SiriusNJ
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Hi
I was wondering how medical schools use UCAT, if any medical schools allow a lower score than the cut off if you are a contextual applicant?

I messed up on my UCAT in the exam despite getting mainly great results in the mocks. It was a real shock to score so low (2460)

I'm annoyed at this result and has messed up my application even though I've got great exam results

(It is Scottish medical schools in particular I'm interested in)
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GANFYD
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(Original post by SiriusNJ)
Hi
I was wondering how medical schools use UCAT, if any medical schools allow a lower score than the cut off if you are a contextual applicant?

I messed up on my UCAT in the exam despite getting mainly great results in the mocks. It was a real shock to score so low (2460)

I'm annoyed at this result and has messed up my application even though I've got great exam results

(It is Scottish medical schools in particular I'm interested in)
https://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/results/...-use-the-ucat/
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SiriusNJ
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Thanks for this, but as far as I can find info on anywhere, contextual offers are made to help those who perhaps haven't achieved the highest grades in their academic studies.

From your link '...This may advantage candidates who have not have achieved the highest academic score but have performed particularly well in the UCAT...'

I was really wondering how universities use the UCAT in cases of contextual applicants who HAVE reached the highest academic scores, so require no assistance there,as in my case, but have scored unexpectedly badly on UCAT.

I just find the UCAT frustrating, in the sense that my good friend and UCAT study mate consistently achieved very poor full mock results for the UCAT whereas I achieved on the whole very good results in the full mocks - yet she went on to smash the UCAT - and I did the opposite.
Seems very much a lucky dip scenario in the live exam and is therefore unfair.
Perhaps if every candidate were tested at the same time with the same questions it would be truly fair.
It looks like I will have to waste a whole year out of education cooling my heels now because of this unfair test.
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GANFYD
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(Original post by SiriusNJ)
Thanks for this, but as far as I can find info on anywhere, contextual offers are made to help those who perhaps haven't achieved the highest grades in their academic studies.

From your link '...This may advantage candidates who have not have achieved the highest academic score but have performed particularly well in the UCAT...'

I was really wondering how universities use the UCAT in cases of contextual applicants who HAVE reached the highest academic scores, so require no assistance there,as in my case, but have scored unexpectedly badly on UCAT.

I just find the UCAT frustrating, in the sense that my good friend and UCAT study mate consistently achieved very poor full mock results for the UCAT whereas I achieved on the whole very good results in the full mocks - yet she went on to smash the UCAT - and I did the opposite.
Seems very much a lucky dip scenario in the live exam and is therefore unfair.
Perhaps if every candidate were tested at the same time with the same questions it would be truly fair.
It looks like I will have to waste a whole year out of education cooling my heels now because of this unfair test.
Pearson Vue has a bank of questions it recycles. Each one will be given a predictive score (ie how likely is it to separate good candidates from poor candidates) and bad ones removed from the database, they want questions that actually tell them something useful (or the UCAT unis) so it is not in their interestst to have any that are "too easy" (everyone gets them right and they are useless) or "too hard" (nobody gets them right and they are useless). In any test, I would presume they have questions that are being "trialled", so the mark achieved in them is not counted, but used to deide it these are useful, discriminatory questions. They are aiming to produce a selective test that gives some positive correlation with how well people perform at med school. There is significant eveidence to support that they are, at least in part, achieving this.
Research also shows that UCAT is less affected by deprivation (contextual) factors than GCSEs and A levels (I am not saying not affected, just less so than academics).
It is by no means a perfect test, but it is the only thing that has been shown to have any correlation with how well a poepulation performs at med school. This does nto mean all those who did well in it will do well at med school, or that all those who did less well will do poorly. It is, like all statistics. a population issue - the group of people who do well have more peole within it who do well at med school than the group who don't.

In terms of your question, each med school treats the UCAT differently for contextual applicants, eg Newcastle have a lower cut off, Nottingham apparently just makes a lower offer, Birmingham has a lower cut off in its scoring system, Manchester has a lower UCAT cut off, etc etc. You have to wade through websites and look this up, I'm afraid. I can help with a few, but my research has all been for incredibly fortunate children applying with pretty good grades and a good UCAT score, so I have never had to look up the info for contextual applicants.

And I think the quote you highlighted is probably not the best representation fo waht they want to say. It is meaning that UCAT is less likely to disadvantage contextual applicants than academics (where you went to school has the most effect on your grades) but you have to have the contextual flags in the first place, it is not just about having lower grades.....
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SiriusNJ
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Hey thanks for your detailed reply.
Hey ho, looks like I'll have to take a year out sadly.
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GANFYD
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(Original post by SiriusNJ)
Hey thanks for your detailed reply.
Hey ho, looks like I'll have to take a year out sadly.
Post all your stats in the megathread and people will try and advise (though not sure we have many Scottish qualification experts!)
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...9#post85020584
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Trianglespace
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First of all, your score isn’t awful, just slightly below average - you can still apply to unis that don’t place as much emphasis on the UCAT - check out the medic portal page on this
https://www.themedicportal.com/blog/...re-2019-entry/

Also, have you considered taking the BMAT? It’s a much more traditional pen and paper exam with content to learn and personally I think it’s an easier and less hit and miss. The only issue is that you have to take it after you’ve submitted your options to UCAS, but it may be with it
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SiriusNJ
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(Original post by Trianglespace)
First of all, your score isn’t awful, just slightly below average - you can still apply to unis that don’t place as much emphasis on the UCAT - check out the medic portal page on this
https://www.themedicportal.com/blog/...re-2019-entry/

Also, have you considered taking the BMAT? It’s a much more traditional pen and paper exam with content to learn and personally I think it’s an easier and less hit and miss. The only issue is that you have to take it after you’ve submitted your options to UCAS, but it may be with it
Thanks for your reply, Triangle, I appreciate it. BMAT would certainly be a good option, but unfortunately really I need to stay in Scotland and none of the Scots universities use BMAT.
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Trianglespace
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(Original post by SiriusNJ)
Thanks for your reply, Triangle, I appreciate it. BMAT would certainly be a good option, but unfortunately really I need to stay in Scotland and none of the Scots universities use BMAT.
I think your only option then is to apply strategically and make sure your interview and personal statement are as good as possible

As long as you do your research I’m sure you’ll do fine!
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SiriusNJ
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(Original post by Trianglespace)
I think your only option then is to apply strategically and make sure your interview and personal statement are as good as possible

As long as you do your research I’m sure you’ll do fine!
Good advice! Thanks again
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