UKCAT Decision Analysis Subtest

In 2016, the Decision Analysis subtest will no longer be part of the UKCAT. It will be replaced by an unscored subtest called Decision Making, which may be used (and scored) in future years. 
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Starting in 2016, the UKCAT's Decision Analysis subtest will be replaced by the Decision Making subtest. At this time, the Decision Making subtest will not be scored. Therefore, our UKCAT pack will no longer contain the Decision Analysis section. All scored sections, however, are still available in our UKCAT practice pack.

UKCAT Decision Making - New Section

The UKCAT is replacing the Decision Analysis section with a Decision Making section this year (2016). The UKCAT Decision Making section will measure one’s ability to implement logic in order to assess arguments, evaluate statistical data, and make a decision.

While the Decision Making section is mandatory for those taking the UKCAT, this section will not affect your final score. It will be provided to the medical and/or dental schools to which you apply, and thus it will not be considered by such institutions during the application process. However, it is still important to complete the Decision Making section to aid in the validation and development of this new section. This will help improve the selection process for future medical and dental students.

Dentists and doctors must be able to make decisions in complicated situations. Therefore, it is important they possess problem solving skills at a high level, be able to evaluate and manage risk and know how to cope with uncertainty.

Format & Content of the UKCAT Decision Making Section

The UKCAT Decision Making section may include questions that refer to tables, diagrams, text, graphs, or charts. Some questions may present additional information.

There are two different question formats in this section:
  • Questions with four answer choices, where only one choice is correct
  • Questions with five statements, each of which require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer

Test takers may use their booklets and pens. Additionally, an on-screen calculator will be available.

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UKCAT Decision Making Question Types

There are four types of Decision Making questions on the UKCAT:
  1. Deductive Reasoning - An opening statement is provided, followed by various conclusion statements. You must then select the appropriate conclusion statement.
  2. Evaluating Arguments - Following the question (and any text that might be included), there will be a selection of arguments from which you will have to determine the best argument.
  3. Statistical Reasoning - You will need to arrive at a conclusion based on the provided data.
  4. Figural Reasoning - A series of sequences are provided. Based on these sequences, you must arrive at a conclusion.

Decision Analysis vs. Decision Making

In the UKCAT Decision Analysis section, your ability to employ decision analysis and logic skills are tested. However, in the UKCAT Decision Making section, you will be required to logically evaluate both the scenarios and the provided answers. The two tests are also formatted differently:

  • Decision Analysis - In UKCAT Decision Analysis questions, a table with a code comprised of letters and numbers is provided. This table is then followed by questions which use the aforementioned code. You then need to interpret the code.
  • Decision Making - The UKCAT Decision Making section provides items that may refer to presented diagrams, charts, graphs, tables, or text. There may be further information provided in the question itself. None of the questions share any of the presented information. You will need to logically evaluate the legitimacy of the answers provided. Some of the questions will provide five statements for which you will need to write "yes" or "no" next to each one. The other questions will have four answer choices, of which only one is correct. You must select the correct answer. You may use scrap paper, and you will also be provided with a simple on-screen calculator for this section.

The new Decision Making section no longer includes codes the way that the Decision Analysis section did. The Decision Making section will evaluate deductive reasoning as well as one's ability to determine if an argument is good or bad. This section is not about what is the correct answer, rather which answer fits best.

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