UCAT Scores | What Are Considered Average & Good Scores?

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When it comes to getting into any university programme, you want to make your application as strong as possible. However, when considering some of the most competitive courses, particularly ones such as Medicine, this is even more important.

One of the most important factors of this is getting a good score on admissions tests, such as the UCAT. The only issue with this is figuring out what a good score actually is but fear not by the end of this article you’ll know exactly what a good UCAT score is.

In short, the average overall score for the UCAT in 2023 was 2,516. A good overall UCAT scored is generally considered to be about 2,600 or above, although some universities will require applicants to have higher to be considered for their Medicine or Dentistry programmes. For individual sections, a good score is considered to be 650 with Band 2 on the situational judgement section being considered good. The average score for each section varies. For 2023, these range between 591 and 652.

Continue reading to better understand what a good UCAT score is to get into the best programmes in Medicine and Dentistry in the UK. This article will also take you through how the UCAT scoring process works and much more.

What is a good UCAT score?

Getting a good score on the UCAT exam can be so important. However, it can be difficult to know what one actually is.

For the UCAT exam, each section is scored between 300 and 900 and then the situational judgement section instead gives candidates bands from 1 to 4. While we’ll look at this in greater detail later on in the article, having an idea of the boundaries helps to see what a good score actually means.

In general, a good score on the UCAT exam is around 650 for the average for each section, although this may slight change year on year. As a grand total, this would give exam takers a combined score of 2,600 for all of the 4 sections.

You can learn more about this by checking out this article by The Medic Portal.

In the UK, the situational judgement section of the UCAT, doesn’t have any bearing on your overall score. While we will once again look into this more thoroughly later on in the article, when looking at what is a good score for this section, it’s important to know that Band 1 is the highest and Band 4 is the lowest.

Generally, Band 2 is considered a good score in the situational judgement section of the UCAT as the candidate is seen as having had a solid level of performance. You can learn more about this by checking out this page on the UCAT website.

What is the lowest UCAT score for medicine?

If you want to study Medicine, you may be required to do the UCAT as some universities make it a compulsory part of their admissions process. Due to this, it can be important to know how well you need to score on this test to even be considered by universities.

Each university has different policies on the UCAT and while some will specifically lay out their cut off point, others don’t officially have one. Due to this, there technically isn’t a general lowest UCAT score for medicine as other factors are often being considered.

However, it can still be useful to see what universities set as a cut off score or whether they do this at all. Check out the following list of universities that use the UCAT for Medicine to see what their minimum scores are.

University  Minimum score
University of Aberdeen No set cut off score but Band 4 on the situational judgement section won’t normally be considered.
Anglia Ruskin University No set cut off score but don’t accept applicants with Band 4 in situational judgement section.
Aston University No set cut off score or band.
Bangor University No set cut off score.
University of Birmingham No set cut off score but ranked into deciles compared to other applicants.
University of Bristol No set cut off score.
Brunel University London No set cut off score but don’t accept applicants with Band 4 in situational judgement section.
Cardiff University No set cut off score.
University of Central Lancashire No set cut off score.
University of Chester Applicants must score a minimum of 2,540 to be considered. (For 2024 entry)
University of Dundee No set cut off score.
University of East Anglia No set cut off score.
Edge Hill University No cut off score but don’t accept applicants with Band 4 in situational judgement section.
University of Edinburgh Applicants must score a minimum of 2,470 to be considered and above Band 4 in the situational judgement section. (2024 entry)
University of Exeter No set cut off score.
University of Glasgow Not set cut off score.
Hulk York Medical School No set cut off score but don’t accept applicants with Band 4 in situational judgement section.
Keele University Applicants must score above 2,280 and above Band 4 in the situational judgement section to be considered.
Kent and Medway Medical School No set cut off score.
King’s College London No set cut off score.
University of Leeds No set cut off score.
University of Leicester No set cut off score but ranked into deciles and applicants in the bottom 2 won’t be considered. Also, applicants with Band 4, won’t be considered.
University of Liverpool No set cut off score but UK applicants will not be accepted with Band 4 in the situational judgement section but international applicants will be.
University of Manchester No set cut off score but applicants need to be in Band 1 or Band 2 of situational judgement section.
University of Newcastle (Linked here) No set cut off score.
University of Nottingham No set cut off score but don’t accept applicants with Band 4 in situational judgement section.
Plymouth University No set cut off score.
Queen Mary University of London Applicants need to have a score in the 4th decile or above as well as have a Band 3 or above in the situational judgement section to be considered.
Queen’s University Belfast No set cut off score.
University of Sheffield Applicants need a minimum score of 2,440.
University of Southampton No set cut off score.
University of St Andrews No set cut off score.
St George’s, University of London Applicants need to achieve a minimum of 500 in each section of the UCAT.
University of Sunderland Applicants must achieve a score within the top 8 deciles and be in Bands 1- 3.
University of Surrey No set cut off score.
University of Warwick No overall cut off score but applicants will need at least 590 on the verbal reasoning section.
University of Worcester No set cut off score

You can find the pages to these universities entry requirements by looking at this page on the UCAT website.

As you can see many universities don’t set a particular general minimum UCAT score. However, even when they don’t, we can still get some insight into what the lowest scores you will need for medicine are.

This is due to the minimum threshold for interviews that is set after universities have received applicants’ UCAT scores and will vary dependent on the year.

Look at the following table, to get a few examples of what these scores are.

University Minimum score of interviewees (2022- 2023 admissions cycle)
University of Aberdeen (Linked here) 2,340 for Scottish/ EU applicants, 2,500 for other UK applicants and 2,680 for international applicants.
University of Birmingham (Linked here) 2,880 for UK applicants or 2,500 with a contextual offer. 2,960 for international applicants.
University of Bristol 2,910 for UK applicants and 2,960 for international applicants.
University of Glasgow 2,440 for Scottish applicants, 2,690 for other UK applicants and 2,800 for international applicants.
University of Leicester 2,250
Newcastle University (Linked here) 2,820 for UK applicants and 2,600 for international applicants.
Plymouth University 2,680 for UK applicants and 2,440 for international applicants.

What UCAT score do you need for Dentistry?

For a Dentistry course at university, the UCAT is often still very important for admissions. While it may at times be used for a slightly different purpose than it is for Medicine degree programmes, it is still crucial to know the minimum that you can get to be considered.

However, once again, many universities won’t actually set a specific cut off point. Look at the following list of universities that require the UCAT for their Dentistry programmes to see which have set cut off score or bands.

University  Minimum score
University of Aberdeen No set cut off score nor band for situational judgement section.
University of Birmingham No set cut off score and situational judgement band not used.
University of Bristol No set cut off score.
Cardiff University No set cut off score.
University of Central Lancashire No set cut off score.
University of Dundee No set cut off score.
University of Glasgow No set cut off score.
King’s College London Not set cut off score.
University of Leeds No set cut off score.
University of Liverpool No set cut off score but don’t accept Band 4 in situational judgement section.
University of Manchester No set cut off score but don’t accept applicants with Band 4 in situational judgement section.
University of Newcastle (Linked here) No set cut off score.
Plymouth University No set cut off score.
Queen Mary University of London (Linked here) Applicants need to have a score in the 4th decile or above as well as have a Band 3 or above in the situational judgement section to be considered.
Queen’s University Belfast No set cut off score.
University of Sheffield Applicants need to score above average and to be in Band 3 or above on the situational judgement section.

Many of these universities didn’t have specified minimum scores. This can be incredibly irritating as it makes it more difficult for you to have a clear score to aim for before taking the UCAT. However, it also means that a range of factors will be considered so even with a lower score, you may still have a chance of getting in.

However, once again, universities create thresholds after they have received all applicants UCAT scores. Some examples of what these were for 2023 entry were as follows.

University Minimum score of interviewees (2022- 2023 admissions cycle)
University of Aberdeen 2110 for Scottish applicants and 2,460 for other UK applicants.
University of Bristol 2,850 for UK applicants and 2,820 for international applicants.
Newcastle University (Linked here) 2,790 or 2,690 for contextual offers.
Plymouth University 2,650 for UK applicants and 2,570 for international applicants.

You can find the links to the pages on the respective universities’ websites on this page of the UCAT official website.

What UCAT score do you need for Oxford?

The University of Oxford is one of the most prestigious universities, not just in the UK, but also worldwide. Due to this, getting into the University of Oxford is notoriously difficult and that’s for typical degree programmes, let alone ones that are already incredibly competitive, such as Medicine or Dentistry.

The University of Oxford doesn’t actually run a Dentistry programme, so naturally, there will be no UCAT requirement for this. However, while the University of Oxford does have a Medicine programme, they don’t actually use the UCAT.

Instead of needing a UCAT score for the University of Oxford, applicants will need to take the BMAT. This is another type of university admissions test that is used by some universities for courses in biomedical sciences, such as Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.  You can learn more about the BMAT in this page on the University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division website.

To learn more about the entry requirements for the Medicine programme at the University of Oxford, check out this page on their website.

What is the average UCAT score?

Having looked at the scores you need to get into some of the best universities in the UK for Medicine, let’s look at what the average candidate actually gets.

For 2023, the overall mean average UCAT score is 2,516. To put this into context, the UCAT is scored between 1,200 and 3,600, so the score is roughly in the middle of this.

There is also a mean average for each of the 4 scored sections, which you can see in the table below.

Section Mean average for 2023
Verbal reasoning 591
Decision making 623
Quantitative reasoning 649
Abstract reasoning 652

For the situational judgement section, the highest percentage of candidates in any band was in Band 2 with 39% and cumulatively, this would mean that 64% of candidates received Band 2 or above. To put this into perspective, look at the following table, which will show the percentage of candidates that received each band in the situational judgement section of the UCAT for 2023.

Situational judgement band Percentage
Band 1 25%
Band 2 39%
Band 3 26%
Band 4 9%

Please note that the data above is based on the 35,625 UCAT candidates that took the test in 2023 up to the 28th of September. You can find this on this page of the UCAT website.

How is UCAT score calculated?

Now that we have broken down what a good score is and what the average was for 2023, we also need to look at where these scores come from.

As previously mentioned, the UCAT is made up of 5 separate sections. These sections are the verbal reasoning section, the decision-making section, the quantitative reasoning section, the abstract reasoning section and the situational judgement section.

While there are 5 sections, your overall UCAT score will only come from 4 of them as you will be given a separate grading for the situational judgement section. Across these 4 sections, candidates will receive raw marks based on how many out of the 159 questions they answer correctly. There are no negative marks given in this section.

However, the raw marks don’t directly match up to the score that candidates end up with. Instead, the score that a candidate gets is the scaled scored, that takes into consideration a range of different considerations.

These include the level of difficulty per question, how many questions you answered, the probability of random guessing and other factors. You can learn more about where this scaled score comes from in this article by Med Entry.

Each of the 4 sections are given a scaled score between 300 and 900. This means that your overall scaled score will be between 1,200 and 3,600.

The situational judgement test is not a part of this scoring and instead of receiving a score, you will be put into a band. These range from Band 1 to Band 4, with Band 4 being the lowest, and as seen above, may not be accepted by universities.

You can learn more about how the UCAT is scored by checking out this page on the UCAT official website. You can also learn more about the UCAT assessment in this Think Student article.

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