9th August 2023
You’ll get your UCAT score before the UCAS deadline in October, which means you can be strategic about which UCAT universities you apply to. Simon Pedley, our Head of Academia, explains how to do this for 2024 entry Medicine.

1. Check Interim UCAT Scores

Interim UCAT results are typically released in mid-September, a few weeks before the end of the testing period.

It’s possible that the final UCAT results will differ from the interim results to some extent, but there usually isn’t a huge difference.

This means that you can use the interim results to get a rough idea of how you compare to other candidates and what decile your score is likely to put you in.

2. Understand Interview Selection Criteria

Your UCAT score is important, but it isn’t the only factor used by Medical Schools when they are shortlisting candidates for interview.

You need to understand:

  • Do they rank applicants by UCAT score alone? Or will your UCAT score be assessed alongside other factors like academic achievements?
  • If they don’t rank by UCAT score alone, how important is the UCAT? For example, is it worth 25% of the selection criteria, 50% or more?
  • Do they place a higher emphasis on your GCSE or predicted A-Level grades?

You can find out how different Medical Schools use UCAT scores in our UCAT universities guide.


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3. Use Your Research To Shortlist Strategically

If you have a high UCAT score:

It might be a good idea to apply to Medical Schools which rank candidates purely by UCAT score, or place a lot of emphasis on the UCAT, when they are shortlisting for interview. For these universities, the higher your UCAT score is, the more likely you are to get invited to interview.

A high UCAT score is a great thing to have, so it would be a shame if you didn’t take full advantage of it!

Find out more: Where To Apply With A High UCAT Score

If you have a medium UCAT score:

You may want to consider Medical Schools which don’t rank by UCAT score alone and will also look at other aspects of your application such as academic achievements.

With a medium score, you could also think about Medical Schools which do rank candidates by UCAT score, but don’t impose a very high cut-off score for who gets invited to interview.

UCAT scores are predominantly used for interview selection – and once you’ve been invited to attend an interview, your interview performance becomes the most important thing.

Find out more: Where To Apply With An Average UCAT Score

If you have a low UCAT score:

You should probably apply to Medical Schools which place less emphasis on UCAT scores when selecting candidates for interview. At some universities, the selection criteria is weighted more heavily towards academic achievements than towards the UCAT (e.g. 75% academic vs. 25% UCAT).

With a low UCAT score, you could also look at Medical Schools which typically use a low cut-off score (lower than the score you achieved) when inviting candidates to interview.

As mentioned above, your interview performance is the most important thing once you’ve actually been invited to interview.

Find out more: Where To Apply With A Low UCAT Score

Situational Judgement:

You will find that some Medical Schools have specific requirements when it comes to the Situational Judgement test. For example, some will automatically reject any candidate with Band 4.

Make sure you check this information before making any decisions with your application.

As part of our UCAT 2023 webinar series, we have a webinar about how to use your UCAT score strategically: register now!


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