What is UCAT Situational Judgement?

Situational judgment is the final subset of UCAT which assesses your skills in addressing moral and ethical fears related to the medicine and the dentistry field.

This subset touches the real-world conditions or problems and provide suitable rejoinders to cope with the problems. The situations designed will generally be university-related or health-linked issues from the field of medicine or dentistry. While the subject in this case will be the medical or dental student or any junior health professional that encompasses those fears and problems.

The Structure

  • 69 questions revolving around 22 scenarios.
  • Each scenario holds 1-5 questions in it.
  • Total time allocation spans 26 minutes which sublets 15-20 seconds per question.

This is also a time-pressured part but most of the attempter doesn’t find it as compared to the other subsets. The plus point of this subset is marks distribution. If you have chosen the correct answer you will obtain full marks even if you chose the closest answer even then you will obtain the martial marks.

This subset is used widely to reflect light on the contender’s professionalism. It is quite different from the rest of the subtests of UCAT. The above four are collectively clustered together as the ‘cognitive subtests’. The difference primarily appears that how it is scored and how your score is utilized by medical schools for their selection process.

Why does the UCAT assess Situational Judgment?

The situational Judgment Test of the UCAT assesses your potentials to understand the situations, identifying the key issues, and respond to them suitably.

We are aware that this subsection is based on situations. Some of these situations are based on clinical scenarios. UCAT website suggests that you don’t need to have medical education or technical knowledge to qualify for the test. Rather this will test your values and behaviors. In some way, it will be the evaluation of “you” being portrayed and assessed, through your responses to stressful conditions moral principles, and ethical scenarios.

The Situational Judgment Test considers the values such as integrity, perspective, team involvement, resilience, and adaptability. The doctors give due importance to these values and their response to various situations is in line with the values. Thereby, doctors maintain their professionalism and human nature. Similarly, a candidate is expected to uphold these values. Your demeanor and behavior during the situational judgment test should not swivel in the waves of emotions nor should it be a brittle wall in the name of professionalism. It is totally a different ball game. You need to take it by the horns wisely. Follow the strategies to know where to step on and gain the maximum score count. 

What are the different types of UCAT Situational Judgement questions?

Situational Judgement question contains a short passage of 50-150 words that instills a feeling of being present in that particular scenario live. The questions are a mixed style of multiple choice and sliding scale questions. The categories of question for situational judgment exam given below

Appropriateness

At the end of each passage or paragraph, there will be a given set of options that entail certain actions. You need to rate them according to the degree of suitability or appropriateness, basing on a given scenario.

Importance

Similarly, here as well you will be given some questions at the end of each scenario or the passage. You have to rate them based on their importance to the context. Half of the detailed questions are related to the importance type questions.

Most / Least Appropriate Questions

In this type of scenario, you will be given three options at the end of the passage. From those you have to choose the least appropriate answer that you think. There are four different kinds of ranking options to choose from these questions. For “how appropriate questions” the ranking options are.

  • A very appropriate thing to do
  • Appropriate, but not ideal
  • Inappropriate, but not awful
  • A very inappropriate thing to do

Be mindful, all of the given options are correct to some extent but it’s your way of thinking which depicts the best statement as worst, and the worst statement as the best. Therefore be very careful mindful in attempting the solution of situational judgment.

How should I prepare for the UCAT Situational Judgement section?

This test establishes your ability to seek a decision basing on guidelines rather than personal biases. A coherent strategy to successfully sail through the test entails

  1. Careful Reading
  2. Avoid Influenced Reasoning
  3. Take Time
  4. Addressing Doubts
  5. Know about GMC Rules and Values

Step No 1: Careful Reading

Give a thorough read to the scenarios and instructions. Remember, the questions are of a different styles. Individual words, emphasis, and quantitative units are crucial in arriving at the right answer. You need to ensure that answer is being framed from the viewpoint of the appropriate character and wording is understood by the listener.

Step No 2: Avoid Influenced Reasoning

Make independent judgment, irrespective of other scenarios. You can repeat the rating within a question, however, do not render everything either most important or not at all important. Be rationale and develop logic for the thought and choice of answer.

Step No 3: Take Time

Read the scenarios and questions deliberately. Do not try to skim through the paragraph. You would not want to miss out on any important detail.

Step No 4: Addressing Doubts

In a situation where you struggle to choose the correct option, look for a choice that solicits an opinion or advice from a senior or a colleague.

Step No 5: Know about GMC Rules and Values

You need to develop a clear understanding of the rules and values applicable to the medical profession. It will prove helpful and provide a solid foundation for attempting questions based on medical scenarios.

How should I prepare for the UCAT Situational Judgment section?

There must have been instances in real-life situations where you worked as a team with a different group of people, your friends, and your acquaintances. The time is here now to use that acquired situational skill.

  • The purpose of this subsection is to make you understand the views of others in the same situation and assess your aptitude as well. It is more of a behavioral practice.
  • To cover the situational judgment you must go through General Medical Council’s ‘Good Medical Practice. It is going to guide you about the behavior attitude and response of the doctors and health professionals under time-pressured and stressful situations.
  • Ascertain certain priorities and factors for your convenience beforehand. Obviously, some aspects prioritized pre-mediated responses. Do not aim for the most appropriate solution or no solution at all, as both of these are the extremes. Adopt a median course that confines the bounds and limitations of the scenario.
  • Don’t get into a frenzy, understand the information provided with full concentration. Any missed information can lead you astray. Develop a habit of patient hearing and mindful conduct. It will help you in routine life affairs as well.
  • Time management is mandatory. It can be achieved by practicing the test under the time bar.