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UCAT Results 2023: The Definitive Guide

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Preparing for the UCAT ® takes a lot of hard work and dedication. When the big day finally arrives and you’ve sat the UCAT ® , the next thing you’ll be wondering is: What does my UCAT ® score mean? Is my UCAT ® result good enough?

Read this guide for everything you need to know about UCAT ® results.

  1. UCAT ® Scores Explained: Scaled Scores & Percentiles
  2. How are UCAT ® Scores Calculated?
  3. When are UCAT ® Scores Released?
  4. What is a Good UCAT ® Score?
  5. UCAT ® Score Cutoffs
  6. Undergraduate Medical School Admissions
  7. Improving your UCAT ® Score - Free Resources

UCAT Scores Explained: Scaled Scores & Percentiles

Your UCAT ® scaled score is a score out of 3600 for the combined verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, and abstract reasoning sections, as well as a score out of 900 for the situational judgement. The minimum UCAT ® score for each section is 300 and the maximum is 900. There is no way of ascertaining this from how many questions you get correct as this score is calculated based on the performance of your cohort.

Your UCAT ® percentile score is a number out of 100 based on how your performance sits within your cohort. There is no way of ascertaining this from your scaled score or how many questions you get correct as this score depends on the varying performance of each examination cohort. However, the UCAT ® percentile score may hold the most weight in terms of medical school application, and you can get an idea of what scores convert to which percentages by looking at trends of previous years.

UCAT Scaled Scores

The UCAT ® scaled scores for the four major subtests are marked out of 3600, with a separate scoring for Situational Judgement (out of 900). These scores are provided by Pearson VUE upon the completion of your exam.

The following table showcases how the scores are split in each section:

UCAT Subtest Scores

UCAT ® Subtest Scores
Verbal Reasoning 300-900
Decision Making 300-900
Quantitative Reasoning 300-900
Abstract Reasoning 300-900
Situation Judgement 300-900 (separated from the four other sections)

UCAT ® Situational Judgement subtest is often not considered by universities. However, some universities are starting to take into consideration this section due to COVID-19 disruptions, as a further test of your emotional intelligence in addition to the interview process.

What do my UCAT scores mean?

The UCAT ® score is not a ‘mark’. It is a scaled score that has taken into account the difficulty of the exam. This raw scaled score is converted to a UCAT ® percentile.

A percentile ranks you amongst all the applicants in Australia and New Zealand. This means that the UCAT ® percentile conversions from UCAT ® raw scores will change every year depending on how well the applicant pool has performed. For example, an extremely strong cohort will increase the scaled score required to achieve a 90th percentile. Conversely, a poorly performing cohort will decrease the scaled score. For further details, see below.

This means that there is no ‘set’ pass mark in the UCAT ® exam. You are ranked competitively against other applicants, and the resulting interview offers also follow this rule. The more people sitting the UCAT ® each year will increase the cutoff for interviews, as the amount of medical interviews do not change, but the number of people in each ‘percentile bracket’ will differ. We have a dedicated page that covers everything you need to know about UCAT ® 2023 to help you better prepare for the exam by knowing what to expect.

Why is my UCAT score decreasing?

There are many reasons as to why your UCAT ® score may be decreasing. Most of the time, it is unrelated to you ‘regressing’ in your progress.

The UCAT ® score is based on a percentile, and this means that you are ranked against other applicants in your cohort. The UCAT ® institution will utilise statistical methods to ensure a fair and competitive process for determining your UCAT ® percentile.

As each year passes, there will be more re-takers for the UCAT ® and your cohort will become more competitive. This means the cut-off for each ‘percentile bracket’ will shift accordingly, due to a shift in the bell curve.

Furthermore, if the test was determined to be easier, then you would have a lower scaled score and hence percentile. As you are not provided with the ‘raw score’, but only the ‘scaled score’, you are unable to determine if the test you sat was easier or harder than usual.

Many students find Verbal Reasoning to be the most difficult subtest of the UCAT ® . Check out our guide on UCAT ® Verbal Reasoning to learn more about this challenging section and the best way to prepare for it.

How are UCAT Scores Calculated?

As described above, The UCAT ® scores are split into two types: scaled scores and the percentile.

Your UCAT ® scaled score is a score out of 3600 for the combined verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, and abstract reasoning sections, as well as a score out of 900 for the situational judgement. The minimum UCAT ® score for each section is 300 and the maximum is 900. There is no way of ascertaining this from how many questions you get correct as this score is calculated based on the performance of your cohort. You are also unable to see your ‘raw score’ in your official score report.

A general indication of how UCAT ® scores are generally scaled can be derived from past statistics in Australia and the UK. It is important to note that these UCAT ® raw score conversions are a guideline - Many factors, such as the test difficulty and the candidate pool, will affect the real conversion on the day.

UCAT Raw Score Scaling Conversion

The process of UCAT ® raw score scaling is made intentionally opaque because conversions will depend on the performance of each cohort each year! The process used for scaling is called the item response theory (IRT) . Without the performance of the testing cohort, it is impossible to generate an exact raw-to-scaled score conversion table.

To make this even more complicated, the total marks for each section do not reflect the number of items in each section. In each section, there are both operational (scored) and pre-test (unscored) items, and some items in the decision making section count for 2 marks instead of 1. These unscored items are ‘test’ questions that are for next year’s test cycle. The reason for this is because most newly written questions for the UCAT ® does not have any data on how well it is written. Pearson VUE uses data from the year before by assigning these ‘unscored’ items to help with their exam creation processes. This is also clarified in the following table. It is important to note that the ratio of score items to unscored items are speculation and it is almost impossible to determine.

UCAT Raw Scores by Section

Section Scored Items Unscored Items Total Questions Total Scored Marks
Verbal Reasoning 10 sets of (4 MCQs) 1 set of 4 MCQs 44 40*
Decision Making 26 MCQs 3 MCQs 29 34**
Abstract Reasoning 10 sets of 5 MCQs 1 set of 5 MCQs 55 50*
Quantitative Reasoning 8 sets of 4 MCQs 1 set of 4 MCQs 36 32*
Situational Judgement 20 sets of 2 to 5 MCQs 1 set of 5 MCQs and 1 specific MCQ 69 -***
*The total scored marks is fewer than the total questions because of the pretest (operational) items included in the examination.
**Some decision making questions carry 2 marks.
***The situational judgement test attracts partial marking for each question (0 to 2 marks) and thus it is impossible to determine the total scored marks.

You will be able to find speculative converters on the internet. From released UCAT ® UK statistics, we can see how previous cohorts have fared in conversion between raw and scaled scores. This table is constructed using averaged data from the UCAT ® UK statistics from all exam forms across the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 examinations. The total marks stated in the score column do not include unscaled items.

Such statistics are not released for UCAT ® ANZ candidates. Please note that this data is based on previous years’ UK candidate performances for which a normal distribution is assumed, and may not reliably represent 2023 UCAT ® raw score scaling.

UCAT (UK) Raw Score Percentile Correlations

Averages across performances of all test variations over 2017-2020*
Section Score** MIN** 50%ile 75%ile 90%ile MAX**
Verbal
Reasoning
Raw (out of 40) 0 22 26 29 40
Scaled (300-900) 300 568 619 665 900
Decision
Making
Raw (out of 34) 0 18 22 25 34
Scaled (300-900) 300 627 679 726 900
Abstract
Reasoning
Raw (out of 50) 0 30 36 40 50
Scaled (300-900) 300 640 699 753 900
Quantitative
Reasoning
Raw (out of 32) 0 18 22 26 32
Scaled (300-900) 300 668 722 771 900
Situational
Judgement
Raw 0 171 185 197 217
Scaled (300-900) 300 606 653 695 776
Band (1-4) Band 4 Band 2 Band 2 Band 1 Band 1
*The marks given for the minimum and maximum values indicate the minimum and maximum scores in each of the sections in each year, respectively. The marks for the 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles indicate the average score across each year’s candidate cohort.
**The total marks stated in the score column do not include unscaled items.

A further statistics report of how the scaled score changes with your percentile can be found on the official UCAT ® Test Statistics Website.

This table below has shown how the 90th Percentile has changed over the years 2019-2022, which is the competitive scale you need to get into medicine.

UCAT ANZ 90th Percentile Trend

Averages across performances of all test variations over 2019-2022
Section* 2019 2020 2021 2022
Verbal Reasoning N/A 670 680 680
Decision Making N/A 750 740 750
Abstract Reasoning N/A 800 800 810
Quantitative Reasoning N/A 770 800 830
Total 2850 2920 2960 2980
All the scores indicated for each section = 90th percentile

When are UCAT scores Released?

Your UCAT ® results will be released in three stages. You will receive an email from Pearson VUE within 24 hours of your examination with instructions on how to access each stage of your results, and you will receive further emails as each stage of results comes out. UCAT ® results are then automatically delivered to the universities to which you have applied.

UCAT results release date

Stages of UCAT ® Results
Result Stage What results do I get? When do I get them?
Immediate Results Your scaled score
(out of 3600)
Within 24 hours of completion of the exam, on your test date
Interim Results The cut-off scaled score at each decile rank of all the exams completed so far Near the end of the testing period, around early August
Final Results Your final percentile score After the testing period concludes, around mid-late August
Universities Your results are delivered to the universities to which you have applied After testing and applications, around early September

What is a Good UCAT Score?

As a general rule of thumb, a competitive UCAT ® percentile is above 90th percentile for non-rural students, which according to 2022 UCAT ® test statistics, was 2980. However, as the trend has been rising consistently from 2019, it is expected that the 90th percentile UCAT ® cut-off will increase with each passing year.

There is no defined ‘cut-offs’ for a UCAT ® score, as a number of other factors also determine whether you get an interview offer, and eventually a final medical offer. These can include your state, rural eligibility, special considerations and the university’s own admissions weightings.

It appears decile scores are increasing year by year in Australia and New Zealand.

UCAT Score Statistics

Total Score* for Cognitive Subsets
Possible score range 1200 to 3600
Decile UCAT ANZ
2019
UCAT ANZ
2020
UCAT ANZ
2021
UCAT ANZ
2022
1st 2140 2150 2150 2130
2nd 2260 2280 2280 2260
3rd 2335 2370 2360 2360
4th 2405 2440 2440 2450
5th 2470 2520 2520 2530
6th 2540 2590 2600 2610
7th 2610 2680 2700 2710
8th 2710 2780 2810 2830
9th 2850 2920 2960 2980
Mean 2481 2527 2538 2543
*The scores represent the lowest in each decile
Mean Scores by Section
Possible score range 300 to 900
Decile UCAT ANZ
2019
UCAT ANZ
2020
UCAT ANZ
2021
UCAT ANZ
2022
Verbal Reasoning 571 577 586 580
Decision Making 618 635 622 630
Quantitative Reasoning 663 671 679 660
Abstract Reasoning 629 644 640 650
Situational Judgement 592 592 592 581

This information is available from released UCAT ® ANZ statistics.

UCAT Percentile Look Up

Your UCAT ® ANZ percentile can be found via the official UCAT ® test statistics website. The website contains a UCAT ® percentile calculator, where you input your overall UCAT ® score.

UCAT Max Score

Each year, the UCAT ® maximum score across both Australia and New Zealand will fluctuate. The only reported max score by the official UCAT ® institution was 3530 in 2019. Subsequent test statistics did not report a max score.

What if my UCAT score is not very high?

If your UCAT ® score is not very high, it is alright! The medical school admissions process has always been extremely competitive in Australia. You can always try again next year, and many people do not get in on their first try. If you are nearing the completion of your degree, you can also consider sitting the GAMSAT ® exam in addition to the UCAT ® , for graduate medicine options. Check out our comprehensive guide on What is the GAMSAT ® to learn more.

The UCAT ® is only needed for undergraduate universities. By reflecting on your mistakes for the year and looking at different ways of practising questions, you will be able to better prepare for the UCAT ® and achieve a higher UCAT ® result for next year.

UCAT Score Cutoffs

Although UCAT ® score cut-offs will fluctuate with each passing year, the following table is a guideline that gives a general indication for the percentile cut-offs of past years (To receive a medical school interview invitation). The scores are based on past reported scores, and are mostly speculative in nature.

This only includes universities that require a UCAT ® score. This table also does not include any special considerations (eg. rural, monash guarantee scheme, EAS/SEAS, Broadway, Indigenous, etc.).

Interview Cutoffs - Non-Rural

University 2020 Admissions 2021 Admissions 2022 Admissions 2023 Admissions
University of NSW 90th 94th 96th 93rd
University of Queensland N/A 93rd 93rd 96th
Central Queensland University N/A N/A 86th (QLD applicants)
96th (interstate)
90th (QLD applicants)
96th (interstate)
University of Newcastle/University of New England (Joint Medicine Program - JMP) 90th 93rd 94th 95th
University of Western Sydney/Charles Sturt University (Joint Program in Medicine - JPM) 86th ~95th ~96th ~96th
University of Western Sydney/Charles Sturt University (Joint Program in Medicine - JPM) - Greater Western Sydney Entry 83rd ~90th ~90th ~90th
University of Adelaide 91st 96th (interstate)
71st (SA applicants)
96th (interstate)
79th (SA applicants)
96th (interstate)
79th (SA applicants)
Curtin University 85th 88th 98th 98th
Monash University 91st 93rd (UCAT ® only)
91st + 99.00 (UCAT ® + ATAR)
96th 94th
University of Western Australia 69th 88th 87th N/A*

Interview Cutoffs - Rural

University 2020 Admissions 2021 Admissions 2022 Admissions 2023 Admissions
University of NSW 59th 56th 57th 57th
University of Queensland N/A* 55th 56th 90th
Central Queensland University N/A* N/A* 35th (local)
44th (interstate)
85th
University of Newcastle/University of New England (Joint Medicine Program - JMP) 67th 41st 55th 66th
University of Western Sydney/Charles Sturt University (Joint Program in Medicine - JPM) 68th N/A ~78th 62nd
University of Adelaide 67th 42nd 56th 80th
Curtin University 85th 88th N/A* N/A*
Monash University 68th 59th 69th 80th
University of Western Australia 69th 88th N/A* N/A*

Note 1: It is important to note that the UCAT ® was only introduced in 2019 for the 2020 admissions cycle.
Note 2: For University of Western Sydney/Charles Sturt University, there is speculation that the university uses a special formula that places emphasis on a specific subtest of the UCAT ® (Verbal Reasoning). It is speculated to be using the following formula: (58% VR, 12% DM, 12% QR, 18% AR). Hence percentile rankings may differ greatly amongst applicants, and a hard ‘cut-off’ is unable to be determined.
Note 3: University of Western Sydney/Charles Sturt University also provides special considerations for people living in “Greater Western Sydney” for the past 5 years. This includes a lower UCAT ® cutoff.
Note 4: In 2021 and 2022, interview invites were sent based solely on the UCAT ® only and before ATAR release due to disruptions by COVID-19. It is expected that many universities will follow this pattern for 2023 and onwards.
Note 5: University of Queensland and University of Western Australia is a provisional undergraduate entry that is only offered to school leavers. University and post-graduates are unable to apply via this scheme.
Note 6: In the 2021 admissions cycle, you can see some universities are starting to prefer ‘in-state’ applicants, which usually indicates a reduced UCAT ® cutoff. This means inter-state applicants are at a disadvantage, with a higher cut-off.
Note 7: Please keep in mind that these cutoffs are only speculatory data and do not represent official information from the universities.
Note 8: N/A indicates there was not enough reported data to form speculation.

Undergraduate Medical School Admissions

So you want to do medicine straight out of high school. Australia offers plenty of undergraduate degrees and provisional entry pathways. For further information, check out our specific guide for Undergraduate Medicine here.

Note: these numbers reflect entry requirements of domestic students. Further requirements may be necessary for overseas applicants. The ranking of the Universities is according to 2022 rankings for Australian medicine provided by Times Higher Education. Number of places available are approximate.

Note: Cut-offs may represent university specified cut-off marks for interview offers OR may represent the minimum mark required to gain entry in a previous year.

Summary of Undergraduate Medicine Universities

Undergraduate Medicine in Australia and New Zealand
State University Degree Length Rank* ATAR** UCAT**
NSW Newcastle & New England JMP BMedSc + MD 5 years =13th 94.3 91–––
University of New South Wales BMedSt + MD 6 years 5th 97.2 50
University of Sydney MD*** 7 years 2nd 99.95 n/a
Western Sydney University & Charles Sturt University JPM BClinSci + MD 5 years =10th 95.5 ~
QLD Bond University BMedSt + MD 5 years =23rd 96 n/a
James Cook University MBBS 6 years =18th 87.5 n/a
University of Queensland & University of Central Queensland JMP MD*** 7 years 4th 95 91
SA & NT Flinders University & Charles Darwin University JMP BClinSci + MD 6 years =18th 90 ~
University of Adelaide BMedSt + MD 6 years 6th 90 ~
TAS University of Tasmania MBBS 5 years =26th 95 50
VIC Monash University BMedSc + MD 5 Years 3rd 95.7 ~
University of Melbourne MD*** 7 years 1st 99.9 n/a
WA Curtin University MBBS 5 years =13th 95 ~
University of Western Australia MD*** 7 years =8th 99 ~
NZ University of Auckland MBChB 6 years - - -
University of Otago MBChB 6 years - - -

JMP = Joint Medical Program
*As per 2022 Australian Medical School ranking provided by Times Higher Education.
**These values refer to minimums and cut-offs. Minimum scores that have gained entry are preferentially presented where available. Information presented in this table refers to domestic applicants only. The universities with UCAT cut-offs of “~” do not report a minimum for entry, but the score factors into the decision for application. Many schools have varying cut-offs for various groups of people, such as rural or local applicants. Please refer to our separate guide here or official university websites for detailed application information.
***These universities provide a provisional pathway into a postgraduate doctor of medicine program. The undergraduate degree may vary across universities

n/a: These universities do not take UCAT ® results into consideration for application.

Delivering UCAT Results to Universities

You DO NOT pass on test results to universities yourself

Within 24 hours of your examination, you will receive an email from Pearson VUE. This email will contain instructions for accessing your UCAT ® ANZ score report.

UCAT ® will communicate your results directly to all the universities within the consortium. Your UCAT ® ANZ ID number (in the form ANZ12345678) should be used in your university applications and this will be used to match your application to your UCAT ® result. You do not and can not send test results to universities yourself.

Check out our comprehensive guide for more information about Australian medical schools.

Currency of UCAT Results

Your UCAT results are only valid for one year

Your UCAT ® results are only valid for applications made during the year you sit the exam, to commence your studies in the following year. After your UCAT ® examination, if you wish to take a year off before applying to medical school, you will need to retake the UCAT ® examination.

There is a single test cycle per year and candidates are able to sit the UCAT ® once a year. There is no limit to the amount of times a candidate can sit the examination overall.

Improving your UCAT Score - Free Resources

Now that you understand what your UCAT ® scores mean, it’s time to set a target and start preparing. The below free resources might be helpful:

  1. UCAT ® 2023
    Everything you need to know about UCAT ® 2023, from UCAT registration and UCAT 2023 dates to the answer to the question ‘How hard is UCAT 2023?’.
  2. UCAT ® Abstract Reasoning
    An overview of what to expect from UCAT ® Abstract Reasoning and how to prepare.
  3. UCAT ® Quantitative Reasoning
    An overview of what to expect from UCAT ® Quantitative Reasoning and how to prepare.
  4. UCAT ® Situational Judgement
    An overview of what to expect from UCAT ® Situational Judgement and how to prepare.
  5. UCAT ® Decision Making
    An overview of what to expect from UCAT ® Decision Making and how to prepare.
  6. UCAT ® Verbal Reasoning
    An overview of what to expect from UCAT ® Verbal Reasoning and how to prepare.