Do you get partial marks in UCAT Situational Judgement?

Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists

The final element of the UCAT is the Situational Judgement section (SJT) which looks at how you would react in certain clinical and professional settings. It measures your capacity to understand real-world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them. The test assesses integrity, perspective taking, team involvement, and resilience and adaptability.

Full marks versus partial marks

Unlike the other four subtests of the UCAT, in this section you will achieve full marks for correct answers, and partial marks for what is considered as the second best answer.

Full marks are awarded if your response matches the correct answer (which has been chosen by a panel of experts). Partial marks are awarded if your response is close to the correct answer. As with the other subtests, it is important to state that there is no negative marking (i.e. if you choose a wrong answer you won’t lose marks).

What this means in practice

You may have been asked about the appropriateness of a particular action in a given scenario and you have the following choices:

– A very appropriate thing to do
– Appropriate, but not ideal
– Inappropriate, but not awful
– A very inappropriate thing to do

If you mark the response as “Appropriate, but not ideal” and the answer is actually “A very appropriate thing to do”, you may receive partial marks because you have shown that you recognise that the action was appropriate, but just not the scale of appropriateness.

Similarly, if a question asks you to choose the most important answer for a given situation, you may be faced with the following choices:

– Very important
– Important
– Of minor importance
– Not important at all

Here, if you choose “Very important” and the answer was “Not important at all” you won’t score any marks because you haven’t recognised that the action is not important.

Why are partial marks important?

You can use partial marks to your advantage if you are deliberating between two answers. If you have narrowed down your answer to “a” or “b”, and you are certain that it is likely to be one of the two answers, then you can still score half a point. This may help if you find yourself under time pressure, or if you can’t quite extract the precise information you need from the given scenario.  

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