The UKCAT exam is taken before you submit your UCAS Medicine application. The result is valid for only that application year (i.e. you need to take it again if you apply to Medicine again in another year as you can’t use a previous years results) and you can only take it once per year. This allows you to know your score before you apply to study Medicine via UCAS, which means you can consider options on which medical school to apply to based on your score. This is unlike the BMAT which if taken in November is after your UCAS Medicine application has already been sent. There is, however, now a newer BMAT September sitting which can give you your results before the UCAS Medicine application deadline of October 15th. Remember while many medical schools (25 in 2018) may use they UKCAT they do so in very different ways and they place different weightings on the results in relation to the rest of your UCAS application e.g. Medicine personal statement, interview etc. If you have a low UKCAT score then depending on how low it is, it may be worthwhile applying to a medical school that doesn’t use the UKCAT or places a lower importance on it. You should not apply to medical schools that have a specific UKCAT cut off score if your UKCAT score falls below it.

If on the other hand you have a very high UKCAT score then you can play to your strengths by considering applying to universities which value the UKCAT highly. Of course you still need to pick a medical school and city that you would like to study in and also consider the strengths of the other aspects of your application such as you Medicine personal statement. If you have a very high UKCAT score for example 700 or above then these are some medical schools you should consider doing some further research on applying to. Make sure you get more information from the individual universities website or prospectus as information does change particularly from year to year:

Newcastle Medical School

Newcastle will first make sure applicants meet the academic requirements to study Medicine. Once you meet these minimum requirements, additional academic achievements beyond the requirements e.g. extra A*s do not give an advantage over other applicants in the later stages of the application process. Your personal statement and reference is not scored. After you meet the academic criteria they will then rank applicants by UKCAT score (for 2018 entry the SJT component of the UKCAT is not used in scoring) and select the top applicants for an interview (Multiple MMI stations). This means that if you meet the minimum academic requirements and have a high UKCAT score you are very likely to get a Medicine interview. If you are successful at the interview you will get a place.

Edinburgh Medical School

Edinburgh is unique in that it is currently the only medical school that does not interview school leavers. It still interviews graduate and mature applicants using MMI medicine interviews but even then gives the interview less weighting then most medical schools.

For 2018 entry to Medicine at Edinburgh this was the weighting the admissions team gave to each component of the UCAS medical application. You can see that the UKCAT accounted for 35% of the total score:

For candidates who are not interviewed i.e. school leavers:

Academic achievements: 50%
UKCAT (excluding SJT component) – 20%
SJT component of UKCAT: 15%
Personal statement/reference: 15%

For candidates who are interviewed i.e. mature and graduate applicants:

Interview: 30%
Academic achievements: 35% academic
UKCAT (excluding SJT component): 20%
SJT component of UKCAT: 15%

Kings College London Medical School

Kings College London Medical School has historically selected applicants with high UKCAT scores. They look at all aspects of your Medicine application, however, they state that “Examination results and the UKCAT score are perhaps the most important factors when considering applications. These are highlighted as they provide us with the fairest and most consistent method of assessing applicants.” They state that the overall UKCAT score is more important than individual subtest scores and the SJT component of the UKCAT is also taken into account, which is not the case at all Medical schools.

A quick summary of the UKCAT test to remind you:

WHAT: A 2 hour test conducted on a computer. Comprised of 5 parts which assess skills that doctors need e.g. as verbal reasoning, decision making, situational judgement etc. You can certainly increase your performance by preparing and practicing for the UKCAT. It is very important you do this, however, the UKCAT is not like the typical exams you will have sat in GCSE or A-Levels which are knowledge based. See our free UKCAT guide for a complete breakdown of the test and crucially guidance on how to prepare for it.

WHO: For 2018 entry; 25 medical schools use the UKCAT. For the full list and much more information see our free full UKCAT guide.

WHEN: You must register and take the UKCAT before your UCAS application and enter your score in the UCAS application form. You will know your score before you apply via UCAS. You can only take the test once per application cycle i.e. once per year. Registration to be able to sit the test usually opens around May and ends in September. The test can usually be taken from around the beginning of July to the beginning of October. You can take the test on many different dates and in locations all around the world.

COST: In 2017, £65 for early dates in the UK, £85 for later dates in the UK and £115 in other parts of the world. Full bursaries are available to help with the cost.


This is only for applicants applying specifically for the Graduate Entry Medical programme (ScotGEM – A101) at the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee. The test is not the full UKCAT – it is only a single component of the full UKCAT called the SJT – “situational judgement test”. As a result, if applicants have sat the normal UKCAT test for that application year, then they do not need to sit this additional test as the SJT is a component of the full UKCAT.

How can Medicine Answered help you succeed in getting an offer from your first choice Medical school?

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In our Medicine interview course we thoroughly cover traditional and MMI medical school interviews and everything in between. We focus on massively increasing your confidence about the interview and reducing your anxieties to maximise your performance on the day of your Medical school interview. We offer Medicine interview courses in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and various other cities around the UK. You will also receive an exclusive discount to use our other services such as our one to one Medical tutoring with a doctor (this can be done in person or online at a time to suit you) on any aspect of the application process or our 360° application review service. This premium service not only involves a professional review of your Medicine personal statement but also a review of your entire medical application and suggests areas of improvement and topics about your Medicine personal statement which may come up at interview.