1. More People Sat the UCAT This Year
UCAT stated that 37,230 tests were taken in this cycle. This compares to 34,153 in 2020, and 24,844 in 2017 with a steady increase in-between. This is a 9% increase 2020 to 2021.
This is important because there are more candidates in each decile, so more candidates scoring in higher deciles. For example, there were about 6,830 candidates in the top two deciles in 2020 whereas this year there will be roughly 7,446 in those deciles.
2. Final Scores Are Lower Than Interim Results
It's estimated from interim scores that the final mean score would end up being around 2,505 to 2,515, dropping from 2570 in previous years.
In fact, the 2021 mean UCAT score is 2,499, which is slightly lower than our estimates.
This is seen in every decile. The 9th, 5th and 1st decile all saw drops in scores, rather than for instance just higher scores dropping or just lower scores dropping.
It’s worth understanding that the 2021 mean score is also lower than the 2020 mean score of 2,511. In fact, all of the subtests saw lower scores when compared with last year, except for verbal reasoning. Meaning VR scores actually saw a 2 point improvement over 2020. While VR was still the lowest-scoring subtest overall, this is interesting because it continues a pattern of slightly improving VR scores that began in 2018. It’s also important to appreciate that this year’s average is still higher than the mean scores of 2019 and 2018.
3. SJT Performance Was Weaker This Year
More people scored a Band 3 and 4, and fewer got Band 1, when you compare the data with the 2020 final scores. In fact, more candidates scored in Band 4 than 1 (16% to 14%)! Last year the reverse was true, when just 9% of students scored a Band 4 and 30% scored a Band 1.
This is important because many universities will automatically reject candidates who scored in Band 4, which means you need to be careful which UCAT unis you apply to. On the other hand, some universities will use your SJT score as part of their interview scoring process and that means there will be fewer people with Band 1, so that could be a strength if you got the top SJT score.
Now the final scores have been released, you can understand how your UCAT score compares and then use this to shortlist your Med School choices.