What is a good UCAT® (UKCAT) score?

This is a very commonly asked question - and one that does not have an exact answer. Different medical schools have different criteria. Some require candidates to have UCAT scores over a certain level in order to be invited to the next stage of their applications. Other medical schools use a holistic approach when bearing in mind UCAT scores, using it in conjunction with other parts of the application equally. Therefore a good UCAT score is not exactly the same for every medical school. Nevertheless, below are a few helpful points to consider and some guidelines for a good score.

Each year, the average UCAT score fluctuates. Generally speaking, achieving above the average score should be enough to progress your application to the next stage, but this is heavily dependent on which medical school you apply to and the rest of your application.

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UCAT score in the range 600-650

If you score within this range, you need to consider applying to medical schools who may weigh up other parts of your application more than the UCAT. Institutions that do not particularly weigh the UCAT highly are: Exeter (who use your A Levels as a main qualifier), Leicester, and Nottingham (who allocate a points system to your GCSE and A Levels and use a cut-off to decide who to interview). Cardiff is another university that does not use the UCAT heavily in selection. At Birmingham, the UCAT comprises 30% of the application: therefore if you have excellent GCSE grades then this may be a good option. Bristol was historically known for not using UCAT scores - however they have introduced this over the last couple of years. They use the UCAT in conjunction with other aspects of the application, and the UCAT comprises approximately 20% of the application to that medical school. Bristol University also clearly state the average UCAT score of 2660 or above (based on the 2017/18 applicant cycle) would have progressed to interview if they were basing their decisions on the UCAT alone. As we know, they do not weigh their decision on their applicant pool heavily on this score, but a high UCAT score is very advantageous.

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UCAT score in the range 650-700

This score is above average typically, and whilst you may want to apply to institutions that use the UCAT, it's important to bear in mind that many of these institutions will have applicants scoring well above 700. Therefore, it is again advisable to apply to institutions that use the UCAT holistically. For example, Barts and the London use a tariff option in your application. The UCAT comprises 50%, with the other 50% being your other application statistics. Therefore, if you are predicted A*s for A-Levels and have top GCSE grades with impressive extra-curricular activities, your application may be considered more strongly at institutions who more evenly consider other aspects of your application alongside the UCAT. Other institutions include Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Southampton, Liverpool, UEA, St Georges London, and Sheffield (who used a cut off of 2460 last year as a screening for invitation to interview).

UCAT score above 700

This is an excellent score to achieve! If you score in this range, you should be strategic and apply to institutions that favour the UCAT in their scoring systems. Such institutions include Kings College London, Newcastle, and Edinburgh.

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It's crucial to apply strategically and research university profiles and admission criteria in great detail. It is often helpful to read the admission section on their websites and in their prospectus. If you have any specific questions, most admissions teams are happy to answer them. Remember, practice for the UCAT well in advance and time yourself strictly when answering the questions. Often timing is the reason for students failing to perform as well as they wished. After you've taken your exam, whatever your result, be satisfied that you performed your best. The next steps in deciding where to apply will be very important and whilst you should spend time researching this, do not neglect the other equally important aspects of your application!

To learn more about the UCAT have a look at our UCAT info and FAQ pages.

Download our 2019 -2020 UCAT & BMAT Timeline as part of your UCAT starter kit, including:

Kaplan UCAT Study Guide
UCAT & BMAT key differences fact sheet
UCAT free practice test

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