4th March 2024
Are you curious what is the highest UCAT score ever achieved? Read on to find out – as well as notable score mentions and a breakdown of what good/average/bad UCAT scores mean!

Understanding The UCAT

UCAT is the University Clinical Aptitude Test which is an entry requirement test for many medical schools in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. The UCAT is scored out of a total of 3600 with marks spread across four sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Decision Making and Abstract Reasoning. 

  • For each of the 4 sections, you can score between 300 (lowest) and 900 (highest). 
  • For the total score, you can score between 1200 (lowest) and 3600 (highest). 

The final segment of the UCAT is the Situational Judgement Test (SJT).

In the UK, this is scored differently from the above sections and is ranked from Band 1 to Band 4. Band 1 is the highest you can score, and Band 4 is the lowest.

For Australia and New Zealand, the scoring for SJT is the same as the other sections and you will receive a score between 300 and 900. 

Once you sit the UCAT, you receive your score and breakdown immediately upon completion of the test. However, it is important to consider that understanding and analysing your score will be difficult until the entire cohort has sat their exam and the official deciles have been released. 

What is the Highest Possible UCAT Score?

The highest possible, total UCAT score that any student can achieve is 3600. This would mean that in each individual section, you would need to score 900 which is the maximum score possible. Although this score is possible to achieve, this score has never been achieved before and this is something to consider when preparing for the UCAT and interpreting your mock test scores! 

What is the Highest UCAT Score Ever Achieved?

The highest ever UCAT score achieved was 3560, Band 1 by a student in 2015. This is an exceptional score and can be achieved with lots of practice! However, each year the difficulty of the test varies as well as the cohort average, so always check the deciles for each year to gauge how good a score is. Here is a breakdown of the top deciles* across the last 6 years:

  • In 2018, the top decile score was 2810 (702) 
  • In 2019, the top decile score was 2800 (700) 
  • In 2020, the top decile score was 2850 (712) 
  • In 2021, the top decile score was 2850 (712) 
  • In 2022, the top decile score was 2880 (720) 
  • In 2023, the top decile score was 2890 (722)

Further information on rankings, deciles and SJT deciles can be found here.

*The top decile represents the score that the top 10% of students (90th percentile) achieved.

An Excellent UCAT Score

Once the testing period (October) is over for the UCAT, the official UCAT consortium will release the test statistics for the year’s cycle.

You might not be able to pinpoint exactly where your score sits until the test statistics for the year are released, however, the UCAT consortium does release halfway deciles as well as historical data available to gauge a rough idea of what your score means. 

An excellent UCAT score is generally considered to be anything above 750 and Band 1. This would be a total score of 3000. This score would allow you to submit a competitive application to almost any medical school.

However, it is important to consider that deciles can vary from year to year and medical schools change their requirements each cycle. Whilst you may not need such a high score to receive an interview or an offer, it is important to check the deciles and what decile thresholds different universities require! 

A Good UCAT Score

A good UCAT score is generally considered to be a score above 690 and Band 1 or 2. This would be a total score of 2760. This score would usually put you in the 8th decile meaning that you would be in the top 20% of the cohort that took the test in your admission cycle. 

Each university would have a different threshold as to what a good UCAT score is, so ensure to check each university’s threshold and requirements and whether they have any decile cut-offs.

You can find more information on where you can apply with a high UCAT score here.

An Average UCAT Score

Average UCAT scores usually range from 630-650 and Band 2 or 3. This would mean your total score is around 2520-2600. An average score would usually rank you in the 5th decile, meaning that you have scored better than 50% of the cohort that took the test in your admission cycle. 

Again, always take this with a pinch of salt! The average decile and scores can vary greatly each year. Many universities do still accept a score in the 5th decile, and you will be able to find the cut-offs in the university entry requirements section.

You can find more information on where you can apply with an average UCAT score here.

A Low UCAT Score

A low UCAT score is generally a score below 610 and Band 4. This would bring your total to 2440. Do not be disheartened by this score as you can still apply for Medicine but will need to be very strategic about the universities that you choose!

If you do receive a low UCAT score, check the interim and final deciles to gauge where your score ranks. You should then identify which universities have a cut-off or threshold and look at the medical schools that accept UCAT scores of all deciles, such as Sunderland University.

Some universities will also give a lower weighting to UCAT, which may work out to your advantage if you have a low UCAT score.

You can find more information on where you can apply with a low UCAT score here.

Tips for Achieving a High UCAT Score

Practice Makes Perfect

You may have heard this phrase a lot when it comes to UCAT revision, however, this is true to its testament! The UCAT is a unique test and does not require learning content or knowledge, but rather practising logical skills, speed and agile decision-making. Practising with the use of question banks and mock tests will allow you to get used to how the test is structured and how to improve your score and timing. 

It is important to allow yourself enough time to prepare for the UCAT and students usually set out to start 6-8 weeks before their test date. However, burning out is very common when it comes to the UCAT so remember to take lots of breaks in your revision period and to do your test when you feel ready and think you will do your best! 

Focus on your Weaknesses

There are 5 sections to cover in the UCAT exam and naturally, you will be better at certain sections and may find the others more difficult. This is normal! Whilst you may feel inclined to keep practising the sections you are good at, remember to practise on the sections which you find more difficult as this will help to improve your score greatly. 

Timed Practice

The UCAT is a difficult test due to the high time pressure surrounding each section, with some sections giving you as little as 15 seconds to answer each question. To achieve a high score, practising timed sections and mocks early on can help significantly in the long run! This will also help to build your stamina whilst maintaining accuracy in each section. 

Keyboard Shortcuts – as mentioned, the UCAT is extremely time-pressured! Learning the keyboard shortcuts can help shave off seconds for each question and provide you with more time to answer each question! Start practising early on with the appropriate keyboard and get used to using each of the keys and shortcuts necessary! 

Stay Calm 

Getting in the right mindset and staying calm before the exam is extremely important! Therefore, you may want to consider booking your exam at a time of day that is comfortable for you. You may feel a lot of pressure riding on this exam, however, remember that your score is not the be-all or end-all and the UCAT is just one aspect of a holistic application! 


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