2100 – 2299 = 2 points

1900 – 2099 = 1 points

1200 – 1899 = 0 points

St George’s University of London

UCAT scores are used to rank applicants and the top applicants (usually around 600) are invited for an interview. Typically, a score of 500 or above in each section of the test is needed and in 2018, the overall cut off score was 2590. For 2019 entry SJT (Situational Judgement) of the UCAT exam was not used. After the interview, offers are solely based on the interview performance; however, if two applicants have the same interview score, the UCAT scores are used as a deciding factor.

University of Aberdeen

Pre-interview, the application is assessed on two factors: Academic performance (60%) and UCAT (40%). Based on this, around 800 applicants will be interviewed. After the interview, the application is assessed and scored based on academic performance, UCAT, and interview performance; weighted at 30%, 20%, and 50%, respectively. The SJT is not scored but may be used in offer making when there are candidates with similar scores. There is no minimum score; however, for the 2018 entry, UCAT scores of applicants invited to interview ranged from 2380 to 3150.

University of Birmingham

The shortlisting process accounts for academic criteria, UCAT and non-academic criteria. UCAT results are ranked according to the results of all applicants who are applying in that cohort; therefore, there is no minimum cut off score. The overall weighting is 70% academic achievement, 30% UCAT.

University of Bristol

The UCAT score is used to rank applicants prior to interview. In previous years, applicants scoring over 2,660 were invited to interview.

University of Dundee

Dundee weights different achievements in the selection process: academic score (60%), UCAT decile (40%). UCAT forms part of the pre-interview ranking but there is no specific cut off score to be met. The average UCAT score for the 2016 cohort that were invited for an interview was 2740. The SJT is not in the selection of interviews but having a score of Band 4 may affect whether an offer is given. After ranking applicants on their UCAT score and their academic achievements, the top 550 students are invited to interview.

University of East Anglia

Candidates are ranked based on their academic achievements and UCAT subsection scores. There is no minimum cut-off for the UCAT score, however it is unusual for the university to offer an interview to applicants with a UCAT score lower than the 3rd decile. SJT banding will not be used in the selection process.

University of Edinburgh

All achieved and predicted grades are used, alongside UCAT performance, personal statement, and reference.  Once all UCAT scores are received they are ranked and divided into octiles (i.e. eighths) and allocated a score. A score is also allocated to your situational judgement banding. Applicants with a low UCAT score may be eliminated based on this alone, but a high UCAT score will not guarantee selection for interview as other factors are also considered. The points are then added up to your total score to contribute towards your final ranking.

University of Exeter

Candidates will be tiered according to their academic performance. When there are more applicants in a tier than there are places remaining on the course, the UCAT/GAMSAT will be used to rank applicants within the tier, with higher scoring applicants being offered an interview.

Note that the UCAT cut-off each year will vary depending on the scores of the applicants applying that year, but the university states that you would be unlikely to be selected for an interview with scores of less than 2,500.

University of Glasgow

For their shortlisting process, Glasgow include academic attainment, personal statement, reference, and UCAT score. Each year a UCAT cut-off score is created to decide which applicants are invited to interview. This varies each year, and has ranged from 2,460 to 2,680.

University of Leicester

The UCAT will be scored and used in conjunction with the GCSE score, both areas are scored out of 32 points. The total score (out of 64) will be used to rank applicants, and the highest scoring applicants will be invited to interview. In 2018 a score of 53.5 was needed to secure an interview.

University of Liverpool

Applicants are primarily assessed on their GCSE grades, then their A-level predicted grades and lastly their UCAT scores. Anyone with a Band 4 in the SJT subtest will not progress within the shortlisting process. 

University of Manchester

Applicants are ranked according to their UCAT result. The cut-off threshold for this exam varies each year, depending on the results of that year’s cohort of applicants. In 2018 the UCAT cut off was 2,600. 

University of Nottingham

The shortlisting process is dependant on GCSE grades (30%) and the UCAT score (70%). There is a maximum UCAT score of 40, and an overall maximum score of 56. The highest performing applicants are then invited to interview. Applicants who achieve a Band 4 are not considered further.

University of Plymouth

Academic achievement and the UCAT score are combined to select candidates. The cut-off UCAT scores will vary each year, depending on the scores of other applicants applying to Plymouth. The overall UCAT cut off for 2019 entry was 2330.

University of Sheffield

Applicants must have achieved a minimum score of 2470 or above in order to be considered at the next stage. They will then be ranked in order of their UCAT score from highest to lowest and the top 1,150 Home/EU applicants and 150 International applicants will be invited to interview. The Situational Judgement Test component of the UCAT will be reviewed for those applicants invited to attend an interview.

University of Southampton

Candidates are initially ranked by their UCAT score and then screened on academic requirements. Candidates meeting the academic criteria, and with an appropriate UCAT score are invited for an interview. Based on scores from previous years, competitive UCAT scores are likely to be around 2,500.

University of St Andrews

The selection process at St Andrews is holistic. There is no UCAT cut off score or ranking used, but the score adds to an individual’s application. In previous years, the lowest score accepted has been around 2,400.

University of Sunderland

University of Sunderland takes a holistic approach to select candidates; so they do not use UCAT cut off scores or rankings. 

ucat-scores-graduate-entry-medicine

Graduate Entry - How is the UCAT used?

Bart’s and the London

The UCAT examination is equally weighted with the applicants’ academic achievements. Only those scores in the top 3 deciles will be accepted.

King’s College London

The selection process at King’s is holistic. They use a variety of academic and non-academic criteria; therefore there is no UCAT cut off score. However, exam results and the UCAT score are the most important factors.

Newcastle University

Applicants are ranked according to their UCAT score and this determines their progression to the interview stage. SJT scores is not used in admissions processes. The UCAT result threshold can vary considerably year-on-year, depending on the results of the cohort of applicants in a given year.

ScotGEM

Applicants must sit two admissions exams for application to this course: The GAMSAT and the SJT portion of the UCAT (SJTrace). Applicants need to achieve a minimum of Band 3 in the SJT. 

University of Sheffield

Applicants, who meet the academic requirements, will be ranked in order of their UCAT score and the highest scoring applicants will be invited for an interview. In previous years the cut off has been around 2470. The Situational Judgement Test component of the UCAT will be reviewed for those applicants invited to attend an interview.

University of Southampton

Candidates are ranked by their UCAT score, from which a cut-off is used to invite applicants to interview (the cut-off changes each year, depending on the results of the pool of applicants that year). Previous cut-off scores have been around 2,850. 

Warwick University

Warwick place extra emphasis on the Verbal Reasoning section; anyone who scores below the cohort mean for this section will be rejected. The remaining applicants are awarded points based on their academic achievements and total UCAT scores. Higher UCAT scores, and higher performance at degree, will gain higher scores. The lowest UCAT score for an applicant with an undergraduate degree, who was invited to selection centre was 2,650 for the 2018 entry.

Undergraduate Entry University 

Source of Information

Date gathered

Anglia Ruskin University

University Website

31/08/2019

Aston University

University Website

31/08/2019

Bart’s and the London

University Website

31/08/2019

Cardiff University

University Website

31/08/2019

Edge Hill University

University Website

31/08/2019

Hull York Medical School

University Website

31/08/2019

Keele University

University Website

31/08/2019

Kent and Medway Medical School

University Website

31/08/2019

King’s College London

University Website

31/08/2019

Newcastle University

University Website

31/08/2019

Queen’s University Belfast

University Website

31/08/2019

St George’s University of London

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Aberdeen

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Birmingham

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Bristol

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Dundee

University Website

31/08/2019

University of East Anglia

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Edinburgh

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Exeter

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Glasgow

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Leicester

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Liverpool

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Manchester

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Nottingham

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Plymouth

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Sheffield

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Southampton

University Website

31/08/2019

University of St Andrews

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Sunderland

University Website

31/08/2019



Graduate Entry University 

Source of Information

Date gathered

Bart’s and the London

University Website

31/08/2019

King’s College London

University Website

31/08/2019

Newcastle University

University Website

31/08/2019

ScotGEM

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Sheffield

University Website

31/08/2019

University of Southampton

University Website

31/08/2019

Warwick University

University Website

31/08/2019

 

We hope you have found this blog post useful. For more information check out our medical school guidebooks, and if you have any further questions then don't hesitate to get in touch via hello@themsag.com.






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