How do Universities Use The UCAT SJT Score?
Advice & Insight From UCAT Specialists
Places at medical school are very competitively fought for, hence their scrutinising admissions processes. You must make sure that the medical schools you are applying to suit your academic attributes, skills and talents. The SJT is used variably by universities as part of their entry requirements. To strategically apply to medical school, you need an awareness of how each university uses your SJT score. Band 1 and 2 achieving students want to utilise their results in the application process. The one third of students who achieve less highly must strategically avoid universities which have SJT thresholds or highly weight the score as part of their selection criteria.
The value and weighting given to the SJT score greatly varies between universities. Generally, a higher band will not drive your application but receiving band 3 or 4 is more likely to hold you back progressing through the stages of the admissions process. As well as the SJT score universities weight the UCAT score and other elements of your application variably so it is advisable to receive reliable information from each university website or prospectus.
How to interpret your SJT score
Your SJT score is separate from your total UCAT score out of 3600. Based upon your raw marks you will be banded into one of four bands, with band 1 being the highest for highest scoring candidates. Band 1 is achieved by students whose estimated equivalent score is between 57-69.
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Universities that reject students with an SJT score in Band 4.
Situational judgement measures your non-cognitive attributes. Some of the medical schools immediately reject students with band 4 SJT scores. Medical schools are looking to recruit students with excellent academic credentials, an adequate SJT score demonstrates the candidate’s ability to respond appropriately in certain situations. Medical schools who reject students achieving the lowest SJT band justify this as they argue that they cannot place trust in these individuals as medical students and future members of the medical profession.
Students who have achieved band 4 SJT should avoid applying to the following universities in order to prevent immediate rejection prior to interview: Anglia Ruskin, Keele, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Nottingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. Whether you have scored band 1/2/3 is likely to be irrelevant in the admissions process of these universities following the initial screening for entry requirements.
Universities that do not consider the SJT score in their admissions process.
For the following universities, your SJT score is not at all considered: Aberdeen, Bristol, Dundee, Glasgow, Newcastle, Plymouth, Queen’s Belfast, Southampton and St Georges. If you have scored poorly on the SJT it may be useful to apply to some of the above listed Medical Schools. Blackstone Tutors have specific information and advice regarding options for students receiving band 4 on the SJT Subtest.
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Universities that do not specific how they use the SJT Score in their admissions process.
There are 5 universities who do not specify how they will use the SJT score including: Aston, Cardiff, Exeter, Sunderland and King’s. You may find it useful to directly contact these universities to get more information about the impact of SJT scores on applicant success. Remember you do not need to disclose your SJT score in this email, it can be phrased as an information enquiry.
Universities that use a points system considering the SJT score
Certain universities including Hull York and Nottingham Lincoln will weigh the SJT Score more highly. These universities utilise a point system for interview selection correlating with the band you have achieved. For each university it is useful to tally up your total awarded points based on all other academic and non-academic criteria. Many universities have released the credentials of past successful applicants and previously used cut off score. These can be found on Freedom of Information legislation websites such as Whatdotheyknow. As a variety of criteria are used in the scoring system students achieving band 2/3/4 you may still achieve above threshold values for interview selection. Similarly, band 1 does not guarantee interview selection.
The wider context of your SJT score
Although it is a written multiple choice test the situational judgment subsection is assessing very similar skills to those assessed during interviews. Both interviews and the SJT aim to assess the candidates’ attitudes, mental abilities and decision-making skills considered in the context of the health care profession. Many universities stage their selection processes where stage 1 is based upon applicant’s academic credentials and stage 2 on personal attributes using scores from the interview and SJT score. You may find your SJT means that there will not be a level playing field for all students taking the interview. The following universities add your SJT score to your MMI score: East Anglia, Hull York, Queen Mary, Sheffield and St Andrews. If you have scored band three or four on the SJT, do not automatically rule out these universities. MMIs are designed to have stations which test a variety of skills where individuals will excel in some areas more than others. You may excel in all the other MMI stations.