How UCAT Percentile Scores Work

If you’re looking to understand how UCAT percentile scores work, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll explain how UCAT scores are calculated and what they mean for you.

1. How UCAT Percentile Scores Work

If you’re preparing for the UCAT, you’ve probably heard a lot about percentile scores.

But what are they exactly, and how do they work?

Here’s a quick rundown: UCAT percentile scores show how you’ve performed in comparison to other test-takers.

They range from 1 to 99, with 50 being the average.

So, if you score in the 80th percentile, that means you’ve scored higher than 80% of other test-takers.

Percentile scores are a useful way to compare your UCAT performance to others, but it’s important to remember that they’re not the only thing that matters.

Universities will also look at your UCAT score in the context of your other application materials.

2. How the UCAT is scored

The UCAT is scored by taking the total number of questions answered correctly and then scaling this on a distribution between 1200 and 3600.

The total number of questions answered incorrectly is not factored into the calculation.

The highest possible score in each of the scaled subtests VR, DM, QR, AR is 900.

The SJT is graded slightly differently with each student only being able to score in 1 of 4 bands.

Band 1 is the highest while band 4 is the lowest.

Roughly half of the students will achieve band 2 or higher, and the remaining half will achieve band 3 or lower.

Typically the best candidates will score band 2 or higher, and fall into the 8th percentile or better.

UCAT Deciles

UCAT deciles are percentiles but split into 10s.

This gives you a high-level summary of where you are placed nationally without having to see all 99 individual percentile ratings.

Most universities have a cut-off at the 7th percentile, however, this may change each year.

Below is a table showing UCAT deciles over the past 3 years.

Achieving a score at or greater than a certain decile, but below the next decile means your score falls within that decile.

You can use conversion tools to convert your raw score into a percentile if you want to find out exactly where you placed nationally.

The total score required to achieve decile over the past 3 years

The table above shows how the total scaled UCAT scores have changed over the years for each decile.

The scores seem to remain pretty constant year on year which means that if you have taken an exam, however, the decile rankings for that year are not yet available, you should still roughly know how well you did.

3. How to use UCAT Percentile Scores to your advantage

If you’re looking to use your UCAT percentile score to your advantage, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, remember that the UCAT is just one part of your application – your academic record is still the most important factor in your application.

Second, use your UCAT percentile score as a way to identify your strengths and weaknesses – if you scored well in one area and not so well in another, you can use this information to focus your preparation for interviews and other aspects of the application process.

Finally, your UCAT percentile should be used to guide which university you will apply to.

There are historical FOI requests that will tell you which universities have lower or higher UCAT cut-offs.

Study cut-offs closely, but don’t be too put off if you are slightly below as it is always worth applying regardless.


UCAT Percentile Scores can be used to help you achieve your academic goals.

By understanding where you stand relative to other students, you can better target your studying and improve your chances of success.

Do you want some extra UCAT tips?

Get a list of 20 secret UCAT tips used by the best students to improve their scores on test day!


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