Candidates are marked on the number of correct answers given on each section of the UKCAT. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers. Your score is converted to a scale that shares a common range from 300 to 900 for each subtest. A total score is then generated by adding all the individual subtest scores. This total scaled score ranges from 1200 to 3600, bearing that in mind what is the UKCAT cut-off?
Short Answer: There is no official cut-off, however due to the high volume of applicants, some universities use a UKCAT cut-off system to shortlist candidates that apply to their courses.
Long Answer: A UKCAT score good enough for admittance to one particular university might be below the cut- off of another. The answer to this question depends on the university in question. Universities that require the UKCAT each have their own approach to assessing UKCAT scores, some schools do not have a minimum requirement, while others do – here are some of the methods used by medical and dental schools to set a cut-off score:
Minimum score system: This is basically where, in most cases, a university would look at the overall performance of candidates in a particular testing cycle to set a minimum score. For example, they might consider the average total score achieved in a particular year and decide to set that as the cut-off. Any applicants that achieves below that average is automatically rejected.
Decile ranking system: This is quite common with universities that state that they do have a minimum UKCAT score but it varies each year. This method basically depends on the overall UKCAT performance of candidate in a particular year. The UKCAT exam board uses a statistical approach called deciles to report the overall performance of candidates each year. A decile is any of nine values that divides data into ten equal parts so that each part represents 10% of the candidates in a given testing cycle. This statistical approach is descriptive and gives the exam board a good overview of the overall test performance each year, and some universities use this data to pick a minimum UKCAT score. For example, a university might automatically reject applicants in the 3rd decile and below, in 2015, that would mean that if you would have had to achieve below 2470 to be rejected, but in 2017 ywould have to score a total of 2480 to be rejected.
- Point-based system: This approach is where universities award points to your UKCAT score as well as entire application, the higher your score the more points you earn. However, most universities that use this system also award points to other parts of an application such as personal statement, academics and reference. These universities might be a more suitable option if you do not do particularly well in the exam.
- Individual Score cut-off: Some universities have a cut-off marks for individual sections in the exam, regardless of how well your overall score might be. If you achieve below the minimum in a particular subtest they will reject your application.
Situational Judgement banding: The Situational Judgement is the final section of the UKCAT. Unlike the other subtests, you do not receive a score out of 900. Instead you are assessed from Band 1 to Band 4. Some universities automatically reject candidates that achieve a band 4 (lowest band).
I strongly recommend doing intensive research into how all the universities assess the UKCAT.
How To Find Out The UKCAT Cut-off For A Specific Choice
I personally recommend looking into how all universities assess the exam, and have an idea of which universities you will apply based on the outcome of your UKCAT score. There are a few places you can find out the cut-off for a specific university.
Official UKCAT website: The UKCAT board releases a document each year on how the UKCAT is used by Consortium universities The document is usually about 17 pages long, not to worry though, I summarised the entire document in an article titled how universities use the UKCAT and provided a link to the official document.
University website: Check on the course pages of the respective universities you intend to apply.
Contact admissions office: Cases where are you struggling to find information on how a school assesses the exam the admissions office can provide helpful insight, especially on the previous application cycle, such as minimum UKCAT invited for interview etc.