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Applying to Medical School Strategically: Part 3 – Where to Apply with a Good UCAT Score

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In this blog series we are exploring how you should use your UCAT scores strategically when applying to UCAS for medical school, in order to maximise your chances of securing a place. In this blog we will be focusing on which universities you should consider applying to with a good UCAT score (a UCAT score in the range of 655-705).

What does my UCAT score mean?

A UCAT score of 655-705 is considered a good score. Combined with sufficient academic grades, a UCAT score in this range would be sufficient to obtain an interview at almost all UCAT requiring universities, apart from those mentioned in our last blog (where to apply with an excellent UCAT score).

Where should I apply with a good UCAT score?

Here are some medical schools where a good UCAT score is needed, and where you should consider applying:

Barts and The London School of Medicine (Queen Mary University of London)

At Barts, candidates are first checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic entry requirements:

  • A*AA in Chemistry or Biology and another science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths)
  • UCAT score in the top 7 deciles (592.5 last year)

Candidates are then given an overall score (comprising 50% academic and 50% UCAT), with top scoring candidates invited to interview. The average UCAT score required to secure an interview last year was around 680.  UCAT Situational Judgement Score is used at interview.

St. Andrews University Medical School

At St. Andrews, candidates are first checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic entry requirements (AAA in Chemistry and one of Biology, Mathematics or Physics).

Candidates are then scored using UCAT alone with the top 400 candidates invited to interview.

In 2019 the average UCAT score for candidates offered an interview was 687.5. In 2020 the lowest score offered an interview was 600, however, this was when the university used academic grades and UCAT to rank students (so a low UCAT score could be compensated for by high academic grades). Now St Andrews has changed their ranking to UCAT only, so it is likely that the minimum UCAT score will be higher this year. Note that these UCAT thresholds change for fee status and route applied to (English or Scottish). UCAT Situational Judgement Score is used at interview, and obtaining band 4 in UCAT Situational Judgement does not automatically lead to rejection.

University of Nottingham Medical School

At Nottingham, candidates are first checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic entry requirements (AAA in Chemistry and Biology).

Candidates are then scored using GCSEs, UCAT cognitive subtest performance and UCAT Situational Judgement subtest performance. Their scoring system can be found here.

The scoring system has changed for 2022 entry, so previous scores needed for interview are not available. UCAT score requirements change from year to year, but it is possible to work out your score and obtain an indication of your chances of obtaining an interview before applying to UCAS. Students who achieved band 4 in the UCAT Situational Judgement subtest were automatically rejected.

Kings College London Medical School

At Kings, candidates are first checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic entry requirements (A*AA including Chemistry and Biology).

Candidates are then scored using UCAT, academic performance and widening participation criteria with top scoring candidates invited to interview.

For entry last year the average score was 690. In 2019, the lowest UCAT score to obtain an interview was 612.5, although this would require exemplary performance in all other measures. UCAT Situational Judgement band 4 does not lead to automatic rejection at Kings.

University of Glasgow Medical School

At Glasgow, candidates are first checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic entry requirements (AAA in Chemistry and Biology/Physics/Maths).

Candidates are then screened to ensure they meet the expected standards for personal statement and reference. Finally, UCAT scores are used to rank students, with the top scoring candidates being invited to interview.

In 2019 to obtain an interview at Glasgow you need to be in about the top 30% of those sitting the UCAT (for 2020 this would have been a score above 662.5). The UCAT Situational Judgement Test is not used.

University of Dundee Medical School

At Dundee, candidates are first checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic entry requirements (AAA in Chemistry and Biology/Physics/Maths).

Little information is available regarding Dundee’s use of UCAT, although in 2016 the average applicant invited to interview scored 685. UCAT Situational Judgement subtest band 4 does not necessarily lead to rejection however it “may affect the decision on whether or not to make an offer.”

University of Sheffield Medical School

At Sheffield, candidates are first checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic entry requirements:

  • AAA in Chemistry or Biology and one other science (Maths, Physics, Biology/Human Biology or Psychology)
  • UCAT score of 605 or higher

Then candidates’ UCAT scores are ranked and top scoring students are invited to interview. Last year a UCAT score of 685 was needed for interview (a UCAT score of 657.5  was needed in 2019, 672.5 was needed in 2018 and 667 was needed in 2017). According to Sheffield, a UCAT score “around the 70th-73rd centile” is sufficient for an interview. The UCAT Situational Judgement subtest is used at interview, and achieving band 4 in UCAT Situational Judgement does not automatically lead to rejection.

St George’s University of London Medical School

At St George’s, candidates are first checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic entry requirements:

  • AAA in Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology
  • UCAT score of at least 500 in each cognitive subtest, this might be different for clearing

Candidates are then given an overall score (comprising 100% UCAT), with top scoring candidates invited to interview. The average UCAT score required to secure an interview last year was 665.  UCAT Situational Judgement Score is not used.

Anglia Ruskin University School of Medicine 

At Anglia Ruskin, candidates are first checked to ensure that they meet the minimum academic entry requirements (AAA including Chemistry or Biology and one of either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics).

UCAT scores of applicants are then ranked, with the top scoring students invited to interview. Students living or studying in the East of England region or living in Essex are given extra points which can supplement a lower UCAT score. UCAT Situational Judgement band 4 leads to automatic rejection.

Please note that UCAT score thresholds do change year-to-year and are impossible to predict with certainty until after the UCAS October 15th deadline.

Check out other blogs in this series:

Note: UCAT score thresholds do change year-to-year and are impossible to predict with certainty until after the UCAS October 15th deadline.

Written by George Garratt

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