UCAT FAQ - All your UCAT Questions Answered

 

UCAT - Tips

 

About UCAT

 

Q: What is the UCAT?

A: The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a test used by medical and dental schools in the UK for admissions purposes. The material on the test is not based on scientific or curriculum material. Click here to learn more about the UCAT.

The UCAT takes two hours and is completed on a computer. It is made up of five subtests (Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Decision Making, and SJT).

Q: Who needs to sit the UCAT?

30 universities in the UK require applicants to sit the UCAT in order to be admitted to medical and dental programs. UK, EU, and international students interested in applying to these medical or dental schools must sit the test prior to submitting their UCAS forms.

Q: How do I prepare for the UCAT?

A: Admission to medical and dental schools is very competitive. Therefore, it is very important to prepare. Make sure to set aside time every day to prepare with JobTestPrep’s UCAT practice pack. You can learn more about UCAT prep here.

 

 

UCAT Logistics & Registration

 

Q: When do I sit the UCAT?

A: You may sit the UCAT between 26 July and 29 September (subject to availability at your local Pearson VUE test centre).

Note that it does not matter at which point in the testing season you take the UCAT. Your UCAT score will not be measured against the scores of others. Rather, your score is based solely on your own ability. You should make sure to take the UCAT only once you are fully prepared. (We recommend preparing for a minimum of 3-4 week prior to taking the exam.)

Taking the test early does have a few advantages such as a reduced price during the summer months. Furthermore, during the summer months, you will be less distracted by the start of the term. Completing the UCAT early also gives you time to reflect on your UCAS choices for universities before the deadline in October.

Q: Where do I go to sit the UCAT?

A: The UCAT is administered at Pearson VUE test centres. When registering for the UCAT, you will be able to select the test centre of your choice. It is advisable to register early so that you will be able to sit the test at the most convenient centre for you. Test dates tend to fill up quickly.

You may take the UCAT at a Pearson VUE test centre that is convenient for you in one of the 73 countries in which the UCAT is administered. When you are registering, the system will help you to find the closest centre based on your address. You may select up to four locations at once to see available dates and times. The closer to the deadline that you book your test, the less availability there will be. If you click on a date, you will then be able to see the available test times. Each centre will have different allocated times available from which you may select the time that is most convenient for you. You may also see all the available test times for a specific week.

Q: What does it cost to sit the UCAT?

A: If you sit the UCAT in the UK, the cost is £75. UCAT tests taken outside the UK cost £120.

Q: Am I allowed to sit the UCAT again?

A: Yes, you can re-sit the UCAT any number of times. However, your UCAT score is only valid for the application cycle during which you take the test. You are not permitted to sit the UCAT test again during the same cycle. If you would like to re-sit the test, you must wait until the following year. Therefore, it is essential to come to the test prepared.

Q: How do I register for the UCAT?

A: You must register in order to book your test. This cannot be done by a school or college; you must register yourself personally.

To register for the UCAT test, go to the UCAT website and click on the second tab from the left (‘registration’). You will see a button on that page which says ‘click here to register’.

This will take you to the sign in page. First time users will need to create a new account. (This involves filling out a basic form with your name, email, birthday, testing history, address, telephone number, and a short demographic form). Returning users may log in using their login details in the box on the left.

Q: When do I register for the UCAT?

A: UCAT registration for 2021 opens on 2 June 2021 and closes on 22 September 2021. It is highly recommended to register and sit the UCAT test as early as possible to secure a spot in a local test centre.

Q: What if I need to cancel or reschedule my test?

A: In order to reschedule or cancel (without losing your fee), you need to contact Pearson VUE Customer Services before 17:00 (UK time) on the preceding Friday.

If you arrive to the UCAT test, you are officially declaring that you are able to take the test. If you are unable to take the test because you are ill or for other personal reasons, you must reschedule your test for a later day (note that you may lose your test fee).

In the event you miss your test for whatever reason and you have not rescheduled it in time, you will have to schedule another test and pay for it yourself. This policy applies in the event of an emergency, arrest, illness, accident, transportation issue, security, tardiness, forgetfulness, or arriving to the test centre with invalid or inadequate identification.

 

 

About Test Day

 

Q: When should I arrive to the test centre?

A: The UCAT consortium notes that you must arrive at the test centre 15 minutes before your test time so that you can complete the check-in procedure. This includes filling out any paperwork, storing your belongings in the locker, getting a final drink of water, and/or taking a trip to the toilet before the test begins.

If you arrive late to the test centre, you may not be able to sit the test that day, and you will be marked as a ‘no show’, which means you will need to pay again to register for a new test.

Tip: A few days prior to your scheduled UCAT test, drive to the test centre so that you know exactly where to go on the day of the test. If you are unable to do so, be sure to find out the best way to get to the test centre. In addition, you should leave for the test early so that you are not pressured for time upon arrival.

Q: What do I need to bring with me?

A: Be sure to bring the following items with you to the UCAT test:

  • Confirmation email from Pearson VUE (printed or electronic)
  • A photo ID card (must meet requirements)

You do not need to bring anything else with you as you can’t take any personal belongings into the test room. This includes food or drink.

You will be provided with a computer on which you will be able to sit your test as well as three laminated noteboards and a permanent marker. The board is not erasable so in the event that you need another one simply raise your filled noteboard in the air and a new one will be provided to you.

Q: Which forms of photo identification are acceptable?

A: Your photo ID card must be on the UCAT’s approved list. Failure to provide an approved photo identification card will result in you not being able to take the exam. Instead, you will have to reschedule and pay for a new test slot.

The information you provide must match the information you put into the system when you registered, including your full name and date of birth. If they do not match, you must notify your test centre at least five business days before your test.

Make sure the identification documents that you provide are the originals and that they are signed and up-to-date. You can find a list of approved photo identifications here

Q: What do I do with my personal effects while I am taking the test?

A: You may not bring your personal items with you into the test (including water or other beverages). You will be assigned a locker in which you can store all of your personal belongings when you arrive at the test center. We advise that you wear layers when sitting the test as jackets or scarves, other outerwear will not be allowed inside the test room.

Q: Am I allowed to take a break during the test?

A: There are no breaks allocated into the test time, and the test will run from start to finish without any pauses. If you do really need to take a break, then raise your hand to be escorted out the test room. However the test will continue without you, so it is best to try and avoid breaks as much as possible.

Q: How long is the UCAT test?

A: The test is two hours long from start to finish.

Each subtest follows on from the one before without a break. You may take a break during the test, but the time will not stop, and given the time pressure of the test, a break is unadvisable.

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About the Test

 

Q: Which universities require the UCAT?

A: There are 31 universities which require candidates to take the UCAT in order to apply to their medical and dental programmes. 

Q: What is the difference between the UCAT and the BMAT?

The BMAT is used by some medical and/or dental programmes for admission purposes instead of the UCAT.

The BMAT contains three sections:

  1. Aptitude – measures critical thinking, logic, and reasoning skills
  2. Scientific knowledge and applications
  3. Writing task

The BMAT is different from the UCAT in that it requires you to have prior knowledge of the sciences and mathematics in order to perform well on the test. The UCAT contains four cognitive subtests (Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning) and one non-cognitive subtest (the Situational Judgement Test). Unlike the BMAT, the UCAT assesses your mental abilities without prior subject knowledge. It is designed to measure mental capacity and the personality traits considered important for a career in the medical field. These capacities and traits include logical reasoning and critical thinking skills.

Q: Do questions on the UCAT increase or decrease in difficulty throughout the test?

A: There is no way to predict the difficulty level of the next question. The UCAT allocates questions at random from a bank of thousands of questions. Therefore, the difficulty of each question will vary, regardless of order.

If you find a question extremely difficult, flag it and go back to it when you reach the end of the section. Remember to go back to it as you do not lose points for incorrect answers.

 

 

UCAT Scores

 

Q: How is the UCAT scored?

A: The 2021 UCAT scores range between 900 - 2700.

Each of the four cognitive sections of the UCAT are scored from 300-900. The average score is about 660 per section, making any score above 700 in each of these sections competitive.

Negative marking is not used when scoring the UCAT, and therefore you will not lose points if you answer a question incorrectly. If you do not know the answer to a question, it is better to guess than to leave the question blank. You will not be penalised if your answer is wrong.

The SJT section is scored in Bands, with Band 1 being the highest and Band 4 being the lowest. These bands indicate the extent to which your responses match the responses determined by a panel of medical experts. Learn more about the UCAT scoring here.

 

 

 

 

UCAT - Tips

 

 

 

 

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