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The Ultimate UCAT Medical School Application Guide

📚 The UCAT is a critical component in the admissions process for medical and dental schools, acting as an essential differentiator among the vast pool of competitive applicants. This exam provides candidates with an invaluable opportunity: by obtaining their UCAT scores well in advance of their UCAS application deadlines, students are empowered to make strategic decisions. They can carefully select universities whose admission criteria best match their own strengths and UCAT performance, significantly enhancing their prospects of being admitted into their chosen universities.

🖊️ The following table shows all the medical schools and respective course codes that require the UCAT for 2025 entry.

✏️ The following overseas universities also use UCAT in their admission processes:

📝 The table below shows how UK medical schools uses the UCAT score in their respective admission processes. The information here is taken from the latest published data from the academic cycle 2023-2024. Where N/A is shown, this is either referring to information that is not published or does not exist (e.g. where a university does not accept international applicants).

* = No fixed cutoff, this value is from the latest available data

N/A = No available data online, we would recommend using FOI requests

🧐 What Is A Competitive UCAT Score?

📘 Navigating the UCAT scoring system can initially be perplexing. The test includes four cognitive sections—Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, and Abstract Reasoning—each scored between 300 and 900. These scores are then aggregated for an overall score, often presented as an average. Separately, the Situational Judgement section is evaluated on a scale from band 1 to 4.

📚 Securing an interview doesn't hinge on a single score; it's how your UCAT performance aligns with other criteria that determines your medical school candidacy. To optimise your preparation, consider the average scores from recent years as your benchmark. Remember, these averages also account for candidates who've successfully gained admission with scores below this threshold, indicating flexibility in the selection process.

💻 The table below outlines the distribution of candidate scores across deciles for each year, with each decile representing 10% of candidates. Specifically, the 1st decile corresponds to the score at the 10th percentile, indicating the lower end of the score spectrum. Progressing upwards, each subsequent decile marks an increase in percentile by 10%, culminating with the 10th decile representing the top 10% of scores.

🤝 The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) of the UCAT evaluates crucial non-academic attributes for healthcare careers, such as integrity and teamwork. Through medical and ethical scenarios, it tests decision-making and professionalism by asking candidates to rate actions or choose optimal responses. Scores are categorized into bands 1 (highest) to 4, reflecting the appropriateness of decisions. This section highlights a candidate's aptitude for navigating complex situations with ethical considerations, essential for medical fields.

📚 The table below shows the proportion of candidates in each SJT banding.

📖 How can I prepare for the UCAT?

📘 For UK medical school hopefuls, starting UCAT prep with a deep dive into the test's format on its official site is key. Then, build a foundation using targeted study resources. Plan your study time to cover each section thoroughly, and mix in online mock tests regularly for practice and better time management. Consider adding in a course or tutoring for personalized strategies and join study groups for extra insights. Remember, balancing your hard work with rest and a healthy routine is crucial for peak performance. This approach offers a comprehensive way to tackle the UCAT.

✍️ Where to apply with my UCAT score?

📚 High UCAT Score Universities:

These universities often have higher UCAT score requirements due to their competitive nature and reputation.

  • University of Edinburgh

  • Imperial College London

  • King’s College London

  • University of Nottingham

  • University of Glasgow

  • University of Birmingham

  • University of Bristol

  • University of Oxford

  • University of Cambridge

  • University College London

🧐 Medium UCAT Score Universities:

These institutions look for good UCAT scores but also strongly consider other aspects of the applicant.

  • University of Leicester

  • Queen Mary University of London (Barts)

  • University of Sheffield

  • University of Manchester

  • Newcastle University

  • University of Liverpool

  • St George’s, University of London

  • University of Warwick

📘 Lower UCAT Score Universities:

These schools may accept a wider range of UCAT scores, focusing more on the holistic view of the applicant.

  • Keele University

  • University of Plymouth

  • University of Sunderland

  • Cardiff University

  • University of Lancaster

  • University of Lincoln

  • Anglia Ruskin University

  • University of East Anglia (UEA)

  • University of Exeter

📝 Each university has a unique approach to admissions, considering UCAT scores alongside academic achievements, personal statements, references, and interview performances. Always consult the latest admissions criteria directly from the universities' official websites for accurate and up-to-date information.

🖥️ Understanding the Role of SJT in Medical School Selection

✏️ Medical schools in the UK place varying levels of emphasis on the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) component of the UCAT during their selection processes. Here's a breakdown of how different institutions incorporate the SJT into their admissions criteria:

📚 These medical schools will automatically reject SJT band 4:

  • Anglia Ruskin University

  • Edge Hill University

  • Edinburgh University

  • Hull York Medical School

  • Keele University

  • Kent and Medway Medical School

  • Leicester University

  • Lincoln University

  • Liverpool University

  • Manchester University

  • Newcastle University

  • Nottingham University

  • Sunderland University

📙 These medical schools will consider the SJT in combination with rest of your application:

  • Birmingham University: Utilises SJT band scores during the interview stage.

  • King’s College London (KCL): SJT scores are part of the shortlisting criteria.

  • Norwich Medical School (UEA): Utilises SJT band scores during the interview stage.

  • Queen Mary University of London (Barts): Utilises SJT band scores during the interview stage.

  • Sheffield University: Utilises SJT band scores during the interview stage.

  • St Andrews University: Utilises SJT band scores during the interview stage.

  • St George’s University: SJT scores are part of the shortlisting criteria.

👨‍🎓 These medical schools will use the SJT to differentiate very similar candidates:

  • Aberdeen University: The SJT isn't scored but becomes pivotal in decision-making for applicants whose scores are nearly identical.

  • Aston University: Observes SJT banding not for scoring, but as a significant factor for candidates on the cusp of acceptance.

  • Queen’s University Belfast: Applies SJT insights exclusively to differentiate between closely matched applicants post-interview.

📖 These medical schools will not use the SJT in their admissions process:

  • Bristol University

  • Plymouth University

  • Southampton University

  • Warwick University


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