What does the change from UMAT to UCAT ANZ in Australia and New Zealand mean for you – and how are the two tests different?


There are a few key differences between UMAT and UCAT ANZ that we’ve summarised in this table:

Number of sectionsThree sectionsFive sections
Number of questions134232
Sitting the examOne date to sit the examYou choose date and time at any point in July
Test durationThree hoursTwo hours
Receiving resultsWait until mid-SeptemberImmediately after exam

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New Sections

There are new sections in the UCAT that didn’t appear in UMAT. The UMAT consisted of three subsections covering logical reasoning and problem-solving, understanding people, and non-verbal reasoning. The UCAT assesses similar skills, but is split into five sections:

So you can see that both tests are examining the same qualities via multiple-choice, but the sections are different.

New Questions

It’s also important to note that although the sections are assessing similar skills or qualities (such as numerical skills), the question formats will differ.

For example, although both the UMAT section ‘Logical reasoning and problem-solving’ and UCAT Quantitative Reasoning section involve numerical calculations, the way the questions are formatted is different.

In the UMAT, some questions will involve calculation but the answer will be written as a statement rather than a single number. In the UCAT ANZ, Quantitative Reasoning questions will involve two or three calculations and you may need to use the on-screen calculator. In this sense, this section, although it tests numeracy like the UMAT, is more focused on mathematical skill.

For a more detailed breakdown of how the sections and question formats differ, you can read more about how each subsection differs from the UMAT on the section-specific pages above.

More Flexibility

The change from UMAT to UCAT ANZ means there is greater flexibility for you as a Medical School applicant.

Previously, students who took the UMAT could only sit the exam on a specific date (for example, in 2018 this was 25th July) – so you had to make sure you were fully prepared before this date.

However, the UCAT ANZ allows students to pick the date and time they will sit the test, so you’ll have greater flexibility to choose a time that suits you – and you can sit the exam at any point over July!

Shorter Timing

Whereas the UMAT was a three-hour test completed on paper, the UCAT ANZ is two hours and is completed on a computer. Many students will find it easier to practise this way – plus the test is an hour shorter!

Faster Results

Previously, students only received their UMAT scores in mid-September – but with UCAT ANZ you’ll be able to view your scores straight away after sitting the exam.

This means you can apply to Medical Schools in Australia and New Zealand strategically with your UCAT score!


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