The Decision Making Test evaluates the application of logic to arrive at a conclusion, as well as consider arguments and statistics. There are a total of 29 itemsthat need to be completed in 31 minutes (+ 1 minute for reading instructions). Questions will be associated with either text, charts, graphs, tables, or diagrams, with additional information embedded within the question itself.
Questions are distinctively of 2 types in terms of structure:
|| These questions have 4 options with only one correct choice
|Yes or No Questions
||In these questions, you will have to place Yes or No next to five statements
Here are some basics about the UKCAT Decision Making Test that you must know:
- No prior knowledge of any subject will be required
- There is no negative marking, so make sure you attempt every question
- You might be required to do some math – a simple on-screen calculator will be available for use in this section
- You might have to work out certain questions on paper – use your booklet and pen for this
Since this component has been recently added into the test, it would be a good idea to visit the official UKCAT website for sample questions. Try to make use of all possible material available, especially for this subtest, since it is new.
This test was piloted in 2016. From 2017 onwards, it will become a scored subtest.
The Abstract Reasoning Subtest examines convergent and divergent patterns to recognise patterns and relationships from the presented patterns.
Following is a detailed breakdown of the types of questions you will be confronted with on test day:
||You will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled “Set A” and “Set B”. You will be given a test shape and asked to decide whether the test shape belongs to Set A, Set B, or neither.
||You will be presented with a series of shapes. You will be asked to select the next shape in the series.
||You will be presented with a statement, involving a group of shapes. You will be asked to determine which shape completes the statement.
||You will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled “Set A” and “Set B”. You will be asked to select which of the four response options belongs to Set A or Set B.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind as you tackle this section:
- You need to be able to develop the ability to not only infer relationships from information by convergent and divergent thinking, but also re-direct a line of thought. This can come only with ample practice on each of the type of questions.
- This is probably the most toughest section in terms of time-management. If you manage to develop the abilities mentioned above, the test will seem less intimidating in terms of timing.
The Situational Judgement test checks your ability to recognise important factors in real world situations and comprehending ways to resolve conflicts; the test determines how closely your responses align with the General Medical Council’s values.
The test does not have points, but rather bands, Band 1 being the highest and Band 4 being the lowest. The following table lists out what is expected to secure any of the bands:
||Candidates perform exceptionally and well above average, showing similar judgement in most cases to the panel of experts.
||Candidates perform well and above average, showing appropriate judgement for most questions with many matching model answers.
||Candidates perform lower than average with appropriate judgement shown for some questions but significant differences from ideal responses for others.
||Candidates perform poorly with judgement differing significantly from ideal responses to questions in many cases.
Following are the answer choices for 2 question types that you will have to deal with on this subtest:
|Question Type 1
||A very appropriate thing to do
If it will address at least one aspect (not necessarily all aspects) of the situation
Appropriate, but not ideal
If it could be done, but is not necessarily a very good thing to do
Inappropriate, but not awful
If it should not really be done, but would not be terrible
A very inappropriate thing to do
If it should definitely not be done and would make the situation worse
|Question Type 2
If this is something that is vital to take into account
If this is something that is important but not vital to take into account
Of minor importance
If this is something that could be taken into account, but it does not matter if it is considered or not
Not important at all
If this is something that should definitely not be taken into account
Here are a few other details about the test:
- Every answer choice can be used multiple times or not at all.
- Try not to compare responses; consider them independently of each other.
- A very appropriate response may not be the complete responses that one should do. In fact, an issue with the test is that you have to see if the actions you take are right from a medical perspective. You need to train yourself to do that.
- Remember that whatever you do may not be what you might do instinctively or is likely the action you will take.
- Make sure you are compliant with the question types and options you will see for those questions.