Medify's Guide to the UCAT Situational Judgement Section

UCAT

2019-07-23

This section measures your capacity to understand real-world situations while identifying the critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them. How good is your judgement?

In order to assess your emotional intelligence, such as empathy, ethics, integrity, team working and communication skills, you will be presented with 22 scenarios requiring you to rate each of them on a scale of how important or appropriate a suggested action is worth. You are given 26 minutes to answer around 69 scale ranking and multiple questions.

These scenarios will be described and the question will ask whether a given response is appropriate. The options are on a spectrum of very appropriate, appropriate, inappropriate and very inappropriate. The “correct” answer is prepared beforehand by taking votes by doctors and healthcare professionals. However, even if the “correct” answer is not chosen, if it is close to it, partial marks will be rewarded.

Situational Judgement, tests whether the candidate understands the basic concepts healthcare professionals use as a basis when making critical decisions in certain situations, such concepts as honesty, integrity, confidentiality and other important qualities and duties. It would be helpful to read “Good Medical Practice” by the GMC as it outlines these points in further detail.

How does this relate to being a doctor or dentist?

As a doctor or dentist you will be continuously in a position of having to use situational judgement using your skills of team involvement, integrity and testing your resilience; therefore this section assesses to observe if you have these qualities to make it as a medical professional.

Do actions speak louder than words?

Within this section you are rating the actions not the scenarios themselves. Each scenario will be accompanied with options for the hypothetical next action/step to be taken for you to rate which are of most value, importance and use in dealing or correcting the given situation. Focus on the actions rather than the purposely distracting words of extra or irrelevant information.

Do you know the qualities of a great doctor?

If you know or know of and admire a great doctor, think of them as a role model asking yourself “What would they do in this situation?” The qualities of a great doctor include: effective communication skills, integrity, honesty and being an amazing team member; bearing these in mind will help you rate which options of actions are the most appropriate.

Do you trust yourself?

If you are really struggling to choose between the options of actions, what are your instincts saying? What do you know to be true? Partial marks can be awarded within this section for answers given close to the ‘correct’ answer. You have been studying all of this for a while now so trust yourself to know the correct answer even if you cannot explain why.

Do you take one or two?

Some UCAT candidates have been lead to believe there is only one appropriate action to deal with one scenario. Just like real life, there is more than just one way to deal with any given situation. Therefore, remember you are only being asked to pick one appropriate answer out of the list given and not for the ‘correct’ answer; there could be more than one appropriate option on the list. Our UCAT Online Course is ideal for practising this judgement and we give feedback too.

What is your role?

Within this section each scenario will state the setting of where the scenario is taking place such as a hospital and it will state what your role is within that setting and situation. Note these very carefully, as a given role of a doctor or a given role as a medical student will require different next step actions. Consider the points you have learned from the GMC Guidelines pamphlet and the lessons learned within our UCAT Online Course, apply them to each scenario, question and answer.

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed and anxious? Please don’t worry, head over to our UCAT Online Course and we’ll get you signed up, in a matter of seconds, guiding you through this whole process step-by-step. We have a bank of 10,239+ questions, a decision making section and 8 full mock exams and 18 mini-mock exams; we even give you performance feedback too. We’ve been lending a successful helping hand since 2009, Medify’s here to support you, just reach out to us.


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