Where to Apply with a 660 – 690 UKCAT Score for 2018 Entry (Part Two)
Please note that this blog is just a guideline and we recommend conducting your own research and contacting the universities themselves before making any significant application decisions.
Scored between 660-690 on your UKCAT and unsure where to apply?
In the second part of our Where to Apply with a 660 – 690 UKCAT Score blogs, we look at a range of other medical schools that favour this type of UKCAT score.
Applying to BMAT universities? Try our one-day BMAT Course, created by doctors and education experts!
Book The 99% Recommended BMAT Course
Dundee School of Medicine
At Dundee, applicants are ranked on a combination of academics and overall UKCAT score. Academics contributes 60% and is scored using both GCSEs and achieved/predicted A-Levels.
Your UKCAT is then sorted into one of 10 different groups and given points based on this, contributing the other 40% of the ranking. This means that a low UKCAT score can potentially be made up for with some good academics and vice versa.
In the words of Dundee themselves: “There is no specific cut-off applied but obviously a high score is advantageous.” So how high are we talking? Well, Dundee states that their analysis of the 2016 applicant cohort revealed that the average UKCAT score of applicants invited for interview was 2740.
Once you are invited to interview, UKCAT and academics are forgotten about, with offers being made based on interview ranking and information on the UCAS form. The SJT is not used, but “band 4 may affect the decision on whether or not to make an offer”.
Dundee comments “the high level of competition means the minimum qualifications will rarely secure an interview without an exceptional UKCAT score.”
The University of Sheffield Medical School
During the first stage at Sheffield, applicants are screened to ensure they meet the medical school’s minimum academic requirements. Applicants also need to achieve an overall UKCAT score of 2460 or greater. All applicants meeting these requirements will advance to the second stage where they are ranked on their UKCAT score. Those with the highest UKCAT will be invited to interview.
Keep in mind this is the second year Sheffield have used the UKCAT in this way, so data from previous years is not particularly useful. Sheffield have commented “had we used the UKCAT in 2015-16 in this way, applicants who scored 2700 or higher would have been invited to interview.”
For 2017 entry, the cut off score for interview was 667, with Sheffield commenting the cut off point “fell just above the 70th centile”. So to stand a good chance of an interview, a UKCAT in the top 30% is likely needed, possibly higher.
Sheffield also comment that there is no ‘academic compensation’. This means exceeding their minimum academic requirements will not make up for a low UKCAT score. At interview, there will be 8 stations, with the SJT serving as a virtual ‘ninth’ circuit. This means your UKCAT score will not be used at the interview stage, but your SJT will.
Your personal statement is not scored, however Sheffield comment “the information within… is likely to be discussed as part of the Multiple Mini Interviews.”
At Aberdeen, applicants are sorted into deciles depending on their UKCAT scores. They are then allocated points, which contribute 20% towards the application process. 30% then comes from academic attainment/predictions.
It is these two elements that are used to select for interview (which then contributes the remaining 50%). The SJT may be used for tie break offers, and the personal statement is assessed prior to interview and during interview. Even though the personal statement is looked at, it doesn’t contribute to the scoring.
This means that for Aberdeen, a low UKCAT score can be made up for with amazing academics. In fact, for 2016 entry the lowest UKCAT score given an interview was 545, and for 2017 entry it was 533 (total score divided by three)! That sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately, it kind of is too good to be true.
For all Scottish Universities, there are separate places for Scottish students and for students from the rest of the UK. So if you are applying from outside of Scotland, there is more competition. For those in the rest of the UK, the lowest UKCAT score invited to interview for 2017 entry was 640, and 605 for 2016 entry.
Also, remember that the interview still makes up half of the overall application. This makes Aberdeen quite unique in that it uses UKCAT alongside interview. Most medical schools will forget about your score once you get to the interview stage. However, Aberdeen is slightly different. If you get to the interview with a low UKCAT score, you will have to do especially well at the interview to make up for this.
Normally UKCAT universities are very transparent in how they assess your application. They are very happy to share information on how the UKCAT is used and the kind of score needed to secure an interview. Southampton is quite the exception to this. There is very little information on Southampton’s application system.
In the first stage, applicants will be ranked based on their total UKCAT score. Then in the second stage they will be screened against the medical school’s academic criteria. Those who meet this criteria and have an ‘appropriate UKCAT score’ will be invited to interview.
Southampton also says ‘selectors will look for evidence of non-academic criteria during the application process’. This will be assessed at the interview. However, the personal statement is not assessed. The SJT is not used.
Offers are determined based on performance at interview, which is reviewed alongside the UKCAT score.
Since Southampton is ranking using UKCAT, it is likely a high score will be needed. Since academics are just used as a screening process, it does not appear to be of particular importance.
Words: Daniel Huddart
Read the rest of the series here: