Key skills tested on the UCAT Situational Judgement subtest



When preparing for the UCAT Situational Judgement section it is a good idea to pay close attention to the skills that you are being tested.

I propose when analysing questions, look beyond the scenario and the character’s role. Try to pinpoint the skills being tested. You may find a recurring theme with difficult questions.

On the situational judgement, the skills being tested usually fall under two categories.

1. Competency skills

This can be tested in many ways, but usually include hypothetical life and work scenarios from different perspectives that focus on:

  • Conflict resolution

  • Resilience

  • Honesty and integrity

  • Pressure and prioritisation

  • Teamwork and leadership skills

  • Communication skills

  • Adaptability

2. Ethical reasoning

This is your ability to deal with ethical and moral dilemmas. This can be tested in many ways and usually draw on the four pillars of medical ethics:

• Autonomy

• Beneficence

• Non-Maleficence

• Justice

Free Resources to help improve both skills

  • UCAT question bank and practice tests – Use as an indication of how the examiners like to ask questions. They are not a great indication of what will be on the test but should help you get a feel of what you need to work on and how to go about learning.
  • MSC Statement on the core values and attributes – Great starting point for STJ revision. This document from the Medical Schools Council sets out the core values and attributes needed to study medicine in the UK. Read now
  • GMC Good Medical practice –  This document issued by the General Medical Council outlines the duties of a doctor. Read now
  • GMC Character role play –  Do additional practice with the character role-play tool from the GMC. Try now
  • TMB’s UCAT tips – Search hundreds of bite-sized tips to help with the STJ subtest. Each tip has a 100-word limit. Explore now
  • TMB’s UCAT guides – Free guides to help specific areas during practice. Explore now

Not sure where to begin UCAT preparation? Take the FREE 30-day UCAT study challenge.


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