Situational Judgement (UKCAT Tips)

I have done a couple of posts related to the UKCAT previously but I wanted to share some tips and techniques for each of the five individual sections. You can read those posts here where I shared my favourite books and here for information about the test, process, application and what to expect.

Click here to read about the previous section.

This section is actually a really important section to understand because it's most closely linked to the medical profession. It's basically testing what sort of person you think a certain role should have and how to respond in a professional manner. What is important to remember is that this is about what you should do and not what you personally would do.

You have 26 minutes to do 66 questions and unlike many of the other sections, you usually have time to spare so don't rush through. The most important thing to remember for this section is that you need to read the entire passage first before the statements, which is almost the opposite to the Verbal Reasoning section. Once you've read the passage, you will be able to know and understand your  role. It's crucial to pay attention to this because it changes your course of action e.g. patient, medical student, consultant.
This is also the simplest section to actually understand as there are only two type of questions: importance and appropriateness. The question will ask to what degree the statement is important or appropriate in the given scenario, relating to the stated passage.

To score highly on this section it can benefit to do some reading of material prior to your test date. I would recommend reading up on the GMC's guidelines on being a good doctor including: safety, health, trust, professionalism. The most important ideas to understand and be able to apply are those relating to the Principles of Respect:

  • Non-maleficence: must do no harm and provide effective treatment
  • Justice: ensures resources are distributed equally and fairly amongst all of society 
  • Beneficence: actions for the benefit of others 
  • Autonomy: the right of competent adults to make informed decisions about their own medical care

In reality, as long as you remember to stay professional and be a nice, normal person, you will do well. As the answers can be subjective, often there are half marks available for having an answer one side of the correct one. 

Remember to stay calm and bare in mind who you are. Don't rush!