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The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is used by Med School admissions teams to help shortlist candidates for interview. All the key UCAT information you need for the 2022 test is detailed in this guide.

What Is The UCAT?

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a two-hour, computer-based test that’s designed to help universities gauge whether a candidate has the attitude, mental ability and professionalism needed to thrive.

The UCAT is a key entry requirement for some Medicine and Dentistry courses. When you apply, your UCAT score will be assessed alongside your grades, work experience and Personal Statement by UCAT Universities.

It was previously called the UKCAT in the UK, but the name changed when the test was introduced in Australia and New Zealand, where it’s officially called the UCAT ANZ.

Who Should Take The UCAT?

You’ll need to take the UCAT if you’re applying to a UK UCAT university. It’s not possible to exempt yourself from the test, which means that if it’s a requirement for your chosen Medical School(s), you’ll have to sit it.

If you’re applying to study Medicine in Australia and New Zealand – or if you want to apply there and in the UK at the same time – you’ll need to sit the UCAT ANZ.

Which Universities Require UCAT?

There are 30 UK Med Schools that require you to sit this admissions test and over 15 in Australia and New Zealand. You can see the full list – and how they’ll use your test performance – in our UCAT universities guide.

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Is UCAT An IQ Test?

The UCAT is an aptitude test, not an IQ test. As an aptitude test, the UCAT is trying to determine your ability in a particular skill or field of knowledge, rather than measuring intelligence.

What Does UCAT Test?

The UCAT was created to test different skills required by Doctors. These include problem-solving, communication, numerical skills, spatial awareness, integrity, empathy and teamwork.

How Long Is The UCAT Test?

The UCAT is a two-hour, computerised test that’s split into five subtests. The longest subtest is decision making, which takes 31 minutes. The shortest is abstract reasoning, where you’ll get just 12 minutes to answer 50 questions.

You’ll sit the UCAT at a designated testing centre – and you’ll only be allowed to take it once per application cycle.

If you’re eligible for additional time, you’ll be able to apply for access arrangements and take the UCATSEN.

How Many UCAT Questions Are There?

In total, there are 225 questions in the UCAT test.

What Are The UCAT Sections?

The five sections of the UCAT are: verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, and situational judgement. You’ll tackle these sections in order during the test. 

UCAT categoryDurationQuestionsTopics & Skills tested
Verbal Reasoning21 minutes44Comprehension skills
Decision Making31 minutes29Ability to solve text and visual data-related questions
Quantitative Reasoning25 minutes36Math skills
Abstract Reasoning12 minutes50Ability to spot patterns and ignore irrelevant information
Situational Judgement26 minutes66Capacity to your capacity to understand real-life situations and behave appropriately
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How Is The UCAT Test Scored?

There are two elements to your UCAT result. You’ll get between 300 and 900 points for each of the first four sections, and your UCAT result will be this sum combined. You may also see UCAT scores referred to as a three-digit number, which reflects the average of your section performance.

The second part is your situational judgement score, for which you’ll be given a band between one and four.

Read more about UCAT scores.

How Do I Register For UCAT 2022?

UCAT registration is very simple: you create an account and register for the test, then book it before the deadline. For the UK, registration opens at the start of June and testing will begin in late July. You’ll have until mid-September to register, and the last test will happen at the end of that month. Find everything you need to know about how to register in the UK with key dates and prices here.

In Australia and New Zealand, bookings open at the start of March and testing begins in July. We’ve got a separate guide that details how to register for UCAT ANZ here.

How Do I Prepare For UCAT?

This step-by-step guide covers how to prepare for the UCAT.

We recommend that the best UCAT preparation should include:

We have lots of advice on our website – and plenty of UCAT blogs with tips that you can read, too.

UCAT Tips

The sooner you start your UCAT revision, the better. Most candidates who perform badly state that they were underprepared - so the best UCAT tip we have is to start revising as soon as you can! Our other UCAT tips include:

  • Book Your UCAT Test Early. The sooner you book, the more choice you will have – and the more likely you can secure the date that suits you best.
  • Don’t Restrict Your Revision. Work on verbal reasoning by skim-reading magazines or newspapers, for example.
  • Focus on UCAT Strategy. Learn exactly how questions are built – and master proven techniques for tackling them with our UCAT Prep.
  • Use UCAT Practice Questions – A Lot! UCAT practice questions are essential to your preparation. After all, practice makes perfect!
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