You’ll need to take the UCAT if you’re applying to study Medicine at a UCAT university in the UK, Australia or New Zealand.
In the UK, most Medical Schools require the UCAT, while a small handful require the BMAT instead.
Your UCAT score is only valid for one year. If you sit the exam in summer 2023, then your score will be valid for 2024 entry to university.
If you wish to take a gap year or reapply the next year, you will need to resit the UCAT and use your latest score.
You can only sit the UCAT once per application cycle.
If you are applying to start a Medicine degree after Year 13, you will need to sit the UCAT in the summer between Years 12 and 13. If you are intending to take a gap year and start your Medicine application after completing your A-Levels, you should sit the UCAT in the summer after Year 13.
When choosing a Medical School, make sure that you play close attention to how the Med School will use your UCAT score. For example, some will shortlist candidates for interview by ranking them entirely by UCAT score.
You can learn more about this on our UCAT Scores page.
Yes! From our experience, we have found that practice makes a significant improvement to your UCAT score.
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, you will be entitled to sit the UCATSEN.
Every student prepares for the UCAT in a different way to suit their individual learning needs and abilities. Many students find it useful to attend a UCAT Course or complete an Online UCAT Course first to learn test strategies, before moving on to practice questions.
If you find that you are struggling with the same types of questions every time and aren’t sure how to progress, you might also want to consider UCAT tutoring.
Don’t leave your UCAT prep 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 around six weeks preparing for the UCAT, but this time frame isn’t set in stone and will vary between candidates. If you spend more than six weeks on solid UCAT prep, you risk burning out. If you spend a lot less than six weeks, you risk running out of time and being unprepared.
You can postpone and reschedule your exam if you are unwell, but you may lose your fee if you leave it too late.
Once you’ve started your exam at the test centre, however, you must complete it and can’t resit the test another time that year. If you’re unwell, it’s best to cancel and reschedule, rather than sitting the test when you aren’t feeling at your best.
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, make sure you are applying to universities that place less emphasis on UCAT scores to maximise your chances of success.
Currently, 30 UK Medical Schools use the UCAT as part of their selection process. Check the list of UCAT unis here.
The UK testing period typically runs from July to September. You can choose any date within this period, but we would recommend choosing an earlier date if you can. This will mean your test is out of the way earlier and you will have time to reschedule it if you are unwell.
You might want to choose a later test date if you think you need the whole summer to prepare, e.g. due to other commitments.
The testing period for UCAT ANZ test usually runs from July to August, so it’s shorter than the UK testing period.
Need help deciding when to book your test for? Check out our guide to picking a UCAT ANZ date.
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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