UKCAT Decision Making
In 2016, UKCAT Decision Making (DM) was piloted, designed to replace Decision Analysis in 2017. This section is designed to assess your ability to apply reasoning and logic to a problem.
It is important to note that your performance in the Decision Making section will not count towards your overall UKCAT result, and it will not be forwarded to the Medical Schools that you have applied to.
Whilst you won’t be graded on your UKCAT Decision Making results, you are still encouraged to take this section of the test seriously. Doing so will help to improve selection processes for medical and dental students in the future, and will ensure a better understanding of how effective this new section is for testing a candidate’s capabilities.
UKCAT Decision Making: Section Summary
Boost your Decision Making score with our UKCAT Course
- Total number of items: 29 items – based on text, charts, tables, graphs or diagrams
- Total time: 32 minutes (1 min for instruction and 31 mins for items)
What’s the difference between Decision Analysis and Decision Making?
UKCAT Decision Analysis
In the old Decision Analysis questions, you’re provided with a table in which a code is written. You are then asked a series of questions using this code to see how you apply your logic and decision analysis skills in providing the best translation of a sentence, suggesting what code would represent a sentence best, or other variations.
UKCAT Decision Making
The Decision Making questions are very different – don’t be fooled by the similar name! In this style of question you’ll be provided with short scenarios where you’ll have to logically assess the legitimacy of suggested answers. To have a look at some practice questions, check out the UKCAT website here.
UKCAT Decision Making: Question Types
For UKCAT Decision Making, you will face two types of question format:
- You’ll be presented with four answer options, where only one option is correct
- You’ll be asked to respond to five statements, by answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’ next to each statement
You will be provided with a basic on-screen calculator for this section, and you may need to use your pen and booklet for rough workings.
There are four components of decision making questions in the UKCAT Decision Making:
1. Deductive Reasoning
You’ll be provided with an opening statement, and you’ll have to decide which of the following conclusion statements you are provided with follows.
2. Evaluating Arguments
After reading the question, and any text with it, you’ll be provided with a choice of arguments. You’ll then have to choose which is the best argument.
3. Statistical Reasoning
Here, you need to be able to make conclusions based on data (numbers and graphs) provided to you.
4. Figural Reasoning
In these items, you have to make conclusions based on sequences given to you.
UKCAT Decision Making Tips
Read closely and familiarise yourself with graphs
Decision Making assesses your ability to evaluate arguments, gain information using statistics, draw conclusions and understand sequences. For questions involving statistics, familiarise yourself with interpreting graphs and tables. You might find it useful to look at A-Level/GCSE Biology or Maths papers to get used to interpreting information presented in graphs to reach an answer.
The UKCAT preparation you complete for Verbal Reasoning will also help with Decision Making questions. Familiarise yourself with reading paragraphs of text and interpreting the information given. Look at the language used – does the statement present the information as a certainty or likelihood? Does the associated argument logically address the statement given or is it vague with loose terminology? The clues are often in the language used, so get used to reading the statements and questions closely.
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