20th September 2021
The interim UCAT scores for 2021 have been published. Dr Christopher Nordstrom has analysed the update to explain what this means for your 2022 Medicine application.

What Are The 2021 Interim UCAT Scores?

Each year UCAT releases interim scores in the middle of the testing period. For 2021, the results cover all tests taken from the start of testing up to September 12th, 2021.

The statistics are the results of 16,996 candidates who’ve sat the UCAT test already. They predict a further 20,000 people will sit the test before the end of the testing period. It’s important to understand that the interim scores are just a reflection of the sample of candidates who’ve already taken the test, and the final scores could look different.

Interim Scores By Section

The interim mean scores for each subtest are:

When you compare this with the previous UCAT scores, you can see that the mean scores for verbal reasoning and abstract reasoning are much higher than previous years. The mean scores for decision making are similar to previous years, and quantitative reasoning scores are higher than the previous three years (but lower than some other years).

Interim 2021 UCAT Deciles

Decile Rank2021 Interim score2020 interim

When comparing with the interim scores for 2020, please be aware that the 2020 scores were for 19,461 candidates with a further 15,000 expected to sit the test after the results were released.


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What Does This Mean?

There are a few significant things that we have found from the interim 2021 results.

More People Are Sitting UCAT

Roughly 2,500 more people are expected to sit the UCAT compared with last year. This is a good indication that Medicine is still growing in popularity, so we’re expecting the record numbers of applications for 2021 entry to be exceeded this year.

This means that your score – and application – need to be even more competitive than before to get shortlisted for a Medical School interview. And if you are shortlisted later this year, you’ll need to spend even more time on interview prep so that you can really stand out.

You May Need A Higher UCAT Score This Year

The increased number of candidates means the test is going to be even more competitive this year. That’s because more candidates means more people in each decile. For example, last year there were 3,415 people in each decile – but that could be as high as 3,700 this year.

We think this will translate into higher thresholds and requirements for 2022 entry and beyond. If you’re thinking of applying to a UCAT university that ranks applicants by score, you’ll need an even higher score than in previous years.

The Actual Mean Is Likely To Be Lower

Last year we saw the actual mean UCAT score was lower than the preliminary mean score, and we expect this will probably happen again this year.

For 2020 the preliminary mean score was 2,578 but the actual mean score ended up being 2,511. If this year’s preliminary mean score is 2,570 then we’d expect to see the actual mean score somewhere in the range of 2,515 – 2,505 once testing has finished.


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Situation Judgement Scores Have Dropped

2021 Interim2020 Interim2019 Interim
Band 116%35%18%
Band 240%38%42%
Band 332%20%31%
Band 412%6%9%

As you can see from the table above, the percentage of candidates scoring Band 1 has significantly fallen compared with 2020. However, this brings the results more in-line with the 2019 preliminary results.

Because the final scores are usually lower than the preliminary scores, we think it’s unlikely these scores will improve and instead expect they may fall slightly lower.

However, because some UCAT Med Schools use SJT scores separately, scoring in Band 1 may be more beneficial this year because it’s one way you can stand out with your test performance. For example, Birmingham, UEA and St Andrews use SJT scores as part of the interview score, so it would give you an advantage.


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