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Situational judgement is the final part of the UCAT test. It assesses a number of personal skills such as integrity, perspective, resilience and adaptability. These UCAT questions are very different from the rest of the test, so you need to treat the situational judgement section like a totally different exam.

What Is UCAT Situational Judgement?

Situational judgement is the final of the five sections of UCAT. It’s designed to test your capacity to understand real-life situations, find the key critical factors and behave appropriately when dealing with them.

Situational judgement doesn’t assess your academic abilities – instead, it focusses on integrity and adaptability in ethical scenarios.

It’s very different to the other UCAT sections – and it’s marked differently, too.

During the exam, you’ll get 26 minutes to answer 69 questions, related to 22 scenarios. This allows just 70 seconds per scenario and around 23 seconds per question.

It’s the only UCAT section that uses a 1-4 band scoring system, with band 1 being the highest performing band and 4 the lowest.

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UCAT Situational Judgement Questions

Situational Judgement is made up of multiple-choice and ranking-style questions.

These can be broken down into the following question types:

  • Appropriateness: After each scenario, you’ll be presented with an action. It needs to be rated according to how appropriate it is in the context of the scenario.
  • Importance: You’ll get a number of actions after each scenario and you need to rate them on how important they are within the context of the scenario.

The Situational Judgement section assesses your people skills by asking questions centred on ethics, empathy, integrity, team-work and communication. It’s important because, as a doctor, you’ll be working with other medical professionals as well as patients and it’s essential to have good people skills.

Average Situational Judgement Scores

The majority of candidates will score in band 1 or 2 when they sit the situational judgement test. Last year, in 2020, only a quarter of people scored in band 3 and just 9% got band 4.

Average Situational Judgement ScoresBand 1Band 2Band 3Band 4
201524%
45%
22%

9%
201626%
44%22%9%
201728%42%21%9%
201821%34%32%13%
201917%40%33%10%
202030%36%24%9%

Find out more about how the UCAT situational judgement is scored.

UCAT Situational Judgement Tips

  • You need to ask: what would a medical professional do? How are they expected to act?
  • Read the General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice for help with communication, maintaining trust, patient safety and teamwork.
  • Learn situational judgement strategies from our live UCAT course, online UCAT course, or UCAT tutoring.
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