UKCAT Situational Judgement Tests


May 16, 2013 by Emedica

Situational Judgement Test

Anna Greathead

This was new as in 2012, and in 2013 it’s become a marked section which tests your capacity to understand situations, identify factors and behave appropriately.

You are given a scenario and asked to rate various response options as

  • Very appropriate
  • Appropriate but not ideal
  • Inappropriate but not awful
  • Very inappropriate

In other questions the scenario is followed by ‘things to consider’ which you are asked to rate as

  • Very important
  • Important
  • Of minor importance
  • Not at all important

If you get into the right mindset these can be quite straightforward – issues to consider always are:

  • Integrity – this involves your own honesty, which in turn requires you are able to act within your own competance and ask for help when required. It may involve owning up to errors. It will also touch on your understanding of and commitment to principles including confidentiality, respect and consent.
  • Perspective taking – this involves being able to see situations from many angles, and will impact on your ability to cope with, or better still avoid, conflict and confrontation.
  • Team involvement – this involves your ability to be a team player. It’s important to have a good appreciation that everyone is part of the ‘team’ and not just the ‘important’ people. Good team involvement will feature collaboration, mutual respect and empathy.

This section will be marked slightly differently to the rest of the UKCAT – though remarkably similarly to the SJT tests you’re likely to sit as you embark on a career of medicine or dentistry.

If you get the exact right answer – e.g Appropriate but not ideal – you will receive full marks. If you get almost the right answer – e.g. Very appropriate OR Inappropriate but not awful – you will get some marks. This reflects that there will always be some debate about the answers as this section is, by its very nature, subjective.

The mark you receive will be not be a score, as in the cognitive sections of UKCAT, but a Band.

The Bands are as follows:

  • Band 1: Exceptional performance, well above average. Showing similar judgement in most cases to the panel of experts.
  • Band 2: Good performance, above average. Showing appropriate judgement and matching many model answers.
  • Band 3: Lower than average. Some appropriate judgement shown.
  • Band 4: Well below average. Significantly different answers to the ideal responses.

(You may think, as I did, which band would an average person find themselves placed in? I don’t know either!)

Universities will consider the SJT banding in a different manner to the other sections but exactly how is not yet known.

We will post a sample question on this blog with detailed explanations in the near future. In the meantime you can follow us on Twitter, or like on Facebook, for more updates and hints.


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4 thoughts on “UKCAT Situational Judgement Tests

  1. rrc17 says:

    Where can I find practice questions for this section? I bought two books but this section isn’t there and I did an online course on medify but there are extremely few questions available on there.

    • Emedica says:

      Hi – this section is new so most books won’t include it. (That’s the problem with books!). We have 142 of this questions type in our paid subscription service. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  2. creativeycy says:

    Is there a possibility that competitive Universities decline applicants who were put in the band 4 of this portion of test? Does it directly influence the application process for medical schools?

    • Emedica says:

      I’m sorry but I don’t know! A couple of universities have said that they won’t use the SJT section but none have clearly stated that they will, or how they will use it.

      I expect this will change next year when universities know how the section is scored over the whole cohort.

      Sorry to be vague!

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