I don’t understand how UKCAT scores work – how can I end up with a total higher than the point value of questions I answered?
It is a completely understandable to get confused over this. ukcat scores do not give a linear relationship between the marks available for each question and your final mark. Your raw marks – the points you gain from each question – are scaled up to give a final result between 1200 and 3600. Scaling for exam marking is very common, especially in the sciences, and how UKCAT scores work reflect general exam marking practices which you’ll probably encounter later on.
How is each section marked?
To understand how ukcat scores work, it’s important to understand that all the sections are marked differently. Here is a quick breakdown of the number of questions and marks available:
Verbal Reasoning (44 questions) – One mark each
Decision Making (29 questions) – One mark each, or two marks for fully correct multiple-choice answers
Quantitative Reasoning (36 questions) – One mark each
Abstract Reasoning (55 questions) – One mark each
The Situational Judgement Test is handled differently; one mark is available for every question answered correctly, and partial marks are available for questions which are close to the correct answer.
How ukcat scores work might seem excessively complicated, but it is clear why they need to work this way when you look at disparities between different sections. Between 300 and 900 points are available in each section, which gives each section equal weighting. This prevents giving an advantage to applicants who are excellent at abstract reasoning but poor at decision making. If the marks weren’t scaled, the fact that more raw marks are available in abstract reasoning would give unfair emphasis to this part of the test.
Other important details about the UKCAT scores
The reason for how ukcat scores work is to give a common point of reference for all candidates which balances effectively between different sections of the test. The Situational Judgement Test, however, will place you into one of four “bands”, with Band 1 for excellent answers throughout and Band 4 for poor answers throughout. It is not included in your final ukcat mark.
There are another couple of details you should remember about how ukcat scores work. The ukcat is not negatively marked; you do not lose marks for incorrect answers. Also, the marks that universities will accept are not as absolute as, for example, A-Level results. You are compared to the rest of your cohort, and the results which universities accept vary based on year. Certain universities also place a higher or lower emphasis on ukcat scores, so you can tailor your applications based on what you achieved.
Now you understand how ukcat scores work, you can set goals and interpret your results effectively! If you want to triple your chances of success when applying for Medicine, check out our Oxbridge and non-Oxbridge packages!
Get Access to Best-Selling ukcat Resources
Get online and join the many other prospective medical students who are getting expert advice on the UKCAT with our UKCAT Online Course. Now, you can learn all you need to before the big test day from the comfort of your home. When you log in, you will have access to hours of online lectures taught by the medical experts themselves as well as free mock papers, the ultimate ukcat guide, and the skills to master every section of the test.
Tips and Tricks to a Successful UKCAT Score
We can’t pull a rabbit out of the hat for your ukcat test, but we can certainly try to help you get the great score you’re looking for. We’ve talked to the Medical experts and students who have experienced the test firsthand all of which bought together these 6 best tips and tricks to be successful in your ukcat.