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In the decision making part of the UCAT test, you’ll have to apply logic to make a decision, evaluate arguments or analyse statistical information. This section can trip you up if you’re not familiar with it, so practising UCAT questions is one of the best ways to prepare.

What Is The Decision Making Section?

The decision making section requires you to use logic and reasoning to solve textual and visual data-related questions. It requires you to solve questions that have corresponding text or visual data and you’ll have access to a basic on-screen calculator for this section.

There are 29 decision making UCAT questions that need to be answered in 31 minutes.

Types Of Decision Making UCAT Questions

In this section there are two types of question:

  • Multiple Choice: Four answer options, where only one option will be correct.
  • Yes/No Statements: State ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for each answer.

Decision making questions are designed to test your application of reasoning and logic to a problem, and assess your ability to evaluate different arguments and gain information using statistics. It’s important because, as a Doctor, you’ll be faced with complex situations and have to make difficult decisions.

How Is UCAT Decision Making Marked?

The decision making subtest is marked differently from the rest of the UCAT:

  • Single answer questions are worth 1 mark.
  • Multiple statement questions are worth 2 marks.
  • 1 mark is awarded to partially correct responses on the multiple-statement questions.

Your marks will then be converted to a scale score and this will be your actual UCAT score.

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Average Decision Making UCAT Scores

For 2021 the average decision making score in the UK was 610 and 622 in Australia and New Zealand

What Is A Good Decision Making UCAT Score?

Last year a good decision making UCAT score would have been anything above 620. A high decision making score would put you in the eight decile or higher and according to 2021 test statistics, that would be a score of 700+.

Previous UK Decision Making scores:

Average Decision Making Scores
20172018201920202021
647624618625622

Previous UCAT ANZ Decision Making scores:

Average Decision Making Scores201920202021
618635622

Find out more about how the UCAT is scored.

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Decision Making Strategies

There are a series of tips and techniques for each type of question. You need to learn:

  • How to recognise assumptions
  • How to spot strong and weak arguments
  • The techniques for single parameter and multi-parameter puzzles
  • How to identify syllogisms and draw conclusions from them
  • How to approach venn diagrams
  • How to apply conditional probability and independent probability
  • How to identify the maths behind questions

These are all covered extensively in our live UCAT Course and Online UCAT Course.

It’s important to know that most people struggle with the decision making subtest because they haven’t had enough practice. It’s really essential that you work through as many DR questions as you can, in order to get comfortable with this style.

Example Decision Making UCAT Question

To improve productivity, should the NHS make uniforms for all Doctors?

Select the strongest argument from the statements below:

  1. Yes, as it might help motivate and put staff into a mindset of working
  2. Yes, as surgeons already wear scrubs as uniforms
  3. No, as administrators feel it would be difficult to monitor and enforce
  4. No, as it has been shown to be limited benefit

Watch the video below for the answer – and to find out how to approach this question.

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Practise Decision Making Questions

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More Decision Making Tips

We covered this example question in our UCAT webinar – and gave you some tips for how to tackle the decision making subtest. Watch the DM clip below:

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