The UCAT exam is part of the selection process for some medical and dental schools in the UK. Evaluating candidates' skills such as mental abilities, attitudes, critical thinking and logical deductions, this exam includes four online reasoning tests and a situation analysis test.
- Verbal reasoning: evaluates logical thinking and conclusion ability in the light of written information: It takes 21 minutes, contains 44 questions out of 11 passages.
- Quantitative reasoning: evaluates the ability to solve numerical problems: It takes 24 minutes, 9 tables, diagrams, graphs, etc. and they contain 36 questions from above.
- Abstract reasoning: evaluates the ability to think closely and differently, and the ability to infer relationships: It includes 13 minutes and 55 questions.
- Decision analysis: assesses the ability to interpret, infer, and respond appropriately to various forms of information: takes 32 minutes, includes an informational scenario and 28 questions (simple calculator supplied)
- Situational judgement: measures your answers in the situation, your understanding of medical ethics: It takes 27 minutes, includes 67 questions over 20 scenarios.
The exam takes place at your local test center and is a test for each sub-subject. Although past questions are not available, sample questions are provided on UCAT's website. Candidates applying to the following universities can take the UCAT exam:
- University of Aberdeen
- University of Birmingham
- Cardiff University
- University of Central Lancashire
- University of Dundee
- Durham University
- University of East Anglia
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Exeter
- University of Glasgow
- Keele University
- King’s College London
- University of Leicester
- University of Liverpool
- University of Manchester
- Newcastle University
- University of Nottingham
- University of Plymouth
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton
- University of St Andrews
- St George’s, University of London
- Queen’s University Belfast
- University of Warwick (Graduate Entry Medical Degree)
Because the demand for medicine, dentistry, and some other health sciences courses is so significant, the 12th year grade required to enter such courses has become extremely high. Universities therefore needed another method of selecting students for medicine.
The UCAT was developed to assess desirable qualities in health professions, including problem solving, empathy, and abstract reasoning skills. Many universities also use an interview to select students for medicine and dentistry.
Whether you agree that UCAT effectively assesses the qualifications required to be a successful medical student and doctor, the reality is that you must take UCAT to get into many health science courses.
Why Did UCAT Replace UMAT?
The UCAT consortium states that UCAT has replaced UMAT for a variety of reasons, including:
- Include additional structures related to the admissions process.
- Immediate results generated due to the computer-based nature of the test.
- More flexibility in where and when testing will take place, including the availability of several testing dates.
As a result, the Australian School-Leaving Entry Universities Consortium decided that UCAT was a more appropriate test for evaluating candidates for entry into medical and dental courses.
Which Courses Require UCAT?
The UCAT ANZ 2021 test was conducted from 1 July to 11 August 2021. In 2022, the date range is estimated as such.
You will need to take your UCAT exam if you are interested in any of the following courses:
- University of Auckland (Medicine)
- University of Otago (Medicine, Dental Surgery)
- Monash University (Medicine)
- University of Adelaide (Medical, Dental Surgery)
- University of Newcastle / University of New England (Medicine)
- University of New South Wales (Medicine)
- Western Sydney University (Medicine)
- University of Queensland (Medicine – conditional admission, Dental Science)
- Griffith University (Dentistry)
- University of Tasmania (Medicine)
- University of Western Australia (Medicine, Dentistry)
- Curtin University (Medicine)
- Charles Sturt University (Medicine, Dentistry)
- Flinders University (Clinical Science / Medicine)
- Charles Darwin University (Clinical Science)
How Many Questions Are in UCAT?
In UCAT, there are a total of 233 questions, divided into subtests as follows:
- Verbal Reasoning – 44 questions
- Decision Making – 29 questions
- Quantitative Reasoning – 36 questions
- Abstract Reasoning – 55 Questions
- Situational Judgment – 69 questions
About 10% of the questions will be essay questions that do not contribute to your score. All questions will be presented in multiple choice format on a computer platform. UCAT takes approximately 2 hours in total. In addition, there is a 5-minute training period 1 minute before each subtest.
How Do I Register for UCAT?
Once registrations open, you will be able to register for UCAT by visiting the Pearson VUE website.
To enroll and then apply for a test, you must complete a two-step process using the Pearson VUE online registration system.
How Much Does UCAT Cost?
The UCAT residency fee is $305 (Australia and New Zealand). The late registration fee is $85. If you are eligible for the concession, the fee is $199 (Australia only).
If you live outside of Australia or New Zealand on UCAT, the registration fee is $380. You can take UCAT in your senior year of high school and any year thereafter. Anyone can apply to UCAT.
How Long Does It Take to Prepare for UCAT?
In general, the more time you spend preparing for UCAT, the higher your score will be. For this reason, students entering an interim year tend to score higher than the previous year because they have had more time to prepare.
However, the relationship between preparation time and expected UCAT scores is not linear. This means that after a certain amount of preparation time (about 200 hours for example), more preparation time still increases the score, but not significantly.
It is worth noting that the increase in scores in preparation for UCAT is higher for a number of reasons than its predecessor, UMAT.
Remember that quality preparation for UCAT also helps increase your ATAR/GPA due to the thinking skills and exam taking skills you develop.