Dissecting the UCAT Situational Judgement Subtest

Michael, THE MEDIC BLOG

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The Situational Judgement is the 5th and final section of the UCAT. In this article, we will look at the subtest in more detail.

What to Expect

The subtest measures your ability to understand real-world situations and to identify appropriate behaviour in dealing with them. You will be given 22 scenarios accompanied by 69 questions. For some items, you will need to consider the appropriateness of possible actions, and for others, you will need to consider the importance of possible considerations.

Some of the questions will require that you rate responses from four possible options. Other questions will require you to choose the most and least appropriate action to take in response to the situation, from the three actions provided.

Question-types

There are three types of questions in the STJ subtest.

1. Importance Questions

You are given a scenario and asked to rate how important you think a response is, in the context of the scenario. You have four options to pick from:

  • Very Important: This means you must take this into account. Very crucial.
  • Important: This means you should take this into account. Important to consider, but not essential.
  • Of minor Importance: This means you could take this into account. You can take into account, but equally acceptable if you do not.
  • Not important at all: This means you should not take this into account. It is negative, irrelevant or futile.

2. Appropriateness Questions

You are given a scenario and asked to rate how appropriate you think a response is, in the context of the scenario. You have four options to pick from:

  • A very appropriate thing to do: This means it will address one or all aspects of the situation.
  • Appropriate, but not ideal: This means it could be done, but it is not necessarily a very good thing to do.
  • Inappropriate, but not awful: This means it should not be really done, but it would not be terrible.
  • A very inappropriate thing to do: This means it should not be done and would potentially make the situation worse

    3. Most and Least Appropriate

    These question-types lend themselves to drag-and-drop format. You are given a scenario and asked to choose the most and least appropriate actions to take in response to the scenario from three possible actions.

    • Most appropriate: This means it will address one or all aspects of the situation. It could also be ok and not necessarily be a very good thing to do.
    • Least appropriate: This means it should not be done but not terrible, or would potentially make the situation worse.

    Skills & Reasoning tested

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

    • 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, integrity and more
    • 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 and Justice.

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