UCAT Common Questions

In this post we answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the UCAT admissions test.

March 2021
Sana Khan
Aston University - 1st Year Medical Student

The prospect of UCAT is very daunting, and I suspect you have a lot of questions relating to it. Therefore, this post aims to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the UCAT.

What is the best resource to prepare for the UCAT?

There are plenty of resources out there (definitely go check out some of the free question banks and video tutorials we have linked on the Superhub!) and it is your choice which ones you prefer to use, if any. However, we would strongly advise you to use, and familiarise yourself with, the UCAT past papers which are on the UCAT official website - they are your best indication of how the exam will look like!

What should I bring with me on the day of my UCAT exam?

Make sure to bring proof of ID (an easy option is your passport or driving/provisional licence) and also a printout of your confirmation email which states the time and date of your exam. Don't forget to bring a clear water bottle too!

What will happen on the day of my exam?

The test centre will confirm your name, your ID and your scheduled exam timing. You will then be asked to place all  personal belongings in a designated locker. Once your items are stored away, you will be given a whiteboard and whiteboard pen, and be directed into a quiet cubicle to take your exams. Headphones will be present and may be helpful to wear to block out any extra noise, just in case!

You can then start the exam when you are ready, and as soon as you finish you will be able to go and collect your results and belongings.

Does the UCAT use negative marking?

No! You do not lose marks if you get a question wrong, so if you are really unsure then just guess!

How is the UCAT scored?

Each question in the UCAT is worth one mark, except from a few questions in the Decision-Making subset which can be worth two. Also, you may get half marks for some of your answers in the SItuational Judgement subset.

For the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Decision-Making subsets your raw score will be scaled to give a value between 300-900. For the Situational Judgment subset, you will be given a band value between 1-4 depending on where your raw score falls within the banding categories.

Note: often when UCAT scores are discussed, people give a single numerical score. This is simply an average of the four numerical scores they achieved.

What is a good UCAT score?

This can vary considerably depending on the overall results that the cohort obtains, but as a general guideline:

A UCAT score above 680 is above average.
A UCAT score of 650-680 is a good score.
A UCAT score of 610-650 is average.

Note: even if you get a UCAT score that is below average then do not despair! Every medical school weighs the UCAT differently, and some will put more emphasis on your personal statement, GCSE grades and how you perform in the interview. Moreover, some universities may be even more lenient with your UCAT score if you're a Widening Participation student. So do not give up if your UCAT doesn't go as planned - I didn't!

I've got my UCAT results. According to my results, which universities should I apply to?

If you have a score above 680 then you might want to consider applying to medical schools that put more emphasis on the UCAT than others when selecting their medical students. These include Barts and London, Bristol, Edge Hill, Kent and Medway, King's, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Leicester, Manchester, St Andrew and Warwick.

If you have a score between 650-680 you might want to consider applying to universities such as Anglia Ruskin, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee, East Anglia, Hull York, Keele, Nottingham, Plymouth, Queen's Belfast, Sheffield and St George's.

If you have an average UCAT score of around 610-650 then you should consider applying to Aston, Cardiff, Liverpool and Sunderland.

Can I resit the UCAT?

You cannot re-sit the UCAT in the same application cycle - so make sure to give yourself time to prepare and plan out your revision as this will help to perform your best on the day!

However, if you really don’t feel that you will be prepared in time for your scheduled test date, you can reschedule the test up to 24hrs beforehand. But, do try to avoid this as it is likely your choice of available dates and times will be limited, and also it will probably cause more stress overall.

I hope this article has covered most of your burning questions regarding the UCAT, but if you have any more questions then please don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments section below! Or alternatively, send a direct message to our Instagram @medmentoruk.

Author: Sana Khan

Editor: Allegra Wisking

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