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The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is used by Med School admissions teams to help shortlist candidates for interview. For 2021, UCAT tests will only take place in testing centres because this is the “best and most secure experience for candidates”.

What Is The UCAT?

The UCAT test is designed to help Medical Schools gauge whether a candidate has the attitude, mental ability and professionalism needed to thrive on a Medicine or Dentistry course. It’s considered a key entry requirement alongside your grades, work experience and Personal Statement by a number of UCAT Universities.

With school exams cancelled, it looks like your UCAT performance could be even more important this year, as it could be the only thing that sets you apart from other candidates.

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, you’ll need to sit the UCAT ANZ.

It’s important to know that you can only take the UCAT once per application cycle.

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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How Long Is The UCAT?

The UCAT is a two-hour, computerised test. You’ll take it at a designated testing centre.

What Is The UCAT Format?

The exam consists of five sections. These must be attempted in the order presented.

The UCAT sections are:

In combination, these UCAT sections are designed to assess different skills required by Doctors. These include problem-solving, communication, numerical skills, spatial awareness, integrity, empathy and teamwork.

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

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 see also 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.

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How Do I Register For UCAT 2021?

UCAT registration is very simple: you create an account and register for the test, then book it before the deadline. For the UK, registration opened 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 opened at the start of March and tests began 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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