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UCAT FAQs

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:

Got questions about the UKCAT to UCAT changeover? See those here.


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.

Which universities use the UCAT?

Currently 27 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.

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 long is my UCAT score valid for?

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.

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 which 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. 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).

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 to 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.

When should I sit the UCAT 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.

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 here.

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 which place little or no emphasis on the UCAT exam to maximise your chances of success.

Where can I find information about UCAT Australia?

You can find out more about UCAT Australia – including preparation tips, UMAT to UCAT and more – on our new site, The Medic Portal Australia.


How to Master the UCAT

We’ve got a range of tools designed to help you boost your overall UCAT score…

  1. Our UCAT question bank – it’s the perfect way to get some realistic practice done before the real thing.
  2. Book a place on our popular UCAT Courses.
  3. If learning one-on-one is more your style, we can help. Our tutors come from top universities like Oxford, UCL and KCL. You could get top insights from students who’ve successfully aced the UCAT exam themselves.

READ NEXT ➜ UCAT Practice Questions


Learn More:

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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