There are 4 stages to Manchester’s application process. The first stage is an academic screening, to ensure candidates meet the medical school’s grade requirements. All applicants who pass this will then be ranked on their UKCAT scores in the second stage.
A set number of applicants from the top of the ranking will proceed to stage 3. This means that Manchester effectively has a cut off score, and scoring below it would make an interview very unlikely.
Last year the cut off was 665. In most years the cut off is about the top 30% of those sitting the UKCAT, meaning if you choose Manchester as one of your options this year, you should be scoring at least 677 to be in with a chance.
If you pass Manchester’s UKCAT cut off then you will have your non-academic qualities looked at in stage 3. Manchester has introduced an ‘online information form’ that will be used at this stage instead of the personal statement. Applicants will complete this form after sending off their UCAS form, but keep in mind they may still look at your personal statement.
Those who make it through stage 3, will proceed to the final stage: the interview. Manchester says ‘The purpose of the interview is to take a wider view of the applicant.’
Following the interview, offers will be made. The SJT is not used.
Selection for interview is based off 50% academics, 50% overall UKCAT score. Each is scored out of a possible 24 points, giving a total of 48 points. Those who have the most points will be invited to interview.
For academics, if you have predicted A-Levels, then 8 GCSE qualifications are scored, but if you have achieved A-Levels, then 6 GCSE qualifications and 3 A-Levels will be scored. For the UKCAT, you will be allocated points depending on where your overall score lies.
An overall score of 2400 or above is given the maximum of 24 points. Then for every 50 points below this you will lose half a point. For example a score of between 2400 and 2350 results in 23.5 points. In previous years applications were scored out of 68 points, since the UKCAT was different.
Last year the cut off for interview was 56.5/68 and the year before that 59.5/68. This is around 83% and 87.5% respectively. So if we convert that to this year’s system, it suggests 42 points or more out of 48 will likely secure you an interview.
One of the good things about Leicester is they say on their website exactly how your academics and UKCAT will be scored, so you can work out how many points you’d get before you apply! If it’s more than 42 then Leicester would be a good option.
For candidates deemed ‘borderline’ (near the points cut off), Leicester may take into account your ‘personal qualities’ by using your personal statement and reference. Since academics contribute 50%, there is not UKCAT cut off score.
Nevertheless, the higher your UKCAT scores, the better the chance of interview. In fact, the median UKCAT score of those given offers for 2015 entry was 682.5, and the lowest score accepted was 587.5! However, if applying with a UKCAT score like this you need to have impeccable academics.
For the SJT, Leicester says ‘Applications from candidates with band 4 in the Situational Judgement Test will be fully scrutinised prior to and, if appropriate, following interview.’
Here a very similar system to Leicester is used. Again you are allocated points using your UKCAT and academics, but the process is a little different. Your GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, English Language and best three other subjects will be scored to give up to 16 points. You will also be allocated points based off your UKCAT.
Quite uniquely, you are scored for each cognitive section, so you will be given points for Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning, not your overall total. For each section you are scored as follows: 801-900 = 9 points, 701-800 = 8 points etc. This means someone scoring 601 in Verbal Reasoning will be given the same number of points (7 with this example) as someone scoring 700!
The SJT is also awarded points, using the following system: Band 1 = 3 points, Band 2 = 2 points, Band 3 = 1 point. Applicants who score a Band 4 will not be considered further. The 3 cognitive sections together with the SJT give a maximum of 30 points. This is added to the 16 points from you’re academics, with those achieving in the top 50% moving on to the next stage. This means that at Nottingham, the UKCAT has more weighting than academics, and the SJT plays a large role.
Those who make it to the next stage will have their personal statement (and reference) assessed, where up to 16 additional points can be added to the previous score.
The top scoring applicants (now with the personal statement included are invited to interview). Offers will be decided purely from interview performance, but in the event of a ‘tie-break’ the UKCAT will be looked at again.
Since there are a number of elements to Nottingham’s application system, there is not ‘cut-off’ UKCAT score, in fact it is quite hard to advise what a suitable UKCAT score would be, particularly as the scoring system is very different to other medical schools.
But to give you a good idea of what region you need to be in, last year successful applicants had an average UKCAT score of 697.5! If your score is lower than this, Nottingham is still a possibility, it just means you will need some good GCSEs, a fantastic personal statement and hopefully a band 1 in the SJT.
Like Leicester, you can work out how many points you will be awarded for academics and UKCAT before you apply. Their system has changed this year, making it again difficult to determine the kind of score needed.
For 2015 entry, successful candidates scored on average 82% of the available points, which would correspond this year to about 38 points.
Selection for interview is based off academics and overall UKCAT score, with applicants being awarded points for each like the previous examples. For the UKCAT, points are awarded using the following system:
2040 – 2190
1720 – 1870
1560 – 1710
1400 – 1550
1390 and below
GCSEs are also awarded points, with 4 points for an A* and 3 for an A grade. The best 9 subjects will be used, so the maximum academic score is 36. With the 6 points available from the UKCAT, that makes a total of 42. This means UKCAT plays a relatively small part in the process.
Personal Statements are not scored but will be screened as part of the process. Applicants will be ranked on their combined GCSE and UKCAT scores and a threshold decided for who to invite to interview. The threshold score varies year on year, but last year this was 37 points. This means if your GCSEs are perfect, i.e. 9 A*’s, then you can secure an interview with a UKCAT under 600!
On the other hand, if you had 4 A*’s and 5 A’s (which is still an amazing GCSE profile) you would need to score over 733 on the UKCAT to stand a chance of an interview. This shows how important an amazing GCSE profile is for Queen’s Belfast. Many applicants will know this when they apply: for 2015 entry, the median number of A*’s at GCSE for applicants was 8.
Once invited to interview, it is purely the interview score that will determine who are given offers. The SJT is not normally used, ‘except, if necessary, to inform decisions on borderline applicants who have achieved a similar score at interview’.
During the first stage, applicants are screened to ensure they meet the medical school’s minimum academic requirements. Applicants also need to achieve an overall UKCAT score of 1850 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 first year Sheffield will assess 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. (This equates to a score of 2030 in the 2016 test, which is out of 2700 instead of 3600).” This means to stand a chance of an interview, you need a UKCAT in around the top 25% of those sitting the UKCAT. From the interim data, it is likely you will need a score of at least 685.
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.”
So, you can see if you are getting somewhere between 650 and 690 in the UKCAT, there is a large selection of medical schools where you are almost guaranteed an interview. In our final blog on UKCAT scores we’ll be looking at medical schools where a super high UKCAT is needed to have a chance of getting an interview.