Prepare for the UCAT SJT- The Most Important Part of the Test

Everything you need to know about the UCAT Situational Judgment test - info, sample questions and tips


Universities use the UCAT exam to screen potential medical students- so if you want to become a medical student one day, you will have to pass the UCAT test.

The test includes four cognitive categories and an SJT.

The SJT includes 69 questions which will require you to determine the appropriateness and importance of responses and considerations to various situations in a medical setting.

Since the UCAT SJT gets its own unique score, high performance is extremely critical to your success.

This page will teach you all about the SJT section and its unique UCAT score as well as how to pass it.

Get our full UCAT Preparation Pack page, Or take a FREE UCAT practice test.

Tamar, UCAT Test Expert at JobTestPrep
Have a question? Contact me at:

What is the UCAT Situational Judgement Test?

The UCAT SJT assesses one’s ability to comprehend realistic situations medical practitioners face, recognise important factors, and appropriately cope with respective situations. Specifically, the ability to make rational and moral decisions involving patients, medical staff, and the general public is evaluated.

The UCAT Situational Judgement test focuses on two sets of competencies: your interpersonal skills (how you relate to others around you) and your ethical competencies (how you relate to medical ethics).

The Situational Judgement section is comprised of 69 questions (associated with 20 scenarios) to be completed in 26 minutes (plus one minute for instructions).

 Official UCAT practice tests will provide you will some understanding of the test format, but that's not enough when you have 22 seconds per question.

Get the full UCAT Preparation Pack, which comes with JobTestPrep's 10 Doctor's Principles method of training for and passing the SJT!

Why is the UCAT SJT So Important?

The UCAT SJT is meant to answer one important question: Can you behave as a doctor needs to? And it's so important because not everyone can. Even generalised practice can help you with the cognitive section somewhat, but to make sure you pass the SJT you need specific practice material aimed to teach you the principles a doctor acts according to.

In order to be able to become a doctor, you must embody strong values that have guided medical practitioners since the dawn of time. Our preparation shows those principles and teaches you how to act according to each of them.

You can learn more about the Ucat Situational Judgment Test on our dedicated video:

JobTestPrep Doctor's Principles - How to beat the UCAT SJT

In order to help you master the UCAT SJT, JobTestPrep developed its Doctor's Principles method. This is a set of 10 principles ordered from most to least important, which are used to decide the correct response by a medical student/practitioner facing a professional dilemma. 

As mentioned, the SJT section contains 22 scenarios. Each one has up to 6 questions for a total of 69.

There are 26 minutes to complete this section: This gives you about 22 seconds per question. 

Why are you getting such short times? Because the test wants to illicit a natural response, to see how you would act in the heat of the moment, in reality- when you would not always have a long while to decide your course of action, as a doctor. This is given especially serious importance since the split-second decisions of a doctor can save or ruin lives.

UCAT Situational Judgement Test Format

The UCAT SJT is comprised of scenarios and potential considerations and actions. Prior medical knowledge is not required. There are two sets of questions in this section:

Question Type 1

In the first set of questions, a scenario is presented and you need to rate the suitability of a series of potential responses to that scenario. The ratings are as follows:

  1. A very appropriate thing to do – This means the response deals with at least one facet of the scenario.
  2. Appropriate, but not ideal – This means the option is not necessarily good.
  3. Inappropriate, but not awful – This means the option should not really be used, but it would not be awful.
  4. A very inappropriate thing to do – This means the response should definitely not be taken and that it would worsen the situation.

It is possible the action described in a response is not the only action being taken. In other words, there may be multiple steps not noted in the response option. If a wrong medication, for example, is given to a patient, there are several things that need to happen, including medically assessing the patient and ensuring that he or she is okay. Thus, a response such as 'ask the patient if he or she is okay' is still an appropriate response, as you should consider that this is not the only step being taken.

The answer options 'a very appropriate thing to do' and 'appropriate, but not ideal' indicate that a positive decision has been made. Clearly, 'a very appropriate thing to do' suggests that this is the most accurate decision in the given scenario, whereas 'appropriate, but not ideal' suggests the decision is good but that it does not fully address every issue raised in the scenario.

'Inappropriate, but not awful' indicates the correct decision was not made, but that it is not an irreversible or tragic mistake. In contrast, 'a very inappropriate thing to do' highlights that the decision is an extremely poor one, as it does not address any issues raised in the question.

Question Type 2

In the second set of questions, you need to rate the importance of a series of considerations for how to respond to a scenario. These are the options for rating:

  1. Very important – This means the option is something critical to consider.
  2. Important – This means that while the option is important, it is not crucial for consideration.
  3. Of minor importance – This means the option could be considered, but it does not make a difference if it is or is not considered.
  4. Not important at all – This means the option should definitely not be considered.

Question Type 3

The last type of question asks you to rate 3 responses in order of appropriateness to the scenario. This means you must rank each response differently, from most to least appropriate.


The Situational Judgement section is comprised of 69 questions (associated with 20 scenarios) to be completed in 26 minutes (plus one minute for instructions).

Here are some UCAT situational judgement questions for you to try:

UCAT Situational Judgement Sample Questions

Sample Question 1

A medical student, Claire, is leading a public health student research project. As part of the research, the students are asked to interview obese patients on their views on how to address obesity in practice. Seth, a fellow student, approaches Claire and complains to her that Mary does not complete the interviews according to protocol. He claims that Marry appears always in a rush, and consequently she skips interview questions and records only partial answers. Seth fears that Mary's conduct will impede the entire research project and asks Claire to take action.

How appropriate is the following response by Claire in this situation?  

Excuse Mary from conducting the interviews and carry them out yourself.





View Explanation

The correct answer is D.


Competencies: Teamwork; Effective communication

Explanation: A group member, Claire, has been asked by a fellow group member to address a third group member, Mary, for not following protocol when completing the assigned task.
This response shows a lack of effective communication and teamwork. Students are expected to treat colleagues fairly and with respect, yet Claire has only heard one side of the story, making this a very rash and unfair response. Claire should first attempt to resolve the issue by discussing the matter directly with Mary, to both assess the situation and understand her point of view. Only then should Clair decide what action to take.

Sample Question 2

Elizabeth and Paris are two medical students who were paired together on a final assignment that will account for 50% of their final course grade. Paris is going through some personal difficulties and has asked Elizabeth if it is possible for her to do most of the work alone. 

How appropriate is the following response by Elizabeth in this situation?

Agree to the request as it seems Paris is struggling.





View Explanation

The correct answer is C.

Competencies: Conscientiousness

Explanation: A student is supposed to complete an assessed piece of work with another student who has now asked her to complete the majority of the workload alone due to personal difficulties she is having.
Although Elizabeth may sympathise with Paris, it would be inappropriate for her to agree to complete the majority of the work alone. This response lacks conscientiousness, as this is a joint piece of work, and it should therefore be completed collaboratively. Medical students are expected to follow the guidelines—in this case, to complete this assessed piece of work collaboratively. It is, however, not an awful response as Elizabeth's intentions are good and it does show concern towards Paris.

For more UCAT Situational Judgement test samples, please see our free UCAT practice test.

What Is So Hard on The UCAT SJT?

You might think to yourself this section should be a walk in the park comparing to the other UCAT sections, but the truth is that the SJT section is the blind spot of A LOT of students.

Our UCAT PrepPack™ offers comprehensive UCAT Situational Judgement practice questions. Our pack also contains a complete guide to the UCAT, featuring specific tips for the Situational Judgement subtest as well as a full-length mock test. Start practising now and beat the UCAT on your first try.

UCAT Situational Judgement Scoring

Scoring on the SJT section is different from other sections of the UCAT. The raw score is provided in one of four UCAT situational judgement bands, with one being the highest band and four being the lowest band. If you answer correctly, you will receive the full amount of points for your answer. If your response is close to the correct answer but is not correct, you will receive a partial amount of points. You will be provided with an explanation as to what each band means:

UCAT 2024
Band 1Performed at an excellent level, displaying judgement similar to the majority of the expert panel.
Band 2Displayed a decent level of performance, often demonstrating appropriate judgement, with several responses corresponding to model answers.
Band 3Performed at a modest level, displaying appropriate judgement for some questions and significant differences from model responses for other questions.
Band 4Performed poorly, displaying significantly different judgement than the model response in several cases.