Jun 22, 2023

How To Tackle Situational Judgement (SJ)

The “situational judgement” section features 69 questions which you have to answer within 26 minutes. The vast majority of these questions come in sets of 5 each. Each set pertains to a situation that is described in a paragraph of about 150 words. In each situation, a junior doctor or a medical student has to make a decision about how he or she should react to the actions or words of someone else.

That other person can be a senior doctor, a patient, a patient’s legal guardian or family or friends, a fellow medical student, a fellow junior doctor, a member of the nursing or technical staff at the institution, a non-technical member of the staff like the receptionist, or the “general public” which, in SJ terminology, covers everyone outside the medical community. The decision may also be focused on an environmental factor – instead of a human being. For example, a junior doctor may have to make a decision on what to do with a broken window in a given situation.

Whether the decision is right depends on certain factors. Many of these factors exert an influence in all kinds of situations. However, what the decision should be primarily based on varies from one situation to another. This happens because whom the junior doctor or the medical student is dealing with is of great bearing. For example, a junior doctor must be absolutely transparent when dealing with a patient or a patient’s legal guardian. However, transparency is not that important when dealing with the general public. In fact, the right decision might even be to lie to members of the general public. For example, a doctor may tell you that he does not know the lady who has just smiled at him – though he knows perfectly who she is – because he does not want to disclose the fact that she is one of his patients. This kind of lying is considered the right thing to do – in the world of SJ questions – because a doctor should not ‘out’ his patients to the public.

Besides whom the junior doctor or the medical student is dealing with, an aspect of the situation itself is supposed to influence the decision greatly. In other words, decisions on the same issue may vary greatly from an urgent situation to a non-urgent situation. An urgent situation is one wherein the doctors do not have time to take the ideal path. In such cases, the best available takes precedence over the best possible.

The questions featured in this section are broadly of two types – based on what the examinee is required to identify. In some questions, the decision itself is described in the question and the examinee has to select one of the 4 tags – very appropriate, appropriate but not ideal, inappropriate but not awful, and very inappropriate – to describe the decision. In oher questions, a factor that may influence the decision is described in the question and the examinee has to select one of the 4 tags – very important, important, of minor importance, and not important at all – to describe how far the factor should influence the decision.

Like most other questions in the UCAT, these questions also create a scope for the examinees to delude themselves. The delusion occurs because the answer options are linguistically so adjacent that the reasons to select  one seems to justify selecting another as well. The biggest problem is distinguishing between the 2 choices in the middle –  appropriate but not ideal, and inappropriate but not awful; important, and of minor importance.

The best way to overcome this problem is to define each of the 4 options in a comparative manner. Indeed, the best and the worst tags should be given to the best and the worst cases. The second best one should be given to something that is good but not as good as the best case you can imagine in 5 seconds. Similarly, the third option from the top should be given to something that is bad but better than the worst you can imagine in 5 seconds.

You should not spend more than 25 seconds on any independent question and more than 2 minutes on any set of 5 questions. Pondering longer does not take you any closer to a sense of certainty that you got the right answer. The reason is simple: a bit of subjectivity creeps into these questions at either end; neither the person who produces an SJ question nor the person who tries to answer that question can be totally objective because the situation the question is based on can appear different from different angles.

Therefore, it makes much more sense to read up all the situation paragraphs in a hurry and answer no question totally blindly. In fact, if you can answer about 2 in every 3 questions correctly, you are almost assured of a band 2 score. If partial marking is allowed, and you have 46 fully correct out of 69 and some others partially correct, then you can get band 1 with 46 fully correct. However, we cannot take partial marking for granted. The UCAT consortium may or may not allow partial marking in the upcoming season.

Since partial marking can play so significant a role, it makes sense to understand its mechanism. Traditionally, UCAT authorities have marked a wrong answer partially correct if it were adjacent to the right answer. In other words, if the third option is the right answer and you marked the fourth option, you are given some credit.

Finally, getting band 2 and getting band 1 are basically the same thing from the admission point of view. A score of 4 automatically disqualifies you for many universities. A score of 3 keeps your chances tentative for most. However, a score of 1 is not distinguished from a score of 2 unless you are absolutely tied on all other parameters with another candidate. That rarely occurs.

by Arijit Thakur, Senior Quant & Verbal Trainer

Contact us today for a demo class.

Recent Blog


Jun 18, 2024

How to crack "authenticity" in your US College Essays.

We get it, You have ambition and drive. You know exactly what colleges in the US you want to target, the course you want to study, and of course, what trajectory you want to follow AFTER you’re there. But, the only thing that is bamboozling you right now is how do you secure a place for yourself amidst the vicious competition, and more specifically, how do YOU distinguish yourself from the thousands that are applying at the same time as you?

Read More


May 16, 2024

Navigating Scholarships: A Guide for Saudi Students

Are you a Saudi student aspiring to pursue higher education but concerned about the financial burden? Scholarships can be a beacon of hope, opening doors to opportunities that might otherwise seem out of reach. In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Education (MOE) offers a plethora of scholarships to support students in their academic journeys. Let's delve into the world of scholarships and explore what options await Saudi students.

Read More


Apr 04, 2024

Exploring Non-Traditional Majors

When it comes to choosing a major, traditional field such as business, engineering or medicine always come to mind. While these disciplines offer valuable skills and opportunities, there’s a world of opportunities to explore that could align with your interests and aspirations! For those seeking a more unconventional path, exploring non-traditional majors can introduce you to unique career opportunities. Here’s a look into the benefits and considerations of pursuing a non-traditional major:

Read More

UCAT Preparation Services by UniHawk: Your Path to Success

Looking to give your academic journey a head start with the UCAT? Finding the right and capable guidance is crucial! UniHawk is one of the most prominent UCAT prep courses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah that will prove to be your ultimate guide and support throughout.

UCAT Preparation Services by UniHawk: Your Path to Success

Looking to give your academic journey a head start with the UCAT? Finding the right and capable guidance is crucial! UniHawk is one of the most prominent UCAT prep courses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah that will prove to be your ultimate guide and support throughout. From comprehensive exam preparation to expert Admission Consulting, the UniHawk team provides end-to-end assistance. So, don't settle for just any training center offering UCAT classes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah; choose an educational partner that will guide you towards a brighter and better future. Unleash the best opportunities for your career under the expert guidance of UCAT experts. UniHawk, a distinguished name, has crafted numerous success stories with an unwavering commitment to excellence in education – making a significant difference in achieving your goals.

UCAT Coaching Classes

The UCAT test opens doors to amazing career opportunities for students aiming for esteemed education in some of the world's most prestigious institutions. However, it is also a challenging exam that requires tenacity and perseverance to qualify. Not only must you solve challenging questions, but you must do so swiftly, faster than millions of other test-takers worldwide. That's why robust and targeted exam preparation is essential to ace the UCAT. UniHawk offers premier UCAT coaching in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, providing impeccable guidance for exam preparation, applications, and admission counseling – your best ally to excel in the UCAT test.

UCAT Preparation Classes

UCAT calls for extremely smart and well-planned exam preparation. Time management and problem-solving skills are critical as you must distribute your time wisely throughout the exam. Choosing the right sections and questions requires caution, making preparation even more challenging. UniHawk is the best institution for UCAT preparation in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, offering a highly comprehensive and fool-proof exam preparation methodology that has been perfected through constant experimentation and learning from exams conducted annually. We can make a difference not only in your exam score but also in your admissions success.

UCAT Courses

To crack an internationally renowned exam like UCAT, you need a guide that instills top-notch problem-solving skills in sync with time management. UniHawk, with a team of the best experts and teachers who have facilitated thousands of successful admissions, offers the best UCAT courses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Whether it's Crash Courses, Individual Preparation Courses, or Group Preparation Courses, our strategized plans will sharpen your UCAT prep in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Trust UniHawk to feel the difference of training under the maestros, preparing you to confidently face the UCAT.

UCAT Tutor in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah

With an exam as crucial as UCAT, a single right or wrong answer can determine your admission to prestigious schools and universities. Passing the exam is not enough; excelling in various aspects is vital. From problem-solving and premise understanding to logic, quantification, and crafting an impressive essay, the UCAT admission process is daunting. UniHawk serves as the catalyst to transform your results and admission trajectory. Our efforts go beyond exam qualification; we focus on every aspect of your journey, from admission essays to choosing institutes and final preparations for your dream course. This is what makes UniHawk the best UCAT tutor in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah to help you crack the UCAT!

study medicine in uk, best medical schools uk, medicine university uk, study medicine in uk fees, medicine in england, uk medicine, medical in uk, ucat medicine, UCAT Crash Course, UCAT coaching, UCAT course, UCAT study, UCAT test prep, ucat uk, UCAT practice, foreign mbbs degree, UCAT coaching classes, UCAT coaching near me, UCAT exam preparation, UCAT test prep near me, pearson ucat, UCAT Practice Test, medicine university requirements uk, paramedical courses admission 2022, medical counselling 2022, Best UCAT Prep, UCAT prep classes dubai, best UCAT online classes, online UCAT prep classes, UCAT coaching classes in dubai, UCAT preparation dubai, practise UCAT, UCAT coaching centre near me, medical study in uk, top medical schools in uk, abroad mbbs admission, mbbs in abroad, medical schools in london for international students, mbbs admission counselling, UCAT exam prep, UCAT classes near me, UCAT courses near me, UCAT prep courses near me, best UCAT prep classes, ucat

Watch this video:-