UCAT – All You Want to Know

What is the UCAT?

UCAT is the acronym for University Clinical Aptitude Test. It is the admission test for entry into medical schools, dental schools, and other medical studies in the UK. This test was called the UKCAT earlier, but the name was changed to UCAT to encourage a better global reach. Australia and New Zealand have their own version of the test, called UCAT ANZ.

What is the format of UCAT?

The UCAT has 5 sections that are timed. The time specified includes an additional 1 minute that is given to read the instructions in each section.

  • Verbal Reasoning – 44 Q, 22 minutes,
  • Decision Making – 29 Q, 32 minutes
  • Quantitative Reasoning – 36Q, 25 minutes
  • Abstract Reasoning – 55Q, 14 minutes
  • Situational Judgement – 69Q, 27 minutes

How is the UCAT scored?

All the sections, except the Situational Judgement, are all scored on a scale of 300-900.

Situational Judgement is graded on a band of 1-4.

When is the UCAT conducted?

  • The UCAT is conducted from July 1 – July 31.
  • Registrations are open from March 1 – May 16.
  • The results of the UCAT are sent to the universities by September.
  • Offers of interviews will be released from October.
  • Interviews are conducted in November
  • Offers from Universities are released in January.

Using this timeline, create a list of important dates and set reminders to keep track.

What is the cost of the UCAT?

The cost of the UCAT for students from outside the EU is about 115 British Pound Sterling.

The cost of the UCAT ANZ for test-takers outside Australia and New Zealand is $398.

How many times can I take the UCAT in a year? Can I postpone or retake the test if I am unwell?

You can take the UCAT only once a year. If you are sick, it is better to cancel the exam and reschedule it. However, if you have started writing the exam, you must finish it.

If you are not successful the first time, you can retake the exam any number of times, but only one time in a year.

The UCAT score is valid for a year.

What can I do if my UCAT score is poor, but my academic record is good?

You can take the UCAT only once every year. You must take the guidance of experts so you can be confident of scoring well. In case your score is not as good as you expected, you can still apply to the colleges that don’t emphasize much on UCAT score. Or you can retake the test.

What is the best way to prepare for UCAT?

You should start your preparation for UCAT, well in advance. Ideally, you should have at least 4 weeks to revise and 2 more weeks for rigorous practice and revision before you take the exam. Though the preparation strategy, may vary, many test-takers find it useful to attend a UCAT coaching class ,where the techniques for taking the test and tips to ace the UCAT are discussed. Attempting several practice tests ,also helps students immensely.

What is the UCAT Syllabus?

  • Verbal Reasoning – Provide Details
  • Decision Making – Provide Details
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Provide Details
  • Abstract Reasoning – Provide Details
  • Situational Judgement – Provide Details

Has the UCAT replaced the UMAT?

Yes, students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine, dentistry, or any clinical science have to take the UCAT from 2019 onwards. The UCAT will replace the existing UMAT (Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission Test). This will take effect from 2019 for entering university in 2020.

Students in their final year at high school or any year after completing high school are eligible to take the UCAT. This test is mandatory for those who wish to study medicine, dentistry, and other branches of medical science in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

What is the difference between UCAT and UMAT?

The UCAT has replaced the UMAT now. Though both are highly competitive, psychoanalytical tests, there are differences between the two.

  • The UMAT was conducted only on one day, at the end of July. UCAT is conducted all through the month of July.
  • The UMAT was 3 hours long and was a paper-based test. The UCAT is 2 hours long and is computer-based.
  • The UMAT had only 3 sections, but the UCAT has 5 sections.
  • The results of UMAT, took several months to be published. Test-takers will know the result, as soon as they complete the test.