The UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) is used by many universities across the UK, for medical programs (Undergraduate, Graduate, and Foundation programs), as well as dentistry programs. The UCAT covers 5 sections (VR, AR, QR, DM, and SJT), where VR, AR, QR and DM are scored out of 3,600 points, each section scored between 300-900 points, and SJT is scored between Band 1 – Band 4. Applicants put a lot of effort into preparing for the UCAT, and it is important to know how best to use the score you receive to aid your medical school applications.
Each university can use the UCAT differently when considering medical school applications – some using the score as a minimum cut off, others ranking applicants based on their score. What constitutes an average UCAT score changes year to year, depending on how the cohort performs that year. Moreover, some universities may have minimum SJT band requirements, considered alongside the UCAT score. Its best to use your UCAT score in a tactical manner – applying to programs that favour the score you’ve achieved to increase your chances of achieving an interview.
Every year, the average score will change depending on the overall scores achieved by the cohort writing the UCAT that year. In 2021, the average score achieved was 2499. Here are the universities to apply to if your UCAT score hovers around average:
- University of Aberdeen (A100)
The university does not use a UCAT cut off score to invite applicants to interview; rather, a score is created based on academic achievement and overall UCAT performance as compared to other applicants. The lowest score invited to interview for 2022 entry was 2440 for Domestic and 2570 for International applicants, and SJT is not considered when scoring applicants, but may be used in offer making where applicants have similar scores.
The university does not have a minimum cut off score, but UCAT score is considered in a point system created by the university, which offers extra points for applicants living in the Essex region. Historically, the lowest UCAT score invited to interview was 2430, with a minimum SJT of band 3.
- University of Birmingham (A101)
There is no minimum cut-off score used by the university, but the scores (excluding SJT) will be ranked and given a point score according to the University of Birmingham UCAT scoring system (see below 2021 point system). There is a great emphasis on achieving a 1st Class Degree and top A level grades to contribute to a high score in addition to the UCAT points.
|Total UCAT score||Decile||Converted score|
|2770 and above||10th||4|
|2680 – 2760||9th||3.556|
|2610 – 2670||8th||3.111|
|2540 – 2600||7th||2.667|
|2480 – 2530||6th||2.222|
|2430 – 2470||5th||1.778|
|2380 – 2420||4th||1.333|
|2310 – 2370||3rd||0.889|
|2210 – 2300||2nd||0.444|
|2200 and below||1st||0|
- University of Leicester (A100)
Applicants are given a number score (see below) based on UCAT and academic qualifications, and ranked based on those. Bottom deciles and Band 4 SJT are rejected early. Other points in the scoring system are assigned for A levels, GCSE, and previous university degrees.
|Total UCAT Score||Points||Total UCAT Score||Points||Total UCAT Score||Points|
|3000-3049||30||2650-2699||26.5||2300-2349||23 or 16*|
|2950-2999||29.5||2600-2649||26||If bottom 2 deciles||Max 16|
*depending on where bottom two decile begins
- University of Nottingham (A100)
A scoring system is used to rank applicants, where top scorers will be invited to interview. Applicants scoring an SJT Band 4 will be automatically rejected. GCSE results are also scored, and the GCSE and UCAT scores are added together to create a final score.
|801 to 900||12|
|701 to 800||10|
|601 to 700||8|
|501 to 600||6|
|401 to 500||2|
If you achieve Band four on the SJT, you won’t be considered for an interview.
If you would like to find out where to apply with a low UCAT SJT score, take a look at this article.
- Queen Mary University of London (A100, A101)
Applicants with UCAT scores falling below the third decile will not be considered.
- University of Sheffield (A101)
Applicants must have achieved a UCAT threshold of 2430 to be considered for a interview. SJT score is considered only for applicants invited to interview. Applicants who meet the academic and ucat requirements will be ranked to determine which will be invited for an interview.
- University of Sunderland (A100)
Applicants must score in the top 8 deciles of the cohort, and must achieve SJT Band 3 or above to be considered for an interview.
- University of Warwick (A101)
The lowest score historically invited to interview was 2570, but there is greatest emphasis on the verbal reasoning section: the first round of selection identifies those scoring above the national average on verbal reasoning. For 2022 entry, the minimum verbal reasoning score considered for interview was 570.
Remember that getting a medical school acceptance is dependent on far more than any one score or factor: your personal statement, UCAT score, academic achievements, and interview performance are usually considered all together when universities make offers to applicants.
If none of the above options are suitable, consider taking the BMAT and applying to BMAT universities instead:
- University of Cambridge
- University of Oxford Medical School
- Imperial College London
- University College London
- Leeds’ School of Medicine
- Brighton & Sussex Medical School
- Keele University (overseas applicants only, home applicants sit the UCAT)
- Lancaster University
If you want to have a competitive score on your UCAT, check out our brand new ‘Ace the UCAT’ course, which includes:
- 200+ lessons
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- UCAT advice
Written by Hiba Al-Bahrani