Have questions about the UCAT (previously UKCAT)? Below are some UCAT FAQs, with expert answers provided by The Medic Portal. Click on each question to take you straight to the answer:
The likelihood is yes, but this depends on which medical schools you are applying to – most universities require the UCAT, and a small handful require the BMAT.
Wondering which medical schools require UCAT? See our full list on our UCAT Guide. You can also compare the entry requirements for each of the four medical schools you are applying to on our Medical School Comparison Tool.
Currently, 30 UK medical schools use the UCAT as part of their selection process for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. To see an up to date list click here.
The UCAT Special Educational Needs (UCATSEN) is 25% longer than the standard UCAT and is available for those with dyslexia. If you have extra time for other public exams then you will be entitled to sit the UCATSEN.
Your UCAT score is valid for one year. If you sit the exam in 2016 then the score will be valid for 2017 entry to university. If you wish to take a gap year or reapply the next year then you will need to resit the UCAT and use your latest score.
Unfortunately, many candidates will not be happy with their score. It is important that when applying to a university you make sure you meet all the minimum criteria, paying close attention to minimum UCAT scores. As you will have your UCAT score in advance of submitting your UCAS application you can tailor your application accordingly – applying to universities that put little or no emphasis on the UCAT exam.
You can read more about where to apply with your score on our UCAT Scores page.
Yes! From our experience, we have found that practice makes a significant improvement to your UCAT score. There has also been research showing that your UCAT score does depend on preparation, school attended, mathematical ability, gender, and age (Lambe et al. 2012).
Every student prepares in a different way to suit their individual learning needs and abilities. Most students, however, find it useful to attend a UCAT Course or read a book covering the UCAT, especially theories and techniques, to begin with, followed by undertaking numerous practice questions.
Don’t leave preparation until the last minute. Most candidates who perform badly state that they were underprepared and had not done enough practice questions. It is advisable to spend at least 4 weeks doing regular revision, followed by 2 weeks of intense revision and practice questions before sitting the exam.
There is a wide window of opportunity to sit the exam, but the price goes up if you leave it to September or October. This is due to an increase in demand. We recommend booking the test during the summer holidays as when you get back to school in September you will be busy with personal statements, course work and starting your A2 year.
You can postpone your exam but if you leave it too late you may lose your fee. Once you’ve started your exam however you must complete it and can’t resit the exam that year, so if you’re unwell it’s best to cancel and re-book.
Unfortunately, no. You can only sit the UCAT once per year so if you didn’t score as well as you’d hoped then you can’t resit until the next year. If you get a low score then make sure you are applying to universities that place little or no emphasis on the UCAT exam to maximise your chances of success.
We’ve got a range of tools designed to help you boost your overall UCAT score…
Find out more about The Medic Portal and how we support students with their UCAT preparation on our About Us page>>
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