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Medical Schools to Apply to With an Average UKCAT Score

Where to apply for a 600-650 UKCAT score
Where to apply for a 600-650 UKCAT score

Please note that this blog was written for 2017 entry as a guideline – you can view Where to Apply with a 600-660 UKCAT Score for 2018 Entry here.

In my previous blog I discussed some options if your UKCAT was 600 or under. Now it’s time to see what options open up if you have an average UCAT score of 600-650.

Sometimes, something as small as 5 points on the UKCAT can mean the difference between securing an interview and a rejection. So, every point does count!

An average UKCAT score would normally be considered around 600 to 650, but does vary year on year. Nevertheless, looking at previous years, we can get a rough idea of the score you’ll need to stand a chance of an interview or offer.

But that’s a lot of work. At the moment, you’re probably juggling school/university, drafting/redrafting/finalising your personal statement. You may still have the UKCAT left to sit and you may have BMAT preparation as well.

We understand it can be hard to make sense of all the numbers, or even just find the time to try to! So again, we’ve saved you the hard work, so that you can get a better idea of what your options are with an average UKCAT score.

Options with an average UKCAT score of 600 to 650

Liverpool

Last year was the first year Liverpool used the UKCAT. Therefore, it’s hard to get a reliable idea of the score needed. Last year’s average UKCAT score of 625 or greater was considered ‘competitive’. Liverpool believes that this year this will equate to somewhere in the range of 583-623.

That’s quite a large range, but it means if you are getting 630 upwards then Liverpool might be a good option. At the same time, be aware if you score a band 4 in the SJT, your application will not be considered further.

When selecting for interview, Liverpool will first use your UKCAT score alongside your GCSEs and A level predictions, and then those who have met Liverpool’s threshold for each will then be assessed on their personal statement. Then the students who make it through the personal statement stage will be invited to interview. This means a good personal statement can’t make up for a low UKCAT, but academics might.

Queen Mary University of London

Here UKCAT makes up 50% of selection for interview. The UCAS tariff score (your UCAS points) makes up the other 50%. This means a low UKCAT score can be made up for by a high UCAS tariff score, and vice versa.

However, Queen Mary does also use a UKCAT cut off score, but a relatively low one of anyone under the third decile (in the bottom 20%), so this is a good option for those with an average UKCAT score. This year the third decile is likely to be around 610. In fact, the lowest score receiving an interview last year was actually 587.5!

To gain an interview with a low UKCAT like this, you will need a high UCAS tariff (391 actually). Your UCAS tariff will be calculated from your achieved/predicted grades alongside other qualifications, for example grades in a musical instrument. In fact, Queen Mary also uses a cut off for your tariff of 144. The personal statement is only discussed at interview, where the SJT is also incorporated into your score.

University of East Anglia (UEA/Norwich Medical School)

There is no cut off UKCAT score for East Anglia. Instead your UKCAT score is used alongside your GCSEs and predicted/achieved A levels. For 2015 entry, academics made up two thirds of selection, and UKCAT one third. This means if academics are your strong suit, East Anglia may be the one.

The SJT is not used and although there is no UKCAT cut off, East Anglia have commented that from their experience “it is unusual for an applicant with a UKCAT score lower than the 3rd decile to be invited to interview.  In 2015 this was a score in the region of 2400. Therefore we expect that it will be unlikely for an applicant to be invited to interview with a UKCAT score of less than 1800.” This means you really need an average score of at least 600. If your score is in the region of 600-650 then East Anglia is still an option, as long as you’ve got some good academics to balance your application out.

Aberdeen

Here, 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, last year the lowest UKCAT score given an interview was 545! That sounds too good to be true, and actually it kind of is, unfortunately.

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. So what this means for Aberdeen is 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. This is evident when looking at the scores of offer holders at Aberdeen last year, the lowest UKCAT score was 620.

So, with my blog on where to apply with a low UKCAT score below 600, you now have nine options! Of course there are still those seven BMAT universities, which gives you a total of 16 medical schools to consider.

For anyone reading who has a score of around 650 or a little higher, then say tuned for the next blog. Once your score reaches 650 then you even more options become available!

Uploaded by Daniel on 21 September 2016

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