How Will Universities Use UCAT ANZ Scores?
4 months ago by Rob
With the UCAT testing period soon to be over and with students receiving their UCAT ANZ results, a common question is: how will universities use UCAT scores?
Every university is different when it comes to entry into medicine and dentistry, and entry requirements can be complicated and confusing. Most undergraduate medical and dentistry courses across Australia and New Zealand require candidates to sit and succeed in UCAT to be offered an interview or place. This blog summarises how UCAT ANZ scores will be used.
Entry requirements for medicine and dentistry
Most universities use a combination of three criteria when selecting students into medicine or dentistry. These include:
- Performance in UCAT ANZ
- Medical Interview performance
- Secondary school/University performance (ATAR or IB / GPA)
Only two universities, James Cook University (which favours rural students) and Bond University (which is private), do not require students to sit UCAT.
A few courses, such as Charles Darwin University medicine, Flinders University medicine and the University of Tasmania medicine do not require students to sit an interview.
UCAT subtests used in selection of students into medicine and dentistry
Not all universities use all five of the UCAT subtests when selecting students for medicine. Many universities do not use the Situational Judgement Test, and only use the cognitive subtests (UCAT Verbal Reasoning, UCAT Decision Making, UCAT Quantitative Reasoning and UCAT Abstract Reasoning). Some universities do not publicly disclose whether or not they use UCAT Situational Judgement Test results.
Universities which use the UCAT Situational Judgement subtest include Auckland University, Adelaide University, the University of Queensland and Otago University (some of these universities use it only as tie breaker).
Medical interview offers for medicine and dentistry
Offers for medical interviews are generally made based on UCAT results, with or without consideration of secondary school performance.
Most universities will only consider UCAT performance when selecting students for an interview – an exception is the University of New South Wales. Monash University uses UCAT only for first round interviews but uses UCAT and ATAR for second round interviews.
As of 2023, some courses (such as Curtin University undergraduate medicine) now require the Casper test as a mandatory requirement for selection for medical interviews.
UCAT weighting for final medical / dental place offers
When making the final selection of students into medicine and dentistry, the importance of UCAT varies depending on the university and course:
- Some universities weight UCAT performance significantly: Monash University medicine and the University of New South Wales medicine weight UCAT at 33% of the overall selection criteria
- At some universities UCAT is less important: Flinders University / Charles Darwin University medicine weight UCAT at 10% of the final selection criteria
Despite not being used as a selector for interview offers at many universities, academic performance is usually considered when selecting students for a final place.
UCAT cut-off scores required for medicine and dentistry
Universities usually do not release the UCAT cut-off scores required for entry into medicine and dentistry (for several reasons), and they do vary from year to year depending on the cohort of students applying.
In general, students should generally aim to be in the top 10% of candidates sitting UCAT to be offered a medical interview or a place in medicine. This threshold is lower for certain categories of students, including:
- Students indicating a willingness to accept a Bonded Medical Place (Note: you do not need to place a Bonded Medical Place ahead of a Commonwealth Supported Place in your list of preferences)
- At some universities, students who reside in that particular state or locality (e.g. students who live in Greater Western Sydney who are applying for Western Sydney University; South Australian students applying to the University of Adelaide)
- Students from low socio-economic status/under-represented schools
- Students applying to some dentistry courses
Validity of UCAT scores
2023 UCAT results are only valid for courses commencing in 2024. However, students who were disappointed with their UCAT score or missed sitting their UCAT, can sit the UCAT the following year (and, if needs be, once a year, every year thereafter). A student who sits the UCAT in 2024 will use their results for entry into courses commencing in 2025.
Students who take a gap year and sit the UCAT can still be accepted as a school leaver by universities (except for the University of Queensland which does not allow this). Students who have started or completed an undergraduate degree can also sit the UCAT, but the number of universities you can apply to gets drastically reduced (check out our blog for more information). You need to check whether the university you are applying to, will accept non-school leavers.