What is your view on the UKCAT ? Watch

EBG92
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
Hey I kinda wanted to gather a consensus of current and past med school applicants. I have taken the test three times and this year got a score of 738 with an 890 in abstract. I feel however it was no use what so ever in proving that I could or couldn't do medicine. What are your opinions ?
0
reply
Dr. Django
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
I did well in it, but I don't really see how it can show how good a doctor you be. However, it is fantastic as a method for differentiating between applicants who are very close together.
1
reply
jam-jam
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#3
Report 5 years ago
#3
Hey - this is just my opinion but although I agree that to us it seems like the UKCAT doesn't show well whether or not we are suited to medicine, the medical schools have to choose something.

I'm saying this with a 780 average (range 690 - 900, SJT - band 1) which I am very pleased with but when I originally started, I went on a course and was told I would definitely fail it so for a lot of time I resented it but then just worked solidly for two weeks.

The reason I'm saying this is that medical schools need some way to "weed out" people without investing the time in the applications - I know that sounds harsh but I am fully expecting it to happen to me also. That's the "price" (so to speak) we have to pay for wanting a career in arguably the most competitive field.

I do accept that other tests may be better but the GAMSAT costs over £200 and the BMAT takes a lot of preparation and as I am still at uni, I'm unsure if I would have had the time to prepare.

Anyway - as I said, this is just my opinion but I do see all sides of the argument and like everyone else, I do think that it seems slightly unfair to just assess us on a psychometric test.

ps - I hope I haven't offended anyone with my opinion, I just wanted to offer it!

And good luck to everyone applying, I hope we all get in somewhere
2
reply
skotch
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
(Original post by EBG92)
Hey I kinda wanted to gather a consensus of current and past med school applicants. I have taken the test three times and this year got a score of 738 with an 890 in abstract. I feel however it was no use what so ever in proving that I could or couldn't do medicine. What are your opinions ?
Given that medicine applicants provide pretty much the same grades and similar extra-curriculars, admissions departments need other factors to distinguish participants from each other. The UKCAT can offer that to some extent.

I think other tests are better, like the GAMSAT and BMAT, which is probably why there is talk from a number of universities about moving to the BMAT over the UKCAT.
0
reply
EBG92
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#5
(Original post by skotch)
Given that medicine applicants provide pretty much the same grades and similar extra-curriculars, admissions departments need other factors to distinguish participants from each other. The UKCAT can offer that to some extent.

I think other tests are better, like the GAMSAT and BMAT, which is probably why there is talk from a number of universities about moving to the BMAT over the UKCAT.
I'll be honest I preferred the GAMSAT as it allowed me to write in section 2 and draw on science knowledge
0
reply
Brachioradialis
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 years ago
#6
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24229380

This study of 12 medical schools suggests it has a small but still valid benefit. Annoyingly.
0
reply
harlotan
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#7
Report 5 years ago
#7
See, I find the BMAT to be extremely lacking, particularly as it tests applicants on subjects that are not required for entry- I, for example, don't have physics GCSE, let alone physics A-level, but I am expected to somehow learn this for section 2. I find this quite unfair, as at least the UKCAT doesn't require much prior knowledge bar basic maths, logic and literacy to complete it.

I find the UKCAT frustrating for the reasons that everyone else has stated- this year I was ill and as I live in a rural area couldn't reschedule my test due to lack of slots, resulting in a lower score than last year, despite being a better and more experienced applicant I was last year. I'm sure there are plenty of people with similar extenuating circumstances, or people who simply don't do well in such tests, and none of it is taken into account. I don't know what could really be used to replace it, but it seems an odd way to weed out applicants given the fluctuations in scores.
2
reply
jam-jam
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#8
Report 5 years ago
#8
(Original post by MJK91)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24229380

It's actually a good predictor of performance at medical school. Annoyingly.
Thanks for the link, it made a good read and if (on the off chance) we're asked our opinion at an interview (particularly if we've applied to places that are considering changing their entrance exam) then we have something to base it on!!!
1
reply
Tee Logan x
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 years ago
#9
Personally i think it's more manageable than the BMAT , BUT because everyone sits a completely different UKCAT to each another, it could be biased.
0
reply
Brachioradialis
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#10
Report 5 years ago
#10
(Original post by jam-jam)
Thanks for the link, it made a good read and if (on the off chance) we're asked our opinion at an interview (particularly if we've applied to places that are considering changing their entrance exam) then we have something to base it on!!!
I do like, however, the one lonesome green dots on the far left with a bad UKCAT score and an above average overall medical school mark Proof it's not always valid.

Name:  1741-7015-11-244-4.jpg
Views: 359
Size:  85.9 KB
1
reply
EBG92
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#11
(Original post by jam-jam)
Hey - this is just my opinion but although I agree that to us it seems like the UKCAT doesn't show well whether or not we are suited to medicine, the medical schools have to choose something.

I'm saying this with a 780 average (range 690 - 900, SJT - band 1) which I am very pleased with but when I originally started, I went on a course and was told I would definitely fail it so for a lot of time I resented it but then just worked solidly for two weeks.

The reason I'm saying this is that medical schools need some way to "weed out" people without investing the time in the applications - I know that sounds harsh but I am fully expecting it to happen to me also. That's the "price" (so to speak) we have to pay for wanting a career in arguably the most competitive field.

I do accept that other tests may be better but the GAMSAT costs over £200 and the BMAT takes a lot of preparation and as I am still at uni, I'm unsure if I would have had the time to prepare.

Anyway - as I said, this is just my opinion but I do see all sides of the argument and like everyone else, I do think that it seems slightly unfair to just assess us on a psychometric test.

ps - I hope I haven't offended anyone with my opinion, I just wanted to offer it!

And good luck to everyone applying, I hope we all get in somewhere
great answer
0
reply
EBG92
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#12
(Original post by Tee Logan x)
Personally i think it's more manageable than the BMAT , BUT because everyone sits a completely different UKCAT to each another, it could be biased.
Is the test not the same for everyone ?
0
reply
jam-jam
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#13
Report 5 years ago
#13
(Original post by EBG92)
great answer
Thanks
0
reply
Kvothe the Arcane
  • Study Forum Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 5 years ago
#14
I think the BMAT is probably better.
0
reply
EBG92
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#15
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#15
So an interesting proposal then if you could create a unbiased fair test what would you include ?
I understand the multiple choice Q's saves time on marking but why not keep that element and make the questions more specific than A has more triangles than B. Also let them more time on a question that way if people rush and get it wrong it's there own fault and not the fact they read slow or don't feel 100% on the day.

Combining the UKCAT and GAMSAT together to have a medium length exam and you get the score straight away. Plus it would be cheaper than the GAMSAT.

Who ever develops and new method to distinguish med applications will be rich.
1
reply
Tee Logan x
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#16
Report 5 years ago
#16
(Original post by EBG92)
Is the test not the same for everyone ?
Nope, every single person who sits the test has a different set of qs. That's why you have the choice of picking the date of the exam
0
reply
EBG92
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#17
(Original post by Tee Logan x)
Nope, every single person who sits the test has a different set of qs. That's why you have the choice of picking the date of the exam
So you actually could get 8 sets of patterns and could see the rule and get them right and then a person who could also have got those 8 correct gets a completely different 8 and ends up getting a lower score because of it ??
0
reply
Tee Logan x
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#18
Report 5 years ago
#18
(Original post by EBG92)
So you actually could get 8 sets of patterns and could see the rule and get them right and then a person who could also have got those 8 correct gets a completely different 8 and ends up getting a lower score because of it ??
Yupp, that could be possible. We'll never know whether the test was actually harder or the candidate just revised less
0
reply
EBG92
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#19
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#19
So I asked a guy in the grad forum to find me this link he said showed the UKCAT had little predictive value.

Thanks Kimmys88

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/10/55
0
reply
Ama2007
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#20
Report 5 years ago
#20
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!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Arts University Bournemouth
    Art and Design Foundation Diploma Further education
    Sat, 25 May '19
  • SOAS University of London
    Postgraduate Open Day Postgraduate
    Wed, 29 May '19
  • University of Exeter
    Undergraduate Open Day - Penryn Campus Undergraduate
    Thu, 30 May '19

How did your AQA GCSE Physics Paper 1 go?

Loved the paper - Feeling positive (423)
30.28%
The paper was reasonable (551)
39.44%
Not feeling great about that exam... (239)
17.11%
It was TERRIBLE (184)
13.17%

Watched Threads

View All