If you are interested in studying Medicine at a UK university, then you will have to take the UCAT exam as part of your application to medical school.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the UCAT and how you can calculate UCAT score from practice tests.
What is the UCAT exam?
Previously called the UKCAT, the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is an entrance exam that prospective students must take if they want to study Medicine in the UK.
Many medical schools across the UK use UCAT exam results to determine which applicants should be offered a place in their Medicine and Dentistry degree courses.
The applicant’s UCAT score is assessed alongside their personal statement, academic qualifications and interview skills
The UCAT exam does not contain any curriculum or science content– it focuses on exploring the cognitive powers of candidates and other attributes considered to be valuable for healthcare professionals.
The 2-hour exam can be taken either online or at an authorized exam centre. You will need to register to take the test via the UCAT website and then book a test at a convenient location and time.
You can only sit the UCAT once in each admissions cycle.
If you are taking the UCAT exam in the UK, the fee is £70.
If you are taking the UCAT exam outside of the UK, the fee is £115.
What topics make up the UCAT exam?
The UCAT exam consists of 5 separately timed sub-tests, in multiple-choice format.
There are 4 cognitive tests:
This assesses your ability to read and think carefully about the information and determine what conclusions can be drawn.
This assesses your ability to make sound decisions and judgements, using complex information.
This assesses your ability to critically evaluate information presented in a numerical form and solve problems.
This assesses your ability to identify patterns amongst abstract shapes where irrelevant and distracting material may lead to incorrect conclusions.
There is also a fifth non-cognitive subtest of Situational Judgement. This measures your capacity to understand real-world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them. The questions do not require medical or procedural knowledge.
What is the UCAT score?
The UCAT is marked on the number of correct answers you give. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers.
Your total score is generated by adding up the individual scores for all the sub-tests that make up the UCAT. The total score ranges from 1200 to 3600.
View the table below to get a better understanding of how your UCAT score is determined:
With the Situational Judgement sub-test, which is a non-cognitive part of the UCAT exam, the scoring works like this:
Full marks are awarded for a question if your response matches the correct answer; while partial marks are awarded if your response is close to the correct answer.
Scores for the Situational Judgement Test are expressed in one of four bands, with band 1 being the highest. Alongside your band, candidates are given an interpretation of their performance:
Where can I take UCAT practice tests?
To prepare for the UCAT exam, you should take practice tests, which are available on the UCAT website.
The UCAT website has a wealth of resources and advice to help support Medicine applicants through the process of taking the UCAT exam.
You should take mock UCAT tests in timed conditions in a quiet space, to help you recreate the conditions of the real UCAT exam.
How to Calculate UCAT Score From Practice Tests
In the first 4 sub-tests of the UCAT exam (Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning), you can score up to 900.
But did you know that you can achieve a score of 900, without answering 100% of the questions correctly?
So, let’s say you have scored 900 across all 4 of those cognitive sub-tests, which is the best possible score, and most of your answers in the Situational Judgement sub-test belong in the Band 1 category- then your UCAT score will be very high overall!
Below, you will find a rough guide to help you calculate UCAS scores from practice tests.
Disclaimer: remember that these figures are rough, and the UCAT score boundaries differ every year.
What was considered ‘high’ for one year, may not be applicable for the following year.
E.g. more applicants may perform in the top deciles in one year, but more applicants perform in the lower deciles the following year.
Therefore, the deciles of UCAT scores will be different each year.
Your total score is generated by adding up the individual scores for all of the sub-tests that make up the UCAT. The total score ranges from 1200 to 3600.
For each subtest, raw marks are converted to scale scores in a range from 300 to 900. Generally, a UCAS sub-test score of 750 or above is considered to be high.
So, to calculate UCAT scores from practice tests, add up your marks in each sub-test. Then, find out where this puts you in the estimated UCAT score.
A total UCAT score of 2700 or over, tends to be a very strong score, which will increase your chances of getting a place at your dream medical school.
In 2021, there were more than 37,000 candidates who took the UCAT exam. They scored a mean of 572 in Verbal Reasoning, 610 in Decision Making, 665 in Quantitative Reasoning and 651 in Abstract Reasoning, and their total cognitive mean score was 2499.
Visit the UCAT website here to find out more information about UCAT test statistics.
What is a low UCAT score in 2022?
Universities have different entry requirements for their Medicine courses- so you should always check their website and course brochure to see what the minimum required UCAT score is.
In each of the 4 cognitive UCAT sub-sections, if you score below 600, and your Situational Judgement answers are in Band 3 or lower, then this is considered a low UCAT score.
Continue to calculate UCAS scores from practice tests and monitor your progress- so you can hopefully increase your score with every mock test you attempt.
Can I get a tutor to help me study for the UCAT?
At The Future Medic, we offer a UCAT tutoring service, to guide you through the UCAT exam process and calm any nerves you may be feeling.
Starting from only £100, our UCAT tutoring package offers you personalised 1-1 lessons with our highly qualified tutors. You can choose whether you want between 1 to 20 hours of UCAT tutoring
The package will also include access to UCAT online courses, so you can practice and prepare for the exam for as long as you need.
Our tutors are fully qualified British doctors and specialists in medical education. Our tutors are also interviewers at their respective medical schools. We have helped thousands of aspiring medical students successfully enter the medical schools of their choice.
With the UCAT, the average student score is 607.
After prospective medical students use our UCAT tutoring service, the mean student score is 743.
Therefore, you can see the vast improvement and amazing results that our students go on to achieve, which is why we believe it is worth getting a UCAT tutor.
View our ‘Ace the UCAT’ tutoring package here– you can choose to book between 1 to 20 hours of tutoring with our medical education specialist and interview experts.
At The Future Medic, we have made it our mission to supply aspiring doctors with all the knowledge, skills and resources you could possibly need to enter the competitive yet rewarding field of Medicine.
For a full list of our services, visit our website.
We hope you now know more about the UCAT exam and understand how to calculate UCAT scores from practice tests.
To book a UCAT tutor, click here.
Register for a place in 2022/2023 on our Mentorship Programme here.
Read more articles on our blog here.