UCAT
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What UCAT score is needed for Medicine?

Published on
May 12, 2024
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Most medical students who have appeared for the UCAT or are planning to sit the test seem to have limited knowledge around what the UCAT score signifies. Even after receiving the score, most students don’t really know how their score is ranked in the eyes of the medical universities. In this article, we will talk about what the different UCAT scores mean, and what they signify to these different undergraduate medical schools.

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a computer-based medical admissions test used by a consortium of universities across Australia and New Zealand. This exam was introduced for Year 12 school leavers in 2019 for entry into medical, dental and clinical science degree programmes. It is used to guide judgement concurrently with academic qualifications, interviews and other extracurricular activities for medical entry. 

This test, delivered through Pearson VUE test centres throughout Australia and New Zealand, is designed to help universities select applicants with the most appropriate critical thinking and logical reasoning skills required for new doctors and dentists as well as assessing professional behaviours.

The UCAT Consortium schedules the testing window for undertaking the exam, each year between July - August.

How Do UCAT Scores Work?

If you are wholly invested in preparing and building strategies to gain the perfect UCAT score, it is crucial to also understand how the UCAT is scored.

The UCAT marks all the students based on the number of correct answers that a student gets. In this test, there is no negative marking, hence your performance on one question does not have an impact on the other questions that you answer correctly. It is possible to predict UCAT scores based on raw marks, this mark is totally dependent on the number of correct answers you provide.

Let's draw on some important aspects on how are UCAT scores calculated. This can enhance your areas of focus and help improve your chances of receiving a good UCAT score for medicine.

How Can I Calculate My UCAT Score?

The UCAT scores are calculated based on complex statistical processes. There is no need to get anxious from the jargon, instead let us focus on how the UCAT scores can influence your choice of medical school.

The UCAT is split into five sections: Verbal reasoning (VR), Decision Making (DM), Quantitative Reasoning (QR), Abstract Reasoning (AR), and Situational Judgement (SJT). 

Do note that if you are applying for 2023 admission into medical school, you must note that many universities exclude the Situational judgement test from their prerequisites. Currently, there is ongoing debate in Australia and New Zealand about whether the SJT is a good indicator of a future medical student's potential, as this section relies heavily on an understanding of medical ethics, which is not a part of the National Australian Curriculum. 

How Are UCAT Scores Scaled?

The UCAT scores for VR, QR, DM and AR are calculated between the range of 300-900 marks. However, the Situational Judgement is scored differently compared to the other UCAT subtests. For SJT, a range of raw scores is split between a band of 1-4. These bands are indicative of whether you have scored excellent (Band 1), good (Band 2), average (Band 3), or poor performance (Band 4) in this subtest. 

The SJT raw marks are then converted to scaled scores, which ranges between 300-900 and . This is similar to the manner in which cognitive UCAT subtests such as VR, DR, AR and QR are marked as well. Your SJT score is not included in the overall UCAT score and you receive it separately in the form of a band score.

The total UCAT test score is marked out of 3600 marks.

For VR, QR and AR subtests, each question is worth one mark and your overall score is determined by the number of questions per section. The Decision Making subtest follows a similar pattern -  each question equivalent to one mark whereas every multi-statement question carries 2 marks. However, for partially correct responses, you achieve 1 mark for the multi-statement question.

What Is A Good UCAT Test Score?

It is very hard to define whether 750 or 2500 (as an overall score) is a good UCAT score within the subtests as it varies year to year. Most students tend to gain between a 620-630 UCAT Score within the subtests and is regarded as a good UCAT score for entry into medicine.

However, if you achieve an average UCAT Score of 680 in each subtest, then you are considered to have gotten a high score - well done! This average score is calculated considering the four UCAT subtests, excluding situational judgement. 

This breakdown of the UCAT scores will guide you towards determining the final result to enrol into medical schools.

UCAT Score Predictor 2022

The UCAT Consortium publishes the average UCAT results and splits the range of results into deciles each year. This splits all students into 10 different groups based on their score amongst other students completing the UCAT in the same year. To find out more about the UCAT Score deciles, continue reading the article. 

Considering that the UCAT testing window is between July and August, it is advised to take a look at the previous year UCAT scores to understand your performance and your average score. It is important to note that the previous year’s scores are not a perfect indicator of future scores, but are useful as a guide to strategize your UCAT preparation. There is no exact score you must achieve as it varies each year.

Is UCAT Compulsory For Every University?

Students often contemplate ‘When are UCAT scores sent to universities?’ Most universities prefer to utilise the UCAT scores to rank applicants for a medical interview offer, and in some cases it is the only selection criteria. Some universities exclude the Situation judgement scores for admission requirements. 

UCAT is crucial for entry into most Australian medical schools, be it medicine or dentistry. At this time, many universities in Australia and New Zealand do not have a threshold score. This means that there is no current prerequisite score to gain an interview or admission into medical school for UCAT applicants, however there is a prerequisite to have sat the UCAT exam itself. 

As the UCAT ANZ exam is new to Australia and New Zealand, it is difficult to gauge the current accuracy of test results in defining an appropriate medical or dental student. Furthering this, it would not be accurate to use prerequisites defined by universities in England, as Australia and UK medical schools differ in teaching curriculums.

It is expected that universities will alter their prerequisite UCAT score each year following 2019, similar to the GAMSAT exam.

What UCAT Score Is Needed For Medicine in Australia?

List of Universities How is the UCAT weighted? Entry Requirements besides the UCAT
The University of Adelaide Cognitive subtests only and 20% of the UCAT score is considered for entry into medicine Besides the UCAT score, students will be ranked based on 40% of the score received via medical interview + 40% score (ATAR of 90 or above)
Charles Darwin University A UCAT derived score, based on cognitive subtests only, 10% of UCAT score is considered for entry.
  • An academic merit weighted at 90% is required for each student.
  • There is no medical interview criteria
Curtin University Total UCAT score is used to rank applicants for entry. A minimum ATAR of 98
Flinders University A 10% UCAT-derived score based on results from four UCAT sections: Verbal reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning. An ATAR of 95 or above is mandatory.  90% of Year 12 results + 10 % UCAT score is used to rank students for medicine
Monash University There are no specified UCAT cut-offs mentioned in the website as of yet.
  • The selection process is based on - student’s Year 12 results + a good UCAT score + a solid performance in the Multiple Mini Interview
  • These three components are weighted equally.
The University of Newcastle 

100% of the UCAT score is taken into consideration. Students with a high UCAT score have greater odds of receiving an interview offer

  • An ATAR of 91.4 or Higher is required for students who completed their Year 12
  • A solid performance at the medical interview
The University of Queensland
  • A UCAT aggregate score from the first 4 sections is used as a secondary differentiator.
  • The UCAT section 5 - Situational Judgement is employed as a tertiary differentiator with aggregate score. If any other differentiator is required to consider students for medicine, the UCAT Verbal reasoning Score is used to rank students.
25% (A minimum ATAR of 95.0 or higher) + 25% (UCAT aggregate score) + 50% (Multiple Mini Interview)
The University of Western Australia 20 % of the UCAT score is used to rank applicants for admission into medicine Besides UCAT, a minimum ATAR of 99 (40%) + Satisfactory interview (40%)
UNSW 

Overall UCAT score is taken into consideration but the Situational Judgement band score is excluded. There is no specific UCAT score cut-off, however, students who are among the 50th percentile progress to the interview stage.

For Year 12 students:

- An ATAR of 96.00 is crucial from your NSW Higher School Certificate results.                - 38 International Baccalaureate score is required to be considered for a interview.  

Western Sydney University There is no specific UCAT cut-off score mentioned on their website as yet An ATAR of 95.5 or above + UCAT score + A satisfactory performance at the MMI stations

Check out our Medical Interview Offer Calculator and get your predicted odds for a medical interview from universities!

UCAT Scores Percentiles Breakdown

How can we break down UCAT scoring percentiles? UCAT scores are grouped into deciles, which means that each group represents 10% of the applicants that took the test in the same year. A total scaled score is generated by summing up individual scaled scores of VR, DM, QR and AR.

Here’s an example:

James got a UCAT score of 2790  which approximately puts him in the 81st percentile, which means he performed better than 81% of the candidates who appeared for the exam in the same year. This means James ranks amongst students who fall under the 1st decile. A decile corresponds to 10% of candidates who sat the UCAT exam. For instance, students in the 1st decile represent the top 10% of scores, the second decile represents the top 10%-20% of scores, and so on. 

Hence, James ranks amongst the top 10% of the candidates who sat the exam. This percentile is subject to change each year.

Molly however scored 2000 in her test which puts her in the 3rd percentile, which indicates that her performance was better than 3% of the applicants who took the UCAT in 2020.  Her decile score will be amongst the bottom 80-90% of the candidates who sat the UCAT exam.

The following graph interprets the section scores obtained by candidates who took the UCAT in 2020 and ranked against the decile.

Book a chat with a UCAT Mentor

If after reading this article you are still uncertain about deciles and what this means for your UCAT test, feel free to contact us to go through your questions in more detail.

What Should I Do With My UCAT Score?

Once you complete the UCAT exam, you will receive instructions on how to access your UCAT Score Report from Pearson VUE. This will be made available to you within 24-hours of sitting the exam. Your report can be either printed from your browser or saved as a PDF for your own personal use. 

The UCAT Consortium will directly communicate your results with the universities you have applied for in September, so you do not need to submit your results to the university itself unless they are outside the university consortium. 

Universities outside of the consortium will not have access to your UCAT score. Your UCAT results will only be valid for one year. This means that if you sit the UCAT in 2022, your results will only be eligible for medical school admissions in 2023.

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UCAT ANZ Scores 2019-2020 

The UCAT ANZ is brand new in Australia and New Zealand, and the first exam sitting was in 2019. Hence, students who appeared for the test in 2019 set the benchmark for the upcoming tests each year. 

Though there is limited data available on the previous test scores, we have consolidated the deciles based on the total score in the four sections - VR, DM, QR and AR obtained by each applicant that took the UCAT in 2020.

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If after reading this article you are still uncertain about deciles and what this means for your UCAT test, feel free to contact us to go through your questions in more detail.

What To Do Next?

If you need guidance on preparing for your UCAT in 2022, enrol into one of our ultimate UCAT online courses - get a chance to learn from expert tutors, take multiple practice tests and sit stress free for the exam!