UCAT Scores Guide: What Is a Good UCAT Score?
UCAT Scores: Introduction
I know what you’re thinking – what are good UCAT scores? How is the UCAT scored? How do they decide the UCAT Scoring? I’ll answer all of this here in this blog post, and hopefully it’ll help you have a better idea of what UCAT Score to aim for!
Firstly, I would say the scoring is actually one of the big positives about the UCAT. The exam lets you know how your score well almost immediately after taking the test and this lets you apply to universities more strategically.
For most of the sections you will receive a score between 300 and 900 with 900 being the highest attainable UCAT score and 300 being the lowest. However, for the SJT section, you will receive a banding instead. These bands will be between 1 and 4, with band 4 being the best and highest scoring.
In a nutshell:
- UCAT Verbal Reasoning: Score between 300-900
- UCAT Decision Making: Score between 300-900
- UCAT Quantitative Reasoning: Score between 300-900
- UCAT Abstract Reasoning: Score between 300-900
- UCAT Situational Judgement: Score between 300-900, but this is reported separately to your overall score. Be aware that in the UK this score is given as a banding so you might come across this terminology when looking for resources.
This means that you will receive a total score between 1200 and 3600 as your overall test result, with another score between 300 and 900 for the Situational Judgement section.
Sometimes when people discuss UCAT Scores they divide their total by 5 to get the average. Some universities also use this approach, so if you see a score listed between 300-900 it is most likely the overall average they’re talking about.
So how does this relate to each section of the exam? Let’s break down each section one by one.
UCAT Verbal Reasoning
A total of 44 questions worth one mark each make up the UCAT Verbal Reasoning section. The raw score is scaled into a final score between 300 and 900. Our guide to scoring highly in this section can be found here
36 questions which are also all worth 1 mark make up the Quantitative Reasoning section. Just like the VR section, your raw score is scaled to a score between 300 and 900. You can see our guide to scoring highly in this section can be found here
This time it’s 55 questions with each question worth 1 mark. Again, your raw score is scaled to a score between 300 and 900. See our guide here
This section is where scoring gets a little different. You have a total of 29 questions, but some are worth double the marks. Questions with just one correct answer are worth 1 mark while questions with multiple statements are worth 2 marks. For the multi-statement questions you can get 1 mark for partially correct responses, which is usually 4/5 correct statements. Raw score between 300 and 900. Our guide to scoring highly in this section can be found here
The last section has 68 questions. You can score partial marks if your answers are close to the correct answer. Then, you will get a score between 300-900 depending on the raw score.
Our guide to scoring highly in this section can be found here
What Is a Good UCAT Score?
But what actually is a good UCAT Score?
At the end of the testing period the UCAT will publish the official test statistics. This will allow you to see how you have performed in comparison to the many other hopeful students. Additionally, you can use historic data to get an idea of how well you have performed, but you will only be able to work out your exact decile ranking once the test statistics have been released. With no changes to the test, the results should be similar to that of previous years, but will fluctuate year on year.
For the 2020 testing period the average overall UCAT Score was 2527. The average for each section was: VR 577, QR 671, DM 635, AR 644, SJT 592. The table below shows the distribution of scores for each decile.
The first decile represents a score in the 10th percentile, and a score in the second decile represents a score in the 20th percentile and so on. This means that if you scored over 2920, you would have scored in the top 10% of students!
The same table for the 2019 sitting is shown below.
The UCAT is often one of the most stressful parts of the medical school application process. And not only is taking the test hard in itself but understanding what the results mean and how they affect your application is also tricky. So, hopefully this article has broken down how these results are calculated, what they mean, and what is a good score.
On test day when you are given your results, having read this article, you should have a good idea of how you may rank among other applicants. Then you can then apply strategically to maximise your chances of medical school application success!