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 many 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.
You’ll need to take the UCAT exam 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.
There are now 36 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.
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.
The UCAT exam was created to test aptitude, not academic knowledge.
Each section of the UCAT assesses different skills and mental abilities that doctors are required to have. These include problem-solving, communication, numerical skills, spatial awareness, integrity and empathy.
In the UCAT, you will be tested on your ability to evaluate written and numerical information, presented in a variety of formats.
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. See below for a breakdown of each of the test elements for time and number of 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.
In total, there are 228 questions in the UCAT test.
|Topics & Skills tested
|Ability to solve text and visual data-related questions
|Ability to spot patterns and ignore irrelevant information
|Capacity to understand real-life situations and behave appropriately
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.
UCAT registration is very simple: you create an account and register for the test, then book it before the deadline. Although dates are not yet officially confirmed for UCAT 2024, we can deduct approximate times based on 2023 dates, with registration scheduled to open in summer 2024.
For the UK test in 2023, booking opened 20th June and testing started from 10th July. The booking deadline was 21st September, and the last test day was 28th September. Follow this page to stay up date with key dates and find out everything you need to know about how to register in the UK.
In Australia and New Zealand, bookings opened at the start of March and testing began in July. We’ve got a separate guide that details how to register for UCAT ANZ here.
You can keep up with the official dates on the UCAT site here as well.
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.
The sooner you start your UCAT revision, the better. Most candidates who perform badly say 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:
Loading More Content