Your Guide to the 2023 UCAT Cut-Off Scores for University Entry in Australia

10/11/202315 minute read
Your Guide to the 2023 UCAT Cut-Off Scores for University Entry in Australia

Written By Team MedView
Reviewed By Callum Chalmers (Currently studying Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery - MBChB at University of Auckland)

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a crucial step in the process of applying to medical school.

The UCAT score you receive determines the universities you have a chance of scoring an interview for, with each institution having individual entry criteria.

We've created a handy guide that breaks down the requirements you need to meet in order to be considered for an interview offer at Australia's top medical schools — from the University of New South Wales to Monash University.

Plus, we offer a refresher on how the UCAT cut-off scores work and explore where to seek support on your medical school journey. Let's dive in!

UCAT scores: What do they mean?

Ucat Prep

UCAT scores are the primary assessment tool for undergraduate medicine entry in Australia. A high UCAT score not only increases your chances of receiving an interview offer but also plays a significant role in determining your eligibility for various medical schools.

For some applicants, such as those from rural and remote areas, the UCAT score required might be comparatively lower.

The scoring process for the 4 cognitive subtests (Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning) of the UCAT ANZ is based on a scaled score due to the number of questions for each subtest varying.

It's not possible to make a direct comparison of the raw marks between these subtests and as a results, these marks are converted to scale scores that range from 300 to 900.

For the Verbal Reasoning (VR), Quantitative Reasoning (QR), and Abstract Reasoning (AR) subtests, each question carries a weightage of 1 mark, while in the Decision Making (DM) subtest, multi-statement questions are weighted as 2 marks.

The total scaled score, which can be considered as an average score, is achieved by summing the individual scaled scores of VR, DM, QR, and AR, which can range from 1200 to 3600.

This overall UCAT score allows universities to compare applicants’ performances across different testing years, ensuring a fair assessment of candidates’ aptitude and determining the cut off score for admissions.

The final part of the UCAT is the Situational Judgement Test (SJT), which assesses an applicant’s ability to understand real-world situations and make appropriate decisions based on the information provided. The SJT score ranges from 300 to 900 — this scoring system is the same as that of the other subtests.

Importantly, the SJT isn't considered by most universities in the admissions process but you still need to complete it when sitting the UCAT.

UCAT score ranges and percentiles: What is a good UCAT score?

A “good” UCAT score is typically around the 90th to 95th percentile, which is the score required for entry into medicine.

Based on previous cohorts, the average UCAT score invited to interview is over 3000 — those with scores of 3100+ are more likely to be offered an interview than those in the 2800 to 2900 range.

Your UCAT score is a percentile score, reflecting your performance relative to other exam takers, and a higher score enhances your prospects of scoring both an interview and an offer at a commended medical school.

To access official percentile data for UCAT and better understand where you stand among other applicants, you can visit the UCAT ANZ website.

Australian medical schools requiring UCAT scores

UNSW tops Australian universities in world subject rankings | Inside UNSW

A number of universities in Australia require UCAT scores for admission — these are:

  • The University of Adelaide
  • Central Queensland University
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Curtin University
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University
  • Monash University
  • The University of Newcastle / University of New England
  • The University of New South Wales
  • University of Notre Dame Australia
  • The University of Queensland
  • University of Southern Queensland
  • University of Tasmania
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Western Sydney University

The average score invited for interviews varies depending on the university and how competitive the pool of applicants is. Keep in mind that these cut-off scores tend to fluctuate each year so it will rarely be the same as the previous year.

How do UCAT universities use scores?

Each medical school has different requirements and it's important to be aware of these when applying. Here's a look at how 12 Australian universities use both UCAT and ATAR scores in their admissions process.

The University of Adelaide

ATAR requirements

  • For both the Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and the Bachelor of Dental Surgery, the minimum ATAR needed is 90
  • Although, in reality, those previously admitted to the University of Adelaide have achieved an ATAR of 99.75, which highlights just how competitive this process is

UCAT cut-off score

  • To achieve an interview offer for the University of Adelaide, the cut-off score you need to achieve is around 2730 for those based in South Australia and around 3140 for those interstate
  • Your UCAT score is weighted 100% when it comes to the interview offer stage
  • For admission offers, the weighting is 20% UCAT, 40% interview results and 40% academic results

Central Queensland University

ATAR requirements

  • The minimum ATAR required for Central Queensland University (CQ) is 95, but in reality students admitted to CQU have achieved an ATAR of 98.7

UCAT cut-off score

  • The UCAT cut-off score needed is around 3050, which accounts for 100% in landing an interview and just 25% in the final ranking

Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University

ATAR requirements

  • For the Doctor of Medicine, which is a Joint Medical Program (JMP) offered in conjunction with Western Sydney University, the minimum required ATAR is 95.5
  • For rural students, the minimum is 91.5

UCAT cut-off score

  • The UCAT cut-off score for the JPM comes in at around 3090, which is weighted 100% for interview offer decisions
  • When it comes to the weighting for admission to this program, applicants are assessed on 75% interview and 25% UCAT

Curtin University

ATAR requirements

  • For it's Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees, the minimum ATAR required is 95 — but students need to achieve 98.35 to be considered competitive
  • Curtin University also has a prerequisite that WACE (Western Australian Certificate of Education) students study chemistry in Year 12

UCAT cut-off score

  • For local students, the UCAT cut-off score for Curtin University is around 2970 and this score is weighted 35% in the interview offer process and 20% for an official offer to the medical school

Flinders University

ATAR requirements

  • The minimum ATAR required for admission to the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences or Doctor of Medicine at Flinders University is 95
  • The ATAR you actually need to achieve for consideration is 99.95

UCAT cut-off score

  • The UCAT cut-off score for Flinders University is around 2870
  • Ranking for admission offers are based on 90% ATAR and 10% UCAT

Monash University

ATAR requirements

  • The minimum ATAR requirements for admission to the Bachelor of Medical Science or Doctor of Medicine is 90 but given the competitive nature of the applicant pool, the final ATAR required is 99.45
  • Alongside the ATAR requirement, students also need to have scored at least 35 in English and 30 in Chemistry

UCAT cut-off score

  • You'll need a score of at least around 3080 to be considered for an interview at Monash University and this score is weighted 50%
  • There are 3 components included in the process: ATAR results, UCAT scores and a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) — the MMI consists of 6 interview stations that run for roughly 10 minutes each
  • Your UCAT score is weighted at 33% for the final ranking

The University of Newcastle and University of New England

ATAR requirements

  • The minimum ATAR required for the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine, which is a JMP offered by the University of Newcastle and the University of New England, is 94.30 for those from urban high schools
  • Rural students need a minimum 91.40 ATAR

UCAT cut-off score

  • The UCAT score needed for the interview process is around 3110 and this is 100% of the consideration
  • Interestingly, the UCAT score isn't used for the final ranking, which is instead made up of a Personal Qualities Assessment (PQA) and Multiple Skills Assessment (MSA)
  • The PQA is an online test that evaluate personal qualities that are considered important for the study and practice of medicine
  • The MSA, on the other hand, is an in-person experience that is made up of 8 rotating stations and involves discussing different scenarios and activities with an assessor

The University of New South Wales

ATAR requirements

  • The minimum ATAR needed to be considered to study medicine at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) is 96
  • Although, because this particular degree is quite competitive, students generally need to secure an ATAR of 99.55 for a higher chance of scoring an interview

UCAT cut-off score

  • Students need a UCAT of around 3060 to be competitive for the interview offer process and this is 50% of the weighting for this decision
  • This score is weighted 33% for the final ranking, with your ATAR and interview used alongside this

The University of Queensland

ATAR requirements

  • The University of Queensland requires a minimum ATAR of 95 but, to be successful in the final offer stage, you'll need 98.8

UCAT cut-off score

  • While the minimum UCAT score depends on the performance of applicants and how many places are available, the lowest UCAT score that was invited to interview in 2022 was around 3030 for provisional entry applicants and around 2560 for the Rural Access Scheme
  • This score is weighted 100% for the interview offer and 25% for the final ranking for admission
  • You also need to have completed Year 12 English or equivalent and completed a MMI to be considered for an interview

University of Southern Queensland

ATAR requirements

  • The minimum ATAR requirement for the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) is 95
  • But, in actuality, students need 98.7 to be considered competitive

UCAT cut-off scores

  • The UCAT cut-off score is around 3050 — this accounts for 100% of the decision-making process when it comes to the interview offer and 25% in the final ranking for admission

University of Tasmania

ATAR requirements

  • The University of Tasmania (UTAS) requires a minimum ATAR of 95
  • But, given how competitive the applicant pool is, you'll need a higher ATAR score of 99.95 for non-rural applicants and those who aren't from Tasmania and 99.45 for rural or Tasmanian students

UCAT cut-off score

  • Applicants need to achieve a UCAT score of around 2530, and pass the 50th percentile
  • According to the university, "groups of applicants with the same ATAR will be ranked by using the UCAT ANZ score as a secondary ranking method"
  • UTAS uses the combined scores of the first 4 sections of the UCAT — the Situational Judgement Test is not included
  • Other prerequisites include satisfactory achievement in Tasmanian Senior Secondary Chemistry (CHM415115) or equivalent within the last 5 years and satisfactory achievement in Year 12 English within the same time period

The University of Western Australia

ATAR requirements

  • The minimum ATAR for the University of Western Australia (UWA) is 98, but in reality, successful interview offer applicants need to score 99.75

UCAT cut-off score

  • The UCAT cut-off score for local applicants is around 2970 and this is weighted 100% for the interview process and 20% for final ranking

Meeting your UCAT cut-off scores

Achieving a competitive score and working to meet minimum academic requirements requires a robust study strategy that focuses on both your UCAT and ATAR outcomes.

While you're guided through the ATAR process at school, the UCAT journey can seem a little less straightforward.

This is where MedView comes in — we understand the process of applying to medical schools is not only complex and confusing but it’s more competitive than ever before!

MedView Education takes med school admission to a new level through personalised admission support, application review, entrance exam and interview tutoring, and extracurricular mentoring for students in Australasia.

Our dedicated team and personalised support helps students get the results they need, with our UCAT students 5 times more likely to receive an interview and 4.5 times more likely to gain admission to an Australian medical school.

Plus, you can access a bunch of free and helpful resources — including insights from current medical students and MedView Admission Experts on the pathways and requirements to successful admission into medical school — via the MedView website.

Exploring alternative options for medical school admissions, like non-UCAT medical schools and postgraduate medicine pathways, is also a viable option. We'll dive into this a little more below!

Non-UCAT medical schools in Australia

sydney, university, usyd

Not achieving the necessary UCAT score to land a university interview offer is incredibly disappointing. When you put in a lot of time and effort and don't see the results, it can feel understandably disheartening and you might not know what to do next.

The good news is that there are other options for medical school admission that don't require the UCAT.

In fact, institutions like James Cook University, the University of Sydney (USYD) and the University of Melbourne don't use the UCAT in the admissions process [3].

The University of Sydney

USYD doesn't require applicants to complete the UCAT in order to apply for its medical program.

Instead, the university offers a Guaranteed Entry program, which gives you a confirmed place in an eligible degree with available places, granted you achieve the required selection rank and meet additional admission criteria.

Applicants need an ATAR of 99.95 in order to proceed to the assessment day, which includes a written task and group interview. Keep in mind that this is an incredibly competitive program with only 30 domestic places available!

The University of Melbourne

Similar to USYD, the University of Melbourne also offers a Guaranteed Entry pathway for students.

To qualify for a full fee paying place in the Doctor of Medicine, you'll need a 99 ATAR, while those looking for a Commonwealth-supported place through the Chancellor's Scholarship program need to achieve a 99.9 ATAR.

It's important to note that applicants also need to sit and pass an MMI interview in the final year of their Bachelor's degree and full fee paying applicants must have a weighted average mark (WAM) above 75 from their Bachelor's degree.

James Cook University

James Cook University also doesn't require the UCAT and tends to offer places to a fairly large ATAR score range.

The ATAR range of secondary students offered a place in the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at James Cook University for Semester 1, 2023 spanned from 91.85 to the highest of 99.95 [4].

This demonstrates how important the application and interview process is at a school like James Cook University and means you don't have to rely on your UCAT score if it came in lower than you would have liked.

However, bear in mind that the competition for spots at non-UCAT medical schools might still be intense, and fulfilling all other admission criteria is necessary to increase your success chances.

Frequently asked questions

What is a low UCAT score 2023?

A low UCAT score in 2023 is considered to be anything below 3000. If you happen to receive a low UCAT score, your best option is to explore non-UCAT universities or look at schools that don't rely as heavily on UCAT scores.

For example, while Flinders University requires applicants to sit the UCAT, it's weighing of results for admissions is 90% ATAR and 10% UCAT.

How can I interpret my UCAT score?

Your UCAT score is an indication of how your performance compared to other students taking the same exam, with a higher score indicating you did better than most. Therefore, your UCAT score can be interpreted as a measure of your academic success.

References

  1. https://www.ucat.edu.au/about-ucat-anz/universities/
  2. https://www.ucat.edu.au/about-ucat-anz/ucat-scoring/
  3. https://www.jcu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/1878711/2024-MBBS-Dom-infosheet.pdf
  4. https://www.jcu.edu.au/courses/bachelor-of-medicine-bachelor-of-surgery