It’s official – the UCAT 2019 final scores are out! So how did you fare and what does this mean for your application?
As predicted, the final scores have dropped slightly from the interim scores. In fact, they’ve fallen by 2.3%, bringing them closely in line with last year’s score:
As has always been the case, verbal reasoning remains the lowest scoring section, with quantitative reasoning the highest.
The story when we look at Situational Judgement, however, is different.
The number of students scoring top marks has been falling for the last few years. In fact, it’s nearly halved! Whilst this may be disheartening, it’s important to think about how universities use the SJT. Some don’t use it at all, some only eliminate candidates in Band 4, and some score the SJT and combine it to either your UCAT score or your final interview score.
So, what do these scores mean for you?
Before we tackle this question, let’s take a step back and look at the university shortlisting process. Generally speaking, there are three parameters universities can use:
Each university uses combinations of the above to varying degrees. So, some might only request a minimum GCSE score, after which shortlisting is based on your UCAT performance. Others might actively score your GCSEs or personal statement, then combine this score with your UCAT score.
As American economist Michael Porter said, “the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do”. Before submitting your UCAS form, you need to analyse your position clearly – what are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Where do you stand the best chance of getting shortlisted for an interview?
We can start by looking at the UCAT score itself. You can use the ‘Percentile Look Up’ tool on the UCAT website to find out your exact percentile ranking. We can plot a graph looking at the total UCAT scores and how this correlates to percentiles:
What we can see is that the mid-zone scores are tight. For example, scoring just 50 points higher could have moved your percentile score from the 55th to the 64th percentile! If you have a strong GCSE profile, it’s possible to make up for a slightly lower UCAT score by applying to universities which will combine your UCAT score with your GCSE score. Equally, if you have an incredible UCAT score but low GCSE profile, think about those universities who shortlist mainly on UCAT scores, providing of course you meet the minimum GCSE requirement!
Although the number securing Band 1 in the SJT has fallen, the number who are eliminated through scoring a Band 4 has remained static. As such, if you’re in Band 4 it’s important to only apply to those universities who don’t look at your SJT score for the shortlisting process, and preferably who won’t combine it with your final interview score.
Ultimately, your chances of success are best if you choose strategically. Make a shortlist if universities where your UCAT score will give you the best strategic chances of securing an interview, then ensure you meet all other requirements, such as GCSE profile and minimum age.
Read our guides on where to apply with varying UCAT scores: