How do UCAT scores work? And what counts as a good, bad or average UCAT score?
Understanding the scoring is vital for anyone taking the test.
In the first instance, it helps your preparation and leaves you better placed to score highly.
Later, it will allow you to create a strategic application, based on your actual outcome.
On this page, you’ll get to understand the mechanics behind the scores – plus a comprehensive analysis of scores from previous years.
Jump to sections:
Looking for more help to boost your score? Try our top-rated UCAT Courses – now available live online.
Score-Boosting UCAT Course
UCAT Test Results
Your Report will be available immediately after you take your test. You will receive it before you leave the test centre.
You will also be able to access your report online via your Pearson VUE account.
UCAT suggests you allow roughly 24 hours after your test for these results to be uploaded. The results can be printed or saved as a PDF as well.
When the UCAS application deadline has passed, UCAT will work with UCAS to learn which UCAT universities you decided to apply to.
The results will then be directly communicated to the chosen universities.
How Is The UCAT Scored?
Your total UCAT score will be out of 3,600.
This is the accumulation of scores achieved in four sections:
Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Decision Making.
Your performance on each of these sections is scaled to a score between 300 and 900.
For the Situational Judgement section, you will be awarded a band between 1 and 4. The highest band being 1 and the lowest being 4.
Apart from Decision Making, where multiple part questions are worth 2 marks, every question is worth 1 mark.
You may score points in Situational Judgement if you are close to the correct answer, too.
UCAT Scores in Previous Years
After each season, scores are traditionally published by the UCAT Consortium.
These are broken down into deciles. Each UCAT decile represents 10% of students who took the test. The idea is to show in which decile a certain score would have placed you.
For example, a UCAT score in the 1st decile means that you have scored in the bottom 10% of all UCAT takers. A score in the 10th decile means you are in the top 10%.
These scores are created by adding together the section scores, minus Situational Judgement.
The table below shows the scores you would have needed to be placed in that particular decile in the last five years:
Decile Ranking 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
1st 2210 1640 2230 2160 2170
2nd 2330 1730 2340 2280 2280
3rd 2410 1790 2420 2360 2360
4th 2470 1850 2480 2420 2420
5th 2540 1890 2540 2490 2480
6th 2600 1940 2600 2550 2540
7th 2660 1990 2670 2610 2610
8th 2740 2060 2750 2690 2690
9th 2840 2150 2860 2810 2690
10th 2850 & above 2160 & above 2870 & above 2820 & above 2800 & above
The table below shows the average score for each section:
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Verbal Reasoning 577 573 570 567 565
Quantitative Reasoning 685 690 695 658 662
Abstract Reasoning 640 630 629 637 638
Decision Analysis (replaced by unscored Decision Making in 2016) 629 Unscored in 2016 647 624 618
Total 2531 1893 2540 2485 2483
Average 633 631 635 621 620
As the data shows, historically, students have found
Verbal Reasoning the most difficult section. Average scores in this section, from 2015 to 2019, were around 570.
Quantitative Reasoning tends to be the section that students feel most comfortable with, as they usually perform well in this in comparison to other parts of the test.
Abstract Reasoning scores tended to fall between 630 and 640, while Decision Making scores see more variation, as scores rose in 2017 after the section was introduced the year before.
Unlike the other sections,
Situational Judgement is scored between Band 1 and 4 (with 1 being the highest).
As you can see below, most students scored Band 2 in this section between 2015 and 2019.
Band 1 Band 2 Band 3 Band 4
2019 (end of testing 17% 40% 33% 10%
2018 (end of testing) 21% 34% 32% 13%
2017 (end of testing) 28% 42% 21% 9%
2016 (end of testing) 26% 44% 22% 9%
2015 (end of testing) 24% 45% 22% 9%
What Is A Good Score?
A good score will vary from year to year. In most years, a score above 650 would represent a good outcome.
Above 680 would normally be considered a high score.
If you manage to get a high score, you might be wise to apply to universities that place a higher emphasis on the test, as this could boost your chances of getting an interview.
What Is An Average Score?
The average UCAT score changes each year, but is generally between 620 and 630.
In 2019, the average UCAT score was 620.
What Is A Low Score?
A low UCAT score is generally below 610.
Students with a low score may worry that it means they can’t get into medical school. But that’s not necessarily the case.
It just means you will need to be strategic with your applications. You might also choose to sit the BMAT, or consider a gap year.
Where Should I Apply with My UCAT Score?
You’ll know your score before you apply to university. This means you can be strategic with your UCAS applications.
In order to do this, you’ll need to research how different medical schools use the UCAT in their admissions process.
You can check how universities use UCAT in our UCAT Universities section, or on our popular
Medical School Comparison Table.
If you scored highly, it might be a good idea to apply to universities that place a lot of emphasis on the UCAT.
Many of these have a UCAT cut-off score and rank their applicants this way. This means your chance of securing an interview will be higher if you performed well in the test.
If you didn’t get the score you were hoping for, it’s a good idea to apply to universities that place more emphasis on other admissions criteria.
Some medical schools put more weighting on GCSEs, A-Level predictions and
personal statements. BMAT universities might also become more appealing.
You might find it useful to look at our blog series from last year:
Remember that these blogs are only guidelines.
We strongly encourage you to check with the individual universities themselves on their policies before making any significant application decisions.
It is also worth keeping in mind that universities change their UCAT criteria each year, so these blogs should be used as a guide only for the year of entry specified.
Ready to really boost your score?
Try our score-Boosting UCAT Course