What is your view on the UKCAT ? Watch

EBG92
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#21
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(Original post by Ama2007)
12 Medical schools? Thats a rubbish sample size, so doesnt make it in my books!


I personally think is useless whether I got 800 or 500 its still doesnt feel like a test which should differentiate between students. I do understand they have to use a tool in order to "sieve" out the "not so good" applicants, but still the UKCAT is a total shamble. Not only does it have so many variables and different questions it has an element of bias, element of luck? I mean is that reasonable?

I did both the UKCAT and the GAMSAT and I believe the GAMSAT (although very intense) to be a better indicator. It tests your ability to cope under pressure, extract, extrapolate, interpret etc. The UKCAT you dont even think it through, especially VR. Some people get really easy questions while others get hard questions. Is that fair? I have experienced this personally when I sat it last year and this year in a specific section.

There should be another tool, chosen carefully and piloted before. Otherwise we are removing some really "good" applicants using this tool and disregarding everything they have, I understand different unis use it differently but most have now moved to having the UKCAT as the deal.

Ok, enough writing!
Wow thats was a good rant, I got a math question in my VR section last year of how many people would be in an office on Thursday if certain people can't be in the room with others. More of a brain teaser than extracting information. I agree GAMSAT felt fairer
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Ama2007
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(Original post by EBG92)
Wow thats was a good rant, I got a math question in my VR section last year of how many people would be in an office on Thursday if certain people can't be in the room with others. More of a brain teaser than extracting information. I agree GAMSAT felt fairer
lol I didnt mean to sound like a rant but fair enough if it did, I think because I used question marks but then I like using them.

Apparently I am good at writing? something which I never knew but GAMSAT showed that. I felt while writing I am actually using my previous knowledge/life experience to write, it was cool

I only prepared a few weeks for the GAMSAT hence the rubbish score but I know for a fact i could do so much better if I prepared longer. You cannot say that about the UKCAT. Some people prepare for weeks and weeks, others only need few days..


btw this is not another rant, just expressing my opinion..Again!
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EBG92
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(Original post by Ama2007)
lol I didnt mean to sound like a rant but fair enough if it did, I think because I used question marks but then I like using them.

Apparently I am good at writing? something which I never knew but GAMSAT showed that. I felt while writing I am actually using my previous knowledge/life experience to write, it was cool

I only prepared a few weeks for the GAMSAT hence the rubbish score but I know for a fact i could do so much better if I prepared longer. You cannot say that about the UKCAT. Some people prepare for weeks and weeks, others only need few days..


btw this is not another rant, just expressing my opinion..Again!
I'll be totally honest I spent 2 days solid doing only abstract and codes and thats how I got 737.5
I got 890 in the AR section and 750 in DA. I hated the idea of the UKCAT I didn't even want to revise for the third time as the times before I spent weeks practising only to fall short.
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Ama2007
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(Original post by EBG92)
I'll be totally honest I spent 2 days solid doing only abstract and codes and thats how I got 737.5
I got 890 in the AR section and 750 in DA. I hated the idea of the UKCAT I didn't even want to revise for the third time as the times before I spent weeks practising only to fall short.
Yeah.. I know someone who done 3 days and got 800. I did more than few weeks and got an abysmal mark! tbh I dont think I will ever hit that mark, It might take years. For the UKCAT you either got it or you dont! Its weird because it doesnt correlate with anything, not even school grades, or degree mark.

There are people who score amazingly well, they get in and their over the moon. While others dont, most of the time because they havent met a specific cut-off. I am not been moany but I know there are so many people who deserve to get in because of the effort but they dont, while others scrap through just because they passed a wee test. Its great for them but I still dont think its right to use this test...maybe use a modified shorter version of GAMSAT?
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BAZ1NGA
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Personally, I feel the UKCAT was more luck-based then it should be, everyone gets different papers, so its pretty much impossible to get a standard difficulty level. Although I do agree that it's good that you don't need to have any additional knowledge before sitting it, which you do with the BMAT, I felt the BMAT was a much better indicator of intelligence, (even though I'm pretty sure I messed it up) as it tested application of knowledge. With the UKCAT, you can prepare for the majority of the questions there, so its almost a case of how much work you do for it, as much as it is how smart you are.
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SoftPunch
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Rubbish test. Just shows that you can read quickly between lines.
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User1248243
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UKCAT doesn't show any of the philanthropic nature that doctors should have.
Instead it breeds unhealthy arrogance between potential medical students who sneer at others that don't do as well as others on this test, and moreover generates *****y comments for those who do bio medicine.

I know so many arrogant pricks who feel as if they are higher than everyone else for getting 800 etc.

I know this great doctor (loads of successful diagnoses, great teacher for junior students etc) that didn't do the UKCAT test.
He tells me he knows many arrogant junior doctors who brag about their UKCAT score, but are actually really bad when it comes to working in the NHS system and have no philanthropic nature whatsoever and are in the profession for the status and money only.
Totally contrary to what it should be.
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EBG92
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(Original post by Ama2007)
Yeah.. I know someone who done 3 days and got 800. I did more than few weeks and got an abysmal mark! tbh I dont think I will ever hit that mark, It might take years. For the UKCAT you either got it or you dont! Its weird because it doesnt correlate with anything, not even school grades, or degree mark.

There are people who score amazingly well, they get in and their over the moon. While others dont, most of the time because they havent met a specific cut-off. I am not been moany but I know there are so many people who deserve to get in because of the effort but they dont, while others scrap through just because they passed a wee test. Its great for them but I still dont think its right to use this test...maybe use a modified shorter version of GAMSAT?
Fancy creating a mini GAMSAT with a quick result turn over and better interpretation of candidate capability ? haha
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finnthehuman
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(Original post by SoftPunch)
Rubbish test. Just shows that you can read quickly between lines.
Isn't that one of the main jobs as a Doctor? Making quick judgements and dealing with the consequences?
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Becca-Sarah
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You can't really comment on the UKCAT as an exam without considering the context that different unis use it in different ways for assessing applications. Also, if you ignore it as a predictor of future ability in medicine, it's a great test because it's good at levelling the playing field for applicants of different backgrounds. The new SJT component I think is actually going to increase the general validity of the UKCAT - SJTs are well validated in most employment contexts (I even had to do an SJT to get an interview at Wetherspoons...) and it addresses the concerns of people who think the test doesn't select the right type of person for medicine.
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Ama2007
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(Original post by EBG92)
Fancy creating a mini GAMSAT with a quick result turn over and better interpretation of candidate capability ? haha

I am on it









P.s The STJ section is the only section that I may considered to be of any relevance or importance to medicine. The only section, the rest are pointless.
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EBG92
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(Original post by Becca-Sarah)
You can't really comment on the UKCAT as an exam without considering the context that different unis use it in different ways for assessing applications. Also, if you ignore it as a predictor of future ability in medicine, it's a great test because it's good at levelling the playing field for applicants of different backgrounds. The new SJT component I think is actually going to increase the general validity of the UKCAT - SJTs are well validated in most employment contexts (I even had to do an SJT to get an interview at Wetherspoons...) and it addresses the concerns of people who think the test doesn't select the right type of person for medicine.
Thats quite interesting, I felt the SJT section was actually rather unhelpful as there is not much difference between important and very important. I think they could use clearly ways to describe how you would choose your action as I knew something was important but couldn't quantify how important they classed very important (I know that sounds a little confusing)
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PG593
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I think the UKCAT is obviously good in building a strata of candidates for the admission team to separate out into the interview, offer/rejection pile, but I find the actual test questionable. How is it that one's ability (if this is supposed to be a measure of potential) can be so diverse from one year to the next. Many of us re-applicants have seen huge boosts in our scores and okay I know the DA was a big factor in the rise but still when comparing the other sections, the scores are not consistent which just proves on the day, luck must play a lot of importance in each section. It definitely is not a tool I would buy into as being the make and break of a doctor, far from it, I personally just believe it is a test to make the admissions job easier in filtering applicants, and they will obviously always hide behind their facts and figures that higher scores produce better doctors but I don't believe a 2 hour test can truly show that. Most of applicants are only 17 for god sake when they sit it, how can this test set in stone someone's future success in medicine at such a young age, the majority haven't even left the nest yet.
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Eva.Gregoria
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It is simply a means of selecting applicants who otherwise would have been completely equal. It is a discriminating factor in other words.

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SoftPunch
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(Original post by finnthehuman)
Isn't that one of the main jobs as a Doctor? Making quick judgements and dealing with the consequences?
No. You completely missed the point of my post. Doctors needs to make logical, informed judgements that are based on the information at hand, previous knowledge and experience. This does not involve glancing over text looking for some key words without properly understanding it.
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Brachioradialis
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(Original post by SoftPunch)
No. You completely missed the point of my post. Doctors needs to make logical, informed judgements that are based on the information at hand, previous knowledge and experience. This does not involve glancing over text looking for some key words without properly understanding it.
It might not be the only skill required, but it's certainly one of them. The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in written form, is essential. There needs to be good quality literary ability for patient notes, for patient letters. These are all dictated (though not usually written directly) by the doctor.

The other sections are less clear. Obviously QR is important, and I can understand the logic behind DA.

The problem with the UKCAT is AR. I can understand the need for doctors to innately pick put clues from situations, but I don't feel that's well translated into looking at shapes. There must be a better way of testing this aptitude, but I don't know how!

SJT is highly relevant. To be fair I find it difficult to understand how people do badly on this. The questions I had mostly revolved around what you'd do if people skipped lectures, arrived late to wards or cheated on exams. Very few were of any real difficulty (maybe I was lucky?). Also, SJT (though in a harder form) is now part of the selection process for the foundation programme (to the discontent of most medical students). I believe it counts for something like 50% of your application?

Anyway, the statistics say there is good correlation between the UKCAT and medical school performance. Contrary to the above, a 12 medical school study is quite large and the statistics used in the study were quite thorough. There is a good correlation, and it adds a small but proper benefit to the application process.
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EBG92
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(Original post by MJK91)
It might not be the only skill required, but it's certainly one of them. The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in written form, is essential. There needs to be good quality literary ability for patient notes, for patient letters. These are all dictated (though not usually written directly) by the doctor.

The other sections are less clear. Obviously QR is important, and I can understand the logic behind DA.

The problem with the UKCAT is AR. I can understand the need for doctors to innately pick put clues from situations, but I don't feel that's well translated into looking at shapes. There must be a better way of testing this aptitude, but I don't know how!

SJT is highly relevant. To be fair I find it difficult to understand how people do badly on this. The questions I had mostly revolved around what you'd do if people skipped lectures, arrived late to wards or cheated on exams. Very few were of any real difficulty (maybe I was lucky?). Also, SJT (though in a harder form) is now part of the selection process for the foundation programme (to the discontent of most medical students). I believe it counts for something like 50% of your application?

Anyway, the statistics say there is good correlation between the UKCAT and medical school performance. Contrary to the above, a 12 medical school study is quite large and the statistics used in the study were quite thorough. There is a good correlation, and it adds a small but proper benefit to the application process.
I like how you surgically destroyed the counter argument there and I do see your point and agree I think more detail/relevant situations in needed in the SJT section
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CasualSoul
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Down with the Cat:fuhrer:


just wondering, does anyone know what was used before the UKCAT i.e. was there some other kind of test applicants had to do or was it just writing a personal statement / interview?
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pkozman
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A lot of people can simply study for hours on end and achieve good marks. The UKCAT is a good measure of fluid intelligence, something which isn't really reflected through grades. A high spectrum of people can achieve high grades in school, there needs to be SOMETHING to narrow down the candidates. And I for one know I don't have the best marks in school simply because the curriculum bores me, the UKCAT was nice in that it gave me a more accurate chance to portray my abilities.

However I believe that individual UKCAT scores should also be determined in consideration with other factors. Examples may be age, gender? (females score slightly higher), how many times the UKCAT has been previously taken, etc..
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Pittawithcheese
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(Original post by Guren)
UKCAT doesn't show any of the philanthropic nature that doctors should have.
Instead it breeds unhealthy arrogance between potential medical students who sneer at others that don't do as well as others on this test, and moreover generates *****y comments for those who do bio medicine.

I know so many arrogant pricks who feel as if they are higher than everyone else for getting 800 etc.

I know this great doctor (loads of successful diagnoses, great teacher for junior students etc) that didn't do the UKCAT test.
He tells me he knows many arrogant junior doctors who brag about their UKCAT score, but are actually really bad when it comes to working in the NHS system and have no philanthropic nature whatsoever and are in the profession for the status and money only.
Totally contrary to what it should be.
I think there are so many valid points in this post. The UKCAT test is yet another hurdle that seems to ignore the importance of people skills in the medical profession. I understand the need for a filtering system, but I also think that Universities need to employ more holistic method to assess the way that future doctors will interact with patients. How does sitting in a box in front of a screen assess a doctor's ability to break the news to a parent that their child is terminally I'll, or how to negotiate with a drunk who is threatening staff? MMIs help to address the problem, but before being given a shot at MMI applicants first have to get a high UKCAT score. For me, I think that is the wrong way around.

I also hate that the test is advertised as something that cannot be revised for, which is nonsense. The sad fact is that a lot of applicants will take the test without revising (believing this to be true) and then score lower than those who have the connections to inform them that it can be prepared for (and who buy them the courses/books to do just that)




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