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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 66 questions, related to a series of scenarios. Each scenario can have up to 6 questions associated with it. This allows for around 23 seconds per question.

Types Of 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.

How Is UCAT Situational Judgement Marked?

You’ll get full marks if your response matches the correct answer, or partial marks if you’re close. Your marks are then translated into a situational judgement band score.

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What Are The UCAT Situational Judgement Bands?

The four situational judgement bands – and their explanations – are:

  • UCAT Band 1 means you showed similar judgement in most cases to the panel of experts.
  • UCAT Band 2 means you showed appropriate judgement frequently, with many responses matching the model answers.
  • UCAT Band 3 means you showed appropriate judgement for some questions but had substantial differences from the ideal responses for others.
  • UCAT Band 4 means that your judgement was substantially different from the ideal responses in many cases.

Average Situational Judgement Scores

A third of people scored in Band 2 and another third in Band 3 in the 2021 UK situational judgement test. The average UCAT ANZ situational judgement score last year was 581.

What Is A Good Score In The Situational Judgement Test?

A good situational judgement score in the UK would be band 2, with a high score being in band 1.

For Australia and New Zealand, a score of 647+ would place you in the eighth percentile and in the top 20% of test-takers.

Previous UCAT Situational Judgement Bands:

Average UCAT SJT BandsBand 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%
202114%36%33%16%

Previous Average UCAT ANZ Situational Judgement Scores:

Average Situational Judgement Test Scores201920202021
592592581

Find out more about how the UCAT scores work.

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Situational Judgement Strategies

When you tackle the situational judgement test, you need to understand that you’re trying to find the correct response when you take into consideration the GMC Medicine Guidelines – not what you personally think is the right action. It may be called situational judgement but you’re not supposed to apply your personal judgement to the answers.

In order to score well, you have to understand what’s being tested and what attributes are being looked for. You also need to understand what that means in relation to example situations.

Furthermore, you need to understand what the answers mean. For example, what does appropriate but ideal really mean? How can you judge whether a response falls into this category?

Example Situational Judgement Question

As part of his first hospital placement at medical school, Todd is preparing to observe his first surgical procedure. He is feeling almost sick with dread and nerves, but knows he needs to ‘get over it’ at some point. A nurse tells Todd that they will be beginning in five minutes.

How appropriate is the following response by Todd in this situation?

Tell the nurse how he is feeling and ask her opinion

  1. A very appropriate thing to do
  2. Appropriate, but not ideal
  3. Inappropriate, but not awful
  4. A very inappropriate thing to do

The answer: A very appropriate thing to do. That’s because it’s good to let someone know that he’s feeling unwell, and she herself may have been in a similar position, too. Asking for advice and support is always a positive attribute.

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More Situational Judgement Tips

We covered situational judgement in our recent UCAT webinar. You can catch up on the SJT section below, and see situational judgement tips:

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