Which medical school should I choose with a low UKCAT result?

The answer to this question is not straightforward. Reading through the entry requirements through the various medical school websites, you might want to consider the following: -

  • Some medical schools will rank students heavily on UKCAT score and use this to decide which candidates to call for interview. Avoid these, as a low score puts you at the bottom of the pile.

  • If there is a minimum UKCAT score – don’t apply if have not reached this in your exam!

  • Some elements of the UKCAT may be ignored – such as situational judgement. If this is only part of the exam that you did not do well in, then it may be worth considering this medical school.

  • If there is a low weighting for the UKCAT score then have a look. If there is a higher weighting for other areas of the application (such as personal statement) in your favour this may be one to go for.

  • The school can be vague in how it uses the UKCAT score. It way be worth ringing them up but you still may get a vague answer. An application to such an school is risky.

  • The school states there is no cut off but has put historical details, for example 'in the past no places were offered to candidates that had a score of…' Take these historic scores as guidance to how the same medical school is likely to behave this time.

  • The UKCAT score is used only in a tiebreaker situation. For example if two students perform equally well at interview. This may be worth consideration.

  • You could consider medical schools that do not require the UKCAT exam, or look at BMAT medical schools.

We did this exercise for a student last year (2018 Entry). Looking at all these factors, there was one medical school that stood out which was the University of Bristol. This places a 20% weighting on UKCAT score and a high 50% weighting on the personal statement (down from 10% UKCAT weighting last year). Even better, the university tell you on the website what they are looking for in your personal statement.  You could use our personal statement services to help you write your statement to fit this criterion – click here for details. Make sure you meet the other academic requirements of this medical school before you apply to any medical school!

There have been others that have placed lest emphasis on low UKCAT scores but the options for 2018 entry were even more limited. 

For 2019 entry, Cardiff used the UKCAT score in ‘borderline’ cases, meaning it could be an option if other elements of you application were strong. Both Keele and Plymouth had a UKCAT cut off but it was considered to be lower than other medical schools. Queen’s Belfast used the UKCAT but it had a relatively smaller weight in the process.

Have a look at our medical school interview course - Over 98% of our students successfully obtained an offer last year. Click Here for details.