UCAT · March 25, 2019
UCAT Situational Judgement Overview
The Situational Judgement section of the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) uses scenarios to test your ability to understand real world situations and assess appropriate behaviour when making decisions. The concepts that are presented by these sorts of questions may seem a bit alien at this point, for example, involving discussions on due diligence or patient confidentiality. However, with practice and appropriate preparation during year 12, you’ll soon feel more and more comfortable with making the right decisions, just like professional doctors and dentists.
This is probably very different from anything you have done before, however, Situational Judgement is a commonly used test format within medicine and dentistry. All medical students have to sit a situational judgement test (or SJT) at the end of medical school and some medical specialities also use these as part of the selection process for their post-graduate training. The scenarios are all based on real-life situations that doctors and medical students may face (e.g. an ethical dilemma), so when preparing for this section of the UCAT exam, I would recommend that you pay attention because this could help you out in the real world too!
In this blog post, I will cover:
- The types of questions you will see in the Situational Judgement subtest
- How to think about your timings for the this section
- How the scoring for this section differs from other sections in the UCAT
Situational Judgement question types
Question type 1: appropriateness questions
Question type 2: importance questions
Question type 3: most and least appropriate questions
Situational judgement timings
UCAT Situational Judgement Test scoring
- Band 1: Those in Band 1 demonstrated an excellent level of performance, showing similar judgement in most cases to the panel of experts.
- Band 2: Those in Band 2 demonstrated a good, solid level of performance, showing appropriate judgement frequently, with many responses matching model answers.
- Band 3: Those in Band 3 demonstrated a modest level of performance, with appropriate judgement shown for some questions and substantial differences from ideal responses for others.
- Band 4: The performance of those in Band 4 was low, with judgement tending to differ substantially from ideal responses in many cases.
Note how these bands relate back to a panel of experts. This is how the test makers decide on the correct answers. When you are assessing the possible responses, remember that you are looking for essentially what a team involvement of medical experts has said is the right answer, not necessarily what you would do in that situation – although hopefully they will be similar!
Practice for the UCAT with a real life simulation
That brings us to the end of this blog post on theSJT section of the UCAT. The key points to remember from this blog post for your UCAT prep are:
- To always pick an answer on your first pass through the questionsIdentify the critical factor in the scenario - is the decision largely positive or negative
- If you’re unsure from there, the stronger answer choices appear to be correct more often than the middle answers
- Think about what a panel of medical experts would do, not necessarily what you would do
Good luck with your UCAT preparation and if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at hello@theMSAG.com.
Mr Philip Linell
Philip himself scores consistently in the 3200-3400 range for the UCAT. He has a First-Class Degree in English Literature from Lancaster University and a Masters in PPE from York University, and has used those credentials to help over 1000 students in almost 20 different subjects,