The UCAT is scored out of 3,600. Marks are spread across 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 and then added together, to get your overall UCAT score.
The Situational Judgement section is scored differently in the UK and the UCAT ANZ tests. In the UK, instead of getting a score, you’ll be put into one of four bands, depending on your performance. Band 1 is the highest, and band 4 is the lowest.
The SJT score in the UCAT ANZ is a number between 300 and 900 and follows the scoring of the other subtests.
This is how UCAT scores are broken down:
Your UCAT percentile tells you how you performed in the test compared to other candidates. For example, if you’re in the 90th percentile, this means that you scored higher than 90% of test-takers. Percentiles are converted into deciles, so the 90th percentile becomes the 9th UCAT decile, the 80th percentile becomes the 8th UCAT decile, and so on.
Each year, UCAT scores are sorted into deciles, with each one representing 10% of candidates. 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 9th decile means you are in the top 10%.
You’ll get your UCAT test results immediately after you finish the test. Your results will be handed to you as you leave the test centre.
Your UCAT score will also be available online via your Pearson VUE account, but you should allow up to 24 hours for them to be uploaded.
Your results will be shared with the universities you’ve applied to on the application deadline, after which UCAT universities will then be able to see your scores.
A UCAT score above 650 is usually considered a good UCAT score. However, this can vary each year depending on other candidates’ performance. This would be in the 6th decile (or the 60th percentile) or higher, which was 2,570 in the UK and 2,600 in Australia and New Zealand. Technically, a ‘good’ UCAT score is whatever score gets you above the threshold of your chosen UCAT universities. That’s why understanding how to use your UCAT score when you shortlist Medical Schools is so important.
Scoring in the top 20% would be considered a high UCAT score, so the 8th decile (or the 80th percentile) or higher. Last year a score of above 2,730 would have been a high UCAT score in the UK – or 2,810 in Australia and New Zealand.
The average UCAT score changes each year – but is generally between 620 and 630. In 2021 the average UCAT score was 625, or a total of 2,499 in the UK. This is just below the 5th decile, or the 50th percentile. For Australia and New Zealand, the average score was 634, or a total of 2,537.
The average hasn’t changed much in the last few years: it was 628 in 2020, and 620 in 2019.
A low UCAT score is generally below 610. If this reflects your UCAT result, it doesn’t mean your dreams of getting into Med School are over. But you do need to be strategic with where you apply in the UK if you have a low UCAT score and make sure you avoid applying to universities that will rank you by score.
There is no single minimum UCAT score that you need in order to get into Medical School – it depends on how each UCAT university uses scores. Some will rank applicants by score, which means you need to score as high as possible to stand a chance of being shortlisted. Some need you to beat a low cutoff score to be considered. And some will assess your application based on things like A Level grades instead, which means you have a chance of being shortlisted even with a lower UCAT score.
Take a look at our blog about how to use your UCAT score to apply for 2022 entry to get a better understanding of how this works.
Students usually struggle the most with Verbal Reasoning, with the average score at 572. In comparison, students tend to be most comfortable with Quantitative Reasoning, getting an average score of 665 last year. Abstract Reasoning scores tended to fall between 630 and 640, while Decision Making scores see more variation and was 610 last year.
The easiest way to compare previous year scores is by reviewing the scores for each decile or percentile – but please remember that these don’t include the Situational Judgement results because that’s scored differently.
|10th||2850 & above||2160 & above||2870 & above||2820 & above||2700 & above||2900 & above||2900 & above|
|Decision Analysis (replaced by unscored Decision Making in 2016)||629||Unscored in 2016||647||624||618||625||610|
Scoring is different for Situational Judgement, but as you can see below, most students scored Band 2 in this section.
Because the UCAT ANZ has only been running for a couple of years, there’s much less data about previous test scores in Australia and New Zealand.
When it comes to shortlisting candidates, Medical Schools will use your UCAT score in three different ways:
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