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University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT): Eligibility and Exam Details

ACAlpina ChariAug 9, 2023

University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT): Eligibility and Exam Details

About UCAT 

The University Clinical Aptitude Test, abbreviated UCAT, is a computer-based exam used by the Consortium of UK Universities and other international universities to select candidates for their medical and dental programs. The exam is organized by the UCAT Consortium, a charity and limited company managed by the Consortium of UK Universities since its inception in 2006. With the increasing number of highly qualified applicants, the admission tutors of the Consortium of UK Universities struggled to make fair selections; therefore, they developed the UCAT Consortium with the aim of

  • Determining the qualities of applicants that will make them effective clinicians, doctors, and dentists
  • Boosting the participation of underrepresented social groups in the study of medicine, dentistry, and clinical sciences
  • Increasing selection fairness by assisting universities in making distinctions between candidates with similar qualifications

The test is not used alone but is used in combination with other admissions processes like academic qualifications, UCAS applications, etc. to aid selection. UCAT has partnered with Pearson VUE, which conducts the test throughout the UK and worldwide each year.

Overview of UCAT 

Test Name  University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)
Duration  2 hours 
Type  Computer-based aptitude test 
Number of subtests  5 (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, decision-making, and situational judgment)
Number of attempts allowed per cycle  1
Fees  For the UK universities £70 and for international universities £115
Score validity  1 year 

UCAT Eligibility and Fees

Eligibility

UCAT is a compulsory admission requirement for medical or dental degree courses at the consortium of universities in the UK and internationally. For medical, dental, and clinical science degree programs in Australia and New Zealand, students can sit for the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT ANZ) conducted by the consortium of universities in Australia and New Zealand. UCAT ANZ is identical in content and format to UCAT. The only difference is that

  • Medical universities in Australia and New Zealand have earlier admissions deadlines than UK universities
  • Australian and New Zealand universities accept only UCAT ANZ and not UCAT, unlike UK universities, which accept both 

Applicants must check the entry requirements for each university and course before applying for UCAT. But there are no general exemptions from the test. The test is delivered by Pearson VUE at their test centers located in 130+ countries worldwide. In cases of a pandemic, war, civil unrest, or natural disaster where the applicant is unable to travel to a test center, the test is conducted online. 

Candidates are allowed to sit for one test during any test cycle. Multiple tests are not allowed for a single candidate and are considered misconduct by the exam authorities, and results are withdrawn. Students can, however, take the test again in the next cycle. Students are also prohibited from taking practical reruns of the test. UCAT analyzes all applications and might take action if the candidate takes a test as a practice run.

Also, applicants are not allowed to sit for both the UCAT and the UCAT ANZ in the same year. Individuals affiliated with the UCAT coaching business as tutors, content developers, etc. are not eligible to take the exam.

Fees

Students can pay the test fees either through a debit or credit card. The test fee for UK universities is £70 and for international universities is £115. Applicants from the UK can apply for the UCAT Bursary Scheme using the UCAT Bursary Voucher.  Candidates applying to Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Singapore) can utilize International Voucher to pay their fees.   

List of Universities That Accept UCAT

UK Universities  

University of Aberdeen  University of East Anglia  University of Leicester 
Anglia Ruskin University Edge Hill University University of Liverpool
Aston University University of Edinburgh  University of Manchester
University of Birmingham University of Exeter  University of Newcastle 
University of Bristol University of Glasgow  University of Nottingham 
Brunel University London Hull York Medical School  Plymouth University
Cardiff University  Keele University  Queen Mary University of London 
University of Central Lancashire Kent and Medway Medical School Queen’s University Belfast 
University of Chester King’s College London  University of Sheffield 
University of Dundee  University of Leeds University of Southampton 
University of St Andrews  University of Sunderland University of Warwick 
St George’s, University of London  University of Surrey University of Worcester

International Universities 

American University of the Caribbean
University of Kurdistan Hewlêr
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine 

Australian and New Zealand Universities: UCAT ANZ

The University of Adelaide University of Tasmania 
Central Queensland University The University of Western Australia 
Charles Sturt University Western Sydney University
Curtin University Griffith University
Flinders University Monash University
The University of Newcastle/University of New England University of Notre Dame Australia
The University of New South Wales The University of Auckland
University of Southern Queensland University of Otago
The University of Queensland

UCAT Registration 

Students must use the Pearson VUE registration system to register for the UCAT, which is a two-step process involving creating an account and booking a test. Step one is to create a UCAT account online by visiting the Pearson VUE registration system. You will need to provide your legal name as it appears on your photo ID, along with additional details like gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, etc. Once the account is created, you will receive a username via email to set up your password, along with a UCAT candidate ID. The entire process takes one business day. 

The next step is to book a test. Before proceeding, eligible students can apply for the bursary and access arrangements (to sit for an extended version of the test), which must be approved by the UCAT Office. Candidates must also go through the fitness test policy before booking the test. To book the test, they can log in to their UCAT account and select a test date. Once the process is complete, they will receive a confirmation email. Students must make sure that they book the test before the deadline, as any bookings made later will not be entertained.

UCAT Syllabus, Test Format, and Score 

The UCAT is a multiple-choice test that evaluates a variety of cognitive skills that medical and dentistry schools have deemed crucial. It consists of the following subtests

  • Verbal reasoning 
  • Quantitative reasoning 
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Decision making 
  • Situational judgment 

Each subtest has a 1-minute instruction time and the test must be completed in 2 hours without any pauses. Only correct answers are considered and there is no negative marking for incorrect answers. Each question carries one mark. Marks are converted to a scale score that ranges from 300-900 for 4 subtests and for the fifth subtest, situational judgment the score is expressed in one of four bands with band 1 score being the highest. 

Subtest Number of questions  Time duration  Score
Verbal reasoning  44 21 minutes  300-900
Quantitative reasoning 36 25 minutes  300-900
Abstract reasoning 50 12 minutes  300-900
Decision making 29 31 minutes  300-900
Situational judgment  69 26 minutes  Bands 1-4

Candidates will be given a copy of the UCAT score report before they leave the test center. They can also use their UCAT account to access the score report. The preliminary scores and deciles are published in mid-September every year. The final scores, deciles, and percentiles will be sent to the chosen university in early November. UCAT score is valid for one year only. 

Conclusion 

The UK has some of the best-ranked medical and dental colleges in the world. Thus, the selection criteria for these universities are quite tough. They require students to answer the UCAT, a computer-based aptitude test. The test is conducted by the UCAT Consortium in partnership with Pearson VUE at over 130 Pearson test centers spread across the UK and worldwide. UCAT is held once a year and lasts for 2 hours, during which candidates are required to answer questions based on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, decision-making, and situational judgment. The scores of the test are then sent to the respective universities, which help them select the best candidates who will make effective clinicians, doctors, and dentists.

 Interested students can get in touch with our admissions counselors to learn more about the UCAT exam and its details. At Gyanberry Gyanberry, we offer seamless admission services for students who are interested in studying abroad. We have helped thousands of students get admission to their dream universities in the UK and worldwide. Book a free video call to experience a smooth admissions process.

Suggested reading: MCAT for International Students: Eligibility & Exam Details, Free Mock Tests for Medicine Exams, AMCAS Application for International Students, and Study Medicine in the USA

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Frequently Asked Questions

UCAT or the University Clinical Aptitude Test is a computer-based aptitude exam used by the Consortium of UK Universities and other international universities to select candidates for their medical and dental programs. 

The application fee for the UCAT exam is £70 for UK universities and £115 for international universities. 

No, there are no negative markings in the UCAT for incorrect answers, and each correct answer will fetch you one mark. 

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