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UCAT Situational Judgement Guide 2022

UCAT Situational Judgement Guide 2022

ucat situational judgement
ucat situational judgement
Holly Melvin
4th Year Medical Student at The University of Manchester, Instagram account: @that.girl.medic
June 3, 2022

This article aims to give you a brief introduction, overview, and a few helpful tricks on approaching the UCAT Situational Judgment questions. Situational Judgement questions can come up both in your UCAT exam and in any interviews you may have, particularly in multiple mini interview settings.

This article only focuses on the UCAT-related Situational Judgement questions, but we’ve already published an article on how to approach Situational Judgement in your interviews. You can read that article here.

As with all articles, make sure to have a pen and paper handy so that you can make notes on things you find particularly interesting or useful as you go along.

UCAT Situational Judgement summary

  • Situational Judgement Test is often referred to as the “SJT”
  • 26 minutes to complete this section, 66 questions in total
  • Ranked from Band 1 through to Band 4
  • Most medical schools will not consider you if you don’t score at least Band 2

UCAT Situational Judgement basics

What is Situational Judgement

Situational Judgement Test is a subtest of the UCAT test

This is often referred to as the “SJT”. If you see this during your revision on websites or in literature, this is what it is referring to.

According to the UCAT consortium website, the SJT “measures your capacity to understand real-world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them.”

What does the above quotation taken directly from the UCAT website mean?

This part of the UCAT is testing if you can respond sensibly, reasonably and professionally to situations and events that could arise during your time as both a medical student as a doctor.

So really, it’s almost testing your moral compass, but it is also testing how much common sense you have!

You don’t require any prior medical knowledge to be able to answer the SJT questions.

Structure of the SJT

You have 26 minutes to complete this section, and there are 66 questions in total, based on 22 scenarios.

There are a variety of different ways you answer the questions. Either you rate the importance or appropriateness of statements in response to a scenario, each response from either two or four possible options or you choose the most and least appropriate action to take in response to the situation, from the three actions provided.

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Scoring of the Situational Judgement Test

Your SJT mark is put separately on your UCAT score, which means it isn’t combined into the overall score.

You are ranked from Band 1 through to Band 4. You want to be at least in Band 2, as most medical schools won’t really accept people with scores below this. Band 1 is the best, as it shows that for the vast majority of questions, your judgement was the same as the panel of experts, so it is “excellent”.

PRO TIP: To get professional help with your UCAT preparation, check out our UCAT Crash Course.

Why is the SJT important?

As I mentioned before, most medical schools will NOT look at your medical school application if you don’t get at least Band 2. So you really need to make sure you achieve at least this if you want to be successful in your medical school applications.

SJT is also a part of your final medical school exams, as there is a whole SJT section. Again, by preparing now, you’re giving yourself a good foundation for later on.

Having good situational judgement is also crucial for later on in your career when you will undoubtedly find yourself in complex and challenging situations.

By practising well for the situational judgement section of the UCAT, you are actually helping to prepare yourself to be the best doctor you can.

How can I best prepare for the SJT?

Practice

As with all sections of the UCAT, the best thing you can do is practice, practice, practice. With practice, you will be able to start recognising the types of mistakes you are likely to make and adjust your answers to questions accordingly.

You will also become more familiar with the types of questions; they can only present these types of scenarios in a finite number of ways.

Identify mistakes you make

In terms of mistakes you might be making, this tends to fall into 2 categories. Either you’re being too “kind” or too “lax”.

If you can identify which way you tend to lean towards, you can be especially conscious of this whilst answering these questions.

Multiple resources

Use as many resources as you can, as it’s good to have various perspectives on these questions. You will have practised a broader scope of questions, which can only be a good thing.

Time for SJT only

Set aside time early on in your revision to practice this. I would advise trying to have a go at the questions in this section before doing any revision. This way, you can see how naturally good you are, then you can plan your revision accordingly.

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