If you are thinking about applying to study medicine or dentistry at a UK university, you will need to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). This exam is used by universities as part of the selection process, and it is important that you prepare well for it. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of what the UCAT is, when it takes place, and who should take it. We will also discuss how to prepare for the exam and offer some helpful tips!
What is the UCAT?
The UCAT is a computer-based exam that consists of five sections: verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, and situational judgment. The test is two hours long and consists of 225 questions. The UCAT is scored on a scale of 0-3600, with universities using different cut-offs for each section.
How do I register?
You can register for the UCAT online via the official website. The registration fee is £70 if the test is taken in the UK and £115 if taken outside the UK and the deadline to register is usually in late September.
To register for the UCAT, you will need to create an account on the UCAT website. Once you have registered, you will be able to choose your preferred test date and location. You will need to provide your personal details, contact details, and educational qualifications. We recommend that you book your test as early as possible to give yourself plenty of time to prepare.
What are the 5 sections of the UCAT?
The five sections of the UCAT are verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, and situational judgment. Each section tests a different skill set, and you will need to be proficient in all areas to do well on the exam.
What Is The Verbal Reasoning Section?
The verbal reasoning section of the UCAT tests your ability to understand and interpret written information. You will need to read passages of text and answer questions based on your understanding of the material. This section is designed to assess your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. how many questions? There are 44 questions in the verbal reasoning section of the UCAT.
What Is The Decision Making Section?
The decision-making section of the UCAT tests your ability to make sound judgments under pressure. You will be presented with a series of scenarios and asked to choose the best course of action. This section is designed to assess your ability to think quickly and make decisions in difficult situations. how many questions? There are 29 questions in the decision making section of the UCAT.
What Is The Quantitative Reasoning Section?
The quantitative reasoning section of the UCAT tests your ability to understand and interpret numerical information. You will need to solve problems using mathematical concepts and principles. This section is designed to assess your analytical and problem-solving skills. how many questions? There are 36 questions in the quantitative reasoning section of the UCAT. Quantitative Reasoning Questions are usually multiple-choice with five answer options, but some questions may require you to enter your own numerical answer.
What Is The Abstract Reasoning Section?
The abstract reasoning section of the UCAT tests your ability to understand and interpret abstract information. You will be presented with a series of patterns and asked to identify the underlying rule. This section is designed to assess your ability to think logically and solve problems creatively. how many questions? There are 50 questions in the abstract reasoning section of the UCAT.
What Is The Situational Judgment Section?
The situational judgment section of the UCAT tests your ability to make sound judgments in realistic situations. You will be presented with a series of scenarios and asked to choose the best course of action. This section is designed to assess your professional judgement and decision-making skills. how many questions? There are 66 questions in the situational judgment section of the UCAT. Situational Judgement Questions (SJQs) form part of the UCAT exam. SJQs are designed to test applicants’ professional judgement in realistic scenarios, rather than their academic knowledge. The scenarios are based on everyday situations that might be encountered during medical training or practice.
When is the Exam Offered?
The UCAT is offered twice a year: once in July and once in September. The exact date of the exam varies from year to year, but it is usually held on a Wednesday or Thursday.
Who Should Take The UCAT?
Anyone applying to study medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine at a university that uses the UCAT as part of their selection process. This includes both international and EU students.
What Is The Difference Between UCAT, UKCAT and UCAT ANZ?
The UCAT is the same exam as the UKCAT, but it is offered in Australia and New Zealand under a different name. The content of the exam is identical, but the Australian and New Zealand versions use different norms.
How Is The UCAT Different From The BMAT and GAMSAT?
The UCAT is a computer-based exam, while the BMAT and GAMSAT are both paper-based exams. The content of the UCAT is also different from the BMAT and GAMSAT. The UCAT focuses on problem-solving and decision-making skills, while the BMAT and GAMSAT focus on scientific knowledge and understanding.
How Long Is The Exam?
The UCAT takes two hours to complete and there are a total of 280 questions. This includes a brief tutorial at the beginning of the exam, which covers how to use the computer-based testing system.
To assist you in making your university selections, it may be useful to understand how your test result compares to other applicants and the scores used by universities in previous years. This will be particularly interesting for candidates who want to apply to institutions that use a threshold score.
The total cognitive mean scaled score for 2021 is 2499. This data is valid up to the 29th of September 2021 based on 37,230 tests taken.
Your total score on the UCAT will range from 0 to 3600. This score is then converted into a percentile rank, which tells you how you performed in comparison to other candidates who took the exam. For example, if you score in the 99th percentile, this means you scored higher than 99% of other candidates.
What is a good UCAT Score?
You’ll be compared with the rest of your cohort. Top performers should strive for a score of at least 680 in each area, with a good score ranging from 650 to 680 in each. A typical score would be around 620-630 in each section, while a poor score would be around 610 or lower.
How Hard Is The UCAT?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on your individual strengths and weaknesses. However, we can give you some general advice. The UCAT is a challenging exam, and it is not possible to prepare for it in the same way you would prepare for a school or university exam. Instead, you need to focus on developing the skills that are tested by the UCAT. This includes problem-solving skills, creative thinking, and the ability to make sound judgments in realistic situations.
How Do I Prepare For The UCAT?
The best way to start preparing for the UCAT is to use practice papers and questions. This will help you to familiarise yourself with the exam format and question types, and to develop the skills that are tested by the UCAT. You can find practice papers and questions on our website. This will help you get used to the question types and time pressure you will face on exam day. Another approach is a structured approach with either your school if they provide the resources or external help like that from a tuition agency.
In addition to practising with past papers, it is also important to revise the key concepts that will be tested in each section of the exam.
For verbal reasoning, this means practising your reading comprehension and vocabulary.
For quantitative reasoning, you should brush up on your basic maths skills. For decision making, you will need to familiarise yourself with the different types of ethical and clinical dilemmas that could be presented. And for situational judgment, you should think about how you would respond to different scenarios that might occur in a healthcare setting.
The official UCAT website has a range of free resources that you can use, including practice questions and a mock exam. In addition, there are a number of commercial UCAT preparation courses available. These courses can be expensive, but they will provide you with comprehensive coverage of the material and in many cases a structured learning path.
Finally, we would advise you to start your preparation early and to focus on one section at a time. Don’t try to tackle everything at once – it is important to break the exam down into manageable chunks. And remember, the UCAT is just one part of the selection process! Universities will also look at your GCSEs, A-Levels (or equivalent), and personal statement when making their decisions. So make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare for all aspects of the application process.
Is It Possible To Resit The UCAT?
Yes, it is possible to resit the UCAT. There is no limit to the number of times you can sit the exam, but most universities will only consider your highest score when making their decision. As well you can only sit once in a calendar year.
What Universities / Medical Schools Use The UCAT?
The UCAT is used by a number of universities in the UK and Australia including:
Australia – UCAT ANZ
- Central Queensland University
- Charles Sturt University
- Curtin University
- Flinders University
- Griffith University
- La Trobe University
- Monash University
- University of Adelaide
- University of Newcastle / University of New England
- University of New South Wales
- University of Queensland
- University of Tasmania
- University of Western Australia
- Western Sydney University
- New Zealand
- University of Auckland
- University of Otago
- University of Aberdeen
- Anglia Ruskin University
- Aston University
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- Cardiff University
- University of Dundee
- University of East Anglia
- Edge Hill University
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Exeter
- University of Glasgow
- Hull York Medical School
- Keele University
- Kent and Medway Medical School
- King’s College London
- University of Leicester
- University of Liverpool
- University of Manchester
- Newcastle University
- University of Nottingham
- University of Lincoln
- Plymouth University
- Queen Mary University of London
- Queen’s University Belfast
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton
- University of St Andrews
- St George’s, University of London
- University of Sunderland
The UCAT is an important exam for anyone applying to study medicine or dentistry at a UK university. By familiarising yourself with the exam format and practising with past papers, you can give yourself the best chance of success.
We hope this blog post has given you a better understanding of what the UCAT is and how to prepare for it, and if you have any questions about the UCAT or the application process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always happy to help!
If you follow these tips, you should be well on your way to acing the UCAT!