Decision Making was new for 2017. It was piloted as an unscored section in 2016, designed to replace Decision Analysis. From 2017, Decision Making will be scored.
As a doctor, you will often need to make difficult decisions in complex situations – and this requires excellent problem-solving skills. Decision Making is therefore designed to assess your ability to apply reasoning and logical to a problem, and your ability to evaluate different arguments.
UKCAT Decision Making: Section Summary
Total number of items: 29 items – based on text, charts, tables, graphs or diagrams
Total time: 32 minutes (1 min for instruction and 31 mins for items)
What’s the difference between Decision Analysis and Decision Making?
UKCAT Decision Analysis
In the old Decision Analysis questions, you’re provided with a table in which a code is written. You are then asked a series of questions using this code to see how you apply your logic and decision analysis skills in providing the best translation of a sentence, suggesting what code would represent a sentence best, or other variations.
UKCAT Decision Making
The Decision Making questions are very different – don’t be fooled by the similar name! In this style of question you’ll be provided with short scenarios where you’ll have to logically assess the legitimacy of suggested answers. To have a look at some practice questions, check out our free UKCAT Question Bank.
UKCAT Decision Making: Question Types
For UKCAT Decision Making, you will face two types of question format:
You’ll be presented with four answer options, where only one option is correct
You’ll be asked to respond to five statements, by answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’ next to each statement
You will be provided with a basic on-screen calculator for this section, and you may need to use your pen and booklet for rough workings.
There are four components of decision making questions in the UKCAT Decision Making:
1. Deductive Reasoning
You’ll be provided with an opening statement, and you’ll have to decide which of the following conclusion statements you are provided with follows.
2. Evaluating Arguments
After reading the question, and any text with it, you’ll be provided with a choice of arguments. You’ll then have to choose which is the best argument.
3. Statistical Reasoning
Here, you need to be able to make conclusions based on data (numbers and graphs) provided to you.
4. Figural Reasoning
In these items, you have to make conclusions based on sequences given to you.
Decision Making assesses your ability to evaluate arguments, gain information using statistics, draw conclusions and understand sequences. For questions involving statistics, familiarise yourself with interpreting graphs and tables. You might find it useful to look at A-Level/GCSE Biology or Maths papers to get used to interpreting information presented in graphs to reach an answer.
The UKCAT preparation you complete for Verbal Reasoning will also help with Decision Making questions. Familiarise yourself with reading paragraphs of text and interpreting the information given. Look at the language used – does the statement present the information as a certainty or likelihood? Does the associated argument logically address the statement given or is it vague with loose terminology? The clues are often in the language used, so get used to reading the statements and questions closely.
UKCAT Decision Making Tips in 60 Seconds
Preparing for Decision Making and want The Medic Portal’s top tips? Watch Tristan’s tips in 60 seconds below!
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