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 2024 test is detailed in this guide.

What Is 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 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.

Who Should Take The UCAT?

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.

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 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.


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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.

This distinction is crucial because, unlike an IQ test which aims to measure a broad spectrum of intellectual capabilities, the UCAT focuses on assessing specific skills and aptitudes that are deemed important for a medical career. These include critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to interpret data under time constraints. The UCAT evaluates your potential to excel in medical and dental environments by testing abilities that are essential in those fields.

What Does UCAT Test For?

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.

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. 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.

How Many UCAT Questions Are There?

In total, there are 228 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 minutes36Numerical skills
Abstract Reasoning12 minutes50Ability to spot patterns and ignore irrelevant information
Situational Judgement26 minutes69Capacity 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 2024?

UCAT registration is very simple: you create an account and register for the test, then book it before the deadline.

For the UK test in 2024, registration opened on May 14th and testing starts from 8th July. The booking deadline is 19th September, and the last test day is 26th 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 begins 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.

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.


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:

  • 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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