Good UCAT Score: How many do I need to get in?

5 min read

UCAT Scores: An Introduction

Especially if you are taking the UCAT examination and applying to medical school for the first time, the UCAT scoring system might seem very confusing to you. This is because the UCAT scoring system is a unique system that is likely different from any of the tests or examinations that you have taken previously at your school. Hence, knowing what would be considered a good UCAT score vs an average UCAT score, test score breakdown, or what scores you should be striving for might be challenging. As such, this article aims to address some of the most often asked questions concerning UCAT scoring. You should ideally have a better understanding of the UCAT test score breakdown and what UCAT score to strive for after reading this article.
You will instantly learn your UCAT exam score after taking it. This is one of the main advantages of taking the UCAT. By immediately being informed of how well you do, you will be able to strategically apply to medical schools that are more likely to give you an interview. Note: This article is most pertinent to UCAT scores from last year.

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How Is UCAT Scored?

As an overview, you will obtain a score for the first four UCAT sections. Your final UCAT scores will then undergo a UCAT conversion, which would result in you having a score that will range from 300 to 900, with 900 being the highest possible score is 900 and 300 being the lowest possible. On the other hand, for the final part on Situational Judgement, you would be given a banding instead. There are four bands, with band 1 being the highest and band 4 being the lowest.

In a nutshell: 

  • UCAT Verbal Reasoning: Score between 300-900 
  • UCAT Decision Making: Score between 300-900 
  • UCAT Quantitative Reasoning: Score between 300-900 
  • UCAT Abstract Reasoning: Score between 300-900 
  • UCAT Situational Judgement: Band between 1-4

This indicates that your final exam result will be a total score between 1200 and 3600 and a band between 1 and 4.

UCAT score
UCAT Score Possibilities

Universities may sometimes refer to the UCAT score as an average across all four sections, with the omission of the final section. It is likely that this is the case if you observe or overhear someone referring to their UCAT score as a figure between 300 and 900.

UCAT Universities

So, what would be a good score for each exam section? Let us examine each in turn:

UCAT Verbal Reasoning

There are 44 questions in the UCAT Verbal Reasoning, and each is worth 1 mark. Your unscaled UCAT result converts into a score between 300 and 900. It is important to keep in mind that each question is worth the same number of points regardless of its complexity. This implies that it may be worthwhile to guess or skip the longer or more complex questions since you can more accurately answer 2 to 3 easy questions in the time it takes you to figure out the solution to one difficult question. You can find our advice on how to do well in this part here.

Quantitative Reasoning

Each of the 36 questions in the UCAT Quantitative Reasoning portion is also worth one mark. UCAT will convert your score to a value between 300 and 900. This question tends to be the section that people score the highest in, with the average score for this segment usually tending to be the highest amongst all sections. You can find our advice on how to do well in this part here.

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Abstract Reasoning

The UCAT Abstract Reasoning now only has 50 questions, although each question will still only be worth one mark. This portion has always been among the most time-constrained among all the sections and this still holds true despite the decrease in the number of questions answered. This is because the time allocated for this section has also decreased, with candidates only having a 1-minute time limit per question. Hence, the decrease in the number of questions might not necessarily increase the accuracy or scoring of this section.

As with all the sections, the UCAT conversion also scales your raw score to a number between 300 and 900. You can find our advice on how to do well in this part here.

UCAT scores
UCAT Abstract Reasoning Example

Decision Making

There are 29 questions in this part, although the scoring differs slightly from other sections. In this section, some questions might have multiple answers or statements that you would be required to evaluate and analyse. These questions are worth two marks. However, you must answer every question component correctly to obtain the full two marks. Alternatively, you may also receive a portion of the possible points. For example, you will only receive one mark if you answer the question incorrectly in one component. Questions with a single response are worth one mark, just like the rest of the section. You can find our advice on how to do well in this part here.

Situational Judgement

There are 66 questions in this last section. Each question is worth the same points. However, you can receive partial marks if your response is close to the correct answer. This is evaluated by dividing your response choices into two categories.
“Good”, which is typically options A and B.
“Poor”, which is typically options C and D.
You will receive a partial mark if you choose the incorrect response but the right category. For example, you would get half a mark if you chose A when the correct answer is B. However, you would not get any points if you choose C when the correct answer was B. You can look at the example below and note how the answer choices A/B and C/D fit into two distinct groups.

what is a good UCAT score

Situational Judgement Scoring

Our guide to scoring highly in the Situational Judgement Testing section can be found here. You are given an overall band depending on your raw score. The UCAT has published UCAT Scoring guidance which explains what the different bands mean:

  • UCAT Band 1: Those in Band 1 demonstrated an excellent level of performance. Candidates howed similar judgement in most cases to the panel of experts.
  • UCAT Band 2: Those in Band 2 demonstrated a good, solid level of performance. Candidates showed appropriate judgement frequently, with many responses matching model answers. 
  • UCAT Band 3: Those in Band 3 demonstrated a modest level of performance, with appropriate judgement shown for some questions. Candidates also showed substantial differences from ideal responses for others. 
  • UCAT Band 4: The performance of those in Band 4 was low. Candidates’ judgement tended to differ substantially from ideal responses in many cases.
UCAT scoring
Situational Judgement Testing Scoring Banding

Although there is generally no cut-off mark at all for the Situational Judgement Testing section for most universities, it is worth knowing that some universities will not accept an application with a UCAT Band 4. Hence, you might want to spend more time on this section to avoid your application from not being considered despite a high score in other sections. However, that being said, some universities also do not completely consider your Situational Judgement Test scores for your application to medicine. For example, St. George’s University of London does not factor in your Situational Judgement Test scores in your application. 


What is the UCAT score out of?

All UCAT sections (apart from the situational judgement test) has a scaled score between 300-900. This means that the total UCAT score is between 1200-3600. The situational judgement test is scored in Bands, from 1-4 (4 is the lowest).

What is a high UCAT score?

At the end of the testing period, the official UCAT consortium will publish the final test statistics. This will allow you to see how you have performed in comparison to other candidates. Since this information would not be accessible until later in the application cycle, you can utilise past data to gauge your performance. The UCAT has not undergone any significant modifications, therefore the outcomes should be consistent with other years’ performance. As such, you should be able to estimate what percentile you lie in as compared to other candidates by using the past year’s statistics from the official UCAT website. However, do keep in mind that the UCAT Scoring might change from year to year, so be careful not to place too much reliance on historical data.

You can check out our guide on UCAT Scoring for each medical school based on prior years’ data if you have a certain medical school in mind. This will give you a decent sense of the minimum score you would have needed for your preferred medical school in order to submit an application in the past year.

One of the most trying aspects of applying to medical school is frequently the UCAT. Not only is taking the exam challenging in and of itself, but it may also be challenging to interpret your scores and determine how they will impact your application. This article should have helped to clarify the UCAT scoring process and give you a decent notion of what to aim for on test day. Hopefully, this would be able to guide you during your revision as well!

What is a good UCAT score?

Anything above 680 for each section is often regarded as a high UCAT score. You may submit a competitive application to almost any medical school with a score of more than 680 in every section. However, keep in mind that the standards for each medical school vary, and the majority of candidates who are accepted score below this. Furthermore, if you are an international medical applicant, you may also want to aim for a higher score as places are generally more competitive.

What was the average UCAT score? 

2516 was the overall mean score with candidates scoring an average of 629 on each of the four UCAT sections. You needed a score of 2730 or higher to rank in the top 20% of candidates.

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    What UCAT score do I need for medicine? 

    Ultimately, there is no fixed UCAT score required for you to pursue a career in medicine. This is because every medical school places a different amount of emphasis on the UCAT score. For example, your UCAT score will be heavily weighted in certain medical schools such as Kings College London while being merely a tiny factor of your application in others. In order to maximise your chances of getting an acceptance, research is essential so that you may strategically apply after knowing your score.

    What is a bad UCAT score?

    Anything below 610 is often seen as a low UCAT score. Your options for medical schools will be severely limited if your score is below 610. However, do not lose hope! A low UCAT score only indicates that certain possibilities have been eliminated, not that you have no possibility of receiving an offer.

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