Table Of Contents
Introduction to UCAT Scores and Results
The beautiful thing about the UCAT exam is that within 24 hours of sitting it you’ll have an email from Pearson VUE in your inbox with instructions on how to access your Score Report. You can even save it and print it.
Despite the minimal time-based agony, the results you receive may not mean a whole lot to you unless you know just what it is that they represent. That’s where this guide comes in – hopefully by the end of reading this, you’ll be prepared to be satisfied when you find out how well you’ve done upon opening your results.
If you would like to refresh your memory and have a quick read about each section of the UCAT before you look at how they are scored, here are the links:
How is the UCAT scored?
The UCAT is divided up into 5 sections. These are Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, and Situational Judgement. They each test different skills that are imperative to your job as a doctor. Each section is worth the same scale score range of 300 – 900, making for a total scale score range of 1200 – 3600. Situational Judgement is not added to your total, and it’s given to you separately as a score from 300 – 900.
Scoring methods vary by section:
Now you may have noticed a slight discrepancy here; a section is worth 300 to 900 scale score points, but each question is worth 1 mark? I’ll explain. Because the number of questions varies from section to section, you can’t make a direct comparison of the raw number of marks between the sections.
Therefore, they must be converted into scale scores that all have the same range of 300 to 900. The scaled scores for each section are added together to produce your total score – the one between 1200 and 3600.
Your total scaled score also correlates to a percentile. This is a way of comparing your results with everybody else who took the test. If you’re in the 90th percentile, it means that you’re in the top 10% of people who took the test, or that you performed better than 90% of people who took the test.
UCAT Sectional score and total score
After reading the above section you are probably wondering about sectional scores. Why does the UCAT disclose how much you had in each section, rather than only giving you the total scaled score?
The reason is quite simple. Universities might use the results differently. However, only 1 out of 13 medical schools in Australia and New Zealand does not use the total scaled score. The University of Otago has a minimum score that you need to achieve in each section to be admitted.
So, you will get a score for each section of your test and these scores are added together to create the total score – which most universities use.
How is your UCAT Scored used by each university
Every university in Australia and New Zealand slightly differs in how they use your UCAT score; these differences consist in:
That information, for every university that uses the UCAT in their medical applications, it’s all in the table below.
|University||Components of the UCAT used||Weighting of the UCAT in application/entry|
|University of Adelaide||Total Scaled Score, No Situational Judgement||20%|
|University of Auckland||Total Scaled Score + Situational Judgement||15%|
|Charles Darwin University||Total Scaled Score, No Situational Judgement||10%|
|Curtin University||Total Scaled Score + Situational Judgement||20%|
|Flinders University||Total Scaled Score, No Situational Judgement||10%|
|Monash University||Total Scaled Score + Situational Judgement||33%|
|University of Newcastle||Total Scaled Score, No Situational Judgement||100%|
|University of New South Wales||Total Scaled Score, Situational Judgement analysed completely separately with a cut-off of at least 50th percentile||33%|
|University of Otago||Minimum score required in each section of the UCAT||No interview. Entry is purely UCAT and GPA|
|University of Queensland||Total Scaled Score + Situational Judgement||100% if you reach the academic threshold|
|University of Tasmania||Total Scaled Score + Situational Judgement. Cut off at 50th percentile||You only have to reach the cut-off, then it's all academics to get in|
|University of Western Australia||Total Scaled Score + Situational Judgement||20%|
|Western Sydney University||Total Scaled Score + Situational Judgement||100% if you reach the academic threshold|
UCAT Situational Judgement Cut-off
As you can see in the above table, some universities don’t take the Situational Judgement section of the UCAT into consideration. Some consider it separately and require that you meet a certain threshold in that area. Many consider it, along with the other sections.
Analysis of previous years' UCAT scores
The mean scores and percentiles (as deciles) for 2020 are as follows:
Note: The 1st decile is the 10th percentile, the 2nd is the 20th, etc.
From this, we can see that overall people found the Verbal Reasoning section the hardest. As we’ve mentioned in our guide here, candidates often find this section the most difficult because of how pressed for time you are – so this difference in performance is to be expected.
Taking into consideration the mean scores in each section and the scores in each percentile, we can see that the UCAT is a challenging test. Not a whole lot of people did very poorly, but not a whole lot did exceptionally well either. It’s very clearly hard to have a high mark.
Essentially, this is telling us that there aren’t many correct answers between an average performance and a fantastic performance – every mark counts. Luckily for you, the fact that you’re here means that you’re on track to smashing it!
UCAT Situational Judgement Cut-off
From the table above, we can see that for last year an average UCAT total scaled score was 2527, or about 632 in each section. A good score is anything above this, and an excellent score is above about 2800. If you’re in the top 90th percentile, you have got a serious grip on the skills that the UCAT aims to assess.
Closing notes for UCAT Scoring and Results
In summary, each of the 5 sections of the UCAT has a scaled score of 300 – 900, adding to a total of 1200 – 2600 (with the exception of the Situational Judgement section).
A score of 2527 is about average. Anything above this is good and you should feel very good if this is the score you’re getting on your mocks. A score of 2800 is seriously good. Universities across Australia and New Zealand will take your UCAT results (which you will receive soon after sitting the test) and break them down differently so consider this before you apply.
Every mark makes a difference – practice, practice, practice, and leave no question unanswered. Good luck!
By Benjamin Just