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Is UCAT getting more competitive? Will UCAT 2021 be even harder?


The UCAT score required for a given percentile has gone up in 2020 compared to 2019. For example, last year a score of 2850 translated to 90th UCAT percentile whereas a score of 2920 was required for the same UCAT percentile ranking in 2020. This is in spite of a small drop in the total number of students sitting UCAT.

There are many reasons which contributed to this increase. They include a better prepared cohort of students due to a better knowledge of the UCAT, and Pearson Vue underestimating the level of preparedness of the candidates sitting UCAT this year. 

Does this mean that the UCAT score required to obtain a given UCAT percentile will go up again next year? The answer is perhaps marginally, if any. However, it is reasonable to expect that for several reasons, UCAT 2021 questions will be slightly more challenging than in the past. 

For the last 20 years that MedEntry has been preparing students for medical entry tests, a recurring ‘criticism’ from students regarding the practice exams we provide is: “MedEntry exams are harder than the real test”. Providing exams that are harder than the live UCAT is entirely deliberate on our part. In fact, we wear that criticism as a badge of honour. Here’s why:

In preparing for any high stakes situation, all high achievers (elite athletes, Olympians, academic award winners) have a similar strategy: they prepare for situations which are far more challenging than the ones they are going to face ‘on the critical day’ (i.e. the day of the live UCAT). For this reason, MedEntry UCAT prep has been a magnet for high achieving students across Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK.

MedEntry aims to provide simulated practice tests which are more difficult than the one you will face during the live UCAT. So you will find that the live UCAT will be a pleasant surprise!

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