TIPS FOR UCAT - Situational Judgement

Here's what you need to learn before you take the test.

It’s key that you score above Band 3 in situational judgement, as that’s the cut-off for many UCAT unis but how do you achieve it? 1) Read Good Medical Practice

To understand what this subtest is looking for, we recommend you read the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guide. Many of the key principles of the situation judgment test are actually obtained from this document.

2) Remember The Main Themes

When you answer situational judgement questions, make sure you pick answers that relate to the key traits of a good Doctor - honesty and integrity, safety, dealing with pressure, and team-working.

3) Don’t Think About What You Would Do

Make sure you are considering the qualities of a good doctor and not what you personally would do.

4) Understand What The Answers Mean

You have to have a clear understanding of what the answers mean, in order to get the right answer.

SJT answers defined:

  • A very appropriate thing to do means that it will address at least one aspect of the situation (but maybe not all of them)

  • Appropriate, but not ideal means it could be done but wouldn’t be the most ideal solution

  • Inappropriate, but not awful means it shouldn’t really be done, but it wouldn’t be awful

  • A very inappropriate thing to do means that it should definitely not be done and would make the situation worse

5) Rate The Response, Not The Scenario

Many situational judgement scenarios represent your actions as incorrect or problematic. Which can then cloud your actions and so it’s really important to focus on how appropriate the response to the scene is and not the scenario itself. The point of the question is to test how well you respond when something has gone wrong.

6) Be Aware Of Your Stated Role

Most of the time, the scenario will highlight what your role is so please take this into consideration as it’s likely that one of the responses you need to judge is related to how you act within your role.

7) Don’t Assume It’s The Only Action Taken

When judging the appropriateness of a situation, do not compare an action to other possibilities. You are not being asked if this is the most appropriate action to take, only if it is an appropriate one that would be taken alongside others. You may think, for instance, that in a certain scenario doing an immediate action to preserve patient safety is the most important, but a long-term solution may also be an appropriate action to take.

8) Use Your Instinct

Try not to overthink what the ‘right’ answer for any question is. If you mull over them for too long as you could always argue that something is more or less appropriate based on various factors. Remember that you get half marks for being on the right ‘side’ (appropriate/inappropriate) so even if you are not sure about how good of a choice it is you should be able to work out whether it is generally appropriate or not.

HEAD TO to watch SMASH THE UCAT for more information on how to ace your test.