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Have questions about the UCAT (previously UKCAT)? Below are some UCAT FAQs, with expert answers provided by The Medic Portal.

Do I need to take the UCAT?

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.

How long is my UCAT score valid for?

Your UCAT score is valid for one year. If you sit the exam in 2021 then the score will be valid for 2022 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.

What happens if I get a low UCAT 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. 

Does practice improve UCAT scores?

Yes! From our experience, we have found that practice makes a significant improvement to your UCAT score. Research also shows that your UCAT score does depend on preparation, school attended, mathematical ability, gender, and age (Lambe et al. 2012).

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I’m dyslexic, do I get extra time in the UCAT?

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.

How should I prepare for the UCAT exam?

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.

When should I start preparing for the UCAT?

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.

Are there any free UCAT practice questions online?

Unfortunately, there are few free UCAT practice questions available online. The UCAT website offers some practice questions and mock exams. You can also access UCAT questions on our website.

If I’m sick, can I postpone my UCAT exam?

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.

Can I resit my UCAT exam if I do badly?

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.

Which UK universities use the UCAT?

Currently, 30 UK medical schools use the UCAT as part of their selection process for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Check the list of UCAT unis here.

When should I sit the UCAT exam in the UK?

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.

When is The UCAT ANZ Test?

The UCAT ANZ test is usually held in July.

Need help deciding when to book your test for? Check out our guide to picking a UCAT ANZ date.

Where Are UCAT ANZ Test Centres?

There are 30 UCAT ANZ test centres in Australia and New Zealand. You can find a list of them on the exam website.

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