19th September 2023
The interim UCAT scores for 2023 have been released. Here’s a rundown of the key info and what it all means for your application from our Head of Academia, Simon Pedley.

What Are The Interim 2023 UCAT Scores?

The interim 2023 UCAT scores contain data from the start of the 2023 testing period up to 15th September. By this point, 20,334 candidates had taken the test. It is anticipated that a further 16,000 candidates will take the test before the end of the testing period.

The UCAT website emphasises that: ‘Candidates should use these figures as a rough guide to judge their own performance as these numbers will change as the testing cycle progresses.’ Final data will be released after testing ends.

In the interim results for 2023, the total mean UCAT score is 2,568.

Interim Scores By Section

The interim mean scores for each section are:

When you compare this to last year’s interim UCAT scores, the interim scores for Verbal Reasoning and Decision Making are higher this year (600 this year for VR vs 577  last year; 638 this year vs 631 last year for DM).

Quantitative Reasoning is slightly down (664 this year vs 674 last year) and Abstract Reasoning is also lower (665 this year vs 673 last year).

The interim results for Situational Judgement are:

  • 27% scored in Band 1
  • 40% scored in Band 2
  • 24% scored in Band 3
  • 8% scored in Band 4

Compared to last year’s interim results, more test-takers have achieved Band 1 in Situational Judgement this year – 27% this year vs. 22% last year, and only 8% scored in Band 4, vs 11% last year. 

Interim 2023 UCAT Deciles

These are the interim deciles for the 2023 UCAT test:

  • 1st decile – 2,200
  • 2nd decile – 2,330
  • 3rd decile – 2,420
  • 4th decile – 2,490
  • 5th decile – 2,570
  • 6th decile – 2,640
  • 7th decile – 2,720
  • 8th decile – 2,810
  • 9th decile – 2,940

As you would expect from the slightly higher overall mean score, apart from the 9th decile, the deciles are all slightly higher than last year.


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What Does This Mean?

There are a few significant things that we have found from the interim 2023 results.

Roughly the same number of candidates are sitting the UCAT this year

By 15 September 20,334 candidates had taken the UCAT, with another 16,000 expected to do so before the end of the cycle. This amounts to a total expected number of 36,334.

This is very close to the 36,374 who sat the UCAT test last year. Given that UCAT, at the same stage of the testing period last year, estimated roughly 36,000 test-takers, it seems reasonable to take their estimates seriously.

As such, it looks like roughly the same number of candidates are sitting the UCAT this year as last year, which is a decent proxy for the overall number of candidates for Medicine.

Verbal Reasoning score increases

One notable thing about the scores this year is that Verbal Reasoning, traditionally the lowest-scoring area of the UCAT, has seen an over 30-point jump relative to last year.

This is important because universities such as Nottingham double-weight the Verbal Reasoning section of the UCAT when choosing candidates for interview.

So if you are making an application to Nottingham, you will need to make sure that your Verbal Reasoning score is strong enough to make a competitive application based on this year’s scores, rather than basing your performance on previous years. 

Fewer candidates will be rejected on Situational Judgement

This year saw another increase in the percentage of people scoring well in the SJT section of the UCAT, including an extra 7 percentage points scoring in the top band.

There are many medical schools, such as Hull or Kent and Medway, that state they will rule out candidates who score a Band 4 in the SJT. Fewer candidates will therefore be ruled out of the competition due to lower SJT scores; consequently, the competition among those with higher scores will be fiercer. 

The actual mean score is likely to be lower

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

For 2022, the preliminary mean score was 2,554 but the actual mean score ended up as 2,500. If this year’s preliminary mean score is 2,568 then we’d expect to see the actual mean score somewhere in the range of 2,49o to 2,550 once testing has finished.


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