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  • Writer's pictureIzzy McNestry

What should I do if I have a low UCAT score?

A low UCAT score can be disappointing, but it doesn't mean that your journey to medical school is over! Read below for advice on what to do next.

The UCAT exam is a large part of your medical or dental application, but it definitely doesn’t determine everything. Any score above 700 is considered high – be sure to check your percentile on the UCAT site for your year cohort for some reference on where you stand in your year.

  • Don't panic. Take some time for yourself.

  • Research and plan tactically. Which universities should you apply to with a low UCAT score?

  • Use your other results - play to your strengths. Some universities prefer students with stronger GCSEs and personal statements.

  • Consider sitting the BMAT test.

  • Gap year - take a year out. Work, have fun, and reapply the following year.

Don’t panic

This is not the end of the world, even though you may feel like it! The exam is not a pass/fail situation, and the range of results is always broad. Never be fixated on a single medical school, even if you’ve wanted to go your whole life. There are so many top medical schools catering to a range of learning styles across the country, so you’re rarely looking for something that doesn’t exist.

Be realistic - which university to apply to with a low UCAT score?

Although you should still keep your options open, don’t apply to a medical school that states a UCAT cut-off score higher than yours. Changing your application might be necessary to use your score strategically – your four options need to be chosen wisely.

Use your other results

Lots of universities take results, such as GCSEs, into account alongside your UCAT score. Play to your strengths if you have higher GCSE results. This could set you apart in your application. However, make sure you do your research, as some schools make how they use your results more transparent than others.

Think about the BMAT

You’ve probably heard of the other primary medical admissions test: the BMAT. If you weren’t aware, the BMAT is an admissions test used by Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton and Sussex, Imperial, Lancaster, UCL, Leeds and Keele. It has a stronger focus on scientific knowledge, so if this plays to your strengths, definitely consider taking it. A high BMAT score can give you an edge over other universities you may not have previously considered.

Think carefully

Although taking a year out might be the last idea on your list, it’s commonly one of the best decisions candidates can make. If for any reason you know you could score much higher taking the exam in a year, for mental health or family issues, sometimes the best decision is to do just that. Check our blog for future posts regarding plans for a gap year that will strengthen your application.

We specialise in helping students from all kinds of backgrounds get into medical and dental school each year. Get in touch with us if you want any advice about applying with low UCAT scores.

Good Luck!

- MasterMed Prep


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